Roy L. Simerly
Department of Management
East Carolina University
Greenville, NC 27858-4353
(252) 328-6632 (Work)
(252) 328-4094 (Fax)
Strategic Management Case Analysis
This is the second part of a two part series dealing with the complexities of case analysis in Strategic Management courses. One of the primary function of Strategic Management is to serve as a cap-stone course integrating the material students have accumulated throughout their course of study within a business school. There is a need for instruments that will provide the necessary integration and opportunity for application of acquired knowledge. There is also the reality that students do not remember all that they should from previous courses. Equally important is the necessity to impart the basics of Strategic Management as a discipline in its own right. It is the theoretical foundation of Strategic Management that provides the rational for the integration. The purpose of this article is to provide an outline for analysis of a firm. I use this method at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. The only difference is that graduate students are expected to show more sophistication in their presentations.
Strategic Management Case Analysis
This is the second of a two part series dealing with one approach to case analysis in Strategic Management classes. This paper takes the view that Strategic Management is a cap-stone course intended to integrate the material students have accumulated throughout their course of study within a business school. Strategic Management is, in fact, the only course that has as its stated purpose the integration and application of key management concepts. Normally, students are expected to have a working knowledge of the primary business management disciplines of accounting, economics, finance, marketing, and operations, when entering the course. When instructors present case analysis, it is usually as a three-step process progressing from economic, to industry, and finally, to company analysis. In doing so they face the challenge of creating a classroom experience that enables students to conceptualize the framework as an integrated whole. The challenges for the instructor are interesting to say the least. First, there is the need for the instructor to understand the intent of each of the primary business management disciplines, as well as what the student can be expected to accomplish. Second, there is the need for instruments that will provide the necessary integration and opportunity for application of acquired knowledge. Third, there is the reality that students do not always remember all that they should. This leaves a great deal to be accomplished within one semester. An equally important challenge is the necessity to impart the basics of Strategic Management as a discipline in its own right. It is the theoretical foundation of Strategic Management that provides the rational for the integration. More importantly, the students needs an understanding of ‘when’ to use ‘what’ techniques in the business world. Given these challenges, I use – among other classroom techniques – case analysis. Students are required to provide analysis and discussion for a number of short cases throughout the semester. All are taken from current publications such as, Business Week, Fortune, Forbes and The Economist. I find that text book cases do not provide the currency necessary. These cases are used to demonstrate the text theory under discussion, and to show the relevance of specific elements of the major written cases. I require two major written cases. The first is an analysis of an industry, and the second is an analysis of a firm within that industry. Both are essential to achieve the...