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CASE STUDY METHODOLOGY

What is case study? Case studies emphasize detailed contextual analysis of a limited number of events 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 campaigns 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 clients 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 campaigns 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 clients 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) www.signconsulting.com (Mail) vijay@signconsulting.com (M) 91 - 97049 63979