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North America Case Research Association

Operations and Supply Management Seniors Win NACRA Award

February 20, 2015

Operations and Supply Management seniors Alisa Deroo and Luke Thompson received an award for an embryo case they prepared as part of “Looking in the Rearview Mirror” for the North American Case Research Association (NACRA).  The award dubbed their Research In Progress (RIP) case one that “Must be Written.” In October 2015, the two students will travel to Orlando, Florida, to present their completed case.

During the Spring 2014 semester, Alisa Deroo and Luke Thompson approached Professor Lisa Eshbach about participating in the NACRA conference. NACRA is a collaborative organization of approximately 500 researchers, case writers, and teachers, mostly in the business disciplines, who support each others' research and writing efforts. Under Eshbach’s guidance, Deroo and Thompson wrote and submitted a RIP case, which was accepted for the 2014 NACRA conference, which convened in Austin, Texas, in October 2014.

Alisa and Luke chose to participate in a Processes and Technologies case track, which means they will submit their completed case at the end of this year. Prior to the conference, the students were required to read cases written by others and prepare feedback for their RIP roundtable authors, faculty from Canada, France, and Dubai. Alisa and Luke received one of seven awards  given out for the best Research In Progress (RIP) “Looking in the Rearview Mirror” case. Their case was about applying Lean Logistics at a tier-one automotive supplier in West Michigan.

“Receiving the award was really remarkable,” said Eshbach, “especially since they were the only student team to receive it amongst a lot of faculty, PhDs. and 30 other RIP cases in the track. Their hard work and perseverance was appropriately rewarded. Alisa and Luke presented themselves in a professional manner throughout the conference by providing relevant, valuable feedback to the RIP authors. They represented Ferris State University’s College of Business well. I am proud of what they accomplished in such a short period of time prior to and during the conference.”

This was Eshbach’s sixth year presenting at the NACRA conference. She and Nancy Levenburg of Grand Valley State University presented a case on the Entrepreneurship/Small Business/Family Business track titled “Who’s Next? Succession Planning at Royal Beginnings Bridal Shop.”

Deroo and Thompson agreed that the conference was beneficial. They received excellent feedback from NACRA members from all over the world and could collaborate in a professional environment.

“From the student perspective, attending the 2014 NACRA conference was a great learning experience,” Deroo said. “We presented an embryo case to a round table discussion and received constructive criticism from a few of the past presidents of NACRA. These people gave us a harsh review and ultimately nominated our case as being one that should be written. After the round table Luke and I went right to work in editing the case. This renewed my drive to strive to finish our case and make it the best it could be.”

Luke said “The NACRA Conference was a very empowering experience,” Thompson said, “that revealed the importance of innovation in academia specifically through the mode of case study publication. I left the conference with a whole new perspective on research and a renewed drive to continue constructing our case.”