Business and Finance Homework Help
Provide a brief overview of the mission, business, markets, products and scope of operations the company is in. The past/current strategic direction of the firm can be briefly summarized but the focus should be on the most recent events that will impact the decisions and future direction of the firm. Identify strategic actions by generic and grand strategies.
This is NOT a long historical view. It shows how capable you are of describing the companys business and current strategy using strategic vocabulary.
Focusing on history rather than the current situation.
Not using strategic vocabulary for strategies.
Giving too much detail about the caseassume Ive read the case.
2. Strategic Issue
In one or two paragraphs, summarize the company and strategic situation. This should characterize the fundamental state of affairs that exists in the focus company and industry with enough background information to understand it. See page 85 in the textbook for a definition of strategic issue and review page 9 for the tests of a winning strategy.
This section MUST summarize the strategic situation the company faces. Situation means state of affairs. Summarize and connect to the key findings of each section. Weave these findings into a summary story leading to a clear and specific statement about the future prospects for strategic success for the company. Make a specific statement about whether the companys prospects are good, indefinite, or poor.
The strategic issue must be a single, well-crafted sentence that captures the fundamental problems and concerns that came out of the analysis. This single sentence must be formed as a question and will end with a question mark. Write this in very specific terms addressing both the companys short-term situation and the broader strategic situation. Incorporate the need to provide shareholder value, sales growth, profitability and sustained competitive advantage but incorporate the specific challenges with which the focus company must deal. Everything prior to this question is headed toward this one culminating formulation of the problem. This question forms the basis for the recommendations.
Do not make recommendations in this section.
3. External Environment
Provide an introduction that characterizes the essence of the external environment and industry situation at the time of the case and sets the stage for the analysis that follows. In each section/paragraph that follows, discuss the STRATEGIC IMPLICATIONS of the analysis. ALL the discussion in this section relates to the INDUSTRY, not the focus company. You may use examples of the focus company or other competitors to justify your analysis.
Writing about historical events rather than the current state of the industry.
Identifying the topics you are about to discuss without discussing the state of the industry.
Not using the vocabulary and discussion in the textbook supported with facts from the case.
Porters 5 Forces Analysis. Use the Porter model to evaluate the strength of the five forces that affect the strategic choices of all firms in the industry. Discuss the balance of power in the industry. Relatively weak forces (low threats) place power in the hands of the firms that comprise the industry, and, therefore, broaden their freedom of choice of strategic actions. Relatively strong forces (high threats) reduce the power of the industry firms and limit their strategic choices. An industry with strong forces tends to be less attractive than an industry with weak forces.
Specifically state your assessment of the strength of each of the 5 forcesintense, strong, moderate or weak. Justify and show why you reached your conclusion. For example, it is not enough to write, Competitive rivalry is strong because the number of competitors is high, barriers to entry are low and product differentiation is low. A better explanation is, The many competitors in this industry must aggressively battle for market share in this slow-growth market. They each have considerable investments in the physical plant, which makes it difficult to leave the industry. The products are difficult to distinguish from one another, so companies must focus on aggressive, marketing programs to win customers away from their competitors. All these factors contribute to a strong rivalry and continued downward pressure on profit margins.
Put the actual diagram of the model in the APPENDIX and discuss each force in the body of this section. Include a closing paragraph on the implications of the analysis to the overall attractiveness of the industry and the potential for companies to be profitable.
Not identifying the strength of a force or the conditions that lead you to your finding of a force as being strong or weak.
Getting supplier, firm and buyer mixed up.
Overlooking key factors you previously identified in the external/industry analysis.
Not recognizing the strength of competitive rivalry.
Analyse the external macro environment that the company using the PESTLE framework. Identify and describe 3-4 major external developments that are of significant importance. Then, for each trend, describe what is the strategic significance of this trend for the company. Why is it of importance and what may be the impact for the companys strategy?
As much as possible, the trends should be obtained from the information that is in the case. No external research needs to be done to complete this.
Being too general.
Not specifically identifying why the external development is important.
Failure to convince why the development is important.
Industry Profile and Attractiveness. Summarize the characteristics of the industry. Draw together all of the key findings from each area of the external analysis. What conclusions can you draw about the nature of the industry? How attractive is it to its current incumbents? What are the key success factors in the industry? What are the future prospects for the industry? Why? What challenges does the industry face? Provide a summary statement about whether it is highly attractive, moderately attractive, etc., to current players re profits, sales and competitive intensity.
4. Company Situation
Provide an introduction that characterizes the essence of the company situation and sets the stage for the analysis that follows. Calculate the past sales growth rate for the company if there is historical data. If the case has data on historical industry sales, calculate the sales growth rate and determine whether the industry is in the introduction, growth, maturity or decline phase of their life cycle. If there is information such as the revenue of the top 3 competitors for the last few years, combine their sales and calculate the change in sales growth to infer where the industry is in their life cycle. Then discuss this analysis in any of the sections where it is appropriate. Based on the conclusions from the preceding section and the case analysis, determine the stage of the industry life cycle (introduction, growth, maturity or decline). Identify the key company-specific issues with which the company is dealing.
Financial Analysis. Be sure to distinctly address each of the four areas of financial analysisprofitability, liquidity, leverage and activityidentify each in the topical sentence for that paragraph. The financial analysis must be thorough and accurate. Look at trends and compare the companys performance to industry targets, if available. Evaluate the primary financial indicators, provide supporting data and interpret them to show how they affect the company regarding its present and future strategic performance.
Put the calculations of the ratios in a table in the APPENDIX.
Close this analysis by writing a paragraph that draws conclusion about the companys overall financial situation, prospects and the impact of its financial condition on its potential strategic plans. The fundamental question you are trying to answer is, What is the overall financial status of the company now, and what does its current financial status mean for its future strategic success or ability to grow sales?
For this section, use any numerical data available in the case (both financial and non-financial) that will help the reader to understand the most important elements of the Company Situation at the time of the case. You will most likely use the Tables in the case, but you can also use other numerical information that you find in the text.
Try to analyze the information you have available by looking at relevant trends and ratios. Summarize any data you use in clear tables or graphs. Give a brief description in words of what your analysis means.
Incorrect computation of the ratio.
Incomplete computations of the ratios (trends, etc.).
Focusing on the definition rather than the strategic impact that the ratio implies.
SWOT Analysis. Discuss each of the four legs of the SWOT fullystrengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in this section. Be clear that events are not the same as attributes. SWOT is about attributes, not events. An attribute describes the characteristics of the company. For example, you might say, The company isnt profitable. True, but what is its weakness attribute? What characteristics of the company drives its lack of profitability? A better way to express it is, The company has not managed costs in its value chain. This is supported by the sustained increase in cost of goods sold accompanied by flat sales reflecting a weakness that must be overcome to improve profitability.
Summarize the SWOT analysis in a one-page table and place in the APPENDIX. Discuss the table in the body of the paper.
SWOT is the integrator of the analysis. SWOT draws from the findings resulting from the Macroenvironment, Industry Analysis, and Financial Analysis. No new information is provided. Use the terminology in the previous sections. For example, An opportunity identified in the discussion of the competitive analysis . . . Another example, The dumping of foreign products into this industry, identified earlier as a driving force, is a significant threat to incumbents.
Not linking the findings to the previous analysis through the use of common terminology.
Omitting important findings discussed previously.
Focusing on historical events rather than inherent strengths and weaknesses.
Not recognizing obvious strengths and weaknesses in the business functions: financial analysis, marketing (product, price, place and promotion), human resource management, operations, etc.
Strategic Issue. This is the same question that is presented at the end of Section 2.
Strategy Recommendations. Identify the GENERIC and GRAND strategy recommendations. These will tie closely to the SWOT analysis. The recommendations should play into the companys strengths and opportunities. They should minimize the company weaknesses and overcome its threats. Discuss each strategic initiative in detail including the actions required in the functional areas to support the strategic recommendations: marketing, operations, human resource management, finance, etc.
Objectives. Specify the performance objectives that should be monitored and result from the strategic recommendations and earlier analysis. What key performance indicators should be reported and what are the appropriate targets? For example, what are the sales and profitability goals? What goals should be established for nonfinancial indicators?
Strategic Justification. Justify why your recommendations are the best option and why other options are not. This is a comparative analysis. Develop this fully, tying it back to the various factors in your strategic analysis. Evaluate the pros and cons of the recommended direction. Demonstrate that you understand the implications of your recommendations.
A justification analysis weights the strength of the pros and cons for a given alternative in comparison to the other alternatives. It presents a rationale for why the pros of the recommended alternatives are better than the pros of the other alternatives. It also addressed why the cons of the recommended alternatives are less significant the those of the rejected alternatives.
Not naming and discussing a generic and several supporting grand strategies
Developing recommendations that dont tie clearly to the previous analysis.
Not describing distinguishing characteristics of the strategies.
Not clearly describing each strategy.
Not aligning strategy recommendations with objectives.
Writing in generalities rather than company and situation specific.
Not describing strategies for all the relevant functions, e.g., human resource management, finance, etc.
The Assignment Task
The main purpose of this assignment is to test your ability to explore, using own research findings, issues in social responsibility in-depth and in a way which is relevant to you.
You are required to submit a single document of no more than 3000 words (excluding all references) which has the following 3 parts:
a) PART ONE (ESSAY) – The first part of the assignment involves a substantial research element to replace the research work necessary to complete the reflective portfolio.
Sumantra Ghoshal (2005) has argued that the way MBA students are taught in US Business Schools has freed them “from any sense of moral responsibility” for the way they conduct themselves when at work. In the light of the range of high profile corporate scandals in recent years discuss the extent to which the scandals can be said to be due to failures of education systems.
Maximum 1500 words for this part.
(Ghoshal, S. 2005. Bad management theories are destroying good management practices. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 4: 75-91)
b) PART TWO (ESSAY) – The second part of the assignment requires you to use appropriate theory/theories and examples to critically evaluate the phenomenon of whistleblowing. Your discussions should include a consideration of how socially responsible organizations ought to regard whistleblowers.
Maximum 1000 words for this part.
c) PART THREE (REFLECTIVE PIECE) – Write a conclusion reflecting on your learning about Business Social Responsibility (BSR) overall.
Here you should try to synthesise your learning about BSR overall. One way of doing this might be to compare/contrast the learning points from the key issues discussed in Parts 1 and 2, and discuss these in the light of key theories of BRS that you learnt in the module
You may also wish to consider if there are any significant aspects of BSR which have not been touched on in the module
NOTE – Since this is a reflective piece, your discussions/reflection could be written in the first person. However, you still need to provide evidence to back up claims (e.g., you could argue that your personal views/opinions on a specific issue are consistent with those of Author XXX (e.g., Freeman )
Maximum 500 words for this part.
1. The THREE different tasks should be submitted as a single file, with the tasks clearly sectioned as Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 respectively
2. Parts 1 and 2 should be written in essay format. Correspondingly, you are expected to include title, introduction and conclusion for both parts. You have the option to use section titles for these parts of the task.
3. ALL references used for the different parts (1, 2 and 3) should be reported alphabetically at the end of the document. In other words, you only to have one References List section at the end of the final document.
The learning outcomes that are being assessed in this assignment are:
a) Evaluate the dilemmas faced by business organisations in confronting their corporate responsibilities
b) Select and use range of formats and styles to argue and counter-argue ideas in the area of Business Social Responsibility professionally, and delivered in such a way as to enable understanding and engagement by academic, specialist and non-specialist audiences.
c) Demonstrate, using a range of communication tools, an informed social awareness and sustainability consciousness
Your grade will depend on the extent to which you meet these learning outcomes in the way relevant for this assignment. Please see the grading rubric at the end of this assignment brief for further details of the criteria against which you will be assessed.
The maximum word limit for this assignment is 3000 words
In accordance with the Assessment and Feedback Policy, as stated in section 4.40 where a submission exceeds the stipulated word limit by more than 10%, the submission will only be marked up to and including the additional 10%. Anything over this will not be included in the final grade for the assessment item. Abstracts, bibliographies, reference lists, appendices and footnotes are excluded from any word limit requirements.
In line with section 4.41 of the same Policy, where a submission is notably under the word limit, the full submission will be marked on the extent to which the learning objectives have been met.
Online support will be provided by your specific module tutor.
Generic Grading Criteria
You will find the generic grading criteria for achievement at University Grading Criteria. Also explained here are the meanings of the various G grades at the bottom of the grading scale.
To submit your work, please go to the Submit your work area on the NILE site and use the relevant submission point to upload your report. The deadline for this is 11.59pm (UK local time) on the date of submission.
Written work submitted to TURNITIN will be subject to anti-plagiarism detection software. Turnitin checks student work for possible textual matches against internet available resources and its own proprietary database.
When you upload your work correctly to TURNITIN you will receive a receipt which is your record and proof of submission.
If your assignment is not submitted to TURNITIN rather than a receipt you will see a green banner at the top of the screen that denotes successful submission.
N.B Work emailed directly to your tutor will not normally be marked. The only exception to this is when you are instructed to do so because TURNITIN is down.
Late submission of work
For first sits, if an item of assessment is submitted late and an extension has not been granted, the following will apply:
Within one week of the original deadline work will be marked and returned with full feedback, and awarded a maximum bare pass grade.
More than one week from original deadline maximum grade achievable LG (L indicating late).
At the second opportunity deadline (resits) work submitted late will be awarded a LG grade. There is no opportunity to submit work late for a bare pass.
The University of Northamptons general policy with regard to extensions is to be supportive of students who have genuine difficulties, but not against pressures of work that could have reasonably been anticipated.
For full details please refer to the Extensions Policy. The module leader can, where appropriate, authorise a short extension of up to two weeks from the original submission date for first sits only. There are NO extensions for resits. The TWO weeks means 14 calendar days including weekends and any University closed days.
For guidance on Mitigating circumstances please go to Mitigating Circumstances where you will find detailed guidance on the policy as well as guidance and the form for making an application.
Please note, however, that an application to defer an assessment on the grounds of mitigating circumstances should normally be made in advance of the submission deadline or examination date.
Plagiarism and Academic Integrity
Unless this is a group assignment,the work you produce must be your own with work taken from any other source properly referenced and attributed. The University of Northampton policy will apply in all cases of copying, plagiarism or any other methods by which students have obtained (or attempted to obtain) an unfair advantage.
If you are in any doubt about what constitutes plagiarism or any other infringement of academic integrity, please read the Universitys Academic Integrity and Misconduct Policy. For help with understanding academic integrity go to UNPAC and follow the Top Tips for Good Academic Practice on the student hub.
Please note that the University of Northampton puts all written assignments through detection software which detects if work has been plagiarised (copied) from other students (past or present and whether at UON or any other university), books, journals or internet sources. Copied materials WILL be detected. The penalties for copying work from another source without proper referencing are severe and can include failing the assignment, failing the module and expulsion from the university.
Feedback and Grades
These can be accessed through clicking on the Feedback and Grades tab on NILE. Feedback will be provided by a rubric with summary comments. For work submitted to TURNITIN, please also click through for within text comments (or add information on accessing more detailed feedback if not a TURNITIN submission).
SECTION 2 WRITING A PROBLEM-SOLUTION-EVALUATION TEXT (70 marks)
21) Follow the instructions below to write THREE paragraphs of approximately 500 words in total.
Topic: A New Zealand MNO has a problem with its expatriate employees on overseas assignments.
(The topic is very wide you decide the exact problem yourself, based on the information provided in the reading text, and the visuals on the next three pages.)
21(A) Write a paragraph that explains the problem in more detail. (150 words) (20 marks)
21(B) Write a paragraph that presents two possible solutions for the problem. (200 words)
21(C) Write a paragraph that evaluates the two solutions and provides a recommendation. (200 words) (20 marks)
Referencing (10 marks)
Incorporate 1-2 quotations and 1-2 paraphrases using, as sources, the ACADENG104 Final Assessment Reading Text titled FINAL READING TEXT in Section A and the visuals that follow on pages 8 -10.
Provide in-text citations for all sources used. No end-text references list is required.
It is not a full essay. Do not write an Introduction or Conclusion paragraph.
Start writing your paragraph answers on page 11.
Dorchester, Inc. has asked you to help forecast exchange rates for the three potential countries you have selected for your proposal.
In a four page paper (excluding title and reference pages), plot the exchange rates from the past year in each of the three countries. Identify and describe any patterns that can be seen. What are the possible explanations for these patterns? What exchange rates do you predict for 1 year from now?
In addition to the requirements above, your paper:
Must be double-spaced and 12 point font.
Must be formatted according to APA style.
Must reference two scholarly resources in addition to the textbook.
Must include a reference page written in APA format.
Cookie Creations (Chapter 1)
The assignments for this course will focus on the Cookie Creations case study from the textbook. This is the beginning of the case involving Natalie, who is investigating the possibility of starting her own business.
For this assignment, you will apply what you have learned from the unit lesson and the required unit resources. This assignment will allow you to practice what you have learned so far. You will be working on this same case study throughout this course.
The Cookie Creations case study starts on page 1-44 in the textbook. Read the case study, and answer the questions below.
What form of business organization (i.e., proprietorship, partnership, or corporation) do you recommend that Natalie use for her business? Discuss the benefits and weaknesses of each form, and explain the reasons for your choice.
Will Natalie need accounting information? If yes, what information will she need, and why? How often will she need this information?
Identify specific asset, liability, and owners equity accounts that Cookie Creations will likely use to record its business transactions.
Should Natalie open a separate bank account for the business? Why, or why not?
Please respond to each question substantively as the highest grades will be reserved for those that thoroughly answer the questions and show an understanding of the concepts from Chapter 1.
Your responses to these questions should be supported by what you have learned from this unit, your textbook, and additional resources. Your response should be a minimum of two pages in length and include at least two references. Adhere to APA Style when creating citations and references for this assignment.
Write a 10-12 page report summarizing the financial statement analysis of your chosen Company (used in the Excel Project). The report should be written in APA style, and should include a title page, abstract, and reference page. Conclusions should be supported by 10 scholarly or trade sources, including the course text and the Bible. (Please note that Investopedia, Accounting Coach, and other similar websites are not considered reputable resources.)
Your report should be written according to the following outline:
I. Introduction – a general description of the Company, its industry, and major competitors.
II. Analyze the operating activities of the Company.
A. Identify the Companys core income sources.
B. Identify the Companys comprehensive income sources.
C. Examine and discuss the Companys quality of earnings.
D. Identify the Companys sources of operating and non-operating income.
E. Identify the Companys sources of transitory and permanent earnings.
III. Analyze the Companys sources of cash flows.
A. Identify trends in the Companys cash flows in each of the three cash flow categories.
B. Relate cash flow to the Companys organizational strategy.
IV. Discuss the implications of potentially unrecorded assets for the Company.
V. Comparative and Ratio Analysis
A. Clearly state the implications of the ratio analysis concerning the following aspects of the Company:
3. Financial Leverage
4. Asset Efficiency
6. Market Value
B. Compare and contrast the selected Company, its competitors, and industry averages.
C. Identify the Companys strengths and weaknesses.
VI. Evaluate the Company in relation to a Biblical worldview.
VII. As of result of your overall analysis, draw conclusions regarding the Companys future prospects.
The company is New Balance.
For this milestone, submit the Background Information portion of the final project (Section I), describing the company and business product, service, or other ideas.
SECTION I DESCRIPTION:
A. Briefly identify the intrapreneurial or entrepreneurial idea for a new product, process, or service.
B. Identify the target stakeholders for the intrapreneurial or entrepreneurial idea, including their relationship to the mission, vision, and values of
Specifically, the following critical elements must be addressed:
Concisely identify the company and describe the intrapreneurial or entrepreneurial idea for a new product, process, or service.
Identify the target stakeholders for the intrapreneurial or entrepreneurial idea, including their relationship to the mission, vision, and values of the
In the concepts reviewed in Unit 1 through Unit 4, it is important to understand that the full and proper application of the risk management process should generate a range of information and data that needs to be stored and reviewed, thus, establishing the need for an effective Communication strategy when managing a project. Development of your Communication approach includes understanding WHO your audience is, WHAT you need to communicate, and the OBJECTIVE you hope to achieve with the information shared.
Applying your understanding of how to effectively Communicate Risks and Plan outcomes in the scope of a project do you recall a time when important information was shared with you (public or private) and how you received perceived this information?
In your response, consider the following:
How did you receive the information? What is good or bad news?
Do you believe you were the right person to receive the information? Why or Why Not?
Was the communication approach taken effective? Why or Why Not?
If the tables were turned, how would you have approached the communication of the same information
1. In Chapter 7 of Reframing Organizations, the authors discuss how to improve human resource management in organizations. One piece of advice they offer is reward well. They buttress this view by providing a quote from the successful CEO of Costco: If you pay the best wages, you get the highest productivity
While it may seem self-evident that good pay yields good results, this view runs counter to what a number of significant thinkers believe. Click on the following links and read the short items they contain.
? Abraham Maslow, developer of the hierarchy of needs concept.
? Frederick Herzberg, author of The Motivation to Work and developer of the hygiene-motivator dichotomy.
? Alfie Kohn, author of Punished by Rewards. Click on https://webs.zd-cms.com/cms/res/files/385/Punished-by-Rewards.pdf to download an excellent summary by Robert T Whipple of Alfie Kohns book, Punished by Rewards. Read the entire summary (only six pages long), but focus your attention to Kohns seven principles, which are summarized on pp 2-4.
a. Common sense suggests that pay is a good motivator. The logic is: You get what you pay for.
i. Provide examples of three different career tracks where people clearly are not focused on earning high pay.
ii. For each of your examples, describe what the key motivators
b. Which of Maslows needs in his hierarchy of needs are most closely associated with the idea that Pay is a good motivator? which needs do not support this contention. Explain your answer.
c. Herzbergs two-factor theory distinguishes between hygiene-factors and true motivators. Does the statement that Pay is a good motivator support the hygiene perspective or true motivator perspective. Explain your answer.
d. In his well-known book, Punished by Rewards, Alfie Kohn makes it clear that tying rewards (including pay) to performance often does not lead to desired behaviors.
i. Why does he believe this? Provide specific examples.
ii. Kohn does not reject the view that rewards (including pay) can yield improved performance under certain circumstances? According to Kohn, when can rewards yield desired behavior? Whats the problem with this