The term case study refers to both a method of analysis and a specific research design for examining a problem, both of which are used in most circumstances to generalize across populations. This tab focuses on the latter–how to design and organize a research paper in the social sciences that analyzes a specific case.
A case study research paper examines a person, place, event, phenomenon, or other type of subject of analysis in order to extrapolate key themes and results that help predict future trends, illuminate previously hidden issues that can be applied to practice, and/or provide a means for understanding an important research problem with greater clarity. A case study paper usually examines a single subject of analysis, but case study papers can also be designed as a comparative investigation that shows relationships between two or among more than two subjects. The methods used to study a case can rest within a quantitative, qualitative, or mixed-method investigative paradigm.
This resource is designed to give you a brief guide on the areas you may like to consider when writing a case study assignment. It is likely that an assignment brief will provide you with detailed information on what the marker is expecting you to cover and so you should ensure that you have fully engaged with your brief.
This may include:
Telling the reader a little about focus of the case study e.g. the person/event/institution/country you will be discussing
Why you chose this case in particular
Information which sets the scene and context of the case
Sharing the structure of the assignment with reader, telling them what you will be discussing.
Aims and goals
You should make it clear to the reader what the aims are:
This may include a series of short term goals in order to accomplish your overall aim
Any problems you identified and how you planned to overcome them.
You may wish to include some background information if it is relevant to the presenting case. For example:
If the case study is based on a person you may wish to discuss any relevant history
If it is an institution/business you may wish to examine the previous performance.
Even though the case will be specific to your assignment you must still use sources to evidence your understanding throughout
In addition it is likely you will need to include a section discussing relevant literature and theories in the form of a literature review. The length of this will depend on the word count of your assignment e.g. a short essay may limit this review to a few paragraphs whereas a longer assignment or project may devote an entire chapter to this.
Ask yourself how the case you are examining relates to the literature e.g. does it support it or suggest contradictory evidence. Why do you think this is?
Question whether you met the aims you set out for yourself. If so how? If not why?
Make judgements based on the evidence you have put forward.
As with any assignment it is important that you include a conclusion. This means:
Bringing together the key points in your assignment, making it clear how they have addressed your assignment brief
Leaving the reader in no doubt of your overall conclusions and why they are significant.
Achievable actions which are specific and measurable.
Steps which you believe should be taken in the future in order to achieve certain goals relating to the case you have been discussing. For example, what should be done to improve a certain situation?
How to analyze a case study?
Case Study Analysis Example
Case Study on Bond Industry Technology
Bond Industry Technology (Preliminary analysis of BIT’s Enterprise Architecture)
From a wide perspective of what is actually the business structure of BIT, there are numerous problems which require analyzing and correcting. However, when we look at this scenario, there are so many variable required for BIT to meet its required goals. The business structure is more complex and thus, it may be addressed at a later time. Business wise Plastik strategic goals are not being met due to the fact that the fragmented structure of BITA will not allow any form of Encouragement Corporation between the Bus.
Contrary to this, the senior management at BITA have come have been concerned with the fact that their decisions are being made on a month old data. There is a rising need for accurate and timely data, and this matter is pressing more since offices were opened interstate and overseas and time zone appears to be different between NZ, Sydney, Perth and Germany. There also appears to be a problem in data exchange and report preparation is also a problem. Compounding on this, it has been found that customer handling or branch enquiries is also a problem since the window for BITA to receive data and work on divisional data or respond to enquiries can be as short as 3-4 hours per day.
These are mainly the two problems that are affecting BIT and thus for Plastik to be able to meet its targets, them both of this problems have to be solved.
Motivation and Objective of the Report
The information world has greatly changed, which means that there are no more such things as information can only be processed at a certain time only. Baring this in mind them it is possible to understand why some of the customers are developing e-commerce applications for its IT capabilities.
Contrary to that, we have seen that, BIT information processing strategy is not working out and thus if Plastik is to continue using this method in the Australian branch then the company is doomed to fail. Additionally, the corporate structure for BITA and Plastik is in such a way that there is no interface between BITA and Plastik global knowledge base which leaves BITA and its customers in the shadow when it comes to participating in the Plastik global knowledge base. The objectives of this report are as follows:
Develop a better strategy for BITA to accurate information and on a timely manner to all the countries regarding their time zones
Come up with a better strategy for data exchange and report preparation as well as customer handling
Enhance on the enterprise system so that divisional information processing will take more than the time that was taking at first (3-4 hours per day).
Provide a link between BITA and Plastik global knowledge base so that BITA and its customers can participate in Plastik’s global knowledge base without difficulty.
Maps of the current Business Organizational Structure and a (AS-IS)
From the scenario, it is easy to obtain the information that, all the branches of BIT managed their own data. Whereas all the data was brought to the Germany parent company for final processing and storage. However, when we look at the organizational structure of BIT we obtain the fact that, under the overall umbrella which in this case is the BIT there are different partitions that come out of it. From this parent company, there are smaller Business Units (BUs) which are independent and handle different parts of the growing business.
These include BIT – Sales referred to as BITS, BIT – Engineering referred to as BITE and BIT – Consulting which is also known as BITCON. Contrary to that, it is important to know that each BU operates as an individual business, with their own staff and administrative processes. However there is a central office and administration functions which are responsible for all the staff. This is known as BITA below is a map that has been produced to show all the above business functions of BITA.
It is clear that Plastik is the main owner of BITA. However, from this diagram, it is clear that BITA has its own operations which are headed at BITA. The two companies are not connected despite the fact that Plastik owns BITA.
Note that all these business functions have their own work as part of the BITA. BITCON was mainly established to act as a consulting arm of BIT. This unit provides all the consulting services to the local manufacturers on a range of plastics related issues ranging from design, manufacturing, process reengineering as distribution. Also, you will notice that this unit has a considerable expertise in the industry and offer their clients solutions some of which may be good for BIT products.
BITS are used to recognize the market for plastic raw material as well as related chemicals. Some forms of plastics that are found to be sold by the company include PVCs. Polypropylene, Polystyrene, just to name the few. Most of these materials which mainly come from petroleum are found in Australia. Contrary to all these, it is important to note that SB’s main aim was to produce such things as routers, milling machines and lathes. However, lathe was segregated into its own division. This is why BITS came up with an engineering business unit. The company is much known from its expertise in engineering equipment manufacture together with the fact that it has a well renown staff who are much skilled in engineering.
Most of its raw materials however, come from local and international suppliers. This ensures continuity of supply it carries inventory comprised of components which are frequently used as well as raw materials from other countries. All these Bus have their own management strategy while the overall tasks are done at the headquarters which is BITA.
Landscape Map for Value chain Based Business
Despite the fact that, Plastik acquired BIT, the company is still using the old system. However, it seem like after the acquisition Plastik made BIT to actually run separately. Their main acquisition was made in order to establish a good relationship with Great Wall with a view to a future buyout or partnership to supply machinery and expertise to the giant Chinese plastic market. In fact Plastic acquisition of BITA was mainly to connect with China so as to become a major profit contributor. This has enabled the company to move into small Australian market which was designed to actually extend the company global representation.
Plastik business units have all been separated into different and independent BUs just like the BITA business units. The company strives at complementing its engineering expertise by presenting itself as an expert consultant on all the aspects of plastics fabrications which are mainly found in the R&D, manufacturing operations, to marketing and distribution. It can be seen that all these functions are all presented under one single unit.
It is however important to note that after acquiring BITA Plastik will have to formulate another form of business map. This is because BITA unlike Plastik has its units being operated separately even though their operations are all liked at the headquarters which is BITA. This also means that Plastik will either make some of its operations fall under some units of BITA or change BITA strategic map so that they can actually be on the same ground.
Plastik actually did not; change the structure of BITA after its acquisition. However, it renamed the Australian company BITA and installed an outsider as its CEO. As far as the company is concerned most of its Australian branches have been strengthened as well as expanded to New Zealand. However, their operation at New Zealand is relatively smaller and as compared to the one in Australia while the sales that it makes are smaller as compared to the Australian company.
It is important that Plastik maintains this structure so as to keep the core competencies in the company the way they are. These are basically the company’s key processes or functions. Note that they all have different function in the company. However, this value chain was constructed by the original owner of BITA which was after the realization that there was a need for a head office which would be used to head all the other business functions, therefore BIT is the head office or in my case BITA is the head office. This is actually what Plastik came to name as BITA. The Engineering unit of the company was raised to help the company with electronics manufacturing. This was however set up mainly after the company started manufacturing Machinery and Lathe.
However, Plasik is required to understand that in order for them to manage a manufacturing shop that is more specialized; they are required to understand project management, procurement, and production and distribution skills. BITE only managed to expand after the department had established a more profitable and large engineering business which the ability to export large machinery.
The consultant department of BITA will bring more value to Plastik, in that with the experience in plastic fabrication BITCON as a consulting arm of BIT was set up for the main purpose of providing consulting services to the local manufacturers which was done mainly on a wide range of plastic related issues. These included such things as engineering, distribution and so on.
As far as value chain is concerned, the work of BITS is mainly to supply the plastics that have been produced by BITA. Plastic uses this part of the company to actually supply its own plastic to the other parts of Australia and China. The important aspect and one that really requires noting is the fact that, BITS services are mainly given to a majority of large as well as small customers. This means that the unit’s services are mainly known by the Australian markets.
There is a big difference between the process at BITA and processes at Plastik. However in both the companies it can be seen that there are some form of relationship between the process. Looking at BITA, there is a very firm relationship between the BUs in that they need each other to actually progress. Engineering sections which is also known as the BITE was mainly put up to create machines and other products which are for sales. It is through this unit that the company manages to actually ensure a correct order which reflects the requirements of the customers. Plastik has come to use this unit in Germany to speed up plastic injection molding and finishing equipment form Great Wall Industries in Szechwan, China.
Considering the fact that Plastik produces large amounts of products the BITA consulting part is a very important part to them. This is because BITCON provides a consulting service both to the local manufacturers which are mainly done on a range of plastic related issues which range from designing to distributing of the products. While the BITS helps Plastik to supply their product to the various markets.
Strategic Assessment between Bus and BITA and BITA and Plastik
Looking at the two relationships, strategically BUs and BITA compound very well. This is because, even though all the BUs has their own operations and manages them by themselves, it is found that they are all headed by the BITA. However, looking at BITA and Plastik there is some form of separation between the two. This is because when we consider their operations, BITA operates in different BUs whereas with Plastik all the operations seem to be under the same roof.
It is important to ensure that there is a connection between BITA and Plastik so that BITA and BITA customers will be able to use Plastik knowledge base. In addition to that, technologically Plastik is far much ahead of BITA and thus by ensuring that the two are connected this will improve their technology. As per their CEO Plastik wants to install e-commerce services which will also be important to BITA and BITA customers as it will enable information processing and customer handling to be done in the right way.
Opportunities for Improvement and Recommendation
There are a lot of opportunities for improvement that Plastik can grasp. Considering the fact that the company has not installed ecommerce applications, it is important at they think of this for it will give their customers a much wider options regarding their services acquisition. Contrary to that, the company can adopt the structure of BITA but make sure that they improve on the information processing and handling issues that the company is having at the moment.
This strategy seems easy to use since having different business units manage their own tasks makes it easy to actually know which of the operations in the value chain require more money or which one requires improvement. As a recommendation thus, Plastik should make sure to improve on the company’s data processing method which if they do not take care will impact their business on a very negative way.
Contrary to that, they should also make sure that they connect the two companies so that customers and the BITA will manage to use their knowledge base.
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