How can decision makers anticipate, prevent, and limit and control chaos? 2. How can managers ensure organizational character during a crisis? Remember to write in third person (APA style: he/she/it/one), even though you may be writing about your own experience.


How can decision makers anticipate, prevent, and limit and control chaos? 2. How can managers ensure organizational character during a crisis? Remember to write in third person (APA style: he/she/it/one), even though you may be writing about your own experience.

How to Write a Case Study

There are many different kinds of case studies. There are also various uses for writing case studies, from academic research purposes to provision of corporate proof points. There are approximately four types of case studies: illustrative (descriptive of events), exploratory (investigative), cumulative (collective information comparisons) and critical (examine particular subject with cause and effect outcomes). After becoming familiar with the different types and styles of case study instructions and how each applies to your purposes, there are some steps that make writing flow smoothly and ensure the development and delivery of a uniform case study that can be used to prove a point or illustrate accomplishments.


Getting Started

Students should select the cumulative or critical case study method. Your purpose is to thoroughly analyze a situation (or “case”) which could reveal factors or information otherwise ignored or unknown. These can be written about companies, whole countries, or even individuals. What’s more, these can be written on more abstract things, like programs or practices. Really, if you can dream it, you can write a case study about it.[1]

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  1. Determine the topic of your case study.Once you’ve picked your angle, you need to determine what your research will be about. What have you talked about in class? Have you caught yourself coming up with questions during your reading?
  2. Start your research at the library to begin delving into a specific problem. Once you’ve narrowed down your search to a specific problem, find as much about it as you can from a variety of different sources. Look up information in books and peer-reviewed journal articles. If the case is very contemporary, you may use DVDs, websites, magazines, newspapers, etc. As you go through each one, take adequate notes so you can find the info later on and make sure you get the reference in APA format.
  3. Search for case studies or other types of research that have been published on the same or a similar subject matter.Talk to your professors, go to the library, surf the web until your bum falls asleep. You don’t want to replicate the research that has already been done.
  4. Find out what has been written before, and read the important articles about your case’s situation . When you do this, you may find there is an existing problem that needs a solution, or you may find that you have to come up with an interesting idea that might or might not work in your case situation.
  5. Review sample case studies that are similar in style and scope to get an idea of composition and format, too.

Obtaining Data and Writing the Case Study


Develop and write your case study using the data collected throughout the research and analysis processes. Include at least four sections in your case study: an introduction, background information explaining why the case study was created, presentation of findings and a conclusion which clearly presents all of the data and references.


  1. The introduction should very clearly set the stage. In a detective story, the crime happens right at the beginning and the detective has to put together the information to solve it for the rest of the story. In a case, you can start by raising a question. You could quote someone you read about. Clearly state the problem at hand.
  2. Make sure to include background information on your study. What makes your problem pressing to give your audience a panoramic view of the issue.
  3. After the reader has all the knowledge needed to understand the problem, present your data. Include customer quotes and data (percentages, awards and findings) if possible to add a personal touch and more credibility to the case presented. Describe for the reader what you learned about the problem, how it developed, what solutions have already been proposed and/or tried, and feelings and thoughts of those working or visiting there. You may have to do calculations or extra research to back up any claims.
  4. At the end of your analysis, you should offer possible solutions, but don’t worry about solving the case itself. Let the reader leave with a full grasp of the problem, but allow them to come up with their own desire to change it.[1]Feel free to leave the reader with a question, forcing them to think for themselves. If you have written a good case, they will have enough information to understand the situation and have a lively discussion.


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