Case Study Report I’m looking for a report that is 4-10 pages long, single-spaced. Submitted as a MS Word file. INTRODUCTION My view on the role of the case study analysis process in this class is best described by putting myself in the role of a student and trying to answer the following generic question: “As a student who [common trait or goal], I need to be able to [action ] so that I can[demonstrated measurable outcome].” Here is my answer to this question with regards to how the case study analysis process can be used for strategic decision making. As a student who wants to learn to become an effective manager, I need to be able to systematically make the “best” decisions so that I can in a given situation choose the optimal course of action by first, determining the key decision criteria or critical success factors and secondly, determining a set of alternative actions that are available to me as potential solutions in this situation, and then using an appropriate decision model I should be able to select the option/alternative that best satisfies the decision criteria. PROCESS A case study presents an account of what happened to a business or industry over a number of years. It chronicles the events that managers had to deal with, such as changes in the competitive environment, and charts the managers’ response, which usually involved changing the business- or corporate-level strategy. A case usually ends with a dilemma faced by a particular character in the case. Sometimes a case will be accompanied by a set of questions, usually theory based, that your instructor may want you to answer (this will not be the case in this class). Some questions will be devoted to figuring out the problems embedded in the case and the causes of those problems; others will ask you to determine a course of action to take in the future. Cases prove valuable in a course for several reasons. First, cases provide you, the student, with experience of organizational problems that you probably have not had the opportunity to experience firsthand. In a relatively short period of time, you will have the chance to appreciate and analyze the problems faced by many different companies and to understand how managers tried to deal with them. Second, cases illustrate what you have learned. The meaning and implication of this information are made clearer when they are applied to case studies. The theory and concepts help reveal what is going on in the companies studied and allow you to evaluate the solutions that specify companies adopted to deal with their problems. Consequently, when you analyze cases, you will be like a detective who, with a set of conceptual tools, probes what happened and what or who was responsible and then marshals the evidence that provides the solution. Top managers enjoy the thrill of testing their problem-solving abilities in the real world. It is important to remember, after all, that no one knows what the right answer is. All that managers can do is to make the best guess. In fact, managers say repeatedly that they are happy if they are right only half the time in solving strategic problems. Management is an uncertain game, and using cases to see how theory can be put into practice is one way of improving your skills of diagnostic investigation. Problem Statement Your problem statement is identifying what you see as the root cause of the issues presented in the case. Make sure to distinguish between causes and symptoms, e.g. poor employee morale may be a symptom whose cause could be poor operational leadership or lack of an incentive schemes … which may also have as a root cause poor recruitment and retention strategies. Once you’ve identified the root cause (s) you’ll be able to propose solutions targeting them. Typically, you’ll have one or two root issues. Analysis & Recommendations In your analysis starts with a description of the background, which summarizes the key issues on how we got to where we are at. Theory For your analysis and recommendations use one or more of the following conceptual models: • SWOT Analysis (p. 187-188 of the Piccoli text) • Porter’s Five Forces Model (p. 213-215 of the Piccoli text) • Value Chain Model/ Virtual Value Chain (p. 215-218 and 225-235 of the Piccoli text) • Strategic Impact Grid (p. 182-184 of the Piccoli text) • Systems Development Life Cycle (p. 292-295 of the Piccoli text) • Agile Methods – Scrum or XP (p. 300-301 of the Piccoli text) • Network Effects – Tippy Markets (p. 103-104 of the Piccoli text) • Richness-Reach Tradeoffs (p.118-123 of the Piccoli text) • Analysis of Added Value (p. 192-201 of the Piccoli text) Then you can also use any other model(s) that you may have learned in your other courses. Assumptions In analyzing a case, you often find that you must make certain assumptions because essential information has not been included by the case writer. In real life, too, key pieces of information often are missing, or cannot be obtained because the collection of the information would be too costly. Nevertheless, it is important to recognize that relevant pieces of information are missing and that your recommendations, therefore, might be flawed. Perspective All of our case analysis will be forward looking. That is understand how we go to this point and then make recommendations on a way forward. We are not looking at what could have been done in our recommendations, we are looking what should be done to address the issues that you identified (i.e. to “right the ship” from now own). Recommendations Your recommendations are like goals. Each recommendation should then be backed up by an action plan. For example, a recommendation to improve communication should then have an action plan of how this communication is going to be improved (daily meeting of all stakeholders?, emails to who?, …) Each option has a cost that needs to be weighed. External Sources In addition to the Piccoli textbook (and any other internal source), you should reference other, external sources. I consider the course textbook, the case study and any lecture slides as internal sources. Use the APA citation and reference style (Ferry, 2015) and (“The basics of APA style,” n.d.). Have a references section at the end of your report. References An Approach to Case Analysis Winter 2006. (n.d.). Retrieved May 9, 2016, from Ferry, R. (2015, December) APA Style Citation (Short). Retrieved May 9, 2016, from The Basics of APA Style. (n.d.). Retrieved May 9, 2016, from [Note that my citations above of the Piccoli textbook (Edition 3.1, the print version) are not in the APA style, however yours will have to be in the APA style] SOURCES & CITATIONS For the case studies in this course the literature cited doesn’t have to be peer-reviewed. You can cite popular online magazines, such as, ComputerWorld, InfoWorld or Dr. Dobb’s Journal, or peer-reviewed IS-related publications like the Journal of Management Information Systems or the Journal of Global Information Technology Management. Google Scholar works, too. In some cases, you can download the PDF of an article (helps if you are on the UMass VPN) and then Google Scholar will insert the references into Word in the appropriate format. There’s also quite a bit of IT-related articles on pubmed.

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