Case Study Brief

Case studies (or case analyses) are a hallmark of graduate education, as they allow students to link course concepts to real-world situations while developing sound analytical organizational diagnosis skills. Students use the case study method (or case study analysis method – different professors may use different terms) to think through a case (problem) and present possible solutions or recommended actions based on analysis.

This assignment is meant to provide you with an introduction to the case study method and an opportunity to practice these skills early in your academic program. You will present the facts of the case, the problems and their possible causes, potential solutions/actions, and rationale for your solutions/actions.

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This paper calls for you to make judgments about what is core to the problem at hand and what is peripheral and irrelevant; and the evaluation of the case attends more to your insight, effort, and engagement supported by articles from peer-reviewed journals than to whether a correct response is provided. In fact, there is no single correct answer.

To complete this assignment, follow the instructions and use the format detailed below.

Note: A full case study paper is a more in-depth written assignment, typically five pages long and requiring research and support from outside sources. This week we will shift to a shorter more concise version of a case study brief. This formal is more commonly used to summarize legal cases but can be used to analyze case studies in general as well.


Due Date: End of Week 13

Length: One page, single-spaced – should be a full page but no longer (not including cover page and references).

Formatting: APA formatting is to be used throughout. Appropriate headings should be used to identify each section of the paper – a template has been provided for this purpose and must be used. Incorrectly-formatted papers will not be returned for revision and marked down as late.

Required Research: No sources other than the case study are needed.

Case study options: Choose ONE of the three cases listed below (pdfs are linked)

Brunswick, G. (2018). With or without rutabaga? Journal of Business Case Studies, 12(1), 1-10.

Mento, A. J., Buckheit, P., & Mento, B. A. (2012). Case study: Strident Property Services. Journal of Business Case Studies, 8(6), 565-574.

Larkin, J. M., & Ragan, J. M. (2016). The young professional: A personal budgeting challenge. Journal of Business Case Studies, 12(4).

Instructions: After choosing one of the cases listed above, read the case at least twice, highlighting interesting passages and making notes on what stands out or your initial impressions. After you have read the case, brainstorm about what three actions you recommend the impacted parties should take.You may find it helpful to start writing the first three sections of the paper before finalizing your actions. You may also begin by looking for sources that deal with the same issues, and brainstorming your own solutions from there.

Format: Your case study analysis should follow a specific structure, and contain five sections that must be presented in this order.

Basic Empirical facts: What are the basic, known facts of the case?

Central Issue Statement: Specify the central issue of the case in one sentence.
Causes and Antecedents: What may have led to the problem in the case, and what background information is important to note?
Missing Information: What other information is needed to fully solve the problem, and what would be helpful to know? (Do not use this section make excuses about why you can’t present recommendations, however.)
Warranted Actions: Based on your reading of the case and the outside research you have done, what three actions (next steps) do you recommend, and why?

Helpful Tips:

Do not spend too much time summarizing the case – be brief and concise. Spend more time on analysis.
Do not go over one page, but Do make sure the page is full.
Do not attempt to relate every single detail of the case, only what is important to understanding possible solutions.
Do not use “I” or “you/we/us” etc. in the paper.
Use your own instincts and experience as a starting point.
Write in the third-person perspective.
Try not to stress about finding the perfect solution – there are many possible answers to every problem!

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