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Course Guide for MBA 610: Leading Organizations and People: Project 2 Tips

Project 2

For this project, you are being asked to conduct a situation audit of the company that you work for or of another company that your instructor has approved.

The tips below give suggestions for finding useful information for some of the components of project 2.

Fact Sheet Information

As noted in your classroom, you may be able to find some of the information needed for your fact sheet about your company by looking at the company's own website. This information is often made available from links that are posted at the very top or very bottom of a company's home page; look for links with titles like "About us" or "Corporate information," etc. Company information available from company web page links for investors and/or for the press might also be useful.

Company History

You'll likely be able to find information about when your company was established and by whom it was established on your company's website, but you may also be able to find this information in UMGC Library databases such as Business Insights: Global. To search for company history information in Business Insights: Global, click on the Companies link from the menu bar toward the top of the page and then on the Company Histories link from the resulting drop-down menu. You'll then be able to search for histories for thousands of major companies from around the world.

Legal Form of Organization and Tax Status 

The readings posted in your classroom can be used to help determine your company's legal form of organization (public vs. private vs. nonprofit, proprietorship vs. partnership vs. corporation, federal vs. state vs. local, etc.). You may also be able to find this information in UMGC Library databases such as Hoovers. To use Hoovers for this purpose, enter the company's name into the "Search for a company" box toward the top of the database's home page. Toward the top of the company information page, look for the entry following "Company Type:".

Current Leaders

The most current information about your company's key leaders can likely be found on the company's website, but you may also be able to find this information in UMGC Library databases such as Hoovers. To find a company's leaders in Hoovers, enter the company's name into the "Search for a company" box toward the top of the database's home page. Then click on the Contacts link on the left-hand side of the company information page to bring up a list of all company employees known to Dun & Bradstreet, the company responsible for Hoovers content. Note that you can click on the Filter Contacts link above the list of employees in order to limit search results to employees at particular levels (directors, VPs, senior officers, etc.). For additional suggestions, see Finding a Company's Leadership Information

Industry/Industries

You can use UMGC Library databases such as Nexis Uni to find information about the industry/industries in which a company operates. To do this in Nexis Uni, click on the Menu link on the database's home page and then on Company Dossier from the resulting drop-down menu. You can then enter a company's name into the "Company name" search box. See the "Industry Classification" section of the company snapshot for the main SIC and NAICS codes associated with the company, and click on the All Classifications link to see other SIC and NAICS codes associated with the company.

Number of Employees

You may be able to find the number of people who work for your company on your company's website. You may also be able to find this information in UMGC Library databases such as Hoovers. To use Hoovers for this purpose, enter the company's name into the "Search for a company" box toward the top of the database's home page. Toward the top of the company information page, look for the entry following "Employees:".

Products/Services

You should be able to find information about your company's major products or services on your company's website. You may also be able to find this information in UMGC Library databases such as Business Source Complete. To do this, click on the More link from the blue menu bar toward the top left-hand corner of the database's home page and select Company Profiles from the resulting drop-down menu. Then use the search box to search for your company and click on the link for the company's Medtrack Report or MarketLine report. Many of the reports list the company's main products or services.

Mission, Vision, Values, and Goals

You may be able to find your company's mission, vision, values, and/or goals on the company's website. For tips about how to find this information, see Finding a Company's Mission Statement.

Strategy and Objectives

A company's strategy and objectives are generally based on the company's mission. You may be able to find information about your company's strategy/objectives on its website; look for documents that discuss the company's short- or long-term plan, etc.

You may also be able to find your company's strategy by using databases such as ABI/INFORM Complete and Business Source Complete to run searches along the lines of:

[company name] AND ("organizational strateg*" OR "corporate strateg*" OR "company strateg*" OR "business strateg*" OR "business plan*" OR "strategic plan*")

Competitive Advantage

Your company's competitive advantage may not be directly stated anywhere; instead, you may need to make inferences about what your company does better than its rivals based on the research that you conduct about the company. For example, the "strengths" section of a company's SWOT report may give you some insight into the company's competitive advantage.

You may also be able to find documents that discuss your company's competitive advantage by using databases such as ABI/INFORM Complete and Business Source Complete to run searches along the lines of:

[company name] AND "competitive advantage*"

Organizational Size and Structure

Organizational Size

You may be able to find information about the number of employees at your company on the company's website. You may also be able to find this information in UMGC Library databases such as Business Insights: Global. To search for current and historic employee numbers in Business Insights: Global, click on the Comparison Charts link from the menu bar toward the top of the page and then on the Companies link from the resulting drop-down menu. Next, click on the Add/Remove button and enter your company's name into the search box. On the resulting page, click on the arrow next to the "Search Metrics:" box to change the selection from "Revenue" to "Employees over Time".

Organizational Structure

You may be able to find your company's org chart or information that would help you construct an org chart for your company on your company's website. For tips about how to find information about your company's leaders in order to construct an org chart for your company, see Finding a Company's Leadership Information.

Critical Resources

As noted in your classroom, you'll need to use your knowledge of your company and your class readings about resources in order to determine what resources your company needs, whether it has access to enough of those resources, whether those resources are being used effectively, etc.

You can use UMGC Library databases such as ABI/INFORM CompleteBusiness Source Complete, and News & Newspapers (ProQuest) to find articles and other documents that support your conclusions about your company's resources. For example, if, while conducting research into your company's competitive advantage, you found several documents indicating that a particular resource is crucial to the company's success, you could search for additional documents that discuss the role of that resource in the company's success. You could do that by running a search along the lines of:

[company name] AND [resource name] AND (advantage* OR success*)


So, for example, if you decided that your company's employees (i.e., its human resources) are crucial to its success, you could search for:

[company name] AND (employee* OR worker* OR staff* OR personnel OR talent) AND (advantage* OR success*)


To find documents that discuss the role of the resource at your company (which may retrieve documents that discuss whether the company's using the resources effectively, whether the company has enough of the resources, etc.), you can simply search for:

[company name] AND [resource name]

Leadership, Governance, and Management

As noted in your classroom, you'll need to use your knowledge of your company and your class readings about leadership, governance, and management to determine what type of leadership/management style is used at your company and whether it's effective, etc.

Depending on your company, you may be able to use UMGC Library databases such as ABI/INFORM CompleteBusiness Source Complete, and News & Newspapers (ProQuest) to find articles and other documents that discuss your company's leadership/management. You could search for such documents by running a search along the lines of:

[company name] AND (leader* OR manag*)

Strengths and Weaknesses

You can find your company's strengths and weaknesses by looking at the "strengths" and "weaknesses" sections of the company's SWOT report.

Learning and Change

As noted in your classroom, you'll need to use your knowledge of and experience with your company to comment on whether you believe your company has been or would be successful in implementing change in some key area.

Depending on your company, you may be able to use UMGC Library databases such as ABI/INFORM CompleteBusiness Source Complete, and News & Newspapers (ProQuest) to find articles and other documents that discuss change at your company and/or whether your company's considered to be a learning organization, etc. You could search for such documents by running a search along the lines of:

[company name] AND ("organizational change" OR "learning organization")

A General Note

Some companies will be much easier to research than others. Large, public, domestic companies are much likelier to have more detailed company profiles in library databases, more articles written about them, etc., so if you work for a small, private, or overseas company, you might want to consider asking your instructor for permission to research a large, public, domestic company instead.

Questions?

If you need further assistance with finding information for project 2, please Ask a Librarian.

If you have questions about the requirements for project 2, please contact your instructor.

Ask a Librarian

 

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