Individual Written Assignment

Individual Written Assignment
As specified in the Course Syllabus, each student is to describe the core strategy (or business model) of a food or agribusiness firm of their choice. This is a written assignment that counts for 10 percent (100 points) of the semester grade.
This assignment is due:  APRIL 15th at 5:00pm.
Assignment Details:
Each student is to describe the core strategy (or business model) of a food or agribusiness firm of their choice.  You may not choose a firm that we have covered in class (i.e. Walmart, Starbucks, The Coca-Company, PepsiCo, ConAgra, Mutti Spa, etc.).  Your description of the firm’s core strategy should include the following elements:
(1)    Mission/Vision Statement and Strategic Objectives
(2)    Customer Value/Competitive Advantage
(3)    Strategic Initiative
(4)    Strategic Scope
a.    Product/Market Scope
b.    Geographic Scope
c.    Resource Development
(5)    Industry Role
(6)    Vertical Coordination
For each core strategy element (#2-6), identify that option chosen by the firm and provide detailed evidence that supports this option.  You MUST use multiple sources of information to complete this assignment.  In particular, students should consider company annual reports, websites, news articles, and other industry sources.  The business library (http://libguides.lib.msu.edu/busdatabases) also has access to a set of electronic databases that will be useful for this assignment.  These databases include: Hoover’s Company Records, NexisLexis Academic, Mergent Online, etc.  Your analysis should include a summary table of the elements of the firm’s core strategy (see sample template below).
Finally, your report must include an assessment of the firm’s strategy.  In particular, does the firm have a coherent strategy?  For this component of the report, it is highly recommended that you develop an activity map for the firm.  You might also consider the strategy’s ability to deliver on the strategic objectives of the firm.
Additional Instructions:
1.    The Grading Sheet for the Individual Project is attached below.  The Grading Sheet indicates specific tools and criteria that maybe useful for your analysis/plan.  You do not necessarily have to use all these tools or criteria; instead, use those that you feel are relevant to your paper.
2.    Your paper is limited to 5 pages plus exhibits (i.e. tables, graphs, appendices). You must also include a one-page executive summary (not included in the 5-page limit).

Element    Option Chosen    Evidence/Explanation
#1
#2
#3
a)
b)
c)
#4
#5
Summary Table of Core Strategy Elements

Grading Sheet on Individual Case Assignment
BUSINESS MODEL OF A FOOD OR AGRIBUSINESS FIRM.
I.    Executive Summary/Introduction        10%
Executive Summary        5%
Report Introduction (Brief Description of the Company)        5%
II.    Description of Core Strategy        50%
Strategic Intent (Vision/Mission, Goals/Objectives, etc.)        5%
Business Strategy – Customer Value/Competitive Advantage        10%
Corporate Strategy
Strategic Initiative        5%
Strategic Scope: product/industry, geographic, resource                                                                development        20%
Industry Role        5%
Vertical Coordination        5%
III.    Core Strategy Assessment        25%
Strategic Coherence (Activity Map)        15%
Overall Assessment of the Core Strategy        10%
IV.    Quality of Communication        25%
Professionalism (supported arguments, appropriate terminology, etc.)        5%
Grammar/Spelling/Sentence Structure        5%
Organization        5%
Completeness        5%
Visuals (Charts, Graphs, Pictures, etc.)        5%

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