Midwest Copper Mining (MCM) Business Strategy

The following are the three major criteria for evaluating MCM case assignment papers, along with guidelines for what constitutes excellence in meeting those criteria. The assumed target audience for papers and recommendations is constituted of MCM executive leadership and its Board; evaluations for each criterion can be raised or lowered depending on the quality of writing for that audience.

Criterion 1: Define the problem

To define the problem, excellent papers fully address each of the following:
Introduce your paper by providing a summary of the situation analysis –key threats and opportunities, describes and justifies historically important strengths, and summarizes and justifies the most important problem (Sometimes it is best to write this paragraph last…)
Identify all factors in the external environment that could influence the future of the organization, highlighting those that are particularly important, urgent or potentially impactful (that is, conduct a PESTEL analysis).
Identify all industry factors that could influence the future of the organization, highlighting those that are particularly important, urgent or potentially impactful (that is, conduct a Five Forces analysis).
Identify all factors internal to the firm that could influence the future of the organization, highlighting those that are particularly important, urgent or potentially impactful (both positive and negative). In particular, identify core and distinctive competencies.

Criterion 2: Identify and justify the current business level strategy:
Excellent papers will state the current business strategy accurately, and justify it by considering the basis and scope of the way in which they compete. Also, an excellent answer integrates MCM’s distinctive competencies into that discussion.

Criterion 3: Generate and justify strategic actions to take
This part of the paper concentrates on strategic decision making – the first part gathers all aspects of the current situation and specifies the problem. This section has three parts: Generating alternatives, Evaluating alternatives, and Making a recommendation.

Propose alternatives that are sensitive to the identified issues:
There are many possible solutions; excellent papers will propose 2 solutions that each directly address MCM’s main business problem, are feasible, and consider all or nearly all relevant external and internal factors / considerations, with particular attention to the most important. 2 proposed solutions must be forwarded so comparisons can be made between them as part of the evaluation criterion that follows. Descriptions of alternative solutions must be sufficient for the target audience to recognize why they are alternatives worthy of consideration.

Evaluate the alternatives
Excellent papers will exhibit clear thought, with detailed documentation of the degree that proposed solutions address MCM’s main problem, their feasibility and their consideration of all external and internal factors, with particular consideration of the most important. The interests of all significant stakeholders are taken into consideration, including existing customers, the workforce and the town of Kopparstadt, and the likely impact of proposed solutions on stakeholders is examined.

Make a recommendation: provided a concise yet thorough action-oriented recommendations
Excellent papers will recommend an alternative / solution that best addresses MCM’s main business problem, considering all external and internal factors as well as likely impact on all key stakeholders. Clear, convincing rationale will be provided for the recommended solution. At least 5 action steps for implementing the solution will be provided, with sufficient detail and a realistic timetable. Potential limitations of the recommended solution will be mentioned, along with suggestions for further analysis and items to monitor. Excellent papers will also identify a goal for the recommended solution, along with how to evaluate success.

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