MGT523 Strategic Management in Global Environment
Group Project Winter 2020
Please read the instructions below. Failure to comply with the instructions will result in a penalty ranging from 5% to 100% of the grade
GROUP PROJECT DESCRIPTION
The Group Project (GP) involves students making operational and strategic decisions. Students will act as a team of top managers when making these decisions. The strategy project is an integral part of a strategic management course.
This project has proved to be one of the best experiential learning experiences for the COBA students, where they should develop strategic management skills. During the project, students should carry out a rigorous analysis of a real-life company.
The GP is the final deliverable of the MGT523 Strategic Management in a Global Environment Course and allows you to immediately apply everything you have learned in the classroom. It is a comprehensive and demanding exercise that is carried out over the winter term. The goal of the project is to address and analyse an issue of particular strategic importance of a company from an executive management viewpoint.
2. Learning Objectives
The most important learning objectives of the group project are as follows:
3. Assignment Strategy
PHASE 1: CHOOSE ONE CASE COMPANY
i. Ember (https://embertech.com/)
ii. Lumoid (https://lumoid.com/ )
iii. DoorDash (https://www.doordash.com/)
iv. SmartThings (https://www.smartthings.com/)
v. Tesla Motors (https://www.tesla.com/)
vi. GoPro (https://gopro.com/)
vii. Munchery (https://munchery.com/#sthash.6ws5Sb2t.dpuf)
viii. Cruise (https://www.getcruise.com/)
ix. Juicero (https://www.juicero.com/)
x. Shyp (https://www.shyp.com/)
xi. Doordash (https://www.doordash.com/)
xii. Instacart (https://www.instacart.com/)
xiii. Fitbit (https://www.fitbit.com/home)
PHASE 2: ANALYZING FIRM’S PERFORMANCE AND ISSUES
Firm and Industry Performance: Analyze focal firm’s performance against industry average and its key competitors. Has the company done well? Has it done better than industry average? Has it done better than the key competitors?
External Analysis: Analyze external environment of the firm over a period covered in the case. How did the industry and its attractiveness evolve? Why so? Identify key external challenges/factors that industry faced over time. How did they affect industry? What has been the nature of rivalry? (PESTE-Chapter 4)
Internal Analysis: Analyze firm’s internal environment. Identify key challenges facing firm in the past. Why are these key challenges? How did they affect Firm? What are the firm’s key resources/activities/functional expertise? How have this resources/activities/functional expertise affected firm’s relative performance? (Long-term & short-term) Quantitative data
Critical assessment of Strategy: Critically analyze firm’s strategy and competitive advantage? What has it been? Has it enjoyed competitive enjoyed? Suffered from disadvantaged? Has it been sustainable? Why so? Has it planned strategy implementation well? Has it been doing a good job of evaluation and control?
Key lessons learnt from the past: What are the key sources of competitive advantage in this industry? What are the key factors likely to affect industry and firm’s performance in future?
PHASE 3: DEFINING THE CURRENT ISSUE(S) AND PROBLEM STATEMENT
What are the main strategic issues company is likely to face going forward? The problem statement should be a clear, concise statement of exactly what needs to be addressed. Asking your team the following questions may help:
2. strategic direction of the company,
3. source of competitive advantage,
4. morale of the company’s employees, and/or
5. customer satisfaction.
The problem statement may be framed as a question, e.g.: What should Mr. Adel do? or How can Mr. Kamal improve market share? Usually the problem statement has to be re-written several times during the analysis of a case, as you peel back the layers of symptoms or causation.
PHASE 4: ANALYZING INFORMATION
In analyzing the case data, you are trying to answer the following:
PHASE 5: GENERATING ALTERNATIVES
This section deals with different ways in which the problem can be resolved. Typically, there are many alternatives. Things to remember at this stage are:
Once the alternatives have been identified, a method of evaluating them and selecting the most appropriate one needs to be used to arrive at a decision.
PHASE 6: Key Decision-Criteria
A very important concept to understand, they answer the question of how you are going to decide which alternative is the best one to choose. Other than choosing randomly, we will always employ some criteria in making any decision.
PHASE 7: RECOMMENDATIONS, CONCLUSION, REFERENCES & APPENDICES
What are your recommendations for these firms? How would you change their strategies? What recommendations do you have for implementation?
References: You should cite all external sources in your text by using APA format. It is a good idea to start your references section at the beginning of the writing process and add to it as you go along. It will be a tedious and time-consuming task if left until you have completed the main body of the text. If you do leave it until the end, the time spent on compiling the reference section is time that would have been better spent on checking and amending your report.
Appendices – Supplementary material at the end of a book, article, document, or other text, usually of an explanatory, statistical, or bibliographic nature. In general, appendices should be kept to the minimum. If they are so important that your reader’s understanding of the points you are making in the text makes their inclusion in the report necessary, then they should be in the main body of the text. If, on the other hand, the material is ‘interesting to know’ rather than ‘essential to know’ then it should be in the appendices.
4. Proposed Structure of the Written Report
1. Title page
1.1. Company name
1.2. Class code and class name
1.3. Full names and student ids of group members
1.4. Instructor name
1.5. Semester and year
2. Automatic Table of Contents
3. Executive summary
3.1. Summarize your entire report in one page or less
4. Analyzing firm’s past performance and issues
4.1. Firm and industry performance
4.2. External analysis
4.3. Internal analysis
4.4. Critical assessment of strategy
4.5. Key lessons learnt from the past
5. Identifying current issues
5.1. Phase 3: defining the current issue(s) and problem statement
5.2. Phase 4: analyzing information
5.3. Phase 5: generating alternatives
6. Solving future problems
6.1. Phase 6: key decision-criteria
6.2. Phase 7: recommendations
5. Notes on Written Reports
Always remember that you will be judged by the quality of your work, which includes your written work such as case study reports. Sloppy, dis-organized, poor quality work will say more about you than you probably want said! To ensure the quality of your written work, keep the following in mind when writing your report:
1. Proof-read your work! Not just on the screen while you write it, but the hard copy after it is printed. Fix the errors before submitting.
2. Use spell checker to eliminate spelling errors
3. Use grammar checking to avoid common grammatical errors such as run on sentences.
4. Note that restating of case facts is not included in the format of the case report, nor is it considered part of analysis. Anyone reading your report will be familiar with the case, and you need only to mention facts that are relevant to (and support) your analysis or recommendation as you need them.
5. You are highly encouraged to use tools, framework and theories covered in this course to conduct analysis and synthesis and develop arguments. Clearly identifying and correctly matching theoretical basis while building arguments will help in securing good grades.
6. If you are going to include exhibits (particularly numbers) in your report, you will need to refer to them within the body of your report, not just tack them on at the end! This reference should be in the form of supporting conclusions that you are making in your analysis. The reader should not have to guess why particular exhibits have been included, nor what they mean. If you do not plan to refer to them, then leave them out.
7. Write in a formal manner suitable for scholarly work, rather than a letter to a friend.
8. Common sense and logical thinking can do wonders for your evaluation!
9. Proof-read your work!
6. Grading Criteria
There’s no such thing as “the correct answer” to a case study question. Several answers. Generally, the instructors’ use the following criteria when assigning a grade to a response:
1. The overall quality of a response’s content
a. Does your response actually address a question?
b. How effective is your solution?
c. How original is your response?
d. Does your response contain sufficient details?
2. The degree to which a response shows understanding of concepts, frameworks and theories covered in the course
a. Does your response actually use a concept, framework, or theory covered in this class?
b. Does your response get into specifics of a concept, framework, or theory?
3. The degree to which a response is logically coherent
a. Is there a line of thought that flows through your response?
b. Are you claims supported/illustrated with facts, examples, or illustrations?
c. Is your response well-structured?