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ANALYZING A CASE STUDY - ANALYZING A CASE STUDY As just...

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ANALYZING A CASE STUDY As just mentioned, the purpose of the case study is to let you apply the concepts you've learned when you analyze the issues facing a specific company. To analyze a case study, therefore, you must examine closely the issues with which the company is confronted. Most often you will need to read the case several times - once to grasp the overall picture of what is happening to the company and then several times more to discover and grasp the specific problems. Generally, detailed analysis of a case study should include eight areas: 1. The history, development, and growth of the company over time 2. The identification of the company's internal strengths and weaknesses 3. The nature of the external environment surrounding the company 4. A SWOT analysis 5. The kind of corporate-level strategy pursued by the company 6. The nature of the company's business-level strategy 7. The company's structure and control systems and how they match its strategy 8. Recommendations To analyze a case, you need to apply what you've learned to each of these areas. We offer a summary of the steps you can take to analyze the case material for each of the eight points we just noted. 1. Analyze the company's history, development, and growth. A convenient way to investigate how a company's past strategy and structure affect it in the present is to chart the critical incidents in its history - that is, the events that were the most unusual or the most essential for its development into the company it is today. Some of the events have to do with its founding, its initial products, how it makes new-product market decisions, and how it developed and chose functional competencies to pursue. Its entry into new businesses and shifts in its main lines of business are also important milestones to consider. 2. Identify the company's internal strengths and weaknesses. Once the historical profile is completed, you can begin the SWOT analysis. Use all the incidents you have charted to develop an account of the company's strengths and weaknesses as they have emerged historically. Examine each of the value creation functions of the company, and identify the functions in which the company is currently strong and currently weak. Some companies might be weak in marketing; some might be strong in research and development. Make lists of these strengths and weaknesses. The SWOT checklist gives examples of what might go in these lists. 3. Analyze the external environment. The next step is to identify environmental opportunities and threats. Here you should apply all information you have learned on industry and macroenvironments, to analyze the environment the company is confronting. Of particular importance at the industry level is Porter's five forces model and the stage of the life cycle model . Which factors in the
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macroenvironment will appear salient depends on the specific company being analyzed. However, use each factor in turn (for instance, demographic factors) to see whether it is relevant for the company in question.
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