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Guidelines for Case Analysis

 What is a case study?

A case study is basically a true story of what happened to a business or industry over a
number of years. It tells the events, according to time, that happened, how the managers
had to deal with it and their response to the problem.

 What is a case study analysis?

A case study analysis is a written activity that summarises, analyses and recommends to the
company what should be done/learned from the event in the case study.

There are two basic kinds of case studies:

• Analysing Case Studies with Questions – There are set questions that must be
answered that guide the writer’s analysis of the case.
• Problem based – The writer decides how they want to analyse the case.

In this case, you are required to write a case study with questions.

 Why do we write case studies?

• to apply theory into practice.

• to learn real life lessons so as not to repeat them in the workplace.

 How do you complete one?

There are four (4) basic steps to completing one:

1. Read then reread the case study

2. Read the questions at the end.
3. Analyse the study to determine what went wrong exactly, why and how to avoid it in
the future.
4. Write answers.

 Case study analysis layout - Analysing case studies with questions

These have set questions at the end of the case study that must be answered. When writing
your answer, use the following layout:
• Answer
• Explanation
• Example (if any).
 Case study report format guideline

The following is a suggested guideline for preparing your case study reports.

1. Cover Page (Include Case Study Title, Student Names, Date of Submission)
2. Body
 Describe the key issues /problems in the case (very briefly, describe the problem
with the Ford Pinto and economic, legal, social and ethical dilemmas in this case).
 Write answers (please see discussion questions below; answer the questions
linking relevant theories and concepts to specific information from the case
study. Usually you will need to write your answers in clearly formed paragraphs
which have a clear topic that is well-supported with evidence and examples (if

 Discussion Questions:

1) How do you explain this failure presented in this case study? What do you think went
2) Is it ethical for a company, such as Ford, to perform cost-benefit analyses when lives
are involved?
3) From an ethical perspective, which concept utilizes the cost-benefit analysis in this
4) As a society we often perform cost-benefit analyses involving lives. For example, we
do not require overpasses to be built at all railroad crossings, even though we know that an
occasional fatal collision will occur if we do not. How is this different from what Ford did?
5) Do you think that the public was adequately informed concerning the dangers of the
6) Could it be possible that upper management at Ford did not understand the
engineering issues involved? Why? Explain.
7) Suppose you are an engineer at Ford and you have just discovered the Pinto’s gas
tank problems. You discuss the situation with your manager and he tells you he doesn’t see a
problem. What, if anything, do you do next?
8) Ford designed the Pinto to satisfy all legal requirements for safety. Do they have a
higher obligation? Does it matter that, during the design, Ford was successfully lobbying the
US government to not impose more stringent safety requirements?
9) Should a profession impose ethical obligations which are more stringent than legal
obligations? If so, why? If so, how should they be enforced?
10) What would need to be done to prevent a similar situation from occurring?

 Deadline for submission

Case study report should be submitted in electronic form (Word format) (upload on the web site of
the course).

Important dates: the deadline for submission is January 15, 2018.


Stake, R. E. (2013). Multiple case study analysis. Guilford Press.

Case study analysis a guide for students, retrieved from http://www.jcub.edu.au/wp-
The Ford Pinto case, retrieved from https://florinpopa.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/ford-pinto.pdf