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The Paper is about Apple
Tasks: Your assignment for this week is to prepare and share a brief report and then contribute to an all-class discussion and final vote. This assignment enables you to apply what you have learned to an analysis of a high-performing and well regarded publicly traded company. This is intended to help demonstrate your ability to extend your analytical and strategic thinking competencies beyond your own organization. You will:
a) Analyze and report on a company (from the list provided) that is NOT one for which you now work or have worked.
b) Review the posted reports of others in the class and pose any substantive questions you have for your colleagues, focusing specifically on the quality of evidence provided and the conclusions presented.
c) At the end of the week each member will cast a vote for the company that appears to have the strongest strategy and performance.
Your initial report should be around 500 to 700 words and should include citations to supporting sources from both the textbook and additional resources. Members are expected to contribute to each of the above tasks.
Perspective: For this assignment adopt the perspective of a manager who has been asked to investigate and provide advice about the extent to which there is good evidence that the company you selected is being guided by a well-crafted strategy that is contributing positively to its performance and reputation. Include in the analysis data that support your conclusions and, as appropriate, a summary of issues you believe merit further inquiry.
Process:
1. Select a company from the list provided by your professor in the Week 9 Discussion. Indicate your choice by posting it as a new response in the Week 9 Topic #1 with your name and the company’s name in the title (e.g., John D – Apple). Be sure no one else has already selected your firm.
2. Research publicly available information for the company you have chosen using materials posted on the company’s Website and additional information gleaned from reliable sources. Your report should explain what you found and have concluded using your own words. Do not simply cut and paste information from your sources. Include and consider both information that supports your argument and that which does not (i.e., present a well-balanced and objective analysis). It may help to imagine that your “clients” are counting on your good advice to make important future decisions about investing in or perhaps partnering with the company you have selected.
3. Apply the theories, concepts, and best practices discussed by Barney and Hesterly and supplement this with support from other scholarly work as appropriate. Among other things you will want to:
a. Clarify to the extent possible the firm’s current strategy and articulated rationale therefore. News about investor conferences and interviews with corporate leaders can often be helpful as are annual and other company reports
b. Look for evidence of adequate resources and a coherent combination of actions that support articulated strategic goals (strategic alignment).
c. Determine how the firm strives to distinguish itself from competitors (evidence of sources of lasting or durable or sustainable competitive advantage).
d. Seek evidence of success in implementing the strategy and in leadership attention thereto. (Key success factors and market achievements.)
e. Seek evidence of any actions or competitive conditions that may put the company at risk, including those that could be viewed as unethical.
f. Determine the firm’s customer value and profit propositions and analyze the viability of its current business model.
g. Present your conclusions about whether the organization you selected passes the following tests:
h. You will probably also want to look at the firm’s leadership and board to see what evidence you can find of effective oversight and governance.
4. Recognize and cite your sources, including a reference list at the end of your post.
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