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*Only do the first section, Introduction & Strategic Issue 1-2 pages*
Break the analysis into the following major headings:
1.Introduction& Strategic Issue 1-2 pages ONLY DO THIS SECTION
2.External Analysis 3+ pages
3.Company Situation 3+ pages
4.Recommendations 2-3 pages
5.Appendix Ratios, Industry Analysis, Five Forces Analysis, SWOT, SGM, etc.
In addition, use the subheadings described in this document to break up long sections.
2.Style& Late Case Assignments
Use APA style which means double spacethroughout—do not add any additional space between paragraphs. Be sure to indent the first wordof each new paragraph. Do not have long paragraphs containing a variety of related but different topics—break into smaller paragraphs for organization and ease of reading. Use a topic sentence to clarify the purpose of each paragraph. Number the pages starting with the Introduction , e.g., do not include the title page.
Proof! Check your work and correct the spelling and grammar errors. Write clearly with correctly structured complete sentences. The ability to present an effective case analysis depends on your critical thinking skills AND your ability to express your ideas in writing. Students who turn in a “first draft” may not earn a grade that is desired. When sections are returned to you, note all comments from the instructor and take notes in the class discussion to incorporate into your next case analysis.
Start each of the major sections with an introduction that briefly characterizes and sets the stage for the section. Also at the end of each significant section, summarize with a paragraph capturing the key strategic findings of your analysis for that section.Do not make comments like “The case did not provide information on . . .” You do not need to site the textbook or case. Eliminate personal pronouns such as I, we, etc.
Put your name and student id on the first page of the case.
3. Show Impact
Your job is not to “spill back” the facts from the case. Assume that the person who reads your write up will have read the case carefully. Support your statements of analysis with brief examples from the caseinformation. Your focus should be on the impact, effect, and strategic implications of your analysis. Do not overlook exhibits in the case with additional data.
4.Apply Tools and Vocabulary
Demonstrate that you understand and can effectively apply the tools of strategic analysis: macro environment, driving forces, key success factors, industry analysis, financial analysis, SWOT, strategic group map and the nine cell industry attractiveness, competitive strength matrix. An effective case analysis effectively incorporates the language of strategic analysis throughout. YOU WILL INCREASE YOUR GRADE A FULL LETTER BY PARAPHRASING THE APPROPRIATE SECTIONS OF THE TEXTBOOK AND CASE. Unless specifically requested, do not go to the internet to get information to write the case.
Provide a brief overview of 1). the mission2). business,3). markets, 4).products and 5). scope of operations the company is in. The past/current strategic direction of the firm can be briefly summarized but the focus should be on the most recent events that will impact the decisions and future direction of the firm. Identify past strategic actions bythe generic strategy or strategies.
It shows how capable you are of describing the company’s business and current strategy using strategic vocabulary.
Focusing on history rather than the current situation.
Not using strategic vocabulary for strategies.
Giving too much detail about the case—assume I’ve read the case.
In one or two paragraphs, summarize the company and strategic situation. This should characterize the fundamental state of affairs that exists in the focus company and industry with enough background information to understand it.See page 83 in the textbook for a definition of strategic issue and review page 8-9 for the tests of a winning strategy.
This section MUST summarize the strategic situation the company faces. “Situation” means “state of affairs.” Summarize and connect to the key findings of each section. Weave these findings into a summary story leading to a clear and specific statement about the future prospects for strategic success for the company. Make a specific statement about whether the company’s prospects are good, indefinite, or poor.
The strategic issue must be a single, well-crafted sentence that captures the fundamental problems and concerns that came out of the analysis. This single sentence must be formed as a question and will end with a question mark. Write this in very specific terms addressing both the company’s short-term situation and the broader strategic situation. Incorporate the need to provide shareholder value, sales growth, profitability and sustained competitive advantage but incorporate the specific challenges with which the focus company must deal. Everything prior to this question is headed toward this one culminating formulation of the problem. This question forms the basis for the recommendations.
Do not make recommendations in this section. For example, a strategic issue for ZU could be “What degree programs should be offered to meet the labor needs of the UAE government? This can be followed up with more specific questions such as:
§Should ZU offer degrees in engineering or medicine?
§How can ZU differentiate their brand from other universities?
§What degrees are desired by prospective students?
§What degree programs are needed that are not offered by other universities?
§What programs need to be in place so that students are prepared better for higher education?
Failure to introduce the key conditions or “givens” in a problem statement.
Addressing only the external or the internal situation rather than both.
Not addressing the major, strategic challenges that may significantly affect the company.