Southwest Airlines Case Study

1337 words - 6 pages

STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT (MGT431)
GUIDELINES FOR THE WRITTEN STANDARDIZED CASE ANALYSIS

Overview and Background

The introduction of your paper should acquaint the reader with the company being analyzed and demonstrate your ability to succinctly describe the company from a historical perspective. Take this opportunity to highlight key factors and past strategies, which have led the company to its present position. It is important for you to understand precisely, why the company has been successful (or unsuccessful) in the past. Taking time to articulate this may suggest distinctive competencies that you might otherwise overlook when writing the following sections.

Conclude the ...view middle of the document...

Transportation operations include Trailways, Inc., the nation’s second largest inter-city bus line, and Delta Steamship Lines, Inc. a major U.S. flag shipping company. Freestanding restaurant operations include the Perkins’ Cake and Steak chain. Various product operations market institutional furnishings, design services, equipment and supplies.

We are committed to leadership in marketing our products and services to the traveling and leisure-time public. Internal growth of our operations will continue to be emphasized. We are also closely monitoring changes in consumer needs and lifestyles so that we can develop or acquire new services to satisfy emerging trends. Pursuing these opportunities will supplement the growth we anticipate from our existing lines of business.

* Note: This statement was developed for the original Holiday Inns, Inc. company which was sold and disassembled in the mid-1980s. The format is classic and remains valid today in 2013.

Internal/External Analysis

Because of the length of this section, it should be divided into several smaller sections; e.g.:

Strengths

Weaknesses

Opportunities

Threats

Under each of these sections, you should clearly identify and underline each strategic issue. As discussed previously, a short paragraph discussing why you’ve identified the issue and what effect it might have on the future of the firm should follow. Failure to follow this format will result in a reduction of your grade.

In Seminar 6 (only) also include a value change analysis, strategic cost analysis, weighted competitive strength analysis, company situational analysis, and an industry attractiveness analysis.

Strategic Implications

The purpose of this section of your paper is to match and inter-relate the internal and external strategic issues identified in the previous sections of your paper and to evaluate the strategic implications of such issues.

[For example: What impact would the entry of a new and super-powerful competitor have on the way the firm operates in its primary market? Should it “hunker-down”; seek a strategic partner; change its strategy, or exit the market”?]

Then define the “Strategic Alternatives”, like those illustrated above, realistically available for the firm. Be sure to consider and discuss the firm’s full range of strategic alternatives.

Goals and Long-term Objectives

At this point in the analysis, it is necessary to outline the goals and objectives that you feel would be appropriate for the firm. Each broad goal you identify should be operationalized by one or more specific, measurable, and realistic objectives. Be careful NOT to confuse functional strategies with objectives. Remember, objectives are performance related- -functional strategies are tactical. Think carefully when developing this section since your strategic decisions will be based largely on the goals and objectives you set for the firm.

Strategy Selection

Strategy...

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