Utah State University

Disruptive Innovation Case Writing Competition

Enter your submissions here:

Submissions should include your name, phone number, mailing address, and email address. Submission files should be named after the entrant, i.e. FirstnameLastname.docx.  or FirstnameLastname.pdf

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About the Competition:

It is widely recognized that American enterprise is increasingly disadvantaged in the global economy by an increasingly complex web of federal, state and local government policies that are partly unintelligible and partly unknowable. The challenge of finding ways to articulate how this complexity is stifling innovation and the effectiveness of American business is the central focus of this case writing competition. Participants are to write an original case study, with an accompanying teaching note, that focuses on a new or existing business or business venture that struggled or failed to succeed due to policies enacted by federal, state, and/or local governments (see below for examples). The case study should provide a detailed narrative account of a company or individual(s) throughout the process of business creation describing objectives, strategies, challenges, and results among others.


 

Prizes will be awarded in three categories:

Faculty:

This category is open to faculty members currently teaching in fields related to business, regulation, public policy, political science, economics, or other related field.  A panel of professors and professionals with expertise in business and regulation will evaluate submissions in this category. The top case selected by the panel will receive a $5,000 honorarium. Second Place will receive a $2,500 honorarium. Third place will receive a $1,500 honorarium.

Graduate Student:

This category is open to graduate students in fields related to business, public policy, regulation, political science, economics, or other related field. An expert panel will review the cases and the top three submissions will receive an honorarium in amount of $1,500 for first place, $1,000 for second place, and $500 for third place.

Undergraduate Students:

This category is open to all undergraduates with interest in fields related to business, public policy, regulation, economics, political science or other related field. An expert panel will review the cases and the top three submissions will receive an honorarium in the amount of $1,000 for first place, $600 for second place, and $350 for third place.

Winning submissions will be considered for an expedited review process with the Journal of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy for revision and publication. All other entrants are encouraged to submit their entries to the journal as well.


 

Objective:

Entrepreneurship, innovation, and the ability of businesses to make products that consumer’s value are all essential components to the continued growth of our economy. The social good of prosperous business activity is also realized through employment provided to individuals and its associated benefits, as well as through the ever-increasing quality of life that comes from a diversity of product and service options.  Today, individuals live longer, work fewer hours in a day with more leisure time, and enjoy a greater general standard of living than at any point in history because of businesses and the innovations they bring to market.

The operation of businesses, however, is contingent upon their understanding of, and compliance with, today’s rules of the road.  At the federal, state, and local level, a different, and often conflicting, set of rules govern the ability of businesses to create value in the economy.  This regulatory complexity is a make-or-break issue that businesses often struggle to cope with, resulting in potentially severe consequences for non-compliance.  When not reasonable, accessible, and consistent in its approach, regulation can pose significant difficulty and uncertainty to even the most robust business ventures.  Similarly, tax and subsidy policy that targets narrow interests of specific businesses can foster a noncompetitive environment that harms consumers and disadvantages enterprises that are most capable of advancing American innovation in the Global economy

The case writing competition seeks to serve an educational objective to encourage a broader understanding of the context in which business success can be diminished by federal, state and/or local government policies that negatively impact the market in unintended ways.  Successful submissions will detail and articulate how one or more of the following affect business creation and sustainability:

Regulation:  Did compliance with required regulations (i.e. licensures, permits, technical specifications, agency rules, etc.) have a negative impact on or place too big a burden on the business?

Taxes:  Did elements of the tax code (i.e. industry specific taxes, preferential treatment, etc.) undermine the success of the business?

Favoritism & Subsidies:  Did competitive rivals receive governmental preferential treatment or subsidies (i.e. energy subsidies, state and local construction projects, etc.) that excluded benefits from or disadvantaged the business?

Crowding Out:  Did fiscal and monetary programs and/or governmental and quasi-governmental entities that, by participating in the market, inhibit the success of the business?


 

Expectations:

Submissions must come from currently active faculty members or enrolled students .
Submissions must include both a case narrative and an accompanying teaching note (with teaching objectives and case synopsis).
Submissions must be no longer than 15 pages in length (not including appendices) for the case narrative and a minimum of 2 pages for the teaching note.
Submissions must be original and the profiled business entity must consent to having their names used and distributed.

Dates & Deadlines:

  • Competition will run from September 1, 2013 through December 1, 2013. Submissions must be received by 12:00 pm December 1, 2013. Results will be announced in January 2014.

 


 

Terms and Conditions:

Official Rules

By participating in the Advancing American Innovation Case Writing Competition (“Contest”), you (“Contestant(s)”) agree to be legally bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of the Judges and/or Sponsors.  Decisions of the Judges and/or Sponsors are binding and final in every respect.

Sponsor

The Contest is jointly sponsored by  The Institute of Political Economy in the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University, The Institute of Policy Analysis at Southern Utah University, Loyola University, Buena Vista University, and Strata. (Jointly designated as “Sponsor”).

All inquiries should be directed to Michael.Thomas<at>usu.edu.

Eligibility

The Contest is open to currently active faculty or enrolled students at a recognized institution of higher education who are over the age of eighteen (18).  This Contest is subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws.


 

Contest Procedure and Rules

Length:

Submissions must be no longer than 15 pages in length (not including appendices) for the case narrative and a minimum of 2 pages for the teaching note.

Entry submission:

Cases must be submitted via .pdf, .doc, or .docx through the submission form at http://www.usu.edu/ipe/ by 12:00PM on December 1, 2013.

Entrants should title their submitted files as follows:  FirstnameLastname.docx (or .pdf).

Entrants represent and warrant that (i) the cases that they submit are their own original creations and do not infringe upon any other person’s or entity’s rights; (ii) they have obtained permission, if applicable, from the profiled business entity to have their business profiled in the case; and (iii) the submission of the idea will not violate any enforceable agreements or understandings submitter has with any third party.

Grant of Rights in Cases Submitted

Submission of a Case constitutes the irrevocable and permanent transfer to Sponsor of the right to use, copy, sublicense, edit, modify, make derivative works, publish, exploit, transmit, distribute, publicly perform, publish, delete or display the content of and elements embodied in the case and the case itself, in whole or in part, in perpetuity in any and all media (whether now existing or hereafter devised) without limitation, and without consideration or acknowledgment to the entrant and the unconditional right to use the idea and statements about the Case for advertising/publicity purposes, all without additional compensation.

Cost

There is no cost to participate in the Contest. No purchase is necessary.

Judging and Prizes

The Sponsor, in concert with selected academic faculty, will judge cases according to the following criteria:

1.) Narrative Style: Does the case use a storytelling style? Is there proper development of a series of events and actions?

2.) Background: Is sufficient information about the company and central characters provided? Are specifics provided about the problems and decisions faced by the company/central characters?

3.) Business/Business Venture Idea: Would the business, an established firm or a start-up, be successful if not for regulatory complexity, taxation, subsidies, and/or crowding out effects? Does it fill a market need? Does it produce a value-add?

4.) Assessment of compliance costs and complexities: Does the impact of federal, state or local government-enacted policies on the market create the primary cause for business failure? Proper analysis?

5.) Relevance and Scope: Does the case allow for analysis by students? Will the case encourage discussion about the complexities of policies hindering business activity?

6.) General Format: Is the case well-written and laid-out? Does it engage the reader? Is it interesting?

7.) Visuals: Does the case include properly labeled visuals such as exhibits, tables, and figures?

8.) Educational Objective: Does the case inform students about the complexities of policies hindering business activity?

9.) Teaching Note: Does it include a synopsis? Does it include a discussion of the educational objectives raised by the case? Does it include suggestions for resolving the case problem either through recommendations to the business/central characters or for better government policies?


 

Prize money shall be awarded in the following amounts:

Faculty:

The top case selected by the panel will receive a $5,000 honorarium. Second Place will receive a $2,500 honorarium. Third place will receive a $1,500 honorarium.

Graduate Student:

An expert panel will review the cases and the top three submissions will receive an honorarium in amount of $1,500 for first place, $1,000 for second place, and $500 for third place.

Undergraduate Students:

An expert panel will review the cases and the top three submissions will receive an honorarium in the amount of $1,000 for first place, $600 for second place, and $350 for third place.


 

Notification; Provision of Phone Number, Address

Winners will be notified via email within approximately seven (7) business days after determination that they are eligible to receive a prize. They will be asked to confirm their phone number and mailing address. Entrants who do not provide a phone number and mailing address following their initial submission will forfeit any prizes. If an entrant cannot be reached by email within ten (10) business days of the first attempt to notify them, the prizes may be forfeited and the next successful entrant will receive said prizes.

Disqualification and Disputes

The Sponsors reserve the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify any participant that it determines, in its sole discretion, is ineligible to participate in the Contest. Failure to comply with these rules may result in a participant’s disqualification.

Limitation of Liability

If for any reason the Contest is not capable of running as planned, including infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes which corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper conduct of this Contest, the Sponsor reserves the right at their sole discretion, to disqualify any individual who tampers with the Contest, and to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Contest. The Sponsor assumes no responsibility for any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operation or transmission, communications line failure, theft or destruction or unauthorized access to, or alteration of, entries. The Sponsor is not responsible for any problems or technical malfunction of any telephone network or lines, computer online systems, servers, or providers, computer equipment, software, failure of any e-mail to be received by the Sponsor on account of technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet or at any Web site, or any combination thereof, including any injury or damage to participant’s or any other person’s computer related to or resulting from participation or downloading any materials in this Contest.

Limitation of Remedies

UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES, INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE, SHALL THE SPONSOR OR AFFILIATED ENTITIES OR ITS SUCCESSORS OR ASSIGNS, OR ANY OF ITS OFFICERS, DIRECTORS, EMPLOYEES, AGENTS AND REPRESENTATIVES BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INCIDENTAL, INDIRECT, SPECIAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, OR EXEMPLARY OR PUNITIVE DAMAGES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO LOSS OF PROFITS OR HARM TO BUSINESS OR REPUTATION, ARISING OUT OF PARTICIPATION IN THE CONTEST, POSTING ON OR ACCESS AND/OR DOWNLOAD OF ANY MATERIALS OR INFORMATION FROM ANY WEB SITE OWNED, OPERATED OR CONTROLLED BY THE SPONSORS OR AFFILIATED ENTITIES, OR ACCEPTANCE OR USAGE OF A PAYMENT, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION DAMAGE TO PROPERTY AND, TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW, DAMAGES FOR BODILY OR PERSONAL INJURY, EVEN IF THE SPONSORS OR ANY AFFILIATED ENTITIES, THEIR SUCCESSORS OR ASSIGNS, OR ANY OF THEIR RESPECTIVE OFFICERS, DIRECTORS, SHAREHOLDERS, EMPLOYEES, AGENTS OR REPRESENTATIVES HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES OR LOSS. THE AGGREGATE LIABILITY OF THE SPONSOR ARISING OUT OF ANY KIND OF CLAIM (WHETHER IN CONTRACT, TORT, OR OTHERWISE) SHALL NOT EXCEED $1.00. SOME JURISDICTIONS DO NOT ALLOW THE EXCLUSION OR LIMITATION OF INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, SO THE ABOVE LIMITATION OR EXCLUSION MAY NOT APPLY TO YOU.

Amendments

The Sponsor reserves the right to suspend, cancel, terminate or modify the Contest without advance notice, and thereafter to re-commence such Contest, if at all, only at such time(s) and upon such terms and conditions as we shall deem reasonable under the circumstances.

Severability

If any one or more provisions of these Official Rules are held to be invalid, illegal or unenforceable by a court of competent jurisdiction, such invalidity, illegality or unenforceability shall not affect the validity, effect or enforcement of any other provision or provisions of these Official Rules.

Jurisdiction; Venue

Any dispute that may arise hereunder, if not settled by the parties directly or through alternate dispute resolution, shall be brought solely in the appropriate state or federal court sitting in Utah, subject to the paragraph immediately below, and Contestants consent to the personal jurisdiction and venue thereof.

Waiver of Jury

As a condition of participating in this Contest, each Contestant hereby irrevocably and perpetually waives any right that Contestant may have to a trial by jury in respect of any litigation directly or indirectly arising out of, under, or in connection with Contest, any document or agreement entered into in connection with Contest, any prize available through Contest, and any of the transactions contemplated related to Contest.

Taxes

It is the sole responsibility of the winning Contestant to pay all federal, state, and local taxes in connection with the prize.  If a prize of $600 or more is awarded, the winner may be required to submit his or her taxpayer identification number to claim the prize and the Sponsor may be required to report the prize to federal and state tax authorities.


 

Enter your submissions here:

Submissions should include your name, phone number, mailing address, and email address. Submission files should be named after the entrant, i.e. FirstnameLastname.docx.  or FirstnameLastname.pdf

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