Case analysis: the decision-making process | BUS411– Business Policy Seminar


The process of making decisions is one of the most complex in all of business. There

are many different theories about the best ways in which a business can make a

decision. This week, your assignment is to create an analysis of a case related to the

decision-making process.

Assignment Organization and Clarifications:

Please organize your paper with the following APA(7) Headings:

1. Context

2. Main Phases or Activities

3. Model

4. Quality


• Identify the case you will analyze. You can choose from Case 27 in your textbook

or choose from the list included below.

• Read “An Introduction to Analyzing a Case Study and Writing a Case Study

Analysis” in your textbook, part 5.

• Write a comprehensive case analysis. Your case analysis should cover the


o The context of the decision-making processes, including, for example: the

goals, activities, history or culture of the organization; the complexity and

special features of the task or problem; the major stakeholders of the


o The main phases or activities of the decision-making process, including,

for example: the background leading up to the problem situation; problem

recognition; development and evaluation of alternatives; selection of

alternatives; outcome of the decision. Where possible, analyze the

information seeking and information use behaviors in the decision-making


o Analyze your case using one or more of the models introduced this week.

You may also introduce other theoretical perspectives/cases to enrich

your analysis. Show how these models/perspectives provide insight into

your case.

o Assess the overall quality of the decision-making process. Identify its

strengths and limitations. Suggest ways of improving the process.

BUS411– Business Policy Seminar

Unit 6 Assignment: Case Analysis: The Decision-Making Process


• Review and follow the grading rubric.

• Address the questions above in a comprehensive case analysis. You analysis

should contain a clear introduction, body and conclusion.

• Focus on quality of writing and content. Generally, a strong paper will be a

minimum of two pages.

• Use APA(7) format for title page, references and in-text citations. No abstract


• Cite at least two credible outside sources in APA(7) format.

Be sure to read the criteria by which your work will be evaluated before you write

and again after you write.

List of possible sources for the case study:

These are initial suggestions that might help you to identify cases. You would typically

need to look for additional material after selecting a case to study.

• Bazerman, M. H., & Watkins, M. D. 2004. Predictable Surprises: The Disasters

You Should Have Seen Coming, and How to Prevent Them. Boston, MA:

Harvard Business School Press.

• Burns, Christopher. 2008. Deadly Decisions: How false knowledge sank the

Titanic, blew up the shuttle and led America into war. Amherst, NY: Prometheus


• Browne, Mairead. 1993. Organizational Decision Making and Information.

Norwood, NJ: Ablex. (Decision making by a council of a higher education institute

in Sydney, Australia.)

• Chiles, James R. 2001. Inviting Disaster: Lessons From the Edge of Technology.

New York: HarperBusiness. (Air France Concorde, Apollo 13, Hubble Space

Telescope, etc)

• Choo, Chun Wei. 2005. Information Failures and Organizational Disasters. Sloan

Management Review 46 (3):8-10.

• Choo, Chun Wei. 2009. Organizational Disasters: Why They Happen and How

They May be Prevented. Management Decision, 46 (1): 32-46

• Chua, Alton Y.K., Selcan Kaynak, and Schubert S.B. Foo. 2006. An Analysis Of

The Delayed Response To Hurricane Katrina Through The Lens Of Knowledge

Management. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and

Technology 58 (3):391-403.

• Drummond, Helga. 1997. Escalation in Decision Making: The Tragedy of Taurus.

Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

• Ermann, M. David, and Richard J. Lundman, eds. 2001. Corporate and

Governmental Deviance: Problems of Organizational Behavior in Contemporary

Society. 6th ed.

• Evan, William M., and Mark Manion. 2002. Minding the Machines: Preventing

Technological Disasters. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall PTR. (Bhopal,

Chernobyl, Ford-Firestone, Love Canal, Three Mile Island, Y2K, and many


• Fay, S. 1996. The Collapse of Barings: Panic, Ignorance and Greed. London:

Arrow Business Books.

• Finkelstein, S., Whitehead, J., & Campbell, A. 2009. Think Again: Why Good

Leaders Make Bad Decisions. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.

• Gerstein, M.S., & Ellsberg, M. 2008. Flirting with Disaster: Why Accidents Are

Rarely Accidental. New York: Union Square Press. (Chernobyl, Merck Vioxx,

Hurricane Katrina)

• E. Frank Harrison. 1999. The Managerial Decision-Making Process. 5th Edition.

Boston: Houghton Mifflin. (Iranian hostage crisis, Philip Morris in 1984, General

Motors in 1978)

• Kovacs, Beatrice. 1990. The Decision-Making Process for Library Collections:

Case Studies in Four Types of Libraries. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

(Collection development decision making in public libraries, school libraries,

academic libraries, and special libraries.)

• National Geographic. 2004-2013. Seconds from Disaster. Documentary films that

“investigate historically relevant man-made and natural disasters … by analyzing

the causes and circumstances that ultimately affected the disaster.”

• Neck, Chris P., and Gregory Moorhead. 1992. Jury Deliberations in the Trial of

US vs. John Delorean: A Case Analysis of Groupthink Avoidance and Enhanced

Framework. Human Relations 45 (10):1077-1091.

• Perrow, Charles. 1999. Normal Accidents: Living with High-Risk Technologies.

Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. (Three Mile Island nuclear reactor

accident, Bhopal Union Carbide plant, air traffic control.)

• Shrivastava, Paul. Bhopal: Anatomy of a Crisis. 2nd ed. London: P. Chapman,


• The 9/11 Commission. 2004. The 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the

National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States. New York: W.

W. Norton.

• The Members of the Committee of the Inquiry. 2000. BSE Inquiry Report, Volume

1: Findings & Conclusions. London, UK: The Stationery Office.

• Walker, J. S. 2004. Three Mile Island: A Nuclear Crisis in Historical Perspective.

Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

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