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How to Write a Case Study

A case study, which is a very handy training tool in most firms and business schools, entails the account of some event, problem, or activity that is either imagined or a real-life scenario. Usually, they give insights into the way complexities encountered in real life affect one’s decisions.

How to properly write it?

There are two approaches to writing a case study: analytical approach and problem-oriented method. While the former tries to establish what has happened the reason for its happening, the latter focuses on identifying an existent problem, then suggesting probable solutions to it.

A standards case study format would usually have eight sections as listed below:

  • Executive Summary – The purpose of a paper
  • Findings – The problems inherent in the scenario
  • Discussion – Summary of the major problems identified and alternative solutions
  • Conclusion – Summary of the primary points in the findings and conclusion sections
  • Recommendations – A selection of the most appropriate alternatives, and justification of the reasons for the choices
  • Implementation – Explanation of what and when certain activities should be carried out, and who should do so
  • References – Proper referencing of all sources cited
  • Appendices – Any extra data that is original and used in the text must be indicated here.

Most Common Topics

Mostly, case studies revolve around business and firms. For this reason, the most common topics that may be best for case studies include failure of a company, the success of a company, Total Quality Management, HRM, Marketing Strategies, Marketing Plan by company X, Employee satisfaction at company X, the list is endless.

Real life examples include: the Ford Pinto Case, Total Quality Management: the Case of Apple Inc., HRM and Employee satisfaction at Nike, and The Failure of Adidas: case study.


A case study is an essential tool in evaluating self-performance in comparison to a real life or an imagined situation. By reading through a case study, the audience should be able to get some lessons to be learned, and the best ways to avoid mistakes or apply the most appropriate measures in the business world.

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