Each Case Study is a primary “deliverable” for a semester-long project that helps you to develop and demonstrate a number of skills:
research, planning, reading, writing and editing
project and time management
research in both secondary (published) and primary (unpublished—original observations, interviews,) sources; and the synthesis of these varied sources
peer review and analysis
effective use of visual design, and clear, concise, correct, coherent prose
effective use of report conventions (using APA style for citations and quotes)
After completing the nonprofit case study, you will be assigned a for-profit case study.
Each report includes the following content areas:
Section 1 – Title Page, Abstract, Table of Contents, Executive Summary
Section 2 – History and Overview
Section 3 – Current Issue or Problem
Section 4 – Analysis of Options, using Evaluation Criteria
Section 5 – Recommendation & Conclusion
Section 6 – References, Annotated Bibliography, and Appendices as needed
Submit your report in formal report format as shown in the Business Writer’s Companion (BWC) and The Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) website, using APA Style formatting for in-text citations and works referenced. Section one and Section six should be consistent with the sample report appearing in BWC. Annotation requirements are detailed in a separate memo.
Section 2 provides background about your organization such as relevant history, the organization’s mission, structure, services and/or products, target market, competitors, place in its industry, and stakeholders. Only include information critical for an overview understanding of the organization. Graphical representation required in this section. Create visual representations of details relevant to your organization such as process flow charts, organizational structure charts, and market share charts. Include in-text references citing your sources of information.
Section 3 focuses on a specific problem your organization faces. Describe the problem with telling detail. Provide specific reasons explaining why the problem matters. Describe, who is affected, and how. Identify who controls the decisions affecting the problem. Include
information any historically or structurally relevant details. Identify any different perspectives about the problem. Present the facts thoroughly and objectively, citing your sources with APA style in-text references. Explicitly identify any assumptions you are making unsupported by research. Graphical representation required in this section. Add meaning and clarity to your discussion through graphs, charts, and diagrams.
Section 4 is an objective analysis of three options to address the problem. Each option must be distinctly different from the others. Describe each option with enough detail that someone could follow your description as an action plan to implement a solution. With each option description, include detailed reasons supporting your claim that this option provides a genuine solution to the problem. Identify four criteria for evaluating your options against each other. Your criteria should be highly relevant to your chosen organization and the problem you are focusing on and may be drawn from social, political, economic, and cultural factors. Clearly explain how each criterion can be assessed. For example, if a criterion is cost of implementation, define exactly what must be included in the calculation and develop a defensible estimate. If one of your criteria is customer satisfaction, determine how you would recognize changes in it, and provide research supporting any claims you make about an options potential effects on it. Compare each option against the others about each criterion. Comment upon the advantages and disadvantages of each option. Present all of your facts objectively, citing your sources. Explicitly detail any assumptions you are making, not supported by research. Graphical representation required in this section. Add meaning and clarity to your discussion through graphs, charts, and diagrams.
Section 5 shares the results of your decision criteria, your recommendation for the best solution based upon your analysis and a defense of why your recommendation is the best option. Use your decision criteria to provide support for your explanation. Your recommendation MUST address both the pros and cons spelled out in your analysis and illustrate how those cons will be overcome. Your recommendation should also acknowledge any concessions you are aware of by choosing this option, any benefits the organization will NOT have, through this choice.
Deadlines will be assigned throughout the semester during class and on iLearn.
Each case study is worth 10% of your course grade (100 points each). You must receive a passing grade on each case study to pass this course. A passing grade in this course is a C- or above. You must also receive a passing grade on the oral presentation of one of your case studies. Your oral presentation assignment will be detailed on a separate memo.
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