The most fundamental component of management education is to develop and foster the students’ skills to analytically evaluate information and think. The prime objective of an MBA course is to not only to train the students in the explicit management course but also to prepare them to administer key positions with appropriate leadership trait in life, contributing profoundly towards profitability and goodwill by bringing a positive change as a change agent in their respective organizations. Henceforth this is quintessential for MBAs to be trained on live organizational settings with the help of cases or case study.
What is a case? Cases are stories. They present realistic, complex, and contextually rich situations and often involve a dilemma, conflict, or problem that one or more of the characters in the case must negotiate.
Management Education is a science to be learnt and is an art to be practiced. Using a case from the present industrial scenario would be of immense relevance and importance in the context of functioning as a standpoint for envisaging different situations and learning by practicing, solving many snags. While the recommended and reference text books assist gaining more knowledge, case studies facilitate in developing business wit and wisdom. Cases provide an ample of scope for application of information and mind which the essence of acumen is. Business cases direct the minds of the students in a particular situation and enable them to shape the art of making astute decisions by practicing. Thus many reputed business schools and universities have been more aggressive and implement a case method of teaching compulsory in their MBA pedagogy.
Prof. Paul Lawrence from Harvard Business School described a case study as the vehicle by which a chunk of reality is brought into the class room to be worked over by the class and instructor. Case studies cut across a range of companies, industries and situations, providing an acquaintance far better than what students are likely to experience otherwise. They can increase their knowledge of many management subjects by dealing intensively with problem in each field.
Besides, Case discussions in the class rooms offer a focal point for interchange among students of lessons of individual experiences. As teachers approach case problems, they often involuntarily bring to accept the annotations, involvements, and rules of thumb that have stockpiled during working in a managerial environment. Case discussions facilitate a vehicle for reconsidering these lessons, sharing them with others and gaining an increased measure of learning them.
In Management Education Case method of teaching may be used like practical in Science. But in Science we will get unique answer at all times under given circumstances, where as in management it varies based on time, environment, competition and people.
There is a final benefit that we seek to achieve by using business case studies: to renew the sense of fun and excitement that comes with being a manager. Students could see a number of cases in businesses that you are relieved not to be in. But students must come to sense once again that being a manager is a great challenge. – Intellectually, politically and socially.
How to prepare a case? : There is no single way to prepare a case. But the following approach can aid you develop your own techniques.
Read the case almost as fast as you can turn the pages, asking yourself, what broadly is the case about and what type’s information am I being to analyze? In particular, look at the first few and last few paragraphs and glance over the exhibits.
Go through the case very carefully highlighting what seem to be the keep facts as you proceed.
Empathize with the manager who is being discussed in the case and to develop a sense of involvement in his or her problem.
Identify the relevant areas for analyzing these issues, noting each one on a separate sheet of scratch paper.
Go back through the case doodle down on your worksheets the facts that are relevant for each one of your areas of analysis.
Focus on the factual information as you have sorted it out, pondering both the qualitative and quantitative evidence carefully. Note your conclusions for each analytical area.
Review your conclusions, and then verbalize a set of recommendations directed at the issues you have identified.
Role of a faculty and class participation: In class instructor usually allows students to take the case where they wish. He or she then stimulates the students to reconnoiter entirely the ideas they have developed, leading the students into a consideration of areas they may have missed. Next if the case calls for it, students will be required make a decision. At the end it is the instructor’s accountability to encapsulate the discussion and draw out the useful learning and observations that come from the case problem and from class discussion. Henceforth at times the teacher’s role will require directing and channelizing the discussion.
The actual use of a case as a means of learning depends deeply on class participation. Through exchange and constructive discussion students will be able to build analytical Skills, develop judgment and gain conceptual understanding. It also encourages rigorous thinking and of immense help in developing communication skills. Contributing one’s own views- expressing and defending becomes one of the most appreciated parts of the educational experience.
Some Difficulties in Usage of Case Studies:
Case study method demands thoughtful participation both from the instructor as well as students. Unless takes it intently, the purpose will never be served. It also might turn counter-productive.
Every case is inimitable and more so the solutions. It is unjustifiable to generalize and apply them universally.
Finest Solutions are always contingent on resources available at that point of time. Decisions may need to be altered at a future date because there is bound to be some change in the resources which are vigorous.
It is a known fact that it is always easier said than done. It is very stress-free to stand off and recommend on substances which do not disturb us directly. But is considerably
difficult to conclude on even simple issues when we are under jittery. Having more pressure on our mind may not work at times of actual crises.
It must be ensured that cases ought not to be overused since the learners may be well aware of the possible solutions.
Prof. Gireesh Yaralakattimath and Prof. Mahantesh Jakaty
Authors are faculty members at Department of MBA,
Siddaganga Institute of Technology, Tumakuru.