Black Country Gifts is unique because as well as being an online retailer it is a live case study. A case study is normally a description of an organization that highlights a particular situation that can be used to support learning and teaching. Case studies are an important resource in higher education, providing a realistic context in which students can apply theories and analyse situations. However, case studies are limited, often focusing on one aspect of the organization.
Black Country Gifts has been established with the specific aim of being a case study organization that can be used to support learning and teaching. Educators can use Black Country Gifts to demonstrate and discuss a range of issues in e-business, such as strategic planning, entrepreneurship, customer relationship management, marketing, business process redesign, website design, database management, etc.
Some information about running the organization will be posted on the website. Educators can contact Black Country Gifts by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to request specific information to support their courses. For example, students could prepare a list of interview questions to find out about the company strategy. Black Country Gifts has an open policy on disclosing business information to educators with the exception of customer details. All customer details remain confidential to Black Country Gifts; staff and students do not have access to the names, addresses, financial information or order details of individual customers. From a customer perspective we operate in the same way as other online retailers and adhere to the requirements of relevant legislation.
By being a live case study, Black Country Gifts aims to collaborate with educational institutions to support learning in higher education and prepare students for full-time employment.