ABSTRACT

This case uses a real organization (One Laptop per Child, or OLPC) that is unique in that it reengineered laptops that can be produced at low cost, outsourced manufacturing to a Taiwanese corporation, and sold to governments of developing nations that in turn distributed them to local school children. The purpose of this case is to provide instructors an unstructured case to help students apply cost accounting concepts, tools, and techniques to a real-world, social enterprise organization. We recommend this case for use by instructors in cost accounting courses. In this case, students will have the opportunity to use publicly available managerial accounting information. Depending on the instructor's preferences and the course learning objectives, students may be exposed to a variety of case questions, some of which require application of more technical skills such as breakeven calculations, and some of which require more analytical skills such as cost structure considerations.

Feedback from students suggests that the case positively impacts their learning along several dimensions of managerial cost accounting. Various instructors have successfully used this case in the upper-level cost accounting and the graduate-level managerial accounting core courses as an opportunity for students to develop skills critical for today's business professional.

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