The analysis process is the same whether one is preparing for a written paper or making an oral presentation. Hence you will notice much redundancy in the material used to describe this assignment and the Team Case Presentation.
What is a Case?
A case is a description of real events in an organization. The organization and participants may be disguised, but the situation is real. All the cases to be presented represent real organizations. Students should assume the role of decision-maker (e.g. top management, strategic planning committee, etc.) when making their presentation. The presentation describes some course of action or action plan as a response to the events described in the case.
Cases have played a central role in business, law, and medical education for many years. Cases allow students to integrate theory and practice while developing tolerance for ambiguity and incomplete data.
Preparing the Case
The case is usually contains ample information on the organization and its industry. You may supplement the industry data with additional research, but be sure to stay within the time frame of the case (information that would’ve been available at the time). Do NOT under any circumstances contact the organization depicted in the case! The organization has already contributed to your education by allowing the case to be written do not ask them to do more. Should the instructor become aware of contact between you and the organization you will receive a 10-point deduction.
Introduction. All papers should contain an introductory paragraph explaining what the paper will cover.
External Environment. The reader (that’s the professor) must also be able to understand the external context (industry and markets) in which the organization operates. Give the reader some idea of what seems to be working or not working in this industry. Who are the competitors? Make it easy to compare by using charts, tables, graphs, etc. Which competitors seem to be gaining/losing ground and why? What are the social, technological, social/cultural or political issues facing the industry? Internal Situation of the Organization. Do not include everything you know regarding the organization’s history. For example, only discuss when the organization was founded and by whom if it is germane to the situation the organization finds itself in at the time the case was written. Information on the products/services offered, segments served, operations, information systems, HR situation, and marketing may be described, but emphasis should be given to conclusion-drawing rather than rehashing basic facts. A description of the financial condition may also be pertinent (UNDERSTATEMENT!). Are the actions of the organization consistent with its stated mission? Is the mission still viable as written?
Formulation/Discussion of Alternative Strategies. Alternatives should not appear out of thin air, but as natural extensions of your analysis. The method/logic used to arrive at the alternatives should also be explained. The discussion of alternatives should clearly explain the criteria used to evaluate the alternatives as well. Your recommendations should flow directly from the analysis. Use of tools learned in this class as well as those mastered throughout your college career are encouraged to bolter your analysis. A TOWS matrix is often helpful to stimulate your thinking regarding how the various internal and external factors relate to one another. “Do Nothing” and “Do Everything” are typically not great alternatives. Alternative strategies should be somewhat mutually exclusive. Briefly show how the organization might benefit from each alternative and the logic behind accepting/rejecting the alternative.
Action Plan. Lay out the Implementation plan. What are the major initiatives? Who might be responsible? How long would it take? What resources might be required? What is the budget? What are the expected benefits (financial and…?)? What will the organization look like after implementing the team’s plan? If you used a graphical technique in the analysis section of the presentation, then return to that depiction and show changes resulting from the plan. What are the potential risks? NOTE: The action plan is typically the weakest section of most papers.
Do thoroughly proofread your paper for spelling and grammatical errors.
You need not cite the case itself, but follow proper citation methodology (you choose APA, Chicago, etc.) for any outside material.
Written cases are due at the beginning of class. After I have called for the papers, any subsequent submissions are late.
This case analysis is your chance to ‘shine’ as an individual. Each analysis is worth 8% of your grade for the course.