choose for case study

choose for case study


NOTES: Consider submitting this paper to your Writing Coach prior to submission for grading. This assignment requires graduate level writing skills. Please see Note 2 at Homework 1 for further information.
Overview: Assignments Four and Five are inter-related: Assignment Four is, in essence, laying the ground work for Assignment Five. Therefore, before you begin Assignment Four, be sure and read the directions regarding Assignment Five as well so that your work for this assignment will lead to success in Assignment Five.

Both assignments involve:
• A topic in management
• A case study of an actual organization in which that topic is at issue.
For example, the topic of succession planning or the topic of executive retention are both topics that could be found as an issue in the American Red Cross, on which much has been published in scholarly publications.
Both of these – the topic and the case – must appear in both Assignment Four and Assignment Five or else you will not receive full credit on those assignments. The key is to find a case study that involves a management topic of interest to you. The case should be about a real organization that dealt with that topic.

It is important to keep in mind the focus for Assignment Five: this is not a research paper on a management topic. It is a research paper about a case study that involves a management topic.
Completing the assignment:

1. Find a case study that involves a management topic that is of interest to you in the UMUC virtual library. A published case study is any article that discusses in sufficient detail the issue facing an actual organization and how that organization aIDressed that issue. Some of the databases in the virtual library allow you to search using “case study” as a criteria. However, just because the term case study exists in the title of the article may not mean that the article actually gives you enough information to work with; you have to make that judgment. Two of the best sources of articles – ABI/Inform Global and Business Source Complete – don’t allow for searches using case study as a criteria, so you may have to do some searching. Generally speaking, a published case study should be between 10 and 15 pages in length to give you enough information with which to work.

2. Develop your research question based on a management issue present in the case study. For example, do human resource development programs, such as the one implemented by the Red Cross, increase executive retention?

3. Find and read at least five articles in scholarly journals in the UMUC library databases that discuss that management issue. Develop an annotated reference list (see AIDitional Information in the Syllabus for discussions about both annotated reference lists and case studies), including the UMUC library database where the article can be found. Your information on the management issue must come from articles in scholarly journals found in the virtual library, not from the Internet: Wikipedia, newspapers, popular magazines (e.g. Time, Newsweek, Business Week), etc. Academic journals are those usually published by universities or by professional societies (e.g. The Journal of the AMA). Reminder: just having the word “journal” in the title of the publication doesn’t actually make it a journal; for example, The Wall Street Journal is still just a daily newspaper.

Note: aIDitional information about the organization you’re studying can come from non-academic sources. While there are many organizations that have been the subject of published case studies and even some (such as, again, the American Red Cross) that are more frequent subjects of case studies, you may need to go outside the journals in the UMUC library for aIDitional information specific to that topic as it relates to that organization. That is acceptable provided the primary source of your information about the case is the study in a scholarly journal in the UMUC library. For aIDitional information on how the organization is aIDressing the management issue, you can use non-library resources (e.g., the organization’s web site, articles in newspapers and general interest magazines, etc.). Note: do not rely on Wikipedia and other encyclopedia-type sources. These are considered “open sources” and are not subjected to the same form of editorial scrutiny as are newspapers and magazines. In a similar vein, be appropriately skeptical of what organizations post to their web sites; they can sometimes be nothing more than puffery. A statement such as “we have increased sales by 4.5% annually for each of the past five years” is one thing, especially if it is backed up by statistics; a statement of “we are the leading provider of quality widgets” is another matter, especially if there are no statistics provided to support that.

Format: The format for your paper is as follows:
Page 1: Title page (including originality score)
Remaining Pages:
– Case Study reference: You must list the reference using APA style, just as you will with the five supporting articles. Also, no annotated bibliography is necessary, but please briefly (in 3 – 5 sentences) describe your case. Remember, a published case study is any article that discusses in sufficient detail the issue facing an actual organization and how that organization aIDressed that issue. I hope to be able to tell from your description that the reference meets that criteria.
– Research Question
– Annotated bibliography 1
– Annotated bibliography 2
– Annotated bibliography 3
– Annotated bibliography 4
– Annotated bibliography 5
Be sure that your case study and annotated bibliography references are in the proper APA format.
Submit to the Assignment Folder to the link titled A4 and include originality score on title page.

Sample Annotated References: The following information is provided by Joe Rawson (Information and Library Services, UMUC) to further assist you in writing the annotated bibliography.
The annotations you will create for a research paper will be critical annotations. Each entry in your annotated reference list should include:
1. The scope and purpose of the work
2. A brief description of the content of the source (2-3 sentences)
3. Information explaining the authoritativeness of the author
– What are his/her credentials and the quality of the research?
– Is the author an expert in the field? With good university?
– Has the author written other articles on the topic? (Many of the databases include links
to the authors that provide a listing of other articles written them. Some articles provide
the authors’ academic credentials.)
4. Evaluation of the scholarly value of the article
– Is it in a scholarly journal?
– Does it have a reference list consisting mainly of scholarly resources?
5. Evaluation of the objectivity of the article
– Does the article present more than one point of view?
– Does the author support the statements s/he makes with facts or evidence or are his/her statements unsubstantiated?
6. Critical Evaluation
– What are its strengths/weaknesses (and/or author’s awareness of these?)
– Author’s writing style – is it organized, repetitive, etc.?
– Does the work update other sources, substantiate other materials you have read, or aID new information? Does it extensively or marginally cover your topic?
– Audience: is it too elementary? Advanced? Just right?
– Is the information covered fact, opinion, or propaganda?
– Is the info in line with other things you’ve read or radically different?
– Is wording objective and impartial? Is the language free of emotion-arousing words and bias?
– Is there an evaluative review of the book or article?
7. Timeliness of article.
8. An assessment of the relevance and usefulness of the source to your research question

Important Notes: An annotation is not just a description of the article’s content. It is a critical review. It can be compared to a movie critique. Those are not just about the plot but about how well the movie achieved its goals. What is the article’s intrinsic value and pertinence to your topic? Please review the following example and those provided in the Writing Coach Conference area. The sample provided in the syllabus is not preferred.

Sample Annotated Reference List Entry
Research question: In a global environment is it important to understand cultural differences to promote quality management and collaborative teamwork?
Yavas, B. F. & Rezayat, F. (2003) The impact of culture on managerial perceptions of quality. International Journal of Cross Cultural Management: CCM,3(2), 213-235. Retrieved from
This article summarizes the results of a survey aimed at determining the relationship between culture and miIDle managers’ perception of quality in 38 companies in several different locations: United States, Japan, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. One of the authors, Burhan F. Yavas, a professor in the department of finance and quantitative methods at California State University, has authored or coauthored eleven articles on quality management, including several studying the significance of culture. The article is in a scholarly journal and has an extensive reference list of mainly scholarly articles. Empirical evidence of the effect of culture on managers’ perception of quality is mixed. The authors’ analysis of the data and shortcomings of the methodology is objective; it presents both sides of the issue and is supported by evidence and facts from the survey. The literature review and survey data illustrate the research premise that it is important to understand and take into consideration cultural differences when attempting to establish quality management and teamwork in a multicultural work environment.
Final Note: Whatever business case/topic you chose, you should be thinking ahead to Assignment Five and ask yourself if you can aIDress the case study’s issues from a management/organizational theory standpoint. This will be no problem with most business cases but some others may be quite pragmatic (e.g., improving business processes, cutting finances, increasing efficiencies). Your paper should not just say, for example, "it’s a good idea to streamline" but rather you need to explain your points from a management/organizational theory lens based on your case study and references. For example, explain how managers/organizations should tackle streamlining in a way that is smooth for everyone involved (e.g., communicating clearly to impacted employees, considering stakeholders when making decisions, staying abreast of one’s external environment to ensure correct decision-making, etc.)
• Submit the assignment to prior to submission for grading; if your score is over the acceptable level (ideally 10-15% and no more than 25%), make revisions if needed. Resubmit to (you may need to email me to clear your first paper submission).
• Put your originality score on the front page of your paper.
• Post in your assignment folder as an MS Word file to the link titled A4. This, along with all papers, must be in