CASE STUDY

Guidelines for the Creation of a Case Study

 

CONTENT

  1. General Information on Case Studies…………………………………………………………………………….. 2
    • What Are Case Studies?…………………………………………………………………………………………. 2
    • What Do Students Learn from Case Studies?……………………………………………………………… 2
    • Editing Hints and Tips……………………………………………………………………………………………. 2
  2. Formal Guidelines and Submission Requirements………………………………………………………….. 3
    • Structure of the Case Study……………………………………………………………………………………. 3
    • Components of the Case Study……………………………………………………………………………….. 3
    • Formalities………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 4
    • Evaluation…………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 5
      • Regular Case Studies…………………………………………………………………………………………….. 5
      • IT & Technology Case Studies…………………………………………………………………………………. 5

1.        GENERAL INFORMATION ON CASE STUDIES

The analysis of and the work with case studies play an important role in university-level coursework because it promotes important skills in the field of action- and solution-oriented thinking and decision-making. Case studies also train the practical transfer of theoretical knowledge and models learned while studying.

Accordingly, a concrete practical case serves as the basis for systematically applying the theories taught in the module, i.e. the students themselves analyze and solve the practical case. Case studies are often characterized by a high degree of complexity; it is hardly possible to work through all the details within a case study and use them for the solution. Thus, a case study always simulates practical experience or reality, in which all the required information can rarely be made available. If additional literature is used, it must be cited according to our guidelines.

1.1       What Are Case Studies?

Case studies are a teaching method in which the students work on a “case” that demonstrates a situation entailing a realistic, practical problem needing to be solved.

Case studies occur in a wide variety of contexts and are used for various purposes in professional practice, studies, teaching, and research. Classical case studies in the field of economics are often based on real life cases from the past. However, fictitious cases concerning companies and organizations are equally suitable for this purpose.

Case studies do not contain a structured preparation of knowledge like textbooks do. The tasks within case studies are more like real life: complex, incomplete, unstructured, imprecise, and ambiguous.

1.2       What Do Students Learn from Case Studies?

Case studies are used to gain useful insights through analysis and examination. Ideally, these findings can be transferred to other cases and situations. Thus, case studies support the development of analytical skills, sharpen the ability to separate the important from the irrelevant information, and open up new alternatives for action.

Applied learning with case studies is a central building block in this course. Some students may have worked with case studies before. However, students have all gained professional experience in different areas, and they are familiar with the contents of the course from the teaching materials provided. With the case studies available, students can now try and combine their specific experiences, concepts that they have learned from the course and concrete decision situations in a written case study.

1.3       Editing Hints and Tips

Generally, case study tasks are always underspecified. It is part of the task to find out what exactly the specific case study is about. Consequently, there is neither one right question nor one right answer. Instead, it is more a matter of the process of finding a solution by deliberately weighing different issues and different competing approaches.

Thus, in a case study, multiple solution options are usually possible. It is important how the chosen solution proposal is justified and presented transparently. Students should try to put themselves in the concrete decision-making situation and in the perspective of the actors involved.

The point of case study analysis is not to reproduce learned knowledge, i.e. to explain a method or a concept in detail, but rather to apply knowledge and experience to a decision-making situation, i.e. to transfer it.

2.        FORMAL GUIDELINES AND SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS

2.1       Structure of the Case Study

Case studies should follow the typical pattern:

      Introduction (case context and explanation)

      Main part (presentation, editing and solution of the case)

      Conclusion (discussion and further transfers)

These chapter names are not predefined, other chapter titles can be used. However, it is important to maintain a logical structure that is clearly comprehensible to the reader. Thus, a table of contents, i.e. an outline, must also be preliminarily devised for a case study.

2.2       Components of the Case Study

The case study consists of the following parts, listed in the table of contents (except for title page and table of contents):

      Title page

      Table of contents

      List of figures and/or tables (if necessary)

      List of abbreviations (if necessary)

      Text part with introduction, main part, conclusion

      Bibliography

      List of appendices (if necessary)

      Appendices and materials (if necessary)

2.3       Formalities

 

Formalities Explanation
Length

BACHELOR & MASTER

7–10 pages of text
Paper size A4
Margins Top and bottom 2cm; left 2cm; right 2cm
Page numbers Centered at the end of the page

Apart from the title page, all pages must be numbered. The pages before the body of the text (if applicable, e.g. title page, table of contents, list of tables and abbreviations) should be numbered in Roman capital letters (I, II, III, IV, etc.), with the page number not appearing on page I (title page). The pages of the text part are numbered with Arabic numbers (1, 2, 3, etc.). These page numbers are continued to the end, i.e., also through the appendix (if applicable).

Font General text: Arial 11 pt.; headings: Arial 12 pt.; justified
Line spacing 1.5
Sentences Justified; hyphenation
Footnotes Arial 10 pt., justified
Paragraphs According to conceptual structure – 6 pt. spacing after line breaks
Title page The title page should contain at least the following elements: title of thesis, type of thesis, course name, course of study, date, author’s name, matriculation number, tutor’s name.

 

Course-specific adaptations of the information are possible.

Sections and subsections A maximum of three levels (1. Main heading, 1.1 Section, 1.1.1 Subheading)

 

Only individual chapters in the text of the assignment are numbered consecutively; otherwise, sections of the assignment, such as the list of figures and/or tables or the bibliography, are not numbered.

 

Do not underline; use italics sparingly to emphasize passages.

Citation standard Please refer to the citation guidelines on myCampus.
Anti-plagiarism pledge and affidavit This pledge must be submitted electronically (via myCampus) before you can submit your assignment.
Submission Please refer to the corresponding guidelines in myCampus – Turnitin.

2.4       Evaluation

The evaluation criteria and their corresponding weight are listed below.

2.4.1       Regular Case Studies

Evaluation Criteria Explanation Weight
Identification Definition of the problem 15%
Concepts Application of concepts 15%
Analysis Quality of analysis 30%
Conclusion Conclusion and recommendations 15%
Formalities Compliance with formal requirements 10%
Accuracy Correctness of spelling and punctuation 5%
Language Linguistic expression 10%

2.4.2       IT & Technology Case Studies

Evaluation Criteria Explanation Weight
Identification Definition of the problem 10%
Approach Methods of implementation 25%
Quality Quality of implementation 30%
Result Scope and completeness of the result 15%
Formalities Compliance with formal requirements 5%
Accuracy Correctness of spelling and punctuation 5%
Language Linguistic expression 10%