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Case Analysis - Some Notes on Case Analysis David Robinson...

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Some Notes on Case Analysis David Robinson, Revised June 2003 General Approach You will develop your own personal style for case preparation, but the following is a good generic approach. It involves two key elements: Multiple reading of the case Holding a group discussion about the case—even when you are not involved in a group presentation or group written brief. 1 Begin by reading the case on your own —be careful not to form a conclusion by talking to other people too soon. a. It goes without saying that asking a more senior student for the “answer” to the case—or even for tips—is a big mistake. b. Read the case all the way through, as a narrative. Get some general sense of: What industry is this firm operating in? What is the industry structure (e.g. fragmented, versus a few major players)? What is the firm’s position in this industry? What might be the key success factors? ° Technical innovation ° Production efficiency ° Costs and hence pricing ° Customer relationships and brand ° Distribution ° What is the channel of distribution, and who is the "channel captain?" c. What does this company do, and what is it good at? d. What seem to be the problems? e. What sort of exhibits and appendices are offered? Why might they be important?
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2 2 At this point, it’s important to take a break: go for a run, eat dinner, call an old friend from High School. 3 Now you can begin your second individual reading of the case. At this point, most people mark up the case using two or three colors of high- lighter. Be careful not to highlight too much or you end up with a pink or yellow mess. You are looking for (and may mark separately: a. People—who are the decision makers and who is irrelevant? b. Key facts, such as: What the company has already tried Constraints (e.g., need for advertising, but no money; union opposition to a restaffing plan.) Numbers ( see Harvard Case Writing below)
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