corporate strategy 5

Course Project Task 5 Final Submission

Throughout this course, you have been analyzing the different facets of two organizations’ (GE and Alibaba) strategic development and implementation.

This week you will pull all of these elements together, including the material you read this week about strategic leadership. This is a critical exercise as the final written work in the MBA capstone course.

Although we broke up the topics we studied about corporate strategy into manageable chunks, remember that in reality business firms function and compete as integrated wholes. The various elements of business and corporate strategy we discussed and analyzed create value for shareholders when they complement one another. In particular, the logic of business strategy in general must be congruent with the particular firm’s overall strategies.

Develop an integrated analysis of the corporate strategy of your current workplace organization, a previous employer, or an organization you would like to work for.

Support your responses with examples. Cite any sources in APA format.

In the course project, you will analyse the corporate strategy of multi-business organizations. Every week, you will analyze particular elements of a corporate strategy, culminating in an analysis of the strategy by the end of the course. This is where you put together all the work you have researched and completed in your assignments and the organizations mentioned in the course. Pay close attention to your final assignment and how you will wrap it up.

The three overarching questions for this project are:

  • What is the business logic and rationale behind the corporate strategy?
  • How well do organizational decisions about formulating and implementing corporate strategy fit with that logic and rationale?
  • What recommendations would you make to the top management with respect to the decisions made in executing the corporate strategy?

Be mindful of these questions as you complete each week’s project tasks. Having an idea of how you will answer these questions will make writing your final integrated analysis much easier.

Tips for Writing

Both style and substance are important in written communication. Below are a few tips on style and substance. View these tips as examples of writing found in a high-quality, comprehensive report that still permits a great deal of freedom in terms of style and scope.

Your report will be complex and your conclusions derived from many hours of research, thinking, and writing. Your objective is to communicate your learning to the reader concisely. Imagine that you’re writing for a group of potential investors interested in learning about your chosen organization. You want to be complete, accurate, and objective in your observations and analysis. All your conclusions should be clear and well supported.

Inability to write effective business reports is one of the biggest weaknesses of managers. A well- organized report helps simplify complex subjects and shows clear thinking. To do well in this area, just recall the basics of good writing that you learned in high school and college.

As your paper will cover many different subjects, you should use section and subsection headings to mark transitions from one topic to another. Transitions between paragraphs make for easy reading. Each paragraph should begin with a clear topic sentence and should stick to that topic. The complexity of your subject calls for simple sentence structure and the avoidance of jargon and unusual phrasing.

Tables, charts, and figures that illustrate especially complex points or support conclusions may be included in an appendix at the end of the report. Do not use an exhibit unless you refer to it in your paper. The source of the information in an exhibit must be shown in the exhibit.

Proper spelling, punctuation, and grammar are essential. Ensure that the final document is proofread carefully (go beyond simply using spell-check). Be sure to use the APA format. A poorly written report signals to the reader that the substance is also questionable.

The paper must not exceed 10- 12 pages, single-sided, double-spaced with 1-inch margins, and use 12-point font.

Do not count the executive summary, title page, table of contents, references, and appendices in the 12-page limit.

Suggested Outline

This outline is intended to give you an idea of the potential scope of your project. You will need to adjust it to suit the specifics of your selected organization.

  1. Title Page

The organization’s name and your name should be highlighted here. The course name and number and the date should also appear on this page.

  1. Executive Summary

Begin your report by summarizing your findings in one single-spaced page. Do not include supporting evidence here. The purpose of a summary is to stress the highlights of the report for readers who want to know your conclusions but do not have the time to go through the entire report.

  1. Table of Contents

Begin numbering your pages here and continue consecutive page numbers throughout the rest of the paper.

  1. General Analysis of the Corporate Strategy

In this section, address the first of the project’s three overarching questions. Write a clear overview of the organizational rationale behind the corporate strategy. Do not discuss individual actions here. Set out the logic that the management uses to guide its various decisions and actions at the corporate level.

The items in this section should serve as touchstones in the analysis of those strategic actions in the subsequent sections. Measured against this dominant logic, the organization’s actions, described in the following sections, can be judged as “consistent” or “inconsistent” with its corporate strategy. These will also be the comparison points for your recommendations in section VII. Awell-argued section here will make the rationale for your recommendations clear to the readers of your report.

  1. Formulation of the Corporate Strategy

This section addresses the first part of the second overarching question. Begin your analysis of the strategic actions undertaken while formulating its portfolio. Do not simply put these prior analyses together sequentially. Instead, weave the three together into a single assessment. Note that this is what the organization should be doing-thinking of all three areas simultaneously when it makes a strategic decision in any one area.

Similarly, when you are evaluating each part’s fit with the logic and rationale of the corporate strategy, don’t merely examine individual actions in isolation. Emphasize the integrated assessment of the actions. In turn, compare this integrated perspective on each action for internal consistency with the corporate strategy logic you set out in section IV.

  1. Implementation of the Corporate Strategy

This section addresses the second part of the second overarching question. You will want to build on your analysis in the previous section and address whether or not this organization can “make it happen.” If the organization lacks the implementation capability, even the most rational and integrated corporate strategy will be a failure.

In writing this part of the report, you wilI want to consider many issues, such as whether the strategy wiII receive the support of investors. Pressure for performance often forces organizations to implement suboptimal strategies that produce the short-term results that Wall Street wants, while foregoing strategic alternatives that could be more valuable in the long term. Similarly, you should consider the strategic leadership capabilities and the fit of the organization’s structure, systems, and culture to its strategy. One of the management team’s most important responsibilities is creating these complementary alignments.

  1. Conclusions and Recommendations

This section is not simply a short wrap-up. Your recommendations must incorporate both analysis in sections V and VI and the logic that guided the decisions you set out in section IV. In doing this, you will want to employ the tools you have developed during the course, showing that you know how to use them and how to interpret what they indicate when applied to a situation. Your recommendations need to address strategic issues, not functional ones.

You do not have to recommend changing the corporate strategy. Whether you recommend no, few, or many changes, your recommendations should be backed by logical arguments supported by reliable and comprehensive information. Be sure to explain why your proposed alternative is superior to the other choices.

  1. References

Cite sources of all information and quotes using APA format. All reference material used for the paper must be included in this section. All citations must be complete; including information such as author names, titles, dates, volume numbers, and page numbers. Electronic citations must include complete website addresses.

  1. Appendices

You can include tables, graphs, and charts in appendices, as well as other graphical exhibits. Remember that what you choose to include reflects your understanding of what is important. Exhibits in the appendices can be critical in supporting a verbal argument, or they can be trivial. Include information and supporting material that strengthens the body of the paper, not those that are merely fillers.

Weekly Project Tasks
Task 1: Corporate Strategy
Task 2: Acquisition Strategy
Task 3: International Strategy
Task 4: Cooperative Strategy and Competitive Advantage

Task 5: Final Submission—Integrated Analysis of Corporate Strategy

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