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Effective problem statements have these 5 components
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We’ve all encountered problems on the job. After all, that’s what a lot of work is about. Solving meaningful problems to help improve something.
Developing a problem statement that provides a brief description of an issue you want to solve is an important early step in problem-solving .
It sounds deceptively simple. But creating an effective problem statement isn’t that easy, even for a genius like Albert Einstein. Given one hour to work on a problem, he’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and five minutes finding solutions. (Or so the story goes.)
Einstein was probably exaggerating to make a point. But considering his success in solving complex problems, we think he was on to something.
As humans, we’re wired to jump past the problem and go directly to the solution stage. In emergencies, this behavior can be lifesaving, as in leaping out of the way of a speeding car. But when dealing with longer-range issues in the workplace, this can lead to bad decisions or half-baked solutions.
That’s where problem statements come in handy. They help to meaningfully outline objectives to reach effective solutions. Knowing how to develop a great problem statement is also a valuable tool for honing your management skills .
But what exactly is a problem statement, when should you use one, and how do you go about writing one? In this article, we'll answer those questions and give you some tips for writing effective problem statements. Then you'll be ready to take on more challenges large and small.
What is a problem statement?
First, let’s start by defining a problem statement.
A problem statement is a short, clear explanation of an issue or challenge that sums up what you want to change. It helps you, team members, and other stakeholders to focus on the problem, why it’s important, and who it impacts.
A good problem statement should create awareness and stimulate creative thinking . It should not identify a solution or create a bias toward a specific strategy.
Taking time to work on a problem statement is a great way to short-circuit the tendency to rush to solutions. It helps to make sure you’re focusing on the right problem and have a well-informed understanding of the root causes. The process can also help you take a more proactive than reactive approach to problem-solving . This can help position you and your team to avoid getting stuck in constant fire-fighting mode. That way, you can take advantage of more growth opportunities.
When to use a problem statement
The best time to create a problem statement is before you start thinking of solutions. If you catch yourself or your team rushing to the solution stage when you’re first discussing a problem, hit the brakes. Go back and work on the statement of the problem to make sure everyone understands and agrees on what the real problem is.
Here are some common situations where writing problem statements might come in handy:
- Writing an executive summary for a project proposal or research project
- Collaborating on a cross-functional project with several team members
- Defining the customer issue that a proposed product or service aims to solve
- Using design thinking to improve user experience
- Tackling a problem that previous actions failed to solve
How to identify a problem statement
Like the unseen body of an iceberg, the root cause of a specific problem isn’t always obvious. So when developing a problem statement, how do you go about identifying the true, underlying problem?
These two steps will help you uncover the root cause of a problem :
- Collect information from the research and previous experience with the problem
- Talk to multiple stakeholders who are impacted by the problem
People often perceive problems differently. Interviewing stakeholders will help you understand the problem from diverse points of view. It can also help you develop some case studies to illustrate the problem.
Combining these insights with research data will help you identify root causes more accurately. In turn, this methodology will help you craft a problem statement that will lead to more viable solutions.
What are problem statements used for?
You can use problem statements for a variety of purposes. For an organization, it might be solving customer and employee issues. For the government, it could be improving public health. For individuals, it can mean enhancing their own personal well-being . Generally, problem statements can be used to:
- Identify opportunities for improvement
- Focus on the right problems or issues to launch more successful initiatives – a common challenge in leadership
- Help you communicate a problem to others who need to be involved in finding a solution
- Serve as the basis for developing an action plan or goals that need to be accomplished to help solve the problem
- Stimulate thinking outside the box and other types of creative brainstorming techniques
3 examples of problem statements
When you want to be sure you understand a concept or tool, it helps to see an example. There can also be some differences in opinion about what a problem statement should look like. For instance, some frameworks include a proposed solution as part of the problem statement. But if the goal is to stimulate fresh ideas, it’s better not to suggest a solution within the problem statement.
In our experience, an effective problem statement is brief, preferably one sentence. It’s also specific and descriptive without being prescriptive.
Here are three problem statement examples. While these examples represent three types of problems or goals, keep in mind that there can be many other types of problem statements.
Example Problem Statement 1: The Status Quo Problem Statement
The average customer service on-hold time for Example company exceeds five minutes during both its busy and slow seasons.
This can be used to describe a current pain point within an organization that may need to be addressed. Note that the statement specifies that the issue occurs during the company’s slow time as well as the busy season. This is helpful in performing the root cause analysis and determining how this problem can be solved.
The average customer service on-hold time for Example company exceeds five minutes during both its busy and slow seasons. The company is currently understaffed and customer service representatives are overwhelmed.
Example company is facing a significant challenge in managing their customer service on-hold times. In the past, the company had been known for its efficient and timely customer service, but due to a combination of factors, including understaffing and increased customer demand, the on-hold times have exceeded five minutes consistently. This has resulted in frustration and dissatisfaction among customers, negatively impacting the company's reputation and customer loyalty.
Reducing the on-hold times for customer service callers is crucial for Example company. Prolonged waiting times have a detrimental effect on customer satisfaction and loyalty, leading to potential customer churn and loss of revenue. Additionally, the company's declining reputation in terms of customer service can have a lasting impact on its competitive position in the market. Addressing this problem is of utmost importance to improve customer experience and maintain a positive brand image.
The primary objective of this project is to reduce the on-hold times for customer service callers at Example company. The specific objectives include:
- Analyzing the current customer service workflow and identifying bottlenecks contributing to increased on-hold times.
- Assessing the staffing levels and resource allocation to determine the extent of understaffing and its impact on customer service.
- Developing strategies and implementing measures to optimize the customer service workflow and reduce on-hold times.
- Monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of the implemented measures through key performance indicators (KPIs) such as average on-hold time, customer satisfaction ratings, and customer feedback.
- Establishing a sustainable approach to maintain reduced on-hold times, taking into account both busy and slow seasons, through proper resource planning, training, and process improvements.
Example Problem Statement 2: The Destination Problem Statement
Leaders at Example company want to increase net revenue for its premium product line of widgets by 5% for the next fiscal year.
This approach can be used to describe where an organization wants to be in the future. This type of problem statement is useful for launching initiatives to help an organization achieve its desired state.
Like creating SMART goals , you want to be as specific as possible. Note that the statement specifies “net revenue” instead of “gross revenue." This will help keep options open for potential actions. It also makes it clear that merely increasing sales is not an acceptable solution if higher marketing costs offset the net gains.
Leaders at Example company aim to increase net revenue for its premium product line of widgets by 5% for the next fiscal year. However, the company currently lacks the necessary teams to tackle this objective effectively. To achieve this growth target, the company needs to expand its marketing and PR teams, as well as its product development teams, to prepare for scaling.
Example company faces the challenge of generating a 5% increase in net revenue for its premium product line of widgets in the upcoming fiscal year. Currently, the company lacks the required workforce to drive this growth. Without adequate staff in the marketing, PR, and product development departments, the company's ability to effectively promote, position, and innovate its premium product line will be hindered. To achieve this kind of growth, it is essential that Example company expands teams, enhances capabilities, and strategically taps into the existing pool of loyal customers.
Increasing net revenue for the premium product line is crucial for Example company's overall business success. Failure to achieve the targeted growth rate can lead to missed revenue opportunities and stagnation in the market. By expanding the marketing and PR teams, Example company can strengthen its brand presence, effectively communicate the value proposition of its premium product line, and attract new customers.
Additionally, expanding the product development teams will enable the company to introduce new features and innovations, further enticing existing and potential customers. Therefore, addressing the workforce shortage and investing in the necessary resources are vital for achieving the revenue growth objective.
The primary objective of this project is to increase net revenue for Example company's premium product line of widgets by 5% in the next fiscal year. The specific objectives include:
- Assessing the current workforce and identifying the gaps in the marketing, PR, and product development teams.
- Expanding the marketing and PR teams by hiring skilled professionals who can effectively promote the premium product line and engage with the target audience.
- Strengthening the product development teams by recruiting qualified individuals who can drive innovation, enhance product features, and meet customer demands.
- Developing a comprehensive marketing and PR strategy to effectively communicate the value proposition of the premium product line and attract new customers.
- Leveraging the existing base of loyal customers to increase repeat purchases, referrals, and brand advocacy.
- Allocating sufficient resources, both time and manpower, to support the expansion and scaling efforts required to achieve the ambitious revenue growth target.
- Monitoring and analyzing key performance indicators (KPIs) such as net revenue, customer acquisition, customer retention, and customer satisfaction to measure the success of the growth initiatives.
- Establishing a sustainable plan to maintain the increased revenue growth beyond the next fiscal year by implementing strategies for continuous improvement and adaptation to market dynamics.
Example Problem Statement 3 The Stakeholder Problem Statement
In the last three quarterly employee engagement surveys , less than 30% of employees at Eample company stated that they feel valued by the company. This represents a 20% decline compared to the same period in the year prior.
This strategy can be used to describe how a specific stakeholder group views the organization. It can be useful for exploring issues and potential solutions that impact specific groups of people.
Note the statement makes it clear that the issue has been present in multiple surveys and it's significantly worse than the previous year. When researching root causes, the HR team will want to zero in on factors that changed since the previous year.
In the last three quarterly employee engagement surveys, less than 30% of employees at the Example company stated that they feel valued by the company. This indicates a significant decline of 20% compared to the same period in the previous year.
The company aspires to reduce this percentage further to under 10%. However, achieving this goal would require filling specialized roles and implementing substantial cultural changes within the organization.
Example company is facing a pressing issue regarding employee engagement and perceived value within the company. Over the past year, there has been a notable decline in the percentage of employees who feel valued. This decline is evident in the results of the quarterly employee engagement surveys, which consistently show less than 30% of employees reporting a sense of value by the company.
This decline of 20% compared to the previous year's data signifies a concerning trend. To address this problem effectively, Example company needs to undertake significant measures that go beyond superficial changes and necessitate filling specialized roles and transforming the company culture.
Employee engagement and a sense of value are crucial for organizational success. When employees feel valued, they tend to be more productive, committed, and motivated. Conversely, a lack of perceived value can lead to decreased morale, increased turnover rates, and diminished overall performance.
By addressing the decline in employees feeling valued, Example company can improve employee satisfaction, retention, and ultimately, overall productivity. Achieving the desired reduction to under 10% is essential to restore a positive work environment and build a culture of appreciation and respect.
The primary objective of this project is to increase the percentage of employees who feel valued by Example company, aiming to reduce it to under 10%. The specific objectives include:
- Conducting a comprehensive analysis of the factors contributing to the decline in employees feeling valued, including organizational policies, communication practices, leadership styles, and cultural norms.
- Identifying and filling specialized roles, such as employee engagement specialists or culture change agents, who can provide expertise and guidance in fostering a culture of value and appreciation.
- Developing a holistic employee engagement strategy that encompasses various initiatives, including training programs, recognition programs, feedback mechanisms, and communication channels, to enhance employee value perception.
- Implementing cultural changes within the organization that align with the values of appreciation, respect, and recognition, while fostering an environment where employees feel valued.
- Communicating the importance of employee value and engagement throughout all levels of the organization, including leadership teams, managers, and supervisors, to ensure consistent messaging and support.
- Monitoring progress through regular employee surveys, feedback sessions, and key performance indicators (KPIs) related to employee satisfaction, turnover rates, and overall engagement levels.
- Providing ongoing support, resources, and training to managers and supervisors to enable them to effectively recognize and appreciate their teams and foster a culture of value within their respective departments.
- Establishing a sustainable framework for maintaining high employee value perception in the long term, including regular evaluation and adaptation of employee engagement initiatives to address evolving needs and expectations.
What are the 5 components of a problem statement?
In developing a problem statement, it helps to think like a journalist by focusing on the five Ws: who, what, when, where, and why or how. Keep in mind that every statement may not explicitly include each component. But asking these questions is a good way to make sure you’re covering the key elements:
- Who: Who are the stakeholders that are affected by the problem?
- What: What is the current state, desired state, or unmet need?
- When: When is the issue occurring or what is the timeframe involved?
- Where: Where is the problem occurring? For example, is it in a specific department, location, or region?
- Why: Why is this important or worth solving? How is the problem impacting your customers, employees, other stakeholders, or the organization? What is the magnitude of the problem? How large is the gap between the current and desired state?
How do you write a problem statement?
There are many frameworks designed to help people write a problem statement. One example is outlined in the book, The Conclusion Trap: Four Steps to Better Decisions, ” by Daniel Markovitz. A faculty member at the Lean Enterprise Institute, the author uses many case studies from his work as a business consultant.
To simplify the process, we’ve broken it down into three steps:
1. Gather data and observe
Use data from research and reports, as well as facts from direct observation to answer the five Ws: who, what, when, where, and why.
Whenever possible, get out in the field and talk directly with stakeholders impacted by the problem. Get a firsthand look at the work environment and equipment. This may mean spending time on the production floor asking employees questions about their work and challenges. Or taking customer service calls to learn more about customer pain points and problems your employees may be grappling with.
2. Frame the problem properly
A well-framed problem will help you avoid cognitive bias and open avenues for discussion. It will also encourage the exploration of more options.
A good way to test a problem statement for bias is to ask questions like these:
3. Keep asking why (and check in on the progress)
When it comes to problem-solving, stay curious. Lean on your growth mindset to keep asking why — and check in on the progress.
Asking why until you’re satisfied that you’ve uncovered the root cause of the problem will help you avoid ineffective band-aid solutions.
Refining your problem statements
When solving any sort of problem, there’s likely a slew of questions that might arise for you. In order to holistically understand the root cause of the problem at hand, your workforce needs to stay curious.
An effective problem statement creates the space you and your team need to explore, gain insight, and get buy-in before taking action.
If you have embarked on a proposed solution, it’s also important to understand that solutions are malleable. There may be no single best solution. Solutions can change and adapt as external factors change, too. It’s more important than ever that organizations stay agile . This means that interactive check-ins are critical to solving tough problems. By keeping a good pulse on your course of action, you’ll be better equipped to pivot when the time comes to change.
BetterUp can help. With access to virtual coaching , your people can get personalized support to help solve tough problems of the future.
Madeline is a writer, communicator, and storyteller who is passionate about using words to help drive positive change. She holds a bachelor's in English Creative Writing and Communication Studies and lives in Denver, Colorado. In her spare time, she's usually somewhere outside (preferably in the mountains) — and enjoys poetry and fiction.
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Main Tips On How To Write Case Study Analysis
29 Apr 2022
❔What is a Case Study Analysis?
☝️Types of Case Studies
📃Case Study Examples
✏️Writing a Case Study Draft
📝How to Format a Case Study
✍️How to Write an Outline
📌How to Write a Case Study
📑Creating a Title Page and Citing
Many students struggle with how to do a case study analysis. Writing such an assignment is always daunting, as it requires you to analyze something and form conclusions based on your research.
It usually focuses on phenomena you can't study in a typical way. Therefore, when writing such a text, you have to prepare thoughtfully. In the PapersOwl article, you will find out what this academic writing is and how to write a case analysis.
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What is a Case Study Analysis?
A case study analysis is a form of writing that analyzes a specific situation, event, object, person, or even place. The said analysis should be written and structured to lead to a conclusion. Typically, you cannot analyze the subject of this essay via quantitative methods.
Note that such studies can be used in various fields and require the use of many theories that can give you a unique approach to the matter. For example, you can write a paper like this about social sciences, business, medicine, and many other fields. Each of these will require a particular approach.
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Difference Between Research Paper and Case Study
Like all papers share similarities, these two are no different. Hence, knowing these parallels and distinctions, you will be able to learn how to write a case study assignment correctly.
A case study introduction can present the topic but does not require a citation of other similar works or the writer's opinion. On the other hand, research papers do not need a complete introduction about the general topic, but need citation since you will be using other people's works.
In addition, a writer must present their thoughts and views about the case they research. Finally, the most significant difference is that the research papers make the readers focus on a specific issue. On the contrary, the case study goes more into the matter and shifts the focus to all the details.
Types of Case Studies
When it comes to writing case study analysis, there are five types you must learn to differentiate. That is important because whether you get such an assignment, you will have to understand the task first and then start with the writing.
Here are the types of case studies which you will encounter most often:
- Problem-oriented - this type focuses on real-life situations or theoretical issues and aims to solve them. For example, "World Hunger."
The second type is critical, also known as innate. The goal is to investigate a specific case, particularly its effects and what causes them - "Why Toys Remain Gender Stereotyped."
Historical case studies papers focus on events from our past. The text should contain information about a specific historical period of this type. Your goal will be to provide different perspectives of an event and parallel them to current-day issues. An example of such a topic is "Racism During Ancient Times - Roman Empire."
The illustrative or Instrumental type focuses on describing a particular event. Here you have to explain the event's outcome and what you have learned from it. A sample of such a topic is "The Effects of Dance Therapy in Depressed Adolescents."
Collective case studies are the fifth type. They include a collection of data about a specific case you will use to compare. E.g., "The Management Leadership at Work."
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Case Study Title Examples
When writing a case study analysis, titles usually point out that the text is a study. Thus, most of them contain "case study" in the header. Here are some case study analysis examples:
- Santander's Expansion in Canada: Case Study Analysis
- Case Study on the Effects of Art Therapy on Children with ADHD
- The National Health Service's Treatment of People with Learning Disabilities, Case Study Analysis
- Toxicological Case Study of The Mississippi River
- Reading Development in Remote Areas of Nigeria: A Case Study
- Case Study on the Growth of Veganism in Berlin
Writing a Case Study Draft
Creating a rough draft is the foremost step to take while writing such a paper. It is an essential step you must take, no matter how experienced you are. By doing it, you will be able to get more creative. In addition, you can explore options and decide on what to focus on more precisely, which will eventually result in a higher grade for your work.
So, sit down in a quiet place, bring an old-fashioned pen and paper, and start drafting ideas. Read them briefly while sipping on your tea and edit. After you have decided where your focus will lay, you have to develop these ideas and thoughts a bit more, then pick the best one.
How to Format a Case Study
Knowing how a case study analysis format should look is crucial. Therefore, you must know what the text structure should look like. The standard one contains about eight sections:
- Introduction/The Executive Summary: As the first part here, you have to hook the reader's attention, so the introduction of the case study is the most important part of the writing. Then present them with a brief overview of your case study analyses and their findings. Make sure to form a good thesis statement , as this is the pivotal point of your work.
- Literary Review/Background information: Similarly to other papers, in this part, you have to write your most important facts or findings while identifying the case issue.
- Method/Findings/Discussion: This section can be written separately based on how your text flows. Here you will have to explore more about the case and its findings. Allow yourself to go into more detail instead of just briefly covering them.
- Solutions/Recommendations/Implementation Part: You have to discuss the answers you came up with. Basically, you say why they are fit to solve the case and how you think they can be used in practice. Note that you must write only realistic and practical solutions for the problem. It's possible to write testable evidence that can support your recommendations.
- Conclusion: Here, you are supposed to cover your whole paper briefly and even repeat the thesis (rephrased). Make sure to highlight the critical points of your case study.
- References or Bibliography: This section must include the sources from which you collected data or whom you consulted. Usually, this part is on a separate page, and the listing should be according to your academic institution's requirements.
- Appendices (include only if applicable): It is usual for some parts of your materials to be too lengthy or unfit for the other sections of the case study. Therefore, you have to include them here. That can be pictures, raw data of statistics, graphs, notes, etc. The appendix section is strictly for subsidiary materials, do not put the most relevant ones here.
- Author Note: Remember that all educational institutions have their requirement for a case study format. The abovementioned is an example; thus, you may see a section or another is missing, or there are additional ones.
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How to Write a Case Study Outline
To write a case study outline, you have first to conduct research. The best way to do so is by accessing academic search engines like Google Scholar or by using old-fashioned books and published works. From there, you should understand how to structure and what key points to form your text. Then, construct your thesis statement around the idea you picked.
The outline for your case study paper is essential to your writing process. It helps you organize your thoughts and ideas in order to present a comprehensive, well-structured paper. Furthermore, it allows your professor to evaluate your understanding of the subject, the correct formatting and structure, and to identify any potential issues with your paper. Having an outline serves as a guide for both you and your professor, making it easier to plan and write your paper . With the help of a well-crafted outline, your professor can navigate your paper more easily and spot any issues before they arise. Writing a case study paper can be daunting, but the outline helps make it easier.
A case study outline will most likely consist of the following sections and information:
- Case study title;
- Student’s name;
- Educational instructor's name;
- Course name.
- It briefly overviews your case study, thesis statement, and essential findings.
Main Body Paragraphs - usually three to five
- Literature Review/Background Information;
- Repeat a paraphrased version of your thesis;
- Summarize your case study key points;
- Finish with a statement that can recommend the audience to read further by giving them thoughts to contemplate and develop new ideas.
Reference List or Bibliography
- List all the sources of evidence used to create your case study in your educational organization's required citation style (APA, MLA, Chicago, Harvard, Turabian, etc.).
How to Write a Case Study
The way to write a case study is by strictly following the main idea of your thesis. You already know that a study's main body consists of an introduction, literature review, method, discussion, and conclusion sections. Thus, all that is left is to focus on these parts and understand how to make them perfect.
- The Introduction/Summary: The introduction of a case study should start with a solid first sentence that will hook the reader. Afterward, you must explain the question you will be answering and why you are doing it. You should include some of the topic's relevant history and details here. Also, you should explain how your case study will enrich the available information. Also, briefly summarize your literature review, which your findings will use as a base. Try to finish positively and make the reader see the benefits of reading your work.
- Background Information/Literature Review: Structure and present the data from your academic sources . This section will show the reader how vital your work is and the basis for it.
- Method/Findings: This part aims to explain the case you selected, how it connects to the issue, and why you chose them. You can also add what methods you use. Here you must note that the data collection methods are qualitative, not quantitative, for case studies. That means the data is not random but well-structured and chronically taken from interviews, focus groups, and other sources.
- Discussion/Solutions: Restate your thesis but rephrase it, then draw your conclusions from what you have discovered via your research and link to your statement. Inform the audience of your main findings and define why the results are relevant to the field. Think about the following questions:
Were the results unexpected? Why/Why not?
How do your findings compare to previous similar case studies in your literature review?
Do your findings correlate to previous results, or do they contradict them?
Are your findings helpful in deepening the current understanding of the topic?
Next, explore possible alternative explanations or interpretations of your findings. Be subjective and explain your paper's limitations. End with some suggestions for further exploration based on the limits of your work.
- Conclusion: Inform the reader precisely why your case study and findings are relevant, and restate your thesis and main results. Give a summary of previous studies you reviewed and how you contributed to expanding current knowledge. The final should explain how your work can be helpful and implemented in future research.
Your instructor should have an excellent example they can show you, so feel free to ask. They will surely want to help you learn how to write a case study!
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How to Create a Title Page and Cite a Case Study
A case study in APA format for students can differ from one institution to another. So, knowing your college or school requirements is crucial before you start writing. Nonetheless, the general one should look like this:
- Title - A header no longer than nine words has "Case Study" and reflects the content and the idea behind it yet is engaging to read;
- Write your full name;
- The name of your course/class;
- Next is your professor or instructor name;
- The university/school name;
- The date of submission.
When citing in your paper, you must ensure it is done accurately and in your academic style. If you are unsure how to do it, research the requirements and google "How to do a case study analysis in Harvard", for example. Note that short citations can be in your text, but longer ones should be in the bibliography section.
Hruby, A. (2018). Hruby, A., & Hu, F. B. (2015). The epidemiology of obesity: a big picture. Pharmacoeconomics, 33(7), 673-689. www.sciepub.com. http://www.sciepub.com/reference/254744
Case studies strive to analyze an event, location, case, or person. They can be similar to research papers, so you must pay close attention to the structure and what your professor has requested from you.
Finally, the process of writing can be overwhelming due to the many sections. However, if you take the process step by step and do your preparations properly, you will have an easy time writing the paper. You can also look for assistance online - many services offer to order case study online help . With the right kind of assistance, you can be sure that your paper is of high quality and is due on time!
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I am Dr. Paulus, an experienced academic writer. I am efficient, hardworking, and very flexible. As a student, I majored in History and Management but will be more than happy to work on any other subject. I write everything from scratch and do a unique research for every project.
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The statement of the problem is one of the first things that a colleague or potential client will read. With the vastness of the information available at one’s fingertips in the online9 world, your work may have just a few seconds to draw in a reader to take a deeper look at your proposal before moving on to the next option. It explains quickly to the reader, the problem at hand, the need for research, and how you intend to do it.
A strong, clear description of the problem that drew you to your research has to be straightforward, easy to read and, most important, relevant. Why do you care about this problem? How can solving this problem impact the world? The problem statement is your opportunity to explain why you care and what you propose to do in the way of researching the problem.
A problem statement is an explanation in research that describes the issue that is in need of study . What problem is the research attempting to address? Having a Problem Statement allows the reader to quickly understand the purpose and intent of the research. The importance of writing your research proposal cannot be stressed enough. Check for more information on Writing a Scientific Research Project Proposal .
It is expected to be brief and concise , and should not include the findings of the research or detailed data . The average length of a research statement is generally about one page . It is going to define the problem, which can be thought of as a gap in the information base. There may be several solutions to this gap or lack of information, but that is not the concern of the problem statement. Its purpose is to summarize the current information and where a lack of knowledge may be presenting a problem that needs to be investigated .
The purpose of the problem statement is to identify the issue that is a concern and focus it in a way that allows it to be studied in a systematic way . It defines the problem and proposes a way to research a solution, or demonstrates why further information is needed in order for a solution to become possible.
What is Included in a Problem Statement?
Besides identifying the gap of understanding or the weakness of necessary data, it is important to explain the significance of this lack.
-How will your research contribute to the existing knowledge base in your field of study?
-How is it significant?
-Why does it matter?
Not all problems have only one solution so demonstrating the need for additional research can also be included in your problem statement. Once you identify the problem and the need for a solution, or for further study, then you can show how you intend to collect the needed data and present it.
How to Write a Statement of Problem in Research Proposal
It is helpful to begin with your goal. What do you see as the achievable goal if the problem you outline is solved? How will the proposed research theoretically change anything? What are the potential outcomes?
Then you can discuss how the problem prevents the ability to reach your realistic and achievable solution. It is what stands in the way of changing an issue for the better. Talk about the present state of affairs and how the problem impacts a person’s life, for example.
It’s helpful at this point to generally layout the present knowledge and understanding of the subject at hand, before then describing the gaps of knowledge that are currently in need of study. Your problem statement is a proposed solution to address one of these gaps.
A good problem statement will also layout the repercussions of leaving the problem as it currently stands. What is the significance of not addressing this problem? What are the possible future outcomes?
Example of Problem Statement in Research Proposal
If, for example , you intended to research the effect of vitamin D supplementation on the immune system , you would begin with a review of the current knowledge of vitamin D’s known function in relation to the immune system and how a deficiency of it impacts a person’s defenses.
You would describe the ideal environment in the body when there is a sufficient level of vitamin D. Then, begin to identify the problems associated with vitamin D deficiency and the difficulty of raising the level through supplementation, along with the consequences of that deficiency. Here you are beginning to identify the problem of a common deficiency and the current difficulty of increasing the level of vitamin D in the blood.
At this stage, you may begin to identify the problem and narrow it down in a way that is practical to a research project. Perhaps you are proposing a novel way of introducing Vitamin D in a way that allows for better absorption by the gut, or in a combination with another product that increases its level in the blood.
Describe the way your research in this area will contribute to the knowledge base on how to increase levels of vitamin D in a specific group of subjects, perhaps menopausal women with breast cancer. The research proposal is then described in practical terms.
How to write a problem statement in research?
Problem statements differ depending on the type and topic of research and vary between a few sentences to a few paragraphs.
However, the problem statement should not drag on needlessly. Despite the absence of a fixed format, a good research problem statement usually consists of three main parts:
Context: This section explains the background for your research. It identifies the problem and describes an ideal scenario that could exist in the absence of the problem. It also includes any past attempts and shortcomings at solving the problem.
Significance: This section defines how the problem prevents the ideal scenario from being achieved, including its negative impacts on the society or field of research. It should include who will be the most affected by a solution to the problem, the relevance of the study that you are proposing, and how it can contribute to the existing body of research.
Solution: This section describes the aim and objectives of your research, and your solution to overcome the problem. Finally, it need not focus on the perfect solution, but rather on addressing a realistic goal to move closer to the ideal scenario.
Here is a cheat sheet to help you with formulating a good problem statement.
1. Begin with a clear indication that the problem statement is going to be discussed next. You can start with a generic sentence like, “The problem that this study addresses…” This will inform your readers of what to expect next.
2. Next, mention the consequences of not solving the problem . You can touch upon who is or will be affected if the problem continues, and how.
3. Conclude with indicating the type of research /information that is needed to solve the problem. Be sure to reference authors who may have suggested the necessity of such research.
This will then directly lead to your proposed research objective and workplan and how that is expected to solve the problem i.e., close the research gap.
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Do Your Students Know How to Analyze a Case—Really?
- Case Teaching
- Student Engagement
J ust as actors, athletes, and musicians spend thousands of hours practicing their craft, business students benefit from practicing their critical-thinking and decision-making skills. Students, however, often have limited exposure to real-world problem-solving scenarios; they need more opportunities to practice tackling tough business problems and deciding on—and executing—the best solutions.
To ensure students have ample opportunity to develop these critical-thinking and decision-making skills, we believe business faculty should shift from teaching mostly principles and ideas to mostly applications and practices. And in doing so, they should emphasize the case method, which simulates real-world management challenges and opportunities for students.
To help educators facilitate this shift and help students get the most out of case-based learning, we have developed a framework for analyzing cases. We call it PACADI (Problem, Alternatives, Criteria, Analysis, Decision, Implementation); it can improve learning outcomes by helping students better solve and analyze business problems, make decisions, and develop and implement strategy. Here, we’ll explain why we developed this framework, how it works, and what makes it an effective learning tool.
The Case for Cases: Helping Students Think Critically
Business students must develop critical-thinking and analytical skills, which are essential to their ability to make good decisions in functional areas such as marketing, finance, operations, and information technology, as well as to understand the relationships among these functions. For example, the decisions a marketing manager must make include strategic planning (segments, products, and channels); execution (digital messaging, media, branding, budgets, and pricing); and operations (integrated communications and technologies), as well as how to implement decisions across functional areas.
Faculty can use many types of cases to help students develop these skills. These include the prototypical “paper cases”; live cases , which feature guest lecturers such as entrepreneurs or corporate leaders and on-site visits; and multimedia cases , which immerse students into real situations. Most cases feature an explicit or implicit decision that a protagonist—whether it is an individual, a group, or an organization—must make.
For students new to learning by the case method—and even for those with case experience—some common issues can emerge; these issues can sometimes be a barrier for educators looking to ensure the best possible outcomes in their case classrooms. Unsure of how to dig into case analysis on their own, students may turn to the internet or rely on former students for “answers” to assigned cases. Or, when assigned to provide answers to assignment questions in teams, students might take a divide-and-conquer approach but not take the time to regroup and provide answers that are consistent with one other.
To help address these issues, which we commonly experienced in our classes, we wanted to provide our students with a more structured approach for how they analyze cases—and to really think about making decisions from the protagonists’ point of view. We developed the PACADI framework to address this need.
PACADI: A Six-Step Decision-Making Approach
The PACADI framework is a six-step decision-making approach that can be used in lieu of traditional end-of-case questions. It offers a structured, integrated, and iterative process that requires students to analyze case information, apply business concepts to derive valuable insights, and develop recommendations based on these insights.
Prior to beginning a PACADI assessment, which we’ll outline here, students should first prepare a two-paragraph summary—a situation analysis—that highlights the key case facts. Then, we task students with providing a five-page PACADI case analysis (excluding appendices) based on the following six steps.
Step 1: Problem definition. What is the major challenge, problem, opportunity, or decision that has to be made? If there is more than one problem, choose the most important one. Often when solving the key problem, other issues will surface and be addressed. The problem statement may be framed as a question; for example, How can brand X improve market share among millennials in Canada? Usually the problem statement has to be re-written several times during the analysis of a case as students peel back the layers of symptoms or causation.
Step 2: Alternatives. Identify in detail the strategic alternatives to address the problem; three to five options generally work best. Alternatives should be mutually exclusive, realistic, creative, and feasible given the constraints of the situation. Doing nothing or delaying the decision to a later date are not considered acceptable alternatives.
Step 3: Criteria. What are the key decision criteria that will guide decision-making? In a marketing course, for example, these may include relevant marketing criteria such as segmentation, positioning, advertising and sales, distribution, and pricing. Financial criteria useful in evaluating the alternatives should be included—for example, income statement variables, customer lifetime value, payback, etc. Students must discuss their rationale for selecting the decision criteria and the weights and importance for each factor.
Step 4: Analysis. Provide an in-depth analysis of each alternative based on the criteria chosen in step three. Decision tables using criteria as columns and alternatives as rows can be helpful. The pros and cons of the various choices as well as the short- and long-term implications of each may be evaluated. Best, worst, and most likely scenarios can also be insightful.
Step 5: Decision. Students propose their solution to the problem. This decision is justified based on an in-depth analysis. Explain why the recommendation made is the best fit for the criteria.
Step 6: Implementation plan. Sound business decisions may fail due to poor execution. To enhance the likeliness of a successful project outcome, students describe the key steps (activities) to implement the recommendation, timetable, projected costs, expected competitive reaction, success metrics, and risks in the plan.
“Students note that using the PACADI framework yields ‘aha moments’—they learned something surprising in the case that led them to think differently about the problem and their proposed solution.”
PACADI’s Benefits: Meaningfully and Thoughtfully Applying Business Concepts
The PACADI framework covers all of the major elements of business decision-making, including implementation, which is often overlooked. By stepping through the whole framework, students apply relevant business concepts and solve management problems via a systematic, comprehensive approach; they’re far less likely to surface piecemeal responses.
As students explore each part of the framework, they may realize that they need to make changes to a previous step. For instance, when working on implementation, students may realize that the alternative they selected cannot be executed or will not be profitable, and thus need to rethink their decision. Or, they may discover that the criteria need to be revised since the list of decision factors they identified is incomplete (for example, the factors may explain key marketing concerns but fail to address relevant financial considerations) or is unrealistic (for example, they suggest a 25 percent increase in revenues without proposing an increased promotional budget).
In addition, the PACADI framework can be used alongside quantitative assignments, in-class exercises, and business and management simulations. The structured, multi-step decision framework encourages careful and sequential analysis to solve business problems. Incorporating PACADI as an overarching decision-making method across different projects will ultimately help students achieve desired learning outcomes. As a practical “beyond-the-classroom” tool, the PACADI framework is not a contrived course assignment; it reflects the decision-making approach that managers, executives, and entrepreneurs exercise daily. Case analysis introduces students to the real-world process of making business decisions quickly and correctly, often with limited information. This framework supplies an organized and disciplined process that students can readily defend in writing and in class discussions.
PACADI in Action: An Example
Here’s an example of how students used the PACADI framework for a recent case analysis on CVS, a large North American drugstore chain.
The CVS Prescription for Customer Value*
How should CVS Health evolve from the “drugstore of your neighborhood” to the “drugstore of your future”?
A1. Kaizen (continuous improvement)
A2. Product development
A3. Market development
A4. Personalization (micro-targeting)
Criteria (include weights)
C1. Customer value: service, quality, image, and price (40%)
C2. Customer obsession (20%)
C3. Growth through related businesses (20%)
C4. Customer retention and customer lifetime value (20%)
Each alternative was analyzed by each criterion using a Customer Value Assessment Tool
Alternative 4 (A4): Personalization was selected. This is operationalized via: segmentation—move toward segment-of-1 marketing; geodemographics and lifestyle emphasis; predictive data analysis; relationship marketing; people, principles, and supply chain management; and exceptional customer service.
Partner with leading medical school
E-newsletter for customers and employees
Employee incentive program
CVS beauty days
Expand to Latin America and Caribbean
Holiday toy drives/community outreach
*Source: A. Weinstein, Y. Rodriguez, K. Sims, R. Vergara, “The CVS Prescription for Superior Customer Value—A Case Study,” Back to the Future: Revisiting the Foundations of Marketing from Society for Marketing Advances, West Palm Beach, FL (November 2, 2018).
Results of Using the PACADI Framework
When faculty members at our respective institutions at Nova Southeastern University (NSU) and the University of North Carolina Wilmington have used the PACADI framework, our classes have been more structured and engaging. Students vigorously debate each element of their decision and note that this framework yields an “aha moment”—they learned something surprising in the case that led them to think differently about the problem and their proposed solution.
These lively discussions enhance individual and collective learning. As one external metric of this improvement, we have observed a 2.5 percent increase in student case grade performance at NSU since this framework was introduced.
Tips to Get Started
The PACADI approach works well in in-person, online, and hybrid courses. This is particularly important as more universities have moved to remote learning options. Because students have varied educational and cultural backgrounds, work experience, and familiarity with case analysis, we recommend that faculty members have students work on their first case using this new framework in small teams (two or three students). Additional analyses should then be solo efforts.
To use PACADI effectively in your classroom, we suggest the following:
Advise your students that your course will stress critical thinking and decision-making skills, not just course concepts and theory.
Use a varied mix of case studies. As marketing professors, we often address consumer and business markets; goods, services, and digital commerce; domestic and global business; and small and large companies in a single MBA course.
As a starting point, provide a short explanation (about 20 to 30 minutes) of the PACADI framework with a focus on the conceptual elements. You can deliver this face to face or through videoconferencing.
Give students an opportunity to practice the case analysis methodology via an ungraded sample case study. Designate groups of five to seven students to discuss the case and the six steps in breakout sessions (in class or via Zoom).
Ensure case analyses are weighted heavily as a grading component. We suggest 30–50 percent of the overall course grade.
Once cases are graded, debrief with the class on what they did right and areas needing improvement (30- to 40-minute in-person or Zoom session).
Encourage faculty teams that teach common courses to build appropriate instructional materials, grading rubrics, videos, sample cases, and teaching notes.
When selecting case studies, we have found that the best ones for PACADI analyses are about 15 pages long and revolve around a focal management decision. This length provides adequate depth yet is not protracted. Some of our tested and favorite marketing cases include Brand W , Hubspot , Kraft Foods Canada , TRSB(A) , and Whiskey & Cheddar .
Art Weinstein , Ph.D., is a professor of marketing at Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He has published more than 80 scholarly articles and papers and eight books on customer-focused marketing strategy. His latest book is Superior Customer Value—Finding and Keeping Customers in the Now Economy . Dr. Weinstein has consulted for many leading technology and service companies.
Herbert V. Brotspies , D.B.A., is an adjunct professor of marketing at Nova Southeastern University. He has over 30 years’ experience as a vice president in marketing, strategic planning, and acquisitions for Fortune 50 consumer products companies working in the United States and internationally. His research interests include return on marketing investment, consumer behavior, business-to-business strategy, and strategic planning.
John T. Gironda , Ph.D., is an assistant professor of marketing at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. His research has been published in Industrial Marketing Management, Psychology & Marketing , and Journal of Marketing Management . He has also presented at major marketing conferences including the American Marketing Association, Academy of Marketing Science, and Society for Marketing Advances.
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Definition and Introduction
Case analysis is a problem-based teaching and learning method that involves critically analyzing complex scenarios within an organizational setting for the purpose of placing the student in a “real world” situation and applying reflection and critical thinking skills to contemplate appropriate solutions, decisions, or recommended courses of action. It is considered a more effective teaching technique than in-class role playing or simulation activities. The analytical process is often guided by questions provided by the instructor that ask students to contemplate relationships between the facts and critical incidents described in the case.
Cases generally include both descriptive and statistical elements and rely on students applying abductive reasoning to develop and argue for preferred or best outcomes [i.e., case scenarios rarely have a single correct or perfect answer based on the evidence provided]. Rather than emphasizing theories or concepts, case analysis assignments emphasize building a bridge of relevancy between abstract thinking and practical application and, by so doing, teaches the value of both within a specific area of professional practice.
Given this, the purpose of a case analysis paper is to present a structured and logically organized format for analyzing the case situation. It can be assigned to students individually or as a small group assignment and it may include an in-class presentation component. Case analysis is predominately taught in economics and business-related courses, but it is also a method of teaching and learning found in other applied social sciences disciplines, such as, social work, public relations, education, journalism, and public administration.
Ellet, William. The Case Study Handbook: A Student's Guide . Revised Edition. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Publishing, 2018; Christoph Rasche and Achim Seisreiner. Guidelines for Business Case Analysis . University of Potsdam; Writing a Case Analysis . Writing Center, Baruch College; Volpe, Guglielmo. "Case Teaching in Economics: History, Practice and Evidence." Cogent Economics and Finance 3 (December 2015). doi:https://doi.org/10.1080/23322039.2015.1120977.
How to Approach Writing a Case Analysis Paper
The organization and structure of a case analysis paper can vary depending on the organizational setting, the situation, and how your professor wants you to approach the assignment. Nevertheless, preparing to write a case analysis paper involves several important steps. As Hawes notes, a case analysis assignment “...is useful in developing the ability to get to the heart of a problem, analyze it thoroughly, and to indicate the appropriate solution as well as how it should be implemented” [p.48]. This statement encapsulates how you should approach preparing to write a case analysis paper.
Before you begin to write your paper, consider the following analytical procedures:
- Review the case to get an overview of the situation . A case can be only a few pages in length, however, it is most often very lengthy and contains a significant amount of detailed background information and statistics, with multilayered descriptions of the scenario, the roles and behaviors of various stakeholder groups, and situational events. Therefore, a quick reading of the case will help you gain an overall sense of the situation and illuminate the types of issues and problems that you will need to address in your paper. If your professor has provided questions intended to help frame your analysis, use them to guide your initial reading of the case.
- Read the case thoroughly . After gaining a general overview of the case, carefully read the content again with the purpose of understanding key circumstances, events, and behaviors among stakeholder groups. Look for information or data that appears contradictory, extraneous, or misleading. At this point, you should be taking notes as you read because this will help you develop a general outline of your paper. The aim is to obtain a complete understanding of the situation so that you can begin contemplating tentative answers to any questions your professor has provided or, if they have not provided, developing answers to your own questions about the case scenario and its connection to the course readings,lectures, and class discussions.
- Determine key stakeholder groups, issues, and events and the relationships they all have to each other . As you analyze the content, pay particular attention to identifying individuals, groups, or organizations described in the case and identify evidence of any problems or issues of concern that impact the situation in a negative way. Other things to look for include identifying any assumptions being made by or about each stakeholder, potential biased explanations or actions, explicit demands or ultimatums , and the underlying concerns that motivate these behaviors among stakeholders. The goal at this stage is to develop a comprehensive understanding of the situational and behavioral dynamics of the case and the explicit and implicit consequences of each of these actions.
- Identify the core problems . The next step in most case analysis assignments is to discern what the core [i.e., most damaging, detrimental, injurious] problems are within the organizational setting and to determine their implications. The purpose at this stage of preparing to write your analysis paper is to distinguish between the symptoms of core problems and the core problems themselves and to decide which of these must be addressed immediately and which problems do not appear critical but may escalate over time. Identify evidence from the case to support your decisions by determining what information or data is essential to addressing the core problems and what information is not relevant or is misleading.
- Explore alternative solutions . As noted, case analysis scenarios rarely have only one correct answer. Therefore, it is important to keep in mind that the process of analyzing the case and diagnosing core problems, while based on evidence, is a subjective process open to various avenues of interpretation. This means that you must consider alternative solutions or courses of action by critically examining strengths and weaknesses, risk factors, and the differences between short and long-term solutions. For each possible solution or course of action, consider the consequences they may have related to their implementation and how these recommendations might lead to new problems. Also, consider thinking about your recommended solutions or courses of action in relation to issues of fairness, equity, and inclusion.
- Decide on a final set of recommendations . The last stage in preparing to write a case analysis paper is to assert an opinion or viewpoint about the recommendations needed to help resolve the core problems as you see them and to make a persuasive argument for supporting this point of view. Prepare a clear rationale for your recommendations based on examining each element of your analysis. Anticipate possible obstacles that could derail their implementation. Consider any counter-arguments that could be made concerning the validity of your recommended actions. Finally, describe a set of criteria and measurable indicators that could be applied to evaluating the effectiveness of your implementation plan.
Use these steps as the framework for writing your paper. Remember that the more detailed you are in taking notes as you critically examine each element of the case, the more information you will have to draw from when you begin to write. This will save you time.
NOTE : If the process of preparing to write a case analysis paper is assigned as a student group project, consider having each member of the group analyze a specific element of the case, including drafting answers to the corresponding questions used by your professor to frame the analysis. This will help make the analytical process more efficient and ensure that the distribution of work is equitable. This can also facilitate who is responsible for drafting each part of the final case analysis paper and, if applicable, the in-class presentation.
Framework for Case Analysis . College of Management. University of Massachusetts; Hawes, Jon M. "Teaching is Not Telling: The Case Method as a Form of Interactive Learning." Journal for Advancement of Marketing Education 5 (Winter 2004): 47-54; Rasche, Christoph and Achim Seisreiner. Guidelines for Business Case Analysis . University of Potsdam; Writing a Case Study Analysis . University of Arizona Global Campus Writing Center; Van Ness, Raymond K. A Guide to Case Analysis . School of Business. State University of New York, Albany; Writing a Case Analysis . Business School, University of New South Wales.
Structure and Writing Style
A case analysis paper should be detailed, concise, persuasive, clearly written, and professional in tone and in the use of language . As with other forms of college-level academic writing, declarative statements that convey information, provide a fact, or offer an explanation or any recommended courses of action should be based on evidence. If allowed by your professor, any external sources used to support your analysis, such as course readings, should be properly cited under a list of references. The organization and structure of case analysis papers can vary depending on your professor’s preferred format, but its structure generally follows the steps used for analyzing the case.
The introduction should provide a succinct but thorough descriptive overview of the main facts, issues, and core problems of the case . The introduction should also include a brief summary of the most relevant details about the situation and organizational setting. This includes defining the theoretical framework or conceptual model on which any questions were used to frame your analysis.
Following the rules of most college-level research papers, the introduction should then inform the reader how the paper will be organized. This includes describing the major sections of the paper and the order in which they will be presented. Unless you are told to do so by your professor, you do not need to preview your final recommendations in the introduction. U nlike most college-level research papers , the introduction does not include a statement about the significance of your findings because a case analysis assignment does not involve contributing new knowledge about a research problem.
Background analysis can vary depending on any guiding questions provided by your professor and the underlying concept or theory that the case is based upon. In general, however, this section of your paper should focus on:
- Providing an overarching analysis of problems identified from the case scenario, including identifying events that stakeholders find challenging or troublesome,
- Identifying assumptions made by each stakeholder and any apparent biases they may exhibit,
- Describing any demands or claims made by or forced upon key stakeholders, and
- Highlighting any issues of concern or complaints expressed by stakeholders in response to those demands or claims.
These aspects of the case are often in the form of behavioral responses expressed by individuals or groups within the organizational setting. However, note that problems in a case situation can also be reflected in data [or the lack thereof] and in the decision-making, operational, cultural, or institutional structure of the organization. Additionally, demands or claims can be either internal and external to the organization [e.g., a case analysis involving a president considering arms sales to Saudi Arabia could include managing internal demands from White House advisors as well as demands from members of Congress].
Throughout this section, present all relevant evidence from the case that supports your analysis. Do not simply claim there is a problem, an assumption, a demand, or a concern; tell the reader what part of the case informed how you identified these background elements.
Identification of Problems
In most case analysis assignments, there are problems, and then there are problems . Each problem can reflect a multitude of underlying symptoms that are detrimental to the interests of the organization. The purpose of identifying problems is to teach students how to differentiate between problems that vary in severity, impact, and relative importance. Given this, problems can be described in three general forms: those that must be addressed immediately, those that should be addressed but the impact is not severe, and those that do not require immediate attention and can be set aside for the time being.
All of the problems you identify from the case should be identified in this section of your paper, with a description based on evidence explaining the problem variances. If the assignment asks you to conduct research to further support your assessment of the problems, include this in your explanation. Remember to cite those sources in a list of references. Use specific evidence from the case and apply appropriate concepts, theories, and models discussed in class or in relevant course readings to highlight and explain the key problems [or problem] that you believe must be solved immediately and describe the underlying symptoms and why they are so critical.
This section is where you provide specific, realistic, and evidence-based solutions to the problems you have identified and make recommendations about how to alleviate the underlying symptomatic conditions impacting the organizational setting. For each solution, you must explain why it was chosen and provide clear evidence to support your reasoning. This can include, for example, course readings and class discussions as well as research resources, such as, books, journal articles, research reports, or government documents. In some cases, your professor may encourage you to include personal, anecdotal experiences as evidence to support why you chose a particular solution or set of solutions. Using anecdotal evidence helps promote reflective thinking about the process of determining what qualifies as a core problem and relevant solution .
Throughout this part of the paper, keep in mind the entire array of problems that must be addressed and describe in detail the solutions that might be implemented to resolve these problems.
Recommended Courses of Action
In some case analysis assignments, your professor may ask you to combine the alternative solutions section with your recommended courses of action. However, it is important to know the difference between the two. A solution refers to the answer to a problem. A course of action refers to a procedure or deliberate sequence of activities adopted to proactively confront a situation, often in the context of accomplishing a goal. In this context, proposed courses of action are based on your analysis of alternative solutions. Your description and justification for pursuing each course of action should represent the overall plan for implementing your recommendations.
For each course of action, you need to explain the rationale for your recommendation in a way that confronts challenges, explains risks, and anticipates any counter-arguments from stakeholders. Do this by considering the strengths and weaknesses of each course of action framed in relation to how the action is expected to resolve the core problems presented, the possible ways the action may affect remaining problems, and how the recommended action will be perceived by each stakeholder.
In addition, you should describe the criteria needed to measure how well the implementation of these actions is working and explain which individuals or groups are responsible for ensuring your recommendations are successful. In addition, always consider the law of unintended consequences. Outline difficulties that may arise in implementing each course of action and describe how implementing the proposed courses of action [either individually or collectively] may lead to new problems [both large and small].
Throughout this section, you must consider the costs and benefits of recommending your courses of action in relation to uncertainties or missing information and the negative consequences of success.
The conclusion should be brief and introspective. Unlike a research paper, the conclusion in a case analysis paper does not include a summary of key findings and their significance, a statement about how the study contributed to existing knowledge, or indicate opportunities for future research.
Begin by synthesizing the core problems presented in the case and the relevance of your recommended solutions. This can include an explanation of what you have learned about the case in the context of your answers to the questions provided by your professor. The conclusion is also where you link what you learned from analyzing the case with the course readings or class discussions. This can further demonstrate your understanding of the relationships between the practical case situation and the theoretical and abstract content of assigned readings and other course content.
Problems to Avoid
The literature on case analysis assignments often includes examples of difficulties students have with applying methods of critical analysis and effectively reporting the results of their assessment of the situation. A common reason cited by scholars is that the application of this type of teaching and learning method is limited to applied fields of social and behavioral sciences and, as a result, writing a case analysis paper can be unfamiliar to most students entering college.
After you have drafted your paper, proofread the narrative flow and revise any of these common errors:
- Unnecessary detail in the background section . The background section should highlight the essential elements of the case based on your analysis. Focus on summarizing the facts and highlighting the key factors that become relevant in the other sections of the paper by eliminating any unnecessary information.
- Analysis relies too much on opinion . Your analysis is interpretive, but the narrative must be connected clearly to evidence from the case and any models and theories discussed in class or in course readings. Any positions or arguments you make should be supported by evidence.
- Analysis does not focus on the most important elements of the case . Your paper should provide a thorough overview of the case. However, the analysis should focus on providing evidence about what you identify are the key events, stakeholders, issues, and problems. Emphasize what you identify as the most critical aspects of the case to be developed throughout your analysis. Be thorough but succinct.
- Writing is too descriptive . A paper with too much descriptive information detracts from your analysis of the complexities of the case situation. Questions about what happened, where, when, and by whom should only be included as essential information leading to your examination of questions related to why, how, and for what purpose.
- Inadequate definition of a core problem and associated symptoms . A common error found in case analysis papers is recommending a solution or course of action without adequately defining or demonstrating that you understand the problem. Make sure you have clearly described the problem and its impact and scope within the organizational setting. Ensure that you have adequately described the root causes w hen describing the symptoms of the problem.
- Recommendations lack specificity . Identify any use of vague statements and indeterminate terminology, such as, “A particular experience” or “a large increase to the budget.” These statements cannot be measured and, as a result, there is no way to evaluate their successful implementation. Provide specific data and use direct language in describing recommended actions.
- Unrealistic, exaggerated, or unattainable recommendations . Review your recommendations to ensure that they are based on the situational facts of the case. Your recommended solutions and courses of action must be based on realistic assumptions and fit within the constraints of the situation. Also note that the case scenario has already happened, therefore, any speculation or arguments about what could have occurred if the circumstances were different should be revised or eliminated.
Bee, Lian Song et al. "Business Students' Perspectives on Case Method Coaching for Problem-Based Learning: Impacts on Student Engagement and Learning Performance in Higher Education." Education & Training 64 (2022): 416-432; The Case Analysis . Fred Meijer Center for Writing and Michigan Authors. Grand Valley State University; Georgallis, Panikos and Kayleigh Bruijn. "Sustainability Teaching using Case-Based Debates." Journal of International Education in Business 15 (2022): 147-163; Hawes, Jon M. "Teaching is Not Telling: The Case Method as a Form of Interactive Learning." Journal for Advancement of Marketing Education 5 (Winter 2004): 47-54; Georgallis, Panikos, and Kayleigh Bruijn. "Sustainability Teaching Using Case-based Debates." Journal of International Education in Business 15 (2022): 147-163; .Dean, Kathy Lund and Charles J. Fornaciari. "How to Create and Use Experiential Case-Based Exercises in a Management Classroom." Journal of Management Education 26 (October 2002): 586-603; Klebba, Joanne M. and Janet G. Hamilton. "Structured Case Analysis: Developing Critical Thinking Skills in a Marketing Case Course." Journal of Marketing Education 29 (August 2007): 132-137, 139; Klein, Norman. "The Case Discussion Method Revisited: Some Questions about Student Skills." Exchange: The Organizational Behavior Teaching Journal 6 (November 1981): 30-32; Mukherjee, Arup. "Effective Use of In-Class Mini Case Analysis for Discovery Learning in an Undergraduate MIS Course." The Journal of Computer Information Systems 40 (Spring 2000): 15-23; Pessoa, Silviaet al. "Scaffolding the Case Analysis in an Organizational Behavior Course: Making Analytical Language Explicit." Journal of Management Education 46 (2022): 226-251: Ramsey, V. J. and L. D. Dodge. "Case Analysis: A Structured Approach." Exchange: The Organizational Behavior Teaching Journal 6 (November 1981): 27-29; Schweitzer, Karen. "How to Write and Format a Business Case Study." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/how-to-write-and-format-a-business-case-study-466324 (accessed December 5, 2022); Reddy, C. D. "Teaching Research Methodology: Everything's a Case." Electronic Journal of Business Research Methods 18 (December 2020): 178-188; Volpe, Guglielmo. "Case Teaching in Economics: History, Practice and Evidence." Cogent Economics and Finance 3 (December 2015). doi:https://doi.org/10.1080/23322039.2015.1120977.
Ca se Study and Case Analysis Are Not the Same!
Confusion often exists between what it means to write a paper that uses a case study research design and writing a paper that analyzes a case; they are two different types of approaches to learning in the social and behavioral sciences. Professors as well as educational researchers contribute to this confusion because they often use the term "case study" when describing the subject of analysis for a case analysis paper. But you are not studying a case for the purpose of generating a comprehensive, multi-faceted understanding of a research problem. R ather, you are critically analyzing a specific scenario to argue logically for recommended solutions and courses of action that lead to optimal outcomes applicable to professional practice.
To avoid any confusion, here are twelve characteristics that delineate the differences between writing a paper using the case study research method and writing a case analysis paper:
- Case study is a method of in-depth research and rigorous inquiry ; case analysis is a reliable method of teaching and learning . A case study is a modality of research that investigates a phenomenon for the purpose of creating new knowledge, solving a problem, or testing a hypothesis using empirical evidence derived from the case being studied. Often, the results are used to generalize about a larger population or within a wider context. The writing adheres to the traditional standards of a scholarly research study. A case analysis is a pedagogical tool used to teach students how to reflect and think critically about a practical, real-life problem in an organizational setting.
- The researcher is responsible for identifying the case to study; a case analysis is assigned by your professor . As the researcher, you choose the case study to investigate in support of obtaining new knowledge and understanding about the research problem. The case in a case analysis assignment is almost always provided, and sometimes written, by your professor and either given to every student in class to analyze individually or to a small group of students, or students select a case to analyze from a predetermined list.
- A case study is indeterminate and boundless; a case analysis is predetermined and confined . A case study can be almost anything [see item 9 below] as long as it relates directly to examining the research problem. This relationship is the only limit to what a researcher can choose as the subject of their case study. The content of a case analysis is determined by your professor and its parameters are well-defined and limited to elucidating insights of practical value applied to practice.
- Case study is fact-based and describes actual events or situations; case analysis can be entirely fictional or adapted from an actual situation . The entire content of a case study must be grounded in reality to be a valid subject of investigation in an empirical research study. A case analysis only needs to set the stage for critically examining a situation in practice and, therefore, can be entirely fictional or adapted, all or in-part, from an actual situation.
- Research using a case study method must adhere to principles of intellectual honesty and academic integrity; a case analysis scenario can include misleading or false information . A case study paper must report research objectively and factually to ensure that any findings are understood to be logically correct and trustworthy. A case analysis scenario may include misleading or false information intended to deliberately distract from the central issues of the case. The purpose is to teach students how to sort through conflicting or useless information in order to come up with the preferred solution. Any use of misleading or false information in academic research is considered unethical.
- Case study is linked to a research problem; case analysis is linked to a practical situation or scenario . In the social sciences, the subject of an investigation is most often framed as a problem that must be researched in order to generate new knowledge leading to a solution. Case analysis narratives are grounded in real life scenarios for the purpose of examining the realities of decision-making behavior and processes within organizational settings. A case analysis assignments include a problem or set of problems to be analyzed. However, the goal is centered around the act of identifying and evaluating courses of action leading to best possible outcomes.
- The purpose of a case study is to create new knowledge through research; the purpose of a case analysis is to teach new understanding . Case studies are a choice of methodological design intended to create new knowledge about resolving a research problem. A case analysis is a mode of teaching and learning intended to create new understanding and an awareness of uncertainty applied to practice through acts of critical thinking and reflection.
- A case study seeks to identify the best possible solution to a research problem; case analysis can have an indeterminate set of solutions or outcomes . Your role in studying a case is to discover the most logical, evidence-based ways to address a research problem. A case analysis assignment rarely has a single correct answer because one of the goals is to force students to confront the real life dynamics of uncertainly, ambiguity, and missing or conflicting information within professional practice. Under these conditions, a perfect outcome or solution almost never exists.
- Case study is unbounded and relies on gathering external information; case analysis is a self-contained subject of analysis . The scope of a case study chosen as a method of research is bounded. However, the researcher is free to gather whatever information and data is necessary to investigate its relevance to understanding the research problem. For a case analysis assignment, your professor will often ask you to examine solutions or recommended courses of action based solely on facts and information from the case.
- Case study can be a person, place, object, issue, event, condition, or phenomenon; a case analysis is a carefully constructed synopsis of events, situations, and behaviors . The research problem dictates the type of case being studied and, therefore, the design can encompass almost anything tangible as long as it fulfills the objective of generating new knowledge and understanding. A case analysis is in the form of a narrative containing descriptions of facts, situations, processes, rules, and behaviors within a particular setting and under a specific set of circumstances.
- Case study can represent an open-ended subject of inquiry; a case analysis is a narrative about something that has happened in the past . A case study is not restricted by time and can encompass an event or issue with no temporal limit or end. For example, the current war in Ukraine can be used as a case study of how medical personnel help civilians during a large military conflict, even though circumstances around this event are still evolving. A case analysis can be used to elicit critical thinking about current or future situations in practice, but the case itself is a narrative about something finite and that has taken place in the past.
- Multiple case studies can be used in a research study; case analysis involves examining a single scenario . Case study research can use two or more cases to examine a problem, often for the purpose of conducting a comparative investigation intended to discover hidden relationships, document emerging trends, or determine variations among different examples. A case analysis assignment typically describes a stand-alone, self-contained situation and any comparisons among cases are conducted during in-class discussions and/or student presentations.
The Case Analysis . Fred Meijer Center for Writing and Michigan Authors. Grand Valley State University; Mills, Albert J. , Gabrielle Durepos, and Eiden Wiebe, editors. Encyclopedia of Case Study Research . Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2010; Ramsey, V. J. and L. D. Dodge. "Case Analysis: A Structured Approach." Exchange: The Organizational Behavior Teaching Journal 6 (November 1981): 27-29; Yin, Robert K. Case Study Research and Applications: Design and Methods . 6th edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2017; Crowe, Sarah et al. “The Case Study Approach.” BMC Medical Research Methodology 11 (2011): doi: 10.1186/1471-2288-11-100; Yin, Robert K. Case Study Research: Design and Methods . 4th edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publishing; 1994.
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- What Is a Case Study? | Definition, Examples & Methods
What Is a Case Study? | Definition, Examples & Methods
Published on May 8, 2019 by Shona McCombes . Revised on June 22, 2023.
A case study is a detailed study of a specific subject, such as a person, group, place, event, organization, or phenomenon. Case studies are commonly used in social, educational, clinical, and business research.
A case study research design usually involves qualitative methods , but quantitative methods are sometimes also used. Case studies are good for describing , comparing, evaluating and understanding different aspects of a research problem .
Table of contents
When to do a case study, step 1: select a case, step 2: build a theoretical framework, step 3: collect your data, step 4: describe and analyze the case, other interesting articles.
A case study is an appropriate research design when you want to gain concrete, contextual, in-depth knowledge about a specific real-world subject. It allows you to explore the key characteristics, meanings, and implications of the case.
Case studies are often a good choice in a thesis or dissertation . They keep your project focused and manageable when you don’t have the time or resources to do large-scale research.
You might use just one complex case study where you explore a single subject in depth, or conduct multiple case studies to compare and illuminate different aspects of your research problem.
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Once you have developed your problem statement and research questions , you should be ready to choose the specific case that you want to focus on. A good case study should have the potential to:
- Provide new or unexpected insights into the subject
- Challenge or complicate existing assumptions and theories
- Propose practical courses of action to resolve a problem
- Open up new directions for future research
TipIf your research is more practical in nature and aims to simultaneously investigate an issue as you solve it, consider conducting action research instead.
Unlike quantitative or experimental research , a strong case study does not require a random or representative sample. In fact, case studies often deliberately focus on unusual, neglected, or outlying cases which may shed new light on the research problem.
Example of an outlying case studyIn the 1960s the town of Roseto, Pennsylvania was discovered to have extremely low rates of heart disease compared to the US average. It became an important case study for understanding previously neglected causes of heart disease.
However, you can also choose a more common or representative case to exemplify a particular category, experience or phenomenon.
Example of a representative case studyIn the 1920s, two sociologists used Muncie, Indiana as a case study of a typical American city that supposedly exemplified the changing culture of the US at the time.
While case studies focus more on concrete details than general theories, they should usually have some connection with theory in the field. This way the case study is not just an isolated description, but is integrated into existing knowledge about the topic. It might aim to:
- Exemplify a theory by showing how it explains the case under investigation
- Expand on a theory by uncovering new concepts and ideas that need to be incorporated
- Challenge a theory by exploring an outlier case that doesn’t fit with established assumptions
To ensure that your analysis of the case has a solid academic grounding, you should conduct a literature review of sources related to the topic and develop a theoretical framework . This means identifying key concepts and theories to guide your analysis and interpretation.
There are many different research methods you can use to collect data on your subject. Case studies tend to focus on qualitative data using methods such as interviews , observations , and analysis of primary and secondary sources (e.g., newspaper articles, photographs, official records). Sometimes a case study will also collect quantitative data.
Example of a mixed methods case studyFor a case study of a wind farm development in a rural area, you could collect quantitative data on employment rates and business revenue, collect qualitative data on local people’s perceptions and experiences, and analyze local and national media coverage of the development.
The aim is to gain as thorough an understanding as possible of the case and its context.
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In writing up the case study, you need to bring together all the relevant aspects to give as complete a picture as possible of the subject.
How you report your findings depends on the type of research you are doing. Some case studies are structured like a standard scientific paper or thesis , with separate sections or chapters for the methods , results and discussion .
Others are written in a more narrative style, aiming to explore the case from various angles and analyze its meanings and implications (for example, by using textual analysis or discourse analysis ).
In all cases, though, make sure to give contextual details about the case, connect it back to the literature and theory, and discuss how it fits into wider patterns or debates.
If you want to know more about statistics , methodology , or research bias , make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples.
- Normal distribution
- Degrees of freedom
- Null hypothesis
- Discourse analysis
- Control groups
- Mixed methods research
- Non-probability sampling
- Quantitative research
- Ecological validity
- Rosenthal effect
- Implicit bias
- Cognitive bias
- Selection bias
- Negativity bias
- Status quo bias
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Q. Need help with writing a case study analysis?
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Answered By: Coleen Neary Last Updated: Jun 02, 2023 Views: 239576
A case study analysis requires you to investigate a business problem, examine the alternative solutions, and propose the most effective solution using supporting evidenc e.
Before you begin writing, follow these guidelines to help you prepare and understand the case study:
- Take notes, highlight relevant facts, and underline key problems.
- Identify two to five key problems
- Why do they exist?
- How do they impact the organization?
- Who is responsible for them?
- Review course readings, discussions, outside research, and your experience.
- Consider strong supporting evidence, pros, and cons: is this solution realistic?
Once you have gathered the necessary information, a draft of your analysis should include these sections:
- Identify the key problems and issues in the case study.
- Formulate and include a thesis statement, summarizing the outcome of your analysis in 1–2 sentences.
- Set the scene: background information, relevant facts, and the most important issues.
- Demonstrate that you have researched the problems in this case study.
- Outline possible alternatives (not necessarily all of them)
- Explain why alternatives were rejected
- Why are alternatives not possible at this time?
- Provide one specific and realistic solution
- Explain why this solution was chosen
- Support this solution with solid evidence
- Concepts from class (text readings, discussions, lectures)
- Outside research
- Personal experience (anecdotes)
- Determine and discuss specific strategies for accomplishing the proposed solution.
- If applicable, recommend further action to resolve some of the issues
- What should be done and who should do it?
After you have composed the first draft of your case study analysis, read through it to check for any gaps or inconsistencies in content or structure: Is your thesis statement clear and direct? Have you provided solid evidence? Is any component from the analysis missing?
Source : University of Arizona Writing Center. (n.d.). Writing a case study analysis . URL: https://writingcenter.uagc.edu/writing-case-study-analysis
- For additional help with the final draft on revisions and editing, please refer to Writing@APUS, The Final Product for tips on proofreading,
- Looking for other business writing resources? See: How to Find Business Communication & Writing Resources
Questions? Contact the library .
- How do I find case studies about my research topic?
- How can I find case study articles about metaphors in organizations?
- Analyze a case study (Cenage)
- Write a case study analysis (Cenage)
- How to Write and Format a Business Case Study (ThoughtCo,)
- Boston Univerity Libguide | Open Access Business Case Studies
- Free Management Library | Basics of Developing Case Studies
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Case Study Analysis: Examples + How-to Guide & Writing Tips
A case study analysis is a typical assignment in business management courses. The task aims to show high school and college students how to analyze a current situation, determine what problems exist, and develop the best possible strategy to achieve the desired outcome.
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Many students feel anxious about writing case analyses because being told to analyze a case study and provide a solution can seem like a big task. That is especially so when working with real-life scenarios. However, you can rest assured writing a case analysis paper is easier than you think. Just keep reading this article and you will find case study examples for students and the advice provided by Custom-writing experts!
- 👣 Main Steps
- 🕵 Preparing the Case
🔬 Analyzing the Case
- 📑 Format & Structure
- 🙅 Things to Avoid
- 🏁 Conclusion
👣 writing a case study analysis: main steps.
Business management is built on case analysis. Every single economic result shows that the methods and instruments employed were either well-timed and expedient, in the event of success, or not, in case of failure. These two options indicate whether the strategy is efficient (and should be followed) or requires corrections (or complete change). Such an approach to the case study will make your writing piece more proficient and valuable for the reader. The following steps will direct your plan for writing a case study analysis.
Step 1: Preliminary work
- Make notes and highlight the numbers and ideas that could be quoted.
- Single out as many problems as you can, and briefly mark their underlying issues. Then make a note of those responsible. In the report, you will use two to five of the problems, so you will have a selection to choose from.
- Outline a possible solution to each of the problems you found. Course readings and outside research shall be used here. Highlight your best and worst solution for further reference.
Step 2: Drafting the Case
- Provide a general description of the situation and its history.
- Name all the problems you are going to discuss.
- Specify the theory used for the analysis.
- Present the assumptions that emerged during the analysis, if any.
- Describe the detected problems in more detail.
- Indicate their link to, and effect on, the general situation.
- Explain why the problems emerged and persist.
- List realistic and feasible solutions to the problems you outlined, in the order of importance.
- Specify your predicted results of such changes.
- Support your choice with reliable evidence (i.e., textbook readings, the experience of famous companies, and other external research).
- Define the strategies required to fulfill your proposed solution.
- Indicate the responsible people and the realistic terms for its implementation.
- Recommend the issues for further analysis and supervision.
Step 3: Finalizing the Case
Like any other piece of writing, a case analysis requires post-editing. Carefully read it through, looking for inconsistencies and gaps in meaning. Your purpose is to make it look complete, precise, and convincing.
🕵 Preparing a Case for Analysis
Your professor might give you various case study examples from which to choose, or they may just assign you a particular case study. To conduct a thorough data analysis, you must first read the case study. This might appear to be obvious. However, you’d be surprised at how many students don’t take adequate time to complete this part.
Read the case study very thoroughly, preferably several times. Highlight, underline, flag key information, and make notes to refer to later when you are writing your analysis report.
If you don’t have a complete knowledge of the case study your professor has assigned, you won’t conduct a proper analysis of it. Even if you make use of a business case study template or refer to a sample analysis, it won’t help if you aren’t intimately familiar with your case study.
You will also have to conduct research. When it comes to research, you will need to do the following:
- Gather hard, quantitative data (e.g. 67% of the staff participated in the meeting).
- Design research tools , such as questionnaires and surveys (this will aid in gathering data).
- Determine and suggest the best specific, workable solutions.
It would be best if you also learned how to analyze a case study. Once you have read through the case study, you need to determine the focus of your analysis. You can do this by doing the following:
Compare your chosen solutions to the solutions offered by the experts who analyzed the case study you were given or to online assignments for students who were dealing with a similar task. The experts’ solutions will probably be more advanced than yours simply because these people are more experienced. However, don’t let this discourage you; the whole point of doing this analysis is to learn. Use the opportunity to learn from others’ valuable experience, and your results will be better next time.
If you are still in doubt, the University of South Carolina offers a great guide on forming a case study analysis.
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📑 Case Analysis Format & Structure
When you are learning how to write a case study analysis, it is important to get the format of your analysis right. Understanding the case study format is vital for both the professor and the student. The person planning and handing out such an assignment should ensure that the student doesn’t have to use any external sources .
In turn, students have to remember that a well-written case analysis provides all the data, making it unnecessary for the reader to go elsewhere for information.
Regardless of whether you use a case study template, you will need to follow a clear and concise format when writing your analysis report. There are some possible case study frameworks available. Still, a case study should contain eight sections laid out in the following format:
- Describe the purpose of the current case study;
- Provide a summary of the company;
- Briefly introduce the problems and issues found in the case study
- Discuss the theory you will be using in the analysis;
- Present the key points of the study and present any assumptions made during the analysis.
- Present each problem you have singled out;
- Justify your inclusion of each problem by providing supporting evidence from the case study and by discussing relevant theory and what you have learned from your course content;
- Divide the section (and following sections) into subsections, one for each of your selected problems.
- Present a summary of each problem you have identified;
- Present plausible solutions for each of the problems, keeping in mind that each problem will likely have more than one possible solution;
- Provide the pros and cons of each solution in a way that is practical.
- Conclusion . This is a summary of your findings and discussion.
- Decide which solution best fits each of the issues you identified;
- Explain why you chose this solution and how it will effectively solve the problem;
- Be persuasive when you write this section so that you can drive your point home;
- Be sure to bring together theory and what you have learned throughout your course to support your recommendations.
- Provide an explanation of what must be done, who should take action, and when the solution should be carried out;
- Where relevant, you should provide an estimate of the cost in implementing the solution, including both the financial investment and the cost in terms of time.
- References. While you generally do not need to refer to many external sources when writing a case study analysis, you might use a few. When you do, you will need to properly reference these sources, which is most often done in one of the main citation styles, including APA, MLA, or Harvard. There is plenty of help when citing references, and you can follow these APA guidelines , these MLA guidelines , or these Harvard guidelines .
- Appendices. This is the section you include after your case study analysis if you used any original data in the report. These data, presented as charts, graphs, and tables, are included here because to present them in the main body of the analysis would be disruptive to the reader. The University of Southern California provides a great description of appendices and when to make use of them.
When you’ve finished your first draft, be sure to proofread it. Look not only for potential grammar and spelling errors but also for discrepancies or holes in your argument.
You should also know what you need to avoid when writing your analysis.
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🙅 Things to Avoid in Case Analysis
Whenever you deal with a case study, remember that there are some pitfalls to avoid! Beware of the following mistakes:
- Excessive use of colloquial language . Even though it is a study of an actual case, it should sound formal.
- Lack of statistical data . Give all the important data, both in percentages and in numbers.
- Excessive details. State only the most significant facts, rather than drowning the reader in every fact you find.
- Inconsistency in the methods you have used . In a case study, theory plays a relatively small part, so you must develop a specific case study research methodology.
- Trivial means of research . It is critical that you design your own case study research method in whatever form best suits your analysis, such as questionnaires and surveys.
It is useful to see a few examples of case analysis papers. After all, a sample case study report can provide you with some context so you can see how to approach each aspect of your paper.
👀 Case Study Examples for Students
It might be easier to understand how a case study analysis works if you have an example to look at. Fortunately, examples of case studies are easy to come by. Take a look at this video for a sample case study analysis for the Coca-Cola Company.
If you want another example, then take a look at the one below!
Business Case Analysis: Example
CRM’s primary focus is customers and customer perception of the brand or the company. The focus may shift depending on customers’ needs. The main points that Center Parcs should consider are an increase in customer satisfaction and its market share. Both of these points will enhance customer perception of the product as a product of value. Increased customer satisfaction will indicate that the company provides quality services, and increased market share can reduce the number of switching (or leaving) customers, thus fostering customer loyalty.
Case Study Topics
- Equifax case study: the importance of cybersecurity measures .
- Study a case illustrating ethical issues of medical research.
- Examine the case describing the complications connected with nursing and residential care.
- Analyze the competitive strategy of Delta Airlines .
- Present a case study of an ethical dilemma showing the conflict between the spirit and the letter of the law.
- Explore the aspects of Starbucks’ marketing strategyin a case study.
- Research a case of community-based clinic organization and development.
- Customer service of United Airlines: a case study .
- Analyze a specific schizophrenia case and provide your recommendations.
- Provide a case study of a patient with hyperglycemia.
- Examine the growth strategy of United Healthcare.
- Present a case study demonstrating ethical issues in business .
- Study a case of the 5% shareholding rule application and its impact on the company.
- Case study of post-traumatic stress disorder .
- Analyze a case examining the issues of cross-cultural management .
- Write a case study exploring the ethical issues the finance manager of a long-term care facility can face and the possible reaction to them.
- Write a case study analyzing the aspects of a new president of a firm election.
- Discuss the specifics of supply chain management in the case of Tehindo company.
- Study a case of a life crisis in a family and the ways to cope with it.
- Case study of Tea Leaves and More: supply chain issues .
- Explore the case of ketogenic diet implementation among sportspeople.
- Analyze the case of Webster Jewelry shop and suggest some changes.
- Examine the unique aspects of Tea and More brand management .
- Adidas case study: an ethical dilemma .
- Research the challenges of Brazos Valley Food Bank and suggest possible solutions.
- Describe the case of dark web monitoring for business.
- Study a case of permissive parenting style .
- Case study of Starbucks employees .
- Analyze a case of workplace discrimination and suggest a strategy to avoid it.
- Examine a case of the consumer decision-making process and define the factors that influence it.
- Present a case study of Netflix illustrating the crucial role of management innovation for company development.
- Discuss a case describing a workplace ethical issue and propose ways to resolve it.
- Case study of the 2008 financial crisis: Graham’s value investing principles in the modern economic climate.
- Write a case study analyzing the harmful consequences of communication issues in a virtual team .
- Analyze a case that highlights the importance of a proper functional currency choice.
- Examine the case of Hitachi Power Systems management.
- Present a case study of medication research in a healthcare facility.
- Study the case of Fiji Water and the challenges the brand faces.
- Research a social problem case and suggest a solution.
- Analyze a case that reveals the connection between alcohol use and borderline personality disorder .
- Transglobal Airline case study: break-even analysis.
- Examine the case of Chiquita Brands International from the moral and business ethics points of view.
- Present a case study of applying for Social Security benefits.
- Study the case of a mass hacker attack on Microsoft clients and suggest possible ways to prevent future attacks.
- Case study of leadership effectiveness .
- Analyze a case presenting a clinical moral dilemma and propose ways to resolve it.
- Describe the case of Cowbell Brewing Company and discuss the strategy that made them successful.
- Write a case study of WeWork company and analyze the strengths and weaknesses of its strategy.
- Case study of medical ethical decision-making.
- Study the case of The Georges hotel and suggest ways to overcome its managerial issues.
🏁 Concluding Remarks
Writing a case study analysis can seem incredibly overwhelming, especially if you have never done it before. Just remember, you can do it provided you follow a plan, keep to the format described here, and study at least one case analysis example.
If you still need help analyzing a case study, your professor is always available to answer your questions and point you in the right direction. You can also get help with any aspect of the project from a custom writing company. Just tackle the research and hand over the writing, write a rough draft and have it checked by a professional, or completely hand the project off to an expert writer.
Regardless of the path you choose, you will turn in something of which you can be proud!
✏️ Case Study Analysis FAQ
Students (especially those who study business) often need to write a case study analysis. It is a kind of report that describes a business case. It includes multiple aspects, for example, the problems that exist, possible solutions, forecasts, etc.
There should be 3 main points covered in a case study analysis:
- The challenge(s) description,
- Possible solutions,
- Outcomes (real and/or foreseen).
Firstly, study some examples available online and in the library. Case study analysis should be a well-structured paper with all the integral components in place. Thus, you might want to use a template and/or an outline to start correctly.
A case study analysis is a popular task for business students. They typically hand it in the format of a paper with several integral components:
- Description of the problem
- Possible ways out
- Results and/or forecasts
Students sometimes tell about the outcome of their research within an oral presentation.
- Case Study: Academia
- Windows of vulnerability: a case study analysis (IEEE)
- A (Very) Brief Refresher on the Case Study Method: SAGE
- The case study approach: Medical Research Methodology
- Strengths and Limitations of Case Studies: Stanford University
- A Sample APA Paper: Radford University
- How to Write a Case Study APA Style: Seattle PI
- The Case Analysis: GVSU
- How to Outline: Purdue OWL
- Incorporating Interview Data: UW-Madison Writing Center
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Quite an impressive piece The steps and procedures outlined here are well detailed and the examples facilitates understanding.
Thank you for the great feedback, Collins!
it was very helpful. I have an assessment to write where in I need to mention different effective components that are needed to compile a high quality case study assessment.
Glad you liked our article! Your opinion means so much for us!
It is very important and helpful.
Thanks for the feedback, Abraham! Your opinion is very important for us!
Thanks a lot. A knowledge shared with a structured template. Stay the course
Thanks for the feedback!
Thanks for this valuable knowledge.I loved this. keep sharing. to know more about click Air India Case Study – Why Air India failed ?
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This is going to be a great help in my monthly analysis requirements for my subject. Thank you so much.
Thank you very much for this insightful guidelines… It has really been a great tool for writing my project. Thanks once again.
We are so glad to hear that! Thank you for your feedback!
This article was very helpful, even though I’ll have a clearer mind only after I do the case study myself but I felt very much motivated after reading this, as now I can at least have a plan of what to do compared to the clueless me I was before I read it. I hope if I have any questions or doubts about doing a case study I can clear it out here.
Sarmistha, I’m happy you found the article helpful 🙂
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What Is a Case Study?
An in-depth study of one person, group, or event
Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."
Cara Lustik is a fact-checker and copywriter.
Verywell / Colleen Tighe
Benefits and Limitations
Types of case studies, how to write a case study.
A case study is an in-depth study of one person, group, or event. In a case study, nearly every aspect of the subject's life and history is analyzed to seek patterns and causes of behavior. Case studies can be used in various fields, including psychology, medicine, education, anthropology, political science, and social work.
The purpose of a case study is to learn as much as possible about an individual or group so that the information can be generalized to many others. Unfortunately, case studies tend to be highly subjective, and it is sometimes difficult to generalize results to a larger population.
While case studies focus on a single individual or group, they follow a format similar to other types of psychology writing. If you are writing a case study, it is important to follow the rules of APA format .
A case study can have both strengths and weaknesses. Researchers must consider these pros and cons before deciding if this type of study is appropriate for their needs.
One of the greatest advantages of a case study is that it allows researchers to investigate things that are often difficult to impossible to replicate in a lab. Some other benefits of a case study:
- Allows researchers to collect a great deal of information
- Give researchers the chance to collect information on rare or unusual cases
- Permits researchers to develop hypotheses that can be explored in experimental research
On the negative side, a case study:
- Cannot necessarily be generalized to the larger population
- Cannot demonstrate cause and effect
- May not be scientifically rigorous
- Can lead to bias
Researchers may choose to perform a case study if they are interested in exploring a unique or recently discovered phenomenon. The insights gained from such research can help the researchers develop additional ideas and study questions that might be explored in future studies.
However, it is important to remember that the insights gained from case studies cannot be used to determine cause and effect relationships between variables. However, case studies may be used to develop hypotheses that can then be addressed in experimental research.
Case Study Examples
There have been a number of notable case studies in the history of psychology. Much of Freud's work and theories were developed through the use of individual case studies. Some great examples of case studies in psychology include:
- Anna O : Anna O. was a pseudonym of a woman named Bertha Pappenheim, a patient of a physician named Josef Breuer. While she was never a patient of Freud's, Freud and Breuer discussed her case extensively. The woman was experiencing symptoms of a condition that was then known as hysteria and found that talking about her problems helped relieve her symptoms. Her case played an important part in the development of talk therapy as an approach to mental health treatment.
- Phineas Gage : Phineas Gage was a railroad employee who experienced a terrible accident in which an explosion sent a metal rod through his skull, damaging important portions of his brain. Gage recovered from his accident but was left with serious changes in both personality and behavior.
- Genie : Genie was a young girl subjected to horrific abuse and isolation. The case study of Genie allowed researchers to study whether language could be taught even after critical periods for language development had been missed. Her case also served as an example of how scientific research may interfere with treatment and lead to further abuse of vulnerable individuals.
Such cases demonstrate how case research can be used to study things that researchers could not replicate in experimental settings. In Genie's case, her horrific abuse had denied her the opportunity to learn language at critical points in her development.
This is clearly not something that researchers could ethically replicate, but conducting a case study on Genie allowed researchers the chance to study phenomena that are otherwise impossible to reproduce.
There are a few different types of case studies that psychologists and other researchers might utilize:
- Collective case studies : These involve studying a group of individuals. Researchers might study a group of people in a certain setting or look at an entire community. For example, psychologists might explore how access to resources in a community has affected the collective mental well-being of those living there.
- Descriptive case studies : These involve starting with a descriptive theory. The subjects are then observed, and the information gathered is compared to the pre-existing theory.
- Explanatory case studies : These are often used to do causal investigations. In other words, researchers are interested in looking at factors that may have caused certain things to occur.
- Exploratory case studies : These are sometimes used as a prelude to further, more in-depth research. This allows researchers to gather more information before developing their research questions and hypotheses .
- Instrumental case studies : These occur when the individual or group allows researchers to understand more than what is initially obvious to observers.
- Intrinsic case studies : This type of case study is when the researcher has a personal interest in the case. Jean Piaget's observations of his own children are good examples of how an intrinsic cast study can contribute to the development of a psychological theory.
The three main case study types often used are intrinsic, instrumental, and collective. Intrinsic case studies are useful for learning about unique cases. Instrumental case studies help look at an individual to learn more about a broader issue. A collective case study can be useful for looking at several cases simultaneously.
The type of case study that psychology researchers utilize depends on the unique characteristics of the situation as well as the case itself.
There are also different methods that can be used to conduct a case study, including prospective and retrospective case study methods.
Prospective case study methods are those in which an individual or group of people is observed in order to determine outcomes. For example, a group of individuals might be watched over an extended period of time to observe the progression of a particular disease.
Retrospective case study methods involve looking at historical information. For example, researchers might start with an outcome, such as a disease, and then work their way backward to look at information about the individual's life to determine risk factors that may have contributed to the onset of the illness.
Where to Find Data
There are a number of different sources and methods that researchers can use to gather information about an individual or group. Six major sources that have been identified by researchers are:
- Archival records : Census records, survey records, and name lists are examples of archival records.
- Direct observation : This strategy involves observing the subject, often in a natural setting . While an individual observer is sometimes used, it is more common to utilize a group of observers.
- Documents : Letters, newspaper articles, administrative records, etc., are the types of documents often used as sources.
- Interviews : Interviews are one of the most important methods for gathering information in case studies. An interview can involve structured survey questions or more open-ended questions.
- Participant observation : When the researcher serves as a participant in events and observes the actions and outcomes, it is called participant observation.
- Physical artifacts : Tools, objects, instruments, and other artifacts are often observed during a direct observation of the subject.
Section 1: A Case History
This section will have the following structure and content:
Background information : The first section of your paper will present your client's background. Include factors such as age, gender, work, health status, family mental health history, family and social relationships, drug and alcohol history, life difficulties, goals, and coping skills and weaknesses.
Description of the presenting problem : In the next section of your case study, you will describe the problem or symptoms that the client presented with.
Describe any physical, emotional, or sensory symptoms reported by the client. Thoughts, feelings, and perceptions related to the symptoms should also be noted. Any screening or diagnostic assessments that are used should also be described in detail and all scores reported.
Your diagnosis : Provide your diagnosis and give the appropriate Diagnostic and Statistical Manual code. Explain how you reached your diagnosis, how the client's symptoms fit the diagnostic criteria for the disorder(s), or any possible difficulties in reaching a diagnosis.
Section 2: Treatment Plan
This portion of the paper will address the chosen treatment for the condition. This might also include the theoretical basis for the chosen treatment or any other evidence that might exist to support why this approach was chosen.
- Cognitive behavioral approach : Explain how a cognitive behavioral therapist would approach treatment. Offer background information on cognitive behavioral therapy and describe the treatment sessions, client response, and outcome of this type of treatment. Make note of any difficulties or successes encountered by your client during treatment.
- Humanistic approach : Describe a humanistic approach that could be used to treat your client, such as client-centered therapy . Provide information on the type of treatment you chose, the client's reaction to the treatment, and the end result of this approach. Explain why the treatment was successful or unsuccessful.
- Psychoanalytic approach : Describe how a psychoanalytic therapist would view the client's problem. Provide some background on the psychoanalytic approach and cite relevant references. Explain how psychoanalytic therapy would be used to treat the client, how the client would respond to therapy, and the effectiveness of this treatment approach.
- Pharmacological approach : If treatment primarily involves the use of medications, explain which medications were used and why. Provide background on the effectiveness of these medications and how monotherapy may compare with an approach that combines medications with therapy or other treatments.
This section of a case study should also include information about the treatment goals, process, and outcomes.
When you are writing a case study, you should also include a section where you discuss the case study itself, including the strengths and limitiations of the study. You should note how the findings of your case study might support previous research.
In your discussion section, you should also describe some of the implications of your case study. What ideas or findings might require further exploration? How might researchers go about exploring some of these questions in additional studies?
Here are a few additional pointers to keep in mind when formatting your case study:
- Never refer to the subject of your case study as "the client." Instead, their name or a pseudonym.
- Read examples of case studies to gain an idea about the style and format.
- Remember to use APA format when citing references .
A Word From Verywell
Case studies can be a useful research tool, but they need to be used wisely. In many cases, they are best utilized in situations where conducting an experiment would be difficult or impossible. They are helpful for looking at unique situations and allow researchers to gather a great deal of information about a specific individual or group of people.
If you have been directed to write a case study for a psychology course, be sure to check with your instructor for any specific guidelines that you are required to follow. If you are writing your case study for professional publication, be sure to check with the publisher for their specific guidelines for submitting a case study.
Simply Psychology. Case Study Method .
Crowe S, Cresswell K, Robertson A, Huby G, Avery A, Sheikh A. The case study approach . BMC Med Res Methodol . 2011 Jun 27;11:100. doi:10.1186/1471-2288-11-100
Gagnon, Yves-Chantal. The Case Study as Research Method: A Practical Handbook . Canada, Chicago Review Press Incorporated DBA Independent Pub Group, 2010.
Yin, Robert K. Case Study Research and Applications: Design and Methods . United States, SAGE Publications, 2017.
By Kendra Cherry, MSEd Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."
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How to Build a Compelling Problem Statement (+Case Study)
Your pipeline’s ‘Closed Lost’ column is filled with prospects who expressed the exact same pain points as your customers.
Both of these groups started from the same place — a list of pains that align with your product. But they ended their buying journey in two different places.
So what gives? How does a picture-perfect deal, with a prospect whose problems are a match for your product, fall through?
Nobody cared (enough).
Really. Sometimes, a competitor steals the deal. Others times, a budget gets re-allocated. But more often than not, your deal just slipped down the priority list. Your champion couldn’t get their team interested. The decider didn’t take the time to take a look.
That’s because your champion didn’t tell a compelling story that cut through the clutter .
Some champions are natural storytellers. They hit all the high notes. They know how to make their team lean in a little closer. But other buyers need your help.
They need a specific, compelling problem statement that grabs and holds attention.
Here’s how to create one.
The Formula for Compelling Problem Statements
First, I’ll give you the formula. Then, we’ll break down each of its parts.
Costs Every [Frequency], at least [Reach] are [Pain], costing us [Impact].
Consequences That means [Implication #2]. If that’s not addressed by [Timeline], then [Implication #3].
Part 1: Focus on Costs
We all feel more upset if we lose $10, than we feel happy if we find $10.
That’s the basic idea of “Loss Aversion.” We feel a greater pressure to avoid losses than we do to acquire the equivalent gain. It’s also why you should build your problem statement around losses.
Highlight active or immanent losses first, before calling out new opportunities.
To make the loss compelling, be specific. And to be specific, quantify the impact of your buyer’s problem whenever possible. A simple way to estimate the impact is:
Don’t give your best guess. Ask your buyer what their guess is. Then, write it down with them. Here are a few examples, with some made up numbers:
Once you’ve quantified the problem, don’t assume the loss is meaningful .
For example, if you’re selling to the enterprise, beware of The Law of Large Numbers. Pointing out a $1M loss is pointing out 0.0001% in a business that does $10B in annual revenue.
Instead, ask questions like:
- How does this estimate of [X] compare to what you expected to see?
- How do you think [decision maker] would react to seeing this number?
- Are there other problems your team’s facing that are more pressing than this?
Part 2: Highlight Consequences
You’d be surprised what overwhelm and burnout can force us to live with. We grow numb to our problems, and apathy becomes a perfectly acceptable solution.
But often, that’s because we can’t see the full consequences of our inaction. So once you’ve quantified the loss (above), press into its implications. There are three levels of consequences you’ll want to speak to:
- Functional Problems: “It takes a long time to build customer surveys and analyze the data.”
- Strategic Problems: “We’re not sure which customers are a churn risk before their renewal date.”
- Personal Problems: “Me, or someone on my team, may lose our job if renewal revenue declines.”
Now, nobody likes talking consequences. So generally, it’s best to lead your buyers to them with questions — not statements. Questions that start by asking:
- What happens if...
- What does this mean for...
- How will that affect...
Bringing It All Together
If your head is spinning with “math” right now, your buyer’s will be too.
While you’ll quickly become fluent in problem statements using this framework, your champion will need some help. So from here, make sure to:
- Put their story to the test. After you’ve drawn out all the component parts with your champion, ask them to play back the story. Is it compelling? Is their delivery confident?
- Write it out for them. Give them something to refer back to during a conversation, and to send around to their team afterwards.
- Develop a problem statement process. Getting the data you need to turn a minor-annoyance into a can’t-ignore mega issue may require some creativity. Here’s a case study on that, below.
[Case Study] “My board definitely needs to see this.”
The breakthrough that let one my past sales teams cross the chasm from $500K, to $5M, in ARR was the process for enabling our champions with a can’t-ignore problem statement.
Here’s the full story.
We sold marketing and fundraising software to nonprofits. CRM, landing pages, payments, email, text, video, all-in-one. For context, our market was the 1.2M nonprofits raising close to $500 B every year.
A portion of this funding comes from foundations. Foundations are organizations that exist to give out large chunks of money to nonprofits called “grants.” These grants are great when you get them, but they’re not sustainable.
For example, a $500K grant needs to be replaced with a wider group of individual donors before it’s fully spent. Otherwise, the nonprofit can’t keep funding their programs and payroll.
When nonprofits don’t raise money from individuals, that’s a problem. Think of it like investing in a startup. If the startup doesn’t find customers to generate cash — aside from raising more venture funding — the investment was for nothing. There’s no revenue to keep the show going.
Collecting the Right Data
I had created a champion out of the Head of Grantmaking at one of the nation’s largest family foundations. They grant out more than $50M to nonprofits every year, and she saw the problem we were solving.
She knew our software could help her nonprofits raise more funding, but buying software for 20 nonprofits would be a significant, six-figure deal — which needed board approval. What’s more, her board had never funded a for-profit company’s software before. Generally, nonprofits are skeptical of for-profits, regardless of their social good.
We were rolling a boulder uphill, and needed a compelling story. We were chatting one day when I said, “This may be crazy. But what if we asked all your nonprofits for their fundraising data, to show your board?”
She was up to give it a shot. So next, I:
- Wrote a three-part email campaign requesting her nonprofits help her out with a survey.
- Signed up for Typeform and built out a simple survey to collect fundraising data.
- Opened up a free Mailchimp account and built out the survey campaign.
- Recorded a Loom video that showed my champion how to upload a list of emails and hit “send.”
- Downloaded all the survey responses a week later and crunched the data in Excel.
- Put together a short, 2-page report for the next board meeting packet.
Crafting the Problem Statement
That report shared this statement:
Every year, at least 200 of the Foundation’s nonprofits raise less than 20% of their annual budget from individual donors, which is costing the Foundation more than $10M in follow-on funding to keep them operational. This means the programs we support are at risk of closing, if we don’t continue to fund them. If that’s not addressed inside this fiscal year, we’ll be unable to allocate this funding to new initiatives outlined in the strategic plan we’re voting on today.
When my champion saw this, she immediately said, “ My board needs to see this .”
Here’s the end of the story.
This paragraph — not a case study, deck, or demo — helped my champion closed the deal.
That deal not only pushed us over quota for the month, it opened up a whole new market segment. We could now point to their foundation, and the 20 nonprofits they brought with them, as one of our customers. That gave us credibility to start engaging with other foundations.
In fact, we hired on a new FTE for our sales enablement team, who built out and perfected that survey process. It became a “free assessment” we gave to every champion in our pipeline.
Like what you're reading? Subscribe to the Buyer Enablement Newsletter. You'll get the latest posts, frameworks, and winning plays sent right to your inbox 2X per month.
Nate is the CEO & Co-Founder of Fluint, the Buyer Enablement platform built for enterprise sales teams. He's a 3X sales leader, 2x founder, and loves his wife, daughter, dark chocolate, and the Rocky Mountains.
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Sell with committed champions, and co-create the written content they'll use to sell when you're not in the room.
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How to Write an Effective Problem Statement
Published: April 9, 2018 by Rod Morgan
Continuous improvement specialists are challenged to solve problems for their organizations or clients. They have acquired a wide array of tools, methods and techniques for that purpose.
If continuous improvement practitioners are able to establish the winning conditions for change, they can look forward to successful outcomes. However, the devil is in the details, making continuous improvement jobs interesting and challenging.
One of those “little devils” that often gets overlooked is the need to construct an effective problem statement at the start of any improvement project.
What Is a Problem Statement?
Adapted from an article by Alan Bryman in the International Journal of Social Research Methodology : A problem is a statement about an area of concern, a condition to be improved upon, a difficulty to be eliminated, or a troubling question that exists in theory or in practice that points to the need for meaningful understanding and deliberate investigation.
Why Is It So Hard to Write an Effective Problem Statement?
One of the challenges in writing a great problem statement is the distractions that can come from a variety of sources.
- Symptoms associated with the problem add to the confusion when trying to describe a problem. For example, arriving at the physician’s office and stating, “Doctor, I am experiencing pain in the back of my thigh down to the lower part of my leg! I need you to ‘fix’ my leg!” It is only after a thoughtful evaluation that the doctor concludes that your problem lies with your sciatic nerve and originates in your lower back.
- Solutions are often an early consideration when wrestling with a problem. When one is faced with a problem, alleviating that pain as quickly as possible is a natural, almost reflexive, action. It is, however, extremely important to avoid jumping to solutions until a profound understanding of the current state is achieved.
- The search for causes of your pain is a natural reaction that also needs to be avoided when first describing a problem. Establishing root cause will be a part of the ensuing investigative procedure but should be reserved for the appropriate time in the lifecycle of the problem-solving method.
- Blame is also a natural reflex when one is afflicted with a problem. A quote attributed to John Burroughs, American naturalist and nature essayist, may be all that needs to be said on this subject: “You can get discouraged many times, but you are not a failure until you begin to blame somebody else and stop trying.”
In short, a great problem statement must be free of causes, solutions and blame, and careful consideration must be given to ensure symptoms do not become a distraction.
What Is in a Problem Statement?
A problem statement should describe an undesirable gap between the current-state level of performance and the desired future-state level of performance. A problem statement should include absolute or relative measures of the problem that quantify that gap, but should not include possible causes or solutions!
Key elements of an effective problem statement include:
- Gap : Identify the gap (pain) that exists today.
- Timeframe, location and trend : Describe when and where the problem was first observed and what kind of trend it is following.
- Impact : Quantify the gap (cost, time, quality, environmental, personal, etc.)
- Importance : To the organization, the individual, etc. to better understand the urgency.
What Method Can I Employ to Author a Great Problem Statement?
The ability to articulate an effective problem statement is not simply a business skill – it is a life skill. How can children, youth and adults begin to solve problems if they haven’t been able to adequately describe them? This holds true for continuous improvement specialists.
The 5W2H (what, when, where, why, who, how, how much) method is deceptively simple. Ask the right questions in the right order and let the answers lead you to a great problem statement.
Example of Developing a Problem Statement
Let’s walk through the 5W2H method for manufacturing and call center examples.
Question 1 : What is the problem that needs to be solved?
- Manufacturer : Window frames and parts are ending up in the assembly department missing required weep holes or slots.
- Call center : The assessment call is too complex, time consuming and administratively heavy, resulting in a diminished experience for the client as well as the staff member performing the work.
Question 2 : Why is it a problem? (highlight the pain)
- Manufacturer : If identified (visual inspection), the affected parts must be sent back for rework, thereby increasing the overall cost of manufacturing, creating higher inventory levels (WIP) and increasing risk since some of the defects may not be detected until later in the process, or worse, they may end up being incorrectly shipped to the job sites.
- Call center : This results in higher variability and length of call handling time, clients having to repeat their “story” as the move through the assessment and downstream case worker (meeting) process, clients providing more information than may be required, increased workload for the assessment worker and increased wait times in the (telephone) queue. The overall impact is reduced service levels as well as diminished client and assessment worker experience.
Question 3 : Where is the problem observed? (location, products)
- Manufacturer : This problem is observed in the assembly department, downstream departments as well as ultimately in the field with customer complaints and costly field repairs and replacements.
- Call center : This problem is observed in all assessment calls but will vary in magnitude depending on the client (needs and circumstance), assessment worker (experience) and other factors that contribute to variation in the handling of assessment calls.
Question 4 : Who is impacted? (customers, businesses, departments)
- Manufacturer : This problem affects the assembly department that is tasked with trying to inspect for the error and react accordingly, rework occurring in the department/work cell responsible for weep holes and slots, the company as a whole in terms of cost, brand and reputation, and, most importantly, the customer who is affected by this problem if it makes it to the field.
- Call center : This affects the client associated with the call, clients waiting in the queue, client’s families, and the organization and employers in the community being served.
Question 5 : When was the problem first observed?
- Manufacturer : This has been an ongoing issue going back as far as memory serves in the long-term employees, but with increased volume and more customization and higher complexity in design, the impact and severity of this problem has increased rapidly over the last two years.
- Call center : This is a latent problem that has always existed but has become more evident with recent changes, including changes in funding, legislation, demand for services, client demographics and recent integration efforts in the organization as part of their ongoing commitment to continuous improvement of service pathways and client experience.
Question 6 : How is the problem observed? (symptoms)
- Manufacturer : Customer (in-field installation and service) complaints, increased warranty costs, manufacturing non-conformance reports (NCR), complaints from assembly department team and increased costs in fabrication.
- Call center : This problem is observed in the variation in call-handling times, wait times in the telephone queue, call abandon rates, increased stress in front-line staff (workload and client anxiety/dissatisfaction) and ambiguity in call handling protocols.
Question 7 : How often is the problem observed? (error rate, magnitude, trend)
- Manufacturer : There is an observed 62,000 parts per million (PPM) for this specific defect, taking into consideration rework completed in-house and observed defects in the field. The PPM is derived from the number of weeping holes and slots required per unit assembly versus the actual number of deficiencies overall observed for the same number of units.
- Call center : This is a daily operational occurrence but increases in call complexity related to changes in the knowledge base – multiple programs and changes in the environment (client demographics and needs/circumstances, legislation, etc.) – have resulted in an increase in severity and stress on the system.
Think of a problem you have encountered in your personal or professional life, or a problem you are currently tasked to solve. Employ the preceding method of asking seven simple questions and see where it takes you.
Teach this simple and effective method to your friends, colleagues and family. Writing problem statements truly is a life skill and, when employed correctly, will place anyone in good stead to start solving the problem.
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9+ SAMPLE Case Study Problem Statement in PDF
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Formal Case Study Problem Statement
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FREE 3+ Case Analysis Problem Statement Samples in PDF | DOC
It is almost inevitable to have no obstacles when it comes to the cases of projects or managements. Because of this very reason, we have researchers that use problem statements to address the issues. These Case Analysis Problem Statements aim to make the best use of the available data. Of course, these statements require steps and components, which we will cover in this article. It’s not so simple; therefore, we’ve prepared more than three Free Case Analysis Problem Statements for your convenience! All you’ve got to do is download and edit them! For more information, then you are advised to keep on reading.
Case Analysis Problem Statement
3+ case analysis problem statement samples, 1. case study analysis problem statement, 2. business case analysis problem statement, 3. case-control analysis problem statement, 4. case analysis team problem statement, what is a case analysis problem statement, how to make a case analysis problem statement, 1. ready the case., 2. write the draft., 3. review the draft., 4. polish and wrap it up., how long does a case analysis take, what are the issues with case analysis, is there a difference between a case study and a case analysis.
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If problem statements are, in general, used to fix issues, then examining a business problem is the purpose of Case Analysis Problem Statements. Alongside this, this kind of problem statements look for solutions to the problem, and with the help of back-up data, propose the best one for the respective circumstances. The one tasked to formulate this problem statement must utilize notes, important findings, and highlight the main problems. However, it is necessary to remember that they don’t just collect cold-hard facts, but also apply other credible kinds of information.
If you’re interested in making a case analysis problem statement, you can use the free templates listed above so that you don’t have to write one from scratch. Other than that, follow these steps to create your own problem statement:
In readying the case, you must list down every important detail, and of course, it has to be factual. Since this is a problem statement, the main problems should be noted and narrowed down. Question why the problems are there in the first place, how they matter, and who could’ve caused them. Do thorough research to both provide supporting points and discover ways to fix the problems. As you would do with the problems, pick the most effective solution considering the circumstance.
In starting the draft, you should again pinpoint the case’s main issues and write a statement that summarizes the findings of your investigation in 1–2 sentences. Employ background information, relevant facts, and the most critical topics to set the scenario. Hereafter, outline the alternative options and explain why they weren’t chosen. This, then, would lead to the single, concrete, and workable solution. State the reasons why it is so with the help of data. Aside from research, put everything you’ve learned and experienced into practice. Determine and discuss specific tactics for achieving the proposed solution’s objectives. And if necessary, suggest further steps to address some of the issues.
There are things to remember when reviewing draft. To give structure to the analysis and support to conclusions, use concepts, theories, and factual data, all of which would avoid the act of blaming. Also make sure that you’re using phrases and concepts correctly, and that you don’t make any assumptions that aren’t supported by the facts in the case.
Those listed in the previous step should give you a proper idea on what to polish in your statement. The most important thing is that you’ve presented it in a clear and direct manner, backed up by strong data. There should also be no components that are missed.
While the instructions and template provide a lot of information, your final case analysis should only be 500 to 1,500 words long.
Scientific rigor is lacking, and there is little basis for extrapolating results to a larger population. The case study may be influenced by the researchers’ own subjective feelings.
The “case” being researched in case study research could be an individual, organization, event, or action that occurred at a given time and place. You must explore a business problem, examine potential solutions, and offer the most effective answer with supporting evidence in a case study analysis.
To gain improvement not only in business, but also in other aspects of life, you should know what specifically is needing to be fixed. We, then, should be grateful that we have problem statements that distinguish the present situation from the targeted future and anything that might cause hindrance in between the two. It can offer assistance guarantee everybody involved knows what the issue they ought to address is and why it is critical to solve it. We hope that our accessible Case Analysis Problem Statement Samples will lighten up your load!
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Crafting an Effective iHuman Problem Statement
In iHuman case studies, a well-defined problem statement sets the stage for accurate diagnosis and effective patient care. It acts as a compass, guiding healthcare professionals through the complex process of identifying and resolving medical issues. This article provides a step-by-step guide on how to write an impactful ihuman problem statement. But first, let us understand what a problem statement is.
What is an ihuman problem statement
An iHuman problem statement refers to a concise and clear description of the main issue or concern presented in a specific case study or patient encounter. It helps to identify the primary problem or reason for seeking medical attention, guiding the diagnostic and treatment process.
An i-Human problem statement typically includes relevant information about the patient’s symptoms, medical history, and any significant findings from the physical examination. It aims to provide a focused description of the problem that needs to be addressed.
A well-written iHuman problem statement should be specific, measurable, and objective. It should capture the key aspects of the patient’s condition or complaint, highlighting the primary concern that requires further evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment. The problem statement serves as a guide for the subsequent steps in the case study, helping the healthcare provider or student to formulate appropriate hypotheses, order relevant tests, and make informed decisions regarding patient care.
Step 1: Understand the Case
Before crafting a problem statement , it is essential to thoroughly understand the iHuman case. Carefully review the patient’s history, symptoms, diagnostic results, and any relevant medical information. Gain a comprehensive understanding of the case’s context to identify the central problem.
Step 2: Identify the Main Issue
Based on your analysis of the case, pinpoint the primary problem or concern that the patient is experiencing. It could be a specific medical condition, an undiagnosed illness, a treatment complication, or a challenging diagnostic dilemma. The problem statement should capture the core issue that requires resolution.
Step 3: Be Clear and Specific
A well-crafted problem statement is clear, concise, and specific. Avoid using vague or ambiguous language that could lead to confusion. Focus on precisely articulating the patient’s main challenge or the specific diagnostic question that needs to be answered.
Step 4: Include Pertinent Information
Provide relevant details about the patient’s condition, symptoms, medical history, and any other pertinent information. These details help create a comprehensive picture of the patient’s situation, enabling healthcare professionals to better understand the problem and make informed decisions.
Step 5: Focus on the Impact
Highlight the impact of the problem on the patient’s well-being and overall healthcare. Consider the potential consequences or risks associated with the problem. Demonstrating the significance of finding a solution underscores the urgency of resolving the issue.
Step 6: Use Objective Language
Maintain an objective and neutral tone in your problem statement. Base your statement on factual information and evidence from the case study rather than personal opinions or assumptions. This ensures that the problem statement remains unbiased and rooted in the patient’s specific circumstances.
Step 7: Revise and Refine
Review your problem statement and make necessary revisions to enhance clarity, precision, and conciseness. Ensure that it accurately represents the central problem and aligns with the details presented in the case study. Seek feedback from peers or instructors to ensure its effectiveness.
iHuman Problem Statement Sample
Mr. fowler problem statement.
The problem for Mr. Fowler is the acute kidney injury (AKI) indicated by an elevated creatinine level of 3.2 mg/dL, accompanied by symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, poor oral intake, fatigue, decreased urine volume, orthostatic hypotension, and tachycardia. Additionally, Mr. Fowler’s medical history reveals a significant event of lifting a heavy object resulting in low back pain one week prior, which was followed by self-medication with NSAIDs (Naproxen BID). His pre-existing mild chronic renal disease with albuminuria further complicates the situation.
The primary concern is to determine the underlying cause of the AKI and address it promptly to prevent further deterioration of renal function. The problem statement highlights the need to investigate the potential link between the recent use of NSAIDs, the lifting incident, and the development of AKI. It also emphasizes the importance of assessing other possible contributing factors such as medication interactions, comorbidities, and dehydration.
Moreover, the problem statement highlights the need to evaluate Mr. Fowler’s overall clinical condition, including vital signs, physical examination findings, and laboratory results. It emphasizes the importance of identifying any additional symptoms or signs that may provide further insights into the etiology of the AKI.
Where can I get an ihuman problem statement writing services?
If you’re looking for iHuman problem statement writing services , I recommend checking out i-humancasestudyanswers.com. They specialize in providing comprehensive assistance with i-Human case studies, including writing problem statements.
i-humancasestudyanswers.com is a trusted platform that offers professional writing services tailored specifically to i-Human case studies. They have a team of experienced writers who are well-versed in healthcare and have in-depth knowledge of the i-Human platform.
By availing their services, you can expect to receive well-crafted problem statements that accurately reflect the case scenario and highlight the key issues to be addressed. Their writers follow a systematic approach to ensure that the problem statement is concise, focused, and sets the foundation for a thorough analysis of the case.
To get started, you can visit their website and explore their services. They often provide clear instructions on how to place an order and provide the necessary details for your specific case study. You can also reach out to their customer support team for any inquiries or additional information.
Remember to provide all the relevant information and guidelines when submitting your order to ensure that the ihuman problem statement aligns with your requirements. With i-humancasestudyanswers.com, you can expect professional assistance that will enhance your i-Human case study experience and help you excel in your academic pursuits.
What is an i-Human problem statement?
An i-Human problem statement is a concise and focused statement that outlines the primary issue or challenge in a patient case study. It serves as the foundation for the diagnostic process and guides the student in formulating an appropriate plan of action.
Why is a problem statement important in i-Human case studies?
The problem statement plays a crucial role in i-Human case studies as it helps to define the problem and establish a clear direction for the analysis. It ensures that students focus their attention on the relevant aspects of the case and avoid getting sidetracked by irrelevant information. The problem statement also serves as a reference point throughout the case study, allowing students to evaluate their decisions and interventions against the identified problem.
Can I get professional help with writing an i-Human problem statement?
Absolutely! If you find it challenging to formulate an effective problem statement for your i-Human case study, professional writing services like i-humancasestudyanswers.com can provide expert assistance. These services have experienced writers who specialize in creating problem statements that accurately reflect the case scenario and meet your specific requirements. By collaborating with professionals, you can ensure that your problem statement is well-crafted, relevant, and aligns with the goals of the case study.
How can I ensure that the problem statement aligns with the case study?
o ensure the problem statement aligns with the case study, it’s important to provide the writing service with all the pertinent details and instructions. This includes sharing the patient’s presenting symptoms, medical history, physical examination findings, and any other relevant information. Clear communication and collaboration with the writing service are key to achieving a problem statement that accurately captures the essence of the case and addresses the main problem at hand.
Are there any additional resources or materials I should provide for the problem statement?
In addition to the case study details, it is helpful to provide any specific guidelines or rubrics given by your instructor or institution. This ensures that the problem statement meets the required criteria. If there are any specific areas or aspects of the case that you want the problem statement to focus on, make sure to communicate that to the writing service. The more information you provide, the better they can tailor the problem statement to your needs, ensuring a well-crafted and relevant statement for your i-Human case study.
U.S. men die nearly six years before women, as life expectancy gap widens
Analysis finds COVID-19 and “deaths of despair” are behind a trend that has been growing since 2010
For immediate release: November 13, 2023
Boston, MA—We’ve known for more than a century that women outlive men. But new research led by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and UC San Francisco shows that, at least in the United States, the gap has been widening for more than a decade. The trend is being driven by the COVID-19 pandemic and the opioid overdose epidemic, among other factors.
In a research paper, to be published online on November 13 in JAMA Internal Medicine, the authors found the difference between how long American men and women live increased to 5.8 years in 2021, the largest it’s been since 1996. This is an increase from 4.8 years in 2010, when the gap was at its smallest in recent history.
The pandemic, which took a disproportionate toll on men, was the biggest contributor to the widening gap from 2019-2021, followed by unintentional injuries and poisonings (mostly drug overdoses), accidents, and suicide .
“There’s been a lot of research into the decline in life expectancy in recent years, but no one has systematically analyzed why the gap between men and women has been widening since 2010,” said first author Brandon Yan, a UCSF internal medicine resident physician and research collaborator at Harvard Chan School.
Life expectancy in the U.S. dropped in 2021 to 76.1 years, falling from 78.8 years in 2019 and 77 years in 2020.
The shortening lifespan of Americans has been attributed in part to so-called “deaths of despair.” The term refers to the increase in deaths from such causes as suicide, drug use disorders , and alcoholic liver disease, which are often connected with economic hardship, depression , and stress .
“While rates of death from drug overdose and homicide have climbed for both men and women, it is clear that men constitute an increasingly disproportionate share of these deaths,” Yan said.
Using data from the National Center for Health Statistics, Yan and fellow researchers from around the country identified the causes of death that were lowering life expectancy the most. Then they estimated the effects on men and women to see how much different causes were contributing to the gap.
Prior to the COVID pandemic, the largest contributors were unintentional injuries, diabetes , suicide, homicide, and heart disease .
But during the pandemic, men were more likely to die of the virus. That was likely due to a number of reasons, including differences in health behaviors, as well as social factors, such as the risk of exposure at work , reluctance to seek medical care, incarceration, and housing instability . Chronic metabolic disorders, mental illness, and gun violence also contributed.
Yan said the results raise questions about whether more specialized care for men, such as in mental health, should be developed to address the growing disparity in life expectancy.
“We have brought insights to a worrisome trend,” Yan said. “Future research ought to help focus public health interventions towards helping reverse this decline in life expectancy.”
Yan and co-authors, including senior author Howard Koh , professor of the practice of public health leadership at Harvard Chan School, also noted that further analysis is needed to see if these trends change after 2021.
“We need to track these trends closely as the pandemic recedes,” Koh said. “And we must make significant investments in prevention and care to ensure that this widening disparity, among many others, do not become entrenched.”
Alan Geller , senior lecturer on social and behavioral sciences at Harvard Chan School, was also a co-author.
“Widening Gender Gap in Life Expectancy in the US, 2010-2021,” Brandon W. Yan, Elizabeth Erias, Alan C. Geller, Donald R. Miller, Kenneth D. Kochanek, Howard K. Koh, JAMA Internal Medicine, online November 13, 2023, doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2023.6041
Visit the Harvard Chan School website for the latest news , press releases , and multimedia offerings .
For more information:
Maya Brownstein [email protected]
Victoria Colliver [email protected]
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health brings together dedicated experts from many disciplines to educate new generations of global health leaders and produce powerful ideas that improve the lives and health of people everywhere. As a community of leading scientists, educators, and students, we work together to take innovative ideas from the laboratory to people’s lives—not only making scientific breakthroughs, but also working to change individual behaviors, public policies, and health care practices. Each year, more than 400 faculty members at Harvard Chan School teach 1,000-plus full-time students from around the world and train thousands more through online and executive education courses. Founded in 1913 as the Harvard-MIT School of Health Officers, the School is recognized as America’s oldest professional training program in public health.
Colorado judge finds Trump engaged in 'insurrection' but allows him on ballot
Former U.S. President Donald Trump attends the Trump Organization civil fraud trial, in New York State Supreme Court in the Manhattan borough of New York City, U.S., October 25, 2023. Dave Sanders/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo Acquire Licensing Rights
WASHINGTON, Nov 17 (Reuters) - A Colorado judge on Friday allowed Donald Trump to remain on the ballot in the state's election next year , but found that he "engaged in insurrection" by sparking the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol by his supporters.
The ruling from Judge Sarah Wallace, which is almost certain to be appealed, rejects a bid by a group of Colorado voters to disqualify Trump under a rarely used amendment to the U.S. Constitution that bars officials who have engaged in "insurrection" from holding federal office.
The judge found that, as president, Trump was not "an officer of the United States" that could be disqualified under the amendment.
The decision is a victory for Trump, who is fighting a series of similar challenges to his candidacy. A Trump spokesperson on Friday said the ruling was "another nail in the coffin of the un-American ballot challenges."
"The American voter has a Constitutional right to vote for the candidate of their choosing, with President Donald J. Trump leading by massive numbers," the spokesperson, Steven Cheung, said in a statement.
Still, the judge concluded Trump's "conduct and words were the factual cause of, and a substantial contributing factor" to the attack on the Capitol. She found that Trump "engaged in an insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021 through incitement."
The Colorado case, which was brought by a group of voters aided by the watchdog organization Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, was the first to go to trial and was viewed as a test case for the wider disqualification effort.
CREW President Noah Bookbinder said the group would appeal the ruling.
"The court's decision affirms what our clients alleged in this lawsuit: that Donald Trump engaged in insurrection based on his role in January 6th," Bookbinder said in a statement.
Lawyers for the voters argued that Trump engaged in an insurrection by spreading false claims of widespread voter fraud following his defeat in the 2020 presidential election, summoning supporters to a rally in Washington and then urging them to march to the U.S. Capitol, where Congress was meeting to certify the election results.
Thousands of Trump supporters then stormed the Capitol, assaulting police and sending lawmakers running for their lives, in an unsuccessful bid to stop the certification.
Trump's lawyers claimed the former president had no relationship with the far-right extremist groups who played a major role in the attack and that his remarks before the riot were protected by his right to free speech.
The ruling applies only to the Republican presidential primary and general election in Colorado. The state is rated as safely Democratic by nonpartisan political forecasters for the general election.
The decision is the latest setback for the effort to disqualify Trump. Courts in Minnesota and Michigan have rejected efforts to keep him off the Republican primary ballot, but have not ruled on his eligibility for the November 2024 general election.
The Colorado decision can be appealed to the state's supreme court and eventually the U.S. Supreme Court, whose 6-3 conservative majority includes three Trump appointees.
Reporting by Andrew Goudsward; Editing by Scott Malone, Daniel Wallis and Rosalba O'Brien
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
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