Strategy Paper

Paper, Order, or Assignment Requirements




Each student, not presenting/interrogating, will
write a two-page paper which provides a methodology that could
be followed to actually solve the case. The strategy paper need not be an
actual solution to the case — it may simply explain how one would go about
solving the case, step by step. The strategy paper is being prepared for
the approval of a senior financial manager who is completely familiar with the
background of the problem. 

Therefore the strategy paper should skip
background details and deal only with recommended procedures. The paper
is procedural rather than descriptive. The level of
detail that is appropriate in describing the procedures depends upon the
objective of the particular case. For example, If an important objective
of the analysis is to determine the amount of additional funds that will be
required to support a new project then it is obviously not sufficient to make a
statement such as: “Step 3, determine the additional funds
requirements.” Instead, exact and detailed procedures should be
outlined for determining the amount of external financing required, being
careful to identify any peculiarities or complications that are unique
to that particular case. Although I encourage you to discuss the
cases with other students, strategy papers are to be individually written.
I will scan, and record a check for each paper. In addition
I will carefully read a random selection of your papers. Strategy papers
will be printed and double spaced.


Analyzing a case generally involves five steps:

1. Identify the problem;

2. Define the alternatives (options);

3. Gather information about the alternatives;

4. Analyze the relative merits of the options;

5. Make a decision and recommend a course of

The Jacobs Division

1. If you were Mr. Soderberg, would you recommend that Mr. Reynolds accept the Silicone-X project? If not, why not?

2. How should the effect of competition be taken into account in the decision between the labor- and capital-intensive plants?

3. How should management evaluate the pricing decision and its effect on the Silicone-X capacity investment?

4. From MacFadden management’s (the shareholders’) point of view, how do you like Mr. Reynolds’s method of analyzing investments at the Jacobs Division?

Food for Thought: Are there linkages between (i) the total demand for Silicon X and the date of competitive entry into the market; (ii) the date of competitive entry and the type of production facility initially chosen; (iii) the initial pricing strategy and the type of production facility initially chosen?