A strategic analysis was developed for XYZ Research Corporation (the true company's name is disguised). The strategic analysis involved a series of visits to the company to conduct focus groups with its employees and management. Five focus groups were carried out at XYZ Research Corporation. This method proved to be effective and valuable when aiming to gather detailed information on the specifics of a firm's operation. Information and insights on the company and its business that would not become evident through any kind of meticulous financial or economic analysis of the company's and industry's numbers - which in fact were unavailable or scarce - was efficiently obtained by personal communication from the employees in the interviews. The focus group and interview method is recommended as a valid alternative to gathering detailed data and information when facing limited availability of reliable quantitative economic data on sales, size, and other information on the industry. The amount and quality of person-to-person information gathered in the interviews made the questionnaire a more powerful tool versus the alternative of simply mailing it. In the process of developing a strategic plan for XYZ, data and information used to write an undergraduate level teaching case study was gathered. The focus group method allowed for digging out intricate functional relationships within the company and between the company and the industry, which allowed for writing a more complete and educationally interesting case study.


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