The Infamous Case of MBA Case Studies

The-Infamous-Case-of-MBA-Case-StudiesHow do you address the seemingly complicated MBA assignments? Do you sought to work it as early as you can? Or, do you hand it over to your desk and leave it for a while… until the deadline looms dangerously close?

Everyone’s hands might be shooting up for the first, but in reality, they actually practise the latter. (Are you one of those?)

Working on these assignments is an experience that could become as demanding as it is rewarding. Sometimes, students’ methods’ work; other times it does not. And therein rests the challenge – the ultimate lure of problem-solving, of theoretical applications, of experiments.

The Case Study

Providing cases for closer inspection is a staple for any business degree. It is the ultimate tool for attempting to apply theories and improvised solutions. Even at a master’s degree, such use of case study remains, as it doesn’t readily exhaust itself of valuable learning.

In context to the aforementioned question, how should MBA students approach the advanced level case study?

  • Read it. It sounds too elementary to remind students to read the case study. As a matter of fact, how else can you work your way around it but by reading it, right? Perhaps, this reminder is addressed for those students who don’t really read through it.

Yes, such students exist. Thinking that it’s a good shortcut to just ply through the case, these students opt to just rip the information out of the case and work on it. This is not recommended. Practising such shortcuts undermine the cohesive context of the case – risking your way to holistically comprehend it.

Students should, rather, read it again and again. Interestingly, repeated reading gradually makes the case shrink from complexity. In other words, reading the case again superimposes the black and white, making the best solution identifiable.

  • Cut it. As soon as you’ve read it all and absorb its essence, students will have to work on not getting lost from all the details. They need to cut the case into chunks of requirements, assigned issues, alternative solutions, key players, and whatnots.

These chunks, then, will have to be organised or prioritised. Some of these chunks will accommodate the required solutions; others might be “sub-solutions.” And there will be those that won’t need any attention.

  • Feed it. In the end, students got to give the case what it needs – answers in the form of solutions (could be both short- and long-term), recommendations, interventions and so forth. To come up with such, students should naturally draw out from their own experience (professional and personal), as well as, from research.

MBA assignments are tools for assessment. In the students’ perspective, however, they are golden opportunities.

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