What Is a Case Study Problem Statement?

First of all, what is a case study? By definition, it refers to a detailed examination of a case (which can be a single person, organization, or event). A case study examines practically every element of the subject’s life and background to look for patterns and reasons for behavior. This is often done in a real-world setting (ex. a case study on a product’s marketing tactics, a school’s learning system, and so on). Case studies are useful for describing, contrasting, evaluating, and comprehending various components of the research issue. Furthermore, it enables researchers to generate ideas that may be tested through experimental study.

A case study problem statement is a simple document that contains and clearly defines the case study subject’s most glaring problem and the constraints that hinder the problem from being solved completely. When writing this part, the researchers who perform the case study should be able to mark the problems that plague the case study subject. Afterwards, they should identify the problem that needs the most focus on. Additionally, when writing this part, it doesn’t need to be overly complicated. It only needs to be short and concisely written.

What’s In a Problem Statement?

Here are a few parts/topics to keep in mind when you create a problem statement:

Ideal situation. The first thing to be described in a problem statement is what the ideal situation of the particular subject matter would be if the problem didn’t exist in the first place. Additionally, this topic of the problem statement should also state what the goals and the scope of the project are. It should also provide an overview of what the situation will be when the problem is fixed.Real situation. The next thing to be described in a problem statement is the current situation of the subject matter of your study. The problem is also identified in this section, as well as the reasons why it is a problem and who are the people or what are the subjects/situations that are affected by the existing problem. The time and place of the problem identification should also be stated here.Implications of the Problem. The next item to be mentioned in the problem statement is what the situation’s repercussions are. This section discusses the problem’s impacts by detailing how the persons or subject matter that are impacted by the problem are affected and quantifying how much the problem affects them. Common implications of issues described here include lost time, money, resources, competitive advantage, productivity, and other benefits.Solution Proposal. Finally, this portion of a problem statement may include or explore numerous alternative solutions to the problem, but it is crucial to note that it does not have to specify a single solution for the problem. The solution proposal section’s objective should be to assist the research team on how to study, investigate, and resolve the issue that they are focusing on.

What’s In a Case Study?

Here are the sections that you can expect to find inside a case study report; It should be noted that each key element of a case study report serves a different purpose.

Executive Summary. The executive summary of the case study is a one-page summary of the whole report that focuses on the important features. It is typically included at the beginning of a case study, before the main material. The issue statement, measures to be taken to solve the problem, supporting evidence, and the conclusions should all be included in the executive summary of the case study. Keep in mind that even though this is at the start of the case study, you should only write the executive summary after all the sections of the case study have been drafted.Introduction. This part of the case study should quickly introduce the reader to the report before identifying the major issue being encountered by the key decision-maker in a clear, concise, and accurate manner. The introduction section of the case study should contain the introductory sentence, the problem statement, the details concerning the problem (such as the root cause of the problem, the most important issue, and the due date on which the problem needs to be solved), the recommendations, and the roadmap of the case study. When writing this section of the case study, emphasize the major problem upfront, avoid excessive repetition of facts, and establish a feeling of urgency and importance connected with the circumstance by identifying important stakeholders, difficulties, underlying variables, and timing concerns. You should also interest the reader by conveying the underlying tension and intricacy of the scenario.Analysis. The analysis element of your case study will constitute a significant portion of the case study. In this area, you will explore the issue that you mentioned in the case study in a methodical and complete manner. When writing this part of the case study, be sure to only include material that is directly related to the situation at hand in this section of the case study. Include no information that is unrelated to the issue that you discovered in the case study. Additionally, avoid using technical jargon and instead, explain the key concepts in your own words.Alternatives and Decision Criteria. This part of the case study assists decision-makers in considering all potential solutions by presenting all feasible, mutually exclusive options and describing the parameters that will be systematically applied to find the optimal answer to the problem. The feasible alternatives and decision criteria, as the name implies, must be provided in this section of the case study. Keep in mind that when writing this section, make sure to explain clearly why your option is, in fact, the greatest decision when compared to the other possibilities. Additionally, you should also include the parameters that prove to be the most effective for analyzing the alternative solutions to the problem.Recommendations and Implementation Plan. This section of the case study will go over all of the specifics of the solution recommendation. Furthermore, this section should include a clear and well-thought-out implementation strategy for carrying out the recommendation and assuring its success. Make sure to include all of the specifics of your recommendation while writing this section. This is because this section of the case study will allow you to provide more specific facts regarding your recommendation. Additionally, be sure to consider both the expected and perhaps unexpected impact of your advice on the individuals.Conclusion. The conclusion comes after writing the suggestions and the implementation plan. The goal of the case study conclusion is to provide the reader with one or two closing, compelling words that will serve to emphasize the advice that you are presenting. A case study’s conclusion part should include a summary sentence that summarizes all that was learned from the case study, as well as one or two significant and memorable comments to close the case study. When writing this section, avoid concluding your written case study abruptly. Provide a few lines to help bring the conversation to a natural finish.Source Citations. Don’t forget to reference the sources you utilized throughout the case study once you’ve written the findings. Remember to use in-text citations for any ideas that are not your own. Furthermore, these citations should be represented in your references list, which you must include at the end of your case study. There are several citation styles to choose from whenever you start working in the citations section, including the APA (American Psychological Association), the Chicago Manual of Style, and the MLA style (Modern Language Association).

How to Write a Case Study Problem Statement

Since a problem statement is a valuable asset in a case study, it is important that it should be written correctly. With that being said, here are the steps to be followed when writing a case study problem statement. Bear in mind that there may be some similarities in these steps when compared to writing a general problem statement.

  • 1. Identify the Ideal Situation

    This is the first step to be taken when writing a case study problem statement. In this step, identify the problem that needs to be looked at during the duration of the case study. Additionally, you should also begin your problem statement by explaining the ideal environment that would exist if your problem did not exist. This part should attempt to outline what the case study wants to achieve or learn more about. This step is important since it provides the necessary context in order to make the problem easier to understand.

  • 2. Explain the Real Situation

    After describing the ideal situation in the previous step, it is time to explain what the actual situation is in this step. In this part, your objective should be to clearly identify the present environment. In this section, you should recognize the issues, what is causing them, and why it is a problem. You should also explain when, where, and how you discovered the problem. In relation to the previous step, this step is also important in the case study problem statement since it should express not only what the problem is, but also the reason why it became a problem in the first place and the reason why it’s important to address it as soon as possible.

  • 3. State the Consequences

    Once the reality of the situation has been explained including the reasons why it needs to be addressed, proceed to this step of the case study problem statement. Write the repercussions part of your issue statement in this section. This section is intended to quantify and verify the problem’s assertion. This section can be used to determine particular figures such as the amount of time or income lost or the number of resources spent. In this area, it is critical to give real data to back up your statements.

  • 4. Propose a Solution to the Problem

    After stating the possible consequences that can occur if the problem is neglected, it is time to propose a solution to it. In this portion of the case study problem statement, you should aim to determine how the case study will help you achieve your goals and create your ideal environment. While you may opt to identify numerous alternative answers in this part, it is more crucial to focus on how the research will identify those solutions than the precise solution that will be implemented.

  • 5. Demonstrate Why the Solution Works

    After proposing an intended solution to the problem, it’s time to prove and demonstrate why the proposed solution is the ideal one. This step will prove to be an excellent moment to illustrate why the proposed solution will work, with an emphasis on efficiency and the financial effect of your solution. Address the difficulties that the proposed solution would solve, as well as the intangible advantages that your solution will provide. Keep in mind that all of this should be included in a single brief paragraph.

  • 6. Conclude the Problem Statement

    Finally, after providing a demonstration of why the solution is going to work, proceed to the final part of the problem statement. This is only short and simple as it should consist of only the problem, the reason it needs to be addressed, and a summarized demonstration/written argument of why the proposed solution is ideal to solve the problem.


What is an example of a case study type?

An example of a case study type is an explanatory case study. What is it? Whenever an incident happens in the field, it is necessary to provide an explanation. And this type of case study report will be used to explore the reason why the event happened. It will provide explanations about the cause. The report will also include information regarding the event’s impact. Most of the time, this report will utilize evidence to forecast future events. The findings of explanatory reports are conclusive. It should be highlighted that there is no space for interpretation in this sort of case study. The outcomes of an explanatory case study are unequivocal.

Where do you gather data during a case study?

There are different sources in which you can gather data whenever you are conducting a case study. Examples are interviews, direct observations, and participant observations. An interview can be a very reliable method since it involves very structured questions which are designed to extract clear and direct answers from the participants. The direct observation method of data gathering involves observing the subject in its natural setting while the participant observation method involves the researcher of the case study participating in events and observing the outcomes and actions.

What questions should you ask in a case study?

In a case study, you may ask anything. Because case studies are qualitative, you should avoid asking ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions. Questions with yes or no answers will not provide you with the information you require. When asking questions, you might ask your client about the challenges they encountered, the solutions they discovered, or what they believe is the best option. Leave room for them to ask follow-up questions. This will aid in the development of the study.

A worthwhile and well-written case study problem statement is going to help the research team understand, prioritize, and describe the most important issue that needs to be addressed and sort it out from the problems that don’t pose much importance to the study. In this article, different sample templates of such problem statements are available for you to have a look at in case you need to study one or make one.