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How to write a case- some advice

Corporate Strategy and Global policy Shanghai, January 2006

Randi Lunnan BI Norwegian School of Management

Generally: You should have sufficient material in the case text and your course’s reading list to answer the case questions. If you have added information, e.g. from the internet, recent newspapers, you can include it and it may improve on your grade, although it is very possible to get an A from the material given to you. Sometimes there is little information in the case. A smart thing then to do is to take assumptions. Be, however, sure to state them clearly. If your assumptions are a bit “far off” it helps the reader a lot to be aware of them. It is always better, however, if the assumptions are reasonable and logical. Remember that your final paper is a test of how much you have learned in the course. An alternative evaluation form could be the exam. Be therefore sure to demonstrate high quality knowledge from class literature and discussions.

The case exercise: There is no right or wrong answer to a case, but there could be many ways to solve a case that are better than others. A good way to solve a case includes careful insight into the competitive situation for this company – i.e. what are their main strategic challenges – and a consistent, theory based approach to how this company can meet these challenges. Hence, it is not a right or wrong game, but more a quest towards a consistent, coherent strategy choice.

When you begin, state the aim/focus of your case: When the reader starts to read your paper – he/she should know quickly what your intentions with this paper/case are. This section should be very short, but it sets expectations – what can the reader expect when reading this paper? Example: In this short paper I intend to discuss the strategic choices available to Boeing as the air traffic industry has changes…...

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