No, even swaps do not make complicated decisions easy. A manager still has to choose the values to be set and the trade-offs he decides to make. However, even swaps do provide a consistent method for making trade-offs and a rational framework in which to make them. By simplifying and automating the mechanical elements of trade-offs, the even swap method helps a manager in the decision making process of choosing the actual value to the company of various strategic alternatives.
How to select the best business or corporate strategy? Apply Even Swaps. The answer seems very simple. But what are even swaps anyway.
In a case study method or a real life business situation, there exist many strategic alternatives. But selecting a particular strategy which satisfies both corporate and stakeholder objectives is a crucial part of any strategic process. This usually involves a tradeoff in the ultimate corporate goals to be achieved. This is usually a very complicated task. Even Swaps is a logical and an easy technique for making relevant trade-offs that help a manager in making a decision to consider the importance of one goal relative to another keeping in mind future scenarios. By indicating the absolute changes in the corporate goals, the real value of the strategic alternatives can be easily ascertained.
SWOT ANALYSIS involves identifying the strengths and weaknesses, which are internal to the organisation and the opportunities and threats, which come from outside the organisation.
Strengths are those rudiments of the company that are useful and secure. For e.g. Company service that is well acknowledged by the customer
Weaknesses are those rudiments of the organisation that are unstable and insecure. For e.g. Outdated technology or apparatus.
Opportunities represent areas where applying fresh proposals or schemes can prove favorable. For e.g. Establishing a brand
Threats can prove dangerous to a company. For e.g. : New laws.
Firstly, get a general feel.
•Identify companies and industry sectors which are of concern?
•How has the company performed in the last few years/ historically? Good, very good, bad, very bad or ugly.
•How has the company progressed over a span of time? Which successful or failed strategies has it adopted/followed?
•What are your primary assumptions of the critical issues and alternatives facing the company? Company information in tables, related readings and annexures help here.
What external environment factors help the company succeed or fail? How can this macro environment modify so as to provide opportunities or give rise to threats?
What is the nature/number of competitors (direct or indirect)? How do they react to the companies strategies related to marketing, product, service etc.
Which Strategic Resources help provide competitive advantages?
If you do not know how to write a case study, then you are at the right place.
First point to note. Identify a relevant issue to write on. Having a lot of issues in one case study-hmmmmm not a good idea. Here you need to display your ability, firstly, to have a good understanding of the business subject (strategy, ethics, finance, governance, HRM, Marketing, innovation …) you have chosen. Identify a company which is relevant to this subject. News items, business magazines, management articles are a good source to start of with an idea. After you have identified an issue to write a case study on, start analysing. Here company information is crucial to analyse the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, yeah yeah you guessed it right, DO a SWOT Analysis.
Identify the key players (could be the marketing manager, product manager or the CEO)central to the theme that you are building the case upon. More to follow
Typically case studies contain company information like Company profile, Management analysis, HR Resources in the Company, balance sheet, Income Statement, Cash Flow statements, stock analysis, Company Press Releases and Industry profile (usually 5-10 years historic data), new product launches, Research and development activities etc
Case Study : An actual description of a situation, usually concerning a management decision, a challenge, an opportunity, a problem or an issue faced by managers in an organization. A case study can vary in terms of style, organization and approach depending on how it is formally or informally structured.
Case studies are usually considered as problems to which a unique, correct solution is possible. However, this is not the case as a decision maker can choose between several options, conventional or unconventional backed by a logical argument.
Management Case Studies can present an extensive, detailed analysis of a single project in the context of its business environment.
The case method of imparting management education has been used for several years now in business schools to teach various management subjects. Use of case studies holds great potential as a pedagogical technique for teaching management science, particularly to budding managers, because it illustrates various approaches and values. It hones students’ skills in team based learning, presenting, and analytical thinking, and since many of the best cases are based on latest and often debatable management problems that management students encounter in the news (such as Unethical Practices being followed by a particular company), the use of cases in the classroom makes business management study relevant.