You must first identify a problem or opportunity and discuss a viable integrated operations (how do you DO this?) solution based on your analysis of the firm’s circumstances. The general structure of papers involves a well-reasoned selection involving these foci. Depending on your theme, your emphasis may shift among them.
1. Concisely describe the case-specific business situation, including the relevant macroenvironmental, landscape and micro-environmental conditions facing the organization.
2. Develop your problem/theme statement: the opportunity or threat facing the organization. This theme statement goes in paragraph #1 or #2 as a clear, concise phrase.
3. If, and only if, realistic alternative approaches exist, present each alternative in sufficient detail to give the reader an idea of why it may be beneficial as opposed to another course. Do not discuss meaningless or unrealistic alternatives: doing that hurts your grade a lot.
4. Inform the reader of your specific, well-integrated reasons for any recommendations. This information is to include relevant value enhancing information (financials; profitloss; brand value, etc.).
5. Since this is an integrative applications course, your paper’s focus is always on: 1) specifically how will you do this and 2) how does your recommendation affect various important operational areas of the business’ performance (in other words, integrate the implications across various business operations areas like finance, marketing, risk, etc.).
You are strongly encouraged to do external research on the industry and company as depth for your paper. Don’t expect above a “C” for papers that use only the case itself without external, professional quality research to add value. In-text source citations and a comprehensive bibliography are required. Your work should include the focal reading plus at least three references in addition, usually, to the company’s website. I rarely credit unprofessional references like Wikipedia: Your image matters.