The final paper is a culmination of your research throughout the term. The overall purpose of the paper is to prepare a strategic plan to overcome the identified challenges and grow the business over the next three years.
Your strategic plan must include the following sections:
Week 1 – Section 1:
Below is a list of five large and significant organizations. Research each organization and select one as the topic for the final paper:
- CSX – Transportation industry
- JBS – Food industry
- University of Arizona Global Campus (formerly known as Ashford University) – Higher education
- Nokia – Technology industry
- Simon Properties Group – Real Estate and Retail
Each organization is unique and has important strategic challenges. Once you select an organization, begin a detailed search to identify the history, industry, mission and vision, values and purpose, the leadership within, and potential competition.
Also, research and locate a news item (within the last 12 to 24 months) that is affecting the company and posing a challenge to its strategy. Challenges come in many different forms and could be positive or negative. You may discover leadership issues, legal or legislative issues, environmental challenges, human resource concerns, product design and research challenges, growth challenges, or possibly financial issues. Keep in mind that the identified challenge will be the core of the strategic review and recommendations developed throughout the paper.
Once your research is complete, prepare Section 1 of the paper. Section 1 must have at a minimum three full pages of content (excluding the cover and reference pages). You must include at a minimum three resources that provide qualified information related to the organization. Wikipedia is not a qualified resource. Use the Scholarly, Peer-Reviewed, and Other Credible Sources (Links to an external site.) document for additional guidance. Include the text as a scholarly resource to support theory and concepts related to strategy. During the construction of Section 1, be specific and refrain from making assumptions. .
- To complete this assignment, you must address the following:
- Select an organization.
- Identify the history, the industry, the mission and vision, the values and purpose, the leadership within, and potential competition.
- Research and locate a new item that is affecting the company and posing a challenge to its strategy.
Week 2 – Section 2:
During Week 2, much focus is placed on various strategic thinking models and the impact upon the overall organizational strategic process. Now that you have a broad knowledge of your chosen organization, it is time to dig a bit deeper into the structure and the process by which decisions are made within the company. Define the specific organizational design and the governance structure of the chosen company. Support your choices with specific examples and research.
During Week 1, you researched and identified a specific problem or challenge the organization is experiencing. Describe the challenge and explain why it is a problem for the organization. Include how the problem is or has the potential to affect the strategies of the company. Be specific and support your findings.
Section 2 of the paper must have at a minimum two full pages of content (excluding the cover and reference pages). You must include at a minimum two scholarly resources (in addition to the text) that support specific strategies used to prepare the paper. Wikipedia is not a qualified resource. Use the Scholarly, Peer-Reviewed, and Other Credible Sources (Links to an external site.) document for additional guidance. Include the text as a scholarly resource to support theory and concepts related to strategy. During the construction of Section 2, be specific and refrain from assumption.
Week 3 – Section 3:
When an organization is faced with a challenge, or perhaps a new opportunity, care must be taken to properly diagnose the issues at hand so that proper actions are developed to accomplish the task in the most effective manner possible. During Week 2, you clearly defined a challenge for your chosen organization. During Week 3, you will develop a SWOT analysis targeting specifics of the organization that will impact the potential outcomes of the challenge.
Prior to building the SWOT analysis, review the following websites for ideas and guidance on developing proper questioning for the analysis:
- SWOT Analysis (Links to an external site.)
- SWOT Analysis: How to Develop a Strategy for Success (Links to an external site.)
- What is a SWOT Analysis, and How to Do It Right (With Examples) (Links to an external site.)
- SWOT Analysis: What Is It and When To Use It (Links to an external site.)
Develop a SWOT analysis for the organization you are researching for your Final Paper. Define one or two findings for each section of the SWOT analysis that would be pertinent and specific to the outcome of the challenge identified during Week 2. For each section of the SWOT:
- provide a definition for the section,
- define a characteristic of the organization for the section, and use the defined questioning as the catalyst for the characteristic
- and then, tell why that finding is important to resolving the challenge.
EXAMPLE: Using scholarly research, define the letter S in SWOT. Then, through research, define a strength of the organization that is vital to resolving the challenge defined during Week 2. Include the reasoning as to why the strength is important and relate your findings to your SWOT questions. Continue this process for each letter of the SWOT analysis.
Conclude this section of the paper with a paragraph briefly discussing the importance of the findings and how they will help reach a logical solution to the challenge and the possible type of strategy that best fits the process.
Section 3 of the paper must have at a minimum two full pages of content (excluding the cover and reference pages). You must include at a minimum of two scholarly resources (in addition to the text) that support specific strategies used to prepare the paper. Wikipedia is not a qualified resource. Use the Scholarly, Peer-Reviewed, and Other Credible Sources (Links to an external site.) document for additional guidance. Include the text as a scholarly resource to support theory and concepts related to strategy. During the construction of Section 3, be specific and refrain from assumption.
Week 5 – Final Section and Requirements of the Capstone Paper:
The final section of the Capstone Paper must review the challenge and recommend a strategy for addressing the challenge based on research. Along with the strategy, define the potential financial or budgetary impact the strategy might present, including the additional costs that may arise if the problem or issue is not resolved effectively. Describe the metrics that the organization might consider for measuring the outcomes of the strategy utilized to resolve the challenge.
The entire paper will consist of the sections written during Weeks 1, 2, 3, and 5. It should begin with an executive summary, which is an abbreviated capture of the entire paper and as such should touch upon all major points while engaging the reader. The paper should close with a proper conclusion summarizing the concepts discussed in the paper. Remember, the summary is not a reiteration of the assignment requirements but a focus on the concepts and strategies related to the defined organizational challenge.
- Your paper must be at a minimum of 10 pages in length (excluding the title and reference pages) and formatted according to APA style guidelines as outlined in the Writing Center. In addition, you must use at least five scholarly sources to support and defend theories, informational resources to define and describe the organization, and the course text for further support. Remember to incorporate information that you have learned from this course as well as your personal experience. Review feedback received on assignments submitted during Weeks 1, 2, and 3. All revisions, corrections, or recommendations must be included in the final paper.
The Capstone Paper
- Must be at least 10 double-spaced pages in length (not including title and references pages) and formatted according to APA Style (Links to an external site.) as outlined in the Writing Center’s APA Formatting for Microsoft Word (Links to an external site.) resource.
- Must include a separate title page with the following:
- Title of paper
- Student’s name
- Course name and number
- Instructor’s name
- Date submitted
- Must utilize academic voice. See the Academic Voice (Links to an external site.) resource for additional guidance.
- Must include an introduction and conclusion paragraph. Your introduction paragraph needs to end with a clear thesis statement that indicates the purpose of your paper. For assistance on writing Introductions & Conclusions (Links to an external site.) as well as Writing a Thesis Statement (Links to an external site.), refer to the Writing Center resources.
- Must use at least five scholarly, peer-reviewed credible sources in addition to the course text.
- The Scholarly, Peer-Reviewed, and Other Credible Sources (Links to an external site.) table offers additional guidance on appropriate source types. If you have questions about whether a specific source is appropriate for his assignment, please contact your instructor. Your instructor has the final say about the appropriateness of a specific source for a particular assignment.
- Must document any information used from sources in APA Style as outlined in the Writing Center’s APA: Citing Within Your Paper (Links to an external site.) guide.
- Must include a separate references page that is formatted according to APA Style as outlined in the Writing Center. See the APA: Formatting Your References List (Links to an external site.) resource in the Writing Center for specifications.
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