Reflect on strategies that you can pursue in developing portfolios
October 19, 2021
Revisit the website provided in the Resources and consider
October 19, 2021

For the third research assignment, you are to narrow your

For the third research assignment, you are to narrow your topic focus to a single or small number of specific issues that your subject company will face in achieving its objectives.  It will be necessary at this point to identify a single protagonist who will represent the decision maker in the company who will be faced with the strategic options you present. The person you identify as the protagonist does not have to be an actual person in the company, but they will need to represent an actual organizational role or position in the company.  For example, you may not know the name of the vice president for product development at company X, but you do know that such a role exists.  The use of a protagonist helps the reader understand the motivations and limitations of the decision maker. Please review the “writing case studies” material for more explanation of the role of protagonists in business case studies.

The steps to complete this assignment are as follows:

  1. Identify one or two specific issues facing the company that will result in strategic options presented at the end of the case.
  2. Identify a specific protagonist by name and by position in the company that will be the immediate decision maker in the case.
  3. Develop a profile of the company that is the subject of the case that includes a brief statement of its mission, history and current activities related to your issue(s).
  4. Focus your country data research on providing background information on the specific issue(s) you identified.  This is important!  You should move away from general facts about the country and toward very specific research about the specific issue as manifested in your country!
  5. Identify at least two discrete strategic options for the company that may allow the company to achieve its objectives related to your issues.

This assignment will move you closer to completing the case project and should be seen as a brief,VERY rough draft that will be improved in future submissions. 

Here are very brief examples to illustrate what is needed:

EXAMPLE 1: Joe Smith, the Director of Customer Service at American Express, is considering ways to improve customer satisfaction (COMPANY OBJECTIVE) with over the phone customer service interactions.  American Express outsources (TOPIC) its customer service function to call centers in India.  The problem Joe is facing is that a significant number of AMEX’s American clients feel that Indian accents are hard to understand over the phone (ISSUE 1).  Joe has discovered that American clients are more likely to perceive female Indian accents as more acceptable.  Unfortunately, women in the parts of India where the call centers are located are reluctant to work in the evenings for cultural reasons (ISSUE 2), when most American customer service calls come in.  Joe is considering providing additional financial incentives for women to work evening hours in call centers (OPTION 1).  He is also considering whether the outsourcing of customer service should be moved to another country, such as South Africa, where Americans seem less disturbed by the local accents (OPTION 2). Joe needs to make a decision that achieves customer service objectives while maintaining the benefits of outsourcing.

In this example, you would need to provide background information on the cultural reasons related to the reluctance of women to work at night.  You would also need to provide information on why AMEX outsources customer service and what the company needs from call centers. 

Your write up for this assignment should be a minimum of two double-spaced pages.  Think about having at least one paragraph that describes and explains the information contained in the five steps.

You should review all of the material in the Case Study Resources folder on Blackboard before beginning this assignment.

As always, you should provide references and a citations list at the end of your submission identifying the sources of your factual information.