Organization Analysis Strategic Recommendations

Description

Touchstones are projects that illustrate your comprehension of the course material, help you to refine skills, and demonstrate application of knowledge. You can work on a Touchstone anytime, but you can’t submit it for grading until you have completed the unit’s Milestone(s). After you’ve submitted a Touchstone, it will be graded and counted towards your final course score.
Touchstone 4: Organization Analysis & Strategic Recommendations
SCENARIO: Select an organization you are familiar with or have worked for (currently or in the past). You are tasked with analyzing the organization both internally and externally using some of the tools and frameworks you have learned in this course. You are also tasked with recommending changes to the organization’s strategy and structure, in addition to considering associated ethical implications. This assignment requires you to apply SWOT analysis, PESTEL analysis, Porter’s Five Forces of Industry Analysis, Porter’s Generic Strategies, and organization design concepts related to strategy-structure fit. You will prepare a slide deck containing your analysis and recommendations that could be presented to the organization’s Board. 
ASSIGNMENT: Your presentation will be 11-14 slides long, not including the title and references slides. It must include the following slides:

Title
Executive Summary
Organization Background
Internal Strengths
Internal Weaknesses
External Opportunities
External Threats
Macro Environment Analysis: PESTEL
Micro Industry Analysis: Porter’s Five Forces
Generic Strategy Recommendations
Organization Design Recommendations
Ethical Considerations
References

If you’ve never used a presentation tool like PowerPoint or Google Slides before, don’t worry! The assignment template below will help you create slides for a basic slide presentation. Then you’ll be able to practice using the presentation technology as you put the finishing touches on your presentation. 
Touchstone 4 Template
Touchstone 4 Sample 
Before you get started, let’s look at how you’ll be building the presentation, step by step.
A. Directions
Step 1: Choose an Organization
Select an organization that you are familiar with.
The most successful Learners select an organization that is a public company with readily available information to meet the analysis requirements of the rubric. These successful learners do not rely solely on their personal knowledge but instead use evidence from references to support points in the touchstone.
Learners that struggle with this touchstone are those who select an organization that is small, hyper-local, non-profit, or governmental; this includes municipalities or the company they work for. We suggest you avoid organizations in these categories.
Organizations that should not be used include:

Amazon
Amnesty International
US Bank
WalmartStep 2: Create Presentation Slides
Use a presentation tool like PowerPoint or Google Slides to outline and organize your presentation. Your presentation must include the following:SlideComponentTitle SlideYour title slide will be the first slide and should include your name, the date, and the name of the organization you selected.Executive SummaryAn executive summary should include the main points of your presentation in 1-2 slides (no more than 2). It should also include your recommendations in 1-3 bullet points. As a general rule, it is usually best (and easiest) to write the executive summary last—after the rest of your presentation is completed.Organization BackgroundThe organization background should be brief—no more than 1-2 slides. It should include a brief history of the organization, in addition to the major products or services offered and the markets that are served. Other possible categories include the founding date, mission statement, annual profits, sales regions, etc.Internal StrengthsUsing what you have learned about SWOT analysis, identify 4-6 strengths internally within the organization. You may have to make some inferences based on what you know or perceive about the organization.Internal WeaknessesUsing what you have learned about SWOT analysis, identify 4-6 weaknesses internally within the organization. You may have to make some inferences based on what you know or perceive about the organization.External OpportunitiesUsing what you have learned about SWOT analysis, list 4-6 opportunities facing the organization externally. Opportunities and threats are generally easier to identify than internal strengths and weaknesses, and are typically shared across the same industry.External ThreatsUsing what you have learned about SWOT analysis, list 4-6 threats facing the organization externally. Opportunities and threats are generally easier to identify than internal strengths and weaknesses, and are typically shared across the same industry.Macro Environment Analysis: PESTELApplying the PESTEL framework to the organization, identify 1-3 factors for each of the following: Political Factors, Economic Factors, Sociocultural Factors, Technological Factors, Environmental Factors, Legal Factors.Micro Industry Analysis: Porter’s Five ForcesAnalyze the industry the organization competes in by applying what you have learned about Porter’s Five Forces of industry analysis. You should list 2-3 observations for each of the following factors: Threat of New Entrants, Threat of Substitutes, Supplier Power, Buyer Power, and Industry Rivalry.Generic Strategy RecommendationsGiven what you have learned from your internal and external analysis of the organization, are they pursuing the right strategy? If so, why? If not, what might you recommend? Is the recommended (or current) strategy the right “fit” for the environment in which the organization competes? Be sure to select one of Porter’s three generic strategies and provide your rationale: Cost Leadership, Differentiation, or Focus.Organization Design RecommendationsIs the organization optimally designed (structured) for either your recommended or their current strategy? For example, if they are pursuing a Cost Leadership strategy, do they have a low-cost operating model? The objective here is to determine and demonstrate the degree of “fit” between strategy and structure.Ethical ConsiderationsWhat are some of the ethical considerations for your recommended (or current) strategy? Is the organization positioned for long-term sustainability? Are there issues which may ultimately affect the organization’s ability to attract and retain talented employees or maintain the credibility of their brand? Are there potential ethical dilemmas in executing any recommended changes? The need to potentially layoff thousands of workers or stop paying for benefits such as healthcare to lower operating expenses, for example?ReferencesThis touchstone requires you to use at least four sources, including the course tutorials. Ideas for outside sources include (but are not limited to) organization websites, annual reports, or news articles from reputable magazines or newspapers. Following APA formatting, your sources should appear in alphabetical order.Step 3: Add Speaker Notes
For this assignment, you are not actually giving a presentation, but rather just preparing a slide deck that summarizes your findings and recommendations.An important step in the preparation of a speech is writing speaker notes. Speaker notes are notes added to a slide presentation as a reference for the presenter and can be found below each slide. For this touchstone, add your speaker notes to explain your analysis using information from your sources. If you were giving an oral presentation, these notes wouldn’t be visible to your audience when you’re in Presenter View. But you would be able to see them, and they would guide you through your presentation.Your speaker notes will be used to evaluate your project, so make sure you write in complete sentences and pay attention to spelling and grammar. Also, make sure you’re citing the information from your sources using in-text citations in APA style. These citations should include the author’s last name and the year of publication for the source, for example, (Mitchell, 2014).Most presentation software will automatically display a field for speaker notes. If using Keynote, you can access the speaker notes by clicking on View, then Show Presenter Notes.Step 4: Submit Presentation
Once you have completed your slides and corresponding speaker notes, it is time to submit your presentation. If you are using PowerPoint, you simply need to save your presentation and upload this file to Sophia. If you are using another slide presentation technology, download the slide deck as a Microsoft PowerPoint (.pptx) and upload this version to Sophia.B. Rubric
Advanced (100%)Proficient (85%)Acceptable (75%)Needs Improvement (50%)Non-Performance (0%)Depth and Comprehensiveness of Organization Background (10 points)
Background slide(s) demonstrate in-depth knowledge of the organization’s history, major products or services, and markets, and reference relevant external sources. Background slide(s) demonstrate ample knowledge of the organization’s history, major products or services, and markets, and reference relevant external sources. Background slide(s) demonstrate basic knowledge of the organization’s history, major products or services, and markets, and reference relevant external sources. Background slide(s) demonstrate some knowledge of the organization’s history, major products or services, and markets, but may be unclear, confusing, or make no reference to external sources. Background slide is missing, or so little work has been done that no credit may be given.Application of SWOT Framework (15 points)
A SWOT analysis of the organization is conducted.At least 4 strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities are each identified. SWOT analysis is specific and evidence-based (makes reference to sources).At least 3 of each factor are identified at the advanced level. Or, at least 4 of each are identified but analysis is less specific and may not be evidence-based.At least 3 of each factor are identified, but analysis is vague and may not be evidence-based.At least 2 of each factor are identified, but analysis is vague and may not be evidence-based.Few or no strengths, weaknesses, threats, or opportunities are identified, or so little work has been done that no credit may be given.Application of PESTEL Framework (15 points)
A macro environmental analysis of the organization is conducted.At least 2 macro environmental factors for each PESTEL category are identified. Analysis demonstrates a thorough understanding of the PESTEL framework and the macro environment of the organization.At least 1 macro environmental factor for each PESTEL category is identified. Analysis demonstrates a moderate understanding of the PESTEL framework and the macro environment of the organization.Macro environmental factors for some, but not all, PESTEL categories are identified. Analysis demonstrates a limited understanding of the PESTEL framework and the macro environment of the organization.Macro environmental factors for some, but not all, PESTEL categories are identified. Analysis demonstrates confusion about the PESTEL framework and the macro environment of the organization.Few or no macro environmental factors are identified, or so little work has been done that no credit may be given.Application of Porter’s Five Forces Framework (15 points)
A micro environmental analysis of the organization is conducted.At least 2-3 observations for each of Porter’s Five Forces are made. Observations demonstrate a thorough understanding of Porter’s Five Forces and the micro environment of the organization.At least 2-3 observations for each of Porter’s Five Forces are made. Observations demonstrate a moderate understanding of Porter’s Five Forces and the micro environment of the organization.At least 1 observation for each of Porter’s Five Forces is made. Observations demonstrate a limited understanding of Porter’s Five Forces and the micro environment of the organization.Micro environmental observations for some, but not all, of Porter’s Five Forces are made. Observations demonstrate confusion about Porter’s Five Forces and the micro environment of the organization.Few or no micro environmental observations are made, or so little work has been done that no credit may be given.Strategy Recommendations (15 points)
Strategy recommendations are made and supported with evidence.Organization’s current strategy is identified and defended, or one of Porter’s three generic strategies is recommended with rationale. Strategy recommendations are highly specific and supported by SWOT and environmental analyses. Organization’s current strategy is identified and defended, or one of Porter’s three generic strategies is recommended with rationale. Strategy recommendations are moderately specific and supported by SWOT and environmental analyses. Organization’s current strategy is identified and defended, or one of Porter’s three generic strategies is recommended. Strategy recommendations are somewhat vague or unsupported by SWOT and environmental analyses. Organization’s current strategy is identified and defended, or one of Porter’s three generic strategies is recommended. Strategy recommendations may be very unclear or unsupported by SWOT and environmental analyses. No strategy recommendations are made, or so little work has been done that no credit may be given.Organization Design Recommendations (12 points)
Organization design recommendations are made and supported with evidence.Analysis of “fit” between the current organizational structure and strategy is comprehensive, and any recommendations for or against design changes are explained with evidence. Analysis of “fit” between the current organizational structure and strategy is present but abbreviated. Recommendations for or against design changes are explained with evidence. Analysis of “fit” between the current organizational structure and strategy is present but abbreviated. Recommendations for or against design changes may be unclear or unexplained. Analysis of “fit” between the current organizational structure and strategy may be missing. Recommendations for or against design changes may be unclear or unexplained. Organizational structure is not considered, or so little work has been done that no credit may be given. Ethical Considerations (10 points)
Ethical considerations for strategy recommendations are analyzed.Analysis of ethical considerations for current or recommended organizational strategy is relevant and insightful. Awareness of issues related to business ethics is strong. Analysis of ethical considerations for current or recommended organizational strategy is present but less well-developed. Awareness of issues related to business ethics is moderate. Analysis of ethical considerations for current or recommended organizational strategy is present but limited. Awareness of issues related to business ethics is somewhat weak. Analysis of ethical considerations for current or recommended organizational strategy is present but unclear or irrelevant to strategy. Awareness of issues related to business ethics is very weak. Ethical considerations are not analyzed, or so little work has been done that no credit may be given.Formatting and Mechanics (8 points)
Conventions for standard written English are followed and sources are included.Presentation is polished and professional, and contains one or no grammar, spelling, or formatting errors. At least four sources are provided in the reference slide.Presentation is mostly professional, but may contain a few grammar, spelling, or formatting errors. Three sources are provided in the reference slide.Frequent grammar, spelling, or formatting errors detract from the overall professionalism of the presentation. Two sources are provided in the reference slide.Presentation is unprofessional and/or contains a large number of grammar, spelling, or formatting errors. One source is provided in the reference slide.Presentation is unreadable, or so little work has been done that no credit may be given. No sources are provided in the reference slide.C.

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