Internal and External Analysis of a Diversified Firm

The purpose of this assignment is to apply the various concepts discussed in class to “real world” examples.

 

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Assignment: Students will complete an internal and external analysis of a diversified firm of their choice. Students will analyze the corporate and business strategies of the firm, recommend a blue ocean strategy, and explain implementation. The student is to assume the position of a consultant. Be objective and don’t ‘fall in love’ with your firm. Be able to point out negatives and risks. Paper is due in the Courseden dropbox no later than 11:59 PM on Tuesday, December 1.

 

Deliverable: Students should create a 3,000-3,200 word typed document (That’s about 10 pages) of their findings and opinions plus additional pages for title page, table of contents, and references. Paper should be formatted as12-point Times New Roman font, 1-inch margins, double spaced, left justified, and page #s at bottom center. The paper should include generous use of strategy terms and analysis. The paper should cover the following at a minimum:

 

Corporate strategy

· What is the corporate strategy of the firm?

o What businesses does the firm compete in?

o How did the firm enter these businesses?

o Has the firm created value across the different businesses?

 

Business strategy (choose one business of the firm, likely the point of departure for your blue ocean strategy)

· Think about Porter’s generic strategies. Which does this firm pursue? Explain.

o What activities of the firm support your answer?

o Is the firm successful at this strategy?

 

Internal analysis:

· What are the firm’s strengths? Weaknesses?

· Does the firm own or control strategic resources?

· What value chain activities are most important to the firm?

 

External analysis:

· What threats and opportunities does the firm face in the external environment?

· What stage of the lifecycle is this industry at?

· What degree of competition does the firm face?

· Build comprehensive 5-Forces and strategic groups models. Insert figures of both in your paper and explain them.

 

Recommended blue ocean strategy and implementation (most important topic to address)

· Short description of your strategy

· How will the firm create an uncontested market space?

· How will the firm make competitors irrelevant?

· How will the firm create and capture new demand?

· How will the firm break the value/cost tradeoff?

· How will the firm align its whole system of activities in pursuit of differentiation and low-cost?

· What is your capacity for delivering this product/service?

· At a very high level, what will this endeavor cost?

Note: Blue ocean strategies are major changes…incremental change and status quo are not blue ocean strategies!

 

Advice: This is a lot of material to cover in 3,000 words, so choose your content carefully. However, I expect you to spend generous space on the blue ocean strategy and its implementation. You should reserve half the paper for your blue ocean strategy. Imagine that your audience is the Board of Directors and they already understand much about the company. Be as detailed as possible without going over your word limit. Style, substance, and grammar will be graded. It would help to watch the following video: Writing Good Paragraphs. Overall, I am looking for three things:

 

1. Your knowledge of the strategy concepts

2. Your knowledge of the firm

3. The comprehensiveness of your strategy recommendation (most important)

 

 

Note on grading: The first thing I will do in grading this assignment is to go through the following checklist.

 

1. Does the submission look professional?

2. Is the text portion of your paper 3,000 words (excluding cover page, references, and appendices)? If not, I will make an initial deduction proportional to the missing content.

3. Is the Blue Ocean Strategy portion 1,500 words?

4. Are margins set to 1-inch? Is the entire paper double-spaced?

5. Are sections clearly labeled with section headers?

6. Are there 5-forces and Strategic Groups models?

7. Is there a professional table of contents?

 

If any of the above are not met, I reserve the right to reject, or severely penalize, the submission. After assessing the above seven criteria, I will grade the content of the paper.

News Sources

Best Resources

 

 

 

Annual Reports

 

http://www.annualreports.com

 

BBC

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk

 

CNNMoney

 

http://money.cnn.com/

 

Federal Reserve System

 

http://www.federalreserve.gov/

 

Financial Times

 

http://www.ft.com/home/us

 

Reuters

 

http://www.reuters.com/

 

The Economist

 

http://www.economist.com/

 

The New York Times

 

http://www.nytimes.com/

 

Wall Street Journal

 

http://wsj.com/

 

Washington Post

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/

 

Yahoo Finance

 

http://finance.yahoo.com/

 

Other Resources

 

 

 

Advertising Age

 

http://www.adage.com/

 

American Demographics Online

 

http://www.inside.com/?entity=AmericanDemo

 

Atlanta Business Chronicle

 

http://www.bizjournals.com

 

 

Bloomberg Financial News

 

http://www.bloomberg.com/

 

Business Week

 

http://www.businessweek.com/

 

Business 2.0

 

http://www.business2.com/

 

Byte Magazine

 

http://www.byte.com/

 

Bureau of Labor Statistics

 

http://www.bls.gov/bls/international.htm

 

Capitalism Magazine

 

The Capitalism Site

 

CBS

 

http://www.cbs.com/

 

CNBC

 

http://www.cnbc.com/

 

CNN

 

http://www.cnn.com/

 

Company Digest

 

http://www.companydigest.co.uk/

 

Dow Jones

 

Homepage

 

Dun and Bradstreet

 

http://www.dnb.com/

 

Edelman Trust Barometer

 

http://www.edelman.com/

 

Forbes

 

http://www.forbes.com/

 

Fast Company

 

http://www.fastcompany.com/

 

Fortune

 

http://www.fortune.com/

 

GA Dept of Econ Development

 

http://www.georgia.org/

 

Guerrilla Marketing

 

http://www.gmarketing.com/main.html

 

Harvard Business Library

 

http://library.hbs.edu/

 

Hoovers

 

http:/www.hoovers.com

 

 

 

Inc.

 

http://www.inc.com/

 

Industry Week

 

http://www.industryweek.com/

 

Maclean Hunter Business Magazines

 

http://www.mhbizlink.com/

 

Marketing Magazine

 

http://www.marketingmag.ca/

 

Minority Business Entrepreneur

 

http://www.mbemag.com/

 

Moody’s

 

http://www.moodys.com/

 

Red Herring Online

 

http://www.redherring.com/

 

Securities and Exchange Commission

 

http://www.sec.gov/

 

Strategy Magazine

 

http://www.strategymag.com/

 

The Economic Times

 

http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com

 

 

Time Magazine

 

http://www.pathfinder.com/time/

 

U.S. Department of the Treasury

 

http://www.treasury.gov

*These are only my suggestions. Use any legitimate resource you desire.

 

 

International Business Sources

Country-specific information

 

 

 

CIA World Factbook

 

 

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/

 

U.S. State Department

 

travel.state.gov/

 

Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions

 

www.geert-hofstede.com/

 

Human Development Index (United Nations Development Programme)

 

http://hdr.undp.org

 

World Economic Forum

 

http://www.weforum.org

 

 

Global Competitive Index (World Economic Forum)

 

http://www.weforum.org/issues/global-competitiveness

 

 

Business and trade sites

 

 

 

Executive Planet (business etiquette)

 

www.executiveplanet.com/index.php?title=Main_Page

 

Business Traveler Site

 

joesentme.com/

 

U.S. Government Export site

 

www.export.gov

 

SBDC – International Trade Center

 

www.sbdc.uga.edu/newsite/index.aspx?page_name=desintertrade

 

US Government Trade Agencies

 

http://www.ustr.gov/about-us/trade-toolbox/us-government-trade-agencies

 

Bureau of Labor Statistics

 

http://www.bls.gov/bls/international.htm

 

GA Dept of Econ Development – Intl’ trade

 

http://www.georgia.org/business-resources/international-trade/

 

Expats

 

 

 

Expat Explorer Survey by HSBC

 

expatexplorer.hsbc.com/survey/

 

Cost of Living Pay Scale

 

www.payscale.com/cost-of-living-comparison.html

 

International Organizations

 

 

 

NAFTA

 

http://www.ustr.gov/trade-agreements/free-trade-agreements/north-american-free-trade-agreement-nafta

 

European Union

 

europa.eu/index_en.htm

 

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

 

www.oecd.org/home/0,3675,en_2649_201185_1_1_1_1_1,00.html

 

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)

 

http://www.wipo.int/portal/en/

 

Corruption/Risk indices

 

 

 

Corruption Perceptions Index (Transparency International)

 

www.transparency.org/policy_research/surveys_indices/cpi/2010

 

Country Risk Index (The PRS Group)

 

www.prsgroup.com

 

Passport information

 

 

 

U.S. State Department

 

travel.state.gov/

 

 

Other

 

 

 

Global Talent Competitiveness (GTCI)

 

http://global-indices.insead.edu/

 

Environmental Performance Index

 

http://epi.yale.edu/epi/

 

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

 

http://unctadstat.unctad.org/ReportFolders/reportFolders.aspx?sRF_ActivePath=p,5&sRF_Expanded=,p,5

 

 

Edelman Trust Barometer

 

http://www.edelman.com/2015-edelman-trust-barometer/

*These are only my suggestions. Use any legitimate resource you desire.For more information on Internal and External Analysis of a Diversified Firm check this: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?search=Internal+and+External+Analysis+of+a+Diversified+Firm&title=Special%3ASearch&go=Go&ns0=1

Internal and External Analysis of a Diversified Firm

 

 

                                                                                                                        ACME Writers