Project one

Gettting started

There are two issues in the choice of this project: style and specific case. Our goal is to get a diversity of both styles and cases. Therefore, please identify three different styles your group would be interested in working on, and associate with each of them a specific cases, order them by preference, and post these in WebCT in milestone 1.


Note: Do not choose a case already undertaken by groups in past classes (see past reports). Contemporary cases are preferred to historical cases, although the latter can be good if they still harbor interesting or unresolved issues.


Analyze the case drawing upon resources like trade magazines, scholarly journals, Web sites, and of course the course readings and lectures, adding your own understanding and analysis. It would be welcome if you wanted to talk to people in industry about the case. Your goal is to analyze the case in light of the concepts of this course, uncovering in-depth understanding of existing strategies and strategic alternatives. Is it being approached in the best way, or if you were in charge would you approach this differently?

The project outcomes are (1) an in-class presentation of no more than 15 minutes summarizing issues considered and key insights and findings, and (2) a written report (of no more than 5000 words) posted to the Web.


See the course calendar for due dates for the project milestones and the final project due date. Only the final report will be graded; the intermediate milestones are for your benefit in positioning a good topic and covering all your bases.


        Milestone 1: Choose your list of three project styles/case combinations, ordered by preference, and post these on the WebCT in the projects area. For each proposal, give a short paragraph indicating why you think this is an interesting case. The instructors will look at all the group’s proposals, and try to strike a balance between giving you your highest choice and achieving a diversity of projects. The instructors will also give you feedback on whether your choices are likely to exercise the knowledge developed in this class.

        Milestone 2: Post on WebCT an outline of your project presentation (please make it visible for all students to see). The instructors will give you individual feedback on completeness and organization.

        Milestone 3: You will give an oral presentation in class up to 15 min in length outlining the major issues you addressed and the major conclusions you arrived at. Your primary goal is to expose the other students to your good works and to motivate them to read your report when it is available. Comments you receive after your presentation may influence your written report. After your presentation, please post any slides you used on WebCT for the benefit of all students and instructors.

        Milestone 4: Post a written report on WebCT, making it available to all students. The main body of the report should not exceed 5000 words in length (it can be shorter). You are welcome to add appendices and footnotes (outside the 5000-word limit) that include detail or background material; however, your instructors do not promise to read the appendices or footnotes carefully and take them into account in your grade. The deadline for the written report is 7 days after your oral presentation.

        Follow-up. Each member of the group please assign your 100 points to the other group members based on their individual contributions to the group’s efforts (choosing a topic, report, and presentation) on this project using a form posted on WebCT.


See the “grading” section for general grading policies. Note that the group will receive a grade on the project as a whole, and each individual member of the group will be graded for their participation and contribution to the final report as judged by their fellow group members.


Grading will generally favor reports with several characteristics:


The group grade will be assigned by your instructors based on both presentation and written report, with no explicit partitioning between them. The following are the criteria and the weighting of those criteria:


Sophistication of analysis, quality of conclusions


Scope, completeness, and detail taking into account the group size




Organization and style, including presentation and report