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Module 1 – Case
Strategic Review

BACKGROUND:
XCG
THE EXCELLENT CONSULTING GROUP
Communication from Art Epance:
Welcome to this project. ABC Company and Whole Foods Market expect
us to provide them with top-notch advice on how to integrate Whole
Foods into ABC Company. I will be working on analyzing ABC
Company. You will be working on analyzing Whole Foods Market. Review as
much information as you can on the Whole Foods Market website, particularly
that in the “Investor Relations” section. At a minimum, review the
following materials in preparation for your report/analysis:
REQUIRED READING:
Reuters
Company Profile: Whole Foods Market. Retrieved on November 7, 2012
from: http://www.reuters.com/finance/stocks/companyProfile?symbol=WFM.O
Case study: http://pnphillip.asp.radford.edu/whole%20Foods%20Case.pdf
(be sure that you do not rely on this document as your primary source of
information, but be sure that you have synthesized information from multiple
sources). Retrieved on November 7, 2012 from: http://tainted-ink.net/archives/102.
Article: Business
Analysis: Whole Foods Market Retrieved on November 7, 2012
(again, do not rely on this document as a primary source of
information, but be sure that you have synthesized information from multiple
sources).
Whole Foods Market website: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/
Retrieved on November 7, 2012.
Whole Foods Market (about the company) Whole Foods Market Retrieved
on November 7, 2012 from: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/company-info.
Whole
Foods Market – Annual Stakeholders Report, 2011. Retrieved
on November 7, 2012 from: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/company-info/investor-relations/annual-reports.
Review Case Analysis since it is so important in this final
course. The purpose of a Case is to show that you have thought critically about
the subject matter that you are learning and to make an argument for a Claim
about the specific situation in the Case Assignment. Stephen Toulmin has
developed an Argument Methodology that is very useful in Making a Case.
To review Case Analysis and Toulmin’s Argument Methodology, go to Making a Case page.

CASE 1 ASSIGNMENT:
First, you need to do a strategic analysis of Whole Foods Market. The
executives want us to provide an independent, objective view of Whole Foods
Market’s current strategic position, including full information
of Whole Foods Market’s mission, vision and values. They want to identify
its current set of strategic goals, and a critical assessment of
the competition and the competitive environment (remote and operating
environments). Also, they want to see the opportunities and
threats Whole Foods is presently facing, and they need a
general idea of the company’s strengths and weaknesses. Whole Foods
Market and ABC Company want to know if we think they should make
any strategic changes or continue with the status
quo. Synthesize everything you have learned, provide a final
recommendation, and justify your reasoning.
KEYS TO THE ASSIGNMENT:
Do
diligent research on Whole Foods Market. I have included links to various
websites above.As an MBA,
you must perform additional research to find information on competition
and general trends for opportunities and threats. For the competitive
analysis, identify a minimum of three of the top competitive companies and
their best-selling services or products – and justify why each is a viable
competitor.Your
report should be thorough, and follow closely the outline that I have
given you. The final section is the most important one. Use
excellent logic and sharp argumentation skills to make your case.
The report must be 5-7 pages minimumand no more than 10
pages.
ASSIGNMENT EXPECTATIONS:
Your paper will be evaluated on the following seven points:
Precision
– Does the paper address the question(s) or task(s)? Breadth –
Is the full breadth of the subject, that is, the Keys to the Assignment,
addressed? Depth –
Does the paper address the topic in sufficient depth and include the
background reading and other background resources as references? Critical
thinking – Is the subject thought about critically, that is, accurately,
logically, relevantly, and precisely?Clarity –
Is the writing clear and are the concepts articulated properly? Are
paraphrasing and synthesis of concepts the primary means of responding to
the questions or are points conveyed through excessive use of
quotations? Organization
– Is the paper well written? Are the grammar, spelling, and
vocabulary appropriate for graduate-level work? Are headings
included in all papers longer than two pages? Referencing
(citations and references) – Does the paper include citations and
quotation marks where appropriate? Are the references from the
background readings and assignment present and properly cited? Are
all the references listed in the bibliography present and referred to
via citation?
TIPS AND SUGGESTIONS
Optimize your research time:
Get an overview of the Case Assignments so you know what information you
will be looking for when you do research. As you do research for Case 1,
you can also be finding information and data for the other cases, too.
Continue this strategy as you do research for the next case and the next,
etc. The more information you have about the chosen company, the better
you will get to know it. The better you get to know it, the better your
analysis will be.You may
use a simple diagram to highlight important factors. However, do not use
the diagram in lieu of valuable analysis (or to take up valuable writing space).
It should be in addition to your 5-7 pages of analysis.Just
because you have written the minimum five pages does not mean that you
have adequately covered the topic. Err on the side of writing more
rather than less.Choose the
data you use carefully. Is it relevant and important?Include a
cover page and reference page, in addition to the 5-10 pages of analysis
described above.Include
section headings within the paper.Cite and
reference all sources that you use in your work, including those that you
paraphrase. This means include citations and quotation marks for
direct quotes of more than five words, and citations for that information
which you have “borrowed” or paraphrased from other sources.Follow TUI
Guidelines for well-written papers.

INTERNET RESEARCH TIPS
Search for articles in the business and trade press that give an
independent view of the company; you do not want to depend solely on
corporate information. Check the financial websites such as Yahoo Finance,
MSN Money, Morningstar, Dunn & Bradstreet, and Standard and Poor’s for
reports by industry and financial analysts. Wiki’s and blogs are good ways to
get an “inside” look and helpful for evaluating corporate
culture/climate.

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