A case study is an account of an activity, event or problem that contains a real or hypothetical situation and includes the complexities you would encounter in the workplace. Case studies are used to help you see how the complexities of real life influence decisions.
Analysing a case study requires you to practice applying your knowledge and your thinking skills to a real situation. To learn from a case study analysis you will be “analysing, applying knowledge, reasoning and drawing conclusions” (Kardos & Smith 1979).
According to Kardos and Smith (1979) a good case has the following features:
- It is taken from real life (true identities may be concealed).
- It consists of many parts and each part usually ends with problems and points for discussion. There may not be a clear cut off point to the situation.
- It includes sufficient information for the reader to treat problems and issues.
- It is believable for the reader (the case contains the setting, personalities, sequence of events, problems and conflicts)