Solatek Company essay extension

Solatek Company essay extension

The report should have an introduction, clear literature review, appendix with data, tables, pictures, and any additional information. You are required to access original information through interviews with the founders, directors, ex founders or senior managers of small companies.

The objective is to analyze the case of a company which started up as small (family-owned firms are fine as well as one-man/woman firms) and managed to become very successful. Or alternatively, one that is struggling. The groups will be assigned by the tutor, as well as the broad topics of the report you have to submit. If you have a family firm, or have worked in a small family owned business, you are more than welcome to use it as a case study.

Preference given to firms that benefitted from being in a cluster, or from their network relationships with clients, suppliers, allies… Any sector or timeframe is accepted (e.g. a music band operating in the context of the London music scene can be considered as a small firm operating in a cluster, but a small company providing drilling services within a mining complex in Peru, China, Brazil, India is also a valid example. (Think broad and outside of the box). Preference given to firms that remain small (in terms of organizational structure and employment, not necessarily of sales. A firm of 10 people can sell millions!).

In both cases (successful and unsuccessful company) your work should be structured as if it was a piece of market research carried out by external consultants who have to assess the case for either investors, or competitors.

The focus of the analysis should should focus on a specific period of time, not on the future (it can be “up to 2015”).

a) Internationalization: Focus on a case where a small company made its first international sale. Discuss how it found its first foreign client (E.g. through a local client, or through an intermediary), what were its main concerns with operating internationally (costs, issues of language and culture). Explain how the first international sale affected its subsequent trajectory, and talk also about its second and third sales (less in detail).

In your analysis you should always include these aspects (you can change the order, add or take out sections):

1) Introduce the company – who are they, when were they created, by whom, to do what, which period you are analyzing. Max 1000 words. .
2) Basic data – employment, sales, markets, specific products (product lines, core business) – Appendix
3) Context and strategy – competitors, choice of markets, strategic positioning.
4) Critical point – Explain the critical point (either internationalization, or sale of the firm, or succession, or diversification). What happened? Why? What were the possible choices? What were other firms doing? What was finally decided? What were the consequences? This is the core of your work, so develop it properly.
5) Always include some discussion of the relationships between the firm and external organizations, such as suppliers, investors, universities, government agencies. E.g. what was the role of investors, clients, suppliers and government agencies in helping the firm make its first foreign sale?

Assessment parts: In the final report, each member take responsibility for any one (but mainly one) of the following tasks, for which she/he will be marked. Alternative, the group can discuss and have the same grade for all. In any case, it is expected that everyone collaborates. Penalty can be applied in conversation with the whole group.

1) Literature research – find information about the industry, data, and information about competitors and industry-level trends (local and perhaps national level). Organize links to the literature (both the readings of the course and the new material you find) and prepare the references/bibliography. Make sure the work is well references once it has been written.
2) Write the introduction – presentation of the company, industry, and introduce the critical point (only introduce it briefly!). Prepare the appendix with all the needed information.
3) Write the analysis of the critical point. Discuss how the firm tackled it, whether and how other firms deal with similar issues, cooperate with the work listed under 1) to discuss the literature. Why did the firm choose to do what it did?
4) Write the conclusion: what happened afterwards? How do you evaluate the choice of the firm? What does it tell us about SMEs, entrepreneurship and their challenges?
5) (optional) Choose the case, take direct responsibility for establishing contacts, carry out interviews, collect information, and coordinate the whole project, making sure the writing flows and is well integrated and that the group works as a team.

Feedback from the teacher:
you have not used any theory/model to demonstrate the internationalisation process of your business. I would advise your group to have a look in more details about your final report and reading more carefully the guidelines for the project on guideline

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