Text Book: Title: Strategic Management: Theory & Cases: An Integrated Approach
Author(s): Hill,C. W., & Jones, R. J., & Schilling, M. A
Chapter 5: Summary, Recommendations, and Conclusion
Overview: You will summarize the research and present a series of recommendations based on the SWOT
Section I: Summary offers a restatement of your research. You will remind the audience of the thesis
developed in Chapter 2 and discuss the idea based on the research findings. Recall that one of our example
thesis statements was, “While the XYZ Company has enjoyed some internal progress, continued weaknesses in
its strategic planning function will limit its ability to meet competitive threats and lead to a significant loss of
profit.” Based on this thesis, a summary at this point might look something like this:
This paper researched the possibility that the XYZ Company was exhibiting a weakness in its strategic planning
functions, making it vulnerable to threats in the industry’s competitive environment. This research has
demonstrated that at least three competitors have entered the marketplace and are operating successfully in the
environment while XYZ’s market share is falling. The research underscores the fact that XYZ Company lacks
timely strategic planning, is failing to capture opportunities in the marketplace, and is ignoring threats in the
competitive environment. Without a concerted effort to improve its strategic planning function to address these
threats, the company will not achieve a competitive advantage in the future.
Section II: Recommendations, you will offer your recommendation to resolve the company’s problems.
Format the recommendations as an action plan with appropriate time schedule for each suggestion you will
implement. As the Hill & Jones text suggests, they should extend logically from your overall discussions and
remain consistent with the SWOT analysis. Remember to:
• Recall any recommendations you began to uncover in earlier Chapters
• Refer again to the organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and build upon the
summary statement to offer alternatives to the predictions
• Specifically explore the company’s ability to address external threats without changes. If you decide it
cannot, recommend how it should change business level strategies to succeed and achieve profitability
• In addition, investigate the company’s ability to address internal weaknesses without changes. If you
decide it cannot, recommend the changes necessary to succeed and achieve profitability.
April 2014 Capstone Paper
As summarized in the Hill & Jones text, recommendations usually center on issues such as changing functional,
business, or corporate strategies. They could also focus on changing organizational structure and control to
improve performance. Other examples include recommendations that address questions such as:
• Should the company increase R & D spending? If so, how will your company derive the funding?
• Should the company divest business divisions?
• Should the company change from unrelated to related diversification?
• Should the company improve the integration between divisions?
• Should the company change the organizational structure to adopt a new business strategy? How soon?
In each of these considerations, be specific. For example, if you suggest that the company should change its
business strategy, explain exactly which new strategy it should adopt, why it should adopt it, how it will help,
and when the implementation occurs on the timeline.
At this point, make sure you discuss funding for any of these changes. Remember, you are presenting to a CEO
or the board so you must offer a convincing, practical argument for the changes. Simply stating, “we must
increase R&D spending to retain a competitive advantage” is an obvious conclusion that the CEO already
understands and likely would have implemented had the funding been available. Try to offer an innovative
solution that also addresses internal funding (efficiency improvement, force reduction, etc.). This will convince
your CEO that you have identified a practical solution or recommendation exhibiting a measured—but
acceptable—level of risk.
Section III: Conclusions in the last several paragraphs of the chapter. These final statements should briefly
review the research methods, describe the results of the analysis, and offer a personal opinion regarding the
company’s viability. In other words—based on your knowledge of the company’s leadership—do you believe
the business is likely to adopt your recommendations for achieving future success? Support your claims and
opinions here as well.
Chapter 5 Checklist: Complete this before submitting your chapter
The following Checklist exercise will help you identify any problems in your chapter prior to submitting. If you
complete this checklist (assuming you have answered “Yes” to each item) and you still need personal feedback,
contact your professor for further instructions (see Chapter 5 Checklist, next page).
Chapter 5 Checklist
Before submitting, self-assess your completed chapter by completing this checklist
Item to Check Explanation Yes No
Does the chapter meet SAFE ASSIGN
Matching Index rules?
Safe Assign Matching Index Score
15% or less for this course
Have you provided Subheadings as
suggested in the outline?
Provide subheadings for Section I: Summary; Section II:
Recommendations; Section III: Conclusions. Suggestion: label or
circle the required elements and/or subheadings to confirm
you have included the sections in your paper
For Section I, have you provided
subheadings and summarized or
restated your research? Did you
remind the audience of your thesis?
Did you relate it to your research
Summarize your entire paper here and explain how you
explored and proved your thesis. Restate the problems you
uncovered in the company and make sure this section leads
naturally into your next section, which will describe your
solutions to these problems.
For Section II, have you provided
subheadings and offered your
recommendations in the form of an
action plan with a timeline for
implementation? Did you include
practical funding considerations?
Make sure your recommendations reflect your thesis
statement. Again, you may modify your thesis if it is not
entirely consistent with your opinions at this point. Did you
provide subheadings for conclusions and the implementation
timeline? Did you discuss possible employee resentment or
resistance to change? Can you address these issues as part of
your implementation plan?
April 2014 Capstone Paper
For Section III, did you provide
subheadings and review research
methods, describe analysis results and
offer an opinion on company viability?
Did you provide a subheading for conclusions and your
opinion? Is the business likely to adopt your
recommendations? Why? Why not?
Have you prepared and submitted an
accurately formatted cumulative
reference list for your in-text citations
Your instructor expects you to check this before submitting the
chapter. Your professor will not provide detailed feedback for
improperly formatted reference lists but grades are reduced
Is your APA style accurate for your intext
citations per Chapter 20 of
Howard & Taggart?
Your instructor expects you to check these before submitting
the chapter. Your professor will not provide detailed feedback
for improperly formatted in-text citations but grades are
reduced accordingly. Suggestions: Check each citation in \.
Grading for Chapter 5
Your instructor will use a grading scale similar to the table presented below. Note that instructors may modify
this scale as appropriate for each class and each situation. Inquire as to the specific grading table your
instructor is using.
The table offers feedback by allowing you to “decode” or interpret the assigned numeric grade. For example, a
grade of 70-79 is interpreted to mean your SAFE ASSIGN originality report is acceptable, your grammar &
spelling is acceptable, but your content AND APA style needs improvement. A grade of 59 or below reflects a
failure to meet the SAFE ASSIGN originality report Similarity Index percentages. Continued unacceptable
percentages will result in plagiarism consequences. Where this generic grading scheme is not adequate to
reflect wholly accurate or complete feedback, your instructor will provide specific information to identify the
Chapter 5 Grading Feedback Table
Before submitting, self-assess your completed chapter by completing the Chapter 5 checklist
90-100 80-89 70-79 60-69 0-59
Safe Assign Matching Index
15% or less for this course OK OK OK OK
Must be 15% or below
Note: Due to plagiarism
rules, instructor will not
review remaining items
if this percentage is
Punctuation at College Grad
OK OK OK Needs
Improvement Not Reviewed
Content/Length OK & Follows
Research Paper’s Requirements
–see Chapter 2 Checklist for
Provide subheadings &
discussions for each section.
Section I: Summary; Section II
Section III: Conclusion (and
opinion of viability).
OK OK Needs
Improvement Not Reviewed
April 2014 Capstone Paper
APA Style Reflects Scholarly
Avoided copy & paste; provide
proper quotation marks, in-text
citations & reference list
Improvement Not Reviewed
Objectives and Expectations The primary program outcomes relevant to this section are LO-8-B1 (integrating
“the knowledge acquired in the Supervision & Management program to analyze a health care organization to
identify its strengths and weaknesses and develop an improvement plan”) and LO-4 (applying “management
theories and practices in program and resource management”).
Length: Research Paper Chapter 5 is 2 or 3 pages (600 to 900 words). You may exceed these targets if
Research Paper References
You must prepare a comprehensive APA-style Reference Page with proper formatting and all appropriate
information with a minimum of 10 approved references. As you conclude and submit Chapter 5, this list will
include cumulative information for all references in Chapters 1-5. You may refer to and list as many textbooks
as required but only 3 texts will be counted toward the 10 required references. Business books, corporate
records, and appropriate internet sources are appropriate as well. Finally, you must include at least 5 academic
journal articles, 3 of which were dated within the last five years. They may be online or hard copy versions
and should be directly pertinent to the research requirements. Refer to Chapter 20b in the Howard & Taggart
text for steps to preparing an APA-style Reference List. You may observe a typical reference list from a
scholarly journal on page 25 of this document. This one is formatted in 2 columns for publication (format yours
with just one column).
Length: A typical length for 10 or more references is two pages, properly formatted
Supplementary information for APA formatting
Please see the attachment entitled An example of APA style showing in-text citations (page 24). This
attachment offers an example of how a professional researcher prepares a literature review, summarizes the
work of other researchers, and provides proper in-text citations. Also, refer to the attachment entitled An
example of APA style showing the references page (page 24) reflecting a proper reference list shown in 2
columns for publication (yours will be a single column). This material is scanned for educational purposes from
the Academy of Management Journal Volume 53, Number 3, June 2010.