MgS 8130 Problem Solving

Preliminary Syllabus

Dr. Whalen                  Fall 2007            Click here for schedule

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email me anytime; you will nearly always get a reply within 24 hours, usually much faster.
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Catalog Description:

Required Texts:
The website is the most important "textbook" for the course, and it may develop and the term progresses -- check it frequently.
Harvard Business Review on Decision Making - paperback book in bookstore
You also need to buy the package of five cases available at "The Printshop" located at 6 Decatur Street and hand in the colored cover sheet.  Order online at
using the course CRN (
85421 for Fall 2007)

Assignments and Grading:

Date Required Assignment Points

Jones Box & Label
Sept. 17 Preliminary Case Summary 2

Sept. 24 Final Case Summary

Toyota Motor Manufacturing
October 1 Preliminary Case Summary

October 8 Final Case Summary

Cuban Missile Crisis
October 15 Preliminary Case Summary 2

October 22 Final Case Summary

Ryan Doornbos October 29 Preliminary Case Summary 2

Nov. 5 Final Case Summary

Victor Sahid
Nov. 12 Preliminary Case Summary

Nov. 19 Final Case Summary

Term Paper  Part 1 Due Nov. 26 1

Term Paper  Part 2 Due Dec. 3  December 10 1

Term Paper  Part 3 Due Dec. 10 1

Grading Policy: click here

Preliminary Case Summaries:
(Note these count twice as much as final case summaries!)
Each preliminary summary must include the following:

Who is the responsible decision maker? 
(Name and brief description of responsibilities.)

Who else is directly involved in the decision?
(Names and brief descriptions of responsibilities.)

What are the principal questionss that need to be considered?
(Several complete sentences each ending in a question mark.)

 A preliminary summary must NOT include the solution to the problem or any detalis of the process leading up to the solution.  If you include this material in the preliminary summary, you will lose points for "prejudging" the case!

Final Case Summaries:
These are less structured; tell me what you and/or the decision maker in the case learned from the analysis discussed in class.  Be on the lookout for the benefits provided by heuristics and the harm done by biases.

Term Paper: Start Now!