Case studies simulate specific situations that are specially developed on the basis of the factual material for subsequent analysis in the classroom or in a team of workers. During the analysis of situations, people learn to act as a part of the “team,” to analyze and to make management decisions.
The ideas method of case-study research (method of situational training) is quite simple:
- It consists of a method for acquiring knowledge in the disciplines in which the truth is pluralistic. In other words, there is no single answer to this question, but there are a few answers that can compete on the degree of truth; teaching a task in this method deviates from the classical scheme and is aimed at getting not only one, but many truths, and the orientation in their problem field.
- The focus of training is to master knowledge and generate ideas, as a co-creation for students and teachers. The fundamental difference between the method of case study of traditional techniques is that it is a democracy in the process of acquiring knowledge; each student in fact has equal rights with the other students and the teacher in the process of discussing the problem.
- The result of the method is not only the knowledge but also mastering skills of professional activity.
- The method of technology is the following: according to certain rules, a designed model of a particular situation that happened in real life reflects the body of knowledge and skills that students need to get. Meanwhile, the teacher acts as a facilitator for generating questions, answers that need fixing, supporting discussion, i.e., as a manager of the co-creation process.
- The apparent advantage of the situational analysis method is not only the acquisition of knowledge and formation of practical skills, but also developing a student’s system of values, professional positions, and a kind of professional attitude and realizing one as a future professional.
- Case study qualitative research overcomes defects of traditional classical training associated with a “dry,” non-emotional presentation of the material – the emotions, the creative competition, and even fights in this method are such that a well-organized discussion of the case resembles a theatrical performance.
Technological features of the case study research method:
The method is a particular kind of analysis technology research; it includes the steps of the research process and analytical procedures.
The case study method acts as a collective learning technology, the most important components of which are the work of the group (or subgroup) and the mutual exchange of information.
The case study method of learning can be considered as synergistic technology, the essence of which is to prepare immersion treatments in the group situation, the formation of knowledge of multiplication insight effects, sharing discoveries, etc.
The case study method integrates the technology development training, including individual, group and collective development procedures, and the formation of personality traits of diverse learners.
Case study method acts as a specific type of design technology. In a typical training project, technology is the process of resolving the existing problems through joint activities among students, whereas case study method focuses on the formation of the problem and ways to solve it on the basis of the case. This serves simultaneously as the terms of reference and source of information for understanding the options for effective action.
Case study method concentrates on the significant achievements of technology for creating success. It provides activities to enhance the students, promoting their success, emphasizing the achievements of trainees. This success speaks as one of the major driving forces of the method, the formation of stable positive motivation, increasing cognitive activity.
How to develop case study research?
First you should understand the structure of the case and the principles of its construction. It is expedient allocation of the following basic steps of creating cases:
- The formation of the purposes of the case. This stage includes the determination of the placement of the case in the structure of the discipline, the definition of discipline section, which is devoted to this situation, the formulation of goals and objectives, and the identifying areas of responsibility for the knowledge, abilities and skills of the students.
- The definition of the problem situation.
- Building a program card of the case, consisting of the main points that should be formed into text.
- A search of the institutional system (company, organization, department, etc.), which is directly related to the theses program card.
- Collection of information according to the theses program card.
- Construction of a situation or a selection model that reflects the activities of the organization, and to check its compliance with reality.
- Selection of the case genre.
- Writing the case text.
- Diagnostic accuracy and efficiency of the case; conducting a methodical educational experiment built on a particular scheme to determine the effectiveness of the case.
- The final version of the case.
- The implementation of the case in educational practice, its use during training sessions, as well as its publication in order to spread it among the teaching community. In this case, if information contains data of a specific company, obtaining permission for publishing is a must.
- Preparation of guidelines for using the case: work development for students and possible issues for discussions and case study presentations, and the description of the alleged actions of students and teachers at the time of the discussion of the case.
The format and structure of the case study research contains a number of requirements.
These requirements relate to the subject of the situation, containing information to understand the environment where the situation is developing, with the indication of the data source:
- The availability of real-life situations on the basis of which the case is designed.
- The company name, product name, product description, and its features.
- Names and positions of the main characters.
- The description of market state (products, consumers, manufacturing, distribution, etc.) and the analysis of major competitors (their strategy, market position, marketing policies and distribution).
- The general state of affairs in the company, its strengths and weaknesses; dealers and partners; management strategy; organizational relations; key figures in the management group; production operations, products and processes; the company’s financial position; marketing information; and the interaction of employees.
The informational part contains information that will allow the correct understanding of the development of events:
- Stages of the company’s development, and important moments in the history of the development, successes and failures.
- The style of company, and management style of the leaders.
- A brief description of the problem; it is desirable to cause a number of different points of view (as seen by the different participants in the events).
- A specific chronology of situation development, indicating the action or influencing factors; it is also desirable to assess the results of their impact.
- Actions taken to eliminate the problem (if taken) and the results of its implementation.
- Identifying resources which can be allocated to address situation.
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