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MGT599 – Strategic Management Module 4 – SLP
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Background

 

In the Module 4 SLP, you will be learning how to apply and integrate the results of your SWOT (discussed in Modules 2 & 3) with the four generic business strategies discussed in this module. As we have done in the past 3 modules, we will take you through the process step-by-step:

 

Note: Throughout this course, you should complete the SLP before you undertake the case analysis.  Before you begin the SLP, you need to read the background materials thoroughly. 

 

Required Reading

 

If you are having trouble determining how to integrate the SWOT factors with different strategies, the following two readings may help.

 

1) The first article includes some examples of how RBV variables can be used to leverage a cost or differentiation strategy:

 

Competitive Advantage (2007). Retrieved on August 15, 2011 from: http://www.quickmba.com/strategy/competitive-advantage/

 

2) The second reading demonstrates how a cost, differentiation, or focus strategy can help a company defend itself against Porter’s 5-Forces:

 

Porter’s Generic Strategies. (2007). Retrieved on August 15, 2011 from: http://www.quickmba.com/strategy/generic.shtml

 

Assignment

 

In this module, we will be integrating the results of our SWOT with our chosen strategy.

 

Keys to the Assignment

 

·         Step 1:  Create a 5×5 table with the four strategies listed across the top and the four SWOT variables along the side as follows:

 

 

   Low cost

Differentiation

       Focus

  Preemptive

Strengths

 

 

 

 

Weaknesses

 

 

 

 

Opportunities

 

 

 

 

Threats

 

 

 

 

 

·         Step 2:  From your work in modules 2 and 3, select one element from any of the analytical models we studied that contributes to each of the four SWOT variables.  For example, for Weaknesses, you may want to choose an element from Porter’s Value Chain (say, operations), while for Opportunities you may want to select something from the PEST analysis (say, socio-cultural factors).  Select one for Strengths and Threats as well.

 

·         Step 3: Enter the elements you have chosen with the corresponding SWOT variable.  Below, I have shown how I have selected “Strong Competitive Rivalry” for Threats. Note that I could have also chosen high barriers to entry, high bargaining power of suppliers or customers, high substitutability (from 5-Forces analysis), or a specific political, economic, social, or technological factor (from PEST). Complete this process for all four SWOT variables.

 

 

    Low cost

Differentiation

      Focus

  Preemptive

Strengths

 

 

 

 

Weaknesses

 

 

 

 

Opportunities

 

 

 

 

Threats:  Strong competitive rivalry

 

 

 

 

 

·         Step 4:  This is the most challenging part. Indicate what impact each strategy might have on each SWOT factor you have chosen by offering a business action that will address the SWOT. I’ve chosen one threat: Strong competitive rivalry. Follow that factor across all four generic strategies. How would a low-cost strategy address an industry environment characterized by intense rivalry? What about a differentiation strategy? Focus?  Preemptive?  In other words, you are considering the same industry threat – but addressing it differently depending on the chosen strategy. See the example below.

 

 

Low cost

Differentiation

Focus

Pre-emptive

Strengths

 

 

 

 

Weaknesses

 

 

 

 

Opportunities

 

 

 

 

Threats:  Strong competitive rivalry

Undercut rivals on price through operational economies

Brand loyalty attracts repeat customers

Find an underserved market segment that  rivals are unwilling to serve

Beat the rivals out of the gate, establish dominant position

 

Thus, the strategic action you choose to fill in a given blank should do two things: 1) offer a tactic for taking advantage of a strength or opportunity or for managing a threat or weakness, and 2) follow the basic thrust of the strategy in that column.

 

Assignment Expectations

 

Your paper will be evaluated on the following points:

 

·         Precision – Does the paper address the question(s) or task(s)?

 

·         Breadth – Is the full breadth of the subject, i.e., all the keys to the assignment, addressed? 

 

·         Depth – Does the paper address all elements of the topic in sufficient depth?   Does it include and apply the background readings and other background resources?  Are they included as references?

 

·         Application – Are the concepts of the module appropriately applied to the subject organization?

 

·         Organization – Is the paper organized in a coherent and systematic manner?  Are headings included in all papers greater than 2 pages?

 

·         Clarity – Is the writing clear and the concepts articulated properly?  Are paraphrasing and synthesis of concepts the primary means of response to the questions, or are thoughts conveyed through excessive use of quotations? 

 

·         Referencing (citations and references) – Does the paper use citations and quotation marks where appropriate?  Are all references listed in the bibliography used and referred to via citation?

 

Tips and Suggestions

 

·         Click here to access Dr. Flaschner’s recommended search engines.

 

·         There are no right or wrong answers to this exercise, provided that your analysis is logical. That is, the factors you chose must align with the appropriate SWOT variable, and the business actions you choose must align with the proper strategy.

 

·         Take care to prepare a professional presentation of your table. It should fit on one page and be readable. You will probably have more luck with a landscape layout than portrait layout.

 

·         Include headings for all papers greater than 2 pages (basically all papers).

 

·         Cite AND reference all sources that you use in your work, including those that you do not quote but paraphrase.  This means include citations and quotation marks for direct quotes of more than 5 words, and citations for that information which you have “borrowed” or paraphrased from other sources.

 

·         Follow TUI Guidelines for well-written papers.  Please visit: http://www.tuiu.edu/files/Well-Written-Paper.pdf if you are unsure of what those guidelines are.

 

·         Submit your analysis to Coursenet by the end of this module.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Background
 
In the Module 4 SLP, you will be learning how to apply and integrate the results of your SWOT (discussed in Modules 2 & 3) with the four generic business strategies discussed in this module. As we have done in the past 3 modules, we will take you through the process step-by-step:
 
Note: Throughout this course, you should complete the SLP before you undertake the case analysis.  Before you begin the SLP, you need to read the background materials thoroughly. 
 
Required Reading
 
If you are having trouble determining how to integrate the SWOT factors with different strategies, t

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