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Surveys have consistently shown 60% of Americans would like to start their own business, but not nearly as many act on this desire. If a person is serious about pursuing this notion, one of the first things he or she should do is think critically about wh

How much of an impact does the ‘maturity’ level of the industry or company have on strategy? How can you be innovative in a mature industry? How can you be conservative in an introductory/rapid growth situation? Should you be conservative??? Back up your assertions with resources and readings from the course, and your own research or experience.   Unit III Discuss how important is it for companies such as Nike and Wal-Mart that source extensively from foreign suppliers located in countries where wages are low and substandard working conditions are common to institute supplier codes of conduct and undertake programs to monitor and ensure supplier compliance with these codes of conduct? Would you recommend that a company join the Fair Labor Association and use FLA’s standards and program of factory audits instead of trying to set up its own supplier monitoring and compliance effort? What can a company do to detect and combat the efforts of unscrupulous foreign suppliers to deceive inspection/compliance teams?   Unit IV This week, you have a car to sell. You want to purchase a new vehicle and the dealer is offering you, well, almost nothing for the car you have now. So you’re going to sell it outright. Describe the competitive positioning you face and are going to take, the tradeoffs you face with differentiation, the cost, and any pricing options you might offer. Be creative! You need the money! Unit V This week we look at tailoring business models to existing conditions and different industry environments. But I thought that in starting a business, or in fact growing a business, you need to “stand out” from the crowd. You need to distinguish yourself and your business. So just how important then in your opinion, is tailoring the business models? Select a business that that either already exists, or you would love to start, and support your thoughts. Show us why it is, or is not, important to tailor the models!   Unit VI This week let’s discuss integration. First, name a company the practices horizontal integration. Describe the structure. Now do the same for a company vertically integrated. In your opinion, which is better to work for? Which offers workers the better opportunity to better yourself? Now, if you owned the business, which would you implement? Think again about the workers opportunities. Does their betterment also mean what’s best for your business?     UNIT 1 Assignment This week’s materials focus on Strategic Thinking. This type of thinking employs the principles of Vision, Values and Mission. Your assignment this week is to develop a classroom lecture that details each of these principles, and notes how each affects a person’s leadership style. You are to use, and cite, no less than 4 outside sources. This will be in APA format and a minimum of 2 pages. That is, the BODY of your paper is to be a minimum of 2 pages. Title pages, Abstract and resource pages do not count to the total.   Unit 2 Assignment Assignment: Examining Business Strategy and the Five Forces Model: The Challenges Facing eBay; Time for Changes in Strategy? This week we look at strategic thinking in the business environment. Your assignment this week is to: 1. First, research, and create, a Porter’s Five Forces Model of eBay in either Visio, Excel, of PowerPoint format. Use external sources to assist in populating your model. Next, report and analyze your findings, touching on the following questions; 1. What does your five forces analysis reveal about the nature and strength of the various competitive pressures eBay faces? Are the competitive pressures facing eBay and other online auction company’s conducive to earning good profits? Why or why not? 2. Based on your analysis of the industry and eBay’s situation, what problems and issues does eBay’s top management need to address? Which ones are top priorities? 3. What do you see as the key success factors for firms in the online auction industry? You are to use, and cite, no less than 3 outside sources for your report portion. This will be in APA format and a minimum of 2 pages. That is, the BODY of your paper is to be a minimum of 2 pages. Title pages, Abstract and resource pages do not count to the total. UNIT 4 Assignment Assignment: Finance and Operations: This week we look at finance and operations, and apply a bit of quantitative analysis to the effort. Your assignment this week is to analyze current financial ratios for a given business. 1. Think of a specific business you find interesting, i.e. Apple, UTC, Southwest Airlines, etc. 2. Search the web for that business’ “Financial Statement”. (You will find many hits for the data.) 3. Select the “Bloomberg” site offering your company’s financial statement. 4. Once at the site you will find a box highlighted in blue termed “Ratios”. Click on that box. 5. You will now see a number of financial ratios for your company. Below is an example for Apple. 6. Now, define the following ratios, note the ratio for your business, and explain what the ratio means for the business moving forward: a) Return on Assets b) Return on Equity c) Return on Capital d) Gross Margin e) SG&A Margin f) Current Ratio g) Quick Ratio h) Total Debt/Equity i) Total Revenue j) Gross Profit Unit 5 Assignment Assignment: Your business strategy in the Global Environment This week’s materials focus on your innovations and creativity in a global environment. Congratulations! You have just started a new business! Your assignment this week is to: 1. First tell me what your new business is. Do you provide a service, or a product? Define this business you’ve spent so much time dreaming of starting. 2. Next develop a PEST Analysis using the template below. 3. Finally, describe how you’re going to grow this business in the global environment. Parts 1 and 2 will be a Word Doc. APA formatting is NOT required. You are to use, and cite, no less than 2 outside sources. Minimum of 2 pages. That is, the BODY of your paper is to be a minimum of 2 pages. Title pages, Abstract and resource pages do not count to the total.   Unit 6 Assignment: Case Analysis: The Decision Making Process Assignment: Case Analysis: The Decision Making Process You are to write a minimum, 2 page essay, on this week’s subject matter per below. Also, please cite at least two (2) outside sources. This assignment does NOT have to be in APA format. You will also find a guide for your case study below. Select a case of organizational decision making from the list of references attached, OR select a case from your own experience or reading. If you choose to do the latter, you should obtain the instructor’s approval. Your case analysis should cover the following: 1. The context of the decision making processes, including for example: the goals, activities, history or culture of the organization; the complexity and special features of the task or problem; the major stakeholders of the decisions. 2. The main phases or activities of the decision making process, including for example: the background leading up to the problem situation; problem recognition; development and evaluation of alternatives; selection of alternative; and outcome of the decision. Where possible, analyze the information seeking and information use behaviors in the decision making process. 3. Analyze your case using one or more of the models introduced this week. You may also introduce other theoretical perspectives/cases to enrich your analysis. Show how these models/perspectives provide insight into your case. 4. Assess the overall quality of the decision making process. Identify its strengths and limitations. Suggest ways of improving the process. —————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————- Case Study Sources These are initial suggestions that might help you to identify cases. You would typically need to look for additional material after selecting a case to study. Bazerman, M. H., & Watkins, M. D. 2004. Predictable Surprises: The Disasters You Should Have Seen Coming, and How to Prevent Them. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press. Burns, Christopher. 2008. Deadly Decisions: How false knowledge sank the Titanic, blew up the shuttle and led America into war. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books. Browne, Mairead. 1993. Organizational Decision Making and Information. Norwood, NJ: Ablex. (Decision making by a council of a higher education institute in Sydney, Australia.) Chiles, James R. 2001. Inviting Disaster: Lessons From the Edge of Technology. New York: HarperBusiness. (Air France Concorde, Apollo 13, Hubble Space Telescope, etc) Choo, Chun Wei. 2005. Information Failures and Organizational Disasters. Sloan Management Review 46 (3):8-10. Choo, Chun Wei. 2009. Organizational Disasters: Why They Happen and How They May be Prevented. Management Decision, 46 (1): 32-46 Chua, Alton Y.K., Selcan Kaynak, and Schubert S.B. Foo. 2006. An Analysis Of The Delayed Response To Hurricane Katrina Through The Lens Of Knowledge Management. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 58 (3):391-403. Drummond, Helga. 1997. Escalation in Decision Making: The Tragedy of Taurus. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. Ermann, M. David, and Richard J. Lundman, eds. 2001. Corporate and Governmental Deviance: Problems of Organizational Behavior in Contemporary Society. 6th ed. Evan, William M., and Mark Manion. 2002. Minding the Machines: Preventing Technological Disasters. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall PTR. (Bhopal, Chernobyl, Ford-Firestone, Love Canal, Three Mile Island, Y2K, and many others.) Fay, S. 1996. The Collapse of Barings: Panic, Ignorance and Greed. London: Arrow Business Books. Finkelstein, S., Whitehead, J., & Campbell, A. 2009. Think Again: Why Good Leaders Make Bad Decisions. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press. Gerstein, M.S., & Ellsberg, M. 2008. Flirting with Disaster: Why Accidents Are Rarely Accidental. New York: Union Square Press. (Chernobyl, Merck Vioxx, Hurricane Katrina) E. Frank Harrison. 1999. The Managerial Decision-Making Process. 5th Edition. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. (Iranian hostage crisis, Philip Morris in 1984, General Motors in 1978) Kovacs, Beatrice. 1990. The Decision-Making Process for Library Collections: Case Studies in Four Types of Libraries. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. (Collection development decision making in public libraries, school libraries, academic libraries, and special libraries.) National Geographic. 2004-2013. Seconds from Disaster. Documentary films that ‘investigate historically relevant man-made and natural disasters … by analyzing the causes and circumstances that ultimately affected the disaster.’ Neck, Chris P., and Gregory Moorhead. 1992. Jury Deliberations in the Trial of US vs. John Delorean: A Case Analysis of Groupthink Avoidance and Enhanced Framework. Human Relations 45 (10):1077-1091. Perrow, Charles. 1999. Normal Accidents: Living with High-Risk Technologies. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. (Three Mile Island nuclear reactor accident, Bhopal Union Carbide plant, air traffic control.) Shrivastava, Paul. Bhopal: Anatomy of a Crisis. 2nd ed. London: P. Chapman, 1992. The 9/11 Commission. 2004. The 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States. New York: W. W. Norton. The Members of the Committee of the Inquiry. 2000. BSE Inquiry Report, Volume 1: Findings & Conclusions. London, UK: The Stationery Office. Walker, J. S. 2004. Three Mile Island: A Nuclear Crisis in Historical Perspective. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.   Unit 7 Assignment Assignment: The “issue” of Stakeholder Management and Corporate Performance. You are to write a minimum, 2 page essay, on this week’s subject matter per below. Also, please cite at least two (2) outside sources. This assignment does NOT have to be in APA format. You will also find a guide for your essay below. Sociologist Erving Goffman has pointed out that all social groups, including professionals, develop a protective attitude toward members of their group, even when what some of the members do is seen as morally wrong. A sense of loyalty to the group often overrides what they would otherwise deem immoral. Consider the arguments for and against exposing Stakeholders with whom you are personally close or with whom you have close professional ties. Develop a position on this issue that could serve as a guide for anyone in such a position with regard to Corporate Performance. Essay Guidelines: What is a critical thinking essay? Many college assignments require you to support a thesis. The concept of a critical thinking essay is that you start without an end in mind. You don’t necessarily know how you feel about a subject or what you want to say about the subject … you allow the research and your own thinking to determine the outcome. This is writing to learn rather than writing to prove what you know. The critical thinking essay has you look at and contribute to a range of arguments rather than just one at a time. Critical thinking essays consider the strengths and weaknesses of various solutions to a problem or various answers to a question. It requires thinking … not information reporting. The critical thinking essay starts with a question, not a thesis. Your essay shows how your thinking changes as you research a topic. For example, when you begin researching capital punishment, you may be in favor of the death penalty because it is a deterrent. Then you may find some studies that question whether it has a deterrent effect and that may influence your thinking. You don’t have to know what you think about your topic when you start writing your critical thinking essay. Critical thinking essay format. Essays are shorter pieces of writing. Therefore, essays are (by nature) concise and require you to be clear and to the point. This means that there is no room for your thoughts to wander or stray … you must be deliberate and stay on topic. Perhaps it is helpful to think of an essay in terms of a conversation or debate with a classmate. If you and I were discussing whether or not there should be a death penalty in the US, there would be a beginning, middle and end to our conversation. As with a conversation, your essay must be complete, and logically so, leaving no doubt as to your intent or argument. However – again, think of this as a conversation – your essay shouldn’t be formal. Remember, you’re talking about your ideas and thought processes. Don’t try to do that in third person! To help you stay on topic, your critical thinking essay should be organized as follows. Essay Outline Introduction (1-2 paragraphs) a) Focus on explaining the topic. Body (minimum of 4-5 paragraphs but use as many as necessary. Several short paragraphs are better than 1-2 overly long paragraphs) Write your body before your write your introduction and conclusion. Examine all aspects of the topic. Show your knowledge and grasp of the material you have read. a) Discuss the differing opinions of the topic as reflected in the research. b) Discuss any issues or problems. c) Did you have enough information? d) Did the research raise issues you hadn’t considered? e) Did the research contain confusing, incomplete or contradictory information? f) Explain how your research influenced your thinking. g) If your thinking has changed, what changed it? h) If your thinking has not changed, how did what you learned support your original opinion? i) If you’re not sure about your opinion, what information might you need to form an opinion? Conclusion (generally 1 paragraph) a) The conclusion rounds off the essay. b) Refer back to your main ideas or points and reiterate your answer to the question. c) NEVER introduce new information in your conclusion. d) The conclusion moves from specific to general.

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