30 Points (points add to 28, will be converted to 30)

Case Overview: The owner of the one of the most prestigious vineyards in the US must decide whether to keep the business tactics that had made him successful – even though times are changing.

In this case analysis:

  • We are going to start becoming familiar with the case method as applied to strategic management. This is the reason you will see a step-by-step guide to doing cases. If you ever study for an MBA, you will get to work on many case studies and the guides probably won’t be as detailed as this one.
  • We will emphasize two concepts of Module 1: Strategic Analysis.
    • PESTEL analysis
    • Five Forces Analysis (also called Porter’s Five Forces, Industry Analysis, or microenvironment).

Step 1: Gaining Familiarity

a. In general–determine who, what, how, where and when (the critical facts in a case).

b. In detail–identify the places, persons, activities, and contexts of the situation.

Five Forces Analysis (also called Porter’s Five Forces, Industry Analysis, or microenvironment).

  • Who are the main players (name and position)? (1 point)
  • What business(es) and industry or industries is the company in? (1 point)
  • What are the characteristics of the environment in which the company operates? (Think about social issues, trends, regulation, technologies that affect the organization.  In other words think PESTEL (6 points–each force 1 point )
  • What are the characteristics of the industry that the company is in and how is the industry changing over time? (This question refers to the particular industry: factors that affect this organization and its competitors rather than affecting all type of companies. The key here is to think about the FIVE FORCES)  (5 points –each force 1 point)

Step 2: Recognizing Problems and Making a Diagnosis

a. List all indicators (including stated “problems”) that something is not as expected or as desired

b. Ensure that symptoms are not assumed to be the problem (symptoms should lead to identification of the problem).

c. Identify goal inconsistencies.

d. Identify problems (discrepancies between goals and performance).

e. Prioritize predicaments/problems regarding timing, importance, etc.

  • What are three (3) the strategic issues and problems facing the company? Sort them by importance and urgency. (3 points – each issue 1 point)

Hint: A strategic issue is any issue that has the potential to fundamentally affect the company’s competitive position, its strategy, its operations and its prospects. Typically, it is the issue addressing which resolves all other issues. More importantly, the number of strategic issues facing an organization is limited in number – at the most there are two or three such issues.  Prioritize.  Look not at the symptoms but the underlying cause.

  • Why did this problem emerge? (Identify causal chain.) (1.0 point)

Step 3: Doing the Action Planning

a. Specify and prioritize the criteria used to choose action alternatives.

b. Discover or invent feasible action alternatives

c. Examine the probable consequences of action alternatives.

d. Select a course of action.

e. Design an implementation plan/schedule.

f. Create a plan for assessing the action to be implemented.

  • List three alternatives to the identified problems. For each solution, identify potential problems that need to be anticipated. What are the possible solutions to the identified problems? (9 points – each solution with its potential drawbacks and ways out  3 point)

Hint: The relevant alternatives are those that most directly address the strategic issues that you have identified in step 2.  The relevant alternatives should be consistent with the industry analysis, the internal analysis and the firm’s strategies that you have identified in steps 1 and 2.

  • Choose one of the alternatives identified in question 7. What is your final recommendation? (2 points)

Hint: To recommend any one of the alternatives that you identified in the earlier step you need to evaluate all the alternatives. What are the pros and cons of each alternative? Why are some alternatives not feasible options for the firm? It is this analysis that enables you to identify and recommend the alternative that you think best addresses the strategic issue that you have identified. Present your recommendations with specific implementation details and support your decision by arguing its merits vis-à-vis the alternatives.