The case study assignment in this course follows a format that is similar to those used in other Telfer courses. Specifically, students are provided with a case study document that recounts a real management challenging facing a manager/management team. Students then analyse the situation by defining the Primary Problem, developing Alternative Solutions, and creating an Implementation Plan that covers the short/medium/long term. This is a written assignment and students will prepare a report of not more than seven (7) pages in length (single-spaced, 12-point font, 1-inch margins), not including a required Executive Summary.
Case studies follow a logical process and as such must conform to the following structure (students who are familiar with alternative structures may be permitted to vary from the assigned structure however this must be agreed to before submission of the assignment). Marks are assigned per section and omission of a section will result in those marks not being awarded.
Executive Summary (omission reduces presentation marks)
One page, using bullet-form where appropriate
Includes a statement of the Primary Problem
Lists numerically the alternative solutions developed
Identifies the recommended solution and provides a brief justification of this choice
Primary Problem – 5 marks
Should be as concise as possible
Clearly identifies the decision that needs to made
Should not be framed as a question
Will be the basis for action for each Alternative Solution
Secondary Problems – 5 marks
Identifies all other (i.e. non-primary) problems that the organization and personnel are facing
Implications on the Organization – 5 marks
Explains what will happen to the organization if the primary (and secondary) problem(s) is (are) not partially or fully rectified
This may include a consideration of the impacts on customers and suppliers
Implications on the Personnel – 5 marks
Explains what the impacts will be on the personnel (executives, managers and other employees) if the primary problem (and secondary) problem(s) is (are) not partially or fully rectified
Implications on the Environment – 5 marks
The Environment includes the natural (or physical) environment as well as the social environment (people and/or groups of people)
This does not involve the customers of the organization (they would be considered in the implications on the organization)
Alternative Solutions – 50 marks (divided equally over solutions)
All alternatives must be viable/feasible
Should be realistic, creative, considerate of costs
Evaluated in terms of the extent to which the alternative solves the Primary Problem as identified by the student previously in the assignment
All alternatives should be titled and numbered sequentially
Each alternative must begin with a short description of what actions the alternative will include – i.e. what changes will be made to the strategy or operations, by whom, where and when
Must include a bulleted-list of Advantages and Disadvantages associated with the proposed alternative
Each alternative must conclude with an analysis of the specific alternative, considered in isolation from the other alternatives, and where a comparison or evaluation of the importance of the previously identified advantages and disadvantages are discussed
You may consider including the ‘Status Quo’ as an alternative, but only if you believe that the primary problem is of a highly transient nature (i.e. it is likely to be resolved without any intervention on the part of the organization) or the problem cannot be effectively addressed through actions of the organizations
Recommended Solution – 5 marks
Will clearly indicate which alternative, or possibly combination of alternatives, is being recommended for implementation (Note: While it is possible to combine perhaps 2 of your alternatives, under no circumstances should all of the suggested alternatives be combined for the final solution. This would then suggest that you have developed one solution, not distinct and separate solutions to the primary problem that you have identified)
Provides a well-argued justification as to why this alternative, and not another of your suggested alternative, is the most appropriate
Implementation – 10 marks
Separated between the Short Term (now to six months from now), Medium Term (six months to a year from now), Long Term (over a year from now) and possible Very Long Term (over 3 years from now)
Should address all relevant areas of corporate activity (HR, Marketing, Operations, and Finance etc.)
Presentation – 10 marks
Includes issues of formatting, spelling, grammar etc.
Also involves the clarity and strength of your arguments
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