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Case Study Methodology

What is case study?
l Case studies emphasize detailed contextual analysis of a limited number of events
l Case study is an empirical inquiry that investigates a contemporary phenomenon within its real-life context

How to use case study method?
Robert K. Yin and Stake, R. E. stated that there are six steps namely,
· Determine and define the research questions
· Select the cases and determine data gathering and analysis techniques
· Prepare to collect the data
· Collect data in the field
· Evaluate and analyze the data
· Prepare the report

In the case study…..

  • A case study is an in-depth study as compared to studies with many observations (breath).
  • Usually answers one or more questions which begin with "how" or "why."
  • To conduct a literature review to assist in defining the research questions.
  • To find out what has already been done by literature review


Case Studies and Practice
- Interesting, real world situations with insights into the studies of management
- Decision making
- may become easier
- better quality of decisions
- faster decision making
- Working in teams

Case Studies Solutions
- Different from normal homework design
- Often more than one answer
- depends on assumptions and problem definition
- Time is well spent
- confidence in a decision-making position
- parallels to real-world situations

Attacking the Case
- Problems with quantity of information
- first too much/later not enough
- Solution:
- seek additional information
- make assumptions
- Decide which questions to ask
- Instructor will be more interested in the analyses and process than in absolute correctness

Steps of Problem Analyses
- Read the case thoroughly
- Define the central issue
- Define the firms goals
- Identify the constraints to the problem
- Identify all the relevant alternatives
- Select the best alternative
- Develop an implementation plan

SAMPLE CASE QUESTIONS

INDUSTRY ANALYSIS
· A group of investors is considering building a large restaurant in the downtown arts district of a large city. What factors should they consider?

MARKET EXPANSION CASE
· A U.S. snack food manufacturer is considering entering the Asian market with a new product line. Should this client pursue entering this market?

INVESTMENT CASE
· An East Coast high-end clothing manufacturer is considering opening retail stores in the Midwest to handle the growing demand for their product. What factors should they consider?

PROFITABILITY CASE
· Your client manufactures diapers for babies. The board wants to know if its advertising campaign for a new premium line of diapers has been successful. How would you evaluate the campaign’s performance?

PRICING CASE
· An inventor of a new electronic gadget wants to know: 1) What is the market for his goods, and 2) how to produce it and 3) What the pricing structure should be. What steps should be taken?


Industry analysis case: A group of investors is considering building a large restaurant in the downtown arts district of a large city. What factors should they consider?

Key questions to ask yourself:
· Market/Competition
· How big is the market?
· Who else in in the market?
· What level of product differentiation exists?
· How concentrated is the industry?
· How difficult it is to enter/exit this industry?
· What are the economies of scale?
· How steep is the learning curve?
· Customer/supplier relations
· Is the company in a position of negotiating power?
· Are there multiple substitutes for supplies?
· Financials
· What key financials need to be considered?
· What risk factors can be identified?

Market expansion case: A U.S. snack food manufacturer is considering entering the Asian market with a new product line. Should this client pursue entering this market?

Key points to consider:
· Market/Competition
· Where would you find information on market size?
· Is the market downsizing, stagnant or growing?
· Who else in in the market?
· How does the client compare with these competitors?
· Customer needs
· What customer segments need to be identified?
· How are the needs of these segments different?
· Are these needs currently being met?
· Can the client meet these needs?
· Economics
· What are the costs involved in this expansion?
· How great is the ROI?

Investment case: An East Coast high-end clothing manufacturer is considering opening retail stores in the Midwest to handle the growing demand for their product. What factors should they consider?

Key questions to ask yourself:
· Sustainability of profits
· Is this market look continually profitable?
· Is this the correct segment to move into?
· Competition
· What is the client’s competitive position in this market?
· What differentiates the product?
· Price/Costs
· How do pricing structures compare?
· How are the costs distributed?

Profitability case: Your client manufactures diapers for babies. The board wants to know if its advertising campaign for a new premium line of diapers has been successful. How would you evaluate the campaign’s performance?

Key questions to ask yourself:
· Costs
· What are the fixed costs? variable?
· What economies of scale exist?
· Is plant utilization up?
· Customers
· How sensitive are customers to price?
· How is the market segmented?


Pricing case: An inventor of a new electronic gadget wants to know: 1) What is the market for his goods, and 2) how to produce it and 3) What the pricing structure should be. What steps should be taken?

Key questions to ask yourself:
· Market
· What type of market is it?
· What will the market bear?
· Competition
· How does the client’s position compare to others in the industry?
· How will the competition respond to pricing changes?
· Customer
· How will customers respond to pricing changes?
· What demand is there for this product?


Vijay
Alumnus of IIT Madras and IIM Kozhikode
Founder, S!GN Consulting
(Web) Training and Consulting - SIGN (An IIT & IIM Alumnus Initiative)
(Mail) vijay@signconsulting.com
(M) 91 - 97049 63979
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