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Monthly Archives: February 2020

Robotic process automation (RPA)

 Case Study

Kian currently works for a company called Gryphite Quarry based in Wales and has worked in various finance roles for the last seven years. The company forms part of a large quarry operation where they mine several different materials such as Asphalt, Iron, and work on various demolition projects within the construction industry which means they have a large transport and logistics depot.

Kian has been happy in his current role which includes overseeing the accounts payable department, reporting on various Key Performance Indicators and leading a team of employees who tender for large demolition contracts.

Armed with an Accounting and Finance degree; Kian was ambitious and wanted to help form and shape the future of finance for Gryphite Quarry.

Kian’s manager called him in for a meeting to give him a ‘heads up’. It was decided at a board meeting that Gryphite Quarry had made the decision to engage with an external consultancy company on a temporary contract with the ideas of helping shape the finance function to a more digitised function. It had been decided that many of the day to day transactional work should now become automated.

The objective for this decision is to allow the finance function to add more value to the organisation and to assist in strategic decision making. By removing transactional processes to an automated function this will help improve efficiency, reduce errors and move with the future of automation and robotics.

If all went well this would mean that Kian would be able to focus his efforts on strategic, analytical skills and deepen his knowledge of end to end processes within various different elements of software.

Even though Kian wanted to shape the future of finance and understood that there was a requirement for the finance team to add value he was concerned that he didn’t have the skills available for this role. Kian commented ‘I am not from an I/T background and my team are fearful of understanding automation and robotics such as Artificial Intelligence’.

Kian’s manager assured him that he would work closely with the consultants and that the consultants had an excellent portfolio of training process-orientated finance staff to use robotic process automation and they had success stories of saving companies tens of thousands of employees manual hours and celebrated the key drivers of change to embed a culture of finance in a digital world.

The key for success is not to radically shift and change everything towards robotic automation but to be ahead of the technology strategy. To align the culture of the organisation. Kian’s manager understood that the team will fear the change because a common thought from the team will be that ‘the robots are taking our jobs’ and that their jobs in time will become redundant.

The success of this strategy is investing in the right technology for the processes that we wish to change. Not only is the technology important but the focus is on the digital leadership of the people. Managing people through a process of change is difficult. However; the external consultancy firm has seen a large increase of finance digital leaders who obviously understand the transactional processes but are now far more analytical, strategic and have a different way of thinking how efficiencies can be implemented by using robotics.

Robotic Process Automation is the application of technology that allows users to configure computer software to capture and interpret existing applications, according to the Institute for Robotic Process Automation & Artificial Intelligence. It is used for processing transactions, manipulating data, triggering responses, and communicating with other digital systems.

The technology follows rules in a prescribed order to automate work. It is compatible with other software because it can manipulate the user interface that humans normally use. It can follow if/then logic as it does things such as open email messages and attachments, log in to applications, move files and folders, copy and paste, fill forms, read and write to databases, scrape data from the internet, make calculations, and extract structured data from documents.

The Robotic Automated (RPA) software that will be used by Gryphite enables employees to automate tasks by pulling commands from a software menu, or, in some cases, by using a record button-type function that logs a human’s mouse and keyboard commands, writing code as it goes, available for playback in the future. It’s a lot of drag-and-drop.

The use of RPA to automate individual tasks has helped companies examine, reconfigure, and ultimately streamline entire processes, a practice commonly called business process automation.

“Technology is going to change every role, and not just at Gryphite but across industries and across roles, “We’re here to not only ensure the company survives long term, but ensure our employees have good roles long term. And those good roles are the more complex roles.”



Critically discuss the implementation of robotic process automation to help shape the future of finance. Please apply your research to the above case study and conclude whether you agree that this is a successful strategy for Gryphite Quarry to implement.  (1500 words)




Human disorder involving chromosomal abnormalities

Write an essay demonstrating critical analysis on ONE human disorder involving chromosomal abnormalities, including a discussion of the ethics involved in diagnosing the disorders.

Be sure to structure your work appropriately and include: the underlying genetics of your chosen disorder; the molecular and functional consequences of the aberration; the clinical presentation; and the diagnosis and management of the condition. Include as much scientific and molecular detail as possible. Your reference material at this level should include up-to-date journals. The main content of the essay should be around 1300 words, and then around 200 words on the ethical issues.

Create all figures that you include yourself. Hand-drawn figures and figures created using a computer program are equally acceptable. If you figure is adapted from an existing source, be sure to reference the source appropriately. Minimum and maximum numbers of figures are not given; use your judgement to create a suitable balance between text and figures.

Word limit: 1500 words. This word limit does not include references, titles, figure legends, tables or figures.


Essay guidelines:

  • Your essay must be written in your own words and style, and should be no more than 1500 words in length. Essays that are significantly over length will be penalised.
  • Your essay must have an original title that encapsulates the ideas that you are presenting.
  • Your subject-matter must be at the cutting edge of medical genetics, and thus should include at least ten references from peer reviewed journal papers including four from the last four years.
  • You are strongly advised to make sensible use of figures and tables. These should reflect your own specific requirements and, if they are adapted from published figures or tables, you must acknowledge your sources. Tables and figure legends do not contribute to the overall word-count.
  • The type of reader you should have in mind is someone already having a good general knowledge of the subject area. Such a person will be hoping for an interesting, and original, presentation of mostly familiar material. Anything extra will be a bonus. Try to avoid including anything very basic.
  • You should make a search of the scientific literature for suitable material and use a wide range of appropriate sources; use Medline/Pubmed – you will find them invaluable. Your essay should be fully referenced in Harvard style.

Marking scheme, criteria or rubric

Your essay will be assessed on the basis of its content, style, effectiveness of presentation and originality. Mark allocations are as follows:


Introduction (10 marks):  A brief overview setting the direction and agenda for essay.

Body of essay (40 marks): Detailed analysis; material presented at an appropriate level for the target audience; current and accurate content; volume and depth of content; each point well supported with examples and argument; an original and interesting argument/idea; reflection on the ethics involved.

Conclusion (10 marks): Concise summary; placing the information and ideas of the essay in a wider context. Credit will be lost if new facts are provided.

Essay structure (10 marks): Easy to read; logical flow and order with appropriate headings or subheadings as needed; tables and figures numbered with appropriate headings or subheadings as needed; appropriate legends used for clarity.

Student-created figures (10 marks): Clear and relevant figures that complement the body of text and add appropriate detail; evidence of original thought in creation and presentation of figures. Figures may be created using digital tools or in hard copy.

Written expression (10 marks): Appropriate paragraph and sentence structure, including accurate spelling, grammar and punctuation.

References  (10 marks): Multiple, current primary research papers used, as well as other appropriate sources; good breadth and depth of knowledge base used for the essay; correct (Harvard style) formatting (in-text and in reference list); appropriate referencing for figures and tables.






 Purpose: This assignment will let you begin to research different websites that pertain to your field of specialty. You should be keeping your intended job specialty in mind. Additionally, this assignment lets you look at websites through an analytical lens, strengthening your own ability to create and present content that is specifically tailored to an intended audience.

Assignment Overview: You will need to find two websites, one of which must pertain to your field of specialty, and analyze them. You will discuss your analysis in a memo. The following criteria is required when doing your analysis:

  • Analyze the website as a whole, rather than just one page of it
  • Consider who the primary and secondary audiences are for the website
  • Determine the browsing ease and readability of the website, especially with the targeted audiences in mind
  • Analyze the images, graphics, charts, etc. that are used

While the above is what is absolutely required, feel free to analyze and address any other pertinent information.

Memo: The findings of your analysis will be presented via a memo addressed to me. You will use the memo template that is uploaded to Canvas. The main content of the memo should be organized in the following way:

  • Introduction – Here you should name the websites that you decided to analyze and your rationale for deciding on them.
  • Body – This is where you will provide your analysis for each website, in detail. The only organization requirement is that you fully analyze one website before moving on to your analysis of the next website (don’t try to intertwine your analyses). The organization of the analysis of each website itself is completely up to you.
  • Conclusion – Your conclusion should be fairly brief. You really just need to explain your key takeaways from this assignment.

Memo Requirements:

  • 3-6 pages
  • Times New Roman, 12 pt. font. Paragraphs should be single-spaced within and double-spaced between
  • To – my name
  • From – your name
  • Date – when you submit your final memo
  • Subject – title of assignment
  • Introduction
  • Body
  • Conclusion

Important Reminders:

  • You will have two full in-class days to work on this assignment
  • First draft is due, in-class only, for a peer review on Wednesday, Feb. 26th
  • Final draft is due, submitted to Canvas, on Monday, March 2nd


Working with communities

Assessment description

Using the case study provided, you will identify one element of structural disadvantage experienced by groups or individuals within this community and ways in which particular community development processes could be utilised to foster community empowerment, active citizenship, and self- determination.
Assessment aims
Your ability to identify and critique the nature of power in relation to the ways in which particular communities come to experience structural disadvantage, and the means by which that disadvantage is maintained, is essential to community development practice. This will enable you to analyse a specific practice example and to identify the ways in which a worker can redress undermining power relations.

150 words – identify/describe/critically analyse an element of disadvantage

(Ife 2016, p. 61) This is A structural perspective – disadvantaged because of oppressive and inequitable social structure (e.g. class, gender, capitalism, income distribution, institutional racism).

The individual impacted in the case study is the Syrian man, in this scenario, he is facing a structural disadvantage. Being a newly arrived migrant without the English language, would definitely lead to feeling of isolation and individualization of problems. He would also be experiencing a loss of community and relationships as his wife and children remain in Syria.
It is evident that he might also be experiencing some financial hardship as he does not yet have a full wok entitlement. Reason could be due to having weak social network and the lack of opportunities. According to the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity (1999), moving to a new country and having to rebuild a new life can lead to people living without basic human rights. Other people in the group such as the young people who are involved in the anti-social behaviour could also be experiencing the same problem of low income and unemployment. Reason being that the powerful majority do not wish to provide services to tackle unemployment issues in the community.

What strategy and why?
250 words – practice example one (self-determination) fostering community capacity for identifying their own needs and solutions.

Process of valuing local skills: by finding out what Syrian man skills are

Start from group own needs
Inclusive and meaningful participation strategies are requisite for achieving self-determination.
The worker could enable the Syrian man and the group of youth, to develop skills and competencies, knowledge, structures and strengths, to become more strongly involved in community as well as wider societal life and take greater control of their own lives and that of their communities.

Can help build strong, cohesive communities for the benefit of all groups in a community.

You are in charge of your own life
The community need to be welcoming

Think beyond the public meeting and recognize that there are other ways for people to participate (Ife 2009, p. 40). Storytelling, singing, dancing, morning coffee etc..

250 words – practice example two (active citizenship)
inclusive participation in community processes and/or democratic decision making.
Moves beyond embracing human rights to exercising them

Get them to contribute to decision making processes as this is a fundamental civic right.
The worker should encourage other people to learn the skills of participation in traditionally white male activities (Ife 2016, p. 278), value equally other forms of participation and change the nature of those traditionally exclusive activities.

Encourage participation in community activities, but particularly in the engagement with the idea of rights and responsibility. Educate the Syrian man and the youth to help them engage in democratic life to enable them to practice their rights and responsibilities (Ife 2009, p. 137)

Engaged in pathways towards employment/ training opportunities for work experience.
Advocating with services and organisations about specific learning needs of young people and migrants.

Dependency on the welfare state is due to a lack of opportunities to acquire work, education and training, not due to a lack of initiative and self- reliance (Wharf Higgins 1999). Further, equality can only be secured once social and economic rights have been acquired.

Respect towards individual difference, and to recognise diversity, work together for a common good.
Conflicts resolution are characteristics of active citizens

Citizen power – citizens representatives on policy making bodies
Citizen Control – is people power, people controlling the processes determining direction, and having the power to make decisions themselves

Delegated power – neighbour planning councils. Delegated with the power to make decisions

Partnership- citizens’ advisory boards. Enables people to negotiate with the powerful, but still no process of an outcome.

(Arnstein, S.R. 1969, “A Ladder of Citizen Participation,” JAIP, vol. 35, No. 4, pp.216-224).

250 words – practice example three (community empowerment)
building community capacity to lead and achieve shared community goals.

The worker could encourage the community to take control of the community garden project themselves. It is through this that they can learn to have more control over their community and their lives (Ife 2016, p. 263).

The worker should closely work with people to help them recognise their own skills and knowledge.

Policies to ensure adequate income is empowering (Ife 2016, p. 66)
Helps individuals and communities to take control over circumstances that affect their lives (Dooris 2013, p. 89).
Engage in the bottom up approach to help determine who is included and leading the process, and who is excluded.

The worker could engage in the principal of consciousness raising (Ife 2016, p. 278) by talking with the Syrian man who does not yet have full work rights, as this will provide a real opportunity to examine together the structural reasons for unemployment.
By speculating with the youth about

speculating about why there has been an apparent rise in unemployment, talking about what it must be like for young people whose only option is casual work at a fast-food outlet, and so on.
consciousness raising: the sharing of experiences of oppression, and the opening up of possibilities for action (Ife 2016, p. 278). By talking about unemployment

Consciousness raising is essential part of empowerment, seek to engage in consciousness raising practice. Examine together the structural reasons for Syrian man unemployment (Ife 2016, p. 278).

Grassroots process by which communities become responsible, empower themselves, create employment and economic opportunities

Bottom up approach
Consider who is included and leading the process, and who is excluded, and voices not being heard.

Since it’s a structural perspective, empowerment is necessarily important for social change, in order to dismantle the dominant structures of oppression (Ife 2016, p. 61)

Positive, reduce detrimental effects of poverty by access to affordable, healthy foods and learning skills about how to grow food.
Empower participants to have autonomous role with food production system, promote better health through consumption of fresh food and facilitate mental health and wellbeing

Community building through community services
Goal: building community through partnerships, learning, gathering, identifying issues and community assets
e.g. includes both people connections and services, independent learning centre for young people

Organizational Behavior & Effectiveness

Read the article, Student Writing Guide in your Start Here folder.
Although some subjectivity is expected in what you write, what you talk about must encompass the issues that are in the writing assignment. The language you use should incorporate relevant concepts, terms, and references to business that you are learning in this course and have learned in your previous business courses to help ‘make logical sense’ about what you are expressing.
Writing Assignment Overview: Conflict Management
Learning how to handle conflict efficiently is a necessary skill for anyone in management and the key to preventing it from hindering employees’ professional growth.
You were cc’d in an exchange of e-mails between two employees that seemed to have escalated to a point where it was obvious that a conflict exists. Initially, you chose not to be involved hoping that the conflict would resolve itself after a few e-mails. Unfortunately, the more e-mails were exchanged, the more the conflict grew and you felt that it is time for you to step in to try to resolve the issue.
This is what you must do:
Write an e-mail to both employees acknowledging the difference in opinion and express the need for a face to face meeting to address the conflict. Consider both parties and be sensitive to their needs.
• Suggested length: 1 page. Line spacing: 1.5 inches.
• Review the Student Writing Guide that is in the Start Here folder.
• Peruse your textbook for information in various chapters that might illuminate ideas about what
• to say in your letter.
• Where appropriate, use an outline style to discuss things that are related to a main topic instead of bunching them in a wordy paragraph. Above all, do not write in a rambling, incoherent way.
• Review the article, How to Write in a Business Format that is located in the INSIGHTS folder on the Content page.
Research information about conflicts and conflict management in Chapters 10, 11 and 13 for additional information when writing this letter. Write from a Manager’s perspective.

The development of e-business

Describe the structure, history and growth of the selected e-business, provide an analysis of the selected e-business, and include the following in the discussion

Analyze the selected e-business website, and describe the overall structure, the major components and the features of the website.

Explain the supply chain management considerations adopted by the organization

Explain the issue of business to business as implemented by the organization

Provide an explanation on the issue of business to consumer as implemented by the organization

Differentiate between legal and regulatory requirement for supply chain management in e-commerce and tradition e-commerce

Identify the potential ethical issues in e-business that differ from traditional business

Phone Systems lnc. Case study Answer

Phone Systems lnc., an international company that manufactures telephone accessories, has four locations in the United
States: Syracuse, New York; Minn€apolis, Minnesota; San Antonio, Texas; and Tampa, Florida. lt also has facilities in
Great Britain, Germany, and Mexico. Phone Systems lnc. values diversity in its workforce, innovation in its processes,
and profitability in its products. The president of the board has been overheard saying, “You can’t please all of the
people all ofthe time. Sometimes profits come before personnel.” Phone Systems lnc- is contemplating opening a new
facility in lndia and has initiated the formation of a virtual team to evaluate this decision. An outcome of this project, as
directed by the company’s board of directors, is one of the facilities in the Un ited States would be closed to fund the
creation of the new facility in lndia.
Below is a summary of the four sites.
Location Year Established Number of Employees
Syracuse, NY 1955 450
Minnea polis, MN 1968 2s0
San Antonio, TX 1995 650
Tampa, FL 2001 500
Syracuse, NY: This site is also the company’s global headquarters-the site where the company started. lt recently
celebrated 60 years of service in the United States, and received a presidential citation from President Obama for its
dedication to keeping jobs in the United States. This site has an average years ofservice of 25 years, and the average
employee age is 50.5 years old. While this site has the longest history and tradition, it also scores lowest in internal
employee satisfaction surveys.
Mlnneapolis, MN: This site has undergone three downsizings in the past decade, reducing from 775 employees in 2005
to 600 employees in 2008 and 500 employees in 2010. lt most recently underwent a considerable restructuring in 2013
to its current head count of 250 employees. The jobs were transferred to the San Antonio, Texas, site and Tampa,
Florida, site due to lower labor costs and higher levels of efficiency at both of these sites. The site pursued a grant
through the State of Minnesota for skills retraining, and was awarded a state grant of 5300,@0 to fund retraining its
incumbent workforce from 2015 through 2020. The company would be required to repay the State if any employees
were laid off from this site prior to 2020.
San Antonio, TX: This site is the “cash cow” ofthe company, as it has the highest level of efficiency, is the company’s
lowest-cost facility, and has the best overall record of performance. lts cost of operations is the lowest of all sites in the
United States. However, the site is currently the target of a union-organizing drive by the Communication Workers of
America. Employees pushed for an increase in wages, which was denied by management as the result of an analysis of
waBes in the area for employees in similar industries. This prompted some employees to pursue ioining a union. Any
attempt to curtail operations at the site, such as a union-busting move by the company, could create a potential legal
challenge with the international union.
Tampa, FL: This is the company’s newest site, and is second to the San Antonio site in cost and efficiency. lt has a very
low level of attrition, and has the highest scores in the employee satisfaction survey. The site has received awards for its
solid performance in minority hiring, and has also been positively recognized as a leader in the local area for its excellent
diversiv hiring practices.
A cross-function team comprised of three senior managers-plant manager, plant controller, and plant human resources
manager-from each of the four sites in the United States has formed to develop the strategy for the creation of the
new facility in lndia. one outcome that is non-negotiable by the company’s board of directors is one ofthe four sites in
the United States would have to close to fund the asset-reconfiguration project.
The group has met twice but cannot reach consensus on their objective. However, they have discussed a shift in the
project objective, and requested that the board of directors instead close the facility in Mexico. The site leaders agree a
site needs to be closed, but all are adamant that their respective sites should not be closed due to economic, political,
technical, and loyalty issues. Conflict among the team members involves the following issues:
. Representatives from the Syracuse, New York, site are adamant that the site cannot close, as it is the world
headquarters site and each member ofthe board of directors lives in the Syracuse area.
o Several members ofthe committee appearto be ethnocentric, vocally disagreeing with the company’s decision
to open a site in lndia predicated on closing a site in the United States.
. A fair degree of finger-pointing has occurred on the committee, with members focused on finding weaknesses at
each site other than their own, rather than focusing on the objectives the committee was challenged to resolve.
The facility in Mexico was established in 2008 and has a very low labor cost; its employees are very energetic and excited
to be part of Phone Systems lnc. lts leadership team is comprised of 90% Mexican nationals, and its plant manager
describes the environment at the site as “Change Disneyland.” Employees welcome change, and are highly passionate
about their company.
The board of directors was not pleased by the proposal from the project team to close the site in Mexico, and has
brought you in to take over leadership of the team. The board has requested you develop a strategy to bring this project
to a successful conclusion, with the following objectives:
. Lead the tea m to the desired conclusion with the majority of the team reach ing consensus on which of the fou r
existing sites in the United States would close.
. Summarize the key challenges in moving forward with the recommendation.
. Present the process by which you will lead the team to a successful outcome.

The Abu Ghraib prison torture scandal


A.    Soldiers convicted of abuse and humiliation of detainees.

1.      Soldiers abused their power/authority on prisoners that were in their care.

2.      During this torture detainees were threatened with Military Police K9s, beaten, dosed in cold water while they were naked, made to pose nude with empty sandbags covering their heads while zip tied, assaulted with broom handles, told they would be raped, and some were sodomized.

II.Why the Event Occurred: Theory I

A.     Infrahumanization and Dehumanization

1.      Infrahumanization occurs when the in group (those with authority) feel that the out group (detainees) are less than human.

2.      Dehumanization occurs when people are treated as animals.

III.Why the Event Occurred: Theory II

A.     Moral Disengagement

1.      Moral Disengagement is a term from social psychology for the process of convincing the self that ethical standards do not apply to oneself in a particular context


  1. Analysis—Basic Perceptual and Cognitive Processes

A.     Basic Perception


  1. The basic perception at this time is that these inmates are less then human hence do not need to be treated as such.


  1. Cognitive processes control social behavior adapting to the social settings.


IV.Analysis—Dual Process Model

A.     Analysis—Dual Process Model

1.      In some inferences there is a system 1 vs. system 2. System intuition vs reasoning. The intuition side is crude and slow learning and the reasoning side is analytic and fast learning.





Bandura, A. (1999). Moral Disengagement. Retrieved February 7, 2020, from

In this article Mr. Bandura talks about how people use moral disengagement to convince themselves that ethics do not apply to what they are currently doing. Moral disengagement is then further broken down into four categories. The four categories are reconstructing immoral conduct, diffusing responsibility, dehumanizing the victim, and misrepresenting injurious consequences


Forsberg, C., Thornberg, R., & Samuelsson, M. (2014). Bystanders to bullying: fourth- to seventh-grade students’ perspectives on their reactions. Research Papers in Education, 29(5), 557–576. doi: 10.1080/02671522.2013.878375

In this Journal the authors discuss bystanders and their role when it comes to witnessing bullying. The journal discusses how children view the situation as  relationships is this person a friend or how are they viewed socially, defining seriousness is this just teasing or can someone seriously get hurt, victim’s contribution to the situation (did they ask for it), social roles and intervention responsibilities (is it my job to interfere or is it someone else’s, and distressing emotions what are all the cues. The most interesting thing that they saw was that there was moral disengagement the students did not feel that they were morally obligated to have to intervene and stop the bullying.


Vaes, J., Leyens, J.-P., Paladino, M. P., & Miranda, M. P. (2012). We are human, they are not: Driving forces behind outgroup dehumanisation and the humanisation of the ingroup. European Review of Social Psychology, 23(1), 64–106. doi: 10.1080/10463283.2012.665250

In this journal they review recent empirical extensions that shed more light on understanding and knowing the differences between what is know as the ingroup which is the group that is humanized and the outgroup which is the group that suffers from the dehumanization. The foundation that separate the boundaries of these groups is also discussed.


Lurigio, A. J. (2009). The Rotten Barrel Spoils the Apples: How Situational Factors Contribute to Detention Officer Abuse Toward Inmates. The Prison Journal, 89(1_suppl). doi: 10.1177/0032885508329773

This journal reviews a book written by Philip Zimbardo the man that conducted the Stanford prison experiment. In the book Zimbardo shows comparisons between his experiment and what happened in Abu Ghraib.


Bond and Stock Performance Analysis for HOME DEPOT and the competitor is LOWES

The main COMPANY for this project is HOME DEPOT and the competitor is LOWES

In this part of the project you are to assume to have been hired to join a team serving as an internal financial analyst to THE COMPANY. Your client plans to invest in bonds and (or) stocks issued by THE COMPANY (SELECTED BY INSTRUCTOR). In part 6 of the assignment you are asked to provide some recommendations to THE COMPANY’S management.
THE COMPANY for part 2 of the project can be the company that you were using for the Research Project Part 1 or ANOTHER COMPANY determined by your professor.

THE COMPANY for this part of the project must have bonds listed on the website

To find the information on bonds, click on Search in the middle of the screen (under Market Center Bond Guide), under Quick Search type the Issuer Name and the Symbol, and click SHOW RESULTS.

Alternatively, you can request approval of another publicly traded company. This request must be submitted before the end of the first week of the course. The request must include
• identification of the company by ticker symbol and name
• a reasonable and appropriate explanation of why you want to examine the alternative company
• the source of the analyst’s report that will be used in the analysis (which must be submitted to me)
• acknowledgement by you that all the specific elements of the assignment (see below) will be prepared by you and included in the final research project report
SUGGESTED WEBSITES – To find the information for your company you need to type the stock symbol in the Quotes window to get into the company’s page. – To find the information on bonds, click on Search in the middle of the screen (under Market Center Bond Guide), under Quick Search type the Issuer Name and the Symbol, and click SHOW RESULTS. To find the information on bonds, scroll down the page, type the name of the company in the window under Bond Finder, and click SEARCH. -To find the information for your company you need to type the stock symbol in the Search window to get into the company’s page. -To find the information for your company you need to type the stock symbol in the Search window to get into the company’s page. – To find the information for your company you need to type the stock symbol in the Search window to get into the company’s page. – Click on Data, then click on Stocks (under Quotes), and type the name of the company or the stock symbol in the window “Keyword or symbol” to get into the company’s page. – To find the information for your company you need to type the stock symbol in the Search window to get into the company’s page.
Company’s websites

-3- Collect and evaluate the data about bond performance of the assigned company. (15% of the project grade).
The information on bonds can be found on the website To find the information on bonds, click on Search in the middle of the screen (under Market Center Bond Guide), under Quick Search type the Issuer Name and the Symbol, and click SHOW RESULTS.
Another useful website on bond information is To find the information on bonds, scroll down the page, type the name of the company in the window under Bond Finder, and click SEARCH.
Copy the quotations of two bonds issued by THE COMPANY (SELECTED BY INSTRUCTOR) that contain the Price. Present these quotations in your project.
1. Assume that par value of the bond is $1,000. What were the last prices of the bonds in $$$ (listed in the Price column)? Show your work in your project.
2. Assume that par value of the bond is $1,000. Calculate the annual coupon interest payments. Show your work in your project.
3. Assume that par value of the bond is $1,000. Calculate the current yield of the bonds. Show your work in your project.
4. Write a 1-2 page of the analysis of the bonds. In your analysis you should answer the following questions. Please explain your answer to each question.
a. How much is the YTM listed in quotations is for the bonds? Explain the meaning of YTM.
b. If you are going to buy a bond issued by THE COMPANY, which bond would you choose? Why?
c. Are these bonds callable? If the bonds that you chose are callable (non-callable), will it change your decision to buy them?
d. If you are an investor who is looking for a bond to invest in, are you going to buy a bond that you chose? Take a look at the balance sheet and income statement of the company. What data or ratios support your decision to buy this bond or not? You may want to incorporate the results of the Research Project Part 1, as well as the results of the financial leverage ratios to answer this question. You should develop a specific recommendation, with supporting rationale to explain your answer.

-4- Collect and evaluate the data about stock performance of the assigned company for the last one year. (totally 35% of the project grade).
1) Find the market ratios for the company for the last 1-3 years and its major competitor for the last year in the Internet. (10% of the project grade)
• Price/Earnings ratio
• Market/Book ratio (also called (Price/Book ratio)
• Earnings per share
• Dividends per share
• Other market ratios on your choice

These ratios are available on > Company’s page – under Valuation, Financials, and under Dividends

You can find these ratios in the Internet or calculate them. If you use published ratios you must indicate that and cite their source.
a. Present the market ratios as the table(s) in your project.
b. Write about 1 page of analysis of the market ratio results that you found. Compare the market ratio results against the industry or main competitor. In your report please answer the question: Are the common stockholders receiving an adequate return on their investment?
c. Compare the P/E ratio of your company with the industry average or 5-year average. Is the stock overvalued, undervalued, or properly valued? Why? In accordance with your findings, is it reasonable to buy the stock? Please explain your answers.
-2) Analysis of the historical stock prices trend for the last year. (10% of the project grade)
a. Collect and evaluate the data about stock prices of the assigned company for the last one year for the company and its major competitor.
b. Create the chart(s) using the stock price chart tools on the websites or Excel. Present the chart(s) in your project.
c. Write about 0.5 page of analysis the historic stock prices trend for the last year.
3) Apply the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM) Security Market Line to estimate the required return on THE COMPANY stock. Note that you will need the risk-free rate and the market return. Show this information in your project. (15% of the project grade)
1. Apply the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM) Security Market Line to estimate the required return on stock. Note that you will need the risk-free rate, beta, and the market return.
a) To get the current yield on 10-year Treasury securities go to -click on Markets – U.S. Treasury Bonds Rates. You will use the current yield on 10-year Treasury securities as the risk-free rate to estimate the required rate of return on stocks. Discuss how appropriate this rate is as a measure of risk.
b) Between 1926 and 2017, the compound annual rate of return of S&P 500 is estimated a 6.5%. We will use this number as the market return. Discuss how appropriate this rate is as a measure of return.
c) Beta is listed in and in on the company’s front page. What is the beta listed for the company? What does it mean?
d) Calculate the required return on the stock using the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM) Security Market Line. Please show your work.
2. There are several methods how to calculate the growth rate. One of the possible ways is to calculate the sustainable growth rate as g = ROE *(1- Dividend payout ratio). You can find ROE and the Dividend Payout Ratio on > Company’s page – under Financials and under Dividends
Calculate the company’s sustainable growth rate. Please show your work.
3. Apply the Gordon model (constant growth rate model) to calculate the intrinsic (economic) value of the stock. Please show your work.
Please note that for some companies it is not possible to use the Gordon model. If that is the case, please explain why it is not possible to use this model for your company. What other models is it possible to use?
4. Compare the result of your calculations with the current stock price. Is the stock overvalued, undervalued, or properly valued? Why? In accordance with your findings, is it reasonable to buy the stock? Why? Please explain your answer.

The strategic position of the Close Protection Unit (CPU), Royal Military Police (RMP)

The overall assessment of the module is divided in three sections.

Section 1: You are required to produce an individual report that includes an analysis and reflection of the strategic position of the Close Protection Unit (CPU), Royal Military Police (RMP)

One way you may approach this is to ask: How can the Close Protection Unit maintain and enhance the sustainable (triple bottom line) value it delivers to its stakeholders?
a. A critical introduction discussing the meaning and importance of strategy, sustainable (triple bottom line) value, and stakeholders (analysing 3-5 key stakeholders) in relation to the Close Protection Unit.
b. Critically evaluate the external environment of the Close Protection Unit using a suitable strategic analysis framework(s) (e.g. Macro environment using PESTEL and Micro environment using Porter’s 5 Forces). (This may involve a brief evaluation of the framework itself, as well as an analysis of the Close Protection Unit.) Summarise your findings by drawing attention to the key drivers for change.
In the assignment it must include a thorough, well-evidenced analysis of the organisation, with a detailed critical discussion, which leads logically on to your recommendations. (Use the golden thread)
c. Critically evaluate the internal environment of the Close Protection Unit, using a suitable strategic analysis framework(s) (i.e. Resources and Capabilities and Value Chain). (This may involve a brief evaluation of the framework itself, as well as an analysis of the Close Protection Unit.) Summarise your findings by drawing attention to the key drivers of competitive advantage in the Close Protection Unit.
d. Recommend and justify how sustainable value creation in the Close Protection Unit may be sustained and enhanced for its stakeholders

In the assignment it is expected that you will be able to draw upon and cite credible sources of information and literature both internal and external to the organisation- e.g. journal papers and quality newspapers as well as industry reports, company publications and website materials. The judicious use of supporting data and analysis is essential to the assignment.
The theoretical strategic analysis frameworks should be used to assist in the analysis and preparation of the report rather than a dominant feature of it or a focus of theory-based discussion. However, they should be used explicitly enough to demonstrate your ability to apply them, a ‘story’ is not enough! You need to show evidence of wider reading on the subject of strategic management by critically evaluating the advantages and limitations of the diagnostic tools you have used.
Appendices must only be used in support of the main text discussion and must be referenced properly.
Overall, assume that the assessors know very little about the organisation. You should write the assignment with the assumption that the reader is very new to your industry and situation. Describe the relevant background clearly and if necessary, provide the business background in the appendices.

Section 2: You should supplement your report with a personal strategy learning log. This log requires you to reflect on your learning experiences throughout this module and should demonstrate how you have developed during the module.
(The writer should put themselves in the shoes of the student and complete the learning log as best they can with a minimum of 20 logged entries, preferable more)
You are asked to produce a learning log, where you are expected to reflect on your learning experience throughout this module. Within the learning log you should refer and reflect on any reading or activities you have done while working on the assessment task.
You should demonstrate a wide range of activities that demonstrate reflectivity – what did I learn? – how did I contextualise it within my organisation? Did I change what I do/think? What happened as a result? How did that affect the focus for my learning?
You may use the following table format as guidance in presenting your learning log:
Topic Area Activity Undertaken What I have learned as a result How this could be used in my assignment or organisational practice

In particular reflective statements are used to reflect on, in and for action. The most important aspect of reflective journal writing is to encourage students to begin to think about their own thinking. Every time you engage with the module you should attempt to make an entry in your learning log, penning down your experience of the learning process, from the acquisition of knowledge, the understanding you derive from the learning, your attempts at utilising the learning and the results of these attempts. As a ‘learning by doing’ process, you will try and sometimes succeed while sometimes failing. You are expected to record that process on a frequent basis.

Section 3: You are required to produce the following appendix’s:
• Learning Log (All research / reading / thinking / reflection should be included in the log and as many entries as possible)
• Power / Interest matrix for CPU RMP (Partially completed, amend as required)
• PESTEL Analysis of CPU RMP (First entry included as an example)
• Porters 5 Forces analysis of CPU RMP
• Value Chain
• Resources and Capability Model for CPU RMP
All appendix’s should be referred to in the main body of the essay (Apart from the learning log).

Additional Comments:
Academic and Practical references must be used to support and defend your case / argument. All key information must be evidences and supported.

The following book covers the key subjects in the assignment:
 Johnson, Whittington, Scholes, Angwin & Regnér (2017) Exploring strategy: text and cases (11th ed.). Harlow, Essex: Pearson.