Business Case

Project Name: (Insert a project title here)

Project Manager: (Insert your name)

1.0 Background & Business Problem
This section should briefly describe how the current situation has been arrived at and, and it should briefly describe the business problem that the proposed project will address. This section should not describe how the problem will be addressed, but only what the problem is.
2.0 Strategic Case
All projects should support the organization’s strategy and strategic plans in order to add value and maintain executive and organizational support. This section provides an overview of the organizational strategic plans that are related to the project. Essentially, where does this project fit in helping the organizational achieve its goals? This section should also list the business goals and objectives which are supported by the project and how the project will address them.
3.0 Project Overview
This section describes high-level information about the project to include a description (high level scope), assumptions, and constraints.
4.0 Expected Benefits
This section should describe the anticipated outcome if the proposed project or initiative is implemented. It should include how the project will benefit the business and describe what the end state of the project should be.
5.0 Financial Considerations
Many consider this one of the most important parts of a business case as it is often the costs or savings a project yields which win final approval to go forward. It is important to quantify the financial benefits of the project as much as possible in the business case. This is usually done in the form of a cost benefit analysis. The purpose of this is to illustrate the costs of the project and compare them with the benefits and savings to determine if the project is worth pursuing.
6.0 Risks
What the risks that you anticipate based on your analysis of the proposed solutions (i.e. project)? These are not the specific risks associated with your project’s performance, such as the project being delivered late, but are risks associated with whether or not the proposed solution will actually address the business problem you have identified above.
7.0 Timeline
What is the high level timeline from this point forward? For instance, if the next step is to charter a project, how long until the results of the project are realized and the business problem is resolved?
8.0 Recommendations and Next Steps
This section summarizes the recommendation(s) of the person(s) responsible for preparing the business case. How do you recommend that the organization proceed based on your analysis? As for next steps, should the project be chartered, or should a different outcome result from the analysis?

*Be sure to remove the instructions in blue italics before you submit your completed statement.

Project Charter and Scope

Assignment

FirstName LastName

Northeastern University

Submitted

In partial fulfillment for

PJM6000 Project Management Practices

Month, Day, Year

Introduction

Include a one to two page written introduction (double spaced, times new roman size 12 font) that outlines the process you utilized to prepare the charter and scope statement. Be sure to cite all sources using APA format as needed. Include a references page as needed after the template.

Remove blue text from cover page, introduction, main body of template, and references pages before you submit. Be sure to turn the ink color for the entire document back to the “black” color and font style to “not italicized” before submitting. Remove any unused rows from tables in the main template (do not have blank rows). Overall, before submitting, consider: would you submit this project charter to your boss or your project sponsor? If not, then make adjustments to this document before submitting…

Project Charter
Project Name: (Insert project name here)
Project Manager: (Insert your name here)
Executive Summary

Include a concise overview here (about a paragraph or two) that addresses the following:

Where did this project come from?

Why is it being done?

What impact will the project create (internally, externally)?

What strategic plan does it contribute to?

What does the customer receive/not receive by project end?

What key assumptions are driving this project?

What risks could challenge project success?

Goals

What business/organization goal(s) does this project support?

What business need is being satisfied by this project?

Objectives

What, specifically, needs to be done to meet project/customer requirements/expectations/goal(s)?

What is the target of the project?

Note: Ensure each objective contributes to the goal. Check to satisfy the “SMART” criteria

Scope:

The following work is considered in scope and out of scope for this project:

Work IncludesWork does not Include
· Add as many rows as needed to specify work included as part of this project.· Add as many rows as needed to specify work NOT included as part of this project; you may need to make some assumptions. Be sure to note assumptions.
··
··
··
Phases ⁄ Deliverables:

What are the major components of work to meet the goals/objectives/scope?

What are the high level customer, process, and project deliverables within each phase?

PhaseDescription of PhaseDeliverables
InternalExternal
e.g. InitiationShort description here··
··
··
··
Assumptions:

List any assumptions you made when creating the charter

AssumptionRationaleProbability of Assumption being TrueImpact to Project if Assumption is True
Short description of assumptionWhy is this a reasonable assumption?High, medium, lowHigh, medium, low
Risks:

What events could jeopardize this project’s success?

RiskProbability of Risk OccurringImpact if Risk Occurs
Short description of riskHigh, medium, lowHigh, medium, low

Constraints:

What is restricting this project?

What standards, regulations, technologies, resource availability might impact this project?

ConstraintImpact of constraint
Short description of constraintHow might the constraint impact the project? How large is the constraint?
Preliminary Budget:
Include a short summary of the anticipated budget (costs) for this project. Your case study contains some of the numbers you need. Some considerations to include are:

What are the estimated costs to complete this project (document variability, range, precision at this point)

What is the financial justification for this project? (i.e. Benefit Cost Analysis, Return on Investment, NPV . . .)

What financial gains are there to doing/not doing this project?

High Level Schedule:

When are the phases/deliverables planned to begin/end?

Phase and/or DeliverableAnticipated Timeline
Milestones:

What major points are important to communicate/measure against?

When should/will they occur?

Use the Scope, Phase Deliverables, and High Level Schedule sections above to help inform what should be listed in this section.

Resource Requirements:

Sometimes projects require people with special skills and/or knowledge. These folks can be constraints if not available. What specialized person(s) are necessary to complete this project?

Team MemberRoleResponsibility
Sponsor
Project Manager
Management Approaches:

Provide a very high-level overview of how communication will take place for your project. This is high-level, as each plan below will be its own document/template (which you’ll learn how to create in future courses). An example is included in the first row of the table. Some considerations include:

How will status be documented and communicated?

How will change be managed?

How will issues be escalated?

How will the risk be managed?

Communication TypeAudienceFrequencyAgenda/ ContentResponsibleDistribution Media
Status reportAll stakeholdersWeeklyUpdate of project statusProject ManagerEmail
Sign-offs/Reviews:

At what points will management/customer/team/peer reviews be conducted? For what purpose?

Who signs off on the project reviews?

RoleName(s) of person(s) (if known)Item(s) to sign-off
SponsorIf you know the name of this person – from the case study – include here. Otherwise, state “to be identifiedList the types of documents/approvals that this person will be signing-off on, such as “Project Charter, Project Budget, Timelines, Phase Deliverables, etc.”
List other roles here, one role per row. Insert as many rows as you feel appropriate.
Acceptance Criteria:

What measurements will be used to determine customer acceptance?

What performance criteria define project success (i.e. time, cost, resource, quality prioritization)?

Acceptance CriteriaPriorityResponsible to Accept/Sign-Off
Short description here, such as “project delivered on budget” or “project delivered on time”High, medium, lowWho is going to “sign for acceptance for this criteria?

Impacted ⁄ Interdependent Projects

It is not unusual for one project to impact (or be impacted by) other project(s). We want to bring visibility to those projects here.

What projects connect to this project via inputs/outputs?

What products are impacted by this project/how?

What other projects are addressing related issues?

ProjectInterdependency Relationship

References

(The generic reference format is):

Last Name, F. M. (Year). Article title. Journal Title, Volume(Issue), page numbers.

Last Name, F. M. (Year). Book title. City Name, State: Publisher Name.

(An example appropriate example citation for the PMBOK would be as follows; notice the “reverse indentation” of the second and remaining lines of the citation):

Project Management Institute. (2017). A guide to the project management body of knowledge (PMBOK guide) (6th. ed.). Newtown Square, Pa: Project Management Institute.

Note:

1. The information in this template has been adapted from the following resources:

Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL). (n.d.). Annotated bibliography samples. Retrieved from https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/614/03/

2. Delete all blue text from this page and insert your own text.

During this final week, we are discussing the closing and lessons learned processes.

For this final discussion thread, please provide at least three lessons learned that you will take away from the course. This can relate to any aspect of the course, such as course lectures, assignments, readings, discussions, etc. Additionally, be sure to address how these lessons will serve you in your career or studies.

Please note:  I expect a minimum of 2 -3 paragraphs for your initial post complete with external references. Your response postings are expected to be at least a full paragraph using cited material. 

PJM6000 is the course that provided project management practices as a real-world project. The Acme company case study assignments start with the project initiation phase to the execution, controlling and project closing process. It offered the opportunity for me to manage the whole project from the beginning to the end.

From the course, I’ve got three lessons learned from the lectures, assignments and the discussion. First of all, I’ve learned how to manage a “real” project in the organization from the Acme company case studies. As I’ve mentioned above, the case studies provided the opportunity for project management student to experience managing the whole project from the start to the closure. Secondly, I’ve learned a lot from reading the course materials and textbooks. For instance, I’ve acquired the knowledge of stakeholder analysis and change control especially integrated change control. Thirdly, I’ve improved my critical thinking from the overall project management class. I’ve learned how to think from multiple perspectives in project management in cross-functional projects and how to maximize the profile for the individuals and organizations.

The lessons learned from PJM 6000 will help me to improve my knowledge, assist me in stepping out the next Level of project management. I take lessons learned is a life long learning experience for project managers; it will benefit and gain expertise to manage future projects. “Capturing lessons learned should be an on-going effort throughout the life of the project. This mindset should be strongly encouraged by the project manager from day one.”  (Rowe. & Sikes. 2006).

Reference

Rowe, S. F. & Sikes, S. (2006). Lessons learned: taking it to the next level. Newtown Square, PA: Project Management Institute.

Week 6 Assignment: Curriculum Map

Grading Rubric

FailingBelow AverageAverageAbove AverageSuperior
0 – 60 (F range)70 – 79 (C range)80 – 89 (B range)90 – 93 (A- range)94 – 100 (A range)
Topical Content & Focus (65%)Curriculum Map does not include all four key areas, and/or does not includes accurate data from the Curriculum Map Requirements assignment. The appropriate material, as outlined in the assignment guidelines is not covered in the Curriculum Map, and the Curriculum Map requirementsmay or may not be accurate and accurately interpreted and explained.Curriculum Map includes all four key areas, and includes accurate data from the Curriculum Map Requirements worksheet. Most of the appropriate material, as outlined in the assignment guidelines is covered in the Curriculum Map Requirements assignment are accurate and accurately interpreted and explained.Curriculum Map includes all four key areas, and includes accurate data from the Curriculum Map Requirements worksheet. All the appropriate material, as outlined in the assignment guidelines is covered in the Curriculum Map, and the Curriculum Map requirements are accurate and accurately interpreted and explained.Assignment meets the expectations of ‘Average’ column, but shows a higher degree of understanding of in the interconnectedness between the various Curriculum Map attributes and integrates information from the readings in a supportive manner.Assignment meets the expectations of ‘Above Average’ column, but shows a stronger integration with the details of ethical practices and provides concrete and realistic recommendations that are appropriately defined and defended given the details of the program curriculum and clearly outlines a plan to graduate.
Personal Competencies (15%)· Critical thinking· Professional Writing· Quantitative analysis· Problem SolvingSubmission reflects little to no applicable personal competenciesSubmission reflects a minimal applicable personal competenciesSubmission reflects both applicable personal competencies in an acceptable mannerSubmission strongly reflects applicable personal competencies integrated throughout the assignmentSubmission reflects an excellent use of applicable personal competencies integrated throughout the paper in a way that synthesizes the personal competencies
Grammar (10%)Writing contains numerous errors in spelling, grammar, sentence structure, etc. that interfere with comprehension. The reader is unable to understand some of the intended meaning.Frequent errors in spelling, grammar, sentence structure, and/or other writing conventions that distract the reader.Minimal errors in spelling, grammar, sentence structure and/or other writing conventions but the reader is able to understand what the writer meant.All work grammatically correct with rare misspellings.All work grammatically correct with rare misspellings.
Formatting (10%)NOTE: Gross failure to provide PROPER citations and references – particularly with regard to direct quotes – will result in sanctions as outlined in the academic honesty policy.Multiple errors in formatting and document is not formatted in a manner consistent with the guidelines provided.A few errors in formatting and presentation of material is mostly well done, but either lacks professional formatting or clarity.Rare errors in formatting and formatting is consistent through the submission and in alignment with the guidelines by being presented in a clear and professional format.Virtually no errors in formatting and makes good use of tables appropriately.Virtually no errors in formatting and makes good use of tables appropriately.

Week

6

Assignment

:

Curriculum Map

Grading Rubric

Failing

Below

Average

Average

Above Average

Superior

0

60

(F

range)

70

79

(C

range)

80

89

(B

range)

90

93

(A

range)

94

100 (A range)

Topical

Content &

Focus

(6

5

%)

Curriculum

Map

does not

include all

four key areas,

and/or does

not includes

accurate data

from the

Curriculum

Map

Requirements

assignment

.

The

appropriate

material, as

outlined in the

assignment

guidelines is

not covered in

the

Curriculum

Map

, and the

Curriculum

Map

r

equirements

may or m

ay

not be

accurate and

accurately

interpreted

and explained.

Curriculum

Map

includes

all four key

areas, and

includes

accurate data

from the

Curriculum

Map

Requirements

worksheet.

Most of the

appropriate

material, as

outlined in the

assignment

guidelines is

covered

in the

Curriculum

Map

Requirements

assignment

are accurate

and accurately

interpreted

and

explained.

Curriculum

Map

includes

all four key

areas, and

includes

accurate data

from the

Curriculum

Map

Requirements

worksheet.

All the

appropriate

material, as

outlined in the

assignment

guidelines is

covered in the

Curriculum

Map

, and the

Curriculum

Map

requirements

a

re accurate

and accurately

interpreted

and

explained.

Assignment

meets the

expectations of

Average

column, but

shows a higher

degree of

understanding of

in the

interconnectedn

es

s between the

various

Curriculum Map

attributes

and

integrates

information

from the

readings

in a

supportive

manner.

Assignment meets the

expectations of

Above

Average

column, but

shows a stronge

r

integration wi

th the

details of ethical

practices

and provides

concrete and realistic

recommendations that

are appropriately

defined and defended

g

iven the deta

ils of the

program

curriculum

and clearly outlines a

pl

an to graduate

.

Week 6 Assignment: Curriculum Map

Grading Rubric

Failing Below

Average

Average Above Average Superior

0 – 60 (F

range)

70 – 79 (C

range)

80 – 89 (B

range)

90 – 93 (A-

range)

94 – 100 (A range)

Topical

Content &

Focus (65%)

Curriculum

Map does not

include all

four key areas,

and/or does

not includes

accurate data

from the

Curriculum

Map

Requirements

assignment.

The

appropriate

material, as

outlined in the

assignment

guidelines is

not covered in

the

Curriculum

Map, and the

Curriculum

Map

requirements

may or may

not be

accurate and

accurately

interpreted

and explained.

Curriculum

Map includes

all four key

areas, and

includes

accurate data

from the

Curriculum

Map

Requirements

worksheet.

Most of the

appropriate

material, as

outlined in the

assignment

guidelines is

covered in the

Curriculum

Map

Requirements

assignment

are accurate

and accurately

interpreted

and

explained.

Curriculum

Map includes

all four key

areas, and

includes

accurate data

from the

Curriculum

Map

Requirements

worksheet.

All the

appropriate

material, as

outlined in the

assignment

guidelines is

covered in the

Curriculum

Map, and the

Curriculum

Map

requirements

are accurate

and accurately

interpreted

and

explained.

Assignment

meets the

expectations of

‘Average’

column, but

shows a higher

degree of

understanding of

in the

interconnectedn

ess between the

various

Curriculum Map

attributes and

integrates

information

from the

readings in a

supportive

manner.

Assignment meets the

expectations of ‘Above

Average’ column, but

shows a stronger

integration with the

details of ethical

practices and provides

concrete and realistic

recommendations that

are appropriately

defined and defended

given the details of the

program curriculum

and clearly outlines a

plan to graduate.

Assignment Overview:

You will be writing a brief essay on the closure and lessons learned process.

Learning Connection:

This assignment is directly linked to the following key learning outcomes from the course syllabus:

· Describing administrative project closure tasks

· Describing how to conduct a Lessons Learned and how to work with the results of this process.

In addition to these key learning outcomes, you will also have the opportunity to evidence the following skills through completing this assignment:

· Critical thinking

· Problem solving

· Professional writing

Assignment Instructions:

For this assignment, you are to write a  4 to 5 page long paper describing the key elements of the project closure and lessons learned process.

There are two topics to cover in the paper.

1. Provide an overview of the key elements of the closure process. Be sure to address why these elements are important and necessary. Also, discuss how the main elements of the closure process should be completed.

2. Discuss how one should conduct a lessons learned, including who should be involved, how information might be gathered, and how the results can and should be used in a consistent manner. Be sure to also discuss why it is important to conduct lessons learned. 

Please review the general guidelines below as well as the attached rubric for information on how I will be specifically evaluating your submission.

There is no template provided for this assignment. It is assumed by this point in the course, you are comfortable using a template from a prior assignment (such as week #1’s assignment), and modifying it accordingly for this assignment.

Here are some general guidelines for formatting:

· Make appropriate use of title and headers

· Paper should follow APA6 formatting guidelines throughout (cover page, main body of 4 to 5 pages, double spaced, times new roman size 12 font throughout entire document, 1 inch margins, and reference section)

· Paper should cite a minimum of two sources

· Paper should be 4 to 5 pages in length (this is the body of the paper, and it does not include the title page or reference page)

· All Assignment files are due by 11:59 pm ET, Saturday.

· Click on the assignment title above to submit the assignment.

Please note: this assignment is due Saturday. No papers will be accepted after Saturday.

Remember completion of an assignment does not guarantee an ‘A’. Please refer to the attached grading rubric as a guide to how the assignment will be assessed.

Please note that this sample assignment is for our new suite of level 7 qualifications in strategic management which became available on October 1st 2016.

Before starting your assignment please contact sam@onlinebusinessschool with your proposal so that it can be approved by the markers, without this pre approval your work may not be relevant and therefor may not be marked as a pass.

Unit M/615/2675 Research for Strategic Development

Level 7 15 Credits

Related Qualifications

ATHE Level 7 Diploma in Management 603/0629/4 ATHE Level 7 Extended Diploma in Management 603/0630/0

Sample Assignment

Your research must achieve the learning outcomes at the standards provided. It must be related to a topic associated with strategic business development.

You must prepare a portfolio of evidence which includes all the work completed for the following tasks.

Task 1 – Formulate a Research Proposal

In this section of the portfolio you should:

· Consider and identify a valid area for research to support the strategic development of a business area

· Explain the aim, scope and objectives for a chosen area of research

· Formulate a specific research proposal

· Establish success criteria for the achievement of the research proposal

· Prepare a project plan that identifies key milestones and critical pathways.

Extension activities:

To gain a merit grade you must:

· Justify the research area you have chosen which will support the achievement of an aspect of strategic business development.

LO1 AC 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5

1M1

Task 2 Carry out the research using different research methodologies

In this section of the portfolio you need to:

· Complete a review of different literature sources identifying those which are most appropriate for your chosen area of research

· Use different research methodologies to gather data from primary and secondary sources. The data must be sufficient in order to ensure you can make valid conclusions

Extension activities:

To gain a merit grade you must:

· Justify the research methodologies chosen

LO2 AC 2.1 2.2 2M1

Task 3 – Presentation of Research Findings

In this section of the portfolio you must prepare a report that presents all of your research findings. This must be presented in an appropriate format for the target audience.

In the report, you must:

· Provide a comprehensive explanation of the purpose, methodologies, findings and recommendations.

· Reference all sources using a recognised system.

· Use the information you have collected to justify conclusions and recommendations.

Extension activities:

To gain a merit grade you must:

· Respond orally to questions on research findings.

To gain a distinction grade you must:

· Analyse how the findings of your research can be used in a specific strategic business context.

LO2 AC 3.1, 3.2, 3.3

3M1

3D1

Task 4 – Reflective Log

On completion of your research project, you are to prepare a reflective log which contains an evaluation of the skills you used while undertaking the research.

The reflective log must include:

· A review of your own skills using personal reflection and feedback.

· Recommendations on ways to improve your personal skills while undertaking research.

Extension activities:

To gain a merit grade you must include the following in your reflective log:

· A plan to improve your own research skills.

To gain a distinction grade you must:

· Implement the plan and assess the impact on your own personal progress.

LO4 AC 4.1,4.2

4M1

4M2

4D1

© ATHE LTD 2016 2 13102016 Version 1.0

Guidelines for assessors

The assignments submitted by learners must achieve the learning outcomes and meet the standards specified by the assessment criteria for the unit. To achieve a merit or distinction grade, the learners must demonstrate that they have achieved all the criteria set for these grades. Where work for the pass standard is marginal, assessors can take account of any extension work completed by the learners. The suggested evidence listed below is how learners can demonstrate that they have met the required standards.

TasknumberLOs and ACSuggested evidence PASSSuggested additional evidence MERITSuggested additional evidence DISTINCTION
1.LO1 AC 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.51M1In completing this task the learner will begin the portfolio of evidence. The learner may consider different areas of research but will identify one which is linked to the strategic business development. The learner will need to explain clearly and in detail the aim, scope and objectives of the research which is to be undertaken. The learner will create a research proposal with the development of a suitable research question(s) or hypotheses for the selected area of research.The learner should ensure that the tutor has approved their choice of research question / hypothesis.The final proposal must be presented in writing. However it could be accompanied by oral or written evidence of viva with tutor/assessor with observation statement recording discussions, questions and answers.The learner must produce specific success criteria which are related to the achievement of the research proposal. The success criteria should be referred to in the reflective log which is required for Task 4.The plan must be clearly presented and a tabular form would be useful. It should be a tool which the learner will use in completing the research.The learner must produce detailed written justification for the choice of research question showing how it is directly related to an aspect of strategic business development.
2LO2 AC 2.1, 2.22M1The learner should prepare a detailed literature review and accurate bibliography in an appropriate referencing format. The review will identify literature sources which are pertinent as well as those which are not.A wide range of appropriate and relevant information sources must have been considered, including academic journals, reports, texts and valid online materialThe learner will then use research methodologies using primary and secondary sources. This will provide sufficient information so that valid conclusions can be drawn.The learner must produce a comprehensive explanation of the reasons for choosing the research methodologies
3LO3 AC 3.1, 3.2, 3.33M13D1The learner should choose the most appropriate format in which to present their research findings. In most cases, this is likely to be a final written report of 3000 words and bibliography, covering a range of appropriate information sources from relevant journals, texts and reports as well as online information.The report should be presented in a suitable format and include sufficient evidence to show that the learner has:· applied relevant research methods for the area and type of research undertaken· provided a comprehensive explanation of the purpose, methodologies, findings and recommendations· referenced all sources using a recognised system· analysed the research findings· justified results and conclusionsThe evaluation section of the report should consider both research methods and techniques, as well as the validity of the findings.The learner will be required to answer verbally questions asked by others who have read the learner’s research. Those leading the viva need to be fully prepared and have the experience and ability to undertake the questioning.Evidence could take the form of:· a written report of the question and answer session with the tutor/assessor.· an observation assessment sheet· a recording of the questions and answers.The learner will produce a written piece of work that analyses how the findings of the research can be used in a specific business context. The analysis should examine each part in detail, identifying the main findings and their relationship to the business context.
3LO4 AC 4.1, 4.24M14D1The learner will be required to prepare a reflective log that reviews their own learning in carrying out research investigations. This will be a written review based on the learner’s own experiences.For AC 4.2, the learner will develop their written work completed for the AC 4.1 and identify and analyse actions for improvement for the future.The learner will prepare a written plan – this will be a detailed plan with clear specific actions, in timeframes, to show how their skills will be improved for future research.The learner will implement the plan prepared in 4M1 and provide an assessment of the impact on their own personal progress. The tutor should note that assessment of the standards for 4D1 will need to be deferred until the plan has been executed and the learner has reviewed their personal progress.

Ability or Motivation?

Use the Performance Diagnosis Model (Figure 6.7, page 296) in your book for this exercise. Using the

model, determine if each of these scenarios are an ability or motivation issue, then determine which

of the 7 problems applies. The problems are marked with letters A thru G on the model.

1. Nancy writes a memo to all five department employees, requesting that they submit new product

ideas in advance for discussion and selection at tomorrow’s departmental meeting. Dan, one of her

subordinates, does not submit his ideas in advance but waits until the meeting is underway, stating

that he needed additional time to develop good ideas and wanted an opportunity to defend his

thoughts to the department.

2. Nancy asks Dan to create a spreadsheet analysis showing the profit and loss potential of each of the

four new product ideas that come out of the departmental meeting. She asks him to submit his report

by Tuesday. On Monday, she asks Dan how the project is progressing. He replies that he may not be

able to meet her deadline, but he is working hard on it. He submits the spreadsheet analysis on

Wednesday afternoon, but Nancy finds that the formulas are inconsistent and the columns and rows

are misaligned.

3. In a meeting with her five employees, Nancy announces that the department will win a huge trophy

if it is the first to come up with a new product utilizing the company’s latest technology. After the

meeting, Dan asks his colleague Kira whether the trophy will come filled to the brim with $20 bills.

4. Nancy has assigned Dan to prepare a multimedia presentation explaining the department’s new

product proposals to the divisional vice president. The outline she hands him indicates the use of the

corporate logo and other graphics prepared by the advertising department at headquarters. Dan leaves

voice mail and e-mail messages for several members of the advertising department but gets no

response. On the day when the multimedia presentation is due, Dan is forced to tell Nancy that it is

not ready.

BSB111 BUSINESS LAW AND ETHICS 2019 S1

Assessment item #1: Ethics Case Study (Dilemmas)

Dilemma 1: the credit manager

John is an employee of an Australian company that recovers outstanding debts for other businesses. John’s job involves negotiating these “debt settlements” – he contacts the individual and tries to agree a repayment plan. If they fail to reach agreement, he takes the next step of commencing debt recovery in court. John’s company is paid a substantial fee for every debt that is referred for court action.

John decides that he can earn his company more fees if he just commences legal action without contacting each debtor. It will also make his job a lot easier. You can assume that this approach is legal. By deliberately not contacting each debtor, John estimates his productivity will double and he has also been promised a promotion if he can improve his productivity.

Is it ethical for John to change his approach, or should he continue contacting clients?

Dilemma 2: the overachieving non-profit

In 2017 Hurricane Harvey devastated Texas, USA. There was international sympathy for the victims of this disaster and billions of dollars were donated. This led to a fairly unique problem: the public was so generous that too much money was donated. In fact, it would never be possible to spend it all on dedicated hurricane relief – all those affected could be assisted and there would still be plenty of money left over.

Imagine you are the manager of a non-profit organisation who had asked for and received $5,000,000 from donors to provide relief for victims of Hurricane Harvey. You genuinely set out to help people and indeed provide emergency relief. However, over half of what you received could not possibly be spent on the purpose for which people gave it to you.

From an ethical perspective, should you keep the money for another cause which the donor didn’t specify?

Dilemma 3: the dodgy sales assistant

You work as a sales assistant for a family run business – a small retailer of technology- based products. Earlier that morning, your manager explained that sales were down and the business was failing. It is likely that the store will close if sales do not increase. Due to declining revenue, your manager is concerned that she will not be able to pay her children’s school fees for the upcoming term.

An elderly customer enters the store to purchase their first laptop. The customer has very little understanding of technology-based products. The laptop the customer is interested in is nearing the end of production since a newer version of the product is due to be launched in a few days.

From an ethical perspective, should you inform the customer that a newer version is on the way, and suggest that they wait until next week so that they can either purchase something better or purchase the older version at a significantly lower price?

BSB111 BUSINESS LAW AND ETHICS 2019 S1 ______________________________________________________________________________________

2

Dilemma 4: the zealous airline security officers

A key clause of the contract for air travel is that an airline has absolute discretion to change your flight (i.e. they can change it for any reason whatsoever). As a result, airlines have a policy of over-booking flights.

In this case, an airline has overbooked its flight and has, unfortunately, provided boarding passes to too many people. As a consequence, they do not have enough seats and need one person to leave the plane. They have selected the passenger but he is refusing to leave the plane after repeated requests by the airline staff.

Assume airlines have the legal right to remove passengers. You can also assume that zealous security staff can forcibly remove the passenger and that the passenger would resist. While forcibly removing the passenger would leave the elderly individual bloodied and dishevelled with minor injuries, the plane would get away on-time.

If you don’t remove the passenger, you will have to wait at least 90 mins for police to arrive to deal with the situation, irritating the remaining 263 passengers. It would also mean delays and rescheduling for several other flights and penalty rates for staffing due to knock-on scheduling conflicts.

From an ethical perspective, should you forcibly remove the passenger?

Dilemma 5: the rogue TV star

You are a major national television network and one of your key stars is in the spotlight with allegations of heavy drinking and infidelity. This is a breach of her contract with you (i.e. bringing the network into disrepute) as your values include being ‘family friendly’.

The star is well-loved by a sizeable target market group that is critical to the network. Focus group research reveals that the target group do not care about this behaviour – in fact the star’s persona as a “boundary pusher” is entirely in line with the behaviour.

This target market will react badly if you sack the star and likely stop watching the show in which she appears. The majority of the community is mildly disapproving. There is a very small, vocal minority who are outraged and engaging in a social media campaign to bring the star down.

Should you, from an ethical perspective, sack the star?

Dilemma 6: dodgy data sales

You have founded your own business which relies on an app that tracks people’s interaction with their pets. While the app is well-used, your business model is not paying off – in fact, after three years of eating virtually nothing other than 2 minute noodles, you might have to close the business.

A pet sales company comes to you, offering to buy the data on pet usage. While your customers have agreed to unlimited use of their data, you have previously emphasized that you will not sell or rent their data. Market research indicates that this is a major part of the reason for the success of the app.

Without selling the data, your business will fold. Ethically, should you make the deal?

Ethics case study

2019 – Semester 1 BSB111 Business Law and Ethics CRA – Ethics Case Study

Criterion 1 – Ethical dilemma (SE5.1)· Demonstrate you can identify an ethical dilemma and the ethical values and principles involved. You also need to demonstrate you can explain why the situation is an ‘ethical’ dilemma and how ethical frameworks (i.e. not feelings and opinions) are used to understand and respond to ethical dilemmas.
76543 – 1
· Demonstrates an insightful understanding of how conflicting principles or values contribute to a challenging ethical dilemma. Identifies and explains nuances such as making ethical choices can involve a trade-off between ethical standards.· Explains clearly and correctly why the chosen scenario is an ethical dilemma; and· The explanation is complete; and· Demonstrates an understanding of the ethical principles or values in conflict.· Explains to some extent why the chosen scenario is an ‘ethical’ problem; and/or· Identifies the key ethical principles or values involved.· Identifies an ethical dilemma; and· Describes the dilemma..· (3) Identifies an ethical dilemma.· (2) Identifies a dilemma or problem.
· Does not demonstrates an insightful understanding of how conflicting principles or values contribute to a challenging ethical dilemma. For example, does not consider trade-offs between ethical approaches or between ethics and other standards (e.g. law, etiquette, etc.).· Generally, does not demonstrate a completeand/ or clear understanding of the key ethical principles or values involved in the scenario.· Minor errors may be evident.· Does not sufficiently explain why the situation is of ‘ethical’ concern; and/or· Does not sufficiently identify the key ethical principles or values in conflict.· (3) Does not explain why the situation is an ‘ethical’ dilemma; or the explanation is insufficient (e.g. an opinion or feeling).· (2) The situation presented is not an ethical dilemma (e.g. it may be a business investment problem only).· (1) Does not identify a dilemma or problem.

Please note: The following explanation applies to Frameworks 1->3 (the same criterion is applied to the three frameworks you use).

Criterion 2-4 inclusive – Application of Ethical Frameworks 1-3 inclusive (SE5.1)Demonstrate you can identify and apply an ethical framework (F1) to analyze an ethical dilemma and determine how to respond to that ethical dilemma.
76543 – 1
· Demonstrates a nuanced understanding of the ethical framework and challenges associated with applying it to the ethical dilemma.· Demonstrates a complete and correct understanding of the key concepts and principles applicable to an ethical framework covered in the unit.· Demonstrates a complete and correct understanding of the process or procedure for applying the framework to the ethical dilemma.· Identifies and explains the key concepts and principles applicable to an ethical framework covered in the unit; and· Explains how the framework’s process and procedures can be applied to an ethical dilemma.· Identifies and describes the ethical framework to be applied to the ethical dilemma.· May included an explanation of the framework’s process or procedures· (3) Describes the framework.· (2) Identifies (names) a framework from the unit.· All frameworks are from a single week (the lowest grading framework will receive, at best, a 3)
· The explanation does not capture the nuances and challenges associated with applying the framework.· Minor errors and omissions are evident.· Major errors or omissions are evident; and or· The explanation of the process or procedures is superficial.· (3) The framework is superficially described, and/or the description is incorrect. For example, Utilitarianism is identified but an explanation of the Kantian framework is provided or all frameworks are from the same week.· (2) There is no description· (1) Neither identifies or describes an ethical framework from the unit.
· Present a systematic, thorough, coherent, and correct application of the ethical framework to the ethical dilemma with no errors.· Presents a correct application of the ethical framework that conforms to the framework’s process and procedures.· Presents a generally correct application of the ethical framework that is systematic in its approach.· Presents a generally coherent application of the ethical framework.· (3) to (2) The framework has been applied to the dilemma.
· Minor errors may be evident in the analysis.· Several minor errors and/or omissions are evident in the analysis; and/or· The framework’s process or procedures is not fully or correctly applied.· Major errors and/or omissions are evident in the analysis.· (3) to (2) The application of the framework is incoherent; and/or has major errors, omissions, and inconsistencies in its application;· (1) There is no application of the framework to the dilemma.
· Includes an insightful conclusion and recommendation that captures the nuances of the framework and/or analysis and/or dilemma.· Includes a clear, coherent and justified conclusion and recommendation for responding to the dilemma.· Incudes a reasonable conclusion and recommendation.· Includes a coherent conclusion or recommendation.· (3) to (2) Includes a conclusion or recommendation.
· The conclusion and recommendation lack insight or overlooks the nuance associated with applying the framework to the dilemma.· Conclusion and/or Recommendations are reasonable but superficial.· Minor errors and/or omissions are evident.· The conclusion or recommendation is superficial and lacks clarity.· Major errors and/or omissions are evident.· (3) to (2) Conclusion and/or recommendation are/is incoherent and/or lack clarity.· (1) Does not include a conclusion or recommendation.
· The conclusion and recommendations are compelling and free of errors and omissions.· The conclusion and recommendation are clearly supported by, consistent with, and connected to the preceding analysis.· The conclusion and/or recommendation are generally supported and consistent with the preceding analysis.· The conclusion and/or recommendation are weakly supported by the preceding analysis.· May include a conclusion and/or recommendation.
· Minor errors and omissions are evident.· There are minor errors and omissions in the conclusion and recommendation.· The conclusion and recommendation are not clearly or consistently supported by and/or connected to the preceding analysis (e.g. introduces new rationale).· There are major errors, omissions and inconsistencies between the analysis, conclusion and recommendation.· The conclusion and recommendation are not sufficiently supported by and/or connected to the preceding analysis.· (3) The conclusion and/or recommendation presented are superficial· (2) The conclusion and/or recommendation are not supported by the analysis.· (1) Does not include a conclusion or recommendation.
Criterion 5 – Communication (PC 3.1)· Communicate ideas clearly, logically and consistently in a professional business style with correct grammar, punctuation, spelling and use of headings and other signposts to direct the reader’s attention.
76543 – 1
· The response is very well written and contains very few to no errors in spelling, grammar, punctuation, formatting and expression.· The response is well written; and· The response is characterised by good standards of spelling, punctuation, grammar, formatting and expression.· The response is clear; and· The response is characterised by basic standards of spelling, punctuation, grammar, formatting and expression.· The response is coherent.· (3) The response is mostly coherent.· (2) The response is mostly incoherent.· (1) The response is written in English text.
· Response contains a small number of errors of grammar, and/or punctuation, and/or formatting and/or written expression.· The response contains frequent minor errors of grammar, punctuation, formatting and written expression.· The response is at times unclear; and/or· The response contains frequent and major errors and/or omissions in grammar, punctuation, formatting and written expression.· (3) to (1) characterised by frequent and major errors and omissions in grammar, punctuation, formatting and written expression; and· (3) to (2) The response lacks clarity and coherence; or· (1) The response is incoherent and unclear.
· Communication flow enhances the argument or case presented.· Communication flow is functional, clear, and coherent allowing the reader to draw meaning from the text in a single reading.· Communication flow is sufficient to draw meaning from the text in a single reading.· The Communication flow is sufficient for communicating ideas.· (3) The communication flow is mostly evident in the response.· (2) to (1) The communication flow is mostly lacking in the response.
· The communication flow is functional but does not enhance the communication of the argument presented.· There communication flow has minor flaws that weaken the clarity, coherence and meaning of the message in the text.· The response requires rereading to draw meaning from the text.· (3) The communication flow is poor making it very difficult to understand and draw meaning from the text.· (20 The response requires multiple readings to gain a sense of the argument and ideas presented.· (1) After multiple readings of the response a sense of the argument and ideas generally can’t be discerned from the text.
· The logic of the ethical reasoning presented is clear, and persuasive.· Logic of the ethical reasoning presented is clear and generally persuasive· The logic of the ethical reasoning presented is consistent.· Logic of the ethical reasoning presented is coherent and generally consistent.· Logical reasoning is identifiable; and· In some instances, it is coherent.
· Has weaknesses in its persuasiveness.· Logic has minor inconsistencies;and/ or· Lacks persuasiveness.· Logic is inconsistent; and/or· Has minor contradictions.· (3) Logic has fatal inconsistencies.· (2) Logic is contradictory and lacks coherence.· (1) Logic is absent.
· Links between sentences and/or paragraphs clear, complete and support the communication flow and ethical reasoning.· Links between sentences and/or paragraphs are clear, complete and support the communication flow and ethical reasoning.· Links between sentences and/or paragraphs are generally correct.· Links between sentences and/or paragraphs are present and mostly appropriate.· Links between sentences or paragraphs are generally identifiable.
· Few minor errors and/or omissions are evident.· Frequent minor errors and/or omissions are evident.· Links between sentences and/or paragraphs are incomplete· Links between sentences and/or paragraphs (or lack of links) hinder the communication flow and reasoning.· Major errors and/or omissions in links are evident.· (3) to (2) Links between sentences and/or paragraphs are poor but mostly present.· (1)) Links between sentences and/or paragraphs are mostly absent.
· Formatting is appropriate for business communication purposes.· Formatting is appropriate for business communication purposes.· Formatting is sufficient for business communication purposes.· Formatting is sufficient for business communication purposes.· (3) and (2) Formatting is applied.
· Few minor errors evident· Frequent minor errors, and/or omissions and/or inconsistencies evident.· Major errors, and omissions and/or inconsistencies evident.· Formatting, expression and presentation is insufficient for professional business communication purposes; and/or· Tables, diagrams and figures not captioned or referenced in text or used poorly (e.g. to work-around word limits).· (1) Formatting is absent.
· Referencing fully conforms to QUT standards for academic referencing.· Referencing is appropriate.· Referencing is sufficient and accurate.· Referencing is sufficient.· (3) to (2) Referencing is included.
· Referencing has minor errors in its conformance to QUT standards for referencing.· Referencing has some minor errors and/or omissions.· Referencing has major errors and/or omissions.· Referencing may be superficial.· (3) to (2) Referencing is insufficient or inaccurate.· (1) Referencing is not included.
· Have complied with word limits.· Have complied with word limits.· Have complied with word limits.· Have complied with word limits.
· Have not complied with word limits.

Page 6 of 6

Queensland University of Technology Assoc. Prof. Gavin Nicholson

QUT Business School S1, 2019

BSB111: Business Law and Ethics

Case Study Workbook

One of the core challenges most people will face in moving into the University environment is learning how to construct a logical, well-researched and thoughtful piece of written work with limited feedback.

This document aims to provide you with a ten-step process for developing your written case study for BSB111. It should allow you to write an excellent piece and you should be able to adapt the approach for most writing tasks you will need to do while studying (and, hopefully, in the real world).

Most often these kinds of documents concentrate on details or on what (should be) obvious points. Things like:

· Don’t cheat (i.e. pass off someone else’s work as your own – see the QUT guidelines on plagiarism)

· How to format and cite things for our systems.

· How many words you have (it’s 1250 words plus 10%)

· When you need to submit the work (due date is 1 April)

· How you will submit the work (via Turn-it-in); and

· What will happen if you don’t do these things.

While these details are necessary, it should be obvious that a well-written assignment requires more than this.

And that is where this document aims to be different. Instead of concentrating on the detail, it is designed to help you develop your written piece such that it has the best chance of doing well against the criteria set for the assignment.

If you follow the approach in this workbook, you should produce a good (or better) piece of work. Perhaps more importantly you will have begun developing (or perhaps further developed) an essential life skill – clearly communicating complex ideas to someone in written format.

To begin, go to the next page, Preparing to Start.

Preparing to Start

What is a case study?

The Oxford English Dictionary defines a case study as “[a] particular instance of something used or analysed in order to illustrate a thesis or principle.” Most times the lecturer will provide you with a case study and you need to analyse it using the course’s content.

This assignment is different, because you get to choose your own case. Why? Because to choose a good case, you must show that you know what an ethical dilemma is. Also, it allows you to demonstrate novelty/innovative thought. Choosing a good case is critical to doing well in the assignment.

If you can choose a good case and analyse it well, it shows you have mastered a complex task – recognizing ethically difficult issues.

Why bother writing an analysis of a case?

Given this is a first-year subject, most students undertaking BSB111 have only written assignments as part of their formal schooling. For most of the cohort, you will never have written anything of much substance outside an educational setting. Therefore, you are likely to think that the primary reason for writing this assessment piece is to demonstrate your knowledge of ethics to the markers.

This emphasis is misplaced.

The point of undertaking a case analysis is to allow you to develop the skills to apply your knowledge in (relatively) realistic situations. It allows you the chance to really consider the materials we cover and formulate your own views on what is a complex topic that is foundational to a well-lived life.

Not only that, but you get the chance to develop the skills of organizing and communicating your insights on a very sophisticated and complex topic. Writing is actually a formal form of thinking. Writing exposes what you know and don’t know, where your thinking is incomplete, sloppy or just plain wrong. If you can’t write well, it’s far less likely you will make the most out of opportunities that life provides you. Almost certainly you will be less likely to influence others, will be presented with fewer opportunities and will, in general, be substantially less successful than you could be.

Writing helps you remember things while simultaneously teaching you how to think logically and coherently. It develops your understanding of the world in a powerful way.

You might be able to “scrape through” with a less extensive approach than presented here. You might even be able to luck out and do “well” (after all, there is no criteria in the assignment for “effort”). But in the end, you will only be cheating yourself.

The University ‘system’ (or game) is only one form of game in the world. Just because you can “win” here with minimum effort does not mean you will can transfer your approach to the outside world. Instead, if you practice the skills outlined in this workbook you should be able to do better than a pass in the assignment and have developed a suite of skills that ARE transferable.

This is one of those times in life when a great opportunity may not be self-evident. Don’t waste this opportunity. Put in the effort.

Getting down to work

Perhaps the biggest struggle for the majority of students is making the most of the time you have to hand in a work worthy of your ability. If you are a procrastinator, your own form of “monkey mind” will constantly find things to do. Scrolling “Fit yogi’s” for three hours on Pintrest or seeing how the latest trend in questionable dog grooming are playing out on Instagram will not help you complete this assignment. Neither will re-arranging your socks drawers, cleaning the fridge nor visiting Aunt Maud.

Don’t let the monkey control your life.

Try to get into the habit of doing some work on the assignment every day. The perfect time will never arrive. Instead, start now and chip away. Preferably in the morning when you are fresh and before the rest of life interrupts. Spend 30 minutes on the assignment – or 15 if you can’t make 30 minutes at the moment. Don’t read your twitter/facebook/what’sapp/Instagram/snapchat/email/[insertlatestdigitaldistractionhere]. Turn your phone (and any other devices) onto airplane mode. Work – and you will be amazed at how, over time, you become better at resisting temptations. If you struggle to concentrate, think about using the pomodora technique.

Also, don’t try to do too much in one go. It’s really unlikely you can work for more than 2-3 hours in a concentrated manner. If you try, you will end up distracted and largely wasting your time. You might as well be at the beach, going to a rave or otherwise enjoying yourself. Do your work first – then go enjoy life. There’s plenty of time if you’re disciplined.

Writing Well

There are hundreds of books on writing well. You should read and apply some of them. But given you have to start this assignment now, here are some tips.

The first, is that your assignment should present a coherent holistic answer to the question/task that has been set. This requires you to work at multiple levels of analysis when you write. You need to make sure:

(1) The entire piece is coherent and answers the question(s) asked;

(2) Each paragraph of the piece contains a single, core idea and is placed in the right spot to advance your argument;

(3) Each sentence contributes to the central idea in the paragraph and is ordered in a way to communicate that idea quickly and clearly; and

(4) Each word has been selected and ordered to ensure it communicates exactly what you mean.

First, you must present your argument in the right order. This is why virtually all writing advice begins by advising the author to construct an outline. An outline provides the “pathway” that the writer (and hence the reader) will follow. That pathway should lead clearly and convincingly to your conclusion. It should answer to the question posed or provide an overarching insight into the topic you have explored.

When you’re organizing the whole, you also mustn’t forget that really great essays, cases and documents provide novel and creative insights for the reader – they have value. This is much easier in academic writing – we have provided you with the question (what we are interested in) and even CRA (i.e. how to make sure you have given us what we want). But you can go further – make your points and examples novel. Answer the question in a way that shows you have a deep understanding. Surprise us.

As well as an overarching logical progression, you need to explain each of the key points in your outline. This is generally done at the paragraph level. Each paragraph should contain one core idea. It should begin with a topic sentence – a statement that broadly outlines or summarizes the paragraph. So here’s an editing tip: When you finish your assignment, I should be able to read the first sentence of each paragraph and understand your key argument. If I can’t, you likely have poor topic sentences and/or your sequence of paragraphs is wrong (i.e. the outline is wrong). Your ideas need to “link” together. There is an exercise to help you with this later in the workbook.

Each paragraph should be made up of a number of sentences that relate to one key idea summarised in the topic sentence. When you’re dealing with complex topics there can be a tendency to write paragraphs that contain more than one idea. Battle this tendency, because it makes your work harder to understand. A good rule of thumb is that a paragraph should contain about 100 words. Any more and it’s likely you have more than one idea in the paragraph. If you have far fewer, you might not have much of a point. “Chunk” your ideas.

Of course, these rules can be broken. But be careful – in general, rules are there because they work most of time. Be sure this is the time to break them. (See what I did there?)

Within each paragraph you need to construct a series of sentences. Each sentence should contain a clearly identifiable point that adds to the readers understanding of the over-arching idea in the paragraph. Thus, the key point of each sentence should be different, but related to the other sentences in the paragraph. The sentences also need to be in the right sequence. They need to be grammatically correct with the right words in the right order. Errors of sequencing, grammar and word order will change the meaning of your writing.

Finally, at the lowest level you must select the correct word that best reflects what you mean. Do not underestimate the profound changes in meaning that can be conveyed with a subtle change of word.

An essay/case presentation that works across these levels simultaneously will be outstanding.

Step 1: Choose your case

Read the newspapers. I know they are on-line, but you can also get them in the library in hard copy and the advantage of hard copy is that you will run across articles that might not come up in your newsfeed. If you do read on-line, make sure you dig into the content more than you ordinarily would to overcome this problem.

Pay particular attention to the business pages – are there issues there where people are doing the “wrong” thing? Are there topics where people have quite different perspectives or views (e.g. lots of people commenting or disagreeing with the author). These two issues (particularly disparate views on the conduct) are good indications there is a dilemma behind the issue.

Now you need to make sure you identify something that is an ethical DILEMMA. That means if there is a clear, ethical course of action with which everyone agrees you have not isolated a dilemma. Someone doing something wrong either generally (e.g. assault or murder) or in business (e.g. cheating others) is rarely an ethical dilemma – it’s often just someone doing the wrong thing.

If you have just identified an unethical act, you are unlikely to do well in this assessment piece, because (a) you have failed to identify a dilemma and (b) you are less likely to be able provide a compelling analysis to demonstrate your knowledge.

Write your possible Topics/Issues for the Analysis here:

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

Again: make sure you can explain why each of these is an ethical dilemma and not something else.

Step 2: Decide on the ethical frameworks you will use

We cover many different frameworks for analysing an ethical dilemma. You need to choose three frameworks from across two weeks (we would suggest weeks 2 and 3) and undertake an analysis of the dilemma. To help you decide, here is a table for you to think about in terms of the theories.

WeekFrameworkTypeLevel of analysisDifficulty
2Ethical egoismNormativeIndividualSimple
2UtilitarianNormativeIndividualMedium
2KantNormativeIndividualComplex
2Moral rightsNormativeIndividualSimple
3Virtue ethicsNormativeIndividualComplex
3KohlbergDescriptiveIndividualMedium
4Utilitarian justiceNormativeSystemMedium
4NozickNormativeSystemMedium
4RawlsNormativeSystemComplex

Have a look at your problem. Is the ethical dilemma about something confronting an individual or a system? Have a think about the grade that you are looking for. Now have a look at the CRA. What does it say you need to do to meet that grade? Which frameworks will give you the best chance of meeting the criteria? For instance, if you are after a high grade, using a framework with a “Complex” level of difficulty will make it more likely you can demonstrate high level critical insight and thinking.

Write down your dilemma and the frameworks you plan to use:

My dilemma is:

The frameworks I plan to use are:

1.

2.

3.

Double check there is a match between the dilemma, the level of analysis, your grade expectations and the CRA.

Step 3: Undertake analysis

I would recommend you think about the application of each framework to each dilemma you have identified. Yes, that’s right – I would undertake 18 quick analyses (6 topics x 3 frameworks). You don’t need detailed or extensive writing here, just a quick series of dot points and insights. If you know each of the 3 frameworks you are using, this should take about 2-3 min each framework. So that’s a total of 35 – 50 min. At worst, make sure you apply the frameworks to 2 or 3 dilemmas. If you don’t do that, you may miss the opportunity to select a better topic for the assessment piece.

There are three reasons to undertake this step. First, it will help you learn the content. Second, and perhaps more importantly, it will also radically improve the chances that you identify a DILEMMA and that you can apply the frameworks correctly. If your rough analysis for a dilemma does not provide conflicting answers (i.e. the answers from all frameworks suggest the same action) then I would suggest you revisit step 1 – because it looks like you haven’t got a dilemma.

Third, this step should help you identify flaws in your analysis. The best way to do this is to discuss your approach with someone else, so you should feel free to discuss your analysis (remember: this isn’t the end assignment yet) with a colleague, and you do the same for them. That way you get feedback on the core of the assignment – undertaking the analysis. Have them review your application of the framework against the criteria and, hopefully, identify what you have done or not done well enough (yet).

Step 4: Deepen your analysis and ensure your case meets the criteria

By now, you should have your final dilemma and the three frameworks you are going to use. Go ahead and analyse the dilemma with each framework – it should take 30 – 60 min for each one.

My dilemma is: ___________________________________________

Framework 1:

Notes:

Framework 2:

Notes:

Framework 3:

Notes:

After you’ve finished, find a colleague. Outline your analysis to them. Did you do it correctly? What is missing? Do you have the insights required by the CRA for the grade you are after? If not, what’s missing?

Don’t be afraid to re-think your dilemma and a framework or two at this point.

Step 5: Consider the case, and draw your conclusions

Ok, so you have a correctly analysed ethical dilemma. The final step prior to writing is to draw your conclusion. Have a good look at the CRA here. It’s more than saying “I would recommend doing X”. Yes, you need to do that (provide a clear conclusion). But your final position and/or recommendations need to be persuasive and logically derived from the analysis that comes before. That tight linkage is what separates the Credits (5) from the High Distinctions (7).

My clear conclusion is: ___________________________________________ and I would recommend that ______________________________________do the following _____________________________________

because __________________________________________________________________________________________

[this because bit is critical – it is your justification].

Step 6: Outline your paper

If you’ve selected your dilemma, undertaken three analyses and considered what you are going to recommend, you are ready to begin drafting your case study. A rough rule of thumb is that you should write around 25-50% more in the first draft than you do in the final draft. In the final stage (refining your paper) you’re going to edit – which means throwing away the stuff that is bad or doesn’t make sense. That means it is easier if you begin with more than you need.

For this piece, you have 1,250 words (around 4-5 pages) so you should plan on writing 1,500 – 1,800 words in your first rough draft (around 6-8 pages).

The first draft involves the most difficult part of writing – organizing your work to date into an overall structure or outline. To keep this under control, you should have an outline of around 10-12 points. Any more and it is likely you are working at the wrong level of analysis here.

Here’s an example of a first draft outline from an entirely different field. Imagine I had been asked to use two Strategic Analysis tools to analyse a business. There is a 1,000 word limit for the piece and the CRA for this topic provides 60 marks divided as follows

· 10 marks for explaining and justifying the choice of business;

· 15 marks for each framework (total 30 marks);

· 20 marks for identification of actions and conclusions.

I’ve decided on my case (Circ de Solei) and my frameworks (Porter’s five forces; the Resource Based View of the Firm). Here is my first cut of the outline, where I’m aiming to get an outline point for each 200 words of the essay. :

Case Analysis: Application of two strategic analysis tools to Cirque du Soleil.

· What is Cirque du Soleil?

· Why did I choose it?

· Framework 1: What is Porter’s five forces?

· What insights does Porter’s five forces provide to CdS

· Framework 2: What is the Resource Based View (RBV) of the firm?

· What insights does the RBV provide to CdS?

· Synthesis of analysis – key insights put together

· Resulting actions for CdS.

· Conclusion – what Circ de Solei should do based on analysis

In the next stage, I’m going to decide how much space I have for each section and begin to flesh out the outline. To do that, I need to understand the CRA – so look at the emphasis in the application of the marks outlined above. Most of the marks (20) are about the conclusions and actions. There aren’t many marks (10) for explaining and justifying the case. Also, the CRA will emphasize that more marks in any area are given for deeper or more novel analysis compared with regurgitation. That means the CRA will likely say that. I get more marks for justifying the choice of case rather than describing it.

So now my second outline becomes:

· The case

· What is Cirque du Soleil (4 marks)

· Why did I choose it? (6 marks)

· Framework 1:

· What is Porter’s five forces? (5 marks)

· What insights does Porter’s five forces provide to CdS (10 marks)

· Application of framework

· Implications for CdS

· Framework 2:

· What is the Resource Based View (RBV) of the firm? (5 marks)

· What insights does the RBV provide to CdS? (10 marks)

· Application of framework

· Implications for CdS

· Implications

· Synthesis of analysis – key insights put together (8 marks)

· Similar insights

· Different insights

· Overall synthesis

· Resulting actions for CdS. (8 marks)

· Actions arising from insight 1

· Actions arising from insight 2

· Etc.

· Conclusion (4 marks)

Changing this to words so that I can get the balance of the assignment right, the outline becomes (assuming around 100 words per paragraph):

· The case (200 words)

· What is Cirque du Soleil (1 paragraph)

· Why did I choose it? (1 paragraph)

· Framework 1 (350 words):

· What is Porter’s five forces? (1 paragraph)

· What insights does Porter’s five forces provide to CdS (3 paragraphs)

· Application of framework

· Implications for CdS

· Framework 2 (350 words):

· What is the Resource Based View (RBV) of the firm? (1 paragraph)

· What insights does the RBV provide to CdS? (3 paragraphs)

· Application of framework

· Implications for CdS

· Implications (400 words)

· Synthesis of analysis – key insights put together (2 paragraphs)

· Similar insights

· Different insights

· Overall synthesis

· Resulting actions for CdS. (200 words)

· Actions arising from insight 1

· Actions arising from insight 2

· Etc.

· Conclusion (1 paragraph)

Note: I understand that this is 1,300 words – but that is around 25% over the word limit which was my aim.

Ok, so now it’s your turn. Write around 10-12 topic sentences for your outline.

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

11.

12.

Step 7: Drafting

7(a) First draft

If you’ve selected your topic, done your analysis, considered the implications and developed an outline, you’re now in a position to begin writing.

You are beginning with a series of topic sentences that you can develop into paragraphs. As you commence writing, you might decide that you need to add to or re-arrange topics from the outline. You might also find it useful to add more subdivisions or dot points to outline what you are going to say in each paragraph. But just start writing.

If you’ve done the hard work of analysis and planning, this should be relatively easy. Don’t worry too much about formatting, spelling or grammar at this stage. For most people, its best just to get a first rough draft down. You might even find it easier if you set yourself a goal – writing 250 words in 30 mins, say. If you get stuck on a point, move on and circle back later. Within about 3 hours of solid work you should have the first rough cut of the assessment.

7(b) Second Draft

Now, the real work begins – editing and refining your ideas. Here is a technique that, although it sounds laborious, works. Copy your first paragraph here:

I’m going to play along, so you can see the technique. Here’s a paragraph from a website on critical thinking (http://www.criticalthinking.org/pages/critical-thinking-identifying-the-targets/486) :

The goal of this chapter is to set out clearly what critical thinking is in general and how it plays itself out in a variety of domains: in reading, in writing, in studying academic subjects, and on the job. Richard Paul and Jane Willsen provide down-to-earth examples that enable the reader to appreciate both the most general characteristics of critical thinking and their specific manifestations on the concrete level. It is essential, of course, that the reader becomes clear about the concept, including its translation into cases, for otherwise she is apt to mis-translate the concept or fail to see its relevance in a wide variety of circumstances.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Now put carriage return between each sentence. Here is the technique applied to my paragraph.

The goal of this chapter is to set out clearly what critical thinking is in general and how it plays itself out in a variety of domains: in reading, in writing, in studying academic subjects, and on the job.

Richard Paul and Jane Willsen provide down-to-earth examples that enable the reader to appreciate both the most general characteristics of critical thinking and their specific manifestations on the concrete level.

It is essential, of course, that the reader becomes clear about the concept, including its translation into cases, for otherwise she is apt to mis-translate the concept or fail to see its relevance in a wide variety of circumstances.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Now, write another version of your sentence underneath each sentence.

The goal of this chapter is to set out clearly what critical thinking is in general and how it plays itself out in a variety of domains: in reading, in writing, in studying academic subjects, and on the job.

This chapter aims to define what we mean by critical thinking and how it applies across a variety of domains, namely reading, writing, academic study and at work.

Richard Paul and Jane Willsen provide down-to-earth examples that enable the reader to appreciate both the most general characteristics of critical thinking and their specific manifestations on the concrete level.

The authors provide practical examples that allow the reader to understand both the general characteristics of critical thinking and how it is applied in real life.

It is essential, of course, that the reader becomes clear about the concept, including its translation into cases, for otherwise she is apt to mis-translate the concept or fail to see its relevance in a wide variety of circumstances.

Clarity around the concept of critical thinking and its application ensures the reader is less likely to misunderstand the concept and/or underappreciate the variety of possible applications.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Now compare:

The goal of this chapter is to set out clearly what critical thinking is in general and how it plays itself out in a variety of domains: in reading, in writing, in studying academic subjects, and on the job. Richard Paul and Jane Willsen provide down-to-earth examples that enable the reader to appreciate both the most general characteristics of critical thinking and their specific manifestations on the concrete level. It is essential, of course, that the reader becomes clear about the concept, including its translation into cases, for otherwise she is apt to mis-translate the concept or fail to see its relevance in a wide variety of circumstances.

108 words.

This chapter aims to define what we mean by critical thinking and how it applies across a variety of domains, namely reading, writing, academic study and at work. The authors provide practical examples that allow the reader to understand both the general characteristics of critical thinking and how it is applied in real life. Clarity around the concept of critical thinking and its application ensures the reader is less likely to misunderstand the concept and/or underappreciate the variety of possible applications.

81 words

Notice how much shorter and clearer the second paragraph is? It’s reduced by around 25%. Notice how each word is trying to be more precise and target what the writer was saying. It is far harder to use simple language to clearly convey your meaning than to use a thesaurus to try and impress the reader.

So the overall aim of this exercise is to make your sentences (and so paragraphs):

· Shorter

· Simpler

· More precise

If in doubt, read your writing aloud. If it doesn’t sound correct, it probably isn’t. Re-write it.

If you are dedicated, undertake this process one or two more times.

7(c) Revise the structure

Ok, so you’re on your third or fourth draft and things are looking good. Now, look at the order of the paragraphs you have. Given the editing, things might be out of kilter. Re-order to make sure that your argument makes sense.

Step 8: Refine your paper

So, you take a deep breath and think “I’m finished”. But there’s one more step you could take.

Without looking at your paper, draft down a new outline – the 10-12 points setting out your key argument. Insert them here:

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

11.

12.

Can you cut and paste your essay into this structure? What’s missing? What’s superfluous? Make the changes necessary and go back to step 7 with the latest version to tidy up any disconnects.

You should be looking pretty good here.

Step 9: Re-boot

If you really want to refine your essay: Repeat Step 8, preferably after a few days.

Step 10: Proof read and citations

Use spellcheck. Read the paper aloud. Have someone else (not another student) proof read it. Use the cite-write guidance to construct your reference list.

You’re done.

Congratulations.

References:

Oxford English Dictionary, https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/case_study

Acknowledgements: This workbook is based on several different ideas on writing I’ve come across over the years – there’s nothing really original here. It’s particularly indebted to this 90 min video (for the idea of clarity, novelty and audience), this document (for structure and chunky-ness and linky-ness) and the overall idea/approach (particularly motivation and the process of editing) from this document. You should also read The Elements of Style and the APA style guide (or similar).

18