The PDF file is the requirement of analysis, and the jpg file is the case.Also remember, DO NOT SUMMARIZE THE CASE or provide a lot of summary information without a specific purpose (i.e. to support a claim you are making). These case briefs should be about YOUR strategic analysis, YOUR key strategic issues, and YOUR strategic recommendations.Bruce Bachenheimer
Clinical Professor of Management
Program Director, Entrepreneurship @ Lubin
Faculty Fellow, Wilson Center for Social Entrepreneurship
Lubin School of Business
One Pace Plaza
New York, NY 10038
Phone: (212) 618-6580
Fax: (212) 618-6532
Why Use Cases?
• Simulates real situations
• Consider different options
• Formulate a plan of action
learn a bit about many industries and
• Why do some firms succeed and others fail?
• Why are some companies higher performers than
• What information is needed in the strategic
• How do competing values and beliefs affect
strategic decision making?
• What skills and capabilities are needed to
implement a strategy effectively?
Adopted from: Dess, Lumpkin, and Eisner; Strategic Management: text
and cases, 2nd Edition; McGraw-Hill Irwin; 2006.
What Is Strategy?
• “Strategy is a deliberate search for a plan of
action that will develop a business’s
competitive advantage and compound it.
For any company, the search is an iterative
process that begins with a recognition of
where you are and what you have now.
Your most dangerous competitors are those
that are most like you.”
Bruce Henderson, “The Origins of Strategy,” Harvard Business Review
Critical Elements of Strategy
• Irreversible commitments
• Coherent pattern of action
• Interdependent activities
• Financial Analysis
– Ratio analysis, trends, comparison to competitors and industry
Resource-Based Theory of SCA
– P.R.O.F.I.T + V.R.I.N.
What makes a model useful (MECE) and how should it be
To Be Successful
Tacit Knowledge (vs. explicit)
Go beyond the symptoms to discover the cause
Avoid red herrings, opinions, and conjecture
Synthesize information to create a deeper understanding
More art than science
Rookie patrolman versus seasoned detective, or watching a master
craftsman making it look so easy.
• Do conduct a strategic analysis of the business situation. Is there
internal/external fit, a sustainable and scalable business model,
valid assumptions, reasonable projections, etc? This as an ‘active’
and ‘investigative’ process. Use compelling logic and reasoning.
• Do identify the key strategic issues in the case. Not ALL the issues,
or even ALL the strategic issues, just those that you believe to be of
KEY strategic importance.
• Do provide strategic recommendations that are:
– specific to the situation described;
– substantiated by sound reasoning, facts, and financial analysis;
– insightful not obvious or generally applicable;
– consistent with your strategic analysis and the company’s goals.
• Do not summarize the case. The case is a summary of a business
situation; assume that I have read it.
• Do not describe the business. The case provides sufficient background
information; assume that I understand it.
• Do not list elements of a framework (3 Cs, 4 Ps, 5 Forces, SWOT, etc).
Frameworks provide a starting point for your analysis; assume that I
comprehend the framework and can ‘fill in the blanks’.
You wouldn’t want the instructor to begin each class with “This is Pace
University and you are enrolled in …” or go to a great restaurant and
be given the ingredients and asked to cook your own meal.
Construct a Logical Argument
Argument = Claim + Evidence
evidence without a claim =
unnecessary summary information;
a claim without evidence =
an unsubstantiated opinion.
Robin Hood Exercise
• What problems does Robin Hood have?
• Strategic options?
• Do they need a new mission?
• Action steps?
Growing too much/too fast
Took ‘customers’ for granted, lost sight of mission
Failed to think creatively and be innovative
– Revenue down and costs are rising
– Diseconomies of scale
• Cracks in the culture of the organization
How to avoid detection of growing organization?
What to do about growing strength of Sheriff’s forces
Accept Barons offer to join in freeing King Richard?
Fixed Transit tax?
• Focus strategy
– target market is rich traveling through Sherwood Forest
• Expand operations beyond Sherwood Forest
– Organizational communications and leadership?
• Decentralize geographically (break into subbands)
• Assist with King Richard’s release?
• Kill the Sheriff?
– Mission replacement?
• Fixed transit tax
– Mission linkage?
• Accept Barons offer
– Amnesty issues, loyalty of stakeholders?
• Can they continue the “Rob from the rich
and give to the poor” mission?
• Can they count on support from their
constituency (the poor)?
– Will there be any ‘profits’ for the poor
• Shared values and goals of Merrymen?
– Unemployed with no attractive job prospects
• Which strategic option(s) should be
• Why is this the best course of action?
• Explain analysis of options and strategic
1. Explain the strategic dilemma and long term issues to
2. Stop accepting recruits and downsize
3. Increase organizational discipline
4. Decentralize and change organizational structure
(functional to geographic)
5. Harvest strategy to maximize short-term cash flow
6. Prepare to cease operations by providing
7. Negotiate amnesty for all
Strategic Management: Text and
It was in the spring of the second year of his insurrection inconvenient to them, but it was preferable to having all
against the High Sheriff of Nottingham that Robin Hood their goods confiscated.
took a walk in Sherwood Forest. As he walked he pon- Robin believed that the time had come for the Merrymen
dered the progress of the campaign, the disposition of his to change their policy of outright confiscation of goods to
forces, the Sheriff’s recent moves, and the options that one of a fixed transit tax. His lieutenants strongly resisted
this idea. They were proud of the Merrymen’s famous
The revolt against the Sheriff had begun as a personal motto: “Rob the rich and give to the poor.” “The farmers
crusade, erupting out of Robin’s conflict with the Sheriff and the townspeople,” they argued, “are our most impor-
and his administration. Alone, however, Robin Hood could tant allies. How can we tax them, and still hope for their
do little. He therefore sought allies, men with grievance help in our fight against the Sheriff?”
and a deep sense of justice. Later he welcomed all who Robin wondered how long the Merrymen could keep to
came, asking few questions, and only demanding a willing the ways and methods of their early days. The Sheriff was
ness to serve. Strength, he believed, lay in numbers.
growing stronger and better organized. He now had the
He spent the first year forging the group into a disci- money and the men, and was beginning to harass the band,
plined band, united in enmity against the Sheriff, and will probing for its weaknesses.
ing to live outside the law. The band’s organization was The tide of events was beginning to turn against the
simple. Robin ruled supreme, making all important deci- Merrymen. Robin felt that the campaign must be decisively
sions. He delegated specific tasks to his lieutenants. Will concluded before the Sheriff had a chance to deliver a mor-
Scarlett was in charge of intelligence and scouting. His tal blow. “But how,” he wondered, “could this be done?”
main job was to shadow the Sheriff and his men, always Robin had often entertained the possibility of killing the
alert to their next move. He also collected information on Sheriff, but the chances for this seemed increasingly remote.
the travel plans of rich merchants and tax collectors. Little Besides, while killing the Sheriff might satisfy his personal
John kept discipline among the men, and saw to it that thirst for revenge, it would not improve the situation. Robin
their archery was at the high peak that their profession de had hoped that the perpetual state of unrest, and the Sheriff’s
manded. Scarlock took care of the finances, converting failure to collect taxes, would lead to his removal from of-
loot into cash, paying shares of the take, and finding suit- fice. Instead, the Sheriff used his political connections to
able hiding places for the surplus. Finally, Much the Miller’s obtain reinforcement. He had powerful friends at court, and
son had the difficult task of provisioning the ever-increasing was well regarded by the regent, Prince John.
band of Merrymen.
Prince John was vicious and volatile. He was consumed
The increasing size of the band was a source of satisfac- by his unpopularity among the people, who wanted the im-
tion for Robin, but also a source of concern. The fame of prisoned King Richard back. He also lived in constant fear
his Merrymen was spreading, and new recruits poured in of the barons, who had first given him the regency, but were
from every corner of England. As the band grew larger, now beginning to dispute his claim to the throne. Several of
their small bivouac became a major encampment. Between these barons had set out to collect the ransom that would
raids the men milled about, talking and playing games. Vig- release King Richard the Lionheart from his jail in Austria.
ilance was in decline, and discipline was becoming harder Robin was invited to join the conspiracy in return for future
to enforce. “Why,” Robin reflected, “I don’t know half the amnesty. It was a dangerous proposition. Provincial ban-
men I run into these days.”
ditry was one thing, court intrigue another. Prince John’s
The growing band was also beginning to exceed the food spies were everywhere. If the plan failed, the pursuit would
capacity of the forest. Game was becoming scarce, and sup- be relentless and retribution swift.
plies had to be obtained from outlying villages. The cost of The sound of the supper horn startled Robin from his
buying food was beginning to drain the band’s financial re- thoughts. There was the smell of roasting venison in the air.
serves at the very moment when revenues were in decline. Nothing was resolved or settled. Robin headed for camp
Travelers, especially those with the most to lose, were promising himself that he would give these problems his
now giving the forest a wide berth. This was costly and utmost attention after tomorrow’s raid.
* Prepared by Joseph Lampel. City University, London. Copyright Joseph Lampel
© 1985, revised 1991. Reprinted with permission
C2 CASE 1 :: ROBIN HOOD
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