Organize your paper using these headings and section content:
1. Company Synopsis (40 points)
Your first task in preparing your Management Portfolio is to research and study this company during the semester in terms of its management processes—its strategy, mission, goals, structure, human resources practices, etc. At the end of this appendix are chapter-based Management Portfolio questions designed to guide you in this task. Much of the information is available on-line, but you should feel free to use whatever resource, including in-person interviews and library research, to gain as much information that you can about the company. Be sure to keep detailed records of your sources for all this information and follow the APA format for the citations within the paper and the Reference List.
You need to take the answers from your questions and create a one to two-page synopsis of the company you would like to work for. The whole point of answering the Management Portfolio questions is to be able to describe and analyze your chosen company and to demonstrate that you can apply relevant course concepts and models from the course. Therefore, it is not enough to just give the history and background of your company in this section.
2. Needed Skills and Abilities (20 points)
Based on your company research and analysis, describe the skills and abilities likely desired by this company. Much of this information can be obtained directly from company websites but can also be inferred from the strategy and structure of the organization. Given a particular business strategy, what kinds of skills and abilities will be most prized in this company? This section should be approximately a half page.
3. Gap Analysis/Action Plan (30 points)
The next step is to do an honest inventory of your current skills and abilities. This part of the paper is not designed to persuade the company that you are the best possible candidate for the job, but rather is the basis for developing an action plan for becoming the best possible candidate. So, for example, if you find that entry level positions at an accounting firm require a degree in accounting and a 3.0 grade point average that will not be sufficient. What will distinguish you from the thousands of other students graduating with a degree in accounting with a 3.0 grade point average? How will you separate yourself from the rest? This part of the paper is to define the “gap” between what the company would want from its top candidate, and what you currently have in your bundle of skills and abilities. In doing so, there needs to be some discussion that explains your gap analysis table. In particular you need to give a detailed description of your past job experiences as they relate to the specific skills and abilities required for your chosen job. You will also describe the evidence you could present to the company that you have achieved some the needed competencies. This first part should be a half page to a full page.
Once you have done this, create a plan outlining what you are going to do between now and when you go out on the job market to acquire the skills and abilities that you will need to become the company’s most attractive recruit. As with your gap analysis, avoid simplistic statements such as “get my degree in accounting.” Think in terms of skills, abilities and competencies rather than majors, courses, or job titles. This second part of the section represents an action plan for obtaining the competencies necessary to be the most attractive candidate applying to your chosen company and should be a half page to a full page.
The combined section should be one to two pages in length,
4. References (10 points)
Include a Reference List with at least 10 references. Referencing multiple pages from the same organization’s website only count as one citation (e.g., Apple.com). When using more than one page from the same company, provide a URL that links the homepage or entry page for the document.
All citations in the reference list should be cited in the body of your paper (use APA style guidelines).
Restate the Management Portfolio questions and clearly state your responses in well written and formatted paragraphs. The answers to the questions from each chapter should be approximately 1 page in length.
Management Portfolio Questions
A. The Management Challenge
1. Describe the firm. How old is it? In what industry (or industries) is the firm active?
What products or services does it sell? How many employees does it have? What are its sales and profits (use most recent financial data available)?
2. How well has the firm performed recently compared to rivals. Has the firm outperformed rivals or underperformed them? Why?
3. Who is the CEO? How long has she or he been in this position? What has been the career track of the CEO?
4. Can you find examples of how the CEO has performed the basic functions of management – planning, organizing leading and controlling his or her organization?
B. Organization Structure
1. Describe the basic vertical and horizontal organization structure of your company.
2. Does the organization have a tall or flat management hierarchy? What is the span of control of the CEO? In your judgment is the span too narrow, too wide, or just right? Explain your response.
3. What decisions within this organization are centralized at the head office? What decisions are decentralized to subunits? Does the approach toward centralization and decentralization make sense? Explain your response.
C. Planning and Decision-Making
1. Research and find two examples of a strategic error or a significant strategic success that managers at the organization have made over the last decade? What concepts discussed in the text contributed to the failure or success?
2. What barriers to effective decision making did the organization face?
D. The External and Internal Environments
1. Who are your organization’s major competitors and how is it performing compared to them?
2. Conduct a detailed SWOT analysis for your company.
E. Management’s Social and Ethical Responsibilities
1. How would you characterize the ethical climate of your company? What evidence is there to support your conclusion?
2. Find out if the organization has been the focus of any adverse ethical issues in recent years (look at historic news reports). If it has, try to determine whether this was due to the isolated actions of rogue managers or to more systematic, organization wide problems.
3. Does the organization undertake investments related to corporate social responsibility or the natural environment and sustainability that go beyond its narrow economic self-interest? If so, what kind of investments has it made? Who do these investments benefit? Do you approve of these investments? Explain your response.