Using the Guidelines for Case Analysis as reference found in the Course Information Folder, read and analyze case study # 4 Pepeico”s Product Communications, is it Ethical? and write your two page analysis in a word document. Please upload the word document analysis here by the end of week 4.
Problem Identification: Part of your analysis is to define the problem or problems (often there are multiple, interacting problems). Look to any case guide questions (if provided) for some conceptual direction, but do not seek merely to address these questions.
- Define the major problem or problems (be cautious to not identify the symptoms in the case).
- Problems can cause symptoms (e.g., stress causes the symptom of high blood pressure).
- Often, the symptoms are directly described in the case, whereas the problem(s) usually are not.
- If necessary, indicate how the problems are related to one another.
Situation Analysis: Another part of the analysis is to explain the mechanisms that are causing the problem or problem.
- Incorporate specific and relevant OB concepts.
- Avoid providing general or commonsensical responses that do not incorporate course concepts, as well as just simply summarizing case facts/examples.
- Don’t make assumptions that cannot be supported by the facts in the case. · Be wary of imposing personal opinions on the case that cannot be supported by case facts and/or relevant OB concepts, and try not to place blame.
- Avoid providing viewpoints that are sketchy and/or overlook important course concepts, case facts and events.
Recommendation: Finally, recommendations must be developed that are appropriate for the situation and for those who must implement them, so develop a structured plan of action. Who is to do what, how, where, when and why?
- Your solutions should follow logically from your analysis.
- Treat the problem(s), not the symptoms.
- What are the expected outcomes (both positive and negative) of the solution?
- What aspects of the problem remain unresolved by your solutions?
- Make sure recommended actions incorporate OB concepts and theories. Although these recommendations are speculative, you still need to be sure to incorporate relevant OB concepts and provide specific, concrete examples to help demonstrate/support your points.
Some other helpful hints for Case Study Preparation:
- I care about student writing. The case analysis needs to be clear, crisp, and concise. Facts from the case are stated only to make a point, not to retell the story. Do not rehash the minutia or details in the case. The case analysis needs to be organized, spelling, grammar, and word usage must be correct.
- Make sure your paper has a logical flow. Make clear links between the identified problems, the analysis of these problems, and the solutions proposed.
- Provide analysis, not description.Sometimes it is easy to get caught up writing facts and details believing this is analysis but it is not. Analysis follows critical thinking in which the data is converted in to information. Demonstrate your ability to use and apply theories and concepts from the course material; integrate course material where it is useful. Mine the text for nuggets of theory that help explain the issues. For example, it’s not enough to say that a certain theory applies here… you must show HOW it applies. You can’t simply say situational leadership theory applies; you have to show how Mrs. X used a delegating style when a directive style would have been appropriate because…….
- Be thorough. It is better to give a thorough, explicit analysis focused on one or two primary problems than it is to barely touch upon 50 problems.
- Sometimes students come up with amazing recommendations (for better and worse) that have no relationship to their analysis. I want to see that it’s the analysis that frames decisions made about the case. A poor analysis that results in good decisions means that somewhere or other, you have intuitively understood the case, but you need to backtrack and figure out what you understood.
A great analysis that results in decisions that come from left field signals that are not USING your analysis.
Some helpful hints for participating in Case Study Discussions:
- Keep in mind that there is usually more than one right answer. A case is a problem-solving situation, and managerial effectiveness often depends upon seeing different possible solutions.
- Offer your ideas, substantiating them with facts from the case and course material. Don’t fall into the trap of being told, “That’s an interesting idea, but you have no data or case facts to support your conclusions.”
- Be assertive, yet professional and respectful in questioning or disagreeing with a classmate. Case discussions are an important opportunity to refine interpersonal skills. “I see some drawbacks to your proposal” or “I’m wondering if you considered the effects of X on Y” creates a much different climate than “You’re wrong” or “That’s not a good idea.” Adopt an open-minded stance. Entertain new ideas from others and consider how your recommendations might change in light of these new insights.
- Write down new ideas that occur to you and make note of any theories or course concepts brought to bear that you did not apply in your initial analysis.
- Evaluate the discussion and your participation in it. What could you do to improve in the next case study discussion?