Project 2: strategy analysis and selection

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BMGT 495

 Project 2: Strategy Analysis and SelectionInstructions

Assignment 2:  Internal Environmental Analysis/Strategy Analysis and Strategy Selection (Week 6)

Purpose:  This assignment is the second of three assignments.  Students will use the tools and concepts learned in the course and in 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. 

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Students also have the opportunity to review an organization’s objectives and goals and the key functional areas within the organization.  Performing an internal environment analysis helps assess a firm’s internal resources and capabilities and plays a critical role in formulating strategy by identifying a firm’s strengths to overcome weaknesses.  Students will then 1) assess long-term objectives, 2) identify and evaluate alternative strategies and 3) recommend strategies for a company to pursue. 

Instructions:

In completing the report, students will use the chapters in the eBook as a guide and perform research on the company from Assignment 1, answer the required elements below in narrative form following the steps.

The companies used in Assignment 1 are below.  Students will use the same company to complete this assignment as they did in Assignment 1.  Students who fail to use the companies on the list or an unapproved company will receive a zero for the assignment.

  • Team, Inc. (NASDAQ:  TISI)
  • HealthStream (NASDAQ:  HSTM)
  • United Rentals (NYSE:  URI)
  • Hawkins (NASDAQ:  HWKN)

NOTE:  All submitted work is to be your original work (and only yours). 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). 

Students may use subheadings.

Step 1Preparation for the Assignment

Before you begin writing the report, you will read the following requirements that will help you meet the writing and APA requirements. 

  •  Read the grading rubric for the assignment.  Use the grading rubric while writing the report to ensure all requirements are met that will lead to the highest possible grade.

In writing this assignment, you will read and following these tasks:

  • 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).  If uncertain how to write in the third person, view this link:  http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/first-second-and-third-person.
  • Contractions are not used in business writing, so you are NOT to use contraction in writing this assignment. 
  • You are expected to paraphrase and are NOT to use direct quotes.  You are expected to paraphrase, which can be learned by reviewing this link:   https://writing.wisc.edu/Handbook/QPA_paraphrase2.html.
  • You are responsible for APA only for in-text citations and a reference list.  Cite the page or paragraph number. 
  • In writing the analysis, writing in the third person.  What this means is 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).  If uncertain how to write in the third person, view this link:  http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/first-second-and-third-person
  • In writing this assignment, students are asked to support the reasoning using in-text citations with page or paragraph number and a reference list.  If information is taken from a source document, it has to be cited and referenced with a page or paragraph number.  A reference within a reference list cannot exist without an associated in-text citation and vice versa.
  • In completing this assignment, you are required to support reasoning or conclusions using in-text citations. Note that a reference within a reference list cannot exist without an associated in-text citation and vice versa.
  • When using a source document, the expectation is that the information is cited and referenced with a page or paragraph number.   
  • No books other than course eBook.  
  • In writing this assignment, students are expected to paraphrase and not use direct quotes unless citing the mission statement of a company.  Learn to paraphrase by reviewing this link:  https://writing.wisc.edu/Handbook/QPA_paraphrase2.html
  • Read all course material for weeks 1 through 6 and perform independent research to provide a comprehensive internal environmental analysis, strategy analysis and selection.
  • Jot down key facts about the company.  Consider making an outline to capture key points in the paper. 

Step 2:  How to Set Up the Plan

  • Create a double-spaced, 12-point font Word or Rich Text Format (RTF) document.  The final product cannot be longer than 16 pages in length, which includes all tables and matrices but excludes the title page and reference page.  Those items identified in the technical analysis should appear under the appropriate heading in the paper.  Do no use an Appendix.
  • Review assignment grading rubric and periodically throughout completing the report, review.
  •  Follow the following format using these topics as headings:
  • Title page with title, your name, the course, the instructor’s name;
  • Company Background/Information
  • Internal Environmental Analysis
  • Strategic Analysis & Strategy Selection
  • Reference page

     Under the appropriate heading, include the following:

  • Background analysis including vision and mission statements and objectives
  • Internal Environmental Analysis
  • Corporate Level Strategy
  • Business Unit Level Strategy
  • Functional Level Strategy
    • Explain how these strategies align with the company’s vision and mission statements;
    • Assess the company’s interactions with its stakeholders, the organizational structure, the organizational culture, and communication/decision making among managers within human resources, marketing production, operations, finance and accounting, R&D, and computer information systems, which can be accomplished by viewing the company’s website, interviews, and surveys.
  • Financial analysis for the last reported fiscal year:
    • Use the company’s income statement and balance sheet to  key, but no less than 10 key financial ratios to the business.  There must be a mix of the different ratios so that the ratios do not all come  from the same category.  Show the calculations. 
    • Using Excel or a Word table, record key financial ratios in the first column;
    • Research the industry average financial ratios for the same ratios above and record in a second column.  If you cannot find an industry average, then select another ratio; [Ratios presented should not all come from the same category]
    • In the third column, indicate whether the financial ratio is a strength, a weakness or a neutral factor.
    • Explain the results and compare and contrast the company financials to the industry. 
  • Technique Analysis: develop and explain an IFE, BCG matrix, Grand Strategy Matrix, and QSPM.  The expectation is not to copy from the Internet but to develop one’s own.  The various tools are to appear in the appropriate area of the paper and not in one section of the paper.
  • Strategy Analysis:

Identify and explain company strengths and weaknesses. Discuss success factors and what the company must do to perform successfully in the industry?  Discuss what strategies would allow the company to capitalize on its major strengths.  Discuss strategies that would allow the company to improve upon its major weaknesses

  • Generate a minimum of three possible alternative strategies for the company;
    • Identify and discuss cultural factors that should be considered in analyzing and choosing among the alternative strategies;
  • Prioritize and explain the selection of alternative strategies
  • Recommend the best one or two strategies among the alternative strategies and explain why these strategies are the best; 

Step 3:  Create an introductory paragraph.  The Introduction should clearly and concisely convey the main points of the assignment’s requirements. Review the following website to learn how to write an introductory paragraph:  http://www.writing.ucsb.edu/faculty/donelan/intro.html

Step 4:  Write a summary paragraph.  A summary paragraph restates the main idea(s) of the essay.  Make sure to leave a reader with a sense that the essay is complete.  The summary paragraph is the last paragraph of a paper. 

Step 5:  Using the grading rubric as a comparison, read through the paper to ensure all required elements are presented.

Step 6: Proofread the paper for spelling and grammatical issues, and third person writing. 

  • Use the spell and grammar check in Word as a first measure;
  • Have someone who has excellent English skills to proof the paper;
  • Consider submitting the paper to the Effective Writing Center (EWC).  The EWC will provide 4-6 areas that may need improvement.

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