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
Although you are required to research information about the focal company, you are also accountable for using the course material to support the ideas, reasoning and conclusions made. Course material 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 material and then relying on Internet source material will not earn many points on an 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.
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
UMUC 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.umuc.edu/library/index.cfm to support you in your studies. The UMUC 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.umuc.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.
- 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
Use this template to complete the project: Project 4 Template. 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.
Step 6: Introduction
Create an introductory paragraph. The Introduction should clearly and concisely convey the main points of the project’s requirements. Review the following website to learn how to write an introductory paragraph: http://www.writing.ucsb.edu/faculty/donelan/intro.html.
Step 7: 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.
Step 8: Strategy Prioritization
- Prioritize strategies and explain using the course material to support the reasoning.
Step 9: Strategy Selection
- 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
Step 10: Strategy Implementation
- 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.
Step 11: Strategy Evaluation
- 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.
- Use frameworks and tools discussed throughout the course;
- Support the reasoning and conclusions made.
Step 12: Conclusion
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. Review the following website to learn how to write a concluding paragraph: http://www.writing.ucsb.edu/faculty/donelan/concl.html.
Step 13:Submit the Report in the Assignment Folder
Submitting the project to the Assignment Folder is considered the student’s final product and therefore ready for grading by the instructor. It is incumbent upon the student to verify the project is the correct submission. No exceptions will be considered by the instructor.
Report Requirements to Follow
In writing the report:
- Use the grading rubric while completing the project to ensure all requirements are met that will lead to the highest possible grade.
- Third person writing is required. Third person means that there are no words such as “I, me, my, we, or us” (first person writing), nor is there use of “you or your” (second person writing).
- Contractions are not used in business writing, so do not use them.
- No direct quotes except for mission statement and vision statement. For all other source material used in the analysis, you will not use direct quotation marks but will instead paraphrase. What this means is that you will put the ideas of an author or article into your own words rather than lifting directly from a source document. You may not use more than four consecutive words from a source document, as doing so would require direct quotation marks. Changing words from a passage does not exclude the passage from having quotation marks. If more than four consecutive words are used from source documents, this material will not be included in the grade and could lead to allegations of academic dishonesty.
- Use in-text citations and provide a reference list that contains the reference associated with each in-text citation.
- You may not use books in completing this project.
- Provide the page or paragraph number in every in-text citation presented.
- You may not use Fern Fort University, Ibis World or any other for-fee website.