School of Business Administration

Business Scholars practice change management in case competition

icon of a calendarFebruary 3, 2020

Share this story

Business Scholars practice change management in case competition
Business As Usual scholars team posing for a group photo with the judges
The Business As Usual winning Scholars team with the judges.

In its last competition of the academic year, Oakland Business Scholars team members put their change management skills to work in a case that challenged them to examine the relationship between organizational culture and morale. The case called for strategic analysis and recommendations to address falling morale and high employee turnover of a non-profit residential care facility for neglected and abused children.

In the competition, the four teams had three hours to analyze the case, strategize a plan and develop a presentation for the judges. The panel of judges included three OU faculty members Molly Gagnon, Dr. Greg Thrasher and Dr. Jennifer Cordon Thor; along with Theresa Hickey, director, college recruiting, Emerge Consulting, and Scholar mentor; and Kisha Graham, branch manager, OU Credit Union, Auburn Hills/Oakland Center.

“I was impressed with the performance of all the teams,” says Dr. Thor. “Each identified the issues and came up with great solutions and clear direction on how to proceed.”

“The students presented professionally and logically. They were prepared and knowledgeable in the case even though they only had limited time,” adds Graham. “This competition gives Oakland business students experience communicating with peers, even when they do not agree, in a professional setting.”

The winning team, Business As Usual, stood out by taking time to understand the specific needs of the particular business. “By incorporating the non-profit organization’s faith-based mission into their recommendation they went a step further than other teams,” Dr. Thor says.

The winning team members each received $350 award. Congratulations to Angelina Allen (MKT), Alexis Harp (MGT), Luis Carlos Hernandez-Colin (FIN) and Robert Sobie (ACC).

“This team has come a long way since September and I’m extremely proud of them,” says Meaghan Cole, experiential programs manager, OU business school.

Through the expert guidance of Joy Jiang, associate professor, management, and Cole, Business Scholars immerse themselves in leadership development workshops, team building activities, mentor interactions and community service projects. The program is designed so Scholars polish their problem-solving, decision-making and leadership skills while practicing their business knowledge.

The case competitions are an opportunity for Scholars to apply what they’re learning to complex, real-world situations. The Business Scholars take part in several case competitions each academic year.

The Scholars appreciate the experience. “The experience and skills you develop from the case studies and the team collaboration involved is really valuable,” says Hernandez-Colin.

“I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity to gain knowledge from the judges and the program mentors,” adds Harp.

Share this story