23 May 2005

The Case Study Process (Part II)


A case study is best read at least twice. The first time quickly (on the bus, in the loo or bath whatever takes your fancy) to get an overview. The second pass, later in time, will reveal details that you did not first register and allow easier understanding, application of concepts followed by a more perceptive analysis and evaluation.


Organisations consist of both responses to internal and external factors and conditions which are either controllable to a degree or not at all. In order to begin to think about any future course of action for an organisation, it’s internal and external realities need to be explored using the techniques presented to you in lectures / tutorials/ reading.

EXTERNAL - Macro (STEP or PEST) and Micro factors are one framework for carrying out an analysis for the uncontrollable elements in the organisation’s environment.

A. Macro Factors: - [Socio-Cultural]
- Market specific Economic/Environmental
- Political
- Technological (Legal / Regulatory)

B. Micro Factors: - [Competitors]
- Organisation specific Customers
- Suppliers
- Interest Groups (Unions, Trade Organisations, Stake-holders – eg ocal authority generally etc
- Distributors / Intermediaries
- Markets / Segments

The list is an outline it is potentially infinite

INTERNAL - The internal realities of an organisation influence their possible courses of action so these must be carefully considered in some form of resource audit. Financial, marketing, human and physical resource audits are common occurrences during an organisation’s existence. You must learn how these are carried out. In Accounting there are prescribed rules to be followed but other types of audit using a variety of tools and techniques vary in format and nature according to who is carrying them out.

An organisation analysis will take into account its financial status and performance, its organisation structure and its appropriateness to the task, the ability of the organisation’s human resources to carry out current and future tasks as well as the physical (and financial) resources needed to do so. This may mean looking carefully at the capacity of a warehouse to handle increased sales for an Operations Management case study or the organisation of the marketing function in a manufacturing company going into a service business for a marketing one.

Matching future plans and strategies with the organisation’s capabilities and resources for the ‘best fit’ with the Mission Statement and objectives must include implementation issues, either on a broad strategic level or at a more minor level such as a minor operations strategy issue.

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