Case Study: Current Business Issues and their Strategy Resolution

REQUIRED READING: R.M. Grant, Contemporary Strategy Analysis

For your final assignment you will submit a 2,500-word case study on Hotelbeds, a global tech company.

Your submission is comprised of two parts: the mini-case, and the analysis and synthesis note.

Part 1: the mini case

The mini-case should be between 1,000 ( max 1200) words in length. The mini-case should present and explain a particular strategic problem or issue, facingHotelbeds within hospitality and travel tech industry .

Strategic issues can come in many shapes and forms, and a fundamental part of solving any such issue is defining it in the first place. This assignment therefore starts with this challenge.  Generally speaking, strategic issues can be characterised as developments inside and/or outside your chosen organisation that are likely to impact on its long-term success or survival.  These issues can include but, are not limited to the emergence of new competition, eroding market segments , new regulation, new technological synergies and possibilities, major shifts in consumer behaviour and attitudes and so on.  A good way to get you started will be for you read widely in the business press, pick out headlines of ideas that signalled a strategic issue for a particular company or industry in the near future, and start thinking of your story, before you dive into your strategic analysis. Examples of such mini-cases can be found in your core textbook: R.M. Grant, Contemporary Strategy Analysis.

Make it interesting! Your case may focus on one or two strategic problem or issue – make sure that the issue(s) you choose are clearly defined and explained and that you do not exceed the word count. Ideally the title of the mini-case will be a provocative question that you intend to evaluate or critique.  At the end of the case, I will advise that you end with one or two questions  or a clear summary statement that would prepare readers of the case for the second part of your assignment.

In summary, when developing your mini-case you must (a) think critically about what strategic issue (s) you want to address, (b) consider which strategy framework(s) might be appropriate for analysing the issue, and (c) recognise that strategy problems rarely fit neatly into one framework.


  • We recommend that you focus on one organisation but you may choose an issue that involves several firms, an industry level problem, or a sub-unit within the firm. And if it is a big, multinational company, it is ok to focus in one brand or division of that company.
  • The case should be a real organisational situation (rather than fictitious). Good sources for ideas are the business press (Financial Times, The Economist, Business Week, Forbes, etc.).

Part 2: the briefing note: analysis & synthesis

The purpose of this part of your essay is to critically analyse and ‘resolve’ the issue which you have set out in your mini-case study using the strategy frameworks and concepts discussed in this module.

Use the briefing note to explain how the case material relates to one or two core strategic management concepts or frameworks and present your strategic thinking through them.

Important: the briefing note should include an in-depth analysis of one or two core concepts or frameworks, rather than a brief analysis of many different concepts. We recommend that you do not use a SWOT analysis as your core concept, but if necessary, you can include one in an appendix.

We suggest that you begin the briefing note by introducing and ‘diagnosing’ the problem(s) set out in your mini-case, before moving into your in-depth analysis. Remember to keep your writing focused and succinct: don’t include case material that is not analysed in your briefing note, and, make sure your briefing note is focused on the material presented in your case. The briefing note should be analytical rather than descriptive: do not repeat the material from your case, instead use the briefing note to draw conclusions, interpret the data and provide a critical analytical synthesis of the case.


The word limit for the report is 2,500 words (plus or minus 10%, excluding appendices and list of references).


Marks are broadly proportioned as follows:

30% for the case study

70% for the analysis and synthesis

Grading Criteria Grid

  < 40%40-4950-5960-6970-7980+
        Case 30%Originality of case and sourcesLittle evidencePartial / descriptiveGood overall graspVery good overall graspEvidence of conceptual developmentEvidence of conceptual originality
Clearly defined strategic problem / issueLittle evidencePartial / descriptiveGood understandingVery good level of understandingExcellent understandingOutstanding level of understanding
Clarity and quality of writing (inc. sources)Very confused, lacks structurePoorly structuredSome structure, tends towards descriptionClear and well structuredExcellent clarity and structureOutstanding clarity and structure
        Analysis 50%Good balance achieved between breadth and depthLittle evidencePartial / descriptiveGood understandingVery good level of understandingExcellent understandingOutstanding level of understanding
Skill in using frameworks to add value to the case studyLittle evidencePartial / descriptiveGood understandingVery good level of understandingExcellent understandingOutstanding level of understanding
  Integration 20%Quality of fit between analysis and caseQuestion not answeredPartially integratedConscientious; attentive to subject matterQuestion addressed and relevantExcellent synthesisOutstanding synthesis

Strategy: Individual Assignment

Strategy: Individual Assignment
This criterion is linked to a learning outcomeCase The case element will be graded on: (1) Originality of case and sources. (2) Clearly defined strategic problem / issue. (3) Clarity and quality of writing (inc. sources).30 pts
This criterion is linked to a learning outcomeAnalysis The analysis element will be graded on: (1) Good balance achieved between breadth and depth. (2) Skill in using frameworks to add value to the case study.50 pts
This criterion is linked to a learning outcomeIntegration The integration will be graded on: (1) Quality of fit between analysis and case.20 pts

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