For your final paper, please choose either the industry, resources, or institution-based views of strategy, and apply that model to a company or industry of your choosing. You can choose any company or industry for this assignment, and you are encouraged to choose one that you have a personal or professional interest in.
You should aim to write your paper for an audience that is familiar with strategy, but not necessarily the company or industry you choose to analyze (In short, your professor). That is, you can assume your readers will know the models and terminology of strategy, but are unfamiliar with your specific company or industry.
In general, your paper should include the following sections
- An introduction (with a clear thesis)
- Literature Review
- Background Information on your company and industry
- Analysis (that is, applying one of the above models to your company or industry)
Below are the key elements of these sections, but depending on your topic you may wish to have sub-sections of the above, or include other sections that contain relevant information.
- For your introduction, you should clearly introduce the topic of your research paper, and the models you will apply. This introdcution should also include a thesis statement, which is usually a few sentences to a paragraph that succintly states what you will argue in your paper. For example, if you are applying the 5 forces framework to a particular company, this is where you would state explicitly what forces are strong and weak and why.
- For Background Information, you should describe your company or industry (assume your audience is unfamiliar with this). Here you might describe the company history, size, ownership structure, etc. If you are looking at an industry, you might want to relate the history of the industry, the number and size of companies within it, etc.
- For the Literature review you will review more specific literature on the framework that you use (i.e., the industry, resources, or institution-based frameworks). Keep in mind, these are well-known models of strategy and there are many academic articles associated with them (not only the ones we read in class). Here you should describe the usefulness of the model you pick, and its relevance for the industry or company of your choosing. The review here should be mostly (peer reviewed) academic articles, as opposed to the background information section, which can be news articles or company reports.
- The Analysis section is where you apply the model of strategy to the company/ industry that you pick. You will have practice doing this in our case studies, but this is an opportunity for you to perform this analysis on a topic that is of personal interest to you.
- In your conclusion, you should make recommendations for the company or industry based on your analysis. What are the potential opportunities and threats for your company/ industry in the future? How can your company develop a sustained competitive advantage? How will your industry evolve and what will firms need to do to remain competitive? These are some of the key questions you may wish to consider.
- Include a bibliography with your paper. Please use APA style for citations.
- Finally, include at least 5 quality references from peer-reviewed sources. These will usually appear in your literature review (they do not include company reports and news articles). Aim for 12-13 double spaced pages (not including bibliography) in Times New Roman size 12 font. Have one inch margins on all sides of the paper. Please be sure to spell check and grammar check your papers too. Paper will be submitted via on Canvas, and they are due on the last day of class.
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