o Word limit: 1,500 words (excluding attachments & reference list)
o New Goals and New Strategies for a company…after assessment of the company’s ‘position audit’, using SWOT and Michael Porter’s Competitive 5-Forces Analyses
One example will be provided to the students. It illustrates one new goal and one new strategy (linked to the new goal – “Strategy 5.2: Membership Information”), together with several associated “Actions” or tactical plans which, if carried out, should enable the new strategy to be accomplished.
This example should be used as a model by all students when preparing Assignment 2.
o As an ‘expert management consultant’, you are asked by a company’s CEO to write a report.
The Task: perform some analysis and recommend some new goals and new strategies to the CEO of the company that has asked you to do this job. Use the SWOT analysis management tool and Michael Porter’s “Competitive 5-Forces” model (Schermerhorn, pp. 221-222) to help you do your analysis.
a. Select one company from the list below
NOTE: If you wish to choose a different company from the list, please contact the unit convenor at least ONE week prior to the assignment due date. Or you will get “0” for this assignment.
b. Your report must –
? have a title (at the top of page 1), a cover page (with the title clearly shown) and a marking criteria page. Copies of these two pages will be given out in class.
? be written in single-spacing and have no large gaps between sections of the report
? include a cover business letter to the CEO of the company that has engaged you to do this job (this is a 1-page summary of your whole report). Sign the letter. (You can scan your signature and include it the cover letter. OR you can scanned the signed cover letter and upload the scanned copy to Moodle.)
? have a two-paragraph introduction: (para 1) why you have written the report (what you have been asked to do); (para 2) the report’s purpose (what the report is going to cover. Use future tense: e.g. “This report will… It will… Finally, it will…”).
? have self-evident structure, through the use of sub-headings (use para 2 of Intro to guide you)
? have a conclusion (reflecting the recommended new goals & strategies to be adopted by the company and the reasons why they are being recommended) It should also make a final plea to the CEO re why he/she should accept your recommendations
? include two 1-page attachments – at the end of the report, after the Reference List. Each should be properly titled and a brief explanation given about what the management model being used is and how it can be used. Words of the attachments can be excluded from the word count. Remember: “1-page” means no more than one page.
? Contain some references (in-text) and a reference list (at the end), in the Harvard style. [note: a correctly titled reference list is entitled, “References” (not Reference List)
? evidence of good editing (do a Grammar Check !!!…and a spelling check). ESSENTIAL – DO NOT FAIL TO DO THIS!
o identify the company’s Current Situation (very briefly – 150 words = max), including (and quoting) it’s ‘Mission Statement’ [Note 1: the CEO reading your report will know and be familiar with all the background/history of the company and you do not need to tell him/her obvious things! Tell the CEO things he/she may not know.] [Note 2: exceeding the suggested word limit here will jeopardise a report being able to get to the important part(s) of the report within the overall word limit];
o perform a current ‘situational analysis’ of the company, using the management tool known as ‘SWOT’ Analysis. Attach this as a 1-page attachment to the report (at the end of the report and entitled, “Attachment 1: SWOT Analysis of [name of the company]”. Use brief dot points. Give some
details about the purpose/use of the SWOT as a management tool before performing the analysis;
o use, as an additional part of the ‘situational analysis’, another management tool known as Porter’s ‘Competitive 5-Forces’. Attach this as a 1-page attachment to the report (at the end of the report and entitled, “Attachment 2 – Competitive 5-Forces, applied to [name of the company]”). Use brief dot points. Give some details about the purpose/use of the 5-Forces as a management tool before performing the analysis;
o state clearly (1) some new goals for the company; (2) what new strategies the company should adopt to reach the goals; and (3) why you are recommending them (they must be seen to be related to the Mission, the SWOT analysis and/or the Competitive 5-Forces analyses). They should also be practical and mindful of the company’s existing resources – not just wishful dreams or speculative fantasy. They should not be any of the alternative (Michael Porter’s) Generic, Life Cycle or Existing strategies the company may already be practising.
o List several “actions” (tactical plans) for each new strategy
o that will ensure the strategy is accomplished (see ITM’s orange booklet – Lecturer’s golf club example). Use dot points, beginning each with a verb;
o dot points #4 and #5 above should be the major focus of your report – DO NOT place either the SWOT analysis or the Competitive 5-Forces analysis within the body of the report.
has a Cover Page, Marking Criteria Page (this page), is single-spaced, leaves no large gaps between sections and uses “professional” (12 pt) font size. (-0.2 marks each, if not done)
has a Title (on Cover Page and at the top of page 1), a two-paragraph Introduction (150 words), a Conclusion (150 words) and uses sub-headings
includes, in it’s clearly expressed Introduction, (a) the purpose of the report (why the report has been written – para 1) and (b) what the report covers (statement of purpose – para 2).
summarises briefly the company’s situation (no more than 150-200 words)
recommends several new (a) strategic goals (at least one) and (b) new strategies for each, gives reasons for the strategies, provides (c) a few supportive ‘action (tactical) plans for each of the strategies and links all these ((a)-(c)) to analyses, using the two models (SWOT and 5-Forces)
has a Conclusion that really concludes (eg summarises the recommended new goals/strategies, summarises reasons for the new strategies and makes a final appeal to the CEO of the company for adopting the recommendations).
uses in-text references (at least a few) and has listed articles, books, etc used (including textbook) in a ‘Reference List’ (correctly titled, “References”), demonstrates clarity of expression, shows evidence of good editing (grammar & spelling check), has clean layout, neatness, good structure and total word limit does not exceed 1,500 words.
appends two pages, as one-page attachments (with appropriate titles and brief explanation of their use) and performed appropriate analyses (SWOT and Competitive 5-Forces).