One of the objectives of this class
is to increase your awareness of and experience with group dynamics. To facilitate this learning, your instructor
will assign students into teams of 3-4 members each.
A second objective is to apply the principles and concepts of
strategy that you will learn in class to become an effective manager. Thus, to
complete this project, you will assume the role of management consultants. Your
team will contact, meet, gain cooperation with, and collect information from
managers in a firm of your choice. You will also conduct secondary (library)
research and synthesize analyses based on what is learned in both pursuits.
You will be expected to apply
concepts and models from each chapter in the book in your project. You will execute
an analysis of the firm’s present situation and recommend a future direction
for your chosen enterprise. Too, you will be expected to integrate your
knowledge of all chapters – to tell a consistent story – across each segment of
the project. Thus, one key to your project will be recognizing whether your
firm has attained a sustained competitive advantage, a sustained competitive
disadvantage, or neither. A second key will be explaining why the firm has
performed in this manner. Finally, a third key will be recommending what future
course(s) of action might improve the firm’s performance.
A guideline for the final project is
summarize, in approximately one page or less, your chosen firm. This can
include the history of your chosen firm, its products and markets, its
geographic diversification, its relative size, its organizational structure,
its competitors, its ownership, etc. This description should occupy one page at
ANALYSIS: Conduct a thorough financial assessment of the firm and its peers.
Use the measures of return we have discussed in class. Compare your firm’s
performance to relevant competitors over at least five years here. A thorough
analysis will also include examination of the firms’ financial statements for
obvious anomalous changes (e.g., extraordinary items), identification of such
anomalies, and correction for such anomalies if possible. Other firm financial
data may also be included if it is relevant to your story. You should conclude,
based on your financial analysis, whether your firm has a sustained advantage,
a sustained, disadvantage, or neither.
MISSION / OBJECTIVES:
Identify the current vision, mission, and high-level objectives of your chosen
firm. Evaluate these statements in light
of your firm’s competitive position and in light of what we have learned about
such statements during the course.
models we have discussed in class to assess the firm’s environment. This should
include models of the general (macro-) environment, the task environment
(Porter’s Five Forces), and competition (strategic group maps). You should
assess whether your firm’s environment is favorable, unfavorable, or neutral. In
addition, it is very important that you address how the firm’s environment
might be changing over time. The result of this exercise should be the
identification of opportunities and threats which will be addressed in your
models we have discussed in class to assess the firm’s strengths and
weaknesses. This can include assessments using models of resources and
capabilities, generic strategies, and value chains. Classification into
tangible resources, intangible resources, and combinations of resources may
help support your arguments, especially those concerning sustained advantage.
This section should result in a clear
identification of your firm’s key strengths and weaknesses which will also be
utilized in your recommendations section.
upon your conclusions regarding your firm’s competitive position
(advantage/disadvantage), the opportunities and threats it faces in its
environment, and its strengths and weaknesses, identify and recommend the major
strategic options your firm should pursue in the future. You may draw upon the
models presented in Chapters 6-8 in framing this discussion.
IMPLEMENTATION: Use the
models presented in your book’s Chapter 10 to explain how you will implement
CONCLUSION: Briefly summarize the team project
and provide concluding remarks in approximately one page or less.
project output includes:
written report consisting of 9 pages (minimum) to 10 pages (maximum), word
processed, 11-point Arial font, double-spaced with 1” margins. Page count excludes cover page (required),
references (required), and appendices (graphs, tables, charts, etc).
Evaluations will be based on the quality of the analysis and strategic
recommendations, conciseness, professionalism, etc. (see the Rubrics below).
oral presentation to the class (not to exceed 15 minutes) scheduled towards the
end of the semester. Professionalism is assumed.The presentation should encapsulate and summarize the main points
outlined in the guideline above and include substantial visual aids
(PowerPoint, Prezi, or film).