Each student will select a company or an organization for his/her paper. Students have written
interesting papers about non-profits or civic organizations. However, choosing a profit-seeking
business is the best path.
Research the organization
For major companies, seek relevant articles in magazines and/or newspapers. If you choose to
write about a small business, interview the firm’s leaders.
I strongly suggest you use ABI/INFORM resource.
Your paper will include three sections
Section One: Overall Strategic Analysis
• You will demonstrate knowledge and provide an overall strategic analysis of your chosen
organization and could include (but are not limited to) the following:
o History, five-forces model relationships, SWOT, PESTEL, value chain analysis,
resource analysis, which of the five generic strategies fits the organization, or
other organizational facets discerned from your research.
• Include some performance information, such as financial data, in this section.
o Include graphs if you like.
o For small businesses for which financials are not available, ask the leader to share
his/her general opinion as to the firm’s financial performance.
▪ “Are you satisfied with the firm’s profits, sales growth, etc.”
▪ “How do you think your firm’s financial performance compares to
Section Two: Strategic Concerns
• Present and explain your strategic concerns
• You might share how these strategic concerns developed and why it’s important to
• At the end of this section, specifically state your strategic concerns in bullet points.
Section Three: Strategic Recommendations
• Provide recommendations for addressing the strategic concerns you identify.
• You might provide execution keys, explain how your recommendations address the
strategic concerns you identify, or why you chose your recommendations.
• At the end of this section, specifically state your recommendations in bullet points.
• If you apply SWOT, make sure strengths and weaknesses are internal, and the
opportunities and threats are external.
• Connect the sections a bit – build to your recommendations.
o Don’t make your concerns and recommendations fall out of “nowhere” – no
connection to the previous sections.
• Apply critical thinking to your discussion of the organization, strategic concerns, and
• Strategic concerns and recommendations should impress me with critical thinking
applied – more than the obvious.
o Critical thinking includes more than presenting the obvious, easy answer.
o Think of multiple possible recommendation options.
o Choose the best options.
Grading criteria (weighted average):
o Quality of paper (writing, organization, etc.) (.10)
o Demonstrates knowledge of the organization and (.15)
o Effectively applies course concepts (.10)
o Builds strategic concerns in the paper (.20)
o Applies critical thinking in identifying general strategic concerns (.20)
o Makes good recommendations that fit strategic concerns. Recommendations
represent critical thinking and are supported by reasoning (. 25)
• 12 pt. New Times Roman
• Normal margins
• Double space
• Writing and grammar will affect grades. (Use Grammarly!!)
• List your references at the end of the paper
• Assignments will be ranked and graded; you are competing with your classmates.
• Limit: text five pages, not including references
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