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Your paper must rely upon, and properly cite, multiple sources, and some sources are mandatory unless explicitly waived on a case by case basis by the instructor. All papers must draw upon contemporary accounts from mainstream* media—this includes major newspapers, news magazines, broadcast and cable networks. All papers must draw upon articles or books written about the case. All starred cases were the subject of at least one book, parts of which may also have appeared as magazine or journal articles. In rare cases where a book proves hard to obtain, communicate with the instructor, who can suggest alternatives.
All “hash-marked” (#) cases have been subject to at least one of the following: Inspector General Reports, regulatory reports, commission reports, legislative hearings, indictments, special reports by outside counsel and so on. These authoritative analyses must be referenced in your case analysis. Students assigned a “non-hash-mark” case must conduct a brief search to see if any such investigations were conducted and, if so, include the findings in your case analysis.
Your paper must make specific and multiple references to the texts for this course. A course project outline appears below. DO NOT LIMIT your text references to the specific ideas from O’Hara, Ariely and Dorner mentioned in some outline elements. Indeed, your ability apply other ideas to your case analysis is a more impressive measure of your learning in this course.
*A note on mainstream: These are hot-button, controversial cases, often with collateral damage to individual careers, clients, stockholders and other constituencies. Such damage produces “ hot” analyses that can be much distorted. So, the bulk of your sources, and your primary sources—the one’s you go to first, must be respected for “fact-reporting.” That means the New York Times, not the “Free Market, Libertarian News” or the “ Progressive Reporter.” That means official reports, and criminal, civil or regulatory rulings rather than “The Ad-Hoc People’s Commission Report.” Read with care books by “organizational insiders,” who often have a pro or con axe to grind. Books by reporters will usually provide a more balanced picture.
A successful paper will be between 12-15 pages, double spaced, in 12 point New Times Roman typeface. Format will reflect APA style.
Case Study : Doctor Death: How Hospital/Medical School Organizations Enabled Michael Swango*
Course Project Outline:
This format provides a framework for organizing and presenting the lessons from each student’s case. NOT FOLLOWING THIS FORMAT CAN AFFECT YOUR TERM PAPER GRADE.
Module One: Key Players and Case HighlightsThis module jump-starts each student’s case. This module represents a student’s introduction of his/her assigned case. This module/post should resemble a movie trailer in describing broadly who and what is involved in your case. Use any sources you wish in creating this module, as long as you appropriately cite those sources.
Module Two: Organizational Functions, Structures and Administrative Processes
Describe carefully the business of your “case organization(s).” Was your organization public, private or non-profit? Describe the governance structures of your organization. Was there a Board of Directors? Was the Board Chair also the CEO? Whatever the formal arrangement, how independent was the board from management? What was the CEO’s (or Commissioner’s or Executive Director’s) leverage in terms of tenure protections, contract provisions, longevity or other factors relevant his/her exercise of power? If your agency was public, what was its reporting chain upwards towards the jurisdiction’s elected executive and/or legislative body.
Module Three: The Human Dynamics, and Culture, of Your Organization(s)
Broadly characterize the “ management style” in your organization. Reference several bases for your characterization to guard against a “single voice” defining how your organization was run. Characterize the “ operator culture” of the organization, its attitudes and practices. How critical was this culture to the organization’s effectiveness, or ineffectiveness, in the face of the crisis it confronted?
Module Four: Perverse impacts of well-intentioned organization structures & processes
In what ways did routines of your organization(s) help pave the way for the crisis. Incorporate, as appropriate, references to “normal accidents” (O’Hara, 2), structural failure (O’Hara, 3) and reinforced deviance (Dorner, 1). Do not treat the three listed elements as exhaustive. Organizations rarely end up in crisis unless some operation everyone believes is just fine suddenly causes big problems. Highlight and explain any “taken for granted” operations, procedures or technologies that contributed to your organization’s fall.
Module Five: Quality Control and Oversight
What role did oversight units/organizations play in your case? If failed oversight was a factor, describe the roles played by the oversight unit’s ineptitude, lack of resources or interference by the organization’s management. If multiple oversight bodies were involved, describe how they did or did not coordinate, and what role the degree of coordination played in how effectively problems were addressed.
Module Six: The Environment of the Organization
How did factors outside the organization contribute to your organization’s crisis? Evaluate the organization’s responses to changes in these external factors. Consider whether any inadequate responses to external challenges resulted from an “ institutionalized” worldview that caused the organization to misread and misaddress important changes in its environment. Assess, and include where appropriate, issues that arose relative to goal-setting, information and models that were used by the organization to chart its path.
Module Seven: Crossing Legal and Ethical Lines
Detail any legal actions—c riminal, civil or administrative—that arose from your case. Include charges presently being considered or litigation still being threatened. Report on any “resource diversions” that did not rise to the level of criminal, legal or civil prosecution. Describe how alleged or proven criminal acts or resource diversions involved “tokens” (as per Ariely) that minimized guilt because participants did not see their “small paper-work changes,” “minor omissions” or “all’s fair/buyer beware” business practices as stealing, even if these maneuvers put cash in their pockets indirectly and/or at some future date.
Module Eight: Current State of Affairs—Organizational Reforms, Quality Improvements
What is the current state of affairs in the organization (or organizations) that you studied? Is it defunct? If so, detail its demise, and who was victimized by its passing. If the organization turned itself around, detail how, and the role played by new leadership. If your assessment is that the organization has changed little as a result of its crisis, explain why you think this is, and what this means for the organization’s vulnerability to similar crises down the road.