Format for Individual Case Analyses
For each case in the course pack each student that is not presenting the case with their team is required to complete a 1 page (single-spaced) analysis of the case to be turned in during class. To complete this analysis, students should read chapter thirteen of the textbook, which talks about the various ideas to consider when completing your analysis. However, in terms of actual formatting for the document to be turned in, follow this format:
- Diagnosis/Problem Statement – identification of the core underlying issues in the case. The length for this first paragraph is often a few sentences. Try to be concise and to the point).
- Strategic Analysis/Potential Options – creative identification of solutions that could help to alleviate issues identified in the diagnosis stage (significant creativity is encouraged)
- Recommendations – identification of stages that would be required to implement optimal solutions
- Justification/Evaluation – identification of measurables and tools for the long-term evaluation of the effectiveness of proposed solutions
[Company Name] case analysis
- Background/Problem statement
Include one paragraph with essential case facts (use specifics, such as numbers and details from the case). End this section with one further sentence that clearly states the strategic issue that you plan to address. This sentence should begin with, “The strategic issue in this case is …”.
- Bring in the problem, not the solution
- Be specific in the strategic issue that you identify. The issue should not be “how to sustain a competitive advantage” as this is the case for all companies. Draw on the specific company and industry to identify a critical strategic
- Make sure the strategic issue is broad enough to allow for different solutions and not already indicating one type of solution.
- Write the strategic issue in your own words. Do not copy text from the case.
- Base your issue on the situation for the company at the time of the case.
- Strategic analysis & options
Use strategic tools to conduct an analysis. While you will need to conduct multiple forms of analysis in order to develop good recommendations, you should only base this section on one of the strategic analysis techniques we discuss in the course. Choose from the following techniques to base your analysis: five forces analysis, value chain analysis, SWOT analysis, resource-based view, or general environment analysis. Include relevant course material to support your analysis in this section.
III. Recommendations – Detailed
Formulate a set of 2-4 recommendations that directly support your strategic analysis. Your recommendations should include specific statements describing exactly what needs to be done.
- Specifically identify recommendations that directly focus on your strategic issue. Your strategic analysis should help inform these recommendations.
- Use proactive statements.
- Do not rely on business fads like “focus on international growth in emerging markets” or “invest more in R&D”
- Be sure your recommendations are different than current practices and that you have reason to believe that what you are recommending is not already happening within the firm.
- Consider recommendations that naturally flow from your analysis framework
- Avoid suggests such as “conduct customer surveys”, “do market research”, or “find out which option the customers would want”, etc. You need to make decisions, not wait for the customers to figure it out for you.
Begin this section with a sentence that clearly states what issue your recommendations solve for the company to ensure that you stay focused to the particular problem.
- Then explain WHY your each of your recommendations (or the totality of your recommendations) solve the strategic issue you identified.
Then, write a sentence that states why and how your use of the strategic analysis that you conducted led to your recommendations.
- In essence, you are selling your recommendations. Be sure you write to convince the reader of the benefits for the firm
- The goal of these analyses will be to provide novel and creative solutions to the issues described in each case. A reasonable degree of creativity will be required to get full points.
- Papers are due at the beginning of class when the case is to be discussed. No late papers will be accepted.
- Your paper should be written professionally. Use appropriate business language, complete sentences, proper grammar, and spell check your final brief.
- Ensure that you are directly addressing your strategic issue in the recommendations and action plan.
- Ensure your arguments are consistent throughout the brief.
- Ensure you accurately represent the data from the case.
- They are not required, but numbering and bullets are welcome.
- Be sure to use something to indicate each section – you are welcome to use the titles used here, or you could use a simple numbering scheme, I, II, III, IV.
- You may use abbreviations (i.e.: TMW for The Men’s Wearhouse)