The Cameron Balloon Factory is a case study that ties together the various business functions, including production, purchasing, accounting, marketing, and management, of a real company. It includes a Teacher's Guide and provides many student resources, such as explanations of business functions, virtual tours, theories, worksheets with questions, and issues faced by the company. A glossary of terms helps with balloon jargon. Business students can become more aware of how real businesses function, learn to make decisions about various fields in an organization and apply theories such as supply and demand to a real business situation.
The case is made to hang together as a complete collection of marketing, procurement, manufacturing, accounting, human resources, and other segments of an organization. Students are expected to learn to make decisions is the various fields of an organization.
Target Student Population:
This module would be appropriate for an introductory class in Operations Management, Marketing, or Accounting.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
The student should be familiar with basic business terms.
Type of Material:
This is a simulation.
The module can be used in actual classes or can be used as homework for the students.
Web Browser only.
Evaluation and Observation
This comprehensive, well-implemented case is designed to integrate a variety of business functions and integrates those functions well. The issues raised are general ones as opposed to more some of the more specific dilemmas or problems typically associated with business policy cases. It is certainly worth consideration for use in any integrative business course and may be useful as well in specific departmental courses.
It is designed and implemented well and the content is of high quality. There is a very good depth of coverage of business material.
While its comprehensive nature is an appealing asset of the case, it also makes it more of a challenge to use. However, for specific classes it works very well.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
The module provides students with in an insider's view of a real company and ties together the various business functions in an appealing way. This would be an excellent assignment for the first week of an operations management class. This is an excellent module if a deeper understanding is needed and a good module if only a broad grasp is required.
The interactive nature of the module will help students to learn. The graphics are appealing and the subject of hot air balloons should be of interest to students.
Although a great deal of material is provided, students are challenged to work out the solutions on their own.
This is a comprehensive case and the user and instructor should review a majority of the material before answering a segment/assignment.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
For integrative courses - business policy, operations management - the case can serve well as an overview or review of concepts or as a basis for an in-depth class discussion. The module can be adapted to specific departmental courses,
such as accounting, by focusing on a specific section, such as "accounts," but the students would benefit from adding more specific questions in an added assignment.
The module is very easy to use, with the ability to click on links to additional information. One can navigate around the site very easily.
It should be noted that this is a time-consuming case to review for preparing an assignment. It requires a minimum of two to three hours to view all of the case content.
Other Issues and Comments:
There are some very good graphics that explain what the balloons look like.