Case studies can be used to present realistic, complex, and contextually rich situations and to demonstrate the application of a theory or concept to real-life situations. As a Connection Activity you can present a case study that cannot be solved without knowledge to be gained from the lesson. Throughout the lesson you can refer back to the case and students can work on developing a solution based on the information from the lesson. You can write you own case studies based on your professional experiences, from current events, from historical sources, or you can also find published cases from textbooks and online case study collections including The National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science and CASES Online.

Example - Analyzing an Organization

Before you get started on this module, think about the organization you currently work for or think about one that you are currently networking with for employment opportunities and answer the following questions:

  • What are some of the characteristics you personally admire about this organization? Why?
  • What kinds of opportunities are available within the organization for career management and development?
  • Would you refer a colleague or friend to this organization? Why?

Example - Inappropriate Social Media Comments

The dramatic growth of social media use in Canada on such sites as Facebook has raised new legal issues for employers and employees where employee rights and discipline are concerned. One such issue is whether or not an employee's off-duty conduct online (i.e. posting personal status updates, photos or comments on Facebook at home etc.) can get that employee dismissed. In short, the answer is yes.

Example 1

"Justin Hutchings of London, Ontario, learned the hard way about the consequences of making an inappropriate Facebook post. Mr. Hutchings posted an offensive comment on teen bullying victim Amanda Todd's memorial page, which was open to the public. Because Mr. Hutchings had identified his employer, Big & Tall Menswear, on his own profile, the employer received a direct complaint about the offensive post. Mr. Hutchings was fired for conduct that was considered contrary to the company's policy of treating all individuals honourably and, arguably, for conduct that would bring the employer into disrepute."

Example 2

"One Bell Technical Solutions technician who made several insulting remarks about his manager on Facebook was suspended and another technician who regularly complained about his job and made disparaging comments about both his manager and the company on his Facebook page was dismissed."

Regardless of whether employees intend their posts to be relatively private, courts and arbitrators have tended to conclude that posts on social media sites are easily disseminated and may be considered public if viewed by "friends." Therefore, how employees present themselves outside of the workplace can have a direct impact on disciplinary procedures.

Should an employee be disciplined for inappropriate social media comments? Do you agree or disagree?