1. Identify or infer the organization’s current mission, major business objectives, and strategies (especially corporate-‐level and competitive strategies). Evaluate the effectiveness or appropriateness of these strategies, including the organization’s portfolio of businesses (for diversiVied Virms) and competitive strategy -‐ don’t just describe them. Evaluate its performance (refer to its ROIC, growth rate, proVit margins, etc.). BrieVly summarize how well the organization has been performing against their objectives and in general.
2. Analysis of the External Environment
Scan and analyze important factors, trends, and probable future conditions to identify key opportunities and threats for the organization.
• General Environment: What are the TWO most important general and signiVicant trends in the
environment of the Virm? How will they affect the Virm?
• Business Environment: Industry structure and competitive environment (use Porter’s 5-‐force model,
the extended version if appropriate, the industry opportunities framework). Include industry growth trends, key success factors. Is the industry attractive? What are the TWO most important threats and the TWO most important opportunities in the Virm’s industry?
3. Scan and analyze each of the major functional areas, particularly to identify the organization’s strengths and weaknesses. What are the TWO most important resources and/or capabilities that the Virm has? Are they valuable/relevant, rare/scarce, inimitable/durable/transferable/non-‐substitutable/costly to imitate? Add value beyond mere description to ask and evaluate, how well is this working? Look for distinctive competencies, sources of competitive advantage, and major ways the organization creates value through its operations. The following Vive areas are one convenient breakdown. Listed under each are some topics that could be important, but don’t consider these as a mandatory checklist.
4.Integrate the major Vindings from your analysis in the previous two sections. State clearly the most important (ONE) major critical issue you have identiVied, and summarize the reasons that led you to choose it as the major critical issue. What is the issue? And why is this issue the most critical? You may also discuss a few other issues, but please make it clear which you have chosen as the critical issue. A critical issue may include problems, threats, or weaknesses (occasionally opportunities), but will more likely involve the interaction of several of these (e.g., a Virm’s current strong market position being challenged by an innovative competitor). Consider both short-‐ and long-‐range issues.
5. Available Alternative Strategies
Present TWO strategic alternatives available to the organization that can be considered reasonable in the context of your analysis/diagnosis. This does not mean listing every textbook strategy, but does require identifying a range of alternatives for this particular business situation, showing understanding of the current strategies. Consider corporate level strategy, competitive strategy, and (possibly) other functional
6 strategies. In addition to identifying an alternative, provide a balanced critique of the alternative, as it relates to the situation, for example: issues and problems addressed by the alternative, problems created, and how the alternative relates to the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of this business situation. Be sure to consider implementation implications. As you perform this part of the case analysis, you should make clear which is the best strategy.