Academic journal article Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies

Parout's "Bone Marrow Drive" Project Management

Academic journal article Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies

Parout's "Bone Marrow Drive" Project Management

Article excerpt

CASE DESCRIPTION

The primary subject matter of this case is project scheduling and resource loading. Secondary issues examined include strategy and human resource management. This case study is appropriate for upper level undergraduate students and MBA students taking operations management related courses. The case is designed to be used in conjunction with two to three hours of in-class discussion followed by approximately three to four hours of outside classroom analysis and report writing. In class discussion topics may include project scheduling based on critical path method, resource loading using spread sheet and leadership issues.

CASE SYNOPSIS

Parout Stores, a chain of super centers known as one of the largest retailers in the nation, was struggling with its public image after bad press on its now improved labor practices. The national office instructed local branches to begin conspicuous local community service initiatives to help the company in rebuilding its reputation at the community level. Robert McClelland, the manager of a Parout branch in a small Texas border town with a largely Hispanic population, stumbled across an opportunity to serve the Hispanic community nation-wide. The idea evolved from a brief conversation between McClelland and the founder of MatchJulia.org, a non-profit organization dedicated to registering more minorities on the National Marrow Donor Registry so that minority cancer patients have a better chance of finding a match for marrow transplants. Villanueva, the founder of MatchJulia.org, was willing to fly to the community and publicly thank any organization that recruits over 1,000 donors. One major problem was that Villanueva was scheduled to travel abroad within four weeks. Hence, McClelland only had a month to achieve this feat. He needed to strategically plan a community outreach program to register 1,000 donors in less than a month as well as convince his team that this opportunity was worth all the extra hours needed to plan and execute this project on such short notice.

BACKGROUND

It was a beautiful March evening in Austin, Texas. The air was pleasantly crisp and the wind rustled gently through the trees. Although Robert McClelland was from the hot, humid area of South Texas and normally would have treasured this change of scene, he was oblivious to the beautiful weather. A million things ran around in his mind as he excitedly marched out of a social networking gathering after having a few drinks with the retail world's movers and shakers from across the nation. Parout Stores, a chain of super centers known as one of the largest retailers in the nation, hired McClelland a year ago to expand its business into a small, growing city on the Texas-Mexico Border. McClelland moved to the border town and opened the store a year ago, shortly before the company began receiving bad press from local and national media on its purported labor practices. Since then, Parout Stores had changed several of its policies to assuage the complaints, successfully fixing the problems. However, Parout's image was still reeling from the months of bad press, the effects of which were painfully obvious in the company's bottom line. At a national meeting last month, the company decided that it needed to take action to counter the bad taste in its consumers' mouths. The leaders noted that trends toward Corporate Social Responsibility were taking the country by storm and that Parout Stores was lagging behind in that area. In order to gain back the community's trust as well as keep up with the Joneses, Parout decided to develop highly publicized local community service initiatives at each of its branches. Since the local companies would be more able to identify local needs, the order was handed down a few weeks ago for the local branches to identify community needs and to develop conspicuous community service programs right away. McClelland had been racking his brains for weeks for community service projects that would make a splash and win over the hearts of his local clients. …

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