One-Page Memo

What you need to do to complete this assignment:

We are using the same case for both the Discussion Question and the one-page memo.  Make sure to answer and review the DQs first before completing the following two questions for the one page memo.

Develop a one-page memo (500 words maximum, excluding the title, reference pages and appendices.) to answer these questions:

1.  To what extent is WM’s competitive advantage sustainable? Why have other retailers had limited success in imitating WM’s strategy and duplicating its competitive advantage?

2.  Looking ahead, what measures does WM need to take to sustain its recent performance and defend against competitive (and other) threats?

When it is due and where to submit:

Submit your one-page memo by 11pm of day 7 or sooner, here.

How to format your document:

· You don’t need a title page in APA6th.  Simply use the same headings as in a typical memo or email:  Date, To, From, Subject. 

· Use AP6th to cite all references

· Format document using Single spaced

· Use 11-point font Arial, single space one page NOTE: Your one page memos should be approximately

· 500-words in length, excluding the title section (i.e., the first five line of this memo), the

· reference page and appendices.

· Have a maximum of three attachments

· Name your MS Word filename in this format:  FirstLast-CaseName.docx.  For example:  JonDoa-Walmart.doc.  This will help avoiding duplicating names when I download the submissions.  Thank you!

· Your submitted paper must be in Microsoft Word format.

· The memos are to be

· 1) a maximum of one page in length,

· 2) single spaced, and

· 3) in Arial, 11-point font. You are allowed to include up to three appendices to present the facts

· arranged in a table format or chart. NOTE: Your one page memos should be approximately

· 500-words in length, excluding the title section (i.e., the first five line of this memo), the

· reference page and appendices.

How your paper will be evaluated:

· Please review the enclosed rubric for this one-page memo for your convenience (it is the same document posted under ‘Course documents’)

To: Management 362 Participants

From: Jone Do

Subject: One-page memo paper instructions, case analysis guide, and rubric

Expressing your ideas clearly can make a difference between having your ideas accepted or

rejected. How well you express your ideas in your writing assignments will also affect the

outcome of your grade and success in this course. In the business world, complex ideas

must be presented quickly in a clear and concise manner, often in the form of a one-page

memo, or an email. Important decisions are made often through these one-page memos

which may be shared with others as part of the decision making process. To make your

memo stand out, you need to present your case concisely and supported by facts and not

opinions.

Evaluation criterion (see rubric below) are as follows:

1) Content: You have described what tools should be used to identified the key issues,

cited three benchmark companies that face similar issues, and related your discussions to

the reading materials of the week. This is worth 10% out of 100% scale.

2) Analysis and critical thinking: You have identified and prioritized key issues for firms to

focus and answered all assignment questions. Your key issues are correctly identified as

root causes and not symptoms of something deeper. You have stated your position and

recommendations clearly. Your recommendations and arguments are supported by facts, not

just opinions. You make your assumptions explicit. This is worth 80% out of 100% scale.

3) Clarity and presentation: Your writing is clear and concise, free from spelling and

grammatical errors. Your topic sentences logically follow the objective and cite references

using the correct APA format. Your entire memo looks professional and follows the format

provided as illustrated by this memo. This is worth 10% out of 100% scale.

The memos are to be

1) a maximum of one page in length,

2) single spaced, and

3) in Arial, 11-point font. You are allowed to include up to three appendices to present the facts

arranged in a table format or chart. NOTE: Your one page memos should be approximately

500-words in length, excluding the title section (i.e., the first five line of this memo), the

reference page and appendices.

All memos will be submitted via Dropbox by the due dates. Late memos are accepted, but

subject to penalty. We will be discussing some of the cases in class, and if you wish to refer to

your memo during the class discussion, you will need to include it in your post.

Writing is a painful process, but if you are serious about a successful career in business, it is

vital that you master the ability to write clearly. This course requirement is designed to help.

CASE ANALYSIS GUIDE

I. Why we study using cases

• Develop your critical thinking skills, including analytical and judgmental skills.

• Learn how to ask and identify the right questions based on the facts cited in the

case.

• Develop insights through managerial situations in other real life firms.

• Enhance oral and written communications skills.

II. What to expect in a case.

• The critical issues are often not explicitly identified

o You need to identify them!

• Sometimes, the information can be ambiguous, contradictory, redundant or

irrelevant.

o You need to sort through them to identify the critical issues.

• There is no unique or right answer.

o Don’t assume that there is only RIGHT answer.

III. How to approach a case.

• Read the case through quickly to get a general feel for what the case is about and

what information is given.

o You should be able to give a 1-3 lines to summarize the case, as if somebody

asks you at a cocktail party “what is this case about?”

• Start identifying primary and secondary questions to hone in the one or two KEY

questions of the case:

o Reread the case carefully, noting the key facts and important information.

o Develop a sense of the important issues and basic problems.

o Decide what issues must be resolved and provide answers to them. Use and

analyze the data and information in the case.

• Develop a set of recommendations that are supported by your analysis. Evaluate

and reject alternate courses of action based upon your analysis. Address

implementation issues.

o Consider: goal consistency, strategic relevance, organizational capability,

political feasibility as you develop your recommendations.

o Again, don’t assume that there is only one RIGHT answer. What is important is

that your recommendations are consistent with your perceived problems and that

you can defend your positions using facts from the case and not just opinions. I

am looking for your rationale and how you connect the dots (facts) together.

IV. How to participate in a Class case discussion:

• Take a stand on the assigned issues.

• Keep an open mind.

• Bring in your outside experience, previous cases, text material, outside reading, and

outside research (similar problems in today’s environment)

• Be concise and to the point.

• Don’t be shy.

• Learn from other students.

V. How to write a case analysis – suggestions:

• Don’t start writing until you have completed your analysis. If you need to use a tool

or a framework to analyze the situation then actually conduct it. For example, don’t

just say that ‘we should do a Five Force analysis to…” you need to go ahead and

actually conduct a Five Forces Analysis. Attach your analyses as appendices.

• Study the results of the analysis and ask ‘what is the implication of these results” –

don’t just report the findings without discussing the implications. Focus your

discussion on the implications and how they lead you to certain recommendations.

• Take a stand on the assigned issues.

• Address the assigned issues. Organize your paper to give the most words to

discuss the key questions or recommendations. Use the answers of supporting

questions to help craft your rationale for your recommendations or arguments.

• Avoid extensive restatement of the case material. NO book report!

• Make judicious use of tables and graphs as appendixes.

• Eliminate spelling and grammatical errors.