Dr. Hayat Habhab
Course Name: Organizational Behavior
Course Code: 511
Midterm Case Study Outline
The purpose of this case study is to demonstrate the application of the educational theories provided to students studying an organizational behavior course to classroom practice.
The case is directed towards how certain teaching strategies maintained during the course revealed the coping strategies used by the instructor, can help students in acknowledging the goals behind studying OB and understanding the different concepts needed to know why people behave as they do, and how can they manage their own feeling.
How to use the Case Studies:
The case study has been prepared to provide examination and to create useful learning tools. For managers, it provides assistance to organization planners as they develop workplace violence prevention programs and assesses their readiness to handle different types of situations. The characters in the case study are fictional and have been created for educational purposes. No reference to any individual, living or dead, is intended or should be inferred.
As you read the case study keep in mind that there is no one correct way to handle each situation. Usually, all case studies should not be taken as specific models of how to handle specific situation; rather, they should be a starting point for a discussion and exploration of how a team approach can be instituted and adapted to the specific needs of each organization. A successfully used alternative may not be useful in other instances, and there are probably several different approaches that could be equally useful. Each group in its discussions should strive to identify several workable approaches.
How to Solve and Analyze a Case Study
1. Read and Examine the Case carefully: DON’T get to the end of a story quickly because you will miss the details of a case and begin formulating responses before you have all the facts. If you are uncertain about what to do, read the case again.
2. Write a Summary: Take notes or highlight relevant facts and underline key problems. Your notes should focus on the details you will need to identify the problems involved the case, the issues critical to solving those problems, as well as the resources available to the managers in the case. (One-third of the long case, and one paragraph for a short case).
3. Identify the Key Problem: At least one major problem will exist in the case. For example, A problem may be simple, such as “how you will acknowledge and deal with a specific employee who is involved in a misbehaving behavior”? The issue may be broader and more strategic that might involve dealing with a criminal employee.
Sometimes, you can identify two to five problems. For example, if you are analyzing a case that involves accounting or cost control systems, the use of technology, supply chain problems, or marketing deficiencies; you may, also identify other HR problems such as supervision, communication, motivation, or training.
4. Specify an Objective as a Manager: Students usually are asked to join a consult committee on the company’s problems. Therefore, identify what results would you hope for? Don’t limit your thinking to what the company should do, but to what the most successful outcome would be. Try to quantify the desired results.
5.Identify and Rank Critical Issues: If you miss a critical issue, you may not be able to solve the case to the satisfaction of your professor. Some issues are inter-dependent, a solution to one issue might necessarily precede or depend on another. For example, the team who is responsible for a new product launch can’t make a final advertising and promotion decisions until issues related to packaging, transportation, and distribution are solved.
Some issues are more important than others. A company may have a great opportunity to launch a product line extension, but not have sufficient market research data to support and market the idea. This means that they may not have talent within their staff to understand and use such data. Thus, hiring a market research chief might be more important than simply contracting with an outside firm to find the data.
Each issue has a time dimension. While two problems may be equally important to the success of a company, one may be near-term in nature while the other is long-term. For example, setting up a corporate web site may be important, but it won’t solve the longer-term issue of marketing strategy: “should we sell direct over the web or use retail partners to market our products? Specify which problems must be addressed first, and think how long will it take to fix this?”
6. Consider Relevant Information: Sometimes, much of the information contained in the case will not be useful to your analysis and you will never know all which you would like to know in order to produce a solution.
7. Write Down Possible Solutions: Review Course Readings, Discussions, Research, Your Experience: Listing possible solutions is a form of brainstorming that will later permit you to assign values or weights to those ideas. For example, is one solution less expensive than another? Will one be more effective than another? Will one idea work more quickly? Will one of these ideas have more effect?
8. Select the Solution: Select the best and prepare to defend it. Show why the ideas you have thought about are superior and how they will work. If you have rejected other, more obvious ideas, you may want to explain why.
9. Decide How to Implement the Best Solution: Having good ideas is insufficient as you must be able to put them to work. Graduate students, are often praised by executives for being theoretically well-grounded, but criticized for lacking practical application.
For instance, an executive in the chemical industry said “A team of young MBAs told me that we needed to sell a division of the company, but they couldn’t tell me what to do or how to go about it. All they knew was that we should try to find a buyer. That was interesting, but was not very helpful.” he concluded.
10. Write it up: Different professors have different expectations about what they want in a written case solution and probably do not provide you with specific, detailed instructions regarding their expectations, but they will certainly tell you if you’ve missed information or have produced a solid response. Some will ask for wide-ranging responses that cover many issues, while others will expect a more focused response. Just provide your professor with your best thinking and be as detailed as you think you can within the page limits you’ve been given.
Finally, DON’T Expect a “right answer.” Because case studies are most often based on real events, no one can say for certain what would have happened if your ideas or other, “better” ideas had been implemented. Some solutions are clearly better than others, but many ideas will work.
In summary, your task is to read, identify and understand the business problems in the case. By
identifying, rank-ordering, and exploring the critical issues it contains, you should be able to
propose a workable solution, identifying how to implement and communicate it. You must explain your choices in writing be ready to defend them in the classroom.
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Dr. Hayat Habhab