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 Strategic Decision-making

Unit 4 GB519: Measurement and Decision Making

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Assignment Details and Rubric

Project Part 1: Strategic Decision-making, and Heuristics

Note: This is Part 1 of the Project Case Study and is due in Unit 4. Part 2 will be completed in Unit 5.

Assessed in this Assignment is course outcome GB519-4: Evaluate the role of heuristics and biases in

decision making.

In Project Part 1, you will use CVP analysis and create a balanced scorecard. The various types of financial

and non-financial measurements from multiple stakeholder perspectives will be used to give a more

balanced view of business performance.

You have the opportunity to conduct research that will enhance your value as an asset to the organization

for which you work. Your critical thinking and credibility as a communicator of information are vital, much

desired, skills. Recent research conducted by Kaplan University’s School of Business and Information

Technology establishes that critical thinking and credibility in written communications are the two most

important skills needed to meet the demands of the changing global business environment.

Part 1 of the Project, due at the end of this unit, requires you to complete an analysis and evaluation of a

manufacturing organization. This evaluation will also provide the foundation for Part 2 of the Project. “The

Organization” may be understood and used in three ways:

● You may use your own employer as the basis for the Project – If your employer is a manufacturer,

it is appropriate to the Assignment and has the requisite information to support a graduate-level

analysis. Use of an organization that is not appropriate may result in a diminished score. If you

have any doubts, please contact your instructor for additional guidance. ● Another possibility would be to use a local manufacturing company willing to help you with your

Project, even if you are not an employee.

● Next, if you are not employed, or if your employer is not appropriate to the assignment, you may

select a different organization. You may use any organization of your choosing, but it must be appropriate to the Project.

NOTE: If you are self-employed or own your own company – it would NOT be an appropriate research

subject. You must select another company to meet the requirements of the Project. One method for

choosing a company will be to do an on-line search for a company that might interest you; then you may

search the company’s web-site as the basis for your Project.

A title page with properly formatted APA running head, an abstract and reference pages are required.

Review the “APA Template” and the “APA Sample Paper” documents at the KU Writing Center for


1. Begin with an introduction to the organization. Identify its manufacturing segment. Detail briefly

Unit 4 GB519: Measurement and Decision Making

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the products manufactured by your organization, the company’s market niche and/or customer


2. Identify significant costs in your organization. Some of the mandatory topics to research and

present about your organization would include, but not be limited to: (a) costs associated with

environmental concerns, (b) cost behavior, (c) prevention costs, (d) appraisal (detection) costs, (e)

internal failure costs, or (f) external failure costs.

3. Include a section devoted to Cost-Volume-Profit Analysis (CVP). Review Chapter 3 in your

textbook. The level of detail you include in this section is flexible. But, make sure your analysis is

related to actual financial data from the company. Suggested metrics would include the

contribution margin, Degree of Operating Leverage (DOL), breakeven point, and others.

Remember, it is vital that you determine whether or not you will have access to this information

BEFORE you start the project. Otherwise, you may not have time to change organizations later

during the course.

4. Discuss budgeting considerations. Include the organization’s budget process (for example, is it top-

down, or bottom-up), the organization’s budget variances and discuss management decisions

related to budgeting.

5. Based on independent research and additional textbook readings, create a Balanced Scorecard,

incorporating all four of the organizational dimensions (financial, customer, internal business

(BSC), and learning and growth). Identify 2 or 3 Strategic Objectives (SO), also known as critical

success factors (CSFs) for each category/perspective. Then, evaluate and analyze your

organization’s performance in relation to these critical success factors. (To help you with this part,

review the material found on pages 16 and 17 of the textbook. Additionally, read pages 590 to 599

in the textbook in Chapter 11). NOTE: Do not simply cut and paste a BSC collected from an on-line

source. Create your own BSC. Exhibit 11.10 on page 599 of your course text demonstrates the

proper BSC format.

Additional readings/references to use for this project:

Freeland, C. (2015). Globalization bites back. Atlantic, 315(4), 82.

Eaton, D., & Kilby, G. (2015). Does your organizational culture support your business

strategy? Journal for Quality & Participation, 37(4), 4. NOTE: Locate these additional readings in the KU Library using the “Advanced Search”


6. Create (again, the term “create” is very important — do not simply cut and paste a version

collected from an on-line source) a “strategy map” for your organization. Your organization’s

strategy map MUST resemble Exhibit 11.9, seen on page 596 of your textbook. Include an

explanation for each element in your strategy map. One thing to particularly note – The BSC and

strategy map must be aligned – that is, the SO’s must match. Please compare Exhibits 11.9 &

11.10 on pages 596 and 599 in the textbook. Please note that the elements in the BSC & the

strategy map are fully coordinated.

Unit 4 GB519: Measurement and Decision Making

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7. End with a summary review (A formal “Conclusion” heading and section is required) of the

performance evaluation. Use sub-headings to discuss key strengths and weaknesses of the

organization and describe recommendations to be made to the current organizational strategy.

Part 1 of the Project should have a minimum of 9 and a maximum of 10 double-spaced pages, and will be

evaluated for content, analysis, critical thinking, grammar, spelling, punctuation and formatting. So be

sure to proofread and then proofread again! Be certain that you do a “Spell and Grammar” check on your

Project paper before it is submitted to the Dropbox.

Include the appropriate use of headings and sub-headings for every section of the project. A good

strategy will be to use the assignment rubric as a basic outline for headings and subheadings.

The 9 to 10-page minimum/maximum does not include the required title, abstract and reference list

pages. Do not incorporate enlarged type, extra line spaces, extra points at the end of a line, over-sized

graphs and charts, or unusual margins to artificially inflate the page length – the score will be significantly

reduced if the proper APA formatting for these elements is not applied.

NOTE: Do not use overly wordy phrases. DO use “economy of expression.” Use concise and precise

language that avoids slang or colloquial expressions. For example: Instead of using “on the other hand…”

simply use “alternatively…”

Your project must be presented in accordance with the guidance found in the APA Publication Manual, 6th

edition. The Kaplan Writing Lab is a tremendous resource. So please take full advantage of the great help

available there. You may access the Writing Lab by going to your “My Studies” tab located at the KU

campus home page. Then, access the “Academic Support Center” link. The Writing Center will be located

there for your access.

One very important suggestion will be to use the KU Writing Center’s “Paper review” service. You do not

have to wait until your paper is fully completed to ask for a review. One thing to note, though – the

Writing Lab will not be able to provide any feedback related to the specifics of the assignment content.

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