Part 3: Company research
– Locate an existing public corporation that operates within the scope identified by your team and analyze their position relative to external environment constraints, internal environment, and strategic approach.
– Select a publicly traded corporation that your team believes has potential within an industry as regards the scope identified in Part 1. Firms who have underperformed relative to industry leaders or whose potential appears unrealized are preferred. Consider firms you know little or nothing about, in order to maximize your learning. Company selection is subject to instructor approval.
o In exceptional circumstances, a private firm may be used, if a team is able to secure access to a local firm who would benefit from a strategic analysis of their business and is willing to share internal information (NDA required).
– Explore the corporate website. How is it laid out? What are your first impressions of the company? Where is the company headquartered? Write down their HQ address info. Become familiar with the location of the important information you will be searching throughout your project (e.g., investor relations and other sections).
– Consult major databases available on campus along with high quality business publications to learn about the company
1. Identify the company’s mission, vision, goals, and relevant stakeholders and write them down. How clear are their mission and vision? Are they well communicated?
2. Become acquainted with the company’s products and services and draw up the company’s corporate structure. How diversified are they?
3. If a business unit, conduct a value chain analysis of the target company:
4. Define the company’s strategic business units (if any)
5. Identify the company’s critical value-creating activities
6. Explore the international reach of the company. What is their global footprint? How many countries? How much revenue do they derive from domestic vs. foreign markets? (see financials) 7. Identify the company’s executive officers and draw up the executive structure.
8. Identify the company’s board of directors and learn about their background. How many directors on the board? How many insiders/outsiders/related? Who holds the key functions on the board? Are there any subcommittees overseen by the board?
9. Scan their career opportunities page and summarize the types of jobs they offer. What fields are the jobs in? Would you consider working with this company?
10. Locate and download the most recent corporate reports (e.g., annual report). How are they laid out? 11. Search for and read about your target company, from other online business news sources: has the company been in the news recently? Summarize the general issues about this company from the news?
12. Conduct a stakeholder analysis at the level of the issue/project, product, or organization (form available on CC)
13. Identify and define the industry where the company obtains most of their revenues from. Analyze the dynamics of this industry and the company’s competitive position relative to the five forces. What are the industry’s driving forces and what is their impact?
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14. Identify and define the company’s major growth industry/ies. Analyze the company’s competitive position in the industry/ies relative to the five forces.
15. Conduct a financial performance analysis:
– Read the most recent annual report of your assigned company and conduct financial ratios and statement analyses:
– Choose the appropriate ratios to analyze
– Locate the appropriate sources to provide the raw data with which to calculate the ratios – Calculate the ratios and compare them; use multiple years as appropriate, check for opportunities and problems
16. Conduct a non-financial performance analysis
– Collect and compile data regarding other measures of company performance from corporate documents, databases, and other business sources.
– Analyze non-financial measures, as pertinent to your company (for more information, see the “Performance” chapter posted on CC).
17. Conduct a core competency analysis. Using the value chain analysis, list the company’s major capability areas. Specify if the company holds any core competencies or the potential to develop in the future. Does the company have any core rigidities? How can the company restructure its capability portfolio to address pressing issues you have identified?
What to prepare
A written report which addresses the topics outlined in the steps above. If you are unable to find useful information for any area, explain your methods and efforts. Any worksheets used may be appended to your report. You may use this time to prepare data visualizations to be used in the final report (i.e., tables, figures, etc.). Also provide a list of references for all information found (APA format), with proper referencing and citations in the text of your report. Any tables, figures, or other exhibits should contain information about the source of the data. There is no page limit.
Part 3: Company research