Module 2 - Home
External Environment Analysis
An environmental analysis can be an extensive undertaking, requiring far more time and resources than we have for this course. Therefore, be sure that you do not give an inordinate amount of attention to any one factor to the exclusion of other important ones.
Keys to the Assignment
- Step One: Using the sources you identified in the SLP, collect some data to support an industry analysis of each of the Five Forces in Porter's model.
- Step Two: Using the sources you identified in the SLP, collect some data to support an analysis of each of the four elements in the PEST analysis. When considering economic data, use the most current data you can find.
- Step Three:In a 5- to 6-page paper, write the results of your external analysis, and be sure to label each of the Five Forces as high,moderate, orlow. Taken together, the Five Forces analysis and the PEST analysis should lead to conclusions about the opportunities and threats facing the Kraft Foods Group as revealed by your research. The data you report from the Five Forces and PEST analysis must be properly cited using APA style.
- Step Four:Consider the Case as a formal business report that you are developing for the Board of Directors and CEO as theKraft Foods Group'sconsultant. This is a professional document. Follow the format below:
- Executive summary: This is a synopsis of the main points, conclusions, and recommendations made in the longer report. If you would like a refresher on writing an executive summary, check this website:.highendfinance.com/CommercialLoans/Docs/07-4%20ES%20Guidelines.doc">http://www.highendfinance.com/CommercialLoans/Docs/07-4%20ES%20Guidelines.doc
- Introduction:State the main purpose of the paper (thesis statement), what you hope to accomplish, and how you will go about doing it.
- Main Body: The "meat" of the paper. Emphasize analysis, not just description. Use section headings in this paper—and all papers. For example:
- Executive Summary
- Porter's Five Forces
- Threat of Entry
- Bargaining Power of Suppliers
- Bargaining Power of Customers
- Political Environment
- Economic Environment
- Sociocultural Environment
- Technological Environment
- Overall Impressions Concerning the Company's Environment (Opportunities and Threats)
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 ( i.e., the Keys to the Assignment) addressed?
- Depth - Does the paper address the topic in sufficient depth and include the Background readings 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
Module 2 - SLP
The key aspects of this assignment that should be covered in your paper are:
- Step One: Research Web and library sources that would give you the kinds of data you would need to conduct a Porter Five Forces analysis. Use the Kraft Foods Group (and thus, the foods industry) as the basis for this SLP. Note: We are not looking for sites that describe the Five Forces, but sites that will provide you with datathat you will be able to use to conduct your own external environmental analysis (e.g., to analyze the degree of competition in an industry, or the ease of substitution). You have undoubtedly run into such websites and publications before in your core courses. Typically, they are government sources providing statistical data, industry or trade magazines or journals, general business publications, finance websites, websites for trade associations, etc.
- Step Two: This is a two-step process:
- Determine what kinds of information you would need to evaluate each of Porter's forces (see the background materials), and then find a source that will give you that information. Find a minimum of one or two sources for each of Porter's forces.
- Research Web and library sources that would give you data to support a PEST analysis. Find at least one or two sources for each PEST variable.
- Step Three: For each source you have given above, provide a title and a URL (if applicable), and write a sentence or two explaining what information is provided by the source and how the source would be useful in conducting an external analysis, and critiquing the source (e.g., what are the strengths and limitations of the source)?
- Note: There are no length requirements for the SLP, however, you must address the above requirements precisely (two sources for each Porter and PEST factor), and you must critique the validity of each source with adequate depth.