write a concise synopsis of the major strategic issues facing an
organization for senior managers who have little time to read a long report.
Sections to Include – Use headings to summarize each of the following areas using information
from the case itself and additional references (you will need to consider the situation as it was at the
time the case was written except for the update section). The case mostly provides information on the
United States market with naturally some discussion of the firm’s international activities in general but
you can include additional insights on the United Arab Emirates market if you like.
Issues – A few sentences should be used at the beginning in order to recap the major
issue(s) facing the organization. Do not retell the whole history of the organization, but rather
what needs to be addressed at the end of the case. [1 mark]
Situational Analysis – The main external and internal factors affecting the organization
when the case was written should be examined using at least a paragraph for each
subsection (i.e., perform a more thorough evaluation, rather than just doing a simple SWOT
External Environment – How do the natural, general external/macro-, and
operating/task (e.g., Porter’s 5-forces) environments, industry structure and life cycle,
industry drivers, and other trends seem to affect the firm and industry? You should only
identify the main opportunities and threats facing the firm after conducting the more
thorough analysis first. [3 marks]
Internal Environment – How is the firm doing (i.e., in general, how are its financial
situation, growth, market share, and other measures of performance affecting the
organization’s overall health)? What are its most important, resources, capabilities, core
competencies, and value chain activities? Does it have any kind of competitive
advantage and if it does, how sustainable is it (or, on the other hand, does it have
disadvantages, core rigidities, etc.)? How do its structure, leadership, and culture affect it?
You should only identify its main strengths and weaknesses after conducting the more
thorough analysis first.
Key Industry Success Factors – Summarize in a few sentences the most important factors
affecting all similar firms engaged in this line of business. In other words, what are the main
external and internal factors that affect the success of all close rivals in this particular
industry or industry segment (or similar diversified firms or conglomerates if the firm is
involved in multiple industries) and how is the firm doing relative to these criteria? This is not
the same thing as simply listing what has made the organization successful (although, top
firms will likely do well with respect to some KSFs). [1 mark]
Strategies – A paragraph should be used to determine what main strategies (i.e., at the
corporate-, business-, functional-, operational-, cooperative-, and/or international-levels) are
being employed by the firm (at the time the case was written). How successfully are these
strategies working, particularly as they relate to the previously identified issues? [3
Recommendations – Indicate in a paragraph or so: What are the firm’s main options? Which
are most feasible? What should the firm do, and why? Should the current strategies be
modified, and if so, how? What would it take to really implement new strategies (i.e., what
action items and action plans would be necessary)? Remember to address the particular
issues that were identified earlier
Update – Tell us in just a few sentences what has happened to the organization since the
case was written with regard to the issues that were previously identified. Are there any
other major events that have affected it lately?
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