The following guidelines are designed to assist in the case analysis process. The Guidelines are not intended to be a rigid format, however. Each question is intended to surface information that will be helpful in analyzing and resolving the case. Each case is different, and some parts of these guidelines may not apply in every case.
Following each case are discussion questions that should be answered as part of any complete case analysis. The heart of any case analysis is the recommendations made based upon a solid logical foundation. The questions dealing with Problem and Issue Identification and Analysis and Evaluation should be used to define and then defend recommendations made in the final Recommendations step.
Guidelines for Analyzing Cases
Problem and Issue Identification
- What are the central facts of the case? What assumptions are you making about these facts?
- What is the major overriding issue in the case? What major question or issues does this case address that merits study at this point in the course?
- What sub-issues or related issues are present in the case that merit consideration now?
Analysis and Evaluation
- Who are the stakeholders in the case and what are their stakes? What challenges, threats or opportunities are posed by these stakeholders?
- What economic, legal, ethical, and philanthropic responsibilities does the company have, and what is the nature and extent of these responsibilities?
- If the case involves company actions, evaluate what the company did or did not do in handling the issue affecting it.
- What recommendations do you have for this case? If a company’s strategies or actions are involved, should the company have acted as it did? What action should the company take now? Why? Be as specific as possible. List several options as well as the pros and cons of each alternative. Be prepared to discuss why you eliminated those options you discarded and defend your chosen alternative. Mention and discuss any important implementation considerations. This last step is crucial because recommendations that cannot be implemented are worthless.