Web-Based Research (WBR) Paper: Each student will write a brief paper using web-based research on a company of their choice (i.e., any company with a website [i.e., public, private, for/non-profit]). Requirements and grading of the WBR are noted below.
The primary source of your paper should be the company’s own website for the company of your choice. A “Google search” about the company is not the same – the objective here is for you to review
information that the company shares online to better understand the company’s operations. This approach might be something you would likely do if you had the opportunity to interview for a job with
that company, in order to better prepare for an interview. Research beyond the company website and
our text is not required, and actually not recommended – this is your opportunity to learn critical skills to align your school work and learnings with application in the “real world.”
Formatting, grammar, and overall quality (20%): The paper should be one-page, single spaced with 12-point Times New Roman font with a one-inch margin (papers longer or shorter than one page will be penalized). The paper must be well written in paragraph format and should be both spell-checked and clarity-checked. Spelling errors, poorly structured thoughts, and grammar mistakes will be penalized. Papers submitted in bullet point format will also be penalized.
Company information (20%): The paper must include the name of the company, description of the
business, primary goods/services, location of headquarters, the internet address and why you selected this particular company. You should not select a company where you previously or currently work.
Two (2) Operations Management topics as listed in the course schedule (40%): If only one OM topic is addressed, the student will be penalized by 20% on the WBR paper score. Some examples of past topics used are:
What is the company’s approach to outsourcing and/or offshoring?
What type of forecasting & scheduling practices does the company use?
What are the competitive dimensions / strategies that form the competitive position of the company?
What type of production and/or service processes does the company utilize?
How has the company incorporated lean, TPS, and six sigma principles into the culture?
What are the company’s order qualifier(s) and order winner(s)?
What is the company’s approach to sustainability?
Any other topic covered in this course…
Three (3) Questions (20%): Lastly, you must include three (3) questions that you would ask the CEO if you had the opportunity to meet with him/her. These (3) questions should be Operations Management related; like if you were interviewing the CEO for a newspaper or magazine article. Questions you might ask them would be about international strategies, past scandals, supply chain / sourcing practices, social responsibility, company culture, etc. Questions need to be more thought provoking than “where do you see the company in 5 years,” or “what are you most proud of in your career;” they need to be related to Operations Management issues covered in this course.
In general, the WBR Paper should be about 4 paragraphs. The first paragraph explains the company info, the second paragraph will address the first OM topic, the third paragraph will address the second OM topic, and the fourth paragraph will be the three questions you’d ask if interviewing the CEO of your chosen company.
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