On Writing Cases Well

10 Pages Posted: 21 Oct 2008

See all articles by Gerry Yemen

Gerry Yemen

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

Abstract

How does one know what makes a good case? Are there certain attributes that effective business school cases have? This technical note was intended to help writers who may or may not be business school professors write a case. The note includes material on objectives, finding leads, interview questions and interviewing techniques, and case structure. Although the idea of what constitutes a good case may be debatable, there are several characteristics that good case studies have in common.

Excerpt

UVA-PHA-0058

Rev. May 15, 2012

On WRiting Cases Well

How does one know what makes a good business case study? As American poet and essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson once queried: “Is the reader the one who decides?” Perhaps. More likely, it will be the classroom experience that determines whether or not the material fits the definition of a good case study.

Although the idea of what constitutes a good case may be debatable, most good business case studies have several characteristics in common. The most distinguishing feature is that they describe, or are based on, actual events or situations. Good cases provide the element of realism to help readers identify how to use and apply their knowledge. More than that, they invite students to develop analytical techniques that can be applied to the messy, unstructured kinds of situations the real world presents.

An effective business case has the following attributes:

. . .

Keywords: case writing, case method, writing, case interview, business school case

Suggested Citation

Yemen, Gerry, On Writing Cases Well. Darden Case No. UVA-PHA-0058. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1283350

Gerry Yemen (Contact Author)

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States

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