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Introduction to Case Study Research

Group Problem Solving

Step 1 Step 5 Group work
Step 6 Defend your solution (Individual)

As a consultant for the bus company, you
have gone through their profile and
performance reports, as well as met up with
all the bus drivers.
Identify all the problems faced by the
Prepare an action plan that can help TransCo
to gain back trust of the public.
Uplift their profits
Upgrade the image of the company

Problem Solving Process

What are the steps?
Step 1: Comprehend the Problem.
What is the Problem?
Step 2: Diagnose the Problem.
What are the causes of the Problem ?
Step 3: Writing the Problem Statement.
Where and why there are Problem?
Step 4: Generate Alternatives/Solutions
What Is the Solution?
Step 5: Evaluate and Select
How Well Is the Solution Working?

ep 6 : Defend your Solution

Should I Consider Moving?

Step 1 Comprehend Case Situation

Identify the problem.
a broad review of the current situation a fitting
together of information, like pieces of a puzzle.
In this first stage, a group identifies and discusses
the symptoms and scope of the problem.
Determine what hurts, the degree to which the
symptoms are shared, and the urgency of
relieving the symptoms.
Groups use tools such as brainstorming,
interviewing, and completing questionnaires
to gather this information.
As you go through this step, you will find
yourselves raising, reviewing, and discarding
statements of the problem as you sort out what
are merely symptoms of the problem.

Step 2: Diagnose Problem

Once you recognize the symptoms and have tentatively
defined the problem, your group can begin to collect
information about the nature of the problem.
At this step, you may use tools such as the Fishbone
diagram, or Pareto analysis to help you organize this
information and zero in on underlying causes of the
In this way, you determine the root causes of the problem.
When you restate the problem, your definition will reflect
the causes.
Your efforts over the next two steps can thus be directed
to finding solutions that address the roots of a
documented problem, not merely its random symptoms.

Step 3: Writing the Problem

A problem statement is a brief piece of writing that
usually comes at the beginning of a report or
proposal to explain the problem or issue the
document is addressing to the reader.
In general, a problem statement will outline the
basic facts of the problem, explain why the problem
matters, and pinpoint a solution as quickly and
directly as possible.
Problem statements are often used in the world of
business for planning purposes but can also be
required in academic situations as part of a
proposal-style report or writing project.

Sample 1
Overfill has been a serious problem facing our city waste
facilities for the last decade. By some estimations, our city
dumps are, on average, 30% above capacityan
unsanitary, unsafe, and unwise position for our city to be in.
Several methods have been proposed in order to combat
this. Perhaps the most popular of these is the simplest:
building two new landfills on the county outskirts. Others
have proposed stronger recycling campaigns and larger perbag waste disposal costs as a way to lessen the potential
damage of our trash situation.
Bluffington is close to drowning in trash. Action is needed if
our city is to remain the clean, safe place to live it has
always been.

More students are failing their courses this year compared
to last year.
Percentage of failing 50% last year and 75% this year.
Students attendance record less than 80%.
Class assignments :
Last year: 5 assignments
This year : 8 assignments

Who is to blame?

Students Perspective?


Teachers Perspective?
Students KNOW NOTHING! They are
both LAZY and STUPID! What a perfect
combination to become an employable

Yeah! Blame
it on us!

Fishbone Diagram

Paretos Principle
Pareto's Principle, the 80/20 Rule,
should serve as a daily reminder to
focus 80 percent of your time and
energy on the 20 percent of you work
that is really important.
Don't just "work smart", work smart
on the right things.

Problem Solving
What is the problem?
Students failure
What is the root of the problem?
Students think that the courses are
hard and the classes are boring.
Lecturers thinks that the students
are lazy.
Write the problem statement.

Step 4: Generate
Once you have defined a problem, your immediate reaction
may be to jump toward a particular solution.
However, creative problem solving requires you to explore a
full range of viable solutions before reaching a conclusion.
To assemble a variety of solutions from which to choose a
final solution, you must:
generate as many potential solutions as possible
relate each solution to the causes of the problem
merge similar or related solutions
At this stage, you are still not ready to select the best
You simply want to reduce redundancy, and eliminate any
possibilities that dont address the causes you identified

Decision making tool

1.Develop fewer ideas
but take each idea
2.Risky for individuals.
Valuable but strange

Group Brainstorming:

1.Best for generating

many ideas, but time
2.Needs formal rules
3.Are usually an
enjoyable experience.

V. Why does problem-solving fail?

There are numerous attitudes of a person that
lead to failure of problem-solving:

Step 5 : Evaluate & Select

Step Four: Select a Solution
As a fourth step, evaluate each potential solution for its strengths
and weaknesses. Selecting a solution entails searching for the
most effective solution by applying two general criteria. An
effective solution:
is technically feasible
is acceptable to those who will have to implement it

Feasibility is determined by asking the following questions:

Can it be implemented in a reasonable time?
Can it be done within cost limits?
Will it work reliably?
Will it use staff and equipment efficiently?
Is it flexible enough to adapt to changing conditions?

Ask these questions when evaluating

a solutions acceptability:
Do the implementers support the
solution, perceiving it as worth their
time and energy?
Are the risks manageable?
Will the solution benefit the persons
affected by the problem?
Will it benefit the organization?


Step 1: Decide whether or not there

is a problem to solve
Timeline: None: Youve already
decided to present this problem!
Tips for Presenter: Choose a
problem that you are willing to share
with the group and is important to
you yet simple enough for
participants to understand.
Tips for Participants: Get ready to

Step 2: Identify and clarify the

Timeline: 10 minutes
Tips for presenter: Present your issue (a.k.a.
problem) in 5 minutes or less, with enough detail
so that participants can understand the problem.
When you are done presenting your problem, ask
participants for clarifying questions. Following
clarification, re-state your problem.
Tips for participants: Listen to the original
problem. Ask clarifying questions that help the
group to understand the problem and help the
presenter to re-state the problem.


Step 3: Generate potential

Timeline: 5 minutes
Tips for presenters: Listen and try to
remain open to potential solutions. Avoid
statements such as I tried that before and
it didnt work.
Tips for participants: Remember the
ground rules for brainstorming. If possible,
one of you can record the groups
suggestions. Make sure everyone who
wants to participate has the opportunity to
do so.

Step 4: Evaluate potential

Timeline: 5 minutes
Tips for presenters: While you may be
in the best position to identify the criteria
to be used in selecting one or more
solutions to your problem, be sure to listen
to others suggested criteria.
Tips for participants: Try to put
yourselves in the presenters shoes as you
identify potential support that person in
identifying potential selection criteria.

Step 5: Select a solution

Timeline: 2 minutes
Tips for presenters: Look at the criteria
that have been generated to choose among
the potential solutions to your problem.
Explain your thinking to the group and let
them know in what ways their input helped
you to think differently about your problem
and/or to choose a solution.
Tips for participants: Give the presenter
some feedback for their willingness to share
a problem and to receive input regarding
potential solutions.

Final Discussion and

As a group, discuss the parts of
todays presentation that were most
interesting and helpful to you. What
were your ah-ha moments?
Finally, think about ways that
problem-solving can be improved in
your own work situations.