CASE STUDY METHOD
There have been many method for educating people in various areas of human knowledge, the most common being the lecture method. Experience has shown that it is not very effective, at least in certain areas like human relation. People concerned with training have been experimenting to evolve suitable and effective training methods.
It is in the course of these experiments, early in forties that Harvard business school developed the case method of instruction. Because of its effectiveness, it was accepted in other business in western countries. The business schools was recognized that management was concerned essentially with practice and it is this recognition, which forms the basis for the case method of instruction.
Prof. Alva F. Kindall of USA was one of the earliest pioneers in the field of case method. It is the efforts of such pioneers, which led to the development and growth of case method.
In India, management education is of recent origin. The Indian institute of public administration convened a seminar on “The study and teaching of public administration at the Indian universities”. In this seminar, the view was expressed that case studies, illuminating the administrative processes would be highly useful.
Mr. Edwin A. bock, staff director, U.S. Inter-University case program, New York provided to the institute his expert service in organizing a workshop on case study method in 1962. During this workshop, the technique of case writing was demonstrated. The institute developed a number of Indian cases in public administration.
The Administrative staff college of India, Hyderabad, modeled on the well-known Administrative staff college at Henley-on-Thames organized a case study workshop in 1962 and has since been building up a library of cases. The Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad has been using case study method extensively for a long time. Many training institutes, like Lal Bhadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, have been now using the case study method.
TECHNIQUE OF CASE STUDY
Problems of persons, individually and collectively, are of the greatest single concern to management. Recent studies have shown that most of the difficulties confronting the executive center around people. In the world of work, four inter-related factors of differences are at the root of these difficulties in working with people: differences in
These four items make the study of personnel the most challenging and rewarding exercise.
The case method presents a way of examining all the four of these inter-related factors. Through this approach, it is possible to examine the specific, unique situations involving people in work setting and also to relate personnel principles, practices and techniques to these situations.
This method follows the rationale that by analysis and diagnosis of a real business situation and determining the alternative choices and then choosing a course of action, the trainee gains an understanding of complex situational factors. He learns the following points:
- To diagnose business situations and to identify critical factors.
- To conceptualize the dynamic nature of business from a series of related situations.
- To gain confidence in solving the problems and taking decision.
The case method is an unstructured approach, where more freedom is allowed to the participants, who by interacting among them discuss a problem or situation and in the process, acquire analytical skill to tackle organizational problems.
A case is a carefully written description of an actual life situation which a manager might face. A case provides as much data as a manager would normally have available to him when he decides on the issues discussed in the case.
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