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Engin 9 Case Writing Assignment

What is a case?
•A story

•Puts reader in shoes of the protagonists

•No right answers, per se.

•Students/managers/decision makers will always want more


info, but won’t always have all the info. Forced to make
choices based on info presented.

Spring 2004
Engin 9 Case Writing Assignment

Case Structure Reebok case as an example

Critical Issue/Decision

How does the Human Rights Now! Concern fit into


Reebok’s marketing and communications strategy?
Should the company go forward with its sponsorship?
Why and how?

Where is this decision point stated?

Intro & very end (pages 1 & 11)

Spring 2004
Engin 9 Case Writing Assignment

Case Structure Reebok case as an example


Information to help make a decision:
Culture and ethos of the company = history, background, etc. Pages 1-3

Place in the industry: larger context of company in the industry


Pages 3-5

History of company marketing & communications Pages 5-7

Current marketing plans Pages 7-9

Human Rights Now! Tour Pages 9-11

Spring 2004
Engin 9 Case Writing Assignment

Case Structure Reebok case as an example

Analysis to be done to help make a decision


Print advertisements Look at the exhibits

Current ad spending

Financials $1,200

$1,000

$800

$600

$400

$200

$0
1984 1985 1986 1987
Sales ($ millions) 64 299 841 991
Budget ($ millions) 2.7 6.5 10 30

Spring 2004
Engin 9 Case Writing Assignment

Case Structure Reebok case as an example


Along the way, a number of other ideas were introduced:

Net Sales Product life cycles

Communications Mix Market Share


Market research Contract out manufacturing

Distribution
Channels

Cases are pedagogical tools or vehicles to learn not only about a


company but also business basics.

Spring 2004
Engin 9 Case Writing Assignment

Potential Case Outline


1) Introduction Start with the protagonist; give a sense of the person making the
decision and a sense of the critical issue. (~1/2 page)
2) Company
background and General info about founding, evolution, key events that shaped
the company. (~2 pages)
history
Need to understand the context within which the company
3) Industry info operates. What are the economics of the industry? (~2 pages)

4) Company specifics More in-depth info than in #2 above and directly related to
related to decision critical issue. (~2 pages)

5) Summary Return to the protagonist and clearly state the critical issue. (~1/2 page)

Total case study length: ~7-10 pages

Spring 2004
Engin 9 Case Writing Assignment

Case Writing Process


1) Articulate the critical issue and/or decision point.
• This is provided by your protagonists.
2) Summarize the information needed to make the decision.
• Research may be necessary to fill in gaps.
• Carefully consider your interviews as a mode of
research
3) List necessary data for analysis to make the decision.
• Sources may come from alumni.
• Research may be necessary to fill in gaps.

Spring 2004
Engin 9 Case Writing Assignment

Case Interviewing Process


•Do background reading on your company and protagonist. You know the critical
issue, so you should have a sense of the kind of info needed to make a decision.

•Prepare interview questions but also have some sense of the potential answers. Ask
some questions you actually know the answer to, but will help you get a sense of the
company culture.

•Formulate questions that will gather appropriate data for making the decision.

•Prepare your interviewees appropriately.

Have fun and take the time to engage the alums in your project!

Spring 2004
Engin 9 Case Writing Assignment

Next Steps—February
Now—Feb 25-29 •Review materials from alum contact.
•Prepare preliminary research for meeting
with Hanna

Feb 25-29 •Meet with Hanna in your teams prepared to


discuss the nature of the case study, avenues of
research, and line of questioning for
interviews.

Spring 2004
Engin 9 Case Writing Assignment

Next Steps—March
•Prepare for interviews by doing company and industry
research. (Begin to outline/write-up this information.)

•Create interview questions and share with interviewee.


Mar 1-25
•Do interviews.

•Begin outlining the case.

•March 9: Status Report due


•March 18: Status Report due
•March 25: Status Report due
Spring 2004
Engin 9 Case Writing Assignment

Next Steps—April
•Write case and teaching note. (Aim to have a
April 6-21 working draft in the first week of the month.)
•Edit case and teaching note.
•Refine case and teaching note.

April 25/27 Case, teaching note, and takeaways document is due.

Spring 2004