Sick of It: How Coronavirus Plagued a Case Study Project

 Will McCarty, a senior in USF’s EMBA program, was following Florida’s recent “stay-at-home” order. He heard a message ping in the “Team Five” group chat. The chat read “Team, I will not be able to get approval to publish our team case. I am sorry”.

This approval was required for Team Five to proceed with their Business Problems Analysis course’s final assignment. For this assignment, the team was tasked to author and publish a case study detailing a complex real-world business decision. Ideally, the case study would focus on one of the team members’ employer organizations. Dr. Gill had presented the class with two options for the assignment: 1.) Fine tune a case study topic that was initiated in a previous course, with the goal of academic publication 2.) Teams unable to garner publication consent could start over with a new case on a new topic.

The teammate’s message was troubling; the first submission date for this assignment was looming. Team Five hoped that their case topic would receive publication approval. Because the team did not receive the necessary consent, they knew that they had to select a new case study topic. McCarty and the team were in a difficult position only exacerbated by the Coronavirus pandemic. The virus had recently caused severe, widespread, and unprecedented global disruption. The team knew it would be nearly impossible to find an alternative company that would have the bandwidth to participate in developing a new case on such short notice. Arranging in person meetings or interviews was not feasible. Most, if not all, organizations were focused on business continuity plans related to the pandemic. McCarty typed up a text to his group, “Hear me out…can we write a case about how we can’t find a case?” The team was intrigued, and McCarty offered to pitch the case to Dr. Gill the next day. As Dr. Gill’s house phone rang, McCarty felt nervous – the team was running out of options. What would the team do if Dr. Gill did not accept the team’s proposal?

Authors: Robert Champagne, Rachel Forsyth, William McCarty, Ian Nunneley, Allison Vanderkolk


Cite As: Champagne, R., Forsyth, R., McCarty, W., Nunneley, I., & Vanderkolk, A. (2020). Sick of it: How Coronavirus plagued a case study project. Muma Case Review 5(6). 1-29.