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CASE STUDIES

The case study is a useful and flexible method of providing examples of a subject for discussion and comment by participants. Case studies are used in almost all of the Resource Packs. Facilitators are reminded to consider each case study carefully before deciding to use it with a group of participants. Choose case studies for their relevance to the issue under consideration. It may be necessary for facilitators to rewrite case studies to suit the particular needs of the participants. See Topic 6 for more information about how to write case studies.

Method

Each case study describes an incident or event in some detail. The amount of detail will vary according to the nature and complexity of the topic on which the group is working.
The case study can be used to achieve several things within the training situation:

• Help group cohesiveness;

• Highlight difficult dilemmas;

• Test learning;

• Develop analytical and problem-solving skills;

• Help people to gain confidence.

Examples where case studies might be used effectively

• During discussions about personal values – participants offer a case study of an event and describe how their values affected the outcome of the situation.

• When highlighting management techniques – case studies of specific management problems are presented for group discussions.

• In reviewing emergencies – case studies of previous events can be presented.

• In problem-solving situations – a case study of a similar problem, with or without solution, can be used to introduce the topic.