Category Archives: Portfolio

Case study Portfolio

Case study


Caterpillar had been on a growth tear for 15 years. As the largest and most geographically diverse heavy equipment maker, it was best positioned to weather a slow economy. And although Caterpillar did ok throughout 2008while the recent economic crisis remained largely centered in the United States, it took a blow once the recession spread worldwide and institutions everywhere just stopped building things. For Caterpillar, annual revenue toppled 37 percent in 2009 (from $51 billion to $32 billion), while profits spiraled downward 75 percent. Caterpillar responded by dramatically cutting costs. It has also rolled out promotional incentives similar to those offered by automotive manufacturers in order to spark sales. By mid-2010, as some important economic sectors began to recover, Caterpillar’s sales and profits also rebounded. But like most other companies, Caterpillar is still wanting for a slower than-expected economic turnaround to materialize.

Case study Portfolio


  1. Given the nature of the demand for its products, is there anything that Caterpillar could do to maintain or increase revenues in a down economy?
  2. As a corporation that fuels the economy to some extent is there anything that Caterpillar could do to facilitate a global economic recovery?

Case Study # 2


Brief History:


The first Starbucks location opened in 1971. The name is inspired by Moby Dick’s first mate. This name and the mermaid logo were inspired by the love of the sea, from Starbucks original location in Seattle Washington in the heart of Pike Place Market. Starting as a single shop specializing in high quality coffee and brewing products the company grew to be the largest roaster in Washington with multiple locations until the early 80’s. In 1981, current CEO Howard Schultz, recognized a great opportunity and began working with the founder Jerry Baldwin. After a trip to Italy to find new products, Schultz realized an opportunity to bring the café community environment he found in Italy to the United States and the Starbuck’s brand we know today began to take form.


Selling espresso by the cup was the first test. Schultz left Baldwin to open his own Italian coffee house Il Giornalewhich found outrageous success and in 1987 when Starbucks decided to sell the original 6 locations, Schultz raised the money with investors and purchased the company and fused them with his Italian bistro locations. The company experienced rapid growth going public in 1992, and growing tenfold by 1997, with locations around the United States, Japan and Singapore. Starbucks also began expanding its brand. According to George Garza in his article the history of Starbucks the following product lines were added: • Offering Starbucks coffee on United Airlines flights. • Selling premium teas through Starbucks’ own Tazo Tea Company. • Using the Internet to offer people the option to purchase Starbucks coffee online. • Distributing whole bean and ground coffee to supermarkets. • Producing premium coffee ice cream with Dreyer’s. • Selling CDs in Starbucks retail stores. Starbucks uses minimal advertising and has grown on word of mouth and brand recognition. According to Garza by 2004 Starbucks had reached 1,344 locations.



  1. Please explain how can Starbucks maintain a competitive advantage over the competitors?
  2. Which target marketing strategy best describes Starbucks efforts? Please support your point using examples?
  3. How does Starbucks use its variety of products to build relationships with the right customers?

Managers’ encouragement of employee voice can lift well-being

Essay Information

The Task:

You are required to complete a 1500 word Essay. The objective of the essay is to allow you to demonstrate your ability to draw on appropriate literature, to think and argue critically and analytically and to present your ideas in a logical and coherent manner in answering the essay question.

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The essay topic is:

Managers’ encouragement of employee voice can lift well-being and productivity. Discuss.

As you will discover, there are diverging and often conflicting viewpoints discussed in this course. This assessment item is designed to develop your research skills and get you thinking critically about the topic. It will allow you to present your own viewpoint, as well as develop generic skills in writing and presenting a logical and persuasive argument. Writing an essay allows you to demonstrate your understanding of the subject matter by drawing together concepts learned in lectures and discussed in tutorials, supplemented by research. You are expected to present an argument based on research in response to the question.

Remember, in an argumentative essay:

  • a clear position on the topic is presented
  • the position is supported by information/evidence that supports that position; that is, your argument is substantiated
  • opposing viewpoints are presented
  • a persuasive conclusion is presented.


Your Essay should be 1500 words (+/- 10% excluding reference list) followed by a reference list with a minimum of 8 peer-reviewed references. Peer-reviewed or Refereed articles are from academic/scholarly journals that only publish articles that have passed through a review process. The review process helps ensure that the published articles reflect solid scholarship in their fields.


Submission Format:

You should type your submission in a Word document. Your submission should be at 11 or 12 point font and double-spaced, with 25mm margins on all sides.



The marking criteria for the Essay is included in the Course Handbook (left-hand menu).


Tata simulation model:


Tata simulation model:


After playing the simulation game, write a 5-6 page paper covering the following questions. 

  1. Please define each type of market structure (monopoly, oligopoly, monopolistic competition, and perfect competition). Be sure to paraphrase information in your own words, and cite your sources.
  2. Describe the competitive advantage/unique resources Quasar Computers possesses in the monopoly market scenario. To this end, describe why intellectual property rights are important in a capitalistic market system. How might a firm hedge against an expiring patent so they can maintain some sort of competitive advantage into the future?
  3. In an oligopoly firms try to avoid competing on prices, and probably try to avoid competing in other aspects to the marketing mix (products, promotion, placing). Is this possible in this market?
  4. In a monopoly scenario, the firm does not need to worry about generic strategies. However, as firms move through successively more competitive market structures, they need to consider which type of generic strategy to implement. After referring to Porter’s Generic Strategies in the MBA Reference Guide, comment on which strategy you recommend depending on the oligopoly, monopolistic competition, and perfect competition scenarios. Please make sure to justify your answers.
  5. Consider the perfect competition scenario. After reading the Porter’s Five Forces that is included in the MBA Reference Guide, rate each of the forces as high-medium-low and justify your rankings. In a perfect competition scenario, is the computer industry attractive? Why, or why not?


Suggested references





The highly respected international funding body, the Barbara Walsh Foundation, has approached the university with the aim of funding a range of diverse projects in the University of Canberra. The University has asked you, as first-year students, to develop project proposals for possible funding that align with your passions, goals and expertise. The BWF has a reputation for funding projects in creative and non-creative fields alike.


Your task is to produce a 1300- 1500 word project proposal that outlines a project of your choosing related to your field of study or practice, and which would benefit from funding. This can be an idea for a creative project (eg.a piece of writing; a graphic design project; a film or website; a piece of investigative journalism; an architectural drawing or idea; a branding or marketing proposal; a curatorial or conservation proposal) or a project designed to engage in a more traditional piece of research.


Your proposal will be made up of seven (7) distinct sections:


  1. The proposed idea ( “WHAT”) (100 words)
  2. The context of the proposed idea, and why it is significant – why it matters and should be funded (“WHY”) (300 words)
  3. The methods you will use in approaching the project (“HOW”) (600- 800 words)
  4. An expression of the time it will take to complete the project (“WHEN”) (100 words)
  5. Any problems or limitations you can foresee (50-100 words)
  6. A brief statement of who you are and your capacity to carry out this project. (“WHO”) (100 words)
  7. A bibliography of at least 5 sources. (using APA style)


This assessment is about taking one of those goals you outlined earlier in the term, or something that’s been on your mind for a while and seeing if you can break it down into a manageable project. This will help you think about one of your passions and translate it into a realistic project brief – a task that all of you, at some stage, are likely to undertake.



Assessment  Criteria


  • Overall clarity of project idea
  • Evidence of considered thought in each aspect of the proposal
  • Correct number and quality of appropriate resources
  • Follows correct presentation and submission procedures.
  • Clearly expressed prose with attention to grammar and spelling.


Timeline and Information for Documented Essay (Unit #3)

Documented Essay



The purpose of this essay is simpler than it sounds in the assignment.  Create an arguable central claim about the topic you have chosen (note: This is not a biography or informational essay.) You will then use scholarly sources to prove your claim.


This Documented Essay should be 6-8 pages in length. This essay is still an analytic argument and is no different from the other essays you have written this semester, except it is longer with more sources. An essay that is less than six pages is one that I will consider to be undeveloped, and one that is significantly over 8 pages is one that is not focused.  I will not read your essay if it does not conform to MLA format in terms of font size, margins, headings, citations, and a Works Cited page. (This Works Cited page is in addition to the 6-8 pages that are required for content.)



Acceptable Topics (from the assignment)

Note:  Each topic allows you to choose the focus.  It will serve you well to choose something that truly interests you; if you enjoy researching your topic, you will enjoy writing your paper. Choose one of the following:


  • Topic #1:Choose an invention or discovery that changed the world and write about it. You should write about how it changed the world and also how it changed the lives of individuals.  If an invention was important enough to have changed the world, then it should be assumed that nothing more than a short description is necessary here.  What is important is that you figure out the change that your invention caused in society and in history.
  • Topic #2: Choose a controversial, hot button topic that currently has the country or the world in its grip, examine it and prove to your reader what, through your research, you have found to be the solution to the problem your issue presents. You must do research into your topic and how it has been voted on by the government and/or the citizens of the US in the past. Examples of hot button topics would be the economic crisis, affordable education, affordable healthcare and the war in Iraq, among others. Identify a problem and find a solution through your research.


 Documented Essay


Scholarly Sources


“Scholarly or peer-reviewed journal articles are written by scholars or professionals who are experts in their fields” (


A minimum of five sources must be used to support your essay.  They are as follows:


  1. At least one book – See list of written texts for additional research on pages 135-36 of our textbook, or you may find and use another text.
  2. At least two scholarly (see above)journal articles from a database accessible via Sprague Library (e.g., Infotrac, EBSCO, JSTOR, MLA—some of these databases will provide you with the full-text of the articles online, others will provide you with just abstracts and you’ll have to track down the full article in hardcopy).
  3. One (1) article from a newspaper or magazine (such as The New York Times, Rolling Stone, Time, Newsweek, etc.)


The best way to make sure you are using scholarly articles is to use the University’s article databases. To do so:


  1. Go to
  2. Click on “Library.”
  3. Type your keywords into the search box and check off “full text” and “peer reviewed.”

Note: Please make sure to vary your keyword searches and expect to spend time doing research.  Research takes time.  The sources you need will not just present themselves to you immediately after you type in the topic you are writing about. Vary your keywords, look in different databases (which you can find by clicking on “articles and databases” on the main library page) and do your due diligence.


You can learn more about citing sources and research on the actual essay assignment on Canvas.


Timeline  and Due Dates


  • Friday, 11/14/14:Proposal due (1-2 pages).
  • Friday, 11/14/14: Library Research Day (Class meets in Room 203 of Sprague).
  • Tuesday, 11/18/14:Annotated Bibliography Due (At least three sources)
  • Friday, 11/21/14:First Draft Due (4 pages/At least three sources)
  • Tuesday, 12/1/14: Middle Draft (5 pages/At least four sources)
  • Friday, 12/4/14: Final Draft Due by the start of class via Canvas. (6-8 pages/ All required sources)





Important Points to Consider


  • You MUST use correct MLA format for this essay. It is a documented essay and MLA format will be taken seriously. It is your responsibility to make sure you are citing your sources correctly both in the text (parenthetical citations) and on your Works Cited page.  Please refresh your knowledge of MLA format, especially citing scholarly articles.  You can look up this information online at the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL):
  • The Works Cited page should be the very last page of your essay, not a separate attachment.
  • I have posted an example of a successful documented essay about poetry under Module #3. You can also find it under “Files” à “Documented Essay.”
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