The Langley Files Case Study; Identifying all the pertinent issues that management needs to address, Perform whatever analysis and evaluation that is appropriate

A comprehensive written case analysis includes; (1) identifying all the pertinent issues that management needs to address, (2) perform whatever analysis and evaluation that is appropriate, and (3) propose an action plan and set of recommendations addressing the issues you have identified.

Keep the following pointers in mind.

Identification:

It is essential early on in your paper that you provide a sharply focused diagnosis of strategic issues and key problems and that you demonstrate a good grasp of the company s present situation.

Consider beginning your paper with an overview of the company s situation, its strategy, and the significant problems and issues that confront management. State problems/issues as clearly and precisely as you can. Unless it is necessary to do so for emphasis, avoid recounting facts and history about the company.

Analysis and Evaluation:

This is usually the hardest part of the report. Analysis is hard work! Decide whether the firm has valuable resource strengths and competencies and, if so, whether it is capitalizing on them. Check to see if the firm s strategy is producing satisfactory results and determine the reasons why or why not. Probe the nature and strength of the competitive forces confronting the company. Decide whether and why the firm s competitive position is getting stronger or weaker.

In writing your analysis and evaluation, bear in mind four things:

1. You are obliged to offer analysis and evidence to back up your conclusions. Do not rely on unsupported opinions, over-generalizations, and platitudes as a substitute for tight, logical argument backed up with facts and figures.

2. If your analysis involves some important quantitative calculations, use tables and charts to present the calculations clearly and efficiently.

3. Demonstrate that you have command of the strategic concepts and analytical tools to which you have been exposed. Use them in your report.

4. Your interpretation of the evidence should be reasonable and objective. Be wary of preparing a one-sided argument that omits all aspects not favorable to your conclusions. Likewise, try not to exaggerate or overdramatize. Endeavor to inject balance into your analysis and to avoid emotional rhetoric. Strike phrases such as I think, I feel, and I believe when you edit your first draft and write in My analysis shows, instead.

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