I. Overview (approximately 1-2 pages) — Give an overview of the firm including a brief history its strategy its tactics its primary competitors and its goals.
Questions you may consider: What is the ownership structure? Is it a family organization? Is it a government bureau or department? Is it a state-owned enterprise (SOE)? Is it a conglomerate or a division of a larger organization? What are the major strengths and weaknesses? How are decisions made? How is strategy formed? What are major issues or problems the organization is facing?
II. External Analysis (approximately 1-3 pages) — Analyze the general and competitive situation facing the organization. Do an industry (5 forces) analysis of the industry in which your organization competes. You need to define the industry clearly.
Questions you may consider: Which of the forces is the most relevant to the firms performance? What are the major threats? Are there any potential opportunities that may be taken advantage of in the near future? Is the environment good? Is it bad? Is it stable? What can be done about the environmental situation the firm is facing?
References: The Management of Strategy Chapters 1 & 2
III. Internal Analysis & Business Model (approximately 1-3 pages) — Analyze the internal resources and management processes of the organization.
Questions you may consider: What is the main source of value-added and profit for the company (business model)? What is the value proposition? What are the major strengths and weaknesses of the organization? What is the core competence (capabilities that are valuable rare difficult to imitate and without substitutes) of the company? Does the organization have a sustainable competitive advantage? Could the company benefit from outsourcing? What way is the business adding value that cannot be matched by competitors? Is it sustainable? Is the core competence under threat from structural or technological factors?
References: The Management of Strategy Chapter 3
IV. Business-level strategies (approximately 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 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? What is the unique selling point of the product? Does the business level strategy seem appropriate?
References: The Management of Strategy Chapter 4
V. Corporate-level strategy (approximately 1-3 pages) — Continuing with your analysis of current strategies move from the industry-level to the corporate-level.
Questions you may 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 (approximately 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 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 recent acquisitions leadership issues structural changes etc.? Is it effective?
References: The Management of Strategy Chapters 5 7 8 9 10 11 12 or 13 (where applicable)
VII. Original Strategy Recommendations (approximately 3-5 pages) This is the most important part! Based on your analysis you need to demonstrate your ability to develop original strategy recommendations for improving the performance of the organization.
Questions you may consider: What are problems with the current strategy and how can it be improved? Is the nature of the industry or the organization changing? Is the current core competence eroding? Are there technological or regulatory changes that threaten to alter the nature of competition? Is the product at a mature stage of the product life cycle? Is innovation being ignored? Is there a potential issue about which the organization should be particularly concerned? Are there succession issues in the organization leadership? Should the organization consider diversification? Should the organization consider divesting some of its businesses? Should the organization consider decentralizing or other restructuring? Are there trends in the industry that are creating new threats or opportunities?
VIII. Conclusion (approximately 1-2 pages)
Questions you may consider: What changes would you expect if your ideas are implemented? Would you be comfortable introducing these ideas to the top managers of this organization? How do you think they would be received? What would be the biggest obstacle to implementing your suggestions?
FORMAT: The paper should be written in 11 or 12 point font double spaced with 1 inch margins. It should follow the American Psychological Association (APA) format. Ideally you will refer to the readings assigned in class and apply this material to your organizations situations. The paper should be a MAXIMUM of 20 pages not including references tables illustrations or appendices.
Note: The recommendations are the most important part. Your analysis should be directly linked to your recommendations. All of the information you provide will be kept strictly confidential and will be seen by no one except me unless I have your explicit agreement otherwise. However if anyone is interested I would be glad to assist you in the capacity of a co-author in attempting to publish your project in Ivey Business school publishing Asian Case Research Journal or other possible outlets.