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Case Study Guidelines and Rubric

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OL690: Case Study Guidelines and Rubric

Case studies are written summaries or syntheses of real-life cases based upon data and research. Case studies usually require you to isolate and think through the key issues involved. Many times in a case study, you must identify appropriate strategies for the resolution of the 'case'. To do this, you have to weigh the pros and cons of the remedial options/strategies. Once you have conducted a successful analysis, you must recommend and present a rationale for the best resolution.

Main Elements

Each numbered heading below should appear in your case study analysis. Be sure to support your reasoning with citations from the case study and/or outside sources.

1. Introduction: State the major problem of the case study and include any subsequent problems or implications that you might have noticed.

The major problem of this case study is the fact that for the second time Aaron Feuerstein the owner of his family business Malden Mills was forced to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, in order to protect the business. Many of his actions were seen as major problems and in essence several of his managers think that they ultimately lead to the situation of bankruptcy. After a devastating fire in 1995 Feuerstein paid his workers even though the insurance settlements after the fire were not guaranteed and he had no idea how much he would actually receive (Nohria & Piper, 2006). He ended up spending millions over what he was insured for. Many mangers tried to object to this decision, but he overrode their requests because he believed he had an obligation to the workers. Malden Mills' problems don't stem entirely from its generosity to workers. The company's management made some questionable decisions after the fire like rebuilding too many workshops at a time when the industry was changing (Kerber, 2001). Overall the major problem was that Feuerstein made some poor management decisions and this ended up costing the company severely.

2. Identify the important players within the organization, the "stakeholders". Go beyond merely 'listing' them. Discuss the reasons why you have determined these players to be the stakeholders.

Employees were important players in this organization because they in many ways were a huge reason why Feuerstein lost so much money. There was a great deal of employee loyalty that Feuerstein believed in and the day after the fire in 1995, he decided that all 3,100 Malden Mills employees would receive full pay and benefits for 90 days regardless if they would be called back after this date or not (Nohria & Piper, 2006). He also continued with a program designed to assist workers with the purchase of their first home. Feuerstein had built this company on his vision and values and intertwined in those was the loyalty to employees and not leaving them in compromising situations. Malden Mills employees had an impact not only in the way that the company operated, but also in the way that the owner, Feuerstein made decisions. They were a crucial part of the success the company saw and the vision and values that were carried throughout the company. Employees were loyal to Feuerstein and to the company, for example in regards to the mill in Maine, the workers there offered to put up their pension money to help Feuerstein when there was a thought of relocating. With his care for his employees, Feuerstein put responsibility and reliance with them, their thoughts and visions for the company were valued and Feuerstein listened.

Directors and managers of Malden Mills are key stakeholders. This includes CEO Feuerstein, COO Daniel Ackerman, and people like Yelchiel Naor the chief of the Flock division. All of the managers from divisional to the CEO play an integral role in the success of Malden Mills and the decisions that get made each day. The daily functioning of Malden Mills could not happen without the overseeing of the specific divisional managers and those in higher positions, their direction and guidance are necessary to the success of the business. The functioning of employees and the strategic vision of the company could not happen without the input from the directors and managers; their leadership is crucial through the good and bad.

Shareholders are key stakeholders as well because they have their "hands" in the company in regards to owning shares. The decisions that are made affect their pockets directly therefore their input is warranted. The main interested of shareholders are profit growth, share price growth, and dividends. Feuerstein stated the shareholder, worker, and community must each be weighed in hard decisions a CEO makes, a task that takes wisdom and intelligence (Nohria & Piper, 2006). The true shareholders of the company were Feuerstein and his family.

The community of Lawrence MA, where Malden Mills is based out of is also a stakeholder. The community depends heavily on Malden Mills for job for the members, and it is central to the economy of Lawrence. 35 % of the Lawrence economy is still manufacturing based, including Malden Mills (Nohria &Piper, 2006). When Malden Mills suffered so did Lawrence, therefore the decisions and plans of the company are important to the community and their well-being. Decisions could be made that will ultimately leave the community in a tough position therefore their main interest is in whether or not the decisions they make are going to be ones that leave them in a good position with the ability to grow and sustain. Feuerstein wanted to provide to Lawrence he stated that he would do everything in his power to help Lawrence be restored to its pristine glory (Nohri & Piper, 2006).

Banks and other lenders are also stakeholders. During the time when Malden Mills was in financial trouble Feuerstein appealed to the Export Import Bank for 30 million dollars to help in reaching a satisfactory organization (Nohria & Piper, 2006). This stakeholder group is directly affected by the decisions of Malden Mills. They in essence allow them to have funding and when the company goes into financial debt or crisis there are directly impacted because the money that Malden Mills owes them in regards to the loan and principal will not be able to be paid back in a timely fashion or if ever. Malden Mills declared bankruptcy and therefore the money that they owed their lenders could not be paid back and this will result in other ramifications for Malden Mills.

3. Identify other target groups of the organization, whether clients or suppliers, if appropriate. Again, give your support and reasoning as to why they are important target groups.

Suppliers: Suppliers are also another target group of Malden Mills; they are directly affected by



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