Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Assessment Item

Country

Which countries can I choose for the assignment?

You need to select a country that has a current trade agreement with Australia. These links will help you find information related to Australian trade agreements http://dfat.gov.au/trade/agreements/Pages/trade-agreements.aspxhttp://dfat.gov.au/trade/agreements/Pages/status-of-fta-negotiations.aspx

FTAs under negotiation * Make sure that you don’t choose a country if the FTA is still ‘under negotiation’ (an FTA that is not yet signed will have no positive impact).

Barriers to trade * Please note that even where there are trade agreements in place, non-tariff, cultural, or political barriers to trade may still apply, depending on your chosen product/service or industry. These should be investigated first before finalising your scope, as existing barriers to trade may mean that potential expansion strategies may not be possible or economically viable at this point in time.

 

Industry

Which industries are best suited to this assignment?

You can choose any industry that is of particular interest to you, and that is included within the trade agreement terms of the chosen country. These links may provide some ideas. ASX GICS codes http://www.asx.com.au/products/gics.htm BRW 25 growth industries http://www.brw.com.au/p/business/the_best_sectors_to_be_in_for_the_m02GGAX8FMvyBEEUstrNNJ Job growth industries http://www.seeklearning.com.au/industries-hiring-in-2015

Sensitive industries * Please note that certain aspects of ‘sensitive’ industries may be closed to FDI in many countries, such as media, mining and airlines. Make sure you choose an industry (and country) that allows your company the opportunity to enter and compete in the first place.

 

Company

Which is the best type of company for this assignment?

You can choose any ASX listed (See http://www.asx.com.au/asx/research/listedCompanies.do for ideas) or non-listed Australian firms, or any government department. Most students prefer to choose companies over government departments as the latter requires a far broader and more complex long term rationale for investing tax payer funds into foreign country destinations.

It is easier to find company information on large listed firms, however it may be difficult to identify new strategic opportunities in a new destination for these firms, as many already have strategic interests all around the world. It is often easier for students to work with up and coming small to medium sized Australian firms who represent niche or new industries that are predicted to grow in the future (See link above) and are ripe for international expansion. If you choose a smaller firm, finding detailed company information might be difficult, however, as long as you can present its core information and be able to argue a clear rationale for choosing your scope, that should be fine. This is because the focus of the report should be on the opportunity you identify in the industry of the foreign country location, not at the Australian end.

For the report, you can assume you are conducting the research for the company CEO, so there is no need to focus on too much company detail (as it assumed they already know all of this). However, you do need to identify the key performance factors of the company (understand its core competence and competitive advantage) that indicate it is ready and suited to the new country expansion, and argue how this will be a logical growth strategy for the firm.

Can I choose a company I used in another assignment (eg. AMB210)?

Yes, you can do so. However, do take note that this assignment is not the same as those you did in previous IB units. For example, the AMB210 assignment was more focused on procedural, regulatory and logistical concerns in export commencement while this assignment has a stronger emphasis on strategic planning through environmental analysis, application of analytical tools/models/theories and it has no restriction on firm type and market entry mode.

 

Which business analysis models?

Do I have to use a minimum number of business analysis models? Is there a limit?

No, you can apply any number, and any elements of any of the business analysis models or IB strategy theories you have learnt about in your business degree, as long as they enable you to thoroughly analyse both macro and micro aspects of your chosen industry in the foreign location, so you can continually relate these findings back to your company to help you make your final recommendations. Ideally, thorough application of at least 2-3 models/theories in the body of the report can be used as a guide. Any more than this may be included as appendices if word count becomes an issue.

You can use as many visual graphs, figures and tables as desired. An important point to note is that you don’t put a model in just for the sake of inclusion (it has to be relevant to your purpose and analysis).

 

Report structure

The 2500 word Strategic Plan report itself can be structured around the following suggested format –

Cover Page (title, name, word count)

Executive Summary (2/3 page – not in word count)

Table of Contents (includes List of References, List of Tables, List of Figures and List of Appendices, but does not include Executive Summary)

Introduction (to report)

Scope (explain firm, industry, and foreign country choice – include trade agreement details and relevance)

Rationale for strategic plan (eg. current firm growth stage, industry opportunities, expansion conditions, destination country appeal, etc.)

Macro analysis (use models to analyse destination country’s economic, business and operating environment, and industry status)

Micro analysis (use models to analyse specific market or relevant segment, potential competition, and firm competitive advantage)

Market entry strategy (propose mode of entry and support with model/theory)

Overall recommendations

Conclusion

List of References (not in word count)

List of Appendices (optional – not in word count)

 

Report format and referencing style

Follow the suggested outline above for your report structure. Follow the QUT Library Cite/Write guidelines for your report document formatting and for citing references http://www.citewrite.qut.edu.au/write/report.jsp 4

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