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Business Resources: Case Studies

Find scholarly resources in business

What is a Case Study?

"The case method of analysis involves studying actual business situations, written as an in-depth presentation of a company, its market, and its strategic decisions, in order to improve a manager's or a student's problem-solving ability. Cases typically investigate a contemporary issue in a real-life context. There are multiple issues to consider and many 'correct' or viable alternatives to solve the case issues are presented." --Encyclopedia of Management. (4th ed.). Detroit: Gale, 1999. (p. 71)

How to Analyze Case Studies

Once you have selected a case study, the following resources will assist you in analyzing the case materials.

    A publication of the Cengage Learning Online Study Center. This "Business Resource for Students" gives an overview of case study analysis.
    Another publication of the Cengage Learning Online Study Center. This "Business Resource for Students" discusses the eight areas that should be included in a detailed analysis of a case study.
    From the publisher Prentice Hall: "This Hands-on Guide presents a structured framework to help you analyze case studies."

Research for Case Analysis

1. Use the company website for a starting point. Explore the history, annual reports, financials, news releases, etc.

2. Use Magazine and Journal Articles from ABI/Inform and the business databases below.  Tips: Look for cover stories. Limit date range. Use Advanced Search tools.

3. Use Company Profiles from ProQuest Business Market Research Collection  Tip: For older reports, select a date range.

4. Use Morningstar for information on financials - stocks, ratios, etc. Includes historical charts and timelines.                     

Sample citations (APA) from Morningstar:

Financial Statements. (2010, June 8). Apple, Inc. Retrieved from Morningstar Investment Research Center.

Gogia, S. (2010, October 19). International Business Machines Corp [Analyst report]. Retrieved from Morningstar Investment Research Center. 

5. Use EdGAR for SEC filings and other government sites (see below).

Databases for Case Study Research