How to Analyze Case Studies in Strategic Management

Strategic planning is key to business results
Strategic planning is key to business results (Image: business plan 10609 image by pablo from

A case study is a description of an actual event, its participants, happenings, and outcomes. They are useful resources in teaching and research. Strategic management involves designing plans that assist in achieving a company or organizations goals and objectives. Managers, executives, and administrators create planned activities, policies, and projects to enhance overall performance. Analyzing case studies in strategic management is the process of examining past decisions, actions, and incidents within a business setting for the purpose of gaining knowledge, research, and development.

Things You'll Need

  • Actual case in strategic management
  • Guided questions
  • Writing utensil
  • Paper
  • Related reading material

Read the case study and define the situation. Identify key issues and/or problems within the situation. Write down the situation, issues, and/or problems. This may be done individually or in groups.

Name the players and stakeholders involved in the circumstances and recognize their motivation. Write this down and differentiate between urgent and not so urgent matters.

Ask what or who caused the issue or problem. Determining the cause is the only way to prevent future setbacks. On the other hand, if the case study details positive events, determining the cause is the only way to recreate them.

Categorize resources like people, materials, and processes as opportunities and/or threats. Make a list of each and describe characteristics.

Look at numerical data, if any. Determine the significance and correlation between numbers. Statisticians commonly use the Pearson Product Coefficient, which is available on Excel.

Generate at least three alternative ideas from what was actually done and predict different outcomes to the situation.

Identify which alternative idea or ideas work best for the situation and explain why. Think about increasing profits, customer satisfaction, market share, return on investment, and company goals and objectives when writing the explanation.

Recommend an alternative idea based on case study analysis. Justify the decision using knowledge, skill, and reason that is the foundation of business administration and management.

Prove the recommendation and justification on paper. Create tables, charts, diagrams, or other visual aids that are applicable to the given situation. Cite references.

Tips & Warnings

  • Focus on important business aspects including employee morale, competition, customer satisfaction, and company direction.
  • When writing recommendations, center on profitability and return on investment.
  • Keep reports objective in tone.
  • Be careful not to be wrapped up in opinion and subjectivity.
  • Do not sweat the small stuff, but rather focus on results.

Related Searches


  • Society for Human Resource Management
  • Niven, Paul. (2008). The Balanced Scorcard. Hoboken, NJ; Wiley, John, and Sons.
  • Argyris, Chris and Schon, Donald. (1974). Theory in Practice: Increasing Professional Effectiveness. San Francisco, CA; Josey-Bass.
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