BA 301 Research & Analysis of Business Problems

BA 301 Research & Analysis of Business Problems


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BA 301 – Research & Analysis of Business Problems

Homework Assignment #1


· Hand this in at the beginning of class, not by email.

· Use Times New Roman, 12-point font, 1-inch margins.

· Make sure you show your name, course number, and section number on the page.

· Number the answers, and place them in the correct order


Assignment Overview – Write A Situation Analysis For Your Paper

Before you can investigate or identify problems in a company, you must have a solid understanding of that company. Do they have a long-term strategic plan? What is it? Do they have mission or vision statements? How strong are their financials? Do they have a strong balance sheet? What is the competitive environment? Are there any ongoing legal issues? Does it operate in a regulated environment? Who are their critical stakeholders? Is a positive public perception important to the company? Does your company have a positive or negative public perception?

Use the library databases (i.e., IBISWorld, Business Insights: Essentials, Mintel for example) and company filings (i.e., 10K and similar public information from the company) along with trade journals and other published info to provide an overview and synthesis of your company’s current situation. Organize this analysis into three sections: 1) Internal Performance, 2) Industry Perspective, and 3) Environmental Factors

1.) Internal performance – This should start with the company’s strategy, mission, vision, values and stakeholders. Performance indicators include company financials (i.e., revenue and profit), debt levels and other key balance sheet items, historical stock performance (if public), innovation (patents), and legal issues. Multiple time points are better than one. Identify trends and changes where possible.

2.) Industry perspective – What is the outlook for the industry in which your company operates and how is your company performing when compared to its competitors? IbisWorld and Mintel are great sources of data for this section. Identify and gather data for their top three competitors, at the least. This might be a good place for a SWOT analysis.

3.) Environmental Factors – Identify the important external factors that are influencing your company’s performance. Are there new regulations, or do you see significant changes in the future? Identify technological trends that may impact the company? Are there social and civic groups critical of your firm’s practices?

This analysis should be three pages in length – single spaced. Three pages requires you to be concise and direct. You will likely write 5-6 pages for your first draft and spend time editing so that only the most crucial information remains in an organized, clearly articulated format. This is not just a regurgitation of your research; it’s a synthesis and summary of all that you’ve found. Every sentence should deliver some kind of information. There is no room for fluff. In addition to the 3-page summary, please include a work-cited page of sources used (at least 5) in MLA format. If you do a great job on this, it will provide the basis for the first section of your final paper.

NOTE: the topics and questions listed above are examples of the kinds of information which you might start with. However, because every company is different and their situations are varied, it’s important for you to recognize that what is relevant to one company and their situation, is not relevant to another. You have to determine what information is key just as you would in a typical business situation.

Rev Aug 2014 1

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