Why Use Case Study Method?
Use of cases is excellent for marrying theory to practice. Cases bring to life processes, principles, theoretical models, as well as abstract notions. Case study method also offers opportunities for practice in identifying, analyzing and solving problems. Because the method makes use of multiple cases illustrating in ever-increasing levels of complexity a variety of theoretical notions, learners receive numerous opportunities to practice their analytical and problem-solving skills. Cases also bring to bear diverse viewpoints. The richness of ideas and confrontations of perspectives focused on a central issue greatly enhance participant learning. Finally, as stated above, cases are examples of past or potential realities. Cases bring learners closer to what they may face in the real world than do lectures or reading. This facilitates transfer and application to the workplace. To illustrate, Exhibit 1 contains a brief case used with bus drivers learning about how to manage diversity aboard their buses.
Exhibit 1: Sample Case for Teaching Bus Drivers to Handle Diversity
How Do You Build Cases?
Cases are relatively easy to create. All you need is to follow three principles and apply seven steps. The three principles are:
Follow these seven steps:
2: Sample Case for Novice Supervisors - Managing Tardiness
The two cases in the exhibits illustrate many of the points stated in the seven steps for successful case development and writing.
When you have created a case, test it against the checklist that follows:
1: Criteria for a "Good" Case
Running Cases in Case Study Method
The key to using cases is to get learners involved as quickly as possible. One of the most effective means for doing this is to place learners in teams, each with an elected or appointed facilitator and, if necessary, one or two "secretaries" to record findings, decisions and conclusions. Then,
Bring everyone together
at the end of the case discussions and debrief. In the next issue of HSA
e-Xpress we present a debriefing model called D-FITGA which can be used
very effectively following a case-based learning session.
Talent Management is a monthly magazine directed to top-level management, senior human resources, and workforce and organizational development executives whose task is to optimize the abilities of their human assets to drive and improve the execution of enterprise strategy. Harold Stolovitch is the regular "Human Performance" columnist for Talent Management magazine. You can read his latest article, "Apply Low-Cost Performance Measures" by visiting page 10 of the January 2009 digtial edition at http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mediatec/tm0109/. For more information on Talent Management, visit their Website at www.talentmgt.com. If there are any topics that you would like Harold to address in his column, please email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Given the current economic climate, we understand that it may not be the right time to bring Harold Stolovitch into your organization to run a workshop. However, you can have the next best thing for a fraction of the cost of one of his in-house seminars or any public seminar from another consulting group. Bring Harold's proven systematic approach to your employees through his Engineering Effective Learning Toolkit and Front-End Analysis and Return on Investment Toolkit. These toolkits are tutorials that guide the user step-by-step, offering support along the way. And, for just an additional $895, you can purchase up to three hours of telephone or online consulting with Harold to help you apply his systematic approach to a real world project.
Until February 14, 2009, save 20% on your toolkit purchase or 30% when you buy both toolkits as a set. Click here for more information.
Our Guest Author Series
features articles by various professional colleagues. The latest in our
series is by Petti Van Rekom, Ed.D & CPT. Petti heads The Workplace
Review, an online resource of employee reviews of local workplaces. Its
mission is to help people to find a workplace that provides the job satisfaction
and fulfillment they seek. For more information visit her website at www.theworkplacereview.com
or contact Petti by email at email@example.com
or by telephone at 949-370-8772.
Sources of Employee Dis-engagement
It seems that everywhere you go you hear the term "employee engagement" discussed. Groups like Gallup and Hewitt have found that good organizations with engaged employees average 1½ times more revenue. There's plenty of discussion linking the lack of engagement to the different attitudes of the generations or to the organization's culture. The common sources of lack of engagement are usually found in management practices, business policies, culture and environmental issues, and compensation and recognition factors. Added to these, right now, are employees' economic concerns for their job and the viability of the organization.
While all are valid factors, there's another deeper reason that, despite many interventions, employee engagement continues to be a challenge.
Changing Work Expectations
What many line managers, HR managers, OD consultants, recruiters, outplacement consultants, career counselors, job seekers, and organizations that research workplace issues have noticed is that employees' expectations are evolving. Workers in virtually every category are seeking jobs that provide far more than a paycheck. Many are hunting for "meaningful work." (If you don't believe this, check out the 18 million hits this term has on Google.) Many believe that work is one of the principle means through which life takes on meaning.
Social psychologists consider this to be a cultural evolution based on world views, values, and individual motivations. Many in Western societies no longer accept work as a "means to an end." They have higher expectations; they seek "meaningful work." Followers of Abraham Maslow would state that more people have arrived at the higher psychological level of what he called "self-actualization."
However, organizations are slow to adapt to the change in employee expectations. As pointed out by Harvard professor Shoshana Zuboff, "People have changed more than the business organizations upon which they depend." In order to meet the complexity of the workplace and employee expectations, some business leaders are trying new forms of capitalism. For example, John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods, is a strong supporter of "conscious capitalism."
What is Meaningful Work?
Trying to define "meaningful work" is about as difficult as defining "happiness." What both terms have in common is that the definition is personal and based on individual personality and life conditions (including where one lives and what is happening to the person). For some, "meaningful work" may mean a work environment similar to that of a caring family. For others it means exciting, challenging tasks, filled with recognition, advancement and material rewards. For many today, the term suggests work that provides them with joy, deep satisfaction, and a feeling of purpose.
Where Did This Trend Come From?
According to The Work Foundation, the search for meaningful work began in the 1970s. It is attributed to increased affluence in Western societies, a rise in people asking "Who-am-I?" types of questions, and the replacement of skilled craft jobs (producing a tangible output) with knowledge-based ones.
What Are Organizations Doing to Engage Employees?
Organizations that are interested in retaining engaged employees are attempting many different tactics. In addition, they are seeking awards that name them a "best company" or "employer of choice."
Here are some tactics
that organizations are applying to engage and retain employees:
What Can Organizations Do To Provide Meaningful Work?
Self-knowledge and finding meaningful work is an employee's responsibility. However, this search requires a positive work environment in order to flourish. If your organization truly wishes to help employees find meaning or purpose through their work, a much deeper knowledge of the individuals is required - not what you will find on their resumés or in performance reviews. Five things your organization can do to support employees' search for meaningful work are:
Another Employee Development Intervention
Another important intervention is to provide employees with information or training to assist them in assessing their own work values and strengths. Help them understand what their current work expectations are and what could cause their expectations to change. Your annual employee survey may find engagement increases as you support them in their self knowledge. A good career development program will include self-assessments and goal setting activities. While this may sound too "touchy-feely," remember there are a number of research studies to substantiate that:
Searching for Worktopia
Worktopia, that perfect workplace, may be an ephemeral goal. However, despite growing unemployment, people still desire to find a great place to work. They want a workplace that allows them to apply their skills and satisfy their personal and psychological needs. As employees continue to want meaningful work, organizations with a healthy culture, a positive work environment, and support for self-development will be more successful in increasing revenue and retaining valued employees.
We're looking for articles to include in our Guest Author Series. If you have one that you would like us to consider, whether it be new or previously published, please contact Erica Keeps at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Start planning now for the July 15 & 16, 2009 ASTD Telling Ain't Training Mini-Conference in Chicago, IL or the October 14 & 15, 2009 one in Atlanta, GA. It is offered only twice a year and is always a sold out event! More information to come.
you have any burning Human Performance Technology questions? Visit the
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the response, visit Ask
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