This case study is the central individual project for each student within the course. This study serves to help synthesize the material covered in the course. It should bring the essence of the lectures and readings of the course. It should demonstrate the student’s thorough understanding of at least six of the “metaphors of organization” studied within the course (see below) and a capacity to apply these in depth to a chosen case study.
The following are general instructions for completing the project. You will find a rubric for the grading of the paper in Blackboard, under Assignments, “Practical Case Study”.
GUIDELINES FOR THE PRACTICAL CASE STUDY
In this course, you will examine a number of different ways of viewing organizations. Each way provides a lens that highlights different aspects of organization. These ways of viewing, or metaphors, should be explored in depth within the analysis.
The purpose of this case study is to create an opportunity to apply the ideas and concepts discussed in class and the readings in the analysis of a real organizational situation. The situation may be drawn from your own experience or from some public event on which information is readily available in newspapers, reports, etc. Your choice of organization and situation will be an important one, and will call for considerable judgment and discretion on your part in deciding whether it is feasible to use it for the purposes of the case study.
PRACTICAL CASE STUDY, continued
Be sure to maintain a professional stance in relation to matters which are sensitive and confidential, and disguise the source of your project (unless it is drawn from public records)
through use of appropriate pseudonyms. Confidentiality and the general conduct of the project are entirely your responsibility, so proceed with caution and ethical care.
If you have no other way to identify an organization, you may choose a complex, real life organizational problem/situation as described in a detailed case study or written about in at least multiple sources in the press (for example in Fortune, the Economist, Sloane Management Review, Wall Street Journal, or through a case clearing house such as the Harvard Business School Press. It should not be a case that you have studied in another course, and must be a unique submission with minimal similarity (less than 15%) to other cases or papers submitted via the Blackboard “Turnitin” system. (You will find a Turnitin link under Assignments in Blackboard for your case study.)
In essence, the case study invites you to do the following:
1) Identify an organizational situation that appears to be amenable to the kind of analysis and exploration used in this course: the situation must be sufficiently complex to generate enough material for the writing of a case that meets the specifications described below.
2) Find relevant information and data about the organization and situation.
3.) Consider the metaphors, images, concepts and general ideas discussed in class. Choose at least six of the metaphors to apply to your organization to help to make sense of the situation being described.
4) Write up the case study in a way that relates evidence to theory to provide an appropriate analysis and explanation of the situation described.