CSR Assignment #7 – CSR and Foodbanks – Case Study (15%)
This is a TEAM assignment and is due no later than Sunday, April 18 before midnight. You may work in teams of no more than 4 students. You may not work alone. Read the instructions carefully – including the suggested formatting of assignment. Work hard on this assignment.
Instructions: In this assignment, you will analyze the case study titled “Corporate Social Responsibility and Foodbanks” on pages 332-333 of your textbook. You and your team will use a case study format to answer the questions provided to you in this assignment outline. Cases are real life business situations written up in a condensed fashion to isolate specific business management concerns. They provide you with an opportunity to apply course concepts in a more realistic context and help develop your analytical skills for decision-making.
Approach this case picturing yourself as a consultant being hired to assist the company to deal with a specific problem. Remember that cases are designed to stress course content – use the textbook and slides to apply what we’ve learned so far in this course to the situation you have been presented. Focus on the information presented in the case write-up.
To effectively complete a case study, you must analyze it from a series of different perspectives and consider different questions to arrive at solutions. Read through the case study completely and consider the questions below in your analysis. You and your team should be taking notes through this process.
Go over your notes with your team. To meet the requirements of the case study and to properly format your responses, follow the suggestions below. Make sure that your document flows – it should be written in a consistent voice, using “we” statements – not “I” statements. This is a team effort.
This will follow a standard case study format as accepted in the School of Business:
You should expect to write between 10-12 pages for this assignment.
Each section will be graded according to the criteria listed below.
|Section||Unsatisfactory (0-49%)||Competent (50-65%)||Exemplary (66-100%)|
|Executive Summary (10 points)
|· Does not address requirements or shows only a partial grasp of the concept.
· Answer lacks clarity or omits significant facts or is incomplete.
· Does not incorporate information from lectures or assigned readings
· Significant problems with clarity and organization making information presented difficult to comprehend
· Contains enough distracting grammar, spelling or structure errors to make it incomprehensible.
|· Shows an adequate understanding of the requirements and concepts
· Answer displays a basic knowledge of the issue
· Incorporates some information from lectures and assigned readings – requires some work
· Presents information fairly clearly and concisely – may have minor organization problems
· Uses acceptable style and grammar (contains one or few errors)
|· Demonstrates an accurate and complete understanding of the concepts
· Answer displays clarity of thought, depth of reflection and insight
· Incorporates pertinent details from lectures and assigned readings, providing evidence for key claims when needed.
· Presents answer clearly and concisely in an organized manner.
· Uses elements of style and grammar well – follows outline requirements.
|Statement of Important Facts (10 points)
|Statement of Problem (15 points)
|Analysis (30 points)
|Recommendations (10 points)
|Implementation (15 points)|
Please note: Late assignments will not be accepted and will result in a zero grade.
HOW TO TACKLE A CASE STUDY
Please read this guide carefully, and follow the given instructions to create your case report.
What is a Case Study?
Cases are real life business situations written up in a condensed fashion to isolate specific business management concerns. Cases are very useful learning tools because they provide students with an opportunity to apply course concepts in a more realistic context and to develop useful analytical skills for decision-making. They also help to develop interpersonal communication skills, independent thought and creativity.
In the School of Business, we have developed a standard format which students are expected to use for all case submissions. This document is designed to communicate this format.
Please note that your Professors in second and later semesters will expect that you have learned how to construct a case report!
Your Professor will provide you with a specific grading scheme (Rubric) in courses where cases are required.
In approaching a case picture yourself as a consultant being hired to assist the company deal with a specific problem. Remember that cases are designed to stress course content; you will find that each course will require you to focus on the special knowledge and expertise of that topic area.
Please remember also that cases cannot cover all aspects of a real-world business problem or issue. Some are still quite comprehensive, and require students to deal with overall business environments and strategies. Others are designed to deal with a key issue and only certain information will be given. Focus on the information provided in the case write-up and do not go into areas where you are lacking specific information unless specifically requested by your instructor.
Read the assigned case information several times and create rough notes before attempting the hand-in copy. Do not try to sit down and write your case report the night before it is due. Leave yourself plenty of time for revisions and proofreading.
Remember too that cases are only useful learning tools for the active learner: try to participate actively in the case process.
Overview of Content Sections
You, or in this instance, your group will normally be asked to organize a case report into the sections outlined next. Keep in mind that the report sections should tie together in terms of content.
Case format steps basically follow the problem-solving process.
The purpose of an executive summary is to provide the reader with a clear and concise overview of the contents of your report.
The executive summary is typically short (less than one page), and should contain three basic sections:
1) A brief introduction to the firm/product/situation;
2) An indication of the key problem(s) you have defined; and
3) Your final recommendation(s) and/or plan of action.
Please note: the Executive Summary is placed before the Table of Contents when you are putting the report together, so it is the first thing the reader reads.
Summary of Important Facts
Using the given information, develop a clear and concise summary of what is happening in the case. Do not re-state the entire case – just the most salient (important) facts, and organize the information into appropriate sections.
Remember that in business, consulting reports are often read by a variety of people, for a variety of purposes. Never assume that the reader sees the big picture: introduce it and develop it clearly!
An important aspect of writing this section is that it helps you to clearly understand the given information. This should help you to isolate the specific problem.
Statement of the Problem(s)
Without a doubt, the most difficult part of solving any case is defining the main problem or issue presented by the case. Very often, you will notice a number of obvious difficulties in the case, such as a decline in sales of a product. These are symptoms of the key problem. Your job is to identify “the key problem”.
In order to identify the “key problem” you will have to ask yourself, “What is at the root of all of the symptoms I can see?” The answer to this question is your “key problem”.
You may also want to include any other problems, which are significant but unrelated to the main problem. However, be careful not to get sidetracked by unimportant issues.
This section is the real “body” of your case report. The main concern here is: how can the problem be solved? Some potential solutions may be suggested in the case. Very often, however, you will need to think of other alternatives. More often than not, your self-generated alternatives are better than those listed in the case! Be imaginative but be reasonable!
An environmental scan is often a component of this section, along with associated SWOT analysis.
Your grade will depend on the quality of the alternatives solutions as well as your ability to identify the relative pros and cons of each alternative. In other words, your rationale or argument is as important as the final answer. In case studies, we cannot test your answer to see if it will work. Instead, we look at your reasoning for choosing a particular alternative. This means that you must ensure that your analysis is clear, concise and complete.
You must also ensure that the reader can easily follow your analysis by organizing the content appropriately. The use of sub-headings for sections within the analysis is strongly recommended and is often helpful for the reader.
Recommendation/Your Best Solution
Once you have analyzed the relative strengths and weaknesses of all of your alternatives, you should state what you feel is the best solution, and provide reasoning as to why. This may be one of the alternatives you examined, or may be a combination of several acceptable alternatives.
There are two key rules for this section, firstly, be concise (do not repeat the pro/con analysis) and secondly, do not recommend any additional alternatives which have not been covered in the analysis section.
Implementation/Plan of Action
It is good business practice to clearly outline the steps necessary for implementing the recommended solution. You must clearly indicate the steps or decisions to show how the organization can actually get your recommendations accomplished.
Appropriate content to consider here (use sub-headings) could be: the financial and human resources required, and specific tasks that will need to be done over time: immediate tasks, short term tasks, and long term tasks to guide the implementation process.
Case Format Concerns
Once you have created a ‘rough draft’ of the report, you need to generate a suitable format for the ‘hand-in’ copy. The following format requirements should be followed:
1) Complete/formal sentence and paragraph structure must be used in the written sections of formal reports. Point-form can only be used in exhibits or appendices.
2) For reader convenience, your report should be one and a half or double spaced, with standard one-inch margins, and 12-point font.
3) Provide a Title Page with the: Name of your report
Name of Professor
Course name and number
Names of all group members
Date of submission
4) Construct a Table of Contents with all your section Major headings and Minor headings in the correct order. Note that your Major headings are all given in the content guide provided in this document! Use a standard format, with headings listed on the left of the page, and page references on the right. Ensure to number the pages electronically. To create an automatic table of contents, watch this quick video: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/office/insert-a-table-of-contents-882e8564-0edb-435e-84b5-1d8552ccf0c0
5) Use Exhibits/Appendices to supplement or simplify the presentation of certain case information. This includes any appropriate charts, diagrams, financial statements or statistical analyses. Remember that Exhibits are supplements not substitutes for written analysis. Refer the reader to the appropriate exhibit when you are presenting the analysis in the written section.
6) Headers and Footers: Please provide the Course Name and Number in a header, and the Page Number in the footer.
7) References: Please credit all References you have used (other than your text) using APA works cited styling guide, available in the Library.
The professional presentation of your case submission is an important part of the whole package being submitted for marking. Here is a mini-checklist:
□ Do you have section headings?
□ Is the content organized for the reader?
□ Are your pages numbered clearly?
□ Have you included a well-presented title page and table of contents?
□ Are exhibits clearly labeled? Is your report neat, electronically word-processed and printed, with no whiteout, or handwritten corrections?
A professional presentation is like a first impression. Make it count!
It is not uncommon for students to find case analysis difficult, especially when cases are first introduced. However, if you work at the process, use the resources that you have (such as your textbook) and actively participate and communicate with your Professor and other students, you will find that cases can help you to develop many key management skills.