Week 5 Project


Course Project Task 5 Final Submission

Note: This course has major project assignments that will be due in Week 3 and 5. It will take more than a week’s effort to adequately complete them. Plan time to start the research and other work for those assignments earlier than the week in which they are due.

Throughout this course, you have been analyzing the different facets of two organizations’ (GE and Alibaba) strategic development and implementation. This week you will pull all of these elements together, including the material you read this week about strategic leadership. This is a critical exercise as the final written work in the MBA capstone course.

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Although we broke up the topics we studied about corporate strategy into manageable chunks, remember that in reality business firms function and compete as integrated wholes. The various elements of business and corporate strategy we discussed and analyzed create value for shareholders when they complement one another. In particular, the logic of business strategy in general must be congruent with the particular firm’s overall strategies.

Develop an integrated analysis of the corporate strategy of your current workplace organization, a previous employer, or an organization you would like to work for. Reach out to your instructor early in the week (or earlier in the course) if you need assistance identifying a suitable organization for your final study.

You should review the

Course Project Guidelines

document in the Supplemental Material below for more detail as needed.  The following summary of the major sections of the paper should help you focus your project:

  • Executive Summary—1-page synthesis of major ideas in the paper. What is the organization? What is its corporate strategy? What are one or two important pieces of rationale for having that strategy? What are one or two brief examples of how that strategy is (or isn’t) accurately implemented? What are one or two important recommendations you can make to the organization about the strategic development and implementation of its corporate strategy. Remember, the executive summary is a brief review that someone can read and get a quick snapshot of key points in your paper.
  • General Analysis of Corporate Strategy—1–2-page analysis of the organization’s corporate strategy. What is the corporate strategy? What is the rationale that management uses to guide its decisions and actions at the corporate level? What is the business logic and reasoning behind the formulation of that strategy?
  • Formulation of Corporate Strategy—1–2-page assessment of appropriateness and congruence of the various elements of the corporate strategy. Does each part fit with the logic and rationale of the overall corporate strategy? Is there internal consistency in how the corporate strategy is formulated?
  • Implementation of Corporate Strategy—2–3-page evaluation of decisions and actions actually made by management and of its ability to make those decisions consistent with the stated corporate strategy. Are the organization’s decisions and actions consistent with or inconsistent with its corporate strategy? Does it possess the resources and capability to follow its corporate strategy (i.e., “make it happen”)? Does alignment exist between its strategy and its leadership, structure, systems, and culture?
  • Conclusions and Recommendations—1–2-page justification of consultant-type recommendations to the organization. Does the organization need to change its corporate strategy? Does it need to address congruence among the corporate strategy elements? Does it need to address how decisions and actions are made and implemented? Provide clear research, rationale, and appropriate examples to support your conclusions and recommendations.

Note: APA does not generally use an executive summary. However, consulting reports often do contain an executive summary. For purposes of this assignment, present the executive summary as the introduction paragraphs of your APA paper. Because the executive summary reflects information from the body of your paper, you will likely need to complete those sections before completing the executive summary.

Submission Details:

  • Present your report as an 8–12-page Microsoft Word document formatted in APA style.
  • Support your responses with examples.  Cite any sources in APA format.
  • Name your document MBA6999_W5_LastName_FirstInitial

  • Submit your document to the Submissions Area by the due date assigned.
  • Additional Materials

    Course Project Guidelines
    correcton time Detailed

    Course Project Guidelines

    © 2014 South University

    Course Project Guidelines

    Page 2 of


    Strategic Development and Implementation

    ©2014 South University


    In the course project, you will analyse the corporate strategy of multibusiness organizations. Every
    week, you will analyze particular elements of a corporate strategy, culminating in an analysis of the
    strategy by the end of the course. This is where you put together all the work you have researched and
    completed in your assignments and the organizations mentioned in the course. Pay close attention to
    your final assignment and how you will wrap it up.

    The three overarching questions for this project are:

     What is the business logic and rationale behind the corporate strategy?

     How well do organizational decisions about formulating and implementing corporate strategy
    fit with that logic and rationale?

     What recommendations would you make to the top management with respect to the decisions
    made in executing the corporate strategy?

    Be mindful of these questions as you complete each week’s project tasks. Having an idea of how you
    will answer these questions will make writing your final integrated analysis much easier.

    Tips for Writing

    Both style and substance are important in written communication. Below are a few tips on style and
    substance. View these tips as examples of writing found in a high-quality, comprehensive report that
    still permits a great deal of freedom in terms of style and scope.

    Your report will be complex and your conclusions derived from many hours of research, thinking, and
    writing. Your objective is to communicate your learning to the reader concisely. Imagine that you’re
    writing for a group of potential investors interested in learning about your chosen organization. You
    want to be complete, accurate, and objective in your observations and analysis. All your conclusions
    should be clear and well supported.

    Inability to write effective business reports is one of the biggest weaknesses of managers. A well-
    organized report helps simplify complex subjects and shows clear thinking. To do well in this area, just
    recall the basics of good writing that you learned in high school and college.

    As your paper will cover many different subjects, you should use section and subsection headings to
    mark transitions from one topic to another. Transitions between paragraphs make for easy reading.
    Each paragraph should begin with a clear topic sentence and should stick to that topic. The complexity
    of your subject calls for simple sentence structure and the avoidance of jargon and unusual phrasing.

    Tables, charts, and figures that illustrate especially complex points or support conclusions may be
    included in an appendix at the end of the report. Do not use an exhibit unless you refer to it in your
    paper. The source of the information in an exhibit must be shown in the exhibit.

    Proper spelling, punctuation, and grammar are essential. Ensure that the final document is proofread
    carefully (go beyond simply using spell-check). Be sure to use the APA format. A poorly written report
    signals to the reader that the substance is also questionable.

    Course Project Guidelines

    Page 3 of 5
    Strategic Development and Implementation

    ©2014 South University


    The paper must not exceed 12 pages, single-sided, double-spaced with 1-inch

    margins, and use 12-point font. Do not count the executive summary, title page,

    table of contents, references, and appendices in the 12-page limit.

    The work described here cannot be done quickly. The time you spend on revising

    your paper will be apparent and will produce a superior report.

    Suggested Outline

    This outline is intended to give you an idea of the potential scope of your project. You

    will need to adjust it to suit the specifics of your selected organization.

    I. Title Page

    The organization’s name and your name should be highlighted here. The

    course name and number and the date should also appear on this page.

    II. Executive Summary

    Begin your report by summarizing your findings in one single-spaced page. Do

    not include supporting evidence here. The purpose of a summary is to stress

    the highlights of the report for readers who want to know your conclusions but

    do not have the time to go through the entire report.

    III. Table of Contents

    Begin numbering your pages here and continue consecutive page numbers

    throughout the rest of the paper.

    IV. General Analysis of the Corporate Strategy

    In this section, address the first of the project’s three overarching questions.

    Write a clear overview of the organizational rationale behind the corporate

    strategy. Do not discuss individual actions here. Set out the logic that the

    management uses to guide its various decisions and actions at the corporate


    The items in this section should serve as touchstones in the analysis of those

    strategic actions in the subsequent sections. Measured against this dominant

    logic, the organization’s actions, described in the following sections, can be

    judged as “consistent” or “inconsistent” with its corporate strategy. These will

    also be the comparison points for your recommendations in section VII. A

    Course Project Guidelines

    Page 4 of 5
    Strategic Development and Implementation

    ©2014 South University


    well-argued section here will make the rationale for your recommendations

    clear to the readers of your report.

    V. Formulation of the Corporate Strategy

    This section addresses the first part of the second overarching question. Begin your analysis of

    the strategic actions undertaken while formulating its portfolio. Do not simply put these prior

    analyses together sequentially. Instead, weave the three together into a single assessment.

    Note that this is what the organization should be doing-thinking of all three areas

    simultaneously when it makes a strategic decision in any one area.

    Similarly, when you are evaluating each part’s fit with the logic and rationale

    of the corporate strategy, don’t merely examine individual actions in isolation.

    Emphasize the integrated assessment of the actions. In turn, compare this

    integrated perspective on each action for internal consistency with the

    corporate strategy logic you set out in section IV.

    VI. Implementation of the Corporate Strategy

    This section addresses the second part of the second overarching question. You

    will want to build on your analysis in the previous section and address whether or

    not this organization can “make it happen.” If the organization lacks the

    implementation capability, even the most rational and integrated corporate

    strategy will be a failure.

    In writing this part of the report, you wilI want to consider many issues, such as

    whether the strategy wiII receive the support of investors. Pressure for

    performance often forces organizations to implement suboptimal strategies that

    produce the short-term results that Wall Street wants, while foregoing strategic

    alternatives that could be more valuable in the long term. Similarly, you should

    consider the strategic leadership capabilities and the fit of the organization’s

    structure, systems, and culture to its strategy. One of the management team’s

    most important responsibilities is creating these complementary alignments.

    VII. Conclusions and Recommendations

    This section is not simply a short wrap-up. Your recommendations must

    incorporate both analysis in sections V and VI and the logic that guided the

    decisions you set out in section IV. In doing this, you will want to employ the

    tools you have developed during the course, showing that you know how to use

    them and how to interpret what they indicate when applied to a situation. Your

    recommendations need to address strategic issues, not functional ones.

    Course Project Guidelines

    Page 5 of 5
    Strategic Development and Implementation

    ©2014 South University

    You do not have to recommend changing the corporate strategy. Whether you

    recommend no, few, or many changes, your recommendations should be

    backed by logical arguments supported by reliable and comprehensive

    information. Be sure to explain why your proposed alternative is superior to the

    other choices.

    VIII. References

    Cite sources of all information and quotes using APA format. All reference

    material used for the paper must be included in this section. All citations must

    be complete; including information such as author names, titles, dates, volume

    numbers, and page numbers. Electronic citations must include complete

    website addresses.

    IX. Appendices

    You can include tables, graphs, and charts in appendices, as well as other

    graphical exhibits. Remember that what you choose to include reflects your

    understanding of what is important. Exhibits in the appendices can be critical in

    supporting a verbal argument, or they can be trivial. Include information and

    supporting material that strengthens the body of the paper, not those that are

    merely fillers.

    Weekly Project Tasks

    Task 1: Corporate Strategy

    Task 2: Acquisition Strategy

    Task 3: International Strategy

    Task 4: Cooperative Strategy and Competitive Advantage

    Task 5: Final Submission—Integrated Analysis of Corporate Strategy

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