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Current Event Analysis Paper

Learning Objectives:

To demonstrate proficiency in applying concepts, theories and frameworks from the


Strategic Management course to the analysis of current business events related to the
strategic management of the firm. This is an important assignment that provides you an
opportunity to demonstrate your grasp of core strategy concepts by applying them to an
analysis of a chosen current event article. Take the opportunity to showcase your capacity
to grasp and apply strategy concepts to a current real world event.

Description:

I have posted a list of readings under the Resources Tab in your Blackboard course site.
The full reading is posted; however you may find a copy of the reading online by following
the steps below or by requesting it via the ISU Cunningham library.

To locate an online copy, copy and paste the title of the article followed by The Economist
into the google search box and that should take you to the full article. The Economist allows
you to read 3 articles per day for free from a computer. After you reach that limit, you will
have to wait a day to read the 3 more. Alternatively, you could call the librarian and get the
articles through EBSCO Host. Or you could subscribe to The Economist for 4 weeks at a
very low introductory academic rate.

Read all the articles listed or as many as you wish. Choose one for your Current Event
Analysis paper. Alternatively, you may base your paper on information drawn from more
than one article listed above, if you think you can do so coherently. Read the selected article
carefully at least 2-3 times and identify the current strategy / change in strategy/ response
to changes in external environment, etc.. Then, try to identify at least one or two strategic
management concepts / theories that would be applicable to the analysis of the given
situation and think about how you would apply it to the analysis. Lastly, clarify the
conclusions / recommendations that can be drawn from the preceding analysis. In other
words, what strategy changes did the company make (or ought to make) and what is your
evaluation of these changes, or lack thereof, given the changes in the industry sector and
larger external environment? Do you believe the company has created the basis for a
sustainable competitive advantage in light of these changes? Support your statements /
conclusions with hard facts.

In terms of a broad outline, divide the paper into three major sections. Make sure your
paper includes a title that reflects the subject of the paper. A generic title such as,
Current Event Analysis is not acceptable. Failure to include an appropriate/ relevant title and
sub sections will result in a 10 point penalty. In addition, use the sub-titles suggested below to
organize and structure your paper.

a. Introduction / Summary–Statement of main idea(s), key issues confronting firm.


This section could include a brief summary of the article making sure you focus on
the issues to be discussed in the body of the paper. A long-winded, pointless summary
could end up hurting your paper, so keep it focused, concise and to the point.

b. Analysis – identify clearly defined and relevant strategic management concepts


from course, such as the strategy diamond, business model, core competence, etc
and apply them to the analysis. Briefly describe your understanding of the selected
concepts you plan to apply. When you do so, please make sure you summarize them
in your own words, rather than lift it wholesale from the text. Then make sure the
example used is linked clearly to the selected strategy concept described earlier.
Using broad terms such as marketing / corporate strategy without pinning it down
with specific examples and applying it in some depth will result in a superficial
analysis and indicate that weak grasp of concepts.

c. Conclusions / Recommendations – the conclusions need to follow logically from


the key issues and the subsequent analysis. This is a good area to inject a well-
reasoned point of view, that follows logically form the discussion/analysis. A weak
conclusion that fails to pull the key threads of the paper will weaken your paper.

NOTE: The analysis should demonstrate that you not only understand the firm’s strategy,
but can comment on it intelligently using the concepts learned in this course. Structure the
paper so that you have sub-sections such as an Introduction, Analysis and Conclusion. In
the Introduction, summarize the main points made in the article and their relationship to
strategic management. In the Analysis section, use the concepts identified earlier to
discuss the main ideas presented in the article. In the Conclusion/ Recommendations,
conclude your arguments by commenting on the firm’s strategic choices then draw the
main themes together and present your personal point of view on the issues discussed
along with suggestions for future strategy aimed at sustaining competitive advantage. Do
remember that the conclusion should follow logically from the ideas presented and
discussed in the paper and your personal point of view should be based on sound factual
reasoning and evidence.

Please name the file with you last name, first name, course number and assignment
name(PLP). Five point penalty for failure to name file as required and five point penalty for
lack of relevant title/ sub-titles.

Final Deliverable:

A 2-3 page, double-spaced, minimum 12 point font paper that includes the key components
listed above. Your paper will be graded on the basis of the quality of the critical insight you
bring to the analysis and your ability to use strategy concepts in an appropriate manner in
the analysis. You need to balance summary with analysis and make sure you use specific,
clearly defined strategy concepts, such as core competencies, competitive advantage, etc. in
your analysis. Explain the concept in your own words first and then apply it to the situation in
the selected article. Please note that vague and generalized references to the firm’s marketing
strategy or competitive advantage do not constitute insightful analysis.