STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT: INTERNAL ANALYSIS AND SWOT

Internal Analysis of the Company
It is important to conduct an internal analysis to find the strengths and weaknesses of the company. Therefore, for this part of the SLP project, we will look inside your chosen organization.
Read the information in the background material, look for more information, and then write a 2- to 3-page report for your professor by answering the following questions:
i.    What are the two or three biggest strengths the organization has that allow it to make the company’s vision come to fruition?
ii.    What are its main competitive advantages? Keep in mind that if you are reporting on a military unit you may have to be a bit creative here. But chances are your unit, or even branch of the military, does compete for funding and resources with other units. Every organization wants to rank among the best of their peers.
iii.    What internal weaknesses can you find?
SLP Assignment Expectations
This paper should include:
An introduction stating the thesis, position, or central theme of your paper, a main body focusing on the key assignment specifications, and a conclusion concisely stating the main points of your analysis and the conclusions you reached.
Document your sources and provide in-text citations whenever you use information obtained from a background reading or other outside source, as well as a separate reference list at the end of the paper. You may use footnotes instead, if you prefer, but you must document where you got the information you are using in your papers!
Your work will be evaluated based on the Rubric criteria.

Required Reading
Since you are completing your discussion of SWOT analysis in this module, the materials presented are the same as those discussed in Module 3. Re-visit the earlier modules for additional inside information on H-D.
The following brief, strategic analysis of H-D will provide you with some useful information for putting together your assignments. It should give you some ideas on how to fashion a brief strategic analysis.
GlobalData, (2012). Harley-Davidson, Inc. – Financial and Strategic Analysis Review.  Retrieved from:http://callisto.ggsrv.com/imgsrv/Fetch?banner=4d609cd7&digest=27b6b6d33026b58ef227e0025dda7d42&contentSet=SWOT&recordID=47405_GDAUT29887FSA
Here is a fairly recent article that speaks to H-D’s worldwide sales:
UMC Staff, (2013)  Harley-Davidson | 2012 Worldwide Sales Up 6.2%.  Ultimate Motorcycling.  Retrieved from: http://ultimatemotorcycling.com/harley-davidson-2012-worldwide-sales-up-6-2/
Here is an article that discusses some internal and external challenges faced by Harley-Davidson:
Taylor, A., (2012).  The Hurdles at Harley-Davidson.  CNN Money – Fortune.  Retrieved from:  http://money.cnn.com/2012/10/03/autos/harley-davidson-polaris.fortune/index.html
This press release from 2012 provides some good overview information on what was going on at H-D in August 2012:
Harley-Davidson, (2012).  Harley-Davidson shows continued improvement.  Retrieved from:  http://www.harley-davidson.com/en_US/Content/Pages/HD_News/Company/news.html?article=en_US/News/1483_press_release.hdnews
Here is an overview of SWOT analyses. There are examples at the bottom of the Web page you might want to take a look at as well.
Marketingteacher.com (2011). SWOT Analysis. Retrieved August 2011 from http://marketingteacher.com/lesson-store/lesson-swot.html
The following PowerPoint is also useful to understand external analysis of the company that may help to understand the difference between the Macro and the Micro perspectives:
Be.wvu.edu (n.d.). External analysis. Retrieved August 2011 from www.be.wvu.edu/divmim/mgmt/insch/External.ppt
A very useful framework for assessing the internal environment is the “Resource Based View of strategy or RBV.” The idea behind RBV is that a firm gains its competitive advantage by developing and managing its internal resources and capabilities in a manner that is superior to the competition. By examining these resources and capabilities, we can identify strengths and weaknesses in the organization.
Resources
•    Tangible: Tangible resources include physical assets (plants and equipment), financial resources (cash balances, debt obligations, debt-to-equity ratios), and human resources (both number of employees and employee productivity).
•    Intangible: Intangible assets include intellectual resources (e.g., copyrights and patents), technical resources (proprietary technologies, etc.), and goodwill (the value of the firm beyond measurable assets—usually reported on the balance sheet).
•    Distinctive Capabilities: Capabilities are concerned with “process” issues in how the firm does business. They include architecture (the nature of the relationships between the firm and its stakeholders), innovation (the speed with which the firm can adapt to change or move into new products/services), and reputation (perception of the firm as being ethical and offering quality goods/services).
For a general reading about the RBV approach to strategic analysis, read:
12manage.com (2011). Earning sustainable supra-normal returns by superior resources. Explanation of Resource Based View (Perspective) of Barney ’91. 12 Manage: The Executive Fast Track. Retrieved August 2011 from http://www.12manage.com/methods_barney_resource_based_view_firm.html

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