Stakeholder and STEP analysis reorganise information from the case study. This basic process of reorganising is called categorising. These two frameworks were chosen because they are particularly strong examples of categorising in business case analysis. They show how business analysis groups people, organisations, situations or events according to particular criteria. As long as you know the criteria and can judge whether a particular person, organisation, situation or event fits the criteria, you are able to categorise. This applies to any business concept. Some concepts are bigger categories than others. Marketing, for example, is a bigger category than competition or segmentation. Some are more precise and formal than others. Relative cost position, for example, is more precise and formal than profitability or entrepreneurship. However, all these concepts are used in business studies to generalise about large amounts of business detail – particular people, organisations, situations or events.
Formal categories, such as types of environment, can be set up using formal categorising language. Extract 5 in Activity 5 uses this kind of language as follows.
|The environment consists of many elements.||items to be categorised|
|These elements can be classified into two categories||categorising process|
|depending on the level of influence they have on the business.||criterion for categories|
|One is the operating environment which is composed of …||a category|
|… elements that the business can influence and which influence the business.||members of one category|
|The other is the remote environment which is composed of …||another category|
|... elements that the business cannot influence but which influence the business||members of another category|
Categories can be set up with less formal definitions. For example, this is a definition of the social environment:
The social environment is concerned with people’s needs, wants and aspirations – with lifestyle and with the shapers of markets
However, to use any business concept to frame an analysis of a case study, you need to understand the general area it covers so you can fit the details from the case study into it.