Assignment Overview

Assignment Overview

You will be assigned to a team to complete a “consultants” report on a specific company of your choice.  Only one team will be allowed for any given company.  The company must be a global company and company selections are on a first-come, first-served basis. Therefore, you should have alternate companies in mind. Your company choice must be approved by the professor.You will also identify a major current issue confronting this company. The issue must also be approved by the professor. Your consulting group will submit an 8-12 page report on your findings, using APA style.  (For more info on APA, consult the FGCU Writing Center web page.)

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Learning Outcomes:In addition to enhancing student’s awareness and understanding of the current business environment, the goal of this assignment is to strengthen student’s development of critical thinking, problem solving, information literacy, teamwork, and written communication skills. These are skills crucial to your success as both a business student and future business professional.


Due Dates: See Canvas Course Announcements and Drop-Box.


Sources: Your report must include at least6 – 8citations from source material other than your textbook (more than 8 quality citations is acceptable). You may only use credible sources for your research. It is strongly suggested you use the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, or other major metropolitan newspapers or business periodicals. You may not use Wikipedia or any blog postings.


Your Company Research Assignment will have7parts. Use these headings in your own paper.


Part 1: Cover Page

Create a cover page that statesthe name of your company and names of team members. Also, include a one sentence title for your report that includes the major issue you will be examining. This page does not count toward your total page count.


Example:Barnes & Noble, Inc. makes strategic changes in search of a competitive advantage.


Part 2: Company Profile

Provide a clear, concise description of the company, which may include the following information: industry, mission, values, products/services, size, market share, main competitors, recent financial performance, leadership, and corporate strategy. This should be no longer than 1 – 1 ½  pages.


Part 3: Identification of issue

The company has hired your consulting team to identify the most important issue currently facing the company that needs to be resolved within the next year. The issue must be related to concepts covered in this course.


Example:Barnes & Noble is struggling to stay profitable in the highly competitive bookselling industry. All three of its business segments – retail, e-book, and e-commerce – have had challenges. The company has made numerous strategic decisions to address these challenges and carve out a competitive advantage in the marketplace, including implementing several renewal strategies, developing strategic alliances, and making changes to its corporate governance structure.


As consultants, you would be required to further explore the main issue, related issues, and what the implications are for the company. This section should be no longer than 1 – 2 pages.


Part 4: Analysis and Recommendations

This represents the most important part of your project.Within the context of what you are learning in this course, and through the research you have conducted, how well is the company responding to this issue?


The analysis portion of this section requires use of analytical tools you will learn in this class.  Use the tools that are most appropriate and help illuminate your company’s situation.  Examples:  BCG Matrix, Decision Tree, Porter’s Five Competitive Forces, SWOT, A General Environment Analysis (starts on p. 87), etc.  There are many more tools to choose from!  Then, based on what you learned in the analysis, what are your recommendations?


For example:

  • If the issue is still unresolved, what SPECIFICALLY should the company do to respond?
  • If the company has made strategic decisions, how well are those decisions working?
  • Do you agree with the decisions the company made?
  • If not, what would you recommend that the company should have done differently and what can be done to improve the situation?


Part 5: Relationship to Course

Discuss how this real company issue and your recommendations relate to the Principles of Management course and course concepts and terms as described in your textbook and class. Include specific terms, definitions, and concepts from the book.The specific terms, definitions, and concepts you discuss should be cited from specific chapters and pages from your textbook.  While you are to use your textbook as a key source for this section of your business project, your textbook does NOT count toward the 6 – 8 outside sources you are to use for this assignment.  Do not underestimate the importance of this section.  Sufficient time and effort should be put forward here.


Example: Barnes & Noble, Inc. is trying to achieve competitive advantage through technology which is discussed in Chapter 10 on Strategy and Strategic Management and is when a company has the ability to do something well that outperforms competitors (p. 216-17).   To be a competitive advantage what a company does better than competitors has to be perceived as valuable by customers so that they are willing to pay for your service or product rather than a competitor’s offering.


Part 6: Conclusion

Tie all your observations and recommendations into a succinct summary. This should be no longer than ½ page.


Part7: Sources

Provide citations for at leastsix sources from your research using APA style.


Grading: This project is worth 15% of your final grade in this course.


Grading rubrics for the written report will be posted in Canvas.


Students are expected to contribute equally to their team. All students are required to submit a Peer Evaluation Form. Your individual grade on this project may be adjusted LOWER based on peer review feedback and on whether you submitted a peer evaluation.


Recommendations for organizing your team project

  • After you have your company approved by the professor, start reading current articles about the company to identify the major issues. (Do not select an issue first, then try to find information to substantiate the issue.)
  • Set up a time table for your project with goals, assignments, and deadlines.Decide how you will communicate.
  • Resolve any problems as soon as they arise. Make every effort to resolve your issues as a team before coming to professor for assistance.



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