INDIVIDUAL RESEARCH PROJECT In this project, you are required to apply the concepts that you have learnt in Strategic Management to critically analyze a company assigned by the instructor.
1. Increase your understanding of what managers should and should not do in guiding a business to success.
2. Build your skills in sizing up company resource strengths and weaknesses and in conducting strategic analysis in a variety of industries and competitive situations.
3. Get valuable practice in identifying strategic issues that need to be addressed, evaluating strategic alternatives, and formulating workable plans of action.
4. Enhance your sense of business judgment.
5. Gaining in-depth exposure to different industries and companies, thereby acquiring something close to actual business experience.
Requirements Your written critical analysis of the company should cover the following.
Identification: It is essential early on in your paper that you provide a sharply focused diagnosis of strategic issues and key problems and that you demonstrate a good grasp of the company’s present situation. Using the concepts and tools from the chapters as diagnostic aids, make sure you can identify the firm’s strategy and that you can pinpoint whatever strategy implementation issues may exist. Consider beginning your paper with an overview of the company’s situation, its strategy, and the significant problems and issues that confront management. State problems/issues as clearly and precisely as you can.
Analysis and Evaluation: Check out the firm’s financial ratios, its profit margins and rates of return, and its capital structure, and decide how strong the firm is financially. A summary of various financial ratios and how they are calculated can be found on page 228 of your text. Use it to assist in your financial diagnosis. Similarly, look at marketing, production, managerial competence, and other factors underlying the organization’s strategic successes and failures. Decide whether the firm has valuable resource strengths and competencies and, if so, whether it is capitalizing on them. Check to see if the firm’s strategy is producing satisfactory results and determine the reasons why or why not. Probe the nature and strength of the competitive forces confronting the company. Decide whether and why the firm’s competitive position is getting stronger or weaker. Use the tools and concepts you have learned about to perform whatever analysis and evaluation is appropriate. Recommendations The final section of the written case analysis should consist of a set of definite recommendations and a plan of action. Your set of recommendations should address all of the problems/issues you identified and analyzed. State how your recommendations will solve the problems you identified. Be sure the company is financially able to carry out what you recommend. Be sure to state your recommendations in sufficient detail to be meaningful—get down to some specifics. Avoid such unhelpful statements as “the organization should do more planning” or “the company should be more aggressive in marketing its product.” For instance, if you determine that “the firm should improve its market position,” then you need to set forth exactly how you think this should be done. Offer a definite agenda for action, stipulating a timetable and sequence for initiating actions, indicating priorities, and suggesting who should be responsible for doing what.
Additional Requirements: Your final paper, excluding the cover page, abstract, appendix and references should be at least 10 pages in length, double spaced and use 12 point Times New Roman font.
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