What makes so Good to Work For?
INFORMATION FOR MGMT PAPERS:
1. Your position is that of a business analyst that will analyze a key aspect of a companies management practices. Although the material regarding basic management practices is included in the text, library research, electronic data sources, can be used as well. The goal is to examine what the company is doing and make specific evaluations about those practices based on what you have learned in this course.
You should give a brief description of the company, but DO NOT rehash the facts of the industry or firm that are included on the company web page. The text of the paper should not exceed four pages in length, 12-point font, single-spaced, double-space between paragraphs (not including reference pages).
2. You may use charts, tables, and any other planning tools found in the text. DO NOT add charts just for the sake of length. All exhibits should ADD VALUE to the written analysis. Summarizing facts of the case through an analysis of situation, opportunities and threats or using tables for evaluation of alternatives can save space and improve clarity. DO NOT USE REPORT BINDERS OR COVER SHEETS.
3. Provide a brief description and SWOT analysis of the company.
• What is its current strategy to compete in the industry?
• What are the current external, organizational and employee conditions in this organization and its industry competitors?
• Identify the key strengths and weaknesses apparent from your internal analysis.
• How do the strengths and weaknesses compare to the threats and opportunities apparent in the environment?
4. Identify a key aspect of business management, such as the topic of one of the chapters of the text and analyze and evaluate the company on that topic. Also note that there is often a large amount of data available for consideration and this can make analyses more difficult. Making reasoned choices about what information is critical to the case versus ‘nice to know’ will help you to identify the key issues.
5. Use the information above to inform your analysis, identify the management practice, issue, or problem illustrated by the company. Employ terms from the text to explain what the company is doing and the extent to which it is effective or defective, AND WHY. For example: Is there a problem with current policy that the company should change?
• What are the efficiency issues in this problem?
• What are the probably short and long-term effects of the way the company is addressing this aspect of management?
6. Select and justify your comments(s). What are the tradeoffs associated with the alternatives? You should NOT think in terms of “good” versus “bad”, but rather what does the company GAIN from an alternative and what does it LOSE. That way you can compare gains and losses across the alternatives. Gains and losses may be in terms of equity, efficiency, cost competitiveness, market share, profitability, core competence, time to market, future growth, survival, etc.
You should make recommendations only if you can support them with analysis and reason. Trivial or unrealistic recommendations or recommendations that are inconsistent with the firm’s goals, resources, the industry environment, and the culture of the company must be avoided.
7. Library and online research beyond the text can be helpful at times, but are not required. When presenting, indicate the outside sources used. If you present industry averages, for example, or demographic data, indicate where you obtained the information.
Identification of the key drivers and/or forces in the external environment and how that may affect the future of the firm or the industry.
Identification and evaluation of pertinent company’s capabilities, weaknesses, resources, and sources of competitive advantage in the context of the industry and competitive environment.
Clear articulation of the management issue you are addressing and its implications for the company.
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