Business/Management #1: Assignment Proposal

You will prepare a written term paper on a company of your choice. Please submit the name and a brief description of the company you intend to analyze by October 4th (ASSIGNMENT #1). This should be ½ to 1 page document. The actual written paper (not including title page) should be no longer than 5 pages in length (typed, single-spaced OR 10 pages double-spaced), with added exhibits, tables and figures as necessary. Drawing on course material, analyze the industry and competition, the company’s strengths and weaknesses, its strategies, and financial results (last 3-5 years). Offer specific recommendations for what the company should do next (2019 and beyond), including the expected performance impact. Do original research, through the library and online sources, citing references. A full list of references/bibliography should be presented at the end of the paper. The term paper is due on November. Use proper APA with title page.


Tips in choosing a company:

-pick a publicly traded company (not private) that way information is readily available online for search

-a US company might be easier and convenient

-preferable to choose a one-line oriented business (or a single dominant business) since that will be an easier write-up than a diversified business



Strategic Management: Concepts: Competitiveness and Globalization (2017, 12th ed.) by Hitt, Ireland and Hoskisson. Cengage Learning (ISBN # 9781305502208)


COURSE BACKGROUND:  This course familiarizes the students with the broad perspectives of general management and strategy. The focus of the course is on the overall organization. It covers roles and responsibilities of general managers and formulation and implementation of strategy, including such concepts as process and content of strategy, interrelations between corporations and their environments, interrelations among different functional areas of management, and role of management systems in implementing strategy.


LEARNING OBJECTIVES: This course will include cases on companies in domestic and international markets, employing basic and leading-edge technologies, and operating within regulatory and environmental constraints. During the course you will learn how to analyze company strategies; you will also learn via the tools of strategic analysis, how to evaluate strategic options and how to develop an effective strategic plan. The course is structured so that you will need to work continuously throughout the course, reading, analyzing and preparing your cases.

Class Topics and Materials

9/9                   Strategic Management and Strategic Competitiveness (Ch. 1)

                        Reading: Strategy needs creativity (HBR, 2019)

Case: Monocle ( 2012)


9/16               External Environment (Ch. 2)

                        Reading: Planned Opportunism (HBR, 2016)

Case: Cola wars continue: Coke and Pepsi in 2010 (2010)


9/23               Internal Organization (Ch. 3)

                        Reading: Choosing the right customer (HBR, 2014)

Case: Trader Joe’s (2013)


9/30               Business-Level Strategy (Ch. 4)

                        Reading: The elements of value (HBR, 2013)

Case: Tesla Motors (2013) *


10/7               Competitive Rivalry and Competitive Dynamics (Ch. 5)

                        Reading: Predicting your competitor’s reaction (HBR, 2009)

Case: eBay, Inc. and (A) (2012)



10/21             Corporate-Level Strategy (Ch. 6)

                        Reading: Why conglomerates thrive (outside the U.S.) (HBR, 2013)

Case:  Amazon Go: Venturing into traditional retail (Ivey, 2017)


10/28             Merger and Acquisition Strategies (Ch. 7)

                        Reading: M&A: The one thing you need to get right (HBR, 2016)

Case: Groupe PSA: Acquisition of Opel/Vauxhall (Ivey, 2018) *


11/4               International Strategy (Ch. 8)

                        Reading: Mapping frontier economies (HBR, 2016)

Case: UPS in India – Time to shift gears? (MH, 2017) *


11/11             Cooperative Strategy (Ch. 9)

                        Reading: Building the right ecosystem for innovation (SMR, 2018)

Case: Amazon and Future Group: Rethinking the alliance strategy (Ivey, 2016)


11/18             Organizational Structure and Controls (Ch. 11)

                        Reading: Why strategy execution unravels (HBR, 2015)

Case: Opening the Valve: From software to hardware (A) (HBS, 2014)


11/25             Strategic Entrepreneurship (Ch.13)

  • Reading: Why design thinking works (HBR, 2018)

Case: AirAsia X: Can the low cost model go long haul? (Ivey, 2012) *

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