strategy case study marin harvest

Case Study (Memo) Instruction

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No outside research on these companies or industries should be conducted as part of these assignments. Information taken from the case should be undertaken with enough interpretation and evaluation to develop a comprehensive analysis or synthesis. One of the goals of this assignment is to communicate in a professional manner. It is based on a flowing common template. A portion of your grade for the case study is based on adherence to the format.

Outstanding papers will include the following characteristics: exceptional coverage of case questions, clearly demonstrated logic and rationale, discussion supported by appropriate analytical exhibits, arguments utilized quantitative analysis to support conclusions, demonstrated understanding and appropriate application of business concepts, clearly delineated decision criteria, recommendations logically extrapolated from findings and remarkably well organized and written.

Expect papers to be between 1000 and 1500 words.

For your Case Analysis, please use the format indicated below. This format is also good for persuasive business writing in general.

  • Assume you are preparing a document for upper management.
  • Focus on analysis of solutions – I know the case facts.
  • Thoroughly explore alternatives.
  • A SWOT analysis may be very helpful in identifying criteria. Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats may all be useful in creating list to evaluate alternatives upon.
  • What resources can Marine Harvest call upon? What are Marine Harvest’s strengths & weaknesses? Do they have a competitive advantage?
  • What financial valuation would you place on Marine Harvest? Why?
  • Provide a comprehensive set of growth options for Alf-Helge Aarskog
  • Identify and discuss the decision criteria Aarskog should use
  • What recommendation(s) do you have for Aarskog and why?

These following questions are guidelines to help you be prepared to write the paper:

  • Provide a comprehensive, external, industry analysis of the Aquaculture industry

Case Study Format

1. Introduction/Key Issues. Briefly summarize the situation facing the business in the case. State the purpose of the report and specify the goals and key issues in the business situation that will be addressed in your analysis. Why is the reader reading your report.

2. Recommendations. State the manner in which each of the issues you have identified should be resolved. What do you want the reader to do after he or she has read your report? In this section, only your recommendations should be given. Reasons for the recommendations should appear in the analysis

3. Analysis. This is the heart of your report. It entails marshaling evidence that supports your problem identification and your recommended course of action.

4.Conclusion. At the end of your report, use a paragraph to reiterate your key points and what you want the reader to do after reading it.

5.Exhibits. Here, place charts, tables, and specific analyses that are better presented in a standalone fashion than within paragraphs of text. Charts and tables can be powerful devices for conveying key ideas while paragraphs full of numbers are hard to read. It is better to explain your point, then refer readers to an exhibit for specifics. Your cases have good examples of exhibits and their use in business reports.

Some general guidelines for preparing an effective business report are:

  • Spend time composing the introduction and recommendations sections. Readers pressed for time may stop after these two sections (but I won’t!) so it’s important to convey to the reader the key information you want them to know in these sections.
  • Keep the introduction and recommendations short. In reports of this length, that means these two sections together should comprise no more than 20-25% of the text.
  • Your analysis should have a logical flow indicating why your recommendations are correct. This requires organizing your information around the particular questions you want to answer and points you want to make. Make decisions about the important information to present. Cite case facts and details only to the extent they are relevant to your argument.
  • Headings and paragraph topic sentences help make your logic clear and scannable.
  • Bullet points can be useful but use them only for emphasis or specific lists (e.g., your key recommendations). A report composed of nothing, but bullet points is usually difficult to read because the logic connecting one point to the next is unclear.
  • Proofread the report. Spellcheck misses’ things. (If your report looks hasty and sloppy, I may think your ideas are, too.)
  • Focus your recommendations on the important issues in the case. Make your assumptions explicit whenever necessary.
  • Recommendations should be practical, cost-effective, and appropriate to the timing (short-term or long-term) of the problem at hand. The supporting analysis should be thorough, carried out correctly, and should draw whenever relevant on material presented in class or assigned in readings.
  • Your exhibits supplement your report. Do not use an exhibit without explaining in the text what the reader should learn from it.
  • Exhibits should be readable without reference to the text. Use headings, labels, footnotes and graphics appropriately so the reader can understand what is in an exhibit. If you are performing calculations on data, use a footnote to indicate how you are performing the calculation.

Details (Important!)

  • Provide a cover page for your Memo. Do not otherwise identify yourself within the report.
  • Length guideline for your Case Memo should be roughly 1,000 – 1,500 words of text and three pages of exhibits.
  • Be sure to address the case discussion questions in your analysis section or an appendix.
  • Stick to the case evidence: no outside research, no stories of personal experiences with the product or company.
  • Avoid:
  • Delete “empty” introductory sentences
  • Avoid passive voice and clumsy sentence structure

  • Stock phrases and clichés:
    “In today’s society” “too little, too late”

Clunky constructions
“The reason is because…”

Vague phrases
“Our choice of planning models may require further thought”

“Let’s work on QT to create a sweet plan”

Example: “Very important lessons can be learned from this case.”

  • Do NOT repeat case scenarios in your introduction!
    Your reader is already keenly aware of the facts and does not want to WASTE TIME reading your recitation of the case!
    The only things you need to state in your introduction are:
    • A brief sentence to inform the reader of what the memo is about, such as:
      • “In response to your request, this memo provides my analysis and recommendations on…”
      • “This memo addresses…”
    • The specific questions you will address, such as:
      • “The memo will specifically address…”
      • “Specifically, I will address the following questions…”
  • A recommendation IS NOT your opinion!
    Unless you are a published, world-renown expert on the specific subject matter in question, your opinion is WORTHLESS!

    Recommendations are only valuable IF they are fact-based statements backed by BOTH a strong argument AND consideration of alternatives.

    Thus, AVOID the following:

“In my opinion, …”

“I (we) believe that…”

“I (we) feel that…”


  • Appropriate content
    • Answer the specific questions given to you—don’t be off point (This does NOT mean the case guide questions.)
    • Don’t make assumptions as to the background knowledge of the reader—it may be a top level manager who is not aware of an important fact. State these facts as needed in the Analysis section to support your recommendation.
    • Remember that others might read the memo—so don’t make comments that you would not want read
  • Improper organization of information
    • Make sure ALL recommendations are included in the Recommendation section—do NOT bury important suggestions in other sections
    • Stick to an easy-to-read, “skim-able” format
    • Use headings and bold print of key sections and points
  • Use the appropriate style for your audience

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