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Course Project: Development and Analysis of Two Mini Case Studies

Course Project: Development and Analysis of Two Mini Case Studies

Class: BUSN412 Business Policy

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Select, develop, and analyze two mini case studies. The purpose of this project is to identify a successful strategy and compare and contrast it with an unsuccessful strategy, with the aim of identifying critical success factors (CSFs). You may select two strategies developed in the same company or from entirely different companies—or, indeed, different industries.

Case studies are used extensively in teaching business. Typically students perform an analysis on a case study prepared by an author or the professor—in this instance, the student is the author of the cases. The case study research strategy provides the opportunity to develop an in-depth understanding of an organization or event—data can be collected from multiple sources (for example, company websites, interviews, or published articles).

Please select two examples that reflect success and failure—collect data from multiple sources and develop two mini case studies of 500 words in length. Perform a cross-case analysis by comparing and contrasting the case studies on points of parity and points of difference. This should entail developing a framework, similar to many of the frameworks presented in class (e.g., SWOT or Five Forces) and analyzing the key data in your case studies. The analysis should be presented after your case studies and should be followed by a brief concluding statement and references in APA format.


Mini Case I:(Success): Sufficient length begins with general points and moves to a focus on specifics, evidence of success, good quality content—relevant, accurate, and timely.

Mini Case II:(Failure): Sufficient length begins with general points and moves to a focus on specifics, evidence of failure, good quality content—relevant, accurate, and timely.

Cross-Case Analysis:Once you have completed your cases you need to conduct a cross-case analysis. This requires comparing the two cases to determine points of similarity and points of difference.

Research Skills:Each case uses four to six sources, and sources are cited in the text and at the end of the case study in APA format.

Writing Skills:Ideas are communicated clearly in business English and using the appropriate business terminology. Work should be prepared following the development of a rough draft, revision, editing, and proofing to produce a final polished report.

A successful project will meet all of these requirements to earn a maximum of 200 points. At the conclusion of this project it will be beneficial to compare what factors are selected by your peers. Are there patterns here?


Week 1:Select company strategies, read supporting documents in Doc Sharing.

Weeks 2–7:Research and prepare rough draft and analysis, followed by revision, editing, and proofing—obtaining feedback.

Week 8:Submit Final Report.

Grading Rubrics

Category Points % Description
Mini Case I: Success 40 20% A quality paper will meet
or exceed 500 words.
Mini Case II: Failure 40 20% A quality paper will meet or
exceed 500 words.
Cross-Case Analysis 40 20% Includes framework and
critical success factors.
Research Skills 40 20% Based on accurate, relevant,
and timely sources.
Writing Skills 40 20% Business English,
grammatically correct,
error free, APA format.
Total 200 100% A quality paper will meet
or exceed all of the above
Best Practices

The Process for Developing a Case Study and Cross-Case Analysis

Generate topic ideas (brainstorm – use your experience – your interests – career oriented choices).

Develop initial ideas (explore the Internet – library data bases).

Select a topic (find the best fit between assignment and information/interest/experience obtained).

Develop a research question/set of questions – e.g. Why did this strategy succeed? (answering this question this will guide data collection and helps interpret results).

Data collection and analysis:

Decide on suitable sources and means to access these sources

Conduct interviews/observations, if appropriate

Collect published sources and record publication details (use APA format)

Review data and determine gaps that need to be filled

Determine case study structure (chronological or organized around key events/issues)

Interpret data in relation to the initial research question

Develop an outline – Say what you are going to say – Say it – Say you have said it (i.e. Introduction – Main body – Summary and conclusion).

Develop a rough draft, revise, edit and proof – this is critical to producing a good quality document.

A good case study should be:



Consider alternative perspectives

Display sufficient evidence

Be written in an engaging manner

Cross-Case Analysis

Once you have completed your cases you need to conduct a cross-case analysis. This requires comparing the two cases (or more) to determine point of similarity and points of difference. The objective is to determine the critical success factors (CSFs). What are the key factors that led to success? Understanding success also involves studying failure.

The following framework might be helpful. You should identify factors for comparison based on the characteristics of your own cases. Such factors might be charismatic leadership, global growth, effective value chain network.

The CSFs are based on your judgment of the evidence you have collected, and should emerge as you work through this framework. What are the key factors that have led to success. It will be beneficial to compare what factors are selected by your peers. Are there patterns here?

You can present your analysis in your report as a figure, but remember to introduce it and comment on what it means and present your CSFs in the text. Remember to number your figure and give it a title, e.g. Figure 1: Cross-Case Analysis, see below:

Figure 1: Cross-Case Analysis

Success: Company X



Failures: Company Y



Critical Success Factors:



Case Study Report

Outline and Grading Guide (150 points)


State the company name, website address and industry


Briefly describe the company in the case study. What is their primary business, who were the officers or key players described in the case study? If the case study company is currently in business, list the company’s current CEO, total sales and profit or loss for the last year where data is available. Identify key events or phases in the company’s history. Describe the performance of this company in the industry. Visit the company’s website and use or some other financial search engine to find this data. (25 points)

NOTE: Make sure to use APA citations throughout the paper. The textbook should be cited if it is the source of information. If you are not familiar with APA citation, check out the tutorial “APA Guidelines for Citing Sources” at the end of the course syllabus. There are videos to help you with the APA format and business research in the week 1 lecture.


Using the information in the case study, perform a SWOT analysis on this company. Remember Strengths and Weaknesses are internal to the company. Opportunities and threats lie outside of the company and are in the external environment. Summarize your key points in a SWOT matrix. (25 points)


Analyze the competitive environment by listing the threat of new entrants, the bargaining power of buyers, the bargaining power of suppliers, the threat of substitute products and services, and the intensity of rivalry among competitors in the industry (Chapter 2). Summarize your key points in a Figure. (25 points)


How does this company create and sustain a competitive advantage?What strategy was undertaken by this company? Were they successful? Can all companies use this strategy? How is the strategy affected by the life cycle in the industry? Remember to reference Porter’s generic strategies identified in Chapter 5 of the textbook. (20 points)


Can the company’s competitive advantage be sustained? How will that be accomplished? Where are they in the product life cycle? What is the company culture like? Do they need to change it? What problems is this company having and why? (20 points)


If you were in a position to advise this company, what strategy would you recommend to sustain competitive advantage and achieve future growth? Be specific and list the steps the company should take for successful implementation of your course of action. (20 points)


What do you think of this case study? Describe what you believe are the lessons learned from this case. (10 points)


When you have completed the paper using the above sections, insert a page break and have a separate references page. The references should be listed in accordance with the APA guidelines as shown in the tutorial. (5 points)



Do not use a cover page.


Font: Use Times New Roman, 12 point.


Place your name in the upper left hand corner of the page.


Each section of your paper should be headed by the bolded, capitalized item described above.


Indent paragraphs.


Insert page numbers bottom right.


Limit the paper to no more than 4 double spaced pages.


Use APA citations throughout the paper. If you are not familiar with APA citation, refer to tutorial, which is contained in the last section of our course syllabus.


Include a separate “References” page at the end of the paper (This is not one of the 4 pages).


Please prepare reference page as follows:


Dess, G., Lumpkin, G. & Eisner, A. (2012).Strategic Management(6e). Boston: McGraw-Hill Irwin.

Save your paper in the following format: Your last name your initials and the company discussed in the case study

EXAMPLE:If your name is Edward R Jones and you are writing a case study on Google, then the file name for your paper would bejonesergoogle.doc

Place the paper in the drop box designated by the weekly assignment.

Note that the report is worth 150 points and points are allocated for each section as noted in the outline.

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