A Guide to Case Analysis: Core Concepts and Analytical Approaches

7467 Words Feb 13th, 2013 30 Pages
A Guide to Case Analysis
I keep six honest serving men (They taught me all I knew); Their names are What and Why and When; And How and Where and Who. Rudyard Kipling

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STRATEGY: Core Concepts and Analytical Approaches

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n most courses in strategic management, students use cases about actual companies to practice strategic analysis and to gain some experience in the tasks of crafting and implementing strategy. A case sets forth, in a factual manner, the events and organizational circumstances surrounding a particular managerial situation. It puts readers at the scene of the action and familiarizes them with all the relevant circumstances. A case on strategic management can concern a whole industry, a single organization, or some part
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Usually, case discussions produce good arguments for more than one course of action. Differences of opinion nearly always exist. Thus, should a class discussion conclude without a strong, unambiguous consensus on what do to, don’t grumble too much when you are not told what the answer is or what the company actually did. Just remember that in the business world answers don’t come in conclusive black-and-white terms. There are nearly always several feasible courses of action and approaches, each of which may work out satisfactorily. Moreover, in the business world, when one elects a particular course of action, there is no peeking at the back of a book to see if you have chosen the best thing to do and no one to turn to for a provably correct answer. The best test of whether management action is “right’ or “wrong” is results. If the results of an action turn out to be “good,” the decision to take it may be presumed “right.” If not, then the action chosen was “wrong” in the sense that it didn’t work out Hence, the important thing for you to understand about analyzing cases is that the managerial exercise of identifying, diagnosing, and recommending is aimed at building your skills of business judgment. Discovering what the company actually did is no more than frosting on the cake—the actions that company managers actually took may or may not be
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