Case Study – Decision Making

Case Study – Decision Making

As we discussed in class, as a professional you may find yourself having to oversee operations with which you are unfamiliar. The attached case study is regarding the hiring of an architect for an upcoming construction project. I DO NOT EXPECT THAT YOU HAVE ANY PREVIOUS KNOWLEDGE ABOUT EITHER ARCHITECTS OR CONSTRUCTION. That is not the point of this assignment.

The case that you will be considering for this assignment is like situations you may face in the work environment. As such, there are no absolute right or wrong answers. Decisions made can and will affect many people including the agency for which you work. You are to put yourself into the role of manager to the best of your ability.

I am looking for a well thought out response to the situation. You may use outside resources if you desire but it is not required. These resources may include books, journal articles, and discussions with people currently in management roles. There is an article in the Supplemental Information folder in CANVAS which may be helpful to you (Improved Rec Centers Costly, But It’s Money Well-Spent). Under no circumstances should you be discussing it with other students in the class.

See the grading criteria below to understand exactly what I am looking for and the grading rubric to understand how you earn points.

The Situation

The citizens of your town have recently voted to raise property taxes to support the local Parks and Recreation Department in a major construction project. The project involves building a new recreation center, a swimming pool, and 8 tennis courts at a cost of over $50,000,000. The first step in the process is to secure the services of a qualified architect to assist with the planning and design of these new facilities. In your capacity as a manager, the Parks Board has asked you to make a recommendation as to which firm should be hired.

Since you know this decision is extremely important, for both the community and your job, you reach out to your network of colleagues to get help. Based on what you have learned the three top firms in the state are Brown & Son, Olympic, Inc. and Walker Architectural. You decide to do a survey of recreation departments throughout the state to find out the strengths and weaknesses of each firm. The results of the survey are shown on the next page.


To make things even more interesting, one of your Park Board members, John Snyder, has given you some ‘off the record’ advice. He indicates that Brown & Son have done amazing work for other park and recreation facilities and that they are well-qualified for this project. He also mentioned that the owner is a close personal friend, and that Brown & Son is prepared to give a substantial gift to the department should they be awarded the contract. Mr. Snyder has put a great deal of pressure on you to recommend Brown & Son.

Grading Criteria – This assignment MUST BE TYPED

Part 1 – Identification of keys issues involved in making the decision. (10 points)

  • 5pts: Identify all the people or groups of people who may or will be affected by your decision and discuss how or why they are affected (1 point for each group you list and discuss)
  • 5pts: Identify the approach to decision-making you have chosen and explain why that one is most appropriate (You MUST USE one of the four discussed in class, Failure to discuss/explain lose 1 point).
  • 5pts Upon what survey criteria are you basing your hiring decision (hint- do not use all 10 items from the survey, pick 3 or 4). Why did you choose them? How do they relate to your decision-making approach? (Failure to explain why lose 1 point)

Part 2 – Using the decision-making approach you have chosen as well as the criteria you think is most important, discuss each of the three firms (25 Points)

  1. 5 pts per firm: Discuss the actual ratings for each firm in the survey items which you identified as most important (failure to discuss each previously identified survey item lose 1pt for each missed, OR for discussing additional items) Note – There should be a short paragraph for each of the three firms
  2. 10 pts: Discuss how each firm measures up in relation to your decision-making approach – are they good or bad? Additionally, you may also discuss how each firm measures up based on your personal code of ethics or based upon ethics you think a public agency should follow. There should be a 3-4 sentence paragraph for each firm.

Part 3 – Make a recommendation. What firm do you think should be hired? Justify why you have made that decision. (15 Points)

  1. 5pts: Make a recommendation as to how you believe the situation should be handled – who do you think should be hired?
  2. 5pts: Justify that decision using at least two of the following: your decision-making approach, the selected survey items, your own personal code of ethics, or the ethics you think a public agency should follow (each justification worth 2.5 pts)
  3. 5pts: Name two other pieces of information that would have helped you make a better decision and how would you have learned it (2.5 pts per type information, failure to include how you would have learned it minus 1)

Grading Rubric


1.  Identification of all key issues?

  1. Have you considered all who might be affected?  (5)

·       1 point for each group you list and discuss

B.    Identify your decision-making approach (2.5)

·       Choose one of 4 from lecture

·       Failure to discuss/explain lose 1 point

C.    Criteria for basing your hiring decision (2.5)

·       Which of the 10 survey items will you use?

·       Failure to explain why lose 1 point

2.  Discussion of options- How do each of the firms rate?

  1. Discuss actual ratings for each firm (Focus on previously identified criteria) = 5 points for each
    • Brown & Son
    • Olympic, Inc.
    • Walker Architecture
  1. Discuss how each firm measures up in relation to your decision-making approach – are they good or bad? = 10 points
3.  Make a recommendation, justify it?

  1. What firm do you think should be hired? (5)
  2. Justify why you have made that decision (5)

·       Must mention 2 of the following and discuss: survey criteria, approach or ethics lose 2 points

C.    Two other pieces of information that would have helped AND how you would have learned them (5)



Grammar/Spelling/Formatting (lose 1 pt. for every 2 errors)















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