Study Case Ford

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Cases in Strategic Management

A Guide to Case Analysis
I keep six honest serving men (They taught me all I knew); Their names are What and Why and When; And How and Where and Who.
—Rudyard Kipling

In most courses in strategic management, students use cases about actual companies to practice strategic analysis and to gain some experience in the tasks of crafting and implementing strategy. A case sets forth, in a factual manner, the events and organizational circumstances surrounding a particular managerial situation. It puts readers at the scene of the action and familiarizes them with all the relevant circumstances. A case on strategic management can concern a whole industry, a single organization, or some part of an organization; the organization involved can be either profit-seeking or not-for-profit. The essence of the student’s role in case analysis is to diagnose and size up the situation described in the case and then to recommend appropriate action steps.

A student of business with tact Absorbed many answers he lacked. But acquiring a job, He said with a sob, “How does one fit answer to fact?”

The above limerick was used some years ago by Professor Charles Gragg to characterize the plight of business students who had no exposure to cases.1 The truth is that the mere act of listening to lectures and sound advice about managing does little for anyone’s management skills. Accumulated managerial wisdom cannot effectively be passed on by lectures and assigned readings alone. If anything had been learned about the practice of management, it is that a storehouse of readymade textbook answers does not exist. Each managerial situation has unique aspects, requiring its own diagnosis, judgment, and tailor-made actions. Cases provide would-be managers with a valuable way to practice wrestling with the actual…...

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