Team Strategic Management Report & Presentation Page 1 of 6
BA 410 Business Policy Spring 2009
Team Strategic Management Report and Presentation
Each student will be assigned to a team that will write a Strategic Management Report (research
paper) on a specified company. For the Spring 2009 semester, these companies include:
a. Nucor Corporation—Competing Against Low Cost Foreign Imports?
Text Case # 9 (C-113)
(http://www.nucor.com/, select Investor Relations at top of page)
b. Zune: Microsoft’s Entry into the Digital Music Player Market
Text Case # 12 (C-166)
c. Sun Microsystems.
Text Case #16 (C-236)
d. PepsiCo in 2007: Strategies to Increase Shareholder Value
Text Case # 19 (C-273)
(http://www.pepsico.com/, select Investors at top of page)
e. Spectrum Brands’ Diversification Strategy—A Success or a Failure?
Text Case # 20 (C-289)
(http://www.spectrumbrands.com/, select Investor Relations at top of page)
f. Sara Lee Corp.: Retrenching to a Narrower Business Base
Text Case # 21 (C-305)
Each student is responsible for contributing to the group project.
In addition to corporate websites, another source for data is Hoovers, Inc. This organization
provides financial and operating statistics on publicly-traded companies. The free section of the
Hoovers, Inc. website is: www.hoovers.com/free.
Students may also find the following sites helpful for conducting research:
Bloomberg LP: http://www.bloomberg.com
The NYSE Euronext site: www.nyse.com.
Most information about each company can be found on on-line Annual Reports located in the
Investor section of the company website. Follow all copyright laws. WARNING: Do not copy
and paste copyrighted materials from annual reports or web sites.
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Following the title page, your report will consist of five sections, as follows:
1. Table of Contents
3. Assignment Questions
Report (main body)
For the Report section, or main body, your paper must have headings. The required headings are
shown below. These exact headings must be used in the paper in this order. Headings are to be
double-spaced within the text. No additional spacing or large font size is permitted.
Required Heading Instructor’s Comments
1. History of the company 2 pages max
2. The five phases of strategy Describe the five phases, and the If weaknesses are noted,
making and strategy executing evidence that your company consider these for your
follows/followed them. conclusion and
3. Competitor analysis Describe at least 3 of your company’s
primary competitors and their
relative strengths and weaknesses.
4. SWOT analysis Explain SWOT, and conduct one for See Table 4.2 and Figure
the company 4.2
5. Key factors for success Evaluate your company’s KSFs See Table 3.3
6. Value chain Describe your company’s value chain See Figure 4.3
(this section requires a figure or in a few paragraphs. Supplement the
description with a figure or model
model) depicting the value chain activities.
Do not use the figure from the
7. Five generic competitive Briefly describe the five generic If weaknesses are noted,
strategies strategies, and determine which your consider these for your
company employs and why conclusion and
8. Offensive and Defensive Describe at least 3 offensive and 3 About 3 – 5 each
strategies defensive strategies your company
9. Strategies for competing in a Describe 3 – 5 used by your If weaknesses are noted,
global market company. consider these for your
10. Tailoring strategy to fit specific Describe the specific industry and If weaknesses are noted,
industry and company situations company situation, and the strategies consider these for your
used because of this conclusion and
11. Diversification Describe your company’s See Figure 9.1
12. Ethics and social responsibility Describe how your company See Table 10.4
addresses ethics and social
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13. Continuous improvement and Describe the company’s quality and
TQM TQM activities.
14. Company leadership and culture Describe the kind of corporate If weaknesses are noted,
culture that exists. What evidence consider these for your
exists that leaders execute strategy conclusion and
well? recommendation sections
15. Financial analysis of the company Select key financial ratios to See Table 4.1
(this section requires a table, chart or calculate and analyze. Two ratios If weaknesses are noted,
each from profitability, liquidity, consider these for your
graph) leverage, and then two more ratios of conclusion and
your choice.(A total of eight.) recommendation sections.
Compare these over time within the
company, and compare these over
time to the industry.
Supplement your analysis with a
table, chart or graph summarizing the
financial status of the company.
16. Conclusions About 2 pages.
(not a summary) a. Discuss 3 - 5 things the company
does well. Explain.
b. Discuss 3 - 5 things the company
does poorly. Explain.
c. Discuss whether or not the
company is in poor, good, or
great shape. Explain.
d. Discuss whether or not
management is doing an effective
job overall. Explain.
e. Discuss 2 – 3 things that
surprised you about the
17. Recommendations About 2 pages.
Present about 4 – 5 recommendations
to senior management to improve
operations (about 2 pages):
a. First recommendation and your
justification for making it (at
least one paragraph)
b. Second recommendation and
your justification for making it
(at least one paragraph)
c. Third recommendation and your
justification for making it (at
least one paragraph)
d. Fourth recommendation and
your justification for making it
(at least one paragraph)
NOTE: Within the body of the report, you must include updated information on the company since
the time the case data was collected.
Assignment Questions for each group are distributed in a separate document.
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In this section of your analysis, type the question and the answer.
References – see below
The appendix contains copies of all material references cited within the paper. Use a yellow
highlighter to mark specific comments or content referenced in the report.
• The minimum length of a Strategic Management Report is 15 pages of typed text using a
• The margins for each page must be set at one (1) inch on all four edges.
• The required font to be used throughout the paper, including headings, tables, and
figures, is 12 point Times New Roman. (This policy is written in 12 point Times New
• After the title page, the pages of the Report section must be numbered in the upper right
hand corner, beginning with page 1. The first page of text is page 1. The title page is not
page 1. Do not number reference pages. Do not type your name, title, class name, etc., at
the top or bottom of the narrative pages. Failure to number pages results in a point
• Make all text left hand justified.
• After using the appropriate font, margins, and pagination, you must have a minimum of
15 full pages of typed text. Deductions will be given for short papers.
• Center the title of the paper on the title page. The title shall be:
Strategic Management Report: Name of Your Assigned Company
Towards the bottom of the title page center the following on separate, single-spaced lines:
Names of each student in the group, date submitted, and class name and number.
Place a copy of the title page inside the front overlay of the report binder.
• The paper must be presented in a report (looseleaf) binder with five tabbed sections:
Table of Contents, Report, Assignment Questions, References, and Appendix. The title
page goes in front of the first tab. The table of contents goes behind the first tab, etc. Tabs
can be lettered or numbered. Use a high-quality, presentation binder with a clear overlay.
The width of the spine must be appropriate to the thickness of the report.
• Quotations – generally, quotations are not permitted. I am more interested in your
analysis of the information than your cutting and pasting skills.
• Narrative – the paper is to be typed in narrative form. Generally, do not use bulleted lists
and numbered lists.
• Graphics – well-placed and properly captioned charts, figures, models, exhibits, and
tables within the text will strengthen any management report.
o You must use at least three graphics in your paper.
o A chart, table or graph is required for the financial information section
o A figure, model or other graphic of the company’s value chain activities is
required in the value chain section.
o Figures, tables, charts and other graphics must be properly captioned within the
text using the APA style.
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References Required – APA Style
• Use APA format. A minimum of five references is required (dated 2004 and after) such
as the corporate website and the on-line annual report.
• The student must use the APA style to cite references within the text and when presenting
the “Reference” page.
• References are required to be properly cited within the text. You must cite references
within the body of the paper using the APA format. Papers not properly cited within
the text and on the Reference page will be returned without being graded.
o Whenever you use someone else’s facts or ideas, you are required to give them
proper credit by citing their work according to APA guidelines.
o Whenever you fail to properly cite your sources, the level of scholarship of your
paper is weakened.
• Examples of how to properly cite references within the text and on the reference page are
provided by the instructor at the beginning of the course.
• Wikipedia.com, Answers.com, Infoplease.com, and similar on-line information services
are not considered scholarly sources for research papers. These are not approved.
Power Point Presentation
• Based upon the findings of the group, a scholarly, professional power point presentation of
the key points will be developed and presented to the class on the date specified.
• For the full presentation (final report), use a minimum of 20 slides, and a maximum of 25
• The group member names, course number and name, and date must appear on the title slide.
• Use the headings from the paper as the titles on the remaining slides.
• The background and graphics chosen for your slides should be creative but also tasteful,
professional and consistent with business decorum. Points will be deducted for plain, black-
and-white power point presentations with no color.
• Due to potential difficulties with equipment, do not embed video or audio files into the power
• Approximately 1/3 of the slides (7 – 8) should address the assignment questions.
• For the full presentation (final report), be prepared to speak 40 minutes, and answer questions
from the instructor and your classmates.
• Each group member must have a speaking role.
• Provide two STAPLED copies of your Power Point presentation to the instructor at the
beginning of the class period due. The format of the copies are to be as follows: Handouts, 3
Slides per Page, Pure Black and White, and Frame Slides. TWO COPIES ARE
• In this capstone course, you must demonstrate you can present a group report. By now you
have taken SP101, BA315 and other courses requiring presentations, so you should be well
o Rehearse your portion of the presentation ahead of time.
o Reading your slides to the class will result in a grade reduction.
o Reading your paper to the class will result in a grade reduction.
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The Dress Code for the full team presentation is business attire. For gentlemen, this includes a
collared shirt with a necktie. No caps, flip flops or casual attire is permitted.
Mandatory Attendance for All Presentations and Team Meetings
Attendance is mandatory for Team Presentation and Team Meeting days. Every student must
attend every team meeting and attend every presentation, even when the team is not presenting.
A major point deduction will be taken for absences occurring on scheduled team and
presentation days, regardless of the reason for the absence. Additionally, there is to be no
tardiness or leaving early.
Trial Team Presentations (selected topics)
To better prepare for the full case report and presentation, each team will present a trial presentation
on selected topics prior to Spring Break. On the date specified each team will present the following
sections of their project:
A. Section 7 (Five Generic Competitive Strategies)
B. Section 15 (Financial)
C. First five assignment questions.
The team will submit a Power Point presentation (no written report) and each student on the team
will have a speaking role. Two stapled copies of the power point presentation of the assigned
sections must be submitted on the due date. No written report is due for the trial team presentation
– only printed power points.
This brief presentation should take about 15 minutes and will be graded. It will serve as a trial run
for the final, full case report and presentation.
Review Copy Available:
Examples of well-designed Strategic Management Reports from previous semesters are available for
review. One copy will be on reserve in the library. The requirements for this semester’s project may
differ from those presented in the examples, as the guidelines of the project change from semester
Each student should refer to A Guide to Case Analysis from the textbook website given in the syllabus
at for additional assistance.