Individual Assignment 1

Individual Assignment #1 (Please consider use sub-title that may state your points clearly)

Select a company that you perceive as having strategic issues.

1. Identify the company’s overall strategy and describe the key strategic risks it is facing as well as their potential impacts. Consider the relevant competitive forces in your analysis (threat of new entry, supplier power, threat of substitution, buyer power, and competitive rivalry).

2. Recommend approaches to mitigate the strategic risks that you have identified under (#1).

3. Opine on whether the company’s overall strategy can be pursued successfully. Would your recommended mitigation strategies (see (#2), if implemented, change your assessment?

Your selected company needs to be one where you can gather a broad array of information; assuming it is a public company, its 10k filing with the SEC will be a very productive source of information. We recommend you choose a company that interests you or that you have read about in a business journal.

 This assignment is worth 20% of your grade. Your work will be evaluated based on following criteria:

· Ability to identify key aspects of points (#1) through (#3) above.

· Supporting Analysis: you are able to support your analytical observations and strategic recommendations.

· Writing: you are able to communicate your analysis in a clear and concise manner.

The assignment should be 5 pages max and no more than 2,000 words.

Five pages and the word count refers to your actual analysis section. You do not have to count in table of content, cover page, citations, appendix, etc. – should you choose to include any of those in your paper.

We encourage you to include external sources in your paper but, at the same time, the use of clear citation is of utmost importance.

When writing the paper imagine you are a new but aspiring analyst at a firm writing for a busy senior executive. Keep your paper clear and concise!

Grading Framework (Please read carefully)

· Company’s Overall Strategy (40pts)

Students need to clearly identify their selected company’s overall strategy and give precise reference to the source. Potential sources might include, but are not limited to:

1. Business Strategy Section of the 10k

2. The company’s Mission/Vision Statement

3. CEO’s public comments/interviews, etc.

4. Other sources if quoted properly

· Key Strategic Risks (40pts)

Students need to evaluate the strategy of their selected company and identify key strategic risks as well as potential impacts. Frameworks might include, but are not limited to:

1. Ansoff Matrix

2. SWOT Analysis

3. Porter’s Five Forces

4. PESTEL Analysis

· Mitigation Strategies (40pts)

Students are asked to recommend potential mitigations for the strategic risks that they identified under 2). Students are expected to build their case and provide actual recommendations as opposed to merely listing mitigation items. Finally, this part of the assignment will be evaluated based on whether the mitigation items seem credible.

· Opine on the Company’s Overall Strategy (40pts)

This part of the assignment will be evaluated based on how well it ties back to 1)-3). Does the student consider all three previous parts when coming up with a conclusion, and is the conclusion plausible?

· Writing Style (40pts)

Is the analysis done in a clear and concise manner? Is the paper written to appeal to a senior executive, i.e. does it have an (executive) summary, does it use bullet point format, etc.? Are all external sources clearly marked as citations?     

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