Preparing an Effective Case Analysis

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Case studies
Introduction A summary of the case analysis process C-2 Preparing an effective case analysis – the full story C-5 Case 1 Hearing with the aid of implanted technology: The case of Cochlear™, an Australian high-technology leader C-19 Case 2 The Australian retail wars: Coles Myer and Woolworths battle for brand value C-26 Case 3 eBay.com: Profitably managing growth from start-up to 2000 C-32 Case 4 Gillette and the men’s wet-shaving market C-50 Case 5 Gunns and the greens: Governance issues in Tasmania C-70 Case 6 Growth at Hubbard’s Foods? C-79 Case 7 Incat Tasmania’s race for international success: Blue-riband strategies C-89 Case 8 The Golden Arches in India: A case of strategic adaptation C-95 Case 9 Monsanto: Better living through genetic engineering? C-106 Case 10 Nucor Corporation and the US steel industry C-121 Case 11 Philip Condit and the Boeing 777: From design and development to production and sales C-152 Case 12 Resene Paints C-168 Case 13 Sony Corporation: The vision of tomorrow C-184

Introduction

A summary of the case analysis process
Dallas Hanson
University of Tasmania

Case analysis is an essential part of a strategic management course and is also perhaps the most entertaining part of such a course. The ‘full story’ that follows this summary gives you considerable detail about how to go about a case analysis, but for now here is a brief account. Before we start, a word about attitude: make it a real exercise; you have a set of historical facts and use a rigorous system to work out what strategies should be followed. All the cases are about real companies, and one of the entertaining bits of the analysis process is to compare what you have said they should do with what they really have done. So, it is best not to check the Net to see current strategies until you have completed your analysis. What follows is one analytical system, a fairly tight one that you may want to adapt according to how much time you have and the style of the case.

Step 2 General environment analysis
Analyse the six generic elements – economic, sociocultural, global, technological, political/legal and demographic – and work out what the important facts are. There may be many issues and facts in each element, but you put down only the important ones. It is also important to avoid the common error of overemphasis on the firm in question. So, assuming the firm operates in the Australian ice-cream industry, the demographic analysis may have this comment: ‘A large baby boomer generation is now becoming more health-conscious. This presents opportunities in health foods and healthy alternatives for conventional foods. It also presents opportunities for low-fat ice creams.’ Or, in analysing the demographics of the Cochlear™ firm, you may conclude that there is a global market of 1.8 million profoundly deaf people and that this provides a huge undeveloped market for the implantable hearing devices industry.

External analysis
Step 1 What industry is it?
You must decide on this early. This is an important step, because it changes the analysis – for example, your industry analysis will yield different conclusions depending on what industry you determine.

Step 3 The industry environment
Analyse the five forces (that is, supplier power, buyer power, potential entrants, substitute products and rivalry among competitors) and explain briefly what is significant for each. For example, what are the issues involved in new entrants into the industry? For

C-2

Introduction • A summary of the case analysis process

C-3

the implantable hearing devices industry, these may include the need for understanding of intricate new technology, possession of a reputation in the global deaf community for safe and effective product development, and links to research institutions. This makes the industry hard to enter. Each force needs a brief discussion followed by a short conclusion. One extra consideration before you pull the...
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