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Instructions for Individual Report Proposal
Industry Analysis or Organization’s strategy analysis
The objective of the Individual Report (IR) is to write a paper on an individual basis, based on a personal research. The IR Proposal prepares the work for the IR. This document provides instructions for both IR and IR Proposal.
At the end, it also provides a template for the IR Proposal that students must copy and paste (and fill). This template is for the IR Proposal submission.
Each student chooses only one of the two options: 1)-the Industry Analysis OR 2)- the Organization Strategy Analysis. Only one of the two.
These two options are exclusive and correspond to two different levels of analysis.
In Option 1), the unit of analysis is the industry and the tools used relate to an understanding of the situation within the industry, and of the dynamics it is experiencing. Therefore, tools such as the Porter’s Five Force Model of Competition, the Industry Life Cycle; the PESTEL model, and the strategic mapping with its strategic groups are relevant.
In Option 2), the unit of analysis is the organization (a for-profit company, a nonprofit, a state agency, etc.). Students have entire freedom to select an organization of any size in any industry. In this option 2, it is possible to study the entire strategy of the organization, with the various levels of strategy (corporate, business, functional, and may be deployment). A SWOT analysis is also a relevant tool. It is also possible to focus on one aspect of strategy (for example internationalization strategy, CSR action, etc.), or one strategic variable of the organization (for example organizational culture, organizational structure, organizational leadership, organizational technology, etc.). For a specific aspect of strategy, the tools vary with the central topic, and relate to the analysis of this central topic. For example, if you study CSR in an organization, you should have a typology of the categories of CSR and analyze their benefits for the organization. You should explain how CSR connects with the overall strategy. For example, if you study the organizational culture of an organization, you should have models that describe and categorize cultures, show the implication of a certain culture, describe the stages of cultural change if relevant, and show the connection with the organization strategy.
You must be clear about the precise topic of study. The more precise you get, the more in-depth information you need to collect about a narrow scope. Your choice depends on your interest and on your access to information.
This Proposal for the Individual Report makes you think ahead about this IR, and invites you to plan for its writing. Your proposal is not set in stone, and can always be changed later if you need to do so. The goal of the Proposal is to force you to think ahead, and to avoid the last minute rush that happens when students realize that they do not have enough information for their industry or company of choice. They had often filled the Proposal form quickly and without serious research, not realizing that the available volume of information was not sufficient or that the scheduled interviews evaporated.
The quality (and therefore the grade) of a report is proportional to the effort put in the initial research, demonstrated by the richness of the bibliography and the number of references. A dozen references or so seems a good average.
The template for the IR Proposal is presented at the end of this document. Please copy and paste and fill only the portion you need to fill.
Instructions for Individual Report
Common objective to assignments Industry analysis and Strategy analysis
The objective of these assignments is to write a paper on an individual basis, based on a personal research and upon students’ choice of an industry or of an organization.
Students choose only one of the two assignments.
Each student can submit an Individual report alone or with another student.
The study of the industry explores its strategic characteristics found in the literature or in articles from magazines, and from primary research sources as well. It describes the state of development of that industry and its future.
Both primary research (information collected specifically for this research and directly from the sources close to the phenomenon) and secondary research (information collected from repositories of knowledge that pre-existed the study, and were not designed specifically for this study) must be used. Secondary research is easier to implement than primary research. Primary research requires an effort of design of the collection plan, and an action to collect this information (typically interview of informants into an organization or interview of actors who have specific knowledge about the organization).
The individual report describes and presents the chosen industry. This exercise is part of the strategic management process, which covers the industry analysis. You are acting as if you were a consultant hired by a company in this industry to provide rational elements for the development of the company.
The industry that you will study can be a nascent industry, which means that (for) this industry:
1.Is not yet mainstream and at an early stage of development.
2.Products or services are just starting to be commercialized or prototypes exist ready for being used, but there are not commodities.
3.Literature exists on the industry, and people are getting interested in it.
Examples of nascent industries include: drones; commercial spatial exploration and travel; small-sat industry; urban mobility and UAVs; robotics; artificial intelligence; flying cars; electrical cars; electrical bikes; nano-technologies in medicine (or other applications); systematic car renting as an alternative to ownership; space habitat; rockets for launching to space; virtual reality devices; etc. The list is not exclusive.
The industry needs not to be nascent. It can be a classic and established industry. To see examples of industries, you can consult professional publications such as industry and companies rankings from Fortune.
The report provides as much information as possible on that industry that would contribute to better strategic decisions for an incumbent of this industry or for a company that would like to enter the industry.
The most critical criteria in the choice of an industry are first your access to information about this industry; and second your interest for this industry. If you like the industry, searching material about it will be a pleasure.
For industry analysis, the set of available tools is straightforward.
1.Key Success Factors (of industry).
2.Life cycle analysis.
4.Porter’s Five Force Model of Competition (P5Fm).
6.Strategic groups mapping.
7.Value chain of the industry.
8.Analysis of competitive advantage.