Next the writer should provide the business issues and challenges facing the protagonist, including a breakdown of the problem and the information available to the protagonist and central characters of the case to solve the problem. This should include the essential company, organization, competitor, and/or industry information that the protagonist had at the time of the case. Also, it should include enough background information for the reader to analyze the decision point, which might include revenues, proﬁts and losses, and other ﬁnancial valuations. If relevant to the case, the writer can also include historical information, trends, direct quotations from participants and analysts, and essential tables and ﬁgures. Sometimes portions of the protagonist’s career relevant to the current situation may also be included in the case.
The case should introduce situations where students empathize with the protagonist and see the issues through the eyes of this protagonist. The purpose is for students to learn to create their own mental models based on assumptions made from the information presented in the case. Students should become comfortable using the information at hand to form assumptions and make decisions. Students need to learn to make a stand and defend their decisions.
The information presented in these sections should be directly tied to the protagonist/central character narrative, including the protagonist’s biases and feelings as he/she goes about working through the central questions of the case. Students should be looking at problems from a systematic perspective and trying to solve problems based on the complexities of the environment, resource constraints, availability of information, and a general understanding that the protagonist situation is not linear.
The writer can also delve more deeply into the context and possible consequences of the decision point, challenges, or central angle. For example, the writer could include the consequences for the career of the protagonist as well as for the person’s company or organization. The writer can also include alternatives available to the protagonist.