Journal of Information Systems Education (JISE)

Volume 21

Volume 21 Number 4, Pages 371-374

Winter 2010


Teaching Case
Mobile Phone Service Process Hiccups at Cellular, Inc.


Theresa M. Edgington
Baylor University
Waco, TX 76798, USA

Abstract: This teaching case documents an actual case of process execution and failure. The case is useful in MIS introductory courses seeking to demonstrate the interdependencies within a business process, and the concept of cascading failure at the process level. This case demonstrates benefits and potential problems with information technology systems, how business processes transcend departments, and how cascading failure may arise. It has been used successfully in undergraduate MIS core business courses and is appropriate for graduate MIS as well as IS design courses. When a customer tries to purchase a cell phone and a service contract from Cellular Inc. using their ecommerce site, an expired advertisement begins a cascade of problems that occur throughout the customer-visible portions of the procurement/fulfillment process. The president of the company introduces the case as a catalyst for process improvement. He tasks his cross-functional business team to design an improved business process that will prevent the identified problems from occurring again. Students are tasked with defining the detailed steps occurring in the actual process and to define an improved process. Opportunities with design and theoretical contributions to improving the process are discussed.

Keywords: Business process, Cascading failure, Customer satisfaction, Customer support, Information system, Mobile technology, Procurement

Download this article: JISE - Volume 21 Number 4, Page 371.pdf


Recommended Citation: Edgington, T. M. (2010). Teaching Case: Mobile Phone Service Process Hiccups at Cellular, Inc. Journal of Information Systems Education, 21(4), pp. 371-374.