Skip to content

Finding the Root Cause: The Five Whys Analysis (Featuring Dr. Sara Willox) by Julia Amorim

Dealing with problems is in every manager’s qualification. With the understanding of the importance of effectively solving issues, at the Master of Science in Management – Integrated Business program, students are taught in-depth methods of investigating problems and finding their root causes. The essentiality of finding the causation of significant problems helps individuals find a solution for the issue that goes much further than a simple “easy fix” to an apparent symptom of the actual situation.

“By taking time to reflect on the actual cause or causes, it is possible to fix the problem and prevent future symptoms from occurring,” explains Dr. Sara Willox, lecturer at the UCF College of Business teaching Organizational Behavior & Development at the master’s program.

One of the most used root cause analyses is the Five Whys. The simple analysis can be used both in the business and personal environment. By simply asking “why” the issues are happening and reflecting on it, we are able to identify the primary causation of the problem.

Chart, funnel chart

Description automatically generated

“Using this method can help us to see the big picture rather than just focusing on the immediate problem in front of us,” explains Willox. “Looking at a problem from a big picture perspective can help us make strategic decisions that not only address the problem but also move the company forward in an effective and innovative manner.”

Many critical skills are taught by the professors of the Integrated Business master’s program. These management skills are essential for the formation of quality business professionals. With Dr. Willox and the experience professors at the M.S.M program, students are undoubtedly prepared to apply their problem-solving and critical-thinking skills after graduation.

UCF’s Master of Science in Management (MSM) Integrated Business Track program provides a high-quality, hands-on business education exclusively for recent non-business graduates that will help them identify and deploy skills they have gained as undergraduates and transition into their professional careers.

More information about the program:

To attend an informative session:

To have a meeting with the MSM-IB Program Director


IB Faculty