external environment Analysis

Case 1 is about analyzing the external environment.  External Analysis is the main topic of Chapter 3; external means the macro-environment and the industry.  The material in Chapter 3 will be the main source of analytical tools you will need to write your report.

Your role is a consultant, hired by the Board of Directors of General Motors, to write a report to them about the Battery Industry.  The article “Batteries Are Taking Over the World” (see file or link below) will help you get started on your research about this important industry.

The Board wants you to: 1) analyze and present to them the current state of the industry; (2) determine a significant problem facing the industry; (3) briefly present two alternative strategic actions they might follow to take advantage of opportunities or avoid risks or both; (4) recommend one of the alternatives and explain why, based on your analysis, it is the best course of action for GM to follow considering the current state of the industry and its  significant problem; and (5) briefly suggest an implementation plan that shows your recommendation is viable.

Your report to the Board of Directors is about the industry and the macro-environment- not about GM.  The problem statement is about a significant problem facing the industry.  The analysis section is about the external environment. Based on your analysis, you recommend what should GM do.

The key tool for industry analysis is Michael Porter’s Five Forces Model (Chapter 3).  It would be difficult if not impossible to conduct a good industry analysis without understanding and applying this tool.

Please see the three files for instructions regarding Case Studies in this class.  Remember: your report is based on where the industry is now! In addition to this article, you should use at least three other recent authoritative sources.  Authoritative sources include, but are not limited to, the Wall Street Journal, Fortunes, Bloomberg, Reuters, World Bank and IBISWorld, Megent Online.

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