This project is the third of four projects. Students will perform an internal environmental analysis using the tools and concepts learned in the course to date. 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.
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 capitalize on so that it can effectively overcome weaknesses.
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.
Outcomes Met With This Project:
- 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.
Step 1: Specific Company for All Four Projects
The companies that your instructor has assigned to you for Project 1 is the company you will use for this project. The assigned company must be used for this project and in subsequent projects in the course. Students must complete the project using the assigned company. Deviating from the assigned company will result in a zero for the project.
After reading the course material, you will complete the steps below.
Step 2: Course Material and Research
Although you are required to research information about the focal company and the internal environment for this project, you are 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.
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 student are expected to use the course material 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 material 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.
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 Porterâ€™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 is allowed.
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: How to Set Up the Report
Use this template to complete the project: Project 3 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, which includes all tables and matrices but excludes the title page and reference page. Do no use an Appendix. Those items identified in the technical analysis should appear under the appropriate heading in the paper. It is important to format the tables/matrices to fit the report and to present the analysis in a clear concise manner.
Title page with title, your name, the course number, the instructor’s name;
Step 4: Strategic Role of Corporate Strengths/Weaknesses in the Internal Strategy Analysis
There are three levels of strategy: corporate level strategy, business level strategy and functional level strategy. Corporate level strategies are related to businesses or markets the focal company successfully can compete within. Corporate level strategies affect the entire organization and are formulated by top management using input from middle and lower management. Decision making about corporate level strategies are considered complex, affect the entire company and relate to an organizationâ€™s resource capabilities. Corporate level strategies align with an organizationâ€™s mission statement and ideally are designed around goals and objectives.
Perform an analysis on:
- Corporate-level strategies
- Create a partial SWOT table and performs a SW analysis and discuss the strategic inferences/implications (Discuss what strategies would allow the company to capitalize on its major strengths and what strategies would allow the company to improve upon its major weaknesses.)
- Create an IFE matrix analysis. Make sure to explain how the matrix was developed and discuss the strategic inferences/implications
- Develop a Grand Strategy Matrix. Make sure to explain how the matrix was developed and discuss the strategic inferences/implications at a corporate level and business-unit-level.
Step 5: Strategic Role of Internal Resources/Departments/Processes
Perform an analysis on:
- Business-level strategies
- Evaluate the company’s product line, target market
- Identify and explain business-level strategies
- Functional-level strategies
- Assess the company’s organizational structure, the organizational culture, marketing production, operations, finance and accounting, and R&D that can be accomplished by viewing the company’s website, interviews, and surveys.
- Explain how these strategies align with the company’s vision and mission statements.
Step 6: Strategic Financial Analysis for the Last Reported Fiscal Year
- Use the company’s income statement and balance sheet to calculate no less than a total of ten (10) key financial ratios to the business that are relevant to the focal company. There must be a mix of four different key categories inclusive of the leverage, liquidity, profitability, and efficiency ratios so that the ratios do not all come from the same category. The specific ratios selection must come from the following categories.
- Leverage Ratios (Long term debt ratio, Total debt ratio, Debt-to-equity ratio, Times interest earned ratio, and Cash coverage ratio).
- Liquidity Ratios (Net working capital to total assets ratio, current ratio, quick ratio, and cash ratio)
- Efficiency Ratios (Asset turnover ratio, Average collection period, Inventory turnover ratio, and Days sales outstanding)
- Profitability Ratios (Net profit margin, Return on assets, and Return on equity)
- The selection of the ratios has to be relevant to the focal company so it is important to choose wisely.
- Quote industry financial average ratios that correlate to the 10 financial ratios selected for the focal company. You may find the industry averages by going to the library. If you are unable to find on your own, reach out to the librarian as these resources are readily available.
- Discuss the corporate financial standing based on a financial ratio analysis. Include whether the company’s financial ratio is a strength, a weakness or a neutral factor.
Note: If copied directly from the Internet, a zero will be assigned. When placing any table or figure in a table, it must be explained in detail.
Step 7: Composite Analysis
A composite analysis is one in which you will bring in a combination of relevant factors from the various analyses (EFE Matrix, IFE matrix, CPM matrix, SWOT, Grand Strategy Matrix and QSPM). The QSPM is a tool that helps determine the relative attractiveness of feasible alternative strategies based on the external and internal key success factors.
- Develop a Quantitative Strategic Planning Matrix (QSPM) analysis. Make sure to discuss how the matrix was developed and discuss the strategic inferences/implications.
- Develop a composite analysis on internal factor strategy analysis based on the qualitative and quantitative analytical outcomes from those steps above.
Step 8: 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
Week 5: Nov 18-24
Theme: Competing in International Markets and Selecting Corporate Strategies
- Chapter 7: Competing in International Markets
- Chapter 8: Selecting Corporate Level Strategies
- Boston Consulting Group (BCG) Matrix
- What is Corporate Strategy, Really?
- Strategy, Marketing, and Technology are all Intertwined
- Exploring the Structural Effects of Internetworking
- IBM Internetworking
- How to Build Collaborative Advantage
- Globalization in Uncertain Times: 10 Key Takeaways
- What a Trump Presidency Will Mean for Globalization
Week 6: Nov 25-Dec 1
Theme: Executing Strategy Through Organizational Design
- Chapter 9: Executing Strategy through Organizational Design
- Getting Organizational Redesign Right
- Hsieh, T. and Yik, S. (2005, February). Leadership as the starting point of strategy. McKinsey & Company
- It’s Not The CEO, It’s The Leadership Strategy That Matters
- Does Your Strategy Need a Strategy Part 1
- Does Your Strategy Need a Strategy Part 2
- Strategy and Corporate Culture
- Levels of Culture
- Structure and Strategy in Multinational Corporations: A Reexamination of the Stopford and Wells Model