Assignment 2: LASA 1—Preliminary Strategy Audit

Assignment 2: LASA 1—Preliminary Strategy Audit

The end result of this course is developing a strategy audit. In this module, you will outline and draft a preliminary framework for your final product. This provides you with the opportunity to get feedback before a final submission.

In Module 1, you reviewed the instructions for the capstone strategy audit assignment and grading rubric due in Module 5. By now, you have completed the following steps:

 

  • Identified the organization for your report
  • Interviewed at least one key mid-level or senior-level manager
  • Created a market position analysis
  • Conducted an external environmental scan in preparation of your final report and presentation

In this assignment, you will generate a preliminary strategy audit in preparation for your final course project.

Prepare a report that includes the following:

  • In preparation for your course project, prepare the preliminary strategy audit using the tools and framework you have focused on so far including the following:
    • Analysis of the company value proposition, market position, and competitive advantage
    • External environmental scan/five forces analysis
  • Identify the most important (5–7) strategic issues facing the organization or business unit.
    • You may modify the strategic issues in your final report based on the additional analysis you will conduct in the next module as well as the feedback you receive on this paper from your instructor.
    • Keep in mind that it is important to look at the strategic issue(s) from more than just one perspective in the business unit or company—speak to or research the issue from more than one angle to offer a 360-degree approach that does not cause more problems or issues.
    • Strategic issues arise from a mismatch between internal capabilities and external trends such that important opportunities are not being pursued or significant external threats are not being addressed under the current strategy.
  • Include a preliminary set of recommended tactics for improving your company’s strategic alignment and operating performance.
    • You may modify these recommendations in your final report based on the additional analysis you will conduct in the next module as well as the feedback you receive on this paper from your instructor.
    • Keep in mind that recommendations can include, but are not limited to, tactics in marketing, branding, alliances, mergers and acquisitions, integration, product development, diversification or divestiture, and globalization. If you recommend your company to go global, you must include a supply chain analysis and an analysis of your firm’s global capabilities.

Write your report as though you are a consultant to your company and are addressing the executive officers of this company.

Write a 7–10-page report in Word format. Make sure your writing is clear, concise, and in an organized manner; demonstrates ethical scholarship in accurate representation and attribution of sources; and displays accurate spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

Use the following format for your report:

  • Cover page
  • Executive summary/abstract
  • Table of contents
  • Introduction to company (each subsection should be an assessment)
    • Value proposition
    • Market position
    • Competitive advantage
  • External environmental scan/five forces analysis
    • Current environment
    • Assessment of external factors applying five forces
  • Strategic issues (label each issue and provide a header and the reason for why it is an issue)
  • Summary/key findings and recommendations
  • References

Risk and rate of return

Due Week 4 and worth 200 points
Write a five to seven (5-7) page paper in which you:
1. Analyze the relationship between risk and rate of return, and suggest how you would formulate a portfolio that will minimize risk and maximize rate of return.
2. Formulate an argument for investment diversification in an investor portfolio.
3. Address how stocks, bonds, real estate, metals, and global funds may be used in a diversified portfolio. Provide evidence in support of your argument.
4. Evaluate the concept of the efficient frontier and how you will use it to determine an asset portfolio for a specified investor.
5. Consider the economic outlook for the next year in order to recommend the ideal portfolio to maximize the rate of return for the short term and long term. Explain the key differences between the short and long term.
6. Use four (4) external resources to support your work. Note: Wikipedia and other Websites do not qualify as academic resources.
Your assignment must follow these formatting requirements:

 Be typed, double spaced, using Times New Roman font (size 12), with one-inch margins on all sides; citations and references must follow APA or school-specific format. Check with your professor for any additional instructions.
 Include a cover page containing the title of the assignment, the student’s name, the professor’s name, the course title, and the date. The cover page and the reference page are not included in the required assignment page length.
The specific course learning outcomes associated with this assignment are:
 Evaluate portfolio performance and develop recommendations to improve a firm’s investment performance.
 Use technology and information resources to research issues in corporate investment analysis.
 Write clearly and concisely about corporate investment analysis using proper writing mechanics.
Grading for this assignment will be based on answer quality, logic / organization of the paper, and language and writing skills, using the following rubric.

The Open Systems Interconnect

Description:

The Open Systems Interconnect (OSI) model is a conceptual model that characterizes and standardizes the internal functions of a communication system by dividing network communication functions into abstraction layers. The OSI model groups similar communication functions into one of seven logical layers. The questions below are based on internal functions of some of the OSI layers.

(a) In a communication system that is based on a layered OSI model, packet segmentation is to ease transmission of data packets over the network. Since packet segmentation performs functions that are associated with specific protocols and the OSI layer, answer the following questions:

1. What are the three functions of packet segmentation?

2. What protocols perform packet segmentation?

3. What layers of the OSI model are involved with packet segmentation?

(b) Network bridging and switching occurs on one of the layers of the OSI seven layers. The questions below are based on network bridging and switching.

(4) On which OSI layer do network bridging and switching functions occur?

(5) What are the similarities and differences between a network bridge and a switch?

Please answer the questions in a 4–6-page paper. As you answer each question, you must provide support or evidence that will enhance and empirically prove your answers. Academic IT articles or real-life IT findings that are not found in journals or other academic sources must be used in supporting your answers. Please use APA style for all cited sources, including your reference page.

Please address the following requirements in your 4–6-page paper:
  • A title page
  • A report that includes the following:
    • An introduction to the contents of the report
    • An explanation of the OSI network model as it relates to network segmentation, bridges, and switches

Please cite your references in APA format.

Please submit your assignment.

 

For assistance with your assignment, please use your text, Web resources, and all course materials.

JLB Enterprises: Managing Performance

JLB Enterprises: Managing Performance

JLB Enterprises is a computer manufacturer that is experiencing low employee motivation.  Evidence shows that efficiency has decreased 15% over the last two years while other factors, including the number of employees, have remained the same, and the process to assemble computers has remained the same as well.

Additionally, the 2011 annual employee survey shows that employee satisfaction and morale have decreased significantly (a 20% decline) over the last 3 years.  A recent survey of employees conducted by an outside consulting firm confirmed that employees do not feel motivated.  On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being “not motivated” to 10 being “very motivated,” the average of all reported results was 5.5.

Recent examples of research studies that have demonstrated a link between motivation and performance.  JLB Enterprises has a problem in that employee performance has declined over time.  This is a problem because lower performance means fewer products built for the same amount of time and money.  Therefore, efficiency has declined and costs have increased.

List and define one of the leadership theories that may serve as a lens to view JLB Enterprises’ current problem.

Then, using the components of the theory, show how the characteristics of the theory may potentially inform strategies for improving this performance problem.

Remember, your thoughts, feelings, and opinions must be supported with facts, statistics, testimonials, examples, cases and other references in critical thinking.  Research and facts support critical thinking efforts.

Your essay should be approximately 500 words (two typed, double-spaced, APA-formatted pages), well written, and documented per graduate guidelines for APA Style.
A cover page and References page are required.
Be sure to use proper punctuation, spelling and grammar; points will be deducted accordingly.
Support your analysis by referencing and citing sources when needed. It is suggested that you cite at least three credible sources.  Sources must be cited according to APA guidelines.

The Value of Compound Interest for Investments

Assignment 4.1: The Value of Compound Interest for Investments

In this course project assignment, you will research the value of compounding interest (or reinvesting all gains) for investments.

Click on the “Project” tab on the top navigation bar for details on the course project.

Procedure

  1. Assume your company has $25,000 available to invest for 10 years. The investment may be broken down into $5,000 increments.
  2. Make an assumption about the company’s risk-return trade-off tolerance. Write a statement about your assumption.
  3. Choose investments from the following list that meet the company’s risk tolerance:
  • Cash-on-hand checking account, 0% interest
  • Savings account at 1½% interest, compounded annually
  • CD’s at 3%, compounded bi-annually
  • Bonds at 7% interest, compounded bi-annually
  • Mutual funds at 10%, compounded quarterly
  • Stocks at 15%, compounded quarterly

For example: you may choose $5,000 in Cash-on-hand; $10,000 invested in CD’s; and $10,000 invested in Bonds.

  1. Using Table 12.1 “Future Value of $1 at Compound Interest” inPractical Business Math Procedures (text), calculate the value of the investment in each account after the 10 year time period for each investment chosen. Compute the total for the investment.
  2. After you have organized your thoughts, post your recommendation for how the company should invest the $25,000 to the course Forum. Provide an argument for each investment you made, supporting your choices using the risk-return trade-off assumption you made for the company. Copy this information to the financial plan final report template.

 

Assignment 4.3: Investment Strategy

In this assignment you will create an investment plan for your project business, supporting your analysis using personal experience, website searches, and/or interviews.

Click on the “Project” tab in the top navigation bar for details on the course project.

Procedure

  1. Research the different types of investment strategies available to your company found online, in practice, by brainstorming, or in the text. Remember to consider reinvesting in the company through retained earnings or issuing a dividend to the company’s stockholders as viable options.
  2. Open your course project Microsoft Excel file and rename Sheet 4 to “Investment Strategy.”
  3. Determine the risk-return trade-off for your company. Record this in the “Investment Strategy” sheet in an easily readable format in this worksheet. Avoid using paragraph format. Excel is more amenable to bullets.
  4. Choose investments for your business based on your risk-return trade-off analysis for the company and your research. Record these in the worksheet “Investment Strategy” along with the rationale for your choices. Record the information in an easily readable format in this worksheet. Make certain to include the source/s of the information provided.

Is The World Religious or Not?

Assignment Instructions

Assume you are from another planet and have been sent to Earth to determine if it is a religious planet or not (something very important to your people). Your superiors are expecting a report back from you.

Write a 2-3 page paper in which you:

  1. Discuss the criteria you will employ to determine if people on earth are religious — in other words, what does religion look like.
  2. Describe three (3) examples of behaviors or beliefs you observe that meet the criteria you established above.
  3. Based on your observations, explain what the function of religion appears to be on Earth.
  4. Aside from a functional understanding of religion, determine how else your observations could be interpreted. Provide specific examples to support your response.

A New Tourism Attraction

For a tourism destination to be successful, it must have something that attracts tourists to the area. For this assignment, you will design a new tourism attraction for a city of your choice (either U.S. or International city). It can be any kind of attraction as long as it highlights the city or local community. For example, you could design a children’s theme park in Santa Fe, New Mexico, which highlights the local Native American culture. You have a budget of $5 million to design and build your attraction. (Important note: Do not write about a tourism attraction that already exists. It must be a completely new attraction.) Write a four to five (4-5) page paper in which you:

  1. Assess the types of organizations in the distribution process you would contact for information about the new attraction.
  2. Determine the reason this attraction would be successful. Be sure to provide statistical data in your response.
  3. Distinguish how this attraction utilizes the transportation that exists in the city or local community. Determine if the transportation is sufficient and how the transportation system would impact the success of the new attraction.
  4. Indicate how the new attraction brings value to the local community and what, if any, negative aspects it might create.
  5. Use at least five (5) quality academic resources in this assignment. Note: Wikipedia and other Websites do not quality as academic resources.

Canada Life Insurance as a Risk Manager – Assignment Instructions

Just imagine that I am working at Canada Life Insurance as a Risk manager

Greer (2001) describes the growing use of contingent workers who, unlike permanent and core employees, usually have only a short-term affiliation with the organization. These workers include “temporaries, subcontracted workers, part-time workers, consultants, life-of-the-project workers, and leased employees” . The contingent workforce is particularly common in unbundled or network organizations where non-core activities or activities outside the expertise of the firm are outsourced.

Similarly, Handy (1993) contends that the future will see more Shamrock organizations, modelled on the three leaf clover. The three leaves of the Shamrock represent the following:

  • A core workforce—These are managers, technicians, professionals, and skilled workers who are essential to the organization. They are well paid and well looked after. They are expected to do whatever is needed to complete essential tasks and keep the organization together. They are expensive, so there are not many of them.
  • A contractual fringe—In the 1980s large organizations began to shed support staff (e.g., cleaning, printing, delivery, legal staff, nurses, etc.) who were frequently expensive and underemployed. Companies are now contracting out more and more of what they used to do in-house.
  • A flexible labour force—Organizations are no longer storing workers so they will be able to cope with peak periods without overtime. However, they do not want to overload core workers when there is pressure to get things done. It ischeaper, if less convenient, to hire occasional help, part-time employees, or temporary employees at lower rates.

The extreme is the virtual organization which has a small head office staff with almost all activities contracted out. Handy cites an example of a German manufacturer of garden equipment who subcontracted manufacturing, design,accounting and finance, and franchised the sales operation. He then closed his office and now operates out of his Mercedes with a cell phone.

Please discuss the following questions with your colleagues.

  • In your area of work, which tasks could be done by outsiders (either other organizations or individuals)? What would be the advantages and disadvantages of contracting out such tasks?
  • What would it be like to manage in a Shamrock organization—to be holding the leaves together?
  • If you were to move into the contingent workforce, what impact would it have on your personal life? What advantages or difficulties would such a change create for you?
  • Are contingent work and Shamrock organizations where we should be headed? What are the implications of this approach to HRM for demographics, global competition, and the economy? If more and more organizations move toward the Shamrock structure, what do you think will be the implications for society? Is this move for better or for worse?

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Assignment 3.1: Cash Discounts Analysis

Assignment 3.1: Cash Discounts Analysis

In this course project assignment, you will research cash discounts commonly offered for the industry your project’s business is in, and determine if those discounts meet the needs of your project’s business.

Click on the “Project” tab in the top navigation bar for more details on the course project.

Procedure

  1. Research the types of cash discounts available to businesses in your course project’s industry. Search the web, contact suppliers for your industry’s products, etc.
  2. Contact a financial institution to determine terms available for short-term or long-term loans commonly offered to businesses in your industry to purchase product.
  3. Make a list of the types of cash discounts commonly available from Step 1 and 2 above.
  4. After you have organized your thoughts, post your analysis of which terms you would accept for your company, and why you chose the terms you did to the course Forum. Copy this information to your financial plan final report template.

 

Assignment 3.3: Product/Service Pricing

In this course project assignment you will be pricing two products/services based on industry-wide trade discounts for your business, using the pricing strategy of your choice. You will create an Excel file for this assignment and copy your calculations into your course project template.

Procedure

  1. Choose 2 products/services you want to price for your business. Research (online, by phone, or in person) trade discounts offered to retailers for both products/services. Consider contacting various manufacturers to gather data on trade discounts available.
  2. Set-up two worksheets in your course project Excel file named after each product. For example: Product1 Ink pens and Product2 Masking tape.
  3. Record the information you found in Step 1 above in an easily readable format in both worksheets. Avoid using paragraph format. Excel is more amenable to bullets. Make certain to include the source/s of the information provided.
  4. Using the pricing method of your choice, calculate the selling price of both products. Use Excel formulas to do the calculations and record the final selling price clearly in each worksheet.
  5. Finally, provide a summary as to why the selling prices chosen are appropriate for each product/service.

How to Write a Dissertation Proposal

How to Write a Dissertation Proposal

dissertation proposal is a document written before writing a dissertation. The proposal seeks to convince your Doctoral committee that your dissertation will be on an important and crucial question that is worthy of research and scrutiny. Through your proposal, you should be able to convince your committee that you are in a position to fully explain how significant your question is. It should include a well set out plan on how you will go about gathering the required data.

A good dissertation proposal should convince your committee that your hypothesis is worth investing in and will produce ideas and analysis that are beneficial to any academic audience. Your proposal should be able to highlight the problem that your plan to tackle. It should clearly prove that the problem, (which you choose to tackle) is a crucial one that needs to be tackled. You should also explain your potential source of data with supporting facts on why you have chosen your data source.

Your proposal should have the following outline. A Description title which should be very short and to the point. After the title page, what follow is the objectives and later the Context, this is the part that shows the details of your research. Your methodologies do necessarily have to be all about research and reading alone, you can include other methods of collecting of data such as through the sue of questionnaires to collect data from people.

Your dissertation should contain a list of the possible outcomes you intend to achieve. Remember, your outcome should not be guessed. This is because the whole purpose behind dissertation writing is to realize you the outcome. You should also clearly layout the time you intend to take conduction your research. The best way is to use a Gantt chart.

The final part which is the bibliography provides a list of all the reference you went through during your research. This is how a good dissertation proposal should be written.

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