This project is the second of four projects. It also represents the second part of the external environmental analysis that is part of a strategic management plan. You will use the tools and apply concepts learned in this and previous business courses to demonstrate an understanding of how organizations develop and manage strategies to establish, safeguard and sustain its competitive position in the 21st century’s (rapidly evolving/shifting/changing), uncertain hyper-competitive business environment.
Monitoring competitors’ performance is a key aspect of performing an external environment analysis. This project provides you with the opportunity to evaluate the competitive position of one of the organizations listed below and integrate that information in a partial SWOT (OT), Porter’s Five Forces, External Factor Evaluation (EFE) matrix and Competitive Profile Matrices (CPM).
In this project, you are presenting a report document. The expectation is that the report provides the level of details to help the audience grasp the main topics and to understand and complete the External Environmental Analysis.
Analysis is the operative word. In analyzing the external environment, you are expected to thoroughly research and take that research and break it into small parts to gain a better understanding of what is happening in the external environment of the business. In researching an industry, it is important to understand that every company within an industry is different so gathering information on one company does not mean that the collected information is relevant to other company within that industry. When researching, parsing the material is critical to an accurate analysis. Avoid presenting just any information as that may lead to using irrelevant information.
You will then write the report in your own words to share the external analysis. You are expected to present information and support the ideas and reasoning using the course material and your research. You will not lift any information from source documents without properly citing and referencing. For the technical analysis aspect of the project, you are required to create the technique on your own and may not use from any source material that you happen to find. No work from a clearinghouse or similar website may be used or cited as a credible source.
In this project, you are building many different skills including research, critical thinking, writing and developing analytical skills related to various financial analysis tools and strategy tools used in business.
Outcomes Met With This Project
Step 1: Specific Company for All Four Projects
The companies that your instructor has assigned to you for Project 1 is the company you will use for this project. The assigned company must be used for this project and in subsequent projects in the course. Students must complete the project using the assigned company. Deviating from the assigned company will result in a zero for the project.
After reading the course material, you will complete the steps below.
Step 2: Course Material and Research
Although you are required to research information about the focal company and the external environment for this project, you are also accountable for using the course material to support the ideas, reasoning and conclusions made. Course material use goes beyond defining terms but is used to explain the ‘why and how’ of a situation. Using one or two in-text citations from the course material and then relying on Internet source material will earn few points on this assignment. A variety of source material is expected and what is presented must be relevant and applicable to the topic being discussed. Avoid merely making statements but close the loop of the discussion by explaining how something happens or why something happens, which focuses on importance and impact. In closing the loop, you will demonstrate the ability to think clearly and rationally showing an understanding of the logical connections between the ideas presented from the research, the course material and the question(s) being asked.
Note: Your report is based on the results of the research performed and not on any prepared documentation. What this means is that you will research and draw your own conclusions that are supported by the research and the course material rather than the use any source material that puts together any of the tools or techniques whether from the Internet, for-pay websites or any pre-prepared document, video or source material. A zero will be earned for not doing your own analysis.
Success: The analysis is based on research and not opinion. You are not making recommendations and you will not attempt to position the focal company in a better or worse light than other companies within the industry merely because you are completing an analysis on this particular company. The analysis must be based on factual information. Any conclusions drawn have to be based on factual information rather than leaps of faith.
To ensure success, as stated above student are expected to use the course material and research on the focal company’s global industry and the focal company. Opinion does not earn credit nor does using external sources when course material can be used. It is necessary to provide explanations (the why and how) rather than making statements. Avoid stringing one citation after another as doing so does not show detailed explanations.
On the main navigation bar in the classroom select, Resources and then select Library. Select Databases by Title (A – Z). Select M from the alphabet list, and then select Mergent Online. You may also use Market Line and should be looking at the focal company’s Annual Report or 10K report. You are not depending on any one resource to complete the analysis. It is impossible to complete a Porter’s Five Forces, competitive analysis or OT by using only course material.
You should not be using obscure articles, GlassDoor, or Chron or similar articles.
Research for Financial Analysis: Financial Research
Research for Industry Analysis CSI Market
UMUC library is available for providing resources and services. Seek library support for excellence in your academic pursuit.
Extensive library resources and services are available online, 24 hours a day, seven days a week at https://www.umuc.edu/library/index.cfm to support you in your studies. The UMUC Library provides research assistance in creating search strategies, selecting relevant databases, and evaluating and citing resources in a variety of formats via its Ask a Librarian service at https://www.umuc.edu/library/libask/index.cfm.
Scholarly Research in OneSearch is allowed.
To search for only scholarly resources, you are expected to place a check mark in the space for “Scholarly journals only” before clicking search.
Step 3: How to Set Up the Report
Use this template to complete the project: Project 2 Template. The document has to be written in Word or rtf. No other format is acceptable. No pdf files will be graded. Use 12-point font for a double-spaced report. The final product cannot be longer than 8 pages in length, which includes all tables and matrices but excludes the title page and reference page. Do no use an Appendix.
Step 4: Industry Analysis
Step 5: Competitive Analysis
Step 6: Partial SWOT Analysis
A SWOT analysis is a tool used to assess the strengths and weaknesses (internal environment) and the opportunities and threats (external environment) of an organization. You will complete a partial SWOT analysis only completing an analysis on the OT (Opportunities and Threats). The information presented is not based on your beliefs but on fact-based, data-driven information. The items used in the OT are factors that are affecting or might affect the focal company or those companies within the identified industry.
Step 7: External Factor Evaluation (EFE) Analysis
The External Factor Evaluation (EFE) matrix will allow you to use the information from the industry analysis and the competitive analysis to assess whether the focal company is able to effectively take advantage of existing opportunities while minimizing the identified external threats that will help you formulate new strategies and policies. You will use the opportunities and threats from the OT analysis.
Step 8: Conclusion
Create a concluding paragraph. The Conclusion is intended to emphasize the purpose/significance of the analysis, emphasize the significance/consequence of findings, and indicate the wider applications that are derived from the main points of the project’s requirements. You will draw conclusions about the findings of the external environment analysis.
Step 9: Submit the Report in the Assignment Folder
Submitting the project to the Assignment Folder is considered the student’s final product and therefore ready for grading by the instructor. It is incumbent upon the student to verify the Project is the correct submission. No exceptions will be considered by the instructor.
Report Requirements to Follow
In writing the report,
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