COMPETITIVE STRATEGY

Strategy Group Project GuidelineAs indicated in the course syllabus, you will be working on a strategy group project throughout the term. The selection of a company for the projectis up to you. However, your choice must be approved by the instructor to prevent overlap. There are some obvious criteria to keep in mind to ensurethat your work will be feasible and interesting. These include, but are not limited to, access to published information, product/market scope,performance data, and corporate and industry change. Therefore, it is strongly suggested that you use only publicly available data (annual reports,proxy circulars, published articles, corporate websites, etc.). You should avoid using analysis already performed by others (e.g., investmentanalysis reports, etc.) to reduce the likelihood of plagiarism.Each report must include, but is not limited to, the following components:1. Brief Introduction and Key Issues 2. External Analysis 3. Internal Analysis 4. Analysis of Business-level Strategy 5. Analysis of Corporate-level Strategy [This component applies only to multi-business corporations.] 6. RecommendationsThe following provides more detailed suggestions with respect to the appropriate analysis for each required component. The guideline is suggestiveonly. Please use your judgment to identify most relevant questions that you deem necessary for your analysis.1. Brief Introduction and Key Issueso Introduction to the companyProvide a brief introduction to the company with its historical performance and its major products/services. If this is a multi-business corporation,you need to focus on only one of its business units for your ultimate recommendations. How has this business unit been performing? What is thecurrent level of sales, operating profit, market share, leverage, etc.? How have these changed over the last few years?What are the prime strategic opportunities and/or problems facing the management of the firm? Please note that this is not a call for a laundry list.You are expected to come up with a small set of most urgent/important opportunities and/or problems facing the company. You should plan onidentifying a small number of specific key issues. It is advised to re-visit and possibly re-define key issues after you have done a bulk of youranalysis. For precision, you may frame the identified opportunities and/or problems in questions.2. External Analysiso Macro-environmental analysisWhat are the important environmental trends affecting the industry? You may use a PETS analysis and indicate which factors are consequential for theindustry in question. For example, do changing demographics affect the prospects of this business? Emphasize only the relevant factors.o Industry analysisIdentify the industry in which your firm competes. How is the customer base structured? Are there discernible market segments? Which customersegments are of special importance? Who are the key competitors?Evaluate the industry structure and identify the key factors that make this industry more or less attractive. Are there significant barriers to newentrants in the industry? How intense is the rivalry amongst the competitors? How powerful are the suppliers? Are there close substitutes for theorganization?s products/services? Could there be? How is your company positioned in relation to different competitive forces in the industry ?3. Internal Analysiso Assess the firm?s strengths and weaknesses. o Are any of the firm?s resources sources of competitive advantage? Are those advantages sustainable? Why or why not? o What roles do its functions play in offering it competitive advantage (disadvantage)? How does a value chain capture such advantage(disadvantage)? o What do the firm?s financial statements say about its health? Trends? Comparison to competitors? Comparison to past?4. Analysis of Business-level Strategyo What is the overall positioning of the firm in this particular industry? o What is your firm?s cost and differentiation position relative to other major competitors? What value does this create for customers? Doesthis value proposition appeal to some market more than others? o How the business-level strategy is supported by its functional strategies? How does the value chain demonstrate that? To assess costleadership and/or differentiation position, you will need to know the market share, delivered cost position, price offered by key competitors, and soon. o How the business-level strategy influences, or responds to, the competitive and/or cooperative dynamics of the industry? Be sure to includeany appropriate quantitative analysis of the advantage this position yields, or fails to yield, over the firm?s competitors.5. Analysis of Corporate-level Strategy[This component applies only to multi-business corporations.]o Identify the businesses the company is in (or is considering entering). How are they related (or unrelated)? How do different business unitscreate additional value in their combination? Be specific and detailed. If it is unclear that value is created, try to assess why the firm might havechosen to enter those businesses. o Is ther synergy between the focal business unit and other units within the same corporation?:

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