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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!


WorldCat - BROAD SEARCH (Including books and ebooks)

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

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WorldCat doesn't have a case study limiter, but you can click on Advanced Search, choose Subject from the drop-down menu under Search Index, and type "case studies" (don't forget the quotation marks!) in the search box. On the search results page, choose the "Article" limiter under Format.

Today's assignment

You will be assigned to a group of 3-4, and I will assign each group a resource to search.

Group 1: Communication & Mass Media Complete

Group 2: Academic Search Premier

Group 3: Google Scholar

Group 4: Business Source Complete

Group 5: ProQuest Business

Group 6: WorldCat

Figure out how to find a case study that is
1. Contemporary (let’s say the last 5 years)
2. A reliable academic source. (Don’t worry, I will help you!)

Find 2 case studies that look like they could work for the topic of 2 different people in your group. or just 2 that look interesting. If you're having trouble finding something for your topic, don't worry. Not every resource is going to work for your topic!

After ~10 minutes, I will have one member of each group teach the class how to use their assigned resource. 

Information Commons Librarian

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Joel Atkinson
Subjects: Communication

APA Style

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MLA Style

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Chicago/Turabian Style

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