Factors Affecting a Company

Iceberg Case                                              

You will gather and analyze pertinent current information to determine a company’s major issue/problem; and make, support, and defend action recommendation(s). You will conduct your own research and analyses.

You will include your recommendation(s) and supporting analyses in the template provided (below). You should assume the ‘audience’ consists of corporate directors who will judge the merits and quality of your findings and recommendations. Be prepared to share with the class.

Citation: Use APA Style Guide and/or sonofcitationmachine.com, etc.; include both in-text citations and a References section. ‘Fair Use’ violations will be considered plagiarism; the vast majority of content should be your own original creation. (That is, large sections of copied material – even if cited appropriately – violate ‘fair use.’)

Scope and Focus of the Mini-Case:

What should be on the ‘worry list,’ and what, exactly, should your company do about it? We will use the TIP OF THE ICEBERG APPROACH (i.e., presenting the main points – above the water line – and being prepared to support them with the bulk of the iceberg – under the water line).

Project Detail:

The DECIDE acronym maps to the ECU COB’s “Think” dimension to provide a consistent decision-making model across common body MBA courses.

(D)efine the Problem

(E)stablish Criteria for Making the Decision

(C)ollect and Analyze Data

(I)dentify and Evaluate Possible Solutions

(D)efend and Implement the Chosen Option

(E)valuate, Review, and Revise as Needed

Consistent with the DECIDE model, your written document should contain six main sections, one for each of the elements in the process. Even though you will present your findings in the following DECIDE template, you will need to conduct your analyses in a different order. That is:

2: Establish decision criteria

3: Collect and analyze data

6: Evaluate performance

1: Define the problem/issue

4: Identify and evaluation solutions

5: Defend proposed solutions

Iceberg Case Template

Establish decision criteria.

  1. My company’s [stated or implied] vision is: ________________________________________________________________
  • My company’s mission is: ________________________________________________________________
  • My company’s values are: ________________________________________________________________
  • My company’s generic competitive strategy is: ________________________________________________________________
  • The main constraints (geographic, resource, etc.) on my company are: ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  • My company’s top strategic goals are: ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  • My company’s top financial goals are: ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Collect and analyze data.

  1. The most attractive opportunity in my INDUSTRY is: ________________________________________________________________
  2. The most pressing threat in my INDUSTRY is: ________________________________________________________________
  3. As related to pursuit of the most attractive industry opportunity and defense against the most pressing industry threat, my company’s biggest strength is: ________________________________________________________________
  4. As related to pursuit of the most attractive industry opportunity and defense against the most pressing industry threat, my company’s biggest weakness is: ________________________________________________________________

Evaluate performance.

In the context of industry averages and close competitor data, how is the company performing:

  1. financially?


  • strategically?


Define the problem (see your biggest internal weakness, above, before completing this section).

Complete the chart of symptoms (e.g., decline in sales, slipping profit margins, etc.); trace each symptom to its root cause that is under the control of the company (not external, like “COVID,” etc.); evaluate problem significance in light of most promising industry opportunity(ies) in #2, below). Any given problem may have one or more symptoms, and vice versa, so duplications are likely.

Underlying Internal Problem(s)       

My company’s most pressing problem or issue is: ________________________________________________________________


Identify and evaluate solutions.

  1. Three feasible solutions to my company’s biggest problem are:
  1. ______________________________________________________________
  • ______________________________________________________________


  • In light of our decision criteria (#1, above), the most effective and efficient of these solutions is:


Defend proposed solution.

This solution will have the following (projected/quantified) effects on:

  1.  strategic performance: ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  2. financial performance: ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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