How to write a strategic management case study

How to write a strategic management case study

Why use case studies in strategic management? It could be a question on your mind as your tutor instructs you to write a strategic management case study. Using actual companies to practice strategic analysis will help you gain experience in crafting and implementing strategies. 

A short case study on strategic management sets forth, factually, the organizational circumstances and events surrounding a specific managerial situation. It may concern the entire industry, a single organization, or some element of a firm. 

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As a business student, your role in case study analysis is to size up and diagnose the situation described in the case study and recommend an appropriate course of action. It can be about anything, including current topics in human genetics.  

Strategic management defined

How to write a strategic management case study

Strategic management refers to a detailed study of ongoing planning, analysis, and assessment of an organizational necessity to attain its goals and objectives. Due to changes in business environments, organizations are required to assess their strategies for continuous success.

A strategic management case study with a solution helps the business to take stock of its present situation, outline the strategies, deploy them, and analyze the effectiveness of the implemented measures. Strategic management applies to on-premise and online businesses as well. 

Why Use Cases Studies to Practice Strategic Management?

The mere act of listening to lectures about management does little for your management skills. Each managerial situation has distinct aspects that require specific diagnosis and tailor-made actions.

Case studies provide you with a valuable way to practice management with actual problems in real companies. Your task of analyzing companies and situations has the twin benefit of increasing your analytical skills and exposing you to the techniques organizations and managers use.

It is essential to understand that a case study offers you an opportunity to use various tools on one subject. You, therefore, have time and space to build a detailed knowledge of the topic, to enable a holistic review.

Objectives of business case study

Using a strategic management case study to learn about management practices is a powerful way to accomplish five things;

  • Increase your knowledge of what managers’ dos and don’ts in guiding a business to success
  • Get valuable skills in identifying strategic issues that should be addressed, assessing strategic plans, and recommending workable plans of action
  • Build your practices in sizing up organization resource strengths and weaknesses, and steering strategic analysis in competitive situations 
  • Gain in-depth exposure to various industries and companies, to acquire an actual business experience
  • Improve your sense of business judgment rather than accepting the uncritically authoritative crutch of back-of-the-book answers

How to write a strategic management case study

Every strategic management case study is exceptional to its subject matter. Besides, case studies can cover different topics, including humanities research paper topics, religion research paper topics, and commemorative speech topics.

An organization can use diverse methods to research their subjects, including strategic management case studies with questions and answers. The following simple steps will enable you to write a case study that is clear and effective.

Step 1: Problem and solution identification 

Most business case studies are designed to promote a specific solution for a particular problem. You might need to ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is the problem?
  • What is the solution? 

The replies to these questions are fundamental since they form the basis of your entire case study. Once you have your problem and solution, you can jot down more in-depth questions to help you identify how you will solve the problem and the key feature of the case study.

Step 2: Identify your subject

The word subject may refer to different things, but, in this case, we are not stating the general case study topic but the focus of your research. Assume that you have identified the following problem and solution:

  • Problem – Organizations do not have in-house interpreters to translate documents into various languages.
  • Solution – A service that offers expert linguistics to efficiently and effectively translate documents at the cost of an in-house translator.

From the above solution, we assume that your company specializes in documents translation for other businesses. You probably have some previous customers whom you have translated documents, and you will be required to choose a client to be the subject of your case study.

The best approach is to research and evaluate the experiences of your clients. When you have more than one client, you might need to write more than one case study because every case study is limited to one subject. 

To successfully identify your subject, you can use some of the following questions;

  • Which client had an issue that is closely aligned with your case study problem?
  • Which customer offered positive feedback about their experience with your services?
  • Which customers have used your services recently? 
  • Do any of the clients continue to use your services? If yes, for how long?

Step 3: Research your subject

Although you will do some research in step 2, you must conduct in-depth research after choosing your subject. If you have picked on a client who has used your services previously, you can easily remember specific details such as the client’s needs, deadlines, and expectations.

In the strategic management case study, you need to contact your subject and ask for a testimonial of their experience. You also have to request the client’s permission to publish the case study. The specific information to inquire from the client will depend on the nature of your product.

Other than the client’s testimonial, it would be better to research other circumstances to make your case study unique. Look for details that make your study stand out to help market your services. 

Including statistics in your final draft gives your case study a greater sense of legitimacy. Any moment you see an article containing graphs, charts, or numerical statistics, you assume that it was well researched and informative, right? 

You should, therefore, include any facts and figures within the breach of your client’s privacy. If the client permits, you can consider using data related to their budget, the timelines, the final cost, especially, if it is lesser than your competitors, and the steps your company took to solve the problem.  

Step 4: Compiling information and writing your case study

It is now the time to put all the information together. Ultimately, every case study should tell a story. Your case study needs to have a beginning, middle, and end. It is natural to choose how you want to tell your account; however, there are some elements you should consider to make your case study effective;

The tone of your case study

A strategic management case study is professional and possesses a tone that will reflect the brand’s voice. Always consider the brand’s voice when crafting your case study.  At the same time, you do not want to write a vague or uninteresting story; hence write one that you and your target demographic will be interested in reading.

Structure of your case study

As earlier stated, a case study has a beginning, middle, and end. You are to start with the introduction of your client, what they do, and whom they serve. It is an opportunity to showcase the best aspects of their business. 

Then discuss the issue they faced and how they tried solving it before finding your organization (if applicable). Finally, talk about how you helped solve the problem and how it impacted the organization going forward. Did they see an increase in profits or more conversions? 

Show how the case study improved your professional relationship with your client. While the introduction encourages you to talk up your client, the end is where you show readers why your organization is better than the competition. 

Length of your case study

The length of the case study will depend on the details required to effectively tell your story and the complexity of the subject matter. Although there are short case studies on strategic management, most strategic management case studies tend to be in-depth. 

Once you have your case study ready, you can choose the method of presentation, depending on whether it is to be submitted as a hard copy or online. If you are making a presentation, the best will be to create a strategic management case study ppt. 

Case study Templates

You can know what you want to write about in most cases, but you do not know how to format the information. There are some strategic management case study examples free online. It is, however, essential to state that you are not required to follow a particular structure. 

Some examples, such as fresh direct case study strategic management, can offer you an in-depth insight into your case study format. Use data to demonstrate the main points of your strategic management case study. Ensure that your case study is evidence-based.

Without the correct facts, your business case study will be weak. Include different credible sources such as Starbuck strategies. If your work has foreign terms to other cultures, you should list them in your appendix.

While writing your strategic management case study outline, avoid the following problems.

  • Overgeneralization – ensure that your research does not deviate from your case study topic
  • Failure to deduce all possible implications – be thorough to consider possible recommendations or outcomes derived from your findings
  • Failure to state limitations – you must describe the specific restrictions inherent in your subject of analysis

How to analyze a strategic management case study

When writing a strategic management case study analysis, it is essential to understand the case study. It would be necessary to read the case study several times to fully grasp all the issues of a company or an industry. 

As you read, take notes of the critical issues, most pertinent facts, and the key players. Once you are conversant with the information, you can use the following guideline to write your report geared toward a single-company analysis. 

  1. Examine the company’s history and growth

The past of an organization can significantly affect its present and future state. You should investigate the company’s founding, structure, critical incidents, and growth for a start. To achieve this, you need to create a timeline of events, achievements, and issues. 

  1. Identify strengths and weaknesses.

Using the information gathered above, continue to examine, and make a list of the company’s value creation functions. For instance, the organization can be vital in marketing but weak in product development. 

Identify the problems that have occurred and note their effects on the company both positive and negative. It might help if you listed the company areas that have excelled and report their impacts.

You are essentially performing a partial SWOT analysis to understand the company’s strengths and weaknesses better. Your SWOT analysis should involve documenting the internal strengths (S) and weaknesses (W). It will also help to look at the external opportunities (O) and threats


  1. Examine the external environment 

The third step is to identify opportunities and threats within the organization’s external environment. At this point, you conduct your second part of the SWOT analysis in detail. Some notable items include bargaining power, competition within the industry, and the threat of substitute products or services.

Examples of opportunities may include expansion into new technologies and markets such as online stores, while the threats include higher interest rates and increasing competition. Ensure that you evaluate the impacts these elements have on the organization.

  1. Analyze your findings

Using the data you have gathered in steps two and three, create an evaluation for the portion of your strategic management case study analysis.  Compare the strengths and weaknesses that are within the firm to the external opportunities and threats. By so doing, you will determine whether or not the organization is in a solid competitive position and whether to continue at the current pace successfully.

  1. Pin-point corporate-level strategy 

To enable you to identify the organization’s corporate-level strategy, you should place and evaluate the firm’s goals, mission, and actions toward those goals. Analyzing the company’s line of business, its acquisitions, and subsidiaries will come in handy.

You might want to debate the pros and cons of the organizational strategies to establish whether to change them or not. And whether the change will benefit the business in the short or long term.

  1. Establish business-level strategy

So far, your case study analysis has determined the firm’s strongholds, its weaknesses, threats, opportunities, and the corporate level strategy. For a complete examination, you need to establish the organization’s business-level strategy. 

For a single business with no multiple companies under one umbrella, the business-level and corporate strategy will be the same. You should, therefore, identify and analyze every company’s marketing strategy, costs, competitive strategy, and general focus.

  1. Evaluate Implementations 

At this stage, you need to identify and evaluate the control systems and structure that the firm is using to implement its business strategies. The strategies to be analyzed include hierarchy, conflicts, organizational change, employee rewards, and other essential issues to the organization you are investigating.

  1. Make recommendations 

The final portion of your case study analysis should include your recommendations for the organizations; however, every submission you make need to be supported and based on the context of your research. Do not make a baseless recommendation or share hunches. 

Your set of recommendations should address all the issues you identified and evaluated so that you leave none hanging. High-risk and bet-the-company requests for actions should be made with caution.

Ensure that your suggested solutions are realistic. If the company cannot implement your solutions due to some restraints, they will be considered unrealistic to make the final cut. It can help review some of the alternative solutions that you could have developed and later rejected them and jot down why they were denied.

  1. Review

After you finish writing your strategic management case study analysis, you should peruse your work to critique it and ensure that all the steps have been covered. Look for grammatical errors and inadequate sentences, or look for essay writing services to assist you.

Your analysis should be accurate, precise to the point, and professional.

Tips for strategic management case study analysis

When performing your analysis, keep the following tips in mind;

  • Know the case study inside out before beginning your case study analysis
  • Always give yourself enough time to do the research; do not rush through it
  • Be analytical, not descriptive
  • Be honest with the evaluations. Do not let personal opinions and issues cloud your judgment
  • Always proofread your work and let a test reader give it a once-over for typos you can no longer see

You are good to go!

Learning how to write a strategic management case study might seem daunting. If you consider the tips we have provided in this article, you will become a case study pro in no time.

The significant takeaway is to do thorough research on your subject, be precise, and keep a professional tone. Case studies give you an in-depth glance at scenarios that otherwise we would not.  

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