The purpose of this assignment is to for you to become familiar with sources and techniques for tracking global media and information companies and the moguls and corporations that control them. We can’t follow Rupert Murdoch or Bill Gates as they trek through the corridors of power in New York, Washington and Beijing. But we can learn a great deal about the growing influence of News Corp., Microsoft, and other companies by making use of information and commentary available in the public domain.
- eBay (Links to an external site.)
- Google (Links to an external site.)
- Yahoo (Links to an external site.)
- Amazon (Links to an external site.)
Prepare a critical profile of the company that consists of the following parts.
1. Introduction (2-3 paragraphs)
- Highlight the single most noteworthy insight you gained from your research and provide an overview of your paper.
2. Conclusion (1 page)
- Emphasize two or three key points about the company from a critical perspective. What do you want the reader to take away from your paper.
3. Company Operations (4-5pages)
Provide an integrated piece that addresses the following questions.
- What does this company do to earn revenues? Describe the industries in which the company operates. How are revenues earned in each one? Which industries provide the largest shares of revenues? Which is/are growing fastest? Pay attention to the way revenues are earned (advertising, consumer sales, business-to-business sales, rentals, licensing fees, etc.). Track trends over the past three years.
- Provide an overview of major company initiatives over past three to four years (acquisitions and divestitures). Show how these fit into the company’s strategies for growth and expansion. How do these help the company earn revenues, move into new markets, increase their size in existing markets or industries, and produce synergies? Is the company trying to become bigger in one industry or moving into others? Why would it be doing that?
- Be as up-to-date as you can.
- Be critical rather than promotional. Where possible, describe the impacts of the company’s activities on consumers and society.
- Don’t provide lists of subsidiaries. Describe company operations in your own words.
4. Board of Directors (4-5 pages)
Write an integrated profile of the company’s board of directors.
- Describe major shareholders, if any, and the percentage(s) of shares they own
- Critically examine the entire board, paying attention to the following questions:
- Number of insiders and outsiders on the board and what this might mean for corporate governance
- Ages of directors and the number of women and ethnic minority directors and what this composition might mean in terms of diversity of viewpoints present on the board.
- Interlocks between the company and other major companies and what they could mean for the company.
- Interlocks with governments and with NGOs (national and international) and what they could mean for the company.
- Select three outside directors for additional investigation. Evaluate the reasons why these three directors might be on the board. How might they help the company? Be as specific as possible.
Minimum Research Requirements
Databases with American and international business news and analysis:
- Business Source Complete
Financial Reporting Services
- Mint Global
- annual report (especially Management’s Discussion and Analysis and Earnings Statement)
- management proxy (DEF 14-A) or form 20-F
- latest quarterly report
- others as appropriate
- searches for directors and their companies
- company web sites
- others as appropriate
Critical and Progressive Sources
All of the following sites are linked from the Assignment Guide 1 in Step 2.
- Alternative Press Index (Library database)
- Columbia Journalism Review
- Common Dreams News Center
- Consumer Project on Technology
- PR Watch
Part A—Prepare a profile of the company’s operations and
Part B—Analyze the board of directors are described in detail in the Assignment Guide.
Part C—Writing it up
Your report needs to be succinct and critical so you need to think carefully and critically about the information you retrieve. A good assignment (a B) shows that the student has done the research and fulfilled the requirements of the assignment. A great assignment (an A) shows that the student has done the research, fulfilled the requirements, and thought critically about the material he or she is researching. Make connections, ask interesting questions, or discuss important themes arising from your research.
Remember, this is not a conventional research essay but a critical study of a company.
- Write in a positive, active voice.
- Write mostly in your owns words.
- Put important information first.
- Do not copy extensively from sources.
- Do not clutter report with detailed lists.
- Do not just answer the questions in the assignment but create a narrative.
- Look for trends, generalizations, rather than details.
- Be critical of information.
- Find statements in articles that you can use to hang your views on.
- Be aware of the timeliness of the information you use.
Documenting Your Work
These are a critical element in any research paper and must be included in your report as
- Works cited (sources quoted, paraphrased, or summarized in your text).
- Works consulted (other sources used for background but not specifically referred to in text).
- Start your references on a separate page.
- Sources on these pages must be in alphabetical order by author.
- Pay particular attention to citing web sites.
Use APA format for both in-text citations and references.
- Double-space your work.
- Use a 12-point font with one-inch margins all around.
- Include a cover page.
- Provide page numbers.
- Do not write in point form.
- Underline or italicize the names of all publications (newspapers, books, magazines).
CMNS 261 ASSIGNMENT 3 Name Institution Date Introduction Amazon.com, Inc is an online retail provider targeting the content creators, consumers, enterprises and sellers (MarketLine, 2015). Even though, there have been other online platforms that have emerged to challenge Amazon, the company remains one of the most visible on the internet. Amazon allows online advertisements and targets the customers with emphasis on convenience, pricing and selection (Klaus, 2013). Amazon has differentiated itself and allows third parties to sell through the company`s platform. The Amazon Web Services targets the developers and enterprises that use the company`s technology infrastructure to conduct business. The North American is still the major market for Amazon, but with the company facing stiff competition, Amazon has increasingly focused on the international market and the Amazon Web Services segment (MarketLine, 2015). To deliver cloud services it different regions of the world, Amazon has also relied on multiple partners, partnering with foreign partners who provide infrastructure and network capabilities. Rather than invest heavily in IT infrastructure or rely on the data center capacity of other vendors, the AWS section does not incur high capital and up-front expenses in the Chinese market (Business Wire, 2013). The paper highlights the operation management of Amazon and also examines the board of directors` profiles. Conclusion Buyers and reviewers influence the sale and...