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How to solve a case study?

Feb 21, 2014 18:13 IST

    Certain IIM`s conduct a type of group discussion in which a particular case would be discussed to arrive at a conclusion.  A situation in a particular case would be given to the candidates that may have a word count range of 250-300.

    The candidates are supposed to go through the situation, analyze, discuss and arrive at a conclusion.

    What is a case study?

    A case study is a detailed analytical study of a person, a group or an event.

    The purpose of a case study is to understand the complexities involved in a particular situation through detailed analysis and to reach an optimal solution. Keep in mind the word ‘optimal’ or ‘optimum’.

    A case study is a part of any research methodology and it is of least concern to us. Of course, you can wonder why the name is given as ‘case study’.

    The term ‘case study’ may sound daunting but it is no lesser than a group discussion.

    How case study is different from a GD?

    Generally case study is a write up in research terminology but it is a mere group discussion when it comes to the selection process of IIMs.

    One difference between a group discussion and a case study would be the question.

    Group discussion participants discuss a broad topic, say for example, ‘Foreign Direct Investment in Retail’.

    But the case study question cannot be introduced with a few words; rather a paragraph. The case study will be a situation with many strings attached in different dimensions.

    How to tackle case study?

    It would be a cake walk for you if you get hold of the different strings in different dimensions. Hope you remember the word ‘optimal’ or ‘optimum’. We will come to it.

    Normally a case study test for IIM selection will involve a hypothetical situation in any organization.

    Keep in mind the following to make the best out of it:

    It is more about understanding and analyzing.

    • Understand the organization’s objective: It is recommended that you say this phrase while discussing. Try understand the objective of the organization and say it. Of course, you need to read between the lines to get a grab of it.
    • Understand the problem: Definitely there is going to be a problem; otherwise what is the need to discuss. In order to understand the problem, ask yourself what is so important in it to discuss it. There will be one character or theme in the situation around which the whole problem would be wound. Identify that!
    • Analyze the different dimensions of the problem: Now start attacking the problem and analyze how it influences the other characters and the organization involved.
    • Look for an optimal solution: Optimal solution can be defined as the most favorable solution that is a win-win for all. Don’t look for a perfect solution!
    • Put your analysis across: Do not hesitate to convey your analysis no matter what it takes.
    • Read and listen carefully: Read between the lines the situation given to you. If you find yourself lost, listen others. There will be a tip-off.

    Example:

    Mr. X has been the outstanding employee of an organization for six consecutive years. One day he was caught for attendance proxy. Discuss the measures to be taken.

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