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Case Analysis Summary

Why Use Cases to Practice Strategic Management?


 Cases help substitute for on-the-job experience by:
o Giving you broader exposure to wider variety of industries, organisations and
strategic problems
o Forcing you to assume managerial role
o Providing test of how to apply tools and techniques of strategic management
o Asking you to come up with pragmatic managerial action plans to deal with the
issues

Objectives of Case Analyses


1. Increase understanding of what managers should and shouldn’t do in guiding business to
success
2. Build skills in sizing up company resource strengths and weaknesses and in conducting
strategic analysis in variety of industries and competitive situations
3. Get valuable practice in identifying strategic issues that need to be addressed, evaluating
strategic alternatives, and formulating workable plans of action
4. Enhance sense of business judgment
5. Gaining in-depth exposure to different industries and companies

 Case discussions can produce good arguments for more than one course of action;
sometimes there are no concrete answers
 The test of whether management action is right or wrong is in the results

Steps for Case Discussion


1. Skim case for quick overview of situation
2. Read thoroughly to digest facts and circumstances
3. Carefully review all info presented in exhibits
4. Decide what the strategic issues are
5. Start analysis of issues with number crunching to check company’s financial condition and
recent performance
6. Apply concepts and techniques of strategic analysis
7. Check out conflicting opinions and make judgments about the validity of all data and info
provided
8. Support your diagnosis and opinions with reasons and evidence
9. Develop appropriate action plan and set of recommendations
Preparing a Written Case Analysis
1. Identification
o Identify all pertinent issues that need addressing and state clearly/precisely
o Demonstrate a good grasp of company’s present situation
o Identify firm’s strategy and existing strategy implementation issues
o Consider beginning the paper with an overview of company’s situation, its strategy
and significant problems and issues that confront management
o Avoid recounting facts and history about company
2. Analysis and Evaluation
o Check out financial ratios, profit margins, rates of return and capital structure, and
decide how financially strong the firm is
o Look at marketing, production and managerial competence, and other factors
underlying organisation’s strategic success and failure
o Decide whether the firm has valuable resource strengths and competencies
o Check if firm strategy is producing satisfactory results and determine reasons
why/why not
o Probe nature and strength of competitive forces threatening the company
o Bear in mind:
 You are obliged to offer analysis and evidence to back up your conclusions
 If your analysis involves important quantitative calculations, use tables and
charts to present the calculations clearly and efficiently
 Demonstrate your command of strategic concepts and analytical tools
 Your interpretation of evidence should be reasonable and objective. Be wary
of preparing a one-sided argument that omits all aspects not favourable to
your conclusion. Avoid emotional rhetoric.
3. Recommendations
o Set of definite recommendations and a plan of action
 Should address all problems/issued identified and analysed
 They should offer a reasonable prospect of success
 Be sure the company is financially able to carry out the recommendations
 Offer a definite agenda for action, stipulating a timetable and sequence for
initiating actions, indicating priorities and suggesting who should be
responsible for what
o Avoid recommending anything you would not do yourself if you were in
management’s shoes