Organization Dynamics and Behavior

Google Case study

The use of case studies is a widely accepted means of bringing theoretical concepts and practical situations together. It is not possible to take a class to a company and observe the subject matter of Organisational Behaviour in real life – hence a written case study is the best possible alternative to simulate a real, or realistic, organisation situation.

There are two different approaches to studying case study; they are: ‘analytical’ approach and ‘problem oriented’ approach. We will be using problem-oriented approach. In this approach a case is analysed to identify the major problems that exist, the causes of and possible solutions to the problems and, finally, to provide recommendations as to best solutions to implement. The reasons for choosing the problem oriented approach in OB and the type of skills you acquire from this learning method.

In the field of management there is no ‘one best way’ to analyse or write up a case report. Everyone develops their own methods of collating and analyzing information and presenting their findings. However, in OB we have a set format, which we would like you to utilize when presenting your case reports.

Some general issues

In a case study it is crucial that you integrate relevant theory from the course and evidence from the case. Failure to attempt to integrate theory will lead to severe mark reduction or failure.

Referencing of all non-original material is essential. You will lose marks for poor referencing. The ACU study guide should be used as a guide for referencing.

Check your completed work for internal consistency; for example make sure that you attempt to solve the key issues you have identified. Don’t say ‘X’ is the major problem and then recommend a solution to ‘Y’.

Remember you are trying to identify, analyse and solve the problems of the case using the relevant theories from the course – not just repeating what the textbook or case information, has said.


The format for the case report is outlined briefly below:


 Table of Contents

 Executive Summary – This section should comprise a brief overview of the case, giving a brief background, noting any important assumptions made the major problems identified and solutions recommended. This section must not be more than 50 words.

Problem Identification and Analysis – Identify all the major and minor problems in the case using OB concepts and theories. Explain the underlying problems and not just point at the symptoms from the case alone. It is very important to link each problem identified to relevant theory and also to actual data from the case. Don’t forget to integrate theory and to reference all non-original work.

Also you will normally identify a number of problems in a case. It is crucial to make statement of major problems very clear, which are the major two or three problems, or key issues that must be solved first. You need to understand that the major problems you have identified might be different from some other persons, you need not worry about it and it is bound to happen in the field of management.

This section is just a short concise statement of what problems you are going to solve in the remainder of the case. Half a page is adequate. Having one identified the key problems, you can continually check back to ensure that you are actually attempting to solve them and not some other minor problems you identified. This section is very crucial to a good case report.

Organization Dynamics and Behavior

Generation and Evaluation of Alternative Solutions (Brainstorming) – Most problems will have a large number of possible solutions, it is your task to identify and evaluate a number of the more appropriate (at least 2-3 for each major problem identified). Each alternative solution should be briefly outlined and then evaluated in terms of its advantages and disadvantages (strong and weak points). Note: You must evaluate alternatives. It is not necessary to make a statement in this section as to which alternative is considered best – this is the next section. Provide relevant theory or theories to explain the reasons for identifying these as problems and also practical solutions to the problems.

Recommendation – This section should state which of the alternative solutions (either singly or in combination) identified in the ‘Generation and Evaluation of Alternative Solutions’ section is recommended for implementation. You should briefly justify your choice, explaining how it will solve the major problems identified. Integration of relevant theory is appropriate here to substantiate your solutions.

Implementation – Here you should specifically explain how you would implement the recommended solutions. You have to translate theory into actions. You should also include who should do what, when, in what sequence, what it will cost and other such issues. Remember if a recommended solution cannot be realistically implemented then it is no solution at all.

Bibliography/References – This will contain an alphabetical list of all the references you have cited in the body of the report. Do not include details of any sources you not cited. Ensure you use Harvard presentation style consistently in your report.