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Case Competitions

Getting introduced to Case Competitions and the Center for Business Communication.

Related Research Guides

Introduction to Case Analysis & Critical Thinking

Whether you are competing in a case competition or participating in case studies in your courses, you might be wondering how to approach this process. This video by Professor Zoe Mayhook provides an introduction to the case analysis and critical thinking, and includes the following concepts: 

  • Short history of the case method (0:19)
  • Business case types (1:05)
  • Business case characteristics (1:45)
  • Case analysis process (2:08-16:43)
    • SWOT Analysis (4:41)
    • Porter's Five Forces (6:36)
    • Timeline Analysis (10:12)
    • Financial Analysis (10:42)
    • Case & Effect Analysis (14:36)
  • Concluding thoughts (16:44)

Case Analysis

The SWOT Analysis is the process of identifying internal and external factors that affect the competitive positioning of a company. The SWOT mnemonic stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, which helps individuals identify and succinctly organize information so that their decisions and recommendations leverage a company’s strengths and opportunities, while also overcoming their weaknesses and possible threats. Sample SWOT Analyses can be found through the following resources.

NOTE: Copy and pasting a published SWOT analysis is plagiarism. They offer a good starting point, but conducting a SWOT analysis for your assignments, case studies, and case competitions should be your own work. 

Learn more about SWOT Analysis

When conducting an industry analysis, it may be useful to consider Porter's Five Forces model. This model helps individuals look at competitive forces within an industry, which can help inform a company’s business strategy. Porter's five forces includes: 

  1. Competitive Rivalry 
  2. Threat of New Entry
  3. Threat of Substitutes 
  4. Supplier Power
  5. Buyer Power

Many business databases a Purdue carry industry reports that can help is your analysis. IBISWorld Industry reports is a useful first step, and provides information that utilizes the Porter's Five Forces Model. To learn how to use IBISWorld for Porter's Five Forces research, check out the following article: Using Porter's Fives Forces to Develop Business Strategies (2020). IBISWorld

Financial ratios allow provide useful insights, and can be divided into five different classes.

  1. Profitability Ratios
  2. Liquidity Ratios
  3. Activity Ratios
  4. Leverage Ratios
  5. Market Value Ratios

Check out the following resources to learn more about financial ratios: