Experiential Case Study Activity

Observation Exercise:

Put on your Manager Hat!

Choose a public location where you can sit and observe how an employee interacts with customers. Ideal settings may be a coffee

shop, fast food restaurant, hotel lobby, school administration office waiting room (Registration/Financial Aid), doctor’s office or

hospital waiting room, bar, etc. You can also come up with your own location!

Watch the interactions that a service provider has with customers over the course of 45-60 minutes. You should be watching the SAME

employee the entire time. He or she should NOT know you are observing and taking notes!

As you are watching, take note of:

The employee’s attitude (friendly, disinterested, curt, personable, over-the-top, tired, etc.)

The employee’s personal appearance (properly groomed, clean uniform, looks presentable and professional)

How knowledgeable the employee appears to be

How confident the employee appears to be

How interested the employee seems to be in helping customers

How the employee interacts under pressure (if applicable)

How well the employee is able to problem solve customer issues (if applicable)

Describe any self-management characteristics (listening skills, follow-up or follow-through, adaptability, organizational skills,

verbal/non-verbal communication, self-motivation, time-management, etc.)

Provide an example of how the employee used technology/technology practices (if applicable) to affect the customer service


Finally, did this employee add value to their organization; why or why not? Overall, did the employee do a good job? What could he

or she have done better?

Finally: describe the overall relationship between the employee and customer(s) – review the textbook to provide: resources, framework

of your results, and outline of your key information.

Please submit your response in 3-5 pages describing: 1. Your overall experience with this exercise and 2. Respond to all ten statements



A written case analysis (study) is a short, structured report, usually between three to five typed pages, depending upon the complexity

of the case.

In writing a case analysis, your task is to combine aspects of the case and key issues with your perceptions and supported opinions.

Then you must examine, dissect, reveal, choose the most viable explanations, and provide viable evidence to support your views.

Evidence can be obtained from class discussions, instructional materials, text/scholarly readings, outside research, and your own

personal experiences. In summary, you should bring in all course content that is germane to the situation and a full analysis must

include only relevant factors. All assumptions, if any, must be realistic and justified with sound logic.

You must one determine how you want to present your views and structure your paper. The following format is acceptable and recommended

[APA format]:


Establish a thesis, summarize the principal outcome of your analysis; that is, the central case findings. The thesis should be

clearly stated in the first few paragraphs as it is the basis for your analysis.


Background information about the case based on material/situation presented to the reader. This section indicates that you have

conducted research, either academically or personally [explain in detail your observation].


Use the who-what-when-where-how-and why [to paint a clear picture…remember you are in the role now of “Manager” and your goal

is to improve customer relations so your findings will be from that perspective].

Proposed Outcome

Discuss your proposed solution/outcome based on solid evidence. Identify your thoughts about the existing case based on the

questions provided. Discuss why you propose your outcome and justify the best explanation through a logical argument supported by

viable evidence.


After you have done analysis on the case and identified the proposed outcome(s), you can make sound choices on the alternative

solutions to the problem(s). Identify why these are viable alternatives, list any constraints (e.g. personnel, resources, finance,

time, etc.).


Conclude with a discussion of the implications of the situation(s) you identified in the case. You may make recommendations for

further action that might be taken to resolve some issues or managerial improvements/best practices. Be very specific about what your

analysis is and who should do what.

Ask yourself 3 questions:

Is my analysis rigorous

Is my explanation realistic

Is my writing clear


* Focus and organize your analysis – look for a framework from the readings and online class discussion that helps to organize and

present your analysis

* Don’t just summarize the case – remember your audience is somewhat familiar with the situation and requires you to do further


* Provide both qualitative and quantitative aspects of your analysis if applicable

* Utilize all available resources to substantiate your sound judgment

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