Skip to main content

ORG 270: Organizational Communication (Ems): Home

Your Objective

Select a contemporary case study involving any form of organization (e.g., corporation, nonprofit, government agency) and analyze the situation using one or more theoretical or conceptual perspectives we discussed in class this semester. 

The case study:

  • contemporary
  • research aimed at understanding the development of a particular organization, event, strategy or issue over a period of time
  • from a reliable academic source

Case Study Research

A case study is empirical research - based on observed and measured phenomena and deriving knowledge from actual experience rather than from theory or belief. 

Case studies are not always defined under the same parameters. Sometimes these publications will classify themselves as a case study and clearly label themselves as such in their titles; other times, the content matches the definition of a case study but the term is not explicitly used. This can make locating these studies tricky. Don't worry - we will get you started today in class, and you can follow up with Joel if you are still not finding what you hoped for.

Even if it's not labeled as a case study, it may still qualify.  Does it detail an actual situation involving some sort of problem? Does it include a methods section where they share the way they addressed the problem and assess their success? Look it over carefully and see if it would allow you to accomplish the assignment. Also, when in doubt, ask Dr. Ems!


BROAD SEARCH (Including books and ebooks)

Find books, articles, media, and more at Butler and beyond

Advanced SearchPowered by 


The CRAAP Test: Making Sure your Source is Quality and Appropriate

The CRAAP Test

Currency, Relevancy, Authority, Accuracy, Purpose

The CRAAP test lists criteria that can help you evaluate the quality and appropriateness of the information sources you encounter. 

Man carrying a sign that says "Judgement Day May 21, 2011"

When was the information published or posted?

Do you need historical or current information?

Has this information been revised or changed since it was first released?

BOTTOM LINE: Does this offer appropriately current or historical information?

Image: Bummer by Nick Harris1Used under CC BY-ND

Woman reading a book, looking confusedDoes the information help you accomplish the purpose of your work/paper? Does this easily relate to your topic?

Does this source meet all your information needs or assignment requirements?

Is this source at an appropriate level for your intended audience?

Have you looked at a variety of sources? Why is this source better than others?

BOTTOM LINE: Is this a source that adds value to your work? Why is it worth including?

Image: Confused by CollegeDegrees360Used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Man standing with several cameras hanging around his neck. Cannot see man's face.

Who is the author?  Who is the publisher?

  • What expertise do they have with this subject?
  • What is their educational background?
  • Where are they from? Where are they living now?
  • What political party do they belong to?
  • What organizations or causes do they support?
  • Are there any other biases you can ascertain?

BOTTOM LINE: Can you trust this author and publisher to know what they're talking about?

Image: [Man with Cameras] by i k o. Used under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Is this information correct? Reliable?

Are sources listed? Cited within the text?

Dart board with several darts in the bulleye

  • Are these sources scholarly/academic?
  • When were these sources published?
  • Do these sources come from trustworthy authors/publishers?

If the source conducted its own original research:

  • What methods were used to collect the data/information?
  • What was the sample size or population?
  • Are there any weaknesses in the way that they gather or analyzed their data?
  • Do you feel that they provided adequate support for their conclusions?

BOTTOM LINE: Can you trust that this information is true?

Image: Darts by Richard_of_EnglandUsed under CC BY 2.0

World War Two poster that says "Millions of troops are on the move; is your trip necessary?"What is the purpose of this information source?

  • To entertain? Inform? Educate? Pursuade? Sell? 
  • Are advertisements included? Photographs?

Is the information fact, opinion, or propoganda?

Do the authors/publishers make their intentions clear?

Is there bias - political, cultural, religious, ideological, personal, etc?

BOTTOM LINE: Is this source objective and impartial, or is it influenced by bias or hidden agendas?

Image: "Is your trip necessary?" by Richard Masoner / Cyclelicious.Used under CC BY-SA 2.0.

Information Commons Librarian

Joel Atkinson's picture
Joel Atkinson

APA Style

Button linking to the APA Citation Guide

MLA Style

Button linking to MLA Citation Guide

Chicago/Turabian Style

Link to the Chicago/Turabian style guide

Want to Reuse this Content?

Creative Commons Attribution License

You are welcome to reuse the content of this Guide as long as you attribute Butler University Libraries.


Email Butler University Libraries
Irwin Library: 317-940-9227
Science Library: 317-940-9937
CAT: 317-940-8575

Like us on FacebookInstagramFollow us on Twitter