Prepareing Effective Case Analysis

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P R E PA R I N G A N E F F E C T I V E C A S E A N A L Y S I S : THE FULL STORY

In most strategic management courses, cases are used extensively as a teaching tool.1 A key reason is that cases provide active learners with opportunities to use the strategic management process to identify and solve organisational problems.Thus, by analysing situations that are described in cases and presenting the results, active learners (that is, students) become skilled at effectively using the tools, techniques and concepts that combine to form the strategic management process. The cases that follow are concerned with actual companies. Presented within the cases are problems and situations that managers and those with whom they work must analyse and resolve. As you will see, a strategic management case can focus on an entire industry, a single organisation, or a business unit of a large, diversified firm. The strategic management issues facing not-for-profit organisations also can be examined using the case analysis method. Basically, the case analysis method calls for a careful diagnosis of an organisation’s current conditions (as manifested by its external and internal environments) so that appropriate strategic actions can be recommended in view of the firm’s strategic intent and strategic mission. Strategic actions are taken to develop and then use a firm’s core competencies to select and implement different strategies, including business-level, corporatelevel, acquisition and restructuring, international and cooperative strategies. Thus, appropriate strategic actions help the firm to survive in the long run as it creates and uses competitive advantages as the foundation for achieving strategic competitiveness and earning above-average returns. The case method that we are recommending to you has a rich heritage as a pedagogical approach to the study and understanding of managerial effectiveness.2 As an active learner, your preparation is critical to successful use of the

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