Understanding the Case Study ZAA 108 Part 1

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What is a Case Study?

A Case Study is a qualitative* enquiry that investigates a certain phenomena (learning situation, technology for learning) with a certain group of people/person and typically linked to a thing. (*Measures quality not quantity.)

  • The case = the people or person
  • Case reports within bounded environment
  • A case may include multiple forms data collection

Why a case study

  • Allows for exploration of a problem or concern
  • Takes a holistic view of the problem or concern
  • Flexibility - accessibility/convenience (situations where sampling can be difficult).
Introduction to Case Study Method
  • Case study method is one of the most common methods of investigation in the university setting
  • The instructor gives a Case document to the participants / students to study, analyse and discuss
  • Case studies enhance their reading, analytical, strategic planning and implementation skills and application of learning of domain knowledge in real life situations.

Real life situations

  • Cricket –Cricket Ground
  • Swimming –Swimming Pool
  • Hockey –Hockey Ground
  • Cycling –Cycling Track
  • Business –Business Organisations
  • and/ or Case studies of Business
  • organisations.

Types of Case Studies

  • Enterprise level case study
  • Organisation level case study
  • Function level case study i.e. marketing, finance, production, IT etc.
  • Success Story
  • Cases of Failures
  • Cases regarding mergers and acquisitions.
Examples of Case Studies
  • Single organisation - Recreation facility: what is happening with a particular tool/strategy
  • A particular community - rural township ongoing issue/dispute
  • On a particular group ......... Issue to a group
  • An individual - career criminal - examination designed to understand motivations of a career criminal
  • A decision – merging to 2 sports clubs, why was decision taken, how was it implemented, what was outcome
  • An event – an election campaign.

Objectives of a Case Study

  • To put into a problem in writing … for the record
  • Reveal defensible analytical thinking for solutions
  • Display logical thinking
  • Precedent to strategic planning
  • Help in making informed/ educated decisions
  • Reveals meaningful characteristics of a real life
  • Event.

Learning Advantages

How to investigate a case study

  • Read, Visualise, Realise and Analyse
  • What went wrong?
  • Why did it happen?
  • What is to be done?
  • What should have been done?
  • What could be done in future?

Areas of Focus

  • Data, facts and figures
  • Industry reports
  • Macro and micro-economic statistics
  • Company financials
  • Industry financials
  • Industry life cycle
  • Economic life cycle
  • Product/service life cycle
Analysis of the case

Analysis of the case

  • Analyse the facts
  • Think on various alternatives
  • Evaluate the various alternatives in the light of the resourcing
  • Chalk out the financial implications
  • Undertake a cost benefit analysis
  • Determine funding/financing impacts/possibilities

Presentation of the case

  • Powerpoint presentation and/or written case study
  • Support with graphs, charts, images statistical data (with an analysis)
  • Present the recommended ideas, and solutions and a way forward
  • Recommend functional strategies
  • Recommendation of the precautions to be taken in the process of implementation of your suggested solution


  • Remember that there may be multiple solutions to a case
  • Have an open mindset while presenting a solution
  • Your solution must not be affected by your pre-conceived notions about success or failure
  • Give solutions that are relevant and can be practically implemented


Created with images by jurvetson - "Olympus Stylus" • stevepb - "suitcase luggage baggage" • huynhdatstc - "luggage travel case metallic lugguage" • Hans - "pencil cases pens coolie"

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