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Case Study Reading

Case method is often tough in management education than mere reading of text. Business cases (pages=4-30, usually, with exhibits attached) try to simulate complexity of real world situation in which a decision-maker, problem solver or let's just call it a "protagonist" finds him/herself.

Yesterday I had to spend atleast 2 hours just trying to understand 6 pages of (non-linear sections of a) 14-page case! 2 hours and just 6 pages! A case refuses to explain itself, says William Ellet, author of The Case Study Handbook. That's why I had to think about it, question every fact given, and hypothesize about the content which is not explained in the case. This was just problem analysis part which apart from such analytical/heuristic reading also requires specialized problem solving tools belonging to the fields of operations management, organizational behaiviour etc., to really decode the problems presented and arrive at evidence-based conclusions - what follows i more tought: discussion and writing about the case.

It was fun. The only thing required was patience, concentration, fearlessness and broad thinking and learning attitude. I hope such reading drills would help me become a case writer for which I read it.


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