Each student needs to complete individually the case study and submit by the due date and time following the submission requirements outlined below.
To access the case study you must follow the link provided in the Major Case Study folder (under Assessment) in your course blackboard website. You are required to submit a report of 1200 word typed major case study that will contain four sections (except the quantitative analysis part of section 3). You can use two additional pages as an Appendix to provide the quantitative analysis supported by tables of calculations, graphs or other diagrams as appropriate to the case. These additional pages are ONLY for the quantitative analysis and not for continuing your discussion of the 4 sections of the case you are required to submit. The conclusion of your quantitative analysis must be included as part of section 3 of the case report.
The required format of the write-up is similar to the minor case study you have completed in the course already. You should access the feedback provided to you for the minor case study to make sure you are addressing concerns in this case submission.
Sections of the case study (case study report)
Section 1: Background (One paragraph)
This paragraph should include a brief overview of the salient background information provided in the case. This information should be relevant for your consideration of the company’s problems and issues (It must add value!). You MUST NOT reproduce the text of the case – you only have to include what is pertinent to the problems and issues of the case!
You need to describe the relevant characteristics of the business (its products/services, processes, existing systems (e.g. cost system), strategy and any important stakeholders (if relevant), etc.); relevant characteristics of the industry in which the business participates (intensity of competition; how the industry is changing etc.); relevant general business conditions (market/economy growing or in recession etc); any other relevant information that should be considered as background for the case; and how all of these relevant characteristics have changed over time.
(7 marks. Note: if all you have done is to reproduce the text of the case NO marks will be awarded)
Section 2: Problems and Issues (One paragraph)
In this paragraph, you must identify (i) the problem(s) facing the company and (ii) the issues that could be related to or causing the problem(s) the company is facing and how you can see this manifesting in the details of the case (i.e., if you are the consultant, why would you be called in to look at this company?). You should provide a brief discussion of the problem and issues (i.e. how they relate?) but do not analyse.
Remember, from the Huff and Weber, How to Prepare a Case guide, a problem is something fairly specific and reasonably well understood – even if its solution is not (e.g., profits keep falling even though we believe we are doing a good job). An issue is a more general thing – it also requires attention but needs to be better understood before specific solutions are considered (e.g., our costing system is reporting inaccurate costs, why?).
You need to get an understanding of the problem and issues before you can diagnose the underlying cause and recommend potential solutions!
(10 marks. Again, note: if all you have done is to reproduce the text of the case NO marks will be awarded)
Section 3: Analysis to support your finding of the company’s problems and issues
Once you have identified the problem and issues, consider information in the case that is relevant to them, how characteristics identified in the background have affected the company. Also consider the theory, concepts and techniques we have learned in class thus far.
In this section you have to provide a qualitative analysis including evidence to support your claims and a conclusion of your qualitative and quantitative analysis. The quantitative analysis with your tables of calculations must be provided in the Appendix. In this case, data and exhibits are provided for you to analyse and find evidence to support your claims – use them. (15 marks)
A further note: Do not provide your solutions or recommendations in this paragraph! A summary or conclusion of your findings is appropriate here – not in your recommendations.
Section 4: Recommendations
In this paragraph, you should provide your recommendations for addressing the problem(s) and issues you have identified. These recommendations are actions that should help to resolve or alleviate the problems and issues you have identified in Section 2 and should be appropriately supported by the analysis you have presented above in section 3 and Appendix (i.e., does it all link? Is it a cohesive argument?). You may also consider if there are any limitations to implementing your suggested recommendations, or to your analysis. (6 marks)
Presentation, readability and referencing
You have proof read your submission, present it as a well-structured and cohesive case, and appropriately referenced following the Harvard Style of referencing. (2 marks)