Individual Company Strategy Analysis and Recommendations
You are to individually produce a written, maximum of 6 pages, analytical report accompanied by an appendix that applies the material/analytical tools in the Gamble, Peteraf & Thompson text and associated lectures/PowerPoints from this class. Note: The Appendix does NOT count towards the 6 page written maximum) Specifically, your report should assess the state of your firm’s:
- Vision, strategy and business model (Chapters 1, 2 and 5)
- External environment and strength of industry competitive forces (Chapter 3)
- Internal environment (Chapter 4)
- Competitive strategy (Chapter 5)
- Key issues facing the Company
- Recommendations for increasing and/or sustaining their Competitive Advantage in the short, medium and long terms
Your report will be evaluated according to how well you integrate and apply relevant concepts and vocabulary as well as the quality of your communication, e.g., clarity, conciseness, grammar, punctuation.
Below is a suggested set of analysis for your company strategy analysis report. When it comes time to draft your report, I strongly recommend structuring your paper around the issues. List the issues, make them the main points of the paper, and employ the specific analyses as needed to discuss and develop the issues.
Your 6 page written report (single spaced, 12 point font) should include references to items in an Appendix such as images, charts, illustrations created in PowerPoint or Google slides that illustrate the main points you make in writing. For example, when discussing Company
Overview and Strategy in your introduction, you can say, “As Illustrated by Table (Chart, or Figure) Company X’s main product or service is X, an X$ market…” Below, I provide suggestions for how you can begin to illustrate the data/points you make in the written portion of your analysis are shown in the table below. You should go beyond those. Producing these illustrations will help you to more quickly integrate and assemble your final team presentation because those illustrations can become the basis of your teams PowerPoint deck.
NOTE: After you’ve integrated your Appendix with your document (Word or Google), save your report document as a PDF, and upload that PDF into the relevant Canvas assignment. This will reduce the size of your file and make your upload process much quicker.
Company Strategy Analysis Section (4 pages):
- What conclusions/insights emerge from your analysis? Refer to the 3 Tests of a Winning Strategy from chapter 1: How well does the strategy fit the company’s situation? Is the strategy helping the company achieve a sustainable competitive advantage? Is the strategy producing good performance? What insights emerge from your external analysis? What insights emerge from your internal analyses?
- What are the Key Issues Management Should Worry About?
ANALYSES TO CONDUCT AND INTEGRAGE YOUR ISSUES
Company Overview & Strategy – Draws from Modules 1 and 4
- Overview of Company Vision, Products, Market Size/Potential: What is the product or service? Who buys the product or service? How big is the market for the company’s core product? Illustration example: Show the size of the market over time (i.e. growth/contraction).
- Company Strategy & Business Model: What is the company’s intended competitive strategy? What is its business model (customer value proposition and profit formula)? Illustration example: Display the cvp and profit formula in a table similar to that seen in GPT Illustration 1.1 (Chapter 1).
- Company History, Financial & Stock Performance: Review and assess key milestones in the company’s history. Are there any major events and/or critical inflection points?
Briefly comment on the company’s financial performance using key indicators (e.g., stock and other key financial indicators). Illustration examples: Create a timeline, generate a graph in excel to plot key financial indicators over time and import the chart into PPT, etc.
External Environment – Draws from Module 3
- Macro Environment: Identify the 2-3 Macro Environment factors that impact the industry and the firm the most. Illustration example: Edit/adapt the PESTEL circular image in GPT (Illustration 3.1 in Chapter 3) or from the PowerPoint slides on External Analyses in Module 2.
- Competitive(five) Forces: Present the five forces from strong to weak. Illustration example: Consider editing/adapting the PESTEL circular image or the Five Forces Model in GPT or from the PowerPoint slides on External Analyses in Module 2.
- Driving Forces: Identify the key driving forces for change and their impact on competitive intensity and industry profitability. Illustration example: Display driving forces and/or integrate them into your Macro Environment or Competitive Forces image.
- Analysis of Rivals: Who is strongly positioned and who is not? Illustration example: Develop a strategic group map which displays the market positions of rivals.
- Key Success Factors: List the key factors of competitive success in the industry.
Illustration example: Develop a table of KSFs, e.g. Table 3.3 in GPT.
Internal Environment and Strategy – Draws from Module 4
- Evaluation of company’s strategy: Assess how well the company’s strategy is working including whether or not it’s recording gains in financial strength and standing and whether its competitive strength and market standing are improving. Illustration examples: Create charts that show key financial indicators and market standing, such as market share relative to main competitors.
- Value Chain: What are the key elements of your company’s value chain and how do they affect your company’s cost structure and customer value proposition? Illustration examples: Adapt figures 4.1 and 4.2 in GPT to reflect the key value chain activities of your company and the industry system.
- Resources & Capabilities: Identify competitively important resources and capabilities and assess whether the company has prospects for a sustainable competitive advantage. Does the firm have any dynamic capabilities? How well are these matched to the firm’s intended competitive advantage? Illustration example: Adapt the integrated value chain and VRIN analysis we used in class in Module 3.
- Competitive Strength Assessment: Assess your company relative to its main competitors (at least one but two is even better). Does your firm have a net competitive advantage or disadvantage relative to competitors? Illustration example: Using the KSFs you identified in your external analyses, adapt Table 4.3 in GPT to compare your firm to one or more key competitors.
Company Recommendation Section (2 Pages)
In no more than 2 pages, single spaced, 12 point font, you are to build from your analysis to briefly summarize the main conclusions and key issues and then explain what your firm must do to build a better competitive (winning) strategy(ies) in the short-, medium- and long-term. Draw from readings, class discussion and, specifically, GPT Chapter 6 to develop your recommendations about possible revisions (or not) to your firm’s competitive strategy and other strategic actions it should consider to complement its competitive approach and maximize the power of its overall strategy (e.g., offensive moves, defensive moves, changes to scope of operations, horizontal, integration, vertical integration, outsourcing, alliances, etc.).