Case Preparation Guidelines
During this course you will select and analyze three cases. The first case is due in Module 3, the
second case is due in Module 5, and the third case is due in Module 7. Choose one of the two
cases listed below under each module for your assignment:
For Module 3 (choose one):
Case 1, Chapter 2: Netflix: Push and Pushback in Streaming Video
Case 2, Chapter 5: Compensation Controversies at AIG
For Module 5 (choose one):
Case 1, Chapter 9: Achieving Success in Virtual Teams
Case 2, Chapter 13: Customer Service at Nordstrom: A Way to Mitigate Potential
For Module 7 (choose one):
Case 1, Chapter 11: Oracle’s Larry Ellison: A Profile of Power, Influence, and
Case 2, Chapter 14: Alternative Work Arrangements: What Does the Future Hold?
The case study assignment is intended to be completed as an individual effort. Thus,
collaboration with anyone else on these case assignments is considered a violation of the
academic honor code. Each case a nalysis is due at the end of the module in which it is assigned
and must be turned into the course room Dropbox before Sunday night at 11:59 PM EST/EDT).
Be certain to pay close attention to the case studies since together they represent the largest point
contribution toward your final grade. In addition, keep in mind that since you are graduate
students your instructor’s expectations are high. Before you begin each case study, make sure
that you have worked through all the module materials and have read the assigned reading along
with any relevant instructor notes or announcements that may have been posted. After you have
submitted each case, be sure to read the instructor’s feedback so that you can improve
subsequent case submissions.
Per Saint Leo University standard practice, all case papers are submitted to Turnitin where they
will be automatically evaluated for percentage of original work and potential plagiarism.
When you submit the case paper to the Dropbox, it will automatically be submitted to Turnitin.
Hence, there is no additional work required on your part for the assignments to be graded by
You must use either Microsoft Word (*.docx) or R ich Text Format (*.rtf) to submit your
assignments. RTF files can be created by all major word processors and will allow you to see
changes made by using the “track changes” feature. Please keep in mind that Plain Text (*.txt)
format is not acceptable for any assignment. Note that Turnitin may assign this extension if it
does not understand what file type has been submitted. Throughout the course you are
responsible for making sure that your assignment uploaded successfully and that the assignment
has been received as a *.docx, or *.rtf file.
It is critical to remember that you are training to be a management scientist and not a casual
observer. These cases are your opportunity to practice being analytical and comprehensive as you
construct evidence-based arguments. To accomplish this objective, an average question in a case
often requires several well-organized paragraphs (double-spaced), creating a finished document
of two to four pages in length or a minimum of 1,000 words for each case study submission. Most
of the answers to the case questions contain a number of applicable theories and you are expected
to address each theory in your analysis in addition to illustrating how these theories apply in the
Content Guidelines: In your case analysis content remember that thoroughly answering the case questions is a
requirement, but thoroughness is not always sufficient to earn a passing grade on a case
analysis. The minimum scope your case analysis must contain a minimum of 1,000 words.
However, the analysis must be of sufficient depth that you are able to demonstrate significant
knowledge and analytical skills in the process. The best way to demonstrate these critical
thinking skills is to begin with a clear explanation of the relevant theories, ideally in your own
words. Using some quotes from the textbook in proper APA Style can help, but can also leave
the instructor wondering if you understand the material enough to explain it to someone else.
Hence, use more of your own individual work and no more than 15% – 18% direct quotations.
After explaining all relevant concepts to the reader, you may begin to answer the questions
accurately and thoroughly. While addressing the case questions you must demonstrate the ability
to apply the theory to a real situation. Sometimes it helps to envision the answer as a matrix of
points to comment on. For example if there are three sub-points to a theory being applied, and
four elements (people, situations, etc.) presented in the case, then there are 12 possible points of
discussion in that one answer alone. If you just include a sample of these possible areas of
comment, you will not earn an “A” grade. Cases are intended to be mechanisms for you to
demonstrate mastery of chapter concepts by methodically describing all the applicable theoretical
concepts in the correct terminology. In addition, the cases study provide a detailed framework of
real-world situational issues for you to thoroughly analyze and provide a detailed assessment of
how all the issues are explained within the theoretical framework you are currently studying. The
result of this case analysis endeavor is that both the author and the reader attain a better
understanding of the applicable theories and how they apply in the real world.
In a case analysis you must assume that the reader (your audience or the instructor) knows
nothing about the case or the relevant theories.
Hence, if you make a premise that is not explained and/or supported with case evidence, the
instructor will assume that you don’t know enough about the premise to elaborate the point.
Similarly, if you make a short generalized statement, the instructor will assume that you only
possess a superficial understanding of the concept and that you are unaware of the details and the
specific issues. Your answers should be clear, concise, and thorough enough for anyone to
understand. Also, your premise must be persuasive enough to convince a stubborn adversary.
Treat these cases with the same rigor and approach as research papers and be certain that the
papers are thoroughly documented with scholarly evidence for each assertion or premise that you
make. Imagine that the case responses are arguments in a court of law and it is your job to back
up everything you say with previous case evidence and/or facts.
Each case analysis assignment must be supported by research of the concepts being presented that
is beyond what is covered in the courses textbook. This research should assist you in improving
your ability to understand course concepts or case details and assist you in constructing detailed
and well-reasoned answers to the case questions. Your needs will depend on your own experience
and comprehension relative to the specific case. Choose sources that are credible and directly
relevant to the case and do not rely on quoting other people’s opinions without your own
explanation. When any theory or evidence comes from an outside source (e.g., course textbook,
research article, etc.), you must give credit by using a formal references section with properly
formatted citations and quotations. Thus, each case assignment will always contain a reference
section which also includes the course textbook as a source in addition to any other journals or
books used as a source. All case documents must strictly adhere to APA formatting and style
which is explained more thoroughly in the following section.
Make sure to follow the basic APA page format for your cases. Basic APA requirements require
the use of:
1. One-inch margins all around the document 2. Times New Roman Font that is 12-point size 3. Consistent double-spacing throughout the document between all items including headings
and paragraphs. There is no extra white space in an APA document
4. A “Reference” section (do not use “Works Cited”, “Bibliography”, “Sources”, or any other heading titles)
5. Standard essay type formatting with indented first line in paragraphs 6. Headings and sub-headings to break up your case analysis such as Introduction or
Background, Current Issues or Analysis, Recommendations or Conclusion, and
Reference section (use one or the other of the aforementioned headings…not both; case
analyses are not presented in question and answer layout)
7. A minimum of five citations in the case analysis assignment with a minimum of one direct quote
8. A minimum of three sources in the Reference section (one is the textbook) and be sure to list your sources in the Reference section
You are expected to use proper writing techniques and correct course terminology in your
answers. This standard is essential in order for you to be clear and accurate in your comments.
As a part of this precision, you should avoid grandiose statements, exaggerations, and
statements that generalize certain case conditions to other situations. Even if a cause-and-
effect relationship seems to be true in one case situation, you cannot make the general
statement that, for example, happy employees are more productive, unless you cite data to
support your position. Common sense can be wrong, and every situation is different; an
effective set of policies for the given situation may or may not work elsewhere. Every factual
assertion will be inspected for validity in light of the relevant academic research and case
Although there is no maximum limit to the number of sources that may be referenced, each
case analysis should be supported by at least three relevant and credible sources. Additionally,
there are approximate limits on quotations for this course which means that you should not use
more that 15% – 20% direct quotes. When more than 20% of a paper is not original, it often
indicates a problem, even after noting that the Turnitin scores include an accumulation of
random matches. Even when sources are properly cited and some of the words are changed, it
raises the question as to how much original thinking was used for the paper.
There is a big difference (in learning and difficulty) between starting with a blank page and
writing your thoughts, and building the paper around quotes, paraphrased sources, and the
altered wording of another author. As an author, you only have two choices when using
someone else’s work: include it in entirely in your own words and cite the source, or include it
as a direct quotation (with exact wording and punctuation) using quotation marks and a
citation with a page number to cite the source. When simply changing someone else’s words,
you can end up somewhere between these two choices. Thus, in addition to plagiarism, high
scores in turnitin.com can result from incorrect quotation/citation methodology, or from using
rearranged words similar to your sources, causing it to look much like other papers.
Unfortunately, these are not characteristics of graduate-level writing; when an argument relies
largely on a collection of words or thoughts from elsewhere, it loses uniqueness,
professionalism, and impact.