This course has four types of asssignments: individual case assignments, group case assignments, class participation, and class presentations.
Each group should consist of no more than three members. Please form your group on the first day of class, and then e-mail the names of your group members to the TA. Please sit with your group members in class.
You will be required to write-up and submit two cases over the semester. One case should be prepared and submitted individually, while another should be prepared and submitted by your group. The class schedule indicates which cases are due to be submitted, and when.
The format of the submitted case analysis should be as follows: typed, double spaced, 12 font, standard margins; first page should be an Executive Summary of your analysis; this should be followed by a maximum of three pages of text, and then any exhibits and / or references. You should identify relevant issues, the objectives and constraints of the decision maker, and your recommendation for how the issues might be resolved. Your recommendation of a course of action for the case protagonist should be the focal point of your analysis. In other words, your analysis and arguments should jointly lead to, and support, your recommendation. In the course of leading up to your recommendation, you should, of course, evaluate the effect of alternative courses of action.
There should be no collaboration among students on cases to be prepared and submitted individually.
A case-based class requires active student engagement in, and ownership of, the class discussions. My role in class will be to facilitate the discussion, to draw out differing perspectives, to challenge you and to manage diversions. In other words, you will be the panel and I will be the moderator. Class participation marks will be awarded to your group, rather than to you individually. The TA will be present in each class to observe your group’s participation and record these marks. You can view your participation marks twice over the semester: the day following the midterm exam (Ses #13), and at the end of the semester. Please note that attendance and participation on the last two days of class (Ses #23 and Ses #24) is especially important, and absence on those days will be penalized.
Each group will deliver a class presentation on one of the two days reserved for this activity. Your goal is to present an important management accounting issue that was confronted in a company, and how it was addressed. The issue (and company) can be from your own experience, or you may have otherwise heard of it. If it is from your own personal experience, you may choose to withhold the name of the company. In your presentation, clearly identify the issue first (based on the topics we cover during the semester), provide background on the company and its strategic environment, describe how the company responded, and then evaluate the company’s response. The more interesting situations may be ones where you would have responded differently, had you been the decision maker, based on what you have learned in class, and situations that illustrate misalignment of incentives and failure of management control systems. Each presentation will last about 15 minutes, though we might adjust the length of time down depending on the number of groups. Before the presentation, you should submit a hard copy of your slides to the TA. Finally, don’t forget to mention briefly, in the introduction, the source (personal experience, other) of the issue you are presenting.