SPRING TERM RESEARCH PROJECT & PRESENTATION

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SPRING TERM RESEARCH PROJECT & PRESENTATION
 
 
Company Research Report Group Project
 
The company business research report project is designed to teach you how to write a comprehensive business report based on secondary research. This project will also provide you with additional experience of working in teams to complete a multi-element project under a deadline.
 
In teams, you will choose a company from the approved list of companies, research it in accordance with the guidelines presented in this packet, and write and present a comprehensive report. Groups will be assigned in teams of 4-6 people. The amount of work and coordination required for this project is significant, and you will need to leverage the strengths of each of your teammates. This project combines the skills and knowledge acquired in all of the SBS foundational classes.
 
Your written 10-15 page business report is due on April 24. The report will provide details about the industry that your company operates in, its successes, its opportunities and threats for growth, recent news/events and your recommendations.
 
Your 10 minute PPT group presentation is due on April 26.
 
To help you and your team, the project has been divided into manageable stages, with key deadlines set for each step. One of the first steps of this project is to develop a team plan and a working document identifying roles and procedures (due April 4).
 
The seven key stages of your project are: research; resource identification and an annotated bibliography; team planning and responsibilities; report outline; report rough draft; final report; and in class PPT presentation. Your week-by-week guide for accomplishing this term project will be provided (will be handed out in class and will also be posted to BB).
 
Research Requirements
 
Research requires at least 10 sources. At least two sources must be from the Suffolk Library databases. Please be sure to note these requirements:

# REQUIRED SOURCE EXAMPLES
2 INDUSTRY DATABASES (Business Source Complete, ABI Inform, LexisNexis, Euromonitor, etc.).
2 SCHOLARLY JOURNALS* (The Journal of Business, Research Journal of Business & Management, Journal of Consumer Behavior, etc.)
2 NEWS ARTICLES (must be current/within 12 months) Mainstream business press (e.g., Business Week, WSJ, Fortune, Forbes, etc. – see same list for News Article Summary Outline assignment).
 
2 websites Your company’s official website should be one of these.
2 social media Twitter, Facebook, etc. (Use proper citations).

 
*If you do not know the difference between scholarly journals and news magazines, please read this article: https://www.library.georgetown.edu/tutorials/scholarly-vs-popular
 
 
Report Details and Format
 
WRITTEN REPORT

  • This assignment is a business report. You should use the knowledge from your different assignments and guidelines in the Business Communications: Developing Leaders for a Networked World textbook to develop a report format. You can also search the web for examples or inspiration. The final report should include a cover and executive summary.
  • The written report should be 10-15 typed pages (not including the cover page, executive summary, or bibliography/reference pages); it should be single-spaced, 12 point font.
  • The three sections (Industry Overview/Company Overview/Recent News) should be balanced (i.e. about the same) in terms of length and content.
  • Include a cover, Table of Contents, Executive Summary, and References pages (these pages should not be included in the page count).
  • The business research report should contain two to three graphs or charts.  Use high quality and appropriate graphics wherever and whenever possible.  You must make your own.  Do not cut and paste from another source.   Be sure to label and cite where you found the data on your charts!

 

  • There should be significant evidence that you have followed the three step writing process. You will submit your outline and rough draft as well as the final copy of your report.
  • A “Report Outline” format will be posted to Blackboard as a Word document and is briefly presented below. Please download and follow this format.
  • Make sure that you have section headings where needed, formatting is consistent throughout, and the document has an easy navigational design (i.e. high skim value) and appropriate style.
  • Paper will be graded based on sources, content, proper citation, structure, submission of all elements (outline, rough draft and final) and writing style (including grammar and spelling).

 
POWERPOINT PRESENTATION

  • Max of 10 minutes.
  • Team created and team presented. Everyone must present with equal time.
  • All citations of outside sources must be correct.
  • Details for the PPT presentation will be distributed and discussed in class at a later time.
  • Remember that everything you do for the written research report will help you create your PPT.

 


 
Business Research Report in APA style: Outline of your team project
(Follow these headings/organizing sections)
 

  1. Cover

Include the title of your report, the date submitted, and the authors’ names.
 

  1. Table of Contents

           

  1. Executive Summary

1 page (front side only) to explain the objective, methodology, major results/key findings and conclusion of your report.
 

  1. 4. Industry overview

 
Industry definition

  • Carefully define the industry (identify the North American Industry Classification System or NAICS code) in which the company competes. Use business language.
  • Identify the activities (products and services) and similar or related industries.

 
The market

  • What is the market size (of the entire market, not just the market of your group’s company) and volume (be specific as to whether it is U.S., global, North America, etc.)?
  • What is the industry growth rate?
    • Include past and projections for 3 – 5 years
  • Who are the core customers and why?
  • Who are the core stakeholders and why?

 
Major competitors

  • Who are they?
  • What is the market share for major competitors?
  • Describe the basis (and strength) with which the company competes (e.g., quality, service, price, location, etc.)?

 
Key industry trends

  • Describe which trends (for example: economic, technological, demographic, political, regulatory, and/or social) affect your company’s industry performance and competition.
  • Which trends (for example: economic, technological, demographic, political, regulatory, and/or social) might affect the company?

 

  1. Company overview

 
Company history and background

  • What is the company background/history (when was it founded and by whom)? What is the evolution? How many employees do they have? Where are they located?

 
Products, customers, revenues, & profit

  • Provide an overview of the company’s key products and services and, if possible, the proportion of revenue generated by each.
  • What is the annual revenue and profit (net income) of the company for the last 3-5 years?
  • Use graphical formats (charts, graphs or tables) to present numbers so that trends are apparent
  • What is your company’s stock symbol? How has their stock performed over the past year compared with the past 3-5 years?

 
Competitive analysis

  • What makes this company unique?  What are the competitive advantages?  (e.g. are the products seen as higher quality, does it offer better service, does it compete on price because it has lower costs?)

Key company issues – SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) Analysis
 
SWOT Table
 

  • Includes a full SWOT table on one page

 
Brief Description & Analysis
 

  • What are the key external issues facing the company? (e.g., prices, availability of supplies or raw materials, socio-economic factors, trends, regulations, new competition, threat of new substitutes)?
  • What are the key internal issues facing the company? (e.g., patent expiration, new patents, staffing problems, recalls, product liability issues, new strategies)?
  • What are the prospects for the future? Will the company thrive and grow, or is it in decline? Ensure that this analysis is fact-based supported by sources and NOT just your opinion.

 

  1. Recent company news

 
Identification

  • Read recent press about your assigned company.
  • Find an issue (e.g. lawsuit, decline in sales, failed product launch, controversy, unethical behavior, etc.) or company development (e.g. new product announcement, merger, expansion effort, positive financial performance, etc.) that is both relevant and recent (within the last 12 months).
  • Describe the issue or development using clear and concise business language.

 
Analysis

  • What are some of the reactions to the news? What are experts/analysts/company executives saying about it?
  • Summarize the content of your sources.  Do sources agree or disagree?
  • Analyze the situation: How does this affect your company? Has the company responded to this situation? If yes, how? If not, why not? Should the company respond? Why/why not?

 

  1. Conclusion

1 – 2 paragraphs that summarize and conclude your full business research report.
 

  1. Sources (References/Bibliography)

Incorporate a minimum of 10 sources. Industry databases and scholarly journals can be accessed free of charge via Suffolk Library.
 
 
 

  • All sources should be credible (e.g., not a random posting on a blog saying that your industry/company is about to fail). Even with the social media requirement, look for a source/posting that is relevant and has some important connection to the topic.
  • Use industry sources and databases (Library training day).
  • Credible business sources/research that you have access to through the Sawyer Library can be found at the following link: https://suffolk.libguides.com/c.php?g=654004&p=4590679
  • Wikipedia is not an acceptable source; however, it may be helpful in finding other sources.

 
NOTE: All references – both in text and on the reference page – must be cited using APA format. If you don’t know how to do this, then please use resources on the internet or ask the nice people in the Writing Center. We will also have a review session one day during class.
 
Here is a link to help you with APA report style questions and the APA citation format: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/10/

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