Sino-Ocean Land: Responding to Change Case Study Memo

Case Study Recommendation Memo Assignment

At Fern Fort University, we write Sino-Ocean Land: Responding to Change case study recommendation memo as per the Harvard Business Review Finance & Accounting case memo framework. If you are looking for MBA, Executive MBA or Corporate / Professional level recommendation memo then feel free to connect with us.

Other topics that can be covered in the above case memo are Business law, Change management, Entrepreneurship, Financial management, Marketing, Policy, Risk management, Strategic planning, Strategy execution . The recommendations in the case memo are - aligned with strategy of the company, based on robust data, and provide a clear roadmap for execution.

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Sino-Ocean Land: Responding to Change Description

Finance & Accounting Case Study | Authors :: Nicolas P. Retsinas, Jeffrey Hu, Runjiao Xu

In 2010, Sino-Ocean Land Holdings Limited was a highly successful, large real estate developer based in Beijing, China. Sino-Ocean Land had three main business segments-property development, property investment/management, and other real estate related businesses. From 2005-2009, the company focused on becoming a leading regional developer with a multiproduct offering. That strategy was successful, riding the wave of spectacular growth in the Chinese real estate sector from 1998-2008, following a loosening of Chinese state real estate regulations. Although Sino-Ocean Land had gone public in 2007, its key shareholders were still state owned enterprises. The state maintained significant influence on the company and the real estate market, in general. The case explores the interactions between the company and the state, examining land acquisition, financing, and corporate governance. Following the global financial crisis of 2008, Sino-Ocean Land must devise a new five year strategic plan. CEO Li Ming must grapple with the changing market dynamics and regulatory environment, to decide the best course for the company. Key issues that he must determine are: whether the focus should be local or national; whether to continue with multiproduct offerings, or specialize in one product type; and whether to continue to pursue primarily development, or to shift to property investment and holding.

Business law, Change management, Entrepreneurship, Financial management, Marketing, Policy, Risk management, Strategic planning, Strategy execution

Purpose of Finance & Accounting Case Study Recommendation Memo

A Case Study Memo or Case Study Recommendation Memo is a routinely used document in leading organizations, and you may be writing number of such memos to executive leadership to “sell” or elevate an initiative that either you are undertaking or you wanted to kick start. Therefore, it is essential that you have a professional case study recommendation memo.

The purpose of a recommendation memo is to concisely recommend a course of action and provide rationale supporting the recommendation. The case study recommendation memo is a one-two page document (not including exhibits) that recommends your course of action and rationale. This format promotes a concise and clear strategic thought process.

Elements of a Case Study Recommendation Memo for – MBA & Executive MBA

1. First Paragraph of Sino-Ocean Land: Responding to Change recommendation memo

  • This paragraph expresses your intent or action that you required after reading the Sino-Ocean Land: Responding to Change case study (This recommends……).
  • Topic overview of the case study (the “what”, not “when” or “how”): costs, funding, etc.
  • Ends with the hook: selling idea, the “why” or payoff: this part reveals the author’s point of view. What you intend to do after reading the case and it clearly mention your decision.

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2. Background of Sino-Ocean Land: Responding to Change case study

This paragraph explains why we are talking about this today. It lays out the story. It provides us details from the case story such as -

  • Historical perspective on the problem is provided. Details are elaborated that underline the given problem.
  • Highlights - what brought us to this moment, why we are in this position, what brought about the need to make this decision.
  • Dimensionalize the importance of the problem to the organization and how it is impacting the organization.
  • Constraints – Provide a situational analysis based on case study analysis.
  • Keep the background section both factual and concise. It is part of the memo where we provide a brief insight into the problem and define the problem.


Is the background clear, concise, and easy to follow?
Does it explain why action is needed now?
Does the appropriate sense of urgency come across in the case study?

3. Recommendations for Sino-Ocean Land: Responding to Change Case Memo

Recommendations section will provide details regarding what is needed to be done, how it can be done, when to do it and who will do it. It can be elaborated with scenario planning as businesses

  • The details of what, when and how. NO 'why'.
  • This section should be very specific (100% clear). It must be actionable (How much will it cost, when, how, who). The reader should be able to read this and know how to carry out this recommendation.
  • Some cases will require more than one recommendation. It often happens that the firm will require more than one recommendations as there are numerous unknown in the market place.


Is the recommendation clear and actionable? Does the firm has capability to implement the recommendations or does it needs to hire fresh talent?

4. Basis for the Recommendations

  • Here the reader of the case memo will learn WHY each recommendation is the UNIQUE right thing to do.
  • 2-3 solid reasons are typical. The reasons should be backed by clear logic, organization’s vision and mission statements, and robust data analysis.
  • Orignal recommendation can be backed by few supporting roadmap to actions. In operations cases the Critical Path Method of PERT can be used to illustrate the point.
  • Support includes impact on profit, share, and anything else that can affect long-term business goals of the firm.
  • Analysis should address applicable quantitative issues such as NPV, break even analysis, pro forma statement of project budget, sensitivity analysis; as well as qualitative issues, such as, technology consistency, architectural conformance, innovation potential, etc.
  • Appeals to precedent and anecdotal evidence in absence of data, but only in limited, carefully constrained manner.
  • Shows how the recommendation will put the firm at a competitive advantage or is simply acompetitive necessity.
  • The goal is to read the basis and conclude the recommendation.


  • Is the recommendation an inescapable conclusion of the basis?
  • Does the basis for recommendation appropriately consider:
    1. Core competencies and consistency with mission?
    2. External customers and internal clients?
    3. Competitors?
    4. Attractiveness – quantitative measures if applicable (e.g., NPV, ROI, break-even, payback)?
  • Are all assumptions explicitly stated (e.g., needs, technology trends)?

5. Discussions

  • Outline other alternatives not selected and provide brief reasoning for doing so.
  • Discuss risks and key assumptions for Sino-Ocean Land: Responding to Change case memo (use full disclosure, reference options grid) of your recommendation.
  • When you give a precise number or range, you must support the basis as well.


  • Is the analysis thorough with key alternatives fairly considered using options grid?
  • Risks associated with recommendation for Sino-Ocean Land: Responding to Change are properly addressed given the present capabilities and future expectations?

6. Next Steps for Sino-Ocean Land: Responding to Change case study memo

  • Clearly specify the roadmap of the execution. Provide specific date and action that are required to carry on the next steps.
  • Task assignment, objectives, roles and metrics should be mentioned in advance to reduce ambiguity and replication. (what will be done, by whom, and by when)


  • Clear follow-up/next steps?
  • If appropriate, lay out timeline with key milestones to implement recommendation.

7. Exhibits for Sino-Ocean Land: Responding to Change case memo

  • An Exhibit can be a data chart, map, graph, grid, or simple data table.
  • While doing the calculations please mention all the assumptions. The reader won’t able to decipher each of the assumption so make them explicit.
  • Exhibits should have Title, sources, footnotes to calculation. The point of the Exhibit should be instantly clear to the reader.
  • Exhibits should be cited in the proper order (i.e., do not cite Exhibit 4 first in your Memo and then Exhibit 2).

Checklist for Sino-Ocean Land: Responding to Change case study memo exhibit

  • Is the analysis presented in the case memo - precise, accurate, and data-based?
  • Are the exhibits clearly laid out, titled, and referenced in the case study memo?
  • Is every assumption mentioned in the case memo is explicitly listed?

NOTE: Every memo may not include every element described above. The specific case will dictate what must be included. For custom case memo please email us or process the order.

You can order Sino-Ocean Land: Responding to Change Case Study Recommendation Memo with us at Fern Fort University .