Strategic Management Term Project
The final team project consists of researching, studying, analyzing, recommending and presenting a strategic management position for a major U. S. corporation. The final report will be written and formally presented in class.
To provide senior business students the opportunity to apply the strategic management concepts examined in the strategic Management course to an actual company situation.
Each team will select a firm from the current Fortune 500 that has not been studied by any Strategic Management team within recent years. Students will be provided with a list of companies that may not be selected. No two teams may choose the same company. This applies across all Strategic Management sections. Students will select three or more companies to study and submit the names to the instructor. The instructor will check the companies to determine if another group has already chosen it. A company will be assigned to the first team that requests it.
Once the firm is identified, each team will begin its research. The team must obtain a copy of the company’s most recent annual report; and must include the report as an exhibit in the project binder. Other information on the assigned company will be obtained from research in business publications (e.g. Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Business Week, etc.) and the company website. There will be a minimum of fifteen (15) references from published sources. These are not to be just any article on the subject firm; rather the appropriate content will contain information of a strategic nature.
The coversheet will follow the format for individual written cases. Use APA format to cite sources. The library staff will gladly help any student who is unfamiliar with APA guidelines. The paper and presentation will contain the following:
1. Introduction and Overview – briefly introduce the firm, the nature of its business,
its size and financial condition. Maximum of two (2) pages plus appropriate
2. Strategic Issues – concisely identify two (2) to four (4) MAJOR strategic
management problems facing the company. These should not be discussed in this
section, just stated and/or briefly presented (like Prob/Ops in case analysis).
Maximum one (1) page
3. SWOT – provide an abbreviated summary of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities
and threats. Maximum two (2) pages
4. Stakeholder Analysis - include a brief identification and discussion of the key
internal and external stakeholders. Maximum of one (1) page
5. Recommendation/Rationale – make specific, realistic, practical, top management
strategic recommendations, supported with appropriate discussion outlining
reasons why the suggested positions are sound for the firm. Minimum (5) to
Maximum ten (10) pages
6. Exhibits – include a SWOT diagram, financial ratios and other visuals (use of
computerized graphics is encouraged) and /or matrix analysis used in support of
recommendations and rationale discussion. All exhibits will follow the end of the
recommendation/rationale section. A complete copy of the PowerPoint slides used
in the presentation will be included as an exhibit
7. Reference Listing – follow APA format in citing all material used in preparing the
report. The total paper excluding the title page, table of contents and exhibits will
be a minimum of fifteen (15) and a maximum of sixteen (16) pages in length. The
total length, including all exhibits other than the annual report, PowerPoint
handouts and works cited should not exceed 25 pages. Any papers violating the
min/max guidelines will be downgraded. It is essential that proper reference
citations be given in the body of the paper.
Key Dates and Report Notebook
Exhibit I contains a list of key project dates and also details how each team’s Report
Notebook will be setup
It is strongly suggested that work on this research project begin immediately. The strategic project meeting dates are the times I will meet with each team individually. A schedule, along with discussion items for each meeting, will be linked to the syllabus prior to each meeting date. Use the financial analysis model and any other financial analysis tools you see fit to support your discussion of the company’s financial position and recommendations.
This project accounts for thirty percent (30% of the course grade – the paper 20% and the
presentation 20%. The written report must be able to “stand on its won” meaning if no presentation were given, the material (examples, overheads, charts, etc.) can be used in the presentation that is not found in the report. The presentation will be given using PowerPoint. Completing the paper several days before the due date provides the opportunity to practice the presentation. Often during such dry runs ideas come up that can strengthen the presentation; these must be added to the written document. Also, on occasion, something in the paper is found to be unnecessary during presentation practice. The presentation will last from twenty (20) to twenty-five (25) minutes. All team members must have a speaking role. The business dress rule applies and there will be a short question and answer period after each presentation. Failure to participate in the team’s preparation and report on this capstone course project as assigned is an automatic
failure of the course. Lack of appropriate individual contribution to the team effort and/or control and exclusion of team member(s) participation by a few will negatively affect a student’s project and course grade. Each team member will evaluate each team member
in a sealed written form.
A Key Dates list and details regarding the Report Notebook comprise Exhibit I
Adapted from a work designed by Lawrence Downs
Key Dates List
Submit Company Name by 3/7/08
First Project Consulting Meetings 4/1/08
Second Project Consulting Meetings 4/15/08
Report Notebook 4/22/08
Project Presentations 4/22, 4/25, 4/29
Each Strategic Management Project Report will be submitted in a three-ring notebook. Use of page covers is optional, as are the use of tabs. If sheet covers are used be sure the
tabs extend beyond the edge of the covers. The notebook is to be set up as follows:
1. Title page
2. Table of Contents
3. Body of the report as explained in this document, each major section to be
identified. Pages to be numbered at the bottom middle of each page
4. Exhibits – to be numbered at the top right and contain:
; Report back-up data
; SWOT Diagram
; Financial Ratios and other financial analyses
5. Appendix I – Works Cited List
6. Appendix II – Black and white PowerPoint handouts
7. Appendix III – Copy of Annual Report (put in back cover pocket)