Strategic and Business Environment Analysis

The purpose of this assignment is to demonstrate an understanding of an organization and to determine its strategic position and capabilities relevant to current and forecasted future external environmental conditions. Students will conduct research and apply skills on integrating business concepts and techniques using a specific organization.

Assignment or Selection of Organization

The instructor will determine whether to assign or allow the student to select an organization your will analyze and make recommendations for future actions. The paper and presentation will discuss the issues the organization faces today, including the organization’s ability to react to forecast and potentially unforeseen changing business and industry environments.

If the instructor chooses to allow the student to determine the organization for analysis, it is strongly recommended that you select a public company for which information is readily available through the electronic information sources of library. Please ensure that adequate information concerning the organization is available to complete the assignment. It is strongly suggested that you select an organization operating within one industry segment.

If the instructor chooses to allow the student to determine the organization for analysis, the organization must be submitted for consideration, after which you will be informed whether or not your request is approved. Your request should provide the following information for your preferred organization: 1) Name of the organization and where it is located, 2) How long the organization has been in operation, 3) The nature of the organization (what it does, its goods and services, etc.), 4) The approximate number of employees (in total and, if you are investigating a division of a multi-division organization, the number of employees in that division), 5) Some of your group’s research data sources (other than a corporate web site or PR releases), and 6) Additional relevant information you feel is important and will be useful to the instructor in determining whether or not to approve your requested organization. Once your organization has been assigned or approved, no changes can be made. Therefore, before requesting an organization, please ensure that sufficient reference material exists concerning it.

The library is staffed with dedicated professionals who are keenly aware of the needs of MBA students, who will make appointments or otherwise strive to be available when it is convenient for you. With the exception of audited financial statements, please avoid using information that is published by the organization, itself. Company-supplied information is highly suspect, and (with the exception of audited financial statements), it is often viewed as unreliable, if not propaganda. Therefore, it is essential that you minimize the use of this type of information in your report.

Individual Project Paper – Strategic and Business Environment Analysis

Each student will be responsible for a written organizational and market analysis, focusing on an organization assigned by the instructor or, at the instructor’s discretion, selected by the student and considered for approval by the instructor. The project will focus on the organizational context and environmental issues related to strategic planning. The paper should be approximately 15 pages, not including appendixes, graphs, diagrams, and references.

Each paper must communicate clearly and should be appropriately targeted at the C-Suite level of management. The reports should be well organized, internally consistent, and demonstrate a logical flow of analysis and recommendations. The documents must be well written, contain proper spelling, grammar, punctuation, and word usage, etc. They should make effective use of the APA writing style (including proper multi-level headings and correctly formatted to show hierarchy) and provide understandable data displays.

Each project paper should include the following sections:

a)Title Page
b)Table of Contents
c)Executive Summary (Note: Though it appears early in the report, this section is the last part to be written)
a.Vision, Mission, Values and Goals
b.Design of the organization, management and leadership style
c.Background to include an overview of the business what is does, its goods and services, its size (including revenue), years in existence, number of employees; market share and industry position (e.g., leader, copycat, follower)
e)Industry and Market Overview  Provide a brief background of the industry, trends and history, including industry issues and forecasts
f)Internal Capabilities Analysis (Strengths & Weaknesses) of the organization
a.Identify and analyze the organization mission, major objectives, current strategies (especially corporate level and business / competitive-level), organization performance, and the various functional areas – operations, finance, marketing, HR, IT, CSR, etc.
b.Indicate the unique capabilities and/or assets of the organization (its core competencies)
g)External Environmental Analysis (opportunities, threats, & trends) in which the organization functions
a.Indicate and provide an overview of key competitors and their activities
b.Identify possible future industry and non-industry competitors and other market entities on which the organization must pay close attention
c.Analyze and evaluate relevant elements and trends of the general and competitive environments and their implications for the organization and its strategies
h)Identify the Key Issues and Decisions facing the firm
a.This section will integrate the major findings in the SWOT (internal / external) analysis. Clearly identify the details of the key issues and problems that must be addressed by management and for which recommendations will be made in the next section. Clearly state and describe the important issues, rather than merely suggesting some actions. Indicate why these particular issues were selected as the most critical ones, and then support your decisions
i)Strategic Recommendations / Action Steps
a.Propose specific Recommendations to the Key Issues and the Action Steps that are required for implementation
b.Include an outline of each recommendation for corporate-level strategy and the required resources (human, financial, physical, technological, etc.)
c.Ensure that all of the identified Key Issues are addressed adequately by the recommendations
j)Clearly present the rationale for choosing the strategy or strategies recommended in your report, including a demonstration of in-depth understanding of the implications of the recommendations
k)Indicate the anticipated major implementation issues and barriers, then identify a credible series of action steps to deal with them
l)Appendixes, reference list, and bibliography should be imbedded within and / or following the text portion of the paper in accordance with the APA style guide
a.Provide charts, tables, figures, and graphs, as useful and appropriate, ensuring that they are titled, paginated, and formatted precisely. Further, all information must be properly cited


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