Strategic analysis of a company

A strategic analysis of a company is a major component of this course. It is where you will apply what you have learned to analyze a selected company. Your position is that of a business consultant to the chief executive officer of the company. You have been hired to do a strategic analysis of the company. The goal is to determine what direction the company should take and make specific recommendations about what the company should do next and why.
You will individually write a thorough company analysis, which includes three parts.
Part 1: External Analysis
Part 2: Internal Analysis
Part 3: Recommendations
Only the completed 3-part paper is required to turn in for a grade. You may turn in the earlier parts by the checkpoints listed in the syllabus for some general feedback via Dropbox to me (the same place you submit the final paper). These will not be accepted late.
This assignment requires the use of library/outside research, using sources such as business newspapers, business magazines, library databases (see appendix), and books. Sources such as private blogs / private websites are not allowed. Analysis (not just facts) and recommendations are required. Just searching company website and/or citing free web information is not enough.
Format guidelines:
• Double spaced, font size 12, 1-inch standard margin on four sides of the paper.
• Sub-titles are required. Organize your paper with sections and headings.
• Exhibits (tables, charts, graphs, images) should be labeled sequentially and in the order they are discussed in the text. If you do NOT talk about an exhibit in the text, it probably isn’t doing anything except taking up space.
• Include a title page including your name.
• The content for each section is posted in a separate document in BeachBoard where you got this.
• Your final paper should be between 15-25 pages excluding the title page and any attachments, such as figures, tables, references and appendix. For each of the three parts, there should be a minimum of 5 pages and maximum of 10 pages. 8 pages per section should be enough.
• Please follow the APA style for the citation format, as illustrated in the following website: APA Style Guide (The section headings on the left side are useful for finding citation guides)
Your paper will be graded based on:
• Use of concepts learned in class
• Reasonableness of analysis
• Appropriateness of recommendations/conclusions
• Storyline and professionalism of manuscript
In general, the best papers will show evidence of some investigative efforts—digging for more information, interviews/phone calls/emails with managers—and of synthesis and careful editing. They will also be insightful, going beyond the most obvious lessons to draw out the story behind the story.
Strengthening aspects in your papers:
• Evidence of thorough company study.
• Judgments supported by evidence from the sources.
• Clear articulation of the issues you are addressing.
• Use of professional tools and concepts from the text and lectures.
• Justification for the recommendation that is consistent with company strategy and its resources.
Detrimental aspects in your papers:
• Failure to ANALYZE. Don’t just give facts, do ANALYSIS!
• Failure to support opinions by evidence or logical explanation.
• Lack of adequate outside research, such as relying on Google or Wikipedia for information versus the library’s databases.
• Poorly edited or organized or presented clearly (i.e. Failure to proofread ANY written material and correct obvious misspellings, errors, and sloppy grammar)
• Exhibits that are extraneous to the analysis. The reader or viewer is left to draw his/her own conclusions and wonder why the exhibit is there.
Other requirements are:
• I take plagiarism very seriously. If you plagiarize others’ work in any way, you will be reported to the University immediately. Use the website U of Southern Mississippi Plagiarism Tutorial to complete the plagiarism tutorial. Review the tutorial and retake the quiz as many times as is necessary to earn a grade of 100% correct on the quiz. Understanding this is potentially vital to your success.
• You must submit your paper via the upload link to turnitin on BeachBoard. I will not grade your paper if it is not uploaded to turnitin. I am not interested in hard copies.
• While you may form study groups to discuss your company, the paper should be written on an individual basis.
• Extensive library research is required. The internet may be used but only along with other sources. If your paper has only internet sources, such as Wikipedia, but without library sources, you will not receive points for references.
• The final project should contain at least 8 references.

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