Case Study is a type of Group Discussion exercise. A given case (issue/business problem) is discussed in a group to bring out the best solution to the given problem. The problem is given in the form of text (typically 250-300 words)
The flow of the Case Study is as follows:
Process (Read the Case thoroughly and mark the important points)
Analyze (Scrutinize the problem or issue at hand and also identify the unstated/hidden problem)
Discuss (Coherently present your points)
Following key skills are evaluated in a Case Discussion:
Are you comfortable in Decision Making in a given situation
How aptly you analyze the situation with a logical approach
How much time do you take in arriving at a decision
How good are you in taking the rightful course of action
1. Case Analysis: Begin analyzing the situation by summarizing what we know about the situation and what assumptions we need to make to solve the problem.
2. Problem definition: If the situation has been analyzed properly, we can not only see the inherent problem but also determine the order of priority in which each problem must be dealt with.
3. Statement of Objective: It essentially boils down to what we hope to achieve out of a range of solutions and how do we implement them.
4. Contingency Plan: It is ‘Plan B, C, D,…’ – which means that the panel does not expect a one-size-fits-all kind of solution. The panel expects you to think about different parameters and come up with various suggestions.
Hari, the only working member of the family has been working an organization for 25 years. His job required long standing hours. One day, while working, he lost his leg in an accident. The company paid for his medical reimbursement.
Since he was a hardworking employee; the company offered him another compensatory job. He refused by saying, ‘Once a Lion, always a Lion’. As an HR, what solution would you suggest?
Identification of the Problem:
Obvious: accident, refusal of job, only earning member, his attitude, and inability to do his current job
Hidden: the reputation of the company at stake, the course of action might influence other employees
As an HR, you are first expected to check the company records and find out how a similar case has been dealt with in the past. Second, you need to take cognizance of the track record of the employee highlighted by the keyword ‘hardworking’.
Given the situation at hand, he is deemed unfit for his current role. However, the problem arises because of his attitude towards the compensatory job. Hence, in such a case, counselling is required.
Here, three levels of Counselling is required:
1. Ist level is with Hari
2. IInd level of counselling is required with the Union Leader (if any) to keep the collective interest and the reputation of the company in mind
3. IIIrd level of counselling is required with his family members as they constitute of the afflicted party
If the counselling does not work, one should also identify a contingency plan or Plan B. In this case, the Contingency Plan would be – hire someone from his family for a compensatory role.
Note that the following options are out of scope and should be avoided:
1. Increase Hari’s salary so that he gives in and agrees to do the compensatory job
2. Status Quo – do not bother as long as the Company is making a profit
3. Replace Hari with someone else
1. Pinpoint the key issues to be solved and identify their cause and effects
2. Start broad and try to work through a range of issues methodically
3. Connect the facts and evidence and focus on the big picture
4. Discuss any trade-offs or implications of your proposed solution
5. Relate your conclusion back to the problem statement and make sure you have answered all the questions
1. Do not be anxious if you are not able to understand the situation well or unable to justify the problem. Read again, a little slowly, it will help you understand better.
2. Do not jump to conclusions; try to move systematically and gradually.
3. Do not panic if you are unable to analyze the situation. Listen carefully to others as the discussion starts, it will help you gauge the problem at hand.
All the best! Ace the GDPI season.