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The Case Study Method:
An Introduction
Val Chukhlomin, PhD
Valeri.Chukhlomin@esc.edu
MBA 2008. Scanning the Business Envir...
Learning with Cases:
• Why Case Studies?
• The Anatomy of a Business Case
• Example Case Study
• Steps to Follow.
MBA 2008...
What is a Case Study?
• A verbal description of a business
situation to be analyzed
• A problem faced by a real company
• ...
Why Case Study?
• Management education: decision making
• Real life situation, in a manager’s seat
• Simulation: limited d...
The role of theory:
• Integration of relevant theory
• Toolbox (concepts, frameworks, models)
• Professional language
• Fr...
Skills to Develop:
• Analytical skills, critical thinking, research
• Application skills, using various tools
• Quantitati...
The Anatomy of a Business
Case:
• A narrative real life story, structured
• Data: relevant, irrelevant, “noise”
• Many pot...
Things to Remember:
• Puzzle, even if it looks simple
• What is the problem?
• Due diligence needed!
• Missing data: where...
How to Crack a Case?
• Read, think, read again, make notes
• Discussion, problem identification
• Case reformulation, miss...
The Role of Discussions:
• Real life situation: different angles
• Problem identification
• Search for relevant data
• Ana...
The Role of Data Mining:
• Real life situation: Data relevant?
Missing?
• Professional approach: company reports
• How to ...
Writing skills:
• Am I here to learn how to write?
• Recruiters: soft skills (hardest to learn!)
• Management reports
• Fo...
Quantitative skills:
• Financial statements and ratios
• Statistics
• Economic indicators
• Management reports
• Number cr...
Example:
Tom Young in Japan
(Read handouts)
Source: Ferraro, G. (2006). Cultural Dimensions of International
Business. 5ed...
Example: Tom Young in Japan
• Problem formulation
• Missing important information
• Analysis, using tools, models
• Altern...
Analysis: key points
• Common sense, logic, assumptions
• Data and sources
• Relevant theory and tools
• Alternatives, sce...
Rubrics for strategy case analyses
 Company goals, mission, vision (real!)
 External Environment (PESTEL)
 Industry (Li...
How to report your findings
1. Title page, contents, executive summary
2. Brief introduction, problem identification
3. As...
What should/should not be there (Y/N)?
1. Reiteration of facts from the case
2. Long quotations from the textbook
3. Refer...
QUESTIONS?
Want to know more?
1. Ellet, W. (2007). The Case Study Handbook. HBS Press.
2. Harvard Business Case Studies we...
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Val Chukhlomin on Harvard case studies MBA

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This is an old (2008) presentation that I still use in my courses.

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Val Chukhlomin on Harvard case studies MBA

  1. 1. The Case Study Method: An Introduction Val Chukhlomin, PhD Valeri.Chukhlomin@esc.edu MBA 2008. Scanning the Business Environment
  2. 2. Learning with Cases: • Why Case Studies? • The Anatomy of a Business Case • Example Case Study • Steps to Follow. MBA 2008. Scanning the Business Environment
  3. 3. What is a Case Study? • A verbal description of a business situation to be analyzed • A problem faced by a real company • Is NOT a photographic slice of life • Purposefully written • Method, adopted by HBS in 1908-11. MBA 2008. Scanning the Business Environment
  4. 4. Why Case Study? • Management education: decision making • Real life situation, in a manager’s seat • Simulation: limited data, time pressure • Groups of interests: ongoing discussion • Learning by doing, skills oriented • HBS: 500 cases per student. MBA 2008. Scanning the Business Environment
  5. 5. The role of theory: • Integration of relevant theory • Toolbox (concepts, frameworks, models) • Professional language • Frame of reference (set of ideas) • A methodology beyond number crunching. MBA 2008. Scanning the Business Environment
  6. 6. Skills to Develop: • Analytical skills, critical thinking, research • Application skills, using various tools • Quantitative and data handling • Decision making and evaluative skills • Time management • Interpersonal, debating, listening, team work • Writing communications. (Source: Leenders et al, Ivey Publishing, 2004) MBA 2008. Scanning the Business Environment
  7. 7. The Anatomy of a Business Case: • A narrative real life story, structured • Data: relevant, irrelevant, “noise” • Many potential problems • Different angles and approaches • Time constrains • You (not your instructor) are to solve it! MBA 2008. Scanning the Business Environment
  8. 8. Things to Remember: • Puzzle, even if it looks simple • What is the problem? • Due diligence needed! • Missing data: where to find it? • Look for relevant theory tools • No one right solution! MBA 2008. Scanning the Business Environment
  9. 9. How to Crack a Case? • Read, think, read again, make notes • Discussion, problem identification • Case reformulation, missing data • Analysis, using tools, models • Alternative solutions, discussion • Evaluation, decision, implementation. MBA 2008. Scanning the Business Environment
  10. 10. The Role of Discussions: • Real life situation: different angles • Problem identification • Search for relevant data • Analysis: choice of tools, evaluation • Formulation of alternative solutions • Prove that YOUR solution is the best! MBA 2008. Scanning the Business Environment
  11. 11. The Role of Data Mining: • Real life situation: Data relevant? Missing? • Professional approach: company reports • How to read them? • Analysis: not only number crunching • What is economic logic? MBA 2008. Scanning the Business Environment
  12. 12. Writing skills: • Am I here to learn how to write? • Recruiters: soft skills (hardest to learn!) • Management reports • Format, style, grammar, language, tone • Research, sources, quotation • Writing for decision making • Leadership. MBA 2008. Scanning the Business Environment
  13. 13. Quantitative skills: • Financial statements and ratios • Statistics • Economic indicators • Management reports • Number crunching for decision making. MBA 2008. Scanning the Business Environment
  14. 14. Example: Tom Young in Japan (Read handouts) Source: Ferraro, G. (2006). Cultural Dimensions of International Business. 5ed, Pearson: New Jersey. MBA 2008. Scanning the Business Environment
  15. 15. Example: Tom Young in Japan • Problem formulation • Missing important information • Analysis, using tools, models • Alternative solutions, evaluation • Recommendation for decision making • Your responsibility. MBA 2008. Scanning the Business Environment
  16. 16. Analysis: key points • Common sense, logic, assumptions • Data and sources • Relevant theory and tools • Alternatives, scenario planning • Evaluation, decision making • Suggestions for implementation. MBA 2008. Scanning the Business Environment
  17. 17. Rubrics for strategy case analyses  Company goals, mission, vision (real!)  External Environment (PESTEL)  Industry (Life Cycle, Key Success Factors, Porter’s Five Forces, strategic groups, etc)  Internal analysis (Value chain, VRINE)  Strategic position (Porter’s generic strategies) and options (SWOT), etc.  Strategy Diamond and Economic logic. MBA 2008. Scanning the Business Environment
  18. 18. How to report your findings 1. Title page, contents, executive summary 2. Brief introduction, problem identification 3. Assumptions, sources of information 4. Analysis, tools, conclusions 5. Generation and evaluation of alternatives 6. Recommendation for decision making 7. Implementation: Who, When, How, Cost 8. References. MBA 2008. Scanning the Business Environment
  19. 19. What should/should not be there (Y/N)? 1. Reiteration of facts from the case 2. Long quotations from the textbook 3. Referral to company reports 4. Causes of problems, not just symptoms 5. Use of the relevant theory 6. Reference all non-original work. MBA 2008. Scanning the Business Environment
  20. 20. QUESTIONS? Want to know more? 1. Ellet, W. (2007). The Case Study Handbook. HBS Press. 2. Harvard Business Case Studies web-site: http://www.hbsp.harvard.edu/hbsp/case_studies.jsp 3. The Q Manual. www.buseco.monash.edu.au/qmanual 4. ICMR. The Case Study Method. http://icmr.icfai.org MBA 2008. Scanning the Business Environment

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