a) Research: Search out at least 5 articles and videos on the company you chose to use as your source materials – you may use more than 5, and a combination of both articles and videos is advised. For instance, you can find videos of interviews with company leaders which can be considered “primary sources” and therefore are very valuable! These articles and videos can be sourced from mass media, journal articles, company websites, annual reports, etc. You will lose points for including less than 5 sources, or for including inappropriate sources (such as Wikipedia, blogs, or other “opinion” rather than fact-based sources). You must include this list of sources in a Works Cited page (see grading rubric), and cite your sources in-text (this is a research paper). I do not require a particular format for your citations.
b) Write the paper: The assignment should be done in no more than 3-pages, single spaced with 1” margins and 12-point font. Submit the final paper via Canvas (Assignments) by Thursday 2/2/17 11:30pm.
In writing the paper, there are two clear sections to this assignment, which you should integrate into one coherent paper. Do not just answer each section individually. Knit the sections and topics together to tell a story about the company you have selected. There is a research guide posted on Canvas to aid you in pulling in all the information necessary for this paper. Also be sure to reference the grading rubric to make sure you’re fulfilling all aspects of this assignment, and not only focusing on content. The two key topics to be covered include:
Industry Context: Using the framework provided in the Michael Porter video and discussed in the textbook, develop a direct and to the point analysis of each of the five forces as well as a conclusion about the overall structural attractiveness of the industry. Remember in this first part the focus is the industry, not the company.
o Substantiate your analysis with data from the articles and videos. In most cases, the articles and video will not directly discuss a force (i.e., they won’t say "suppliers have a lot of power"), so you need fill this in from your own knowledge or from other elements you saw discussed in the source material and textbook/slides.
o Make sure you provide a rating scale for each force in terms of its effect on the industry’s competitiveness now and in the future, e.g. High/Medium/Low and Increasing/Decreasing/ Staying the Same (see research guide).
o Make sure you address not only each force but your conclusion on the overall attractiveness of the industry for an incumbent and a new entrant.
Positioning and Internal Implications: Next, look at how the company is set up within this industry and perates to develop and sustain a competitive advantage. In this section the focus is the company, not the industry. Discuss each of the following topics in this section:
o Of the two generic positioning strategies, explain which positioning strategy the company is trying to achieve. (Cost Leadership vs. Differentiation?)
o Then assess the company’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats using the SWOT Analysis tool. Be sure to explain why each item belongs where it does in the SWOT diagram (don’t just state it – explain it too). Draw on the industry analysis from Part 1 to devise external
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