Comm 101 (03) & (05) Term 1, 2010-2011
Management Issues in the News
1. To expose you to recent news in the North American popular business media.
2. To highlight the complex micro and macro issues facing CEOs, managers, and
workers at the start of the 21st century.
3. To allow you to apply the PEST model of the external environment to the particular
industry in which your particular chosen firm competes. (PEST = the Political,
Economic, Social and Technological environments that interact with business.)
4. To provide you with an opportunity to undertake a SWOT analysis, a simple but
commonly used management tool. (SWOT = the internal Strengths and Weaknesses
of the firm + the environmental Opportunities and Threats faced by it and all the other
firms within its particular industry.)
5. To encourage you to view management trends in a critical fashion.
This exercise is designed to bring the “real world” of business into the classroom. As you review
the business literature during this exercise, you will become familiar with information sources
that you will use long after this course has ended. You will also become aware of up-to-the-
minute issues facing Canadian and other organizations as they deal with change.
1. You must get yourself a partner. This is a two person assignment
Make a note of your partner’s name/phone number/e-mail address!
Make sure that you do not leave the assignment to the last minute!
2. Search for an article that describes an aspect of strategy for one of these firms:
Bombardier Inc. (one of their product divisions); Starbucks Coffee (specifically within
Canada); Cameco Corporation; Porter Airlines Inc, or; Boston Pizza. Draw your example
from a source such as a business magazine, a trade journal or a newspaper, or the Internet
versions of any of these. Examples include Fortune Magazine, Business Week, the Wall Street
Journal, the Globe & Mail, and the Financial Post section of the National Post. This one original
source article should be attached to your paper. You should base you paper on more than this one
article though. I would suggest that you seek out at least 4 other articles up to a maximum of 10
other articles so that you will have read a variety of views on your chosen firm. You can search
Comm 101 (03) & (05) Term 1, Fall 2010
for articles via the Internet, and via the U of S Library business database at
3. Read ahead in the text, making sure you have covered Part 1 of the book – Chapters 1-4.
4. The report must be no longer than 5 typed pages, with 1.5 line spacing, one-inch margins
all around, and typed in a 12 point font. It is due on Thursday, October 14th at the start of the
class. You must attach a copy of the source article to your report.
5. Your report will have the following format:
1) Summary of the source article (10% of the marks)
2) PEST analysis of the business environment (40%)
3) Identification of the key success factors for such a business (10%) What do
businesses have to do well in this industry in order to be successful?
4) A SWOT analysis (25%) See the class web page for details on how to perform a
SWOT analysis. [Some items in OT (opportunites and threats) may duplicate
items in the PEST analysis. But there may be some items in the PEST analysis
that are characteristics of the environment that might not appear in the SWOT
analysis because they are neither a threat nor an opportunity.]
5) Evaluation and prognosis (15%). This part of the report should include your
conclusions about the organization is being managed, and your speculation on the
future of this organization.
6. Your submission must include a title page indicating the names of group members, the
name and section number of the class, the name of your instructor, the due date of the
assignment, and a copy of the original article that stimulated your paper. If your partner is from
the other section that I teach (03, or 05), you must indicate which sections you belong to by
putting a red circle around your different section numbers on the front page.
LATE ASSIGNMENTS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.
Assignments must be done on a word processor (1.5 line spaced, one-inch margins, 12 point
font) in a neat & orderly fashion. Assignments that, in the opinion of the marker and instructor,
are not satisfactory in terms of neatness (or grammar), or that fail to comply with the above rules,
will be returned unmarked and assigned a grade of zero.
7. Make sure that anything that you copy from the web into your paper is properly cited. I
will post a web page about how to do this. Do not put words and ideas from other sources into
your paper without citations. Beware of plagiarism.