Outline the situation using your analysis framework.

Please remember that the case study assigned is a means for you to demonstrate that you can apply the theoretical classroom work.  The situation in the case will always be tied to the current sessions teachings.  They are meant to be cumulative, so as the course progresses, you should be able to incorporate a wide spectrum of analysis.  The objective is not “TO SOLVE” the case.

 

2. Read the case once, simply to see what it concerns.

 

3. Read the case again, carefully.  Note significant facts, examine any exhibits, graphs, pictures, and analyze any financial data included

 

4. The data at the end of the case is there for you to analyze, not to ignore.  Your summary should contain an analysis of those data, charts, and any other graphics.

 

5. Outline the situation using your analysis framework.  Not every element may be appropriate; do not force an entry if it does not apply.

 

6. Identify the issue of the case.  Do not assume that the case poses a problem.  Some cases will be assigned to illustrate particularly positive actions.

 

7. Unless otherwise assigned, all papers will be in executive summary form. An executive summary should not exceed 2 pages of text, nor can the analysis be covered in less than two pages

 

8. Physical aspects of an executive summary:

 

Single space the report; 1? margins top, bottom and sides

Two page limit

Print on one side only

No cover, binder, or folder

Staple left hand upper corner

Name on back of page 2, upper right corner, under the staple

 

Please do not use type smaller than 10 point (12 CPI)

This size type is not allowed.

 

Or this size for that matter

Start your paper at the first inch.  There is no need for titles.

 

9. While “more is better” is not a recommended rule to follow, it is not likely that you can analyze a case properly in less than two full pages.  If your written case comes out to be substantially less, there is a high degree of probability that your case analysis will be inadequate.   Papers that are hastily written always reflect that lack of attention and are graded accordingly.

 

10. Words that you want to avoid using: solution; problem; would; should; could; must; needs to; has to; and I

 

11. Mistakes you surely want to avoid (Fatal Errors)

! retelling the case; use data to support the concepts being covered

! so-what comments (ex: Inventory turns for the year 1998 were 6.5) If they were 6.5, is that significant? Is it good or bad?

! focusing on symptoms, not problems (ex: The Forbisher Company lost 20% of its market share)  WHY did they lose it? Poor service? Bad quality? Rivals?

! failing to distinguish between operating problems (marketing, financial, operational or personnel) and strategic problems (lack of definition, poor implementation)

! missing the issue (ex: should the Plotnick Company spend $3 million on a new machine)  The issue is likely to be what strategy Plotnick employs to remain the market leader.

! including a bunch of graphs and exhibits as padding

! including extraneous information (10-K reports from 1917-1999)

! suggesting an impossible strategy (beyond the capabilities of the company)

! suggesting that the firm hire consultants to deal with this issue

! citing a lack of information in the case

! employing the magic of hindsight (You may be well aware that a firm went bankrupt; an analysis of the firms position 5 years prior to that should be independent of that fact)

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