Hospitality Company Project Guidelines


HTM 590 Hospitality Company Project Guidelines

Project Objectives

• To enhance student learning of strategic management in the hospitality industry • To broaden students’ perspectives of the strategic direction and implementation in

major hospitality companies • To train students to think critically and propose strategic direction for hospitality

companies based on projected changes in the environment • To allow students the opportunity to take greater responsibility in their learning process

Project Overview

The project includes a written paper. The project accounts for 200 points in total). This document provides details on the project.

Four Steps You are required to follow the following steps in completing the Project:

Step 1: Finding a hospitality company. The company can be chosen through initial research based on

your interest, appropriateness of the topic, and information availability. As soon as you make a decision on a company you must provide the name of the company to the iLearn Discussion Board “Final Project Companies” If two students choose the same company, the one that posts to the “Final Project Companies” discussion board first will get the company. It is strongly recommended that you select a publicly traded company due to the availability of information pertaining to the firm. If you are choosing a private company, it should be one you are intimately familiar with as you will need detailed information about the company to complete the project.

Step 2: Information collection. You are required to search for information from external sources:

Internet, trade magazines, academic journals, and other literature in the libraries, and/or interviews. You should put all the information together where you can see it and analyze what is going on. You should also document the complete citation for every piece of information collected from these sources.

Step 3: Project outline. Based on the requirements of the paper below, you should develop a project

outline detailing the structure of the paper, related information, and sources. Step 4: Final paper. The final manuscript needs to be professionally written and edited. Each student must

submit one copy of the completed final paper to iLearn.


Strategic Analysis Report A complete analysis of a hospitality company will be made including the overall strategy, an evaluation of the external and internal environment, and strategic recommendations. Each student will choose one company in the hospitality and tourism industry that is relevant to local economy and/or students’ professional growth. Ideally the student has easy access to contemporary information about this company.

Assessment of Strategic Analysis Report Introduction 20 points Environmental Analysis 100 points Overall Strategies and Challenges 30 points Conclusions and Recommendations 30 points Professional Writing 20 points Total 200 points

Recommended Structure of the Paper

1. Cover page This page should include the project title, course title, name of the student, and submission date.

2. Introduction (20 points)

Introduce briefly the defining characteristics of the firm, unique background and philosophy of the company, including brief history, some of its outstanding qualities, past successes, failures, and products or services. What business they are in, and what in their environment (internal and external) is creating a need for a new strategic plan. Also briefly discuss your plans objectives.

3. Environmental analysis (100 points)

Conduct an external and internal analysis of the company. This is essentially a SWOT analysis. Remember, in SWOT, Strengths and Weaknesses are INTERNAL, and Opportunities and Threats are EXTERNAL. For the External analysis, include a broad environment analysis, an industry analysis and an examination of key external stakeholders. Focus on current and future influential trends and factors that will shape the company’s future strategic direction. Please note that this section should focus on analyzing significant external factors that you believe will determine the company’s future strategies. In- depth analysis of each external factor is expected to support your recommendations of strategic direction. This section should NOT be a list of the company’s current practices or accomplishments. And it should NOT be a comprehensive list of all possible external factors that has little to do with your future strategic directions. For the Internal analysis, include an analysis of resources and capabilities, such as operations, marketing, and/or finance. Please note that this section should focus on analyzing significant internal factors that will have impact on the company’s future strategies. In-depth analysis of each significant internal factor is expected. It is suggested you identify 4-5 of each SWOT component, i.e. 4 Strengths, 4 Weaknesses, etc. This will aid you in your development of strategies for component 4.

4. Overall strategy and challenges (30 points)

Explain what the company’s overall corporate, business, and functional strategies (where appropriate) are and explain the company’s current overall strategic direction. Discuss and evaluate the strategic problems and challenges that the company currently face with these strategies. Publicly traded companies list their strategies on their websites and in their SEC financial reports. It is recommended that you discuss at least 3 of the company’s’ current strategies.


5. Conclusions and Recommendations (30 points) Some conclusions should emerge from your analysis. Based on your conclusions, you should provide specific tactical and strategic recommendations for the company. You should provide suggestions about potential challenges and barriers when implementing such recommendations. This should include at least 3 strategic recommendations for your company based on the SWOT analysis and current strategic direction of the company. These should NOT be the same as current strategies the firm is utilizing.

6. References

Please list here all the reports, articles, books, and other materials used when preparing this report. Please use APA style to format the references.

7. Appendices

If any, exhibits and appendices can be attached at the end of the report. Requirements

• The report excluding the cover page and references should be about 1,750 to 3,000 words • The report needs to follow APA style. • The main body of the paper should be double-spaced • Margins should be 1” • Font should be Times 12


• Start working on your project as early as possible • Be critical, creative, and precise


Professional Writing Requirements

Writing professionally is an essential skill for today’s business manager. At the senior level, you must be able to write professionally. If you have trouble with grammar, sentence structure, etc., you should use the many resources available to help you. We will not take the time to discuss grammar, sentence structure, etc., in this class. However, I expect that the paper to be written professionally, without grammatical errors. To encourage you to pay attention to the quality of your writing, written language grammar and usage will account for 10% of your paper grade (20 points). If your submitted paper contains more than TEN fatal flaws, it won’t be accepted. The “fatal flaws” are as follows:

• Misspelled words

Example: “seperate,” vs “separate” (wrong spelling), or “too” instead of “to” (incorrect use of words that sound alike but are differently spelled)

• Sentence fragments Example: “Crucially important tasks to be done.” (only a predicate–no subject, no verb). Better: This list consists of the crucially important tasks to be done.” (“This list consists” adds a subject and a verb).

• Run-on sentences Example: “The use of equity-based alliances is appropriate under certain specific conditions, some situations, however, are exceptional.” Better: “The use of equity-based alliances is appropriate under certain specific conditions; some situations, however, are exceptional.” (use a semicolon (;) to separate two complete sentences, not a comma(,). More detail: proper punctuation requires a period or semicolon for any stand-alone clause (has at least a subject and a verb), and not a comma (,). A comma is correct only when followed by a conjunction (“and” or “or” or “but”) to link the two clauses properly. Example: “The budget was met, forecasts are favorable” should be “The budget was met; forecasts are favorable” Or “The budget was met, and forecasts are favorable.”

• Erroneous capitalizations Example: “Historically, entire Civilizations routinely traded with Dutch Merchants operating out of The netherlands.” Better: “Historically, entire civilizations routinely traded with Dutch merchants operating out of the Netherlands.”

• Incorrect punctuation Example: “The members of the group included Joe, CEO of XYZ Company, Mary, Executive Director of ABC NGO, and Roger, from the BCD Regulatory agency. Better: “The members of the group included Joe, CEO of XYZ Company; Mary, Executive Director of ABC NGO; and Roger, from the BCD Regulatory agency. “ If the terms within the series require commas themselves, as do appositional insertions, then separate the terms with a semicolon. The punctuation makes it clear that three people are named.


• Mistakes in verb tense Example: “This was an important decision, and it will be the best choice that matters.” Better: “This was an important decision, and it was the best choice that mattered.” (changed all verbs to past tense from a sentence that originally had past, future and present tenses.”

• Mistakes in subject/verb agreement Example: “The objective of his classes were to teach us math.” Better: “The objective of his classes was to teach us math.”

• Improper citations Example: “Heiman and Nickerson (2004) state “alliances are never perfect in their execution.” Better: “Heiman and Nickerson (2004, p. 244) state “alliances are never perfect in their execution.” (when using someone else’s precise words, give the author, year and the page number of the words from the source). More on citations (and references): Generally, use a common format for references at the end of an assignment (APA is used in this class). Every in-text citation MUST have a corresponding reference. The main goal of a reference is to allow the reader to actually find the source document–broadly speaking, focus on providing at least this level information completeness.

• Incorrect word usage or awkward writing Example: “The strategy doesn’t make sensible.” Better: “The strategy does not make sense.” (do not use contractions, and choose proper forms of words (“sense” instead of sensible”).

• Lack of conformity with assignment format

Example: The essay assignment given requires the student to disagree with one important aspect of the reading, but the student does not find anything with which to disagree, so he/she writes a short summary praising the assigned reading. Better: Your essay starts with the sentence, “I disagree with the assertion in Chapter 7 that the discrete organization approach to strategic thinking is inferior to the network perspective.”


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