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– Sudindra V R

Let me ask one question, What is Case, Case Study and Caselet? I presume the collective reaction from most of the facilitators, no much dissimilarity and only depends on the magnitude of the of the case method what we use.  But the answer is no, magnitude does not matter when it comes to three different jargons. Before understanding the basic dissimilarities, let us recognize the three basic terms which differentiates Case, Case Study and Caselet viz. Context, Decision making and Best practices.  A Case is a combination of Context and decision making, while Caselet only decision (assume that the concept is known before and generally applicable to all scenarios). Case study is combination of Context, Decision Making and Best practices. Case methods of teaching become the prominent in today’s management education. Case methods always emphasize on aiding the student’s/management professionals in learning than traditional approach of what faculty need to tell the students. The purpose of case method is to expose the students to real life scenario/situation. In competitive environment the case method of instruction become essential pedagogy, which focus on demand for knowledge than supply of knowledge. Many management cases do not have right or wrong answer and more of application oriented than theoretical. Case discussion facilitate the participants critical thinking through question and answering.

Things to remember while developing Case/Case Study/Caselet:

Do we need to develop our own case study or use the existing available resources?  its best practice to use own case studies developed by you than available through various sources. Own cases give more application to the relevant environment.   The choice of case study should be relevant to the topics going to discuss in the particular course.
How to start writing a case?  the best way to start the case writing is through research and preliminary investigation to enable to authors to create learning outcome. Always list down the basic teaching note, before start of research with some decision points and sufficient data for participants to arrive at the answer.  As a thumb rule follow the 5 steps which makes case more effective: Introduction to case with characterization, Evolution of the case, Climax, Anti Climax and Resolution.
Teaching notes and components: expected learning outcome/objectives is the key for any case method. Ensure the placement of case in the right place and right stage of your course.  Understand the pre requisites which include; what type of students/participants, pre discussion basic concepts to know and the level of education.  What is the ideal pre discussion questions and the additional reading required before case discussion? Understanding the student behavior, time management and the probing questions at right time with relevancy. Case and teaching note should go parallel.
Many institutions may not consider case writing as research publication: although case writing involve intensive research or investigation. Many institutions do not consider case writing as research publication, but the author should be able to convert the case into research article to publish in prominent journal is acceptable.
Seek feedback from students/Peers/Subject matter experts: it is best practice to experiment the case before finalizing the output (case and teaching note).  Avoid emotional attachments and prepare your own points during the process of experiment with peers. Differentiate retention points and deletion points to arrive at final content.
Capture the imagination: good case should be interesting and capture the imagination of participants.
Draft the structure, flow and elements of drama and surprise: ensure the structure before and flow planned in advance. Author suggested to write lot at the first draft and irrelevant contents can be deleted later.
Deductive or inductive: if you are well aware of objectives of develo
ping case, incidental or organizational research or further investigation can be done is called deductive approach. Whereas inductive approach investigates the phenomena and derive the objectives    in terms of framework or theory.
Common mistakes while developing Case/Case Study/Caselet:
  • Not having idea of whether theoretical framework or the need of investigation.
  • Not ideating the teaching note and case content simultaneously.
  • Improper structure and complete information without having element of surprise.
  • Developing case based on feelings of to be communicated to world or students on your judgement, which may not be relevant
  • Without having proper objectives of learnings.
  • Companies or leaders inviting authors to project their company to the external world or as a part of marketing strategy.

Disclaimer – The views, opinions and content on this blog are solely those of the authors. ISME does not take responsibility of content, which are plagiarised or not quoted.