NOTE: All submitted work is to be your original work. You may not use any work from another student, the Internet or an online clearinghouse. You are expected to understand the Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism Policy, and know that it is your responsibility to learn about instructor and general academic expectations with regard to proper citation of sources as specified in the APA Publication Manual, 6th Ed. (Students are held accountable for in-text citations and an associated reference list only).
Project 4 is due by Monday at 11:59 p.m. eastern time of week 8.
This project is the last of four projects. You will generate a pool of alternative strategies, evaluate these alternative strategies, and select the best strategy using the tools and concepts learned throughout the course. You will develop implementation plans, evaluative plans to control the implementation process, and plan for post-evaluation measures. You will also draw from previous business courses to develop an understanding of how organizations develop and manage strategies to establish, safeguard and sustain its position in a competitive market.
In this project, you are building many different skills including research, critical thinking, writing and developing analytical skills related to various financial analysis tools and strategy tools used in business. You will select optimal strategies, design how to implement and evaluate the implementation process of the optimal strategies.
Outcomes Met With This Project:
- Examine the impact of ethical decision making, social responsibility, stakeholder analysis, and corporate governance on organizations and society
- Utilize a set of useful analytical skills, tools, and techniques for analyzing a company strategically;
- Integrate ideas, concepts, and theories from previously taken functional courses including, accounting, finance, market, business and human resource management;
- Analyze and synthesize strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) to generate, prioritize, and implement alternative strategies in order to revise a current plan or write a new plan and present a strategic plan;
- Evaluate the outcomes of identified strategies to determine their success and impact on short-term and long-term objectives.
Step 1: Course Material and Research
- You are required to research information about the focal company and the internal environment for this project, You are accountable for using the course materials to support the ideas, reasoning and conclusions made. Course materials use goes beyond defining terms but is used to explain the ‘why and how’ of a situation. Using one or two in-text citations from the course materials and then relying on Internet source material will not earn many points on the assignment. A variety of source material is expected and what is presented must be relevant and applicable to the topic being discussed. Avoid merely making statements but close the loop of the discussion by explaining how something happens or why something happens, which focuses on importance and impact. In closing the loop, you will demonstrate the ability to think clearly and rationally showing an understanding of the logical connections between the ideas presented from the research, the course material and the question(s) being asked.
- Note: Your report is based on the results of the research performed and not on any prepared documentation. What this means is that you will research and draw your own conclusions that are supported by the research and the course material rather than the use any source material that puts together any of the tools or techniques whether from the Internet, for-pay websites or any pre-prepared document, video or source material. A zero will be earned for not doing your own analysis.
- Success: The analysis is based on research and not opinion. You are not making recommendations and you will not attempt to position the focal company in a better or worse light than other companies within the industry merely because you are completing an analysis on this particular company. The analysis must be based on factual information. Any conclusions drawn have to be based on factual information rather than leaps of faith. To ensure success, as stated above, you are expected to use the course materials and research on the focal company’s global industry and the focal company. Opinion does not earn credit nor does using external sources when course materials can be used. It is necessary to provide explanations (the why and how) rather than making statements. Avoid stringing one citation after another as doing so does not show detailed explanations.
Step 2: Research
In completing the report, you will use the chapters in the eBook as a guide and perform research on the same company as in Projects 1 and 2, answer the required elements below in narrative form following the steps.
Note: Your report is based on the results of the research performed and not on any prepared documentation. What this means is that you will research and draw your own conclusions that are supported by the research and the course material rather than the use any source material that puts together any of the tools or techniques whether from the Internet, for-pay websites or any document, video or source material. A zero will be earned for not doing your own analysis.
On the main navigation bar in the classroom select, Resources and then select Library. Select Databases by Title (A – Z). Select M from the alphabet list, and then select Mergent Online. You may also use Market Line and should be looking at the focal company’s Annual Report or 10K report. You are not depending on any one resource to complete the analysis. It is impossible to complete a Porter’s Five Forces, competitive analysis or OT by using only course material.
You should not be using obscure articles, GlassDoor, or Chron or similar articles.
Research for Financial Analysis: Financial Research
Research for Industry Analysis CSI Market
UMGC library is available for providing resources and services. Seek library support for excellence in your academic pursuit.
Extensive library resources and services are available online, 24 hours a day, seven days a week at https://www.umgc.edu/library/index.cfm to support you in your studies. The UMGC Library provides research assistance in creating search strategies, selecting relevant databases, and evaluating and citing resources in a variety of formats via its Ask a Librarian service at https://www.umgc.edu/library/libask/index.cfm.
Scholarly Research in OneSearch
To search for only scholarly resources, you are expected to place a check mark in the space for “Scholarly journals only” before clicking search.
Step 3: Specific Company for All Three Projects
For this project, each student in this course has been specifically assigned by your instructor to write an independent report on one focal company. The assigned company must be used for all three projects in this course. You are not allowed to write the reports on any other company different from the company specifically assigned by your instructor. Students who fail to use the specifically assigned companies from the list or use an unapproved company will receive a zero for the project.
The company that your instructor has assigned to you will be used for this project.
Step 4: Preparation for the Project
Before you begin writing the report, you will read the following requirements that will help you meet the writing and APA requirements.
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- You will be doing an analysis on the selected company. When doing an analysis you are not merely making statements that may be cited. Instead, you will be supporting the statements made. “Support” is the process of explaining, discussing and analyzing “why” and “how,” which is a higher level critical analytical skill that is required for this class. Support is needed to do well on this project.
- Read the grading rubric for the project. Use the grading rubric while writing the report to ensure all requirements are met that will lead to the highest possible grade.
Step 5: How to Set Up the Project
- The document has to be written in Word or rtf. No other format is acceptable. No pdf files will be graded. Use 12-point font for a double-spaced report. The final product cannot be longer than 16 pages in length, excluding the title page and reference page. Those items identified in the implementation and action plans should appear under the appropriate heading in the paper. Do no use an Appendix.
- Create a title page with title, your name, the course number, the instructor’s name.
Use the following template using the headings to separate elements. Do not use bullets in your paper as the required format is in narrative format with indented paragraph and no extra space between paragraphs.
(The Introduction paragraph is the first paragraph of the paper and will be used to describe to the reader the intent of the paper explaining the main points covered in the paper. This intent should be understood prior to reading the remainder of the paper so the reader knows exactly what is being covered in the paper. Write the introduction last to ensure all of the main points are covered.)
Alternative Strategy Generation
To generate a pool of strategies, you will look at the organization’s business level strategy, corporate level strategy and global strategy. Using the information and data collected from your research, and the analytical outcomes from (a) external factor analysis in your Project 1 and (b) internal factor analysis in Project 2, you will generate a pool of strategies.
- Generate a minimum of three possible alternative strategies for the company.
- Identify and discuss cultural and organizational factors that should be considered in analyzing and choosing among the alternative strategies.
- Prioritize strategies and explain using the course material to support the reasoning – Use the tools learned in the course.
- Explain how to select the best strategy or strategies
- Recommend the best one or two strategies and long-term objectives among the alternative strategies and explain why these strategies and objectives are best
- Identify strategy recommendations using the following format for the formulation of strategies. Make sure you are thorough in your presentation.
- View Strategy Content Guidelines.
- Goal (The desired outcomes to be achieved)
- Objective (Measurable milestone toward accomplishing the Goal)
- Strategy (The approach used to achieve the Goal)
- Tactic (A specific activity undertaken to implement the Strategy)
- Review this resource to differentiate between Strategy Versus Operations and Strategy Versus Tactics
- Recommend procedures for strategy implementation.
- Discuss who, what and how to implement the selected strategy or strategies at the corporate level, business-unit level, and functional level.
Use frameworks and tools discussed throughout the course. Support the reasoning and conclusions made.
- Discuss procedures for strategy review and evaluation
- Discuss the appropriate evaluative measures (including who, what, when and how at the corporate level, business-unit level, and functional level)
- Discuss a corrective action plan (including who, what, when and how) at the corporate level, business-unit level, and functional level.)
- Create a concluding paragraph. The Conclusion is intended to emphasize the purpose/significance of the analysis, emphasize the significance/consequence of findings, and indicate the wider applications that are derived from the main points of the project’s requirements. You will draw conclusions about the findings of the external environment analysis.