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How to analyze a strategic management case study
Case studies offer descriptions and data of situations, from which you have to:
Identify the key points or issues
Weigh up the situation
Consider the information you do and don’t have
Before you can:
Define the problem/issues to be addressed precisely
Outline the objectives: the desirable outcomes
Identify resources/techniques helpful to opening up the case study
Generate ideas or alternative solutions
Then you can:
Choose a “best fit” solution from the options (SWOT is compulsory, other
choices are competitive profile, bench marking, BCG portfolio matrix etc.)
Decide on an action plan
Outline what you need to suggest and how it can be implemented
Consider what might go wrong and how to monitor the success of the action plan
How to approach the case study
Step 1. Read the material carefully and ask yourself these questions:
What are the main presenting issues?
What the firm is doing right? What it is doing wrong according to you?
Why have these arisen?
What would happen if nothing were done?
What hard evidence (data – ratio analysis, financial data, marketing data etc.) is
there that the situation needs action?
Once you have done this you can write the introduction to the case study analysis, which
outlines the situation, the key issues, why these have arisen and require action. In this
way you should avoid rewriting large chunks of the case study.
Step 2. Analyse the situation/issues clearly and ask yourself the following questions:
What is the background to the case study?
What (The Internet) research could I use to understand the issues?
What solutions are desirable / possible?
What solutions are suggested / supported by research?
Strategic Management Case Analysis – Dr Zafar Fall I 2015 Page 2
What are the legal and ethical considerations?
What would be my role?
Step 3. Use the SWOT (SO-WO-ST-WT) provided to record your ideas/analysis.
How to write the case study Report
An effective case study report should
Clearly identify the core problem(s)
Analyse the issues underlying the problem
Discuss and justify alternative solutions using theory / experience
Present feasible recommendations
Be presented in an appropriate format