Exploring Corporate Strategy - Case

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CASE STUDIES

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Guide to using the case studies

The main text of this book includes 87 short illustrations and 15 case examples which have been chosen to enlarge specific issues in the text and/or provide practical examples of how business and public sector organisations are managing strategic issues. The case studies which follow allow the reader to extend this linking of theory and practice further by analysing the strategic issues of specific organisations in much greater depth – and often providing ‘solutions’ to some of the problems or difficulties identified in the case. There are also over 33 classic cases on the Companion Website. These are a selection of cases from recent editions of the book which remain relevant for teaching. The case studies are intended to serve as a basis for class discussion and not as an illustration of either good or bad management practice. They are not intended to be a comprehensive collection of teaching material. They have been chosen (or specifically written) to provide readers with a core of cases which, together, cover most of the main issues in the text. As such, they should provide a useful backbone to a programme of study but could sensibly be supplemented by other material. We have provided a mixture of longer and shorter cases to increase the flexibility for teachers. Combined with the illustrations and the short case examples at the end of each chapter (in both versions of the book) this increases the reader’s and tutor’s choice. For example, when deciding on material for Chapter 2, the case example, Global Forces and the European Brewing Industry, tests a reader’s understanding of the main issues influencing the competitive position of a number of organisations in the same industry with a relatively short case. For a case that permits a more comprehensive industry analysis The Pharmaceutical Industry could be used. However, if the purpose is more focused – illustrating the use of ‘five forces’ analysis – the TUI case study or Illustration 2.3 on The Steel Industry could be used.

Some cases are written entirely from published sources but most have been prepared in cooperation with and approval of the management of the organisation concerned. Case studies can never fully capture the richness and complexity of real-life management situations and we would also encourage readers and tutors to take every possible opportunity to explore the live strategic issues of organisations – both their own and others. The following brief points of guidance should prove useful in selecting and using the case studies provided: ●

The summary table that follows indicates the main focus of each of the chosen case studies – together with important subsidiary foci (where appropriate). In general, the sequence of cases is intended to mirror the chapter sequence. However, this should not be taken too literally because, of course, many of these cases cover a variety of issues. The ‘classification’ provided is therefore guidance only. We expect readers to seek their own lessons from cases, and tutors to use cases in whichever way and sequence best fits the purpose of their programmes. Where cases have been chosen to illustrate the issues of strategic choices and strategy in action covered later in the book, it will normally be a prerequisite that some type of analysis of the strategic position is undertaken, using the case material. When planning the use of these cases within programmes, care needs to be taken to balance the time taken on such strategic analysis so as to allow the time required to analyse the main issues for which the case has been chosen. Where the text and cases are being used as the framework for a strategy programme (as we hope they will), it is essential that students are required to undertake additional reading from other...
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