Session PowerPoint file - Agricultural Economics

Case Study Scholarship
Monday, January 14, 2013
Noon CST
Session audio delivered via phone - type your phone
number into the popup window or dial (866) 552-9877
This webinar is co-organized by the Agribusiness Economics and Management
(AEM) section of AAEA and TLC, hosted by the Purdue University Agricultural
Economics Department and Center for Food and Agricultural Business
Housekeeping Details
 Josh Detre, Emcee
– 12:05 – 12:20 Lisa House
– 12:20 – 12:30 Q & A
– 12:30 – 12:45 Mike Boland
– 12:45 – 1:00 Q & A
 Questions? Type into the chat window to all
participants or ask over the phone.
 Emcee will manage Q & A.
 Please mute your phone if not asking a question.
Today’s Presenters
Lisa House
• Florida Agricultural Market Research Center,
University of Florida
• Former Chair, AAEA Invited Case Study Session
Mike Boland
• Food Industry Center, University of Minnesota
• Co-authored over 80 agribusiness case studies
AAEA and Case Studies
Lisa House
University of Florida
Former Chair, AAEA Invited Case Study
Session Committee
 Overview AAEA and case studies
– Invited paper case study session
– Annual call for cases
– Evaluation criteria
 What make a good case?
History of AAEA and Case Studies
 Review of Agricultural Economics
– Change to Applied Economic Perspectives and
Policy (AEPP)
 Introduction of Invited Case Study Session
 Journal of Natural Sciences Education
Invited Paper Case Study Session
 Goal to have 3 case studies per year in an
invited session at the AAEA meetings
 As with other invited sessions, potential for
publication in the AJAE
 Selection of cases is based off 3-5 page (2,000
word max) proposals and is conducted by a
committee selected by the AAEA Board (blind
Annual Call for Cases
 Show how the application of economic
principles to decision making in the public
and/or private sectors leads to better
– Focus on economics
 Emerging issues encouraged
 All fields (not just agribusiness)
Evaluation Criteria
 Deals with a problem that has a high level of
importance/interest/relevancy to members of AAEA
 Clear and concise teaching objective(s) and target
audience(s) (e.g. undergraduate students, graduate
students, extension audiences)
 Case summary that presents solutions and explanations of
how the learning objectives are realized
 Leads to a better understanding of how the application of
economic principles improves decision making
 A general description of the teaching plan for presenting
the case to include expected student use of reference
What makes a good case? (Part 1)
 Teaching note
Identify audience
Summarize case
Identify learning objectives
Present teaching strategy
 Case study
Value of topic
New topic or novel approach to analysis
Written in an understandable manner
Ability to obtain information necessary for analysis
Further Suggestions
 Look at examples of published cases in AJAE, RAE,
and IFAMR journals
 IFAMR article on case standards for publications:
 Some typical problems with past submissions:
– Not written as a case study
– No economic issue
– No clear purpose
Thoughts on Writing Case Studies
Michael Boland
Food Industry Center
University of Minnesota
 Have historically taught capstone type courses using an active student /
participant-centered learning style
– Agribusiness / Food business curriculum
 Teach in a number of executive education style programs with non-degree
seeking students
– Case study type courses
 Ray Goldberg protégé
– Harvard Business School philosophy
– Study an industry and how a firm operates in that industry
 Economics of organizations
– Cases are a useful way to work in this area
 Product of my environment
– Doctorate at Purdue University / influence of CAB
– Career at Kansas State
– Current job at Minnesota
 Discuss case study as a scholarship activity
– Research
– Teaching
 What make a good case
– Best practices
Case Study as Research Scholarship
 Firm is unit of analysis within an industry (e.g.,
NAICS code) as opposed to price
– Coase and others discuss reasons why
– Penrose’s classic case on Hercules
– Used in agribusiness economics and management
• Boland and Crespi AEPP article on dissertations found more
than 15 dissertations using this type of approach
• Wysocki dissertation is a good example
 Requires careful consideration of industry and
– Public and private data
Example: Suppose you wanted to study variables
associated with sustainability efforts in food economy
 Choose an industry (e.g., retail supermarkets, etc.)
– More than 300 retail grocery stores chains in USA
• Segment firms
– Dissect CSR statements into stakeholder categories using Global
Reporting Initiative (GRI) categories
• Employees, community, consumers, education, resources, etc.
– Measure ‘weight of effort’ used for each category
– Stakeholder theory suggest that there are three types of demand for
sustainability: regulatory (descriptive), cognitive (instrumental),
– Each firm’s ‘weight of effort’ can be placed in one of the three
– An economic model that uses sustainability of demand as a function of
these different GRI categories can be described (not econometrically
– Academic journal are available for publication
Case Study as Teaching Scholarship
 Decision cases
– User of the case must have a decision to make
– Integration of subjects such as accounting,
economics, finance, marketing, strategy, etc.
– Requires information to help student learn
• Unique characteristics about the industry including
production, processing, distribution, and sales.
• How the firm operates as an organization
 Requires primary and secondary data
Example: suppose you wanted students to understand
why a firm has persistent profitability over time
 Identify the learner outcomes that you want the user to understand
– I always work backwards; generally include spreadsheet exercises
 Begin with a firm that exhibits this type of behavior
– Identify the reasons why
• Industry and firm effects
 Prepare case draft of the industry and firm using public data
(including teaching note)
– Contact firm leader, describe what you seek to do, and what you need
from them.
• Interview them (invite to class if possible)
– Prepare final draft
• Ask your contact to have someone read and sign off on factual issues in case
 Numerous books and journals to publish in
What makes a good case? (Part 2)
 Interesting industry and interesting firm
 Ability to bring it to life
 Accurate and in-depth teaching note
– Remember any instructor than yourself has little or now
knowledge of the industry or case
• Get the learner outcomes right and include tips on using case
– Make it easy for user to use the case
– As a case writer, be available if an instructor using your case asks
you to chat for five minutes on phone or skype
– Review cases for academic journals! Learn a lot being a peer
– Get involvement of the company
– Don’t underestimate the readability factor
Other Notes
 Most of my cases involve students
– Ideal project for a first semester graduate student
• Tight deadline and deliverable in one semester
• Teaches writing skills
• Learn independent and critical thinking skills
 Develop some discipline
– I try to write two cases a year for use in class
 A link to the archived webinar will be
emailed and linked on the web page by
Tuesday morning
Thank you for attending!