course project

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Objectives Back to Top

Select, develop, and analyze two mini case studies. The purpose of this project is to identify a successful strategy and compare and contrast it with an unsuccessful strategy, with the aim of identifying critical success factors (CSFs). You may select two strategies developed in the same company or from entirely different companies—or, indeed, different industries.

Case studies are used extensively in teaching business. Typically students perform an analysis on a case study prepared by an author or the professor—in this instance, the student is the author of the cases. The case study research strategy provides the opportunity to develop an in-depth understanding of an organization or event—data can be collected from multiple sources (for example, company websites, interviews, or published articles).

Please select two examples that reflect success and failure—collect data from multiple sources and develop two mini case studies of 500 words in length. Perform a cross-case analysis by comparing and contrasting the case studies on points of parity and points of difference. This should entail developing a framework, similar to many of the frameworks presented in class (e.g., SWOT or Five Forces) and analyzing the key data in your case studies. The analysis should be presented after your case studies and should be followed by a brief concluding statement and references in APA format.

Guidelines Back to Top

Mini Case I: (Success): Sufficient length begins with general points and moves to a focus on specifics, evidence of success, good quality content—relevant, accurate, and timely.

Mini Case II: (Failure): Sufficient length begins with general points and moves to a focus on specifics, evidence of failure, good quality contentrelevant, accurate, and timely.

Cross-Case Analysis: Once you have completed your cases you need to conduct a cross-case analysis. This requires comparing the two cases to determine points of similarity and points of difference.

Research Skills: Each case uses four to six sources, and sources are cited in the text and at the end of the case study in APA format.

Writing Skills: Ideas are communicated clearly in business English and using the appropriate business terminology. Work should be prepared following the development of a rough draft, revision, editing, and proofing to produce a final polished report.

A successful project will meet all of these requirements to earn a maximum of 200 points. At the conclusion of this project it will be beneficial to compare what factors are selected by your peers. Are there patterns here?


  • Week 1: Select company strategies, read supporting documents in Doc Sharing.
  • Weeks 2–7: Research and prepare rough draft and analysis, followed by revision, editing, and proofing—obtaining feedback.
  • Week 8: Submit Final Report.
Grading Rubrics Back to Top
Category Points % Description
Mini Case I: Success  40  20% A quality paper will meet or exceed 500 words.
Mini Case II: Failure  40  20% A quality paper will meet or exceed 500 words.
Cross-Case Analysis  40  20% Includes framework and critical success factors.
Research Skills  40  20% Based on accurate, relevant, and timely sources.
Writing Skills  40  20% Business English, grammatically correct, error free, APA format.
Total  200  100% A quality paper will meet or exceed all of the above requirements.



Best Practices

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The Process for Developing a Case Study and Cross-Case Analysis

  • Generate topic ideas (brainstorm – use your experience – your interests – career oriented choices).
  • Develop initial ideas (explore the Internet – library data bases).
  • Select a topic (find the best fit between assignment and information/interest/experience obtained).
  • Develop a research question/set of questions  –  e.g. Why did this strategy succeed? (answering this question this will guide data collection and helps interpret results).
  • Data collection and analysis:
    • Decide on suitable sources and means to access these sources
    • Conduct interviews/observations, if appropriate
    • Collect published sources and record publication details (use APA format)
    • Review data and determine gaps that need to be filled
    • Determine case study structure (chronological or organized around key events/issues)
    • Interpret data in relation to the initial research question
  • Develop an outline – Say what you are going to say – Say it – Say you have said it (i.e. Introduction – Main body – Summary and conclusion).
  • Develop a rough draft, revise, edit and proof – this is critical to producing a good quality document.
  • A good case study should be:
    • Significant
    • Complete
    • Consider alternative perspectives
    • Display sufficient evidence
    • Be written in an engaging manner

Cross-Case Analysis

Once you have completed your cases you need to conduct a cross-case analysis. This requires comparing the two cases (or more) to determine point of similarity and points of difference. The objective is to determine the critical success factors (CSFs). What are the key factors that led to success? Understanding success also involves studying failure.

The following framework might be helpful. You should identify factors for comparison based on the characteristics of your own cases.  Such factors might be charismatic leadership, global growth, effective value chain network.

The CSFs are based on your judgment of the evidence you have collected, and should emerge as you work through this framework. What are the key factors that have led to success. It will be beneficial to compare what factors are selected by your peers. Are there patterns here?

You can present your analysis in your report as a figure, but remember to introduce it and comment on what it means and present your CSFs in the text. Remember to number your figure and give it a title, e.g. Figure 1: Cross-Case Analysis, see below:

Figure 1: Cross-Case Analysis

  Success: Company X Failures: Company Y Critical Success Factors
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