International Business Administration SIB560 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Swot Analysis, Cost Leadership, Strategic Management

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Analysing Business Cases: The Nine Steps To Success
By: Byron Tobar
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Why Use Cases?
Cases attempt to reflect the various pressures and considerations that professionals of all varieties
confront in the workplace. Using complex, realistic open-ended problems as a focus, cases are
designed to challenge you and help you develop and practice skills that you may need in your
future careers. Cases are also an excellent way to see how abstract principles learned in class are
applied to real world situations.
Remember that case assignments involve a different kind of learning than other assignments.
There is no one single answer and sometimes even the issue is deliberately not stated clearly.
Why Instructors Use Case Assignments
1. Real-life Scenarios - Cases allow you to apply classroom principles to real
situations.
2. Solve Ambiguous Problems - Few problems in the real world are as clean cut as
those in a textbook. Cases can help you develop skills to analyze the more complex
problems you may encounter later.
3. Sort and Analyze Ambiguous Data - Case studies can help you learn strategies for
sorting out seemingly unconnected bits of data and organizing them to understand
the problem.
4. Communication Skills - Both group discussion and writing an analysis of the
issues can improve your writing and speaking skills.
5. Learn Different Perspectives - Group discussion can help you understand how
others might view an issue and what valid points they "bring to the table."
6. Identify Your Own Assumptions - Learning what your core assumptions in life
are can help you understand what emotional reactions you may have to certain
issues and help you consider whether they are valid or not
2
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ANALYSING THE CASE: THE NINE STEPS TO SUCCESS
To analyse successfully and effectively use the following seven steps and the Case Summary Table
below:
Step 1 - Familiarize yourself with the case
Step 2 - Define the Problem/Opportunity
Step 3- Identify the Organization’s current mission, goals and strategies
Step 4- Identify the company's internal strengths and weakness (SWOT analysis)
Step 5 - Brainstorm Solutions
Step 6 - Select Solution
Step 7 - Develop an Action Plan
Step 8- Implementation
Step 9- Additional Content & Conclusion
Step 1 - Familiarize yourself with the case
Try to read the case at least two times, maybe more; the first time through should involve
familiarizing yourself with the basic situation. You will be given some focus questions intended to
help you and should think about why the case was assigned now.
Some Questions to Consider
Here are some standard questions that you might keep in mind:
1. What is the current status quo? Sometimes identifying where you are can help you figure
out the path to where you need to go. What are the forces driving change? What forces are
maintaining the status quo? Do they originate externally or internally? What will the firm's
probable future environment look like? What are the implications for the firm? Your
analysis must be supported by the facts in the case along with whatever reasonable
assumptions you make.
2. Who are the key people? Who are the decision makers?
3. What are the constraints on the actions of key people? What demands are imposed by
the situation? Are they economic, personal, professional or due to some other factor?
3
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