case study

Analyze a specific business decision process. The easy way is to analyze a decision process failure by describing why the existing process leads to correctable errors. Alternatively, describe a success by describing how the existing process minimizes mistakes.

The business decision must be related to a concept from the course. This could be a poor investment decision, a missed price discrimination opportunity, a holdup problem, the wrong strategic response to changing market conditions, an inappropriate employment relationship, a poorly crafted vertical relationship, or any of the many decision concepts we discuss in the course. You may have to read ahead in the textbook. Ideally your application would be a business decision that you have witnessed firsthand from your current or previous job. Alternatives would be a poor business decision that you know about secondhand from, say, as a customer or an account from a friends workplace.

The following are the features that should be covered in your case study:

  1. Focus on a specific decision and do not discuss a company in general.
  2. Show how the specific application fits a specific concept from the course and do not try to fit multiple concepts to the application.
  3. Discuss the tradeoffs between solutions that change each of: a) decision rights, b) information flow, or c) incentives.

I expect these case studies will be 5-10 pages long using standard formatting. These proposals, however, can be in a shorter, even a single page. This can either be text or an outline form but should provide enough information so that the evaluator can infer what the full case would look like. More complete rough drafts will be easier for the evaluator to understand, will generate evaluator comments that are more relevant and, therefore, will be easier for them to later determine if you, in fact, followed their suggestions.

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