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Case Study

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The case studies used on this module are quite long, but you have plenty of time in which to read and prepare them thoroughly, including all figures, tables and exhibits. If you consistently overlook or contradict facts from the case study, then you will fail the assignment or examination.

You are expected to take account of all quantitative data when reaching your conclusions. Depending on the case study, this might involve the computation of financial ratios, market research data and figures on operational performance, by division or geographical area. In order to get any better than a low 2.2 grade, you should be able, not only to compute the numbers, but also to interpret their strategic significance and use them to support any conclusions you draw about a firm's strengths or weaknesses.

Students typically pitch their interpretation of data at one of three levels:

Ð"Џ Description - the information in the case is repeated, perhaps in slightly different words or a different order. Final year undergraduates must move beyond mere description and add value to the data in the case study. Descriptive pieces of work, however detailed, will be given a fail grade.

? Classification - different theoretical models are used to classify the information in the case study under one or more headings. This is an improvement on mere description, but is normally only sufficient for a third-class or low 2.2 grade.

Ð"ј Evaluation - theory is used to draw conclusions about, for example, the attractiveness of an industry, the appropriateness of an organisation's structure or culture, or the viability of a strategy. This is the way in which you must interpret data if you want a good 2.2, 2.1 or first class grade.

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