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3. Cause-effect analysis
The problem situation in a case presents effects as well as information and data that make possible the diagnosis and a causal explanation. The actions or activities that caused the effects of interest have been completed. You need to reason backward to understand causes that bring about the problems described in the case. In a problem analysis, you first need to separate effects from causes. Then work backward to identify underlying causes of the effects. Complex effects imply multiple causes.
4. Concepts and frameworks
Cause-effect analysis relies on causal frameworks appropriate to the problem. Such frameworks allow us to make statements like “firm linking capability encourages the firm adoption of wholly owned subsidiary as an entry mode choice.” Specialized methods – business frameworks, theories, and formulas- fill this role. One of the first things you need to consider when you recognize a problem is what causal frameworks are relevant to it.