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Course Outline

1067 words - 5 pages


You should view this individual project as an opportunity to refine your strategic analysis and formulating skills and apply them to a practical situation—preferably one that has benefit to you and your career. For most students, this will be the organization for which you have an inherent interest. It might be your family’s business or a company that you have worked for, or it could be an organization for which you would like to work in the future. Personally, I prefer you not take a famous international company like Starbucks, Alibaba or Wal-Mart, but you can if you want. You are to take on the role of a consultant and ...view middle of the document...

Internal Analysis (~1-3 pages) -- Analyze the internal resources and management processes of the organization.

Questions you may wish to consider: What are the major strengths and weaknesses of the organization? What is the core competence (valuable, rare, difficult to imitate, and without substitutes) of the company? Does the organization have a sustainable competitive advantage? What way is the business adding value that cannot be matched by competitors? What is the main source of value-added and profit for the company (business model)? Is it sustainable? Is it under threat from structural or technological factors?

References: The Management of Strategy, Chapter 3

IV. Business-level strategies (~1-3) pages -- Combining parts II and III from your analysis above, discuss how the organization competes in its primary industry or industries.

Questions you may wish to consider: Is the company a differentiator? Is it competing on cost? Does it cater to a niche market? Is it competing in a particular market segment or segments? How does it market the product? Is it “stuck in the middle”? Does the business level strategy seem appropriate?

References: The Management of Strategy, Chapter 4

V. Corporate-level strategy (~1-3 pages) -- Continuing with your analysis of current strategies, move from the industry level to the corporate level.

Questions you may wish to consider: Is the organization operating in more than one industry? Which industry or industries is the firm competing in? Should it move into other industries? Is the company overly diversified? Is there synergy among the Strategic Business Units (SBUs)? How is the organization able to achieve synergy among the various SBUs? Does the corporate-level strategy seem appropriate?

References: The Management of Strategy, Chapter 6.

VI. Other Current Strategies (~2-4 pages) -- Discuss any current strategies that are on-going with the organization that do not fall under one of the categories discussed above. Of course, this will vary from organization to organization.

Questions you may wish to consider: Is there anything else that is central to the strategy, like expansion into China (or internationalization for a Chinese organization), joint ventures, particular competitive rivalries, HRM issues,...

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