|Due By (Pacific Time)||12/01/2016 06:00 pm|
pply the frameworks, theories, and models that we discussed in class to a business Uirm that is publicly traded (a list of Uirms that students can choose from will be available). The outcome of this paper should be a better understanding of the industry/Uirm in particular and the ability to understand broad issues relevant to strategic management in general. Please follow the guidelines at the end of this document.
GUIDELINES FOR INDIVIDUAL CASE REPORTS
1. Executive Summary (no word limit)
This is a one page summary. It should be self-contained, i.e., it should provide a busy reader with the most
important information from the report, even if he/she never reads the body of the report. This is NOT a preface that merely introduces the report. Write this section after completing the rest of your report, even though it is placed at the beginning of the report.
2. Introduction (300 words)
Strategies and Performance: Identify or infer the organization's current mission, major business objectives, and strategies (especially corporate-level and competitive strategies). Evaluate the effectiveness or appropriateness of these strategies, including the organization's portfolio of businesses (for diversiUied Uirms) and competitive strategy - donâ€™t just describe them. Evaluate its performance (refer to its ROIC, growth rate, proUit margins, etc.). BrieUly summarize how well the organization has been performing against their objectives and in general.
3. Analysis of the External Environment (300 words)
Scan and analyze important factors, trends, and probable future conditions to identify key opportunities and threats for the organization.
General Environment: What are the TWO most important general and signiUicant trends in the
environment of the Uirm? How will they affect the Uirm?
Business Environment: Industry structure and competitive environment (use Porter's 5-force model,
the extended version if appropriate, the industry opportunities framework). Include industry growth trends, key success factors. Is the industry attractive? What is the most important threat in the Uirmâ€™s
industry? Pick only ONE. What is the the most important opportunity in the Uirmâ€™s industry? Pick only ONE.
4. Internal Analysis (300 words)
Scan and analyze each of the major functional areas, particularly to identify the organization's strengths and weaknesses. What is the most important resource and/or capability that the Uirm has? Pick only ONE. Is it valuable/relevant, rare/scarce, inimitable/durable/transferable/non-substitutable/costly to imitate? Add value beyond mere description to ask and evaluate, how well is this working? Look for distinctive competencies, sources of competitive advantage, and major ways the organization creates value through its operations. The following Uive areas are one convenient breakdown. Listed under each are some topics that could be important, but donâ€™t consider these as a mandatory checklist.
Marketing: product mix, customer segments, pricing strategy, distribution, promotion (note
connections between this and the business environment analysis in the External Analysis section).
Financial: draw conclusions about their Uinancial condition from analysis of proUitability, liquidity,
leverage, activity, and investment community relations. You need to use comparative Uinancial information (industry averages or Uigures for key competitors) to make sense of the organization's Uinancial data and trends. It is vital that you present conclusions, including an assessment of their overall Uinancial condition - not just numbers and graphs.
Production/Operations: locations and capacities of facilities relative to demand, output allocation (what is done where, when, in what cycles), labor/capital intensity, efUiciency, aging & obsolescence, inventory levels, quality objectives and results.
Technology: technology strategy, technological position, how this position was obtained and is maintained, extent and thrust of R&D, industry trends and competitor strategies (note connections with the External Analysis, which deals with technology developments outside the company).
Organizational: everything else worthy of note, including top management and key staff resources, board of directors, employee/labor relations, organization structure, reward systems, culture.
Your report must include an analysis of the most important resource/capability. One good way to handle this is to put it in an appendix, then refer to it in the sections on Internal Analysis, External Analysis, and Integration of Major Strategic Issues.
5. Major Strategic Issue (300 words)
In this section, integrate the major Uindings from your analysis in the previous sections. State clearly the most important (ONE) critical issue that you have identiUied, and summarize the reasons that led you to choose it as the major critical issue. What is the issue? And why is this issue the most critical? A critical issue may include problems, threats, weaknesses, and opportunities, but will more likely involve the interaction of several of these (e.g., a Uirm's current strong market position being challenged by an innovative competitor). Consider both short- and long-range issues.
6. Available Alternative Strategies (300 words)
Present TWO strategic alternatives available to the organization that can be considered reasonable in the context of your analysis/diagnosis. This does not mean listing every textbook strategy, but does require identifying a range of alternatives for this particular business situation, showing understanding of the current strategies. Consider corporate level strategy, competitive strategy, and (possibly) other functional strategies. In addition to identifying an alternative, provide a balanced critique of the alternative, as it relates to the situation, for example: issues and problems addressed by the alternative, problems created, and how the alternative relates to the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of this business situation. Be sure to consider implementation implications.
7. Recommendations (300 words)
Present a speciUic strategy recommendation. Choose your recommendation from the two alternatives you have presented and evaluated in the previous section. Make recommendations for corporate level strategy,
competitive strategy, and (if not already covered in the previous two subsections) other strategies to address the critical issues you identiUied (with a subsection for each of these three). Be sure to include the rationale for your choices and that you have considered the availability of resources to carry out your proposed strategies. Your decisions and rationale can reafUirm, replace, or change the Uirmâ€™s current objectives and strategy. Ensure that your recommendations have addressed all the critical issues you identiUied.
A. Corporate Strategy Recommendations B. Competitive Strategy Recommendations
Include copies of key research material you used, including industry Uinancial data (with sources cited); details on Uinancial analysis; and anything else that would clutter the main text (e.g., you can put your Porter 5-force details here). Be sure that you reference any appendices that you used in the main body of your report.
********* IMPORTANT NOTES**********
Things you should keep in mind as you prepare your report:
Assume the reader (your top management client) is at least as familiar as you are with the company
(therefore, don't waste time describing the case details without adding value).
Avoid the common trap of exhausting yourself with too much analysis, and consequently short- changing the conclusions and recommendations. Instead, keep in mind the whole report and balance your effort among the sections.
Use the quantitative data in the case to full advantage (if there are Uinancial data, you must include analysis and conclusions from it). Support your analysis with numbers whenever possible. (For example, if you believe that the Uirm has a competitive advantage, include in your analysis at least some of the following: What are the Uirmâ€™s net margins over the last several years? What are Returns on Equity, Returns on Assets, Return on Invested Capital? Compare with the competitorsâ€™ ratios.)
Distinguish among facts, opinions, and assumptions.
Check your work for completeness (are all issues identiUied and addressed?), justiUication (do you back
up what you say with evidence?), logical Ulow (is it clear how you moved from analysis to critical issues
to alternatives to recommendations?).
Organization is important. Think of the reader as you write and edit; make your report easy for the
reader to follow and understand. Use headings and paragraphs. Check spelling and grammar.
Carefully edit and proofread your report.
Use lists, tables, and Uigures as appropriate to communicate.
Write this as a business report and don't turn in anything you would not be willing to deliver to the
president of your most important client company.
The length of the report should be about 1800 words (excluding Appendices, and Executive Summary).
Margins: 1 inch all around; Font: Cambria; Font Size: 11; Single Spaced.Â
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