Analyze is to separate into parts to find out the nature, proportion, function, and underlying relationships in a set of variables.

Here is the sechdule and my professor comment about the cases

 

Required Text:

Stephen Spinelli and Adams:  New Venture Creation: Entrepreneurship for the 21st Century.  Irwin McGraw-Hill, Ninth edition.

 

Teaching:

Sorry dudes and dudetts the course will primarily be conducted in a case discussion format…YOU WILL BE REQUIRED TO TAKE PART IN DISCUSSIONS AND I WILL ASK PROBING QUESTIONS – I DO THIS NOT TO EMBARRASS ANYONE, BUT TO MAKE SURE THAT YOU UNDERSTAND THE MATERIAL THAT IS BEING PRESENTED AND FOR CLASS PARTICIPATION GRADES.  THIS IS ESPECIALLY TRUE FOR CASES…YOU ARE REQUIRED TO PREPARE ALL ASSIGNED CASES (SEE BELOW).

 

Class Schedule:

 

 

DATE

CHAPTERS & CASES

TOPICS

Week 1 NVC – Chapter 1, just skim it. Read and study “Affirming Entrepreneurship” reading on D2L Introduction & Syllabus review
Week 1 NVC — Chapter 2…Do the Roxanne Quimby case p. 119 Entrepreneurial mind
Week 2 NVC — read Chapter 3 and Image Cafe p.33 and Lakota Hills p.88 cases Timmon’s model…
Week 2   Marketing and Business plan ideas  
Week 3 Chapter 4 and  Jim Poss p. 138 case Green Entrepreneurship
Week 3  Chapter 4  
Week 4 Chapter 5 and case on D2L Cima case Creating and shaping
Week 4 Critique marketing ideas  
Week 5 Chapter 6, Newland Medical Technologies p. 269. Look over exercises at end of chapter.
Week 5 Chapter 6 Screening opp.
Week 6 NVC – 7, Northwest Community p. 257 case.Marketing plans due. Social entrepreneurship
Week 6  Email plans to me  
Week 7 NVC – 8 chapter case Business plan
Week 7 Newland Medical p. 296 Business plan
Week 7 NVC – 9 Team
Week 7  Case on D2L Team
Week 8 NVC – 11 and case on D2L Ethics
Week 8 Discuss business plans Projects are due
Week 9 NVC – 12 Resource
Week 9 Case in chapter 12 Resources
Week 10 NVC – 13 and Midwest Lighting p. 384 Financing
Week 10   Financing
Week 11 NVC – 14 Growth
Week 11 Lightwave Technologies p.445 Financing
 Week 12

 

NVC – 15 Growth capital
Week 12 Opitech p 568  

 

A FRAMEWORK FOR ANALYSIS (for formal, written cases, NOT homework).

There are many ways for you to approach the analysis of business cases.  Each instructor has his/her own ideas on the number and nature of the steps that are involved.  I believe that the following four-step procedure is a logical and practical way to begin.

  1. Define the problem.
  2. Formulate the alternatives.
  3. Analyze the alternatives.

 

  1. Recommend a solution.

 

THE PROBLEM

Once you are familiar with the facts of the case, it is important to isolate the central problem.  Until this is done, it is usually impossible to proceed with an effective analysis.  Your instructor might provide questions to help you start your analysis.  You should look at the questions as guides for action rather than as specific issues to be resolved.  In no way are the questions designed to limit the scope or breadth of the discussion.

 

THE ALTERNATIVES

The second step is the definition of possible alternatives to resolve the problem around which the case is organized.  Some of these may be obvious from the materials supplied in the case and from the statement of the main issue.  Others you may have to supply.  One alternative that you should always consider is the maintenance of the status quo.  Sometimes doing nothing is the best course of action to follow.

 

THE ANALYSIS

The most crucial aspect of the case method is the analysis of alternatives.  To analyze is to separate into parts to find out the nature, proportion, function, and underlying relationships in a set of variables.  Thus, to analyze is to dig into and work with the facts to uncover associations that may be used to evaluate possible courses of action.   Your analysis should begin with a careful evaluation of the facts presented in the case.  You should be sensitive to the problem of sorting relevant material from that which is peripheral of irrelevant.  Some cases include information designed to distract and confuse the imperceptive reader.  In reviewing a case, you must be very careful to distinguish between fact and opinion.  Also you have a responsibility to make sure that the facts are consistent and reliable.  Sometimes cases contain errors (either by accident or by design), and your instructor may prefer to remain silent.

 

Sometimes the most important facts in a case are obscurely buried in some chance remark or seemingly minor statistical exhibit.  You must be careful to sift through the data to uncover all the relationships that apply to the alternatives being considered.  This usually means that the quantitative information must be examined using a variety of ratios, graphs, tables, or other forms of analysis.  Rarely are the data presented in the form most appropriate to finding a solution, and your instructor will expect you to work out the numbers.

 

Frequently, you will find gaps in the data provided in the cases.  This means you must make assumptions if the analysis is to continue.  You should be aware of and able to defend the assumptions you make.  Also a complete analysis is not one sided.  A review of a business situation is not sound unless both sides of important issues are examined.  This does not mean that you must mention every point, but you should refute major opposing arguments where possible.

 

If after reviewing the facts you decide that you do not have enough information to reach a decision, you might wish to recommend that the decision be postponed pending further research.  Normally however, “get more information” is not an acceptable solution in a business case.  Decisions often cannot wait the length of time necessary to conduct good research.  In addition, it is unlikely that we can ever expect to have all the information that we think we need.  Because of the cost of research and the penalties of delay, business decisions are almost always made under conditions of uncertainty.  If you say you need more information, your instructor may be tempted to conclude that you do not know how to analyze the facts available or are too lazy to collect more information.

 

You are expected to base your analysis on the evidence presented in the case, but his does not mean that other information cannot be used.  You should utilize facts that are available to the trade, and information that is general or pubic knowledge.  You can also use relevant concepts from other disciplines, such as accounting, statistics, economics, psychology, and sociology.  The criterion in using “outside” material is that it must be appropriate to the particular situation.  For example, you should not use census data published in 1980 to make decisions in a case dated 1976.  For this course I have attempted to select cases that will provide you with enough information to complete the analysis.  In some situations, however, you may wish to collect additional materials from the library.

 

RECOMMENDATIONS

After you have carefully analyzed the data and alternatives, you are in a position to make recommendations.  Sometimes more than one course of action will look attractive.  This is not an unusual situation, as most cases do not have a single “right” solution.  Still, you must come up with a set of specific recommendations.  To arrive at a solution, you must judge the relative risks and opportunities offered by the various alternatives.  The optimum choice is the one that provides the best balance between profit opportunities and the risks and costs of failure.   You should make a clear-cut decision and avoid qualifications and other obvious hedges.  Instructors are much more concerned with the way a particular decision was reached than they are with the individual alternative selected.

 

 

If you feel that the collection of additional information is the only feasible solution to a case, you must provide support for this decision.  First, you should state exactly what the research will show and how this information will be used.  In addition, you should indicate the research methodology to be followed and the anticipated cost of the study.  After you have completed these tasks, you will be in a position to decide whether additional research is needed.

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