Critiquing case analysis assignment

BA 7050 Final Exam: Critiquing case analysis
For this exam, each team will critique 3 different analyses of a specific issue related to the Air Deccan (B) Case. These analyses were performed by three student teams in the past. You will have to be thoroughly familiar with the case and analyze it before beginning to critique the analyses. However, remember that I am not asking you to report your analysis of the case, but your critique of the three analyses that appear later in this document. The analyses to be critiqued appear later in this document and are labeled as ANALYSIS 1, 2, and 3. We have analyzed some cases in this semester and you have likely developed some ideas on what are the characteristics of high quality analysis and what makes an analysis deficient. This exam is meant to assess your ability to discern quality of case analysis.
In your critique of each analysis, provide the following information in a concise write-up:
(A) Its strengths (max 5). Be precise but clear. You can list them as a set of bullet points but be clear. Also, wherever appropriated, briefly provide rationale for your opinion. For instance, just do not say “we like this analysis because it is precise” but also briefly justify what you think makes it precise.
(B) Its weaknesses (max 5). Be precise but clear. You can list them as a set of bullet points but be clear. Also, wherever appropriated, briefly provide rationale for your opinion. For instance, just do not say “we do not like
this analysis because it is vague” but also briefly indicate some instances of vagueness.
(C) Up to 5 (max) distinct ways in which the analysis can be improved upon. Once again, you can list them but be clear and also justify your suggestion wherever necessary. For instance, you might find that one or more of the
analyses did not use some vital pieces of relevant information. Justify why this information is important and how
incorporating it will help the analysis1.
(D) Assign a letter grade to the analysis. You can assign fine-grained grades like C-, B+, etc., using the grading scale in the syllabus. YOU MUST ASSIGN A SINGLE LETTER GRADE TO EACH ANALYSIS, AND NOT A RANGE OF GRADES.
I am looking for quality as opposed to volume. So, please be prudent with your choice of words. Imagine that you have hired three analysts and at the end of the day your goal is to rely on one of them for future strategic advice.
Please structure your critique in a table. Please do not provide essay type responses.
Font should be Times New Roman, size 12 and with 1” margin on all sides. Let’s also restrict the critique to a maximum of 3 pages.
Please E-mail your write-up to the course ID by the deadline stated in the course calendar of the syllabus. The E- mail subject should be of the format “Final Exam-(last name of the submitting team member)” and the document name should be of the same format. Also, prepare a suitable cover page for your submission, listing the names of all your team members who contributed to the final exam. Also, please paginate the document that you submit.
1 “Max 5” does not mean you MUST include 5 of each aspect. You need to decide how many you think would be appropriate but the list should not exceed 5 for any of the aspects. In the extreme, rare case you might feel that the analysis is “zero” on one or more of these aspects (e.g., “no weakness” or “no suggestion for improvement”). If you so conclude, please provide a strong rationale for this conclusion.
2 |
I suggest that you format your write-up in a concise yet non-cryptic manner. Here are a couple of possible formats in which you can organize your write-up. Of course, there can be many variants of these general formats, but these should give you some ideas.
Example 1.
Analysis #***
1. ***
2. ***
1. ***
2. ***
3. ***
1. ***
2. ***
Grade: ***
YOU CAN PROVIDE YOUR RATIONALE FOR THE OVERALL GRADE ASSIGNED. [Although I did not ask for this in the instructions, this is a bonus that helps.]
Example 2.
Analysis # ***
Ways to improve analysis
Assigned Letter Grade:
NOTE: Understandably, the number of strengths, weaknesses, and suggestions for improvement can vary for the same analysis and across the analyses. The tables shown above are examples only. You can certainly be innovative with your styles with the overall goal of presenting your critique succinctly yet not cryptically.
I am hoping you will have developed a sense of what criteria can/should be used to evaluate the quality of a piece of analysis from my discussion of the cases in the semester. Additionally, you will find the following documents in the folder for the Final Exam to be helpful:
(A) Skills Document
(B) Case analysis problems-for students
The first document details some analytical skills that are important in creating high-quality, rigorous analysis of business cases. In this document, I have attempted to impart some degree of concreteness to what is inherently very abstract and difficult to articulate, viz., analytical skills. In the second document, I have laid down some of the problems I have noticed in students’ analysis of cases, in my experience as a teacher. I am hoping you can use these two documents to formulate the criteria you would use to evaluate each of the 3 analyses. If you choose to use criteria that are not included in these documents, please clearly explain them.
3 |
Assigning a letter grade to each analysis
In order to assign a letter grade, you need to understand what I call the lay approach to analyzing cases and my comparison of analysis with cooking. The “lay approach” is my way of imagining the baseline quality, i.e., a minimal standard of reference for evaluating an analysis. Imagine that the case were given to a lay person on the street who has had no formal training in case analysis and so has not had the kind of exposure that you had in this semester (and possibly in other MBA courses). Given that a typical marketing case is usually written in a manner that should be comprehensible to anyone with a high school diploma, I would expect that even a lay person would be able to go some distance in “analyzing” such a case. However, formal exposure to case analysis in an MBA program ought to help students display analytical quality that goes substantially beyond the lay approach.
Analysis is like cooking – you bring together the ingredients from the case relevantly and combine them appropriately with your analytical (culinary) skills to prepare a picture/story (dish) that is, in some sense, more than the sum of its parts, i.e., the ingredients used to prepare the dish. Consequently, high quality analysis has the potential to create an insightful account of the case that might not be apparent from looking at the raw ingredients themselves, especially, to an untrained mind. This is not to be mistaken for trickery – deft analysis legitimately utilizes ingredients to create a picture that might not be apparent.
Generally, an “A-” or “A” analysis is “excellent”, and has deftly analyzed available case information to address the given task, using a well-laid out structure. It is clearly written and displays evidence of high level of analytical skills. Such an analysis has not only adequately and properly utilized the ingredients available in the case to address the analytical task provided but has also gone substantially beyond the lay approach to make its point – the “A” analysis has gone much farther in this regard than the “A-” analysis. Overall, a “B” analysis is “good” or “has potential”. This analysis has touched upon the relevant ingredients that would be required for the analysis, but has not quite “cooked” those ingredients or has not cooked them well enough. In this respect, a “B-” analysis is barely above the lay approach, followed by “B” and “B+”. Overall, a “C” category analysis or lower is “below the baseline” or “no better than lay approach”. Some analyses in these categories are unintelligible. Provide an overall, precise and clear justification for the grade that you assign to each analysis.
On the next page, you will find a description of the issue that was given to each analyst team. The three analyses appear after that. Note that I am not asking you to present your analysis of the case but rather your critique of the 3 analyses appearing later in this document of a specific issue related to the case.
4 |
Issue given to each team of analysts:
Present a well-structured and thorough analysis of the future viability of Air Deccan’s current marketing strategy. That is, analyze and draw a conclusion as to whether the current strategy is adequate as is or needs major or minor modifications (if so, what modifications), or other, radically different strategies are required. Remember to justify your analysis with argumentation and evidence stated in the case, clearly indicating which piece of evidence was used and why. Also, as per the rules we have established, use of outside, specialized knowledge that is not presented in the case (e.g., fuel efficiencies of various airplane models), is prohibited. Only common, general knowledge (e.g., India is a booming economy now; general trends related to gas prices) should be used. Also, do not use information that postdates the timeline of the case although you can predict trends based on the information presented in the case. You can present your write-up in the first- person narrative, if you wish.
[Word limit given to each analyst team: 1800]
Note: This was the issue given to each analyst team, based on which they analyzed the case. You do not have to present your analysis of the case, although you would have to have a good grasp over it to critique the analyses provided to you.

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