Strategic Management Assignment

 General instructions:

Research, apply and answer in your own words with appropriate reference(s) and in-text citation(s) to this week’s readings, videos, and/or examples from current events to support the position and/or rationale.

Label your responses specifically “Learning activity 1”, and “Learning activity 2”.
Write in 250 words at least for initial response. Due by Thursday.
Write in 75 words for each follow-up response (at least 2 follow-up responses for each learning activity) by expanding the discussion topic substantively and explore other possibilities and/or solutions, thereby enriching class learning. Due by Sunday.

Week 2 Learning Activity 1

In Chapter 3, we learned Michael Porter’s Five-Forces Model to evaluate competitiveness within the company’s industry. Porter’s five forces include: rivalry, new entrants, suppliers, and buyers.

Unknown (2014). Introduction to strategic management.  Washington, D.C.: The Saylor Foundation.

Research a medium-sized company in a different industry where the profitability is unstable.
Explain how the five forces impact the business environment of this company.

Step 2: Follow-up postings

You may use one (or a combination) of the following approaches, and you are not limited to these approaches:

Agree or disagree with your classmate’s posting and support your rationale.
Critique the limitations of the five forces model when applying to this company.
Defend your own position by using information from this week’s reading, video, and other reference sources
Discuss what you think about the potential pitfalls (or positive aspects) of the current approach in applying the five-forces model.
Respond to the additional question(s) posted by the instructor to the whole class.

Week 2 Learning Activity 2

In Chapter 4, we will learn about SWOT analysis as an effective tool for creating a quick overview of a company’s strategic situation. SWOT is an acronym for the internal factors of Strengths (S) and Weakness (W) of a firm and the external (environmental) factors of Opportunities (O) and Threats (T) facing that firm.

Note: Please read section 4.5 SWOT analysis (only 2 pages) in Chapter 4, and watch the video on SWOT Analysis in week 3 in advance if you have not learned about this concept in the foundation business course(s) previously.


Unknown (2014). Introduction to strategic management. Washington, D.C.: The Saylor Foundation.

Step 1: Initial response:

Research a medium-sized company in one of the following industries: banking, transportation, food processing, publishing, manufacturing, and construction.
Assume that you are among the strategic management committee of that company.
Describe the background information of that company in a paragraph. Information includes and is not limited to its size, location, industry, product or service categories, and scope of business activities.
Compile a SWOT analysis of that company based on your research.

Step 2: Follow-up postings

You may use one (or a combination) of the following approaches, and you are not limited to these approaches:

Comment on some of the aspects of the SWOT analysis in your fellow learner’s posting.
Recommend alternative approaches in fine-tuning SWOT analysis.
Make alternative recommendations with reference to this week’s readings, other research findings and/or examples from current events.
Respond to the additional question(s) posted by the instructor to the whole class.      

Theme:  The External Assessment (Class notes)

Strategic Management

 Chapter 3:  Evaluating the External Environment
 Hard Ball: Five Killer Strategies for Trouncing the Competition. (HBR)

SWOT Analysis  (Threats and Opportunities) 
External Factor Evaluation (EFE) Matrix
Competitive Profile Matrix
Porter’s Five Force Model

PEST Analysis
The Five Competitive Forces That Shape Strategy (13:11 minutes)
Rumelt, R. (2011, June) The perils of bad strategy, McKinsey Quarterly.
Bradley, C., Hirt, M. & Smit, S. (2011, January).  Have you tested your strategy lately?  McKinsey Quarterly.
How to Stress-Test Your Strategy (10:15 minutes; transcript available)
Participate in week 2 learning activities - Initial response due by Thursday, follow up response due by Sunday.

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