Part 1: The mini-case
The mini-case should be between 1,200 and 1,500 words in length. The mini-case can be on any strategic problem or issue, and must focus on a real organisational situation. Examples of such mini-cases can be found in your core textbook: R.M. Grant, Contemporary Strategy Analysis.
Your case may focus on more than one strategic problem or issue – make sure that the issue(s) you focus on are clearly defined and that you do not exceed the word count.
Ideally the title of the mini-case will be a provocative question that you intend to evaluate or critique. For instance, ‘It is no longer good enough’ (to depict a company that is not able to reconfigure its resources and capabilities in order to adapt to environmental changes).
At the end of the case, there must be one or two questions that could be set for readers of the case.
When writing the mini-case you must (a) think critically about what a strategic issue might look like, (b) consider which strategy framework(s) might be appropriate for analysing the issue, and (c) recognise that strategy problems rarely fit neatly into one framework.
Part 2: The briefing note
The purpose of the briefing note is to critically analyse and ‘resolve’ the issue which you have set out in your mini-case study.
Use the briefing note to explain how the case material relates to one or two core strategic management concepts or frameworks).
- Note: the briefing note should include an in-depth analysis of one or two core concepts or frameworks, rather than a brief analysis of many different concepts.
- Note: we recommend that you do not use a SWOT analysis as your core concept.
We suggest that you begin the briefing note by introducing and ‘diagnosing’ the problem(s) set out in your mini-case, before moving into your in-depth analysis. Remember to keep your writing focused and succinct: don’t include case material that is not analysed in your briefing note, and, make sure your briefing note is focused on the material presented in your case. The briefing not should be analytical rather than descriptive: do not repeat the material from your case, instead use the briefing note to draw conclusions, interpret the data and provide a critical analysis of the case.