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.
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.
In completing the assignment, students will perform research on the company from Assignment 1, answer the questions below in narrative form following the steps provided below:
Step 1: Create a double-spaced, 12-point font Word or Rich Text Format (RTF) document. The final product cannot be longer than 14 pages in length, which includes all tables and matrices but excludes the title page and reference page.
Step 2: Review assignment grading rubric.
Step 3: Follow this format. Be sure to use headings under each topic.
- Title page with title, your name, the course, the instructor’s name;
- Company Background/Information
- Internal Environmental Analysis
- Strategic Analysis & Strategy Selection
- Reference page
Step 4: 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
Step 5: In writing this assignment, students are asked to support the reasoning using in-text citations and a reference list. If information is taken from a source document, it has to be cited and referenced. A reference within a reference list cannot exist without an associated in-text citation and vice versa. View the sample APA paper under Week 4 content and How to Cite and Reference, also under Week 4 content. There are also resources located under Course Content>>Student Toolbox.
Step 6: 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
Step 7: Read all course material for weeks 1 through 6 and perform independent research to provide a comprehensive internal environmental analysis, strategy analysis and selection.
Step 8: Jot down key facts about the company. Consider making an outline to capture key points in the paper.
Step 9: In your paper, respond to the following:
- Background analysis including vision and mission statements and objectives
- Internal Environmental Analysis
- Corporate Level Strategy
- Business Unit Level Strategy
- Functional Level Strategy
- 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 calculate key (emphasis added), but no less than 10 key financial ratios to the business. 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;
- 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, QSPM,
- Strategy Analysis:
- Identify 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
- Identify and discuss cultural factors that should be considered in analyzing and choosing among the alternative strategies;
- Prioritize selection of alternative strategies
- Recommend the best strategies among the alternative strategies and explain why these strategies are the best;
Step 10: 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 11: 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 12: Using the grading rubric as a comparison, read through the paper to ensure all required elements are presented.
Step 13: 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.
Step 14: Submit the paper in the Assignment Folder.