Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Models, structures, frameworks... (in Case Study)

Dmitry asked:

In an E3 exercise of the practice workbook (for Strategic Case Study) there is a request to evaluate the proposed acquisition of a company. Answering it I have used the SAF (Suitability, Acceptability, Feasibility) model, while the suggested answer tells about possible benefits and risks; each is described in detail. I remember from our classes that if we are asked to evaluate a strategic option, SAF suits best in any case. Would you recommend to stick to SAF in such cases or could be there any reason to use another (less formal) approach?
Good question.
In general terms, there is no problem with using a 'common sense' approach (advantages/disadvantages, risks/opportunities...) to evaluate any strategic option.
However, I find that people doing so tend to concentrate on the 'suitability' factors (strategic fit, SWOT factors...) and to neglect acceptability and feasibility. This leads to favouring a strategic option because it 'looks sensible', but failing to realise that either the stakeholders wouldn't be happy (acceptability) or the company does not have the resources, finance, skills or time (feasibility) to do it.
Two good reasons to use SAF, then:
  1. It covers all the relevant issues.
  2. It shows 'evidence of learning', which is one of the objectives of the Case Study.
Even in 'real life' (i.e. outside of exams) I would always use SAF. I'm a management consultant, and I often use it for clients.
I hope that helps

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