case analysis can be no longer than two‐pages(single‐sided,single spaced, 12 point Times New Roman, 1” margins throughout). Case Analysis Guidelines 1) Identify the strategic issues in this case through internal and external analysis Things to consider: a) A strategic issue is any issue that has the potential to fundamentally affect the company’s competitive position, its strategy, its operations and its prospects. Typically, it is the issue addressing which resolves all other issues. More importantly, the number of strategic issues facing an organization is limited in number ‐ at the most there are two or three such issues. Prioritize. Look not at the symptoms but the underlying cause. b) To identify the strategic issues one needs to examine the firm’s competitive positioning. The firm’s competitive positioning is arrived at after an analysis of the firm’s environment (industry analysis), the firm’s resources and capabilities (internal analysis) and the firm’s strategies and its outcome. The strategic issue is something that has the potential to affect the firm’s competitive positioning and may be due to changes in the environment, internal resources and capabilities, questionable strategies and the like. c) Third, to examine the competitive position you need to consider all relevant information in the case. Question any hidden assumptions. Make explicit all assumptions you make in order to arrive at your conclusions. Assess your logic and arguments for coherence and consistency. 2) Identify the most important alternative courses of action Things to consider: a) The relevant alternatives are those that most directly address the strategic issues that you have identified in the first step. The relevant alternatives should be based on the analysis that you have performed earlier. In other words they must be consistent with the industry analysis, the internal analysis and the firm’s strategies that you have identified. b) Second, examine whether these alternatives are really alternatives. In other words, can the firm simultaneously undertake one or two or all of the alternatives? Some decisions like a Make or Buy decision are truly mutually exclusive. On the other hand, in some other cases a firm may not be able to pursue all alternatives because the firm does not have the resources and capabilities. 3) Evaluate the alternatives and recommend a course of action. Justify your decision. Things to consider: a) To recommend any one of the alternatives that you identified in the earlier step you need to evaluate all the alternatives. What are the pros and cons of each alternative? Why are some alternatives not feasible options for the firm? It is this analysis that enables you to identify and recommend the alternative that you think best addresses the strategic issue that you have identified. b) Present your recommendations with specific implementation details and support your decision by arguing its merits vis‐à‐vis the alternatives. 4) Evaluate your analysis in terms of consistency, coherence, brevity and logic. Things to consider a) Does it make any assumptions that you have not made explicit? b) Is the information used factually correct? c) Are the conclusions justifiable? d) Are they based on opinions, personal beliefs or logic and facts
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