Critical Analysis Exercises (3 @ 10% each): You will be responsible for submitting three INDIVIDUAL critical analyses of a problem or opportunity described in an article or case listed in the syllabus (on Blackboard). Critical analyses must be a maximum of three pages in length; only the first three pages will be read and evaluated. You must first identify a problem or opportunity and discuss a viable INTEGRATED operations solution based on your analysis of the firm’s circumstances. The general structure of papers involves a well-reasoned selection involving these foci. Depending on your theme, your emphasis may shift among them.
1. CONCISELY describe the CASE-SPECIFIC business situation, including the RELEVANT macro-environmental and micro-environmental conditions facing the organization.
2. Develop YOUR problem/theme statement: the opportunity or threat facing the organization. THIS GOES IN PARAGRAPH #1 or #2 AS A CLEAR STATEMENT.
3. IF – IF – REALISTIC ALTERNATIVE APPROACHES EXIST, present each SUCH alternative in sufficient detail to give the reader an idea of why it may be beneficial as opposed to another course. DO NOT WASTE SPACE ON MEANINGLESS OR UNREALISTIC “ALTERNATIVES”: THAT WILL HURT YOUR GRADE A LOT.
4. Inform the reader of your SPECIFIC, WELL-INTEGRATED REASONS for any recommendations. THIS IS TO INCLUDE RELEVANT VALUE ENHANCING INFORMATION (FINANACIALS; PROFIT-LOSS; BRAND VALUE, ETC).
5. THIS IS AN INTEGRATIVE APPLICATIONS COURSE, SO YOUR PAPER’S MAIN FOCUS IS ON: 1) SPECIFICALLY HOW WILL YOU DO THIS AND 2) HOW DOES YOUR RECOMMENDATION AFFECT VARIOUS IMPORTANT OPERATIONS AREAS OF THE BUSINESS’ PERFORMANCE (IN OTHER WORDS, INTEGRATE THE IMPLICATIONS ACROSS THESE OPERATIONS AREAS).
You are STRONGLY encouraged to do external research on the industry or the company as a context for your paper. DON’T EXPECT ABOVE A “C” FOR PAPERS THAT USE ONLY THE CASE ITSELF WITHOUT EXTERNAL, PROFESSIONAL QUALITY RESEARCH.
In-text source citations and a comprehensive bibliography are required. Your report should include the focal reading plus at least THREE references in addition to the company’s website. I do not credit unprofessional references like Wikipedia: Your image matters.
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