Case: Ford: An Auto Company in Transition
The individual written case analysis exercise is meant to assess:
- Your critical thinking
- Your understanding of businesses as interdisciplinary units
- Your problem solving and decisional abilities, and
- Your effective communication and writing skills
- Your core business knowledge
To this end, students will be required to individually analyze a case and submit a written report for evaluation by the due date indicated in the syllabus.
You have been hired as a consultant to help Ford Motor Company return to its glory days, when either Henry Ford or Alan Mulally ran the company. In doing so, you must produce a short report to Jim Hackett, Ford’s CEO, that conveys your observations of Ford’s current situation (situational analysis), and a proposal of strategic actions Ford should take to be the model automotive company of the 21st century. Thus, your task is to answer the following questions based solely on the information provided in the case:
- Perform an analysis of Ford’s external and internal environments. As you do this, please make sure you organize your response by classifying external trends as opportunities and threats, and by classifying Ford’s internal environment as strengths and weaknesses. Because of the length of the report, select the most salient issues in your eyes. In addition, you must include at least three functional areas/value chain activities in your analysis of Ford’s internal environment (e.g., operations, marketing, and finance), and you must include issues regarding Ford’s financial situation.
- Based on the external challenges (threats), positive external trends (opportunities), Ford’s limitations (weaknesses), and Ford’s strong suits (strengths) identified in point #1, provide 4 strategic suggestions for Ford’s executives to implement. In other words, combine opportunities/threats you identified, with Ford’s strengths/weaknesses in order to make suggestions on what decisions CEO Hackett needs to make. In your response, make sure you include both strategic actions related to business level strategy (how to compete) and corporate -level strategy (where to compete). Provide strong rationale for your choices.
The analysis of the case should reflect both your understanding of the material covered in the text as well as other insights you have gained from other functional area courses. You are encouraged to approach the case with an integrated multi-functional perspective of the organization and to explicate recommendations clearly and concisely in writing. There are multiple possible answers to the questions provided. Use the critical thinking and problem solving skills you have developed through your university career.
Individual case analysis write-ups should be well thought out and not trivial. Answers should stick to the facts in the case and analysis. Provide strong reasoning and evidence from the case.
All individual case analysis reports are due through the Assignments tab on Canvas. All case reports will be put through Unicheck, a plagiarism tool. The expectation is that you submit your own work. Any plagiarism will be punished to the greatest extent. If your analysis is found to be a copy of someone else’s work, you will earn a ZERO in your individual case analysis grade and you will be sent to the Office of Student Conduct.
The case analysis report should be prepared using single-spacing (NOT double-spacing), Times New Roman 12-point font, and a 1-inch all-around margin. The case analysis report should be 3 to 4 pages in length.
NOTE from Dr. Parker: Aim for 3 pages. This is roughly 1,000 – 1,200 words, so aim for this target.
Please provide a cover page (not counted in the 3 pages) with your name, the title of the case, the name of the course, the course section, and the date.
Any direct quotes from the case should appear in quotes and the page number should appear in parentheses.