Academic journal article Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies

Strategic Management: This Time Its Personal

Academic journal article Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies

Strategic Management: This Time Its Personal

Article excerpt


The primary subject matter of this case concerns the individual-level application of elements of the strategic management process. This process includes the scanning of the environment, analysis of alternative courses of action based on information gained from the scanning process and the formulation and implementation of individual career strategies based on that process. Secondary issues examined include an examination of the career effects of following both sound and flawed decision-making processes relating to career decisions. The case has a difficulty level appropriate for junior or senior level business students. The case is designed to be taught in 1-3 class hours and is expected to require 1-2 hours of outside preparation by students.


This case contrasts the career decision-making processes of three very good friends that attended university together - Kitty, Nancy and Teresa. They first met when they were all enrolled in the same strategic management class and worked together as a group. After graduation, they were all hired by the same company. Kitty and Teresa are still with the same company and are doing very well. Nancy has recently lost her job with the company as a consequence of restructuring and has accepted a position with a company that will take her to a different part of the country. The case takes place at a farewell dinner for Nancy hosted by Teresa and Kitty.

The case describes the two very different paths taken by the three friends to manage their careers to this point. All three began work in the same division with their employer - selling consumer electronics to medium and small retailers. Nancy transferred from the consumer products division to the automotive products division without considering the strategic position of that division. In contrast, Teresa & Kitty carefully considered the strategic position of the various divisions of the company before transferring to the division with best prospects for growth. While her friends continued to do well in their division, Nancy is paying a heavy price for not paying attention to some very important changes that were taking place in the company.

Kitty and Teresa used logic-based principles of the strategic management process in their own personal career development decisions - with significant positive results. Nancy, on the other hand, utilized career decision-making criteria that were based on personal convenience and intuitive appeal. The case provides a clear description of how the strategic management process has tremendous utility for the individual-level career decision-making process as well as management of the organization.


It might be an enjoyable Friday after work "happy hour" for most patrons of the La Aguila Vuela Cantina, an upscale urban Mexican restaurant. However, for one patron it was not very happy at all. Three long time friends and coworkers had gathered one last time to say goodbye. One of them had recently lost her job in a corporate reorganization and had taken a lesser paying position in a small company that was located in a different part of the country.

Teresa, Kitty and Nancy were classmates and graduated from an undergraduate business administration program offered by a prestigious public University. Once they arrived and were seated by the hostess, the conversation started by reminiscing about the many happy times they shared as undergraduates. They met as a result of being assigned to the same student group in their capstone strategic management class. The student groups in this class were each required to prepare an industry analysis. The group held weekly meetings at a local coffee shop to prepare for their presentation at the end of the semester. The group members really got to know each other during these meetings which resulted in the three classmates forming a close friendship that continued after graduation. After graduation, all three were hired by the same consumer electronics division of a foreign manufacturing company as salespersons based at the company's U. …

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