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MGMT 485: Strategic Management

A guide to researching companies and industries.

Company research in 3 easy steps

1. Profile the Company

Find out who the company is and what it does. Determine whether it's publicly traded or privately held.

Financial data is qualitative and quantitative information (sales reports, SEC filings, stock values). By reviewing financial data, managers can make strategic decisions about staffing, locations, and production.


2. Find Current News and In-Depth Articles

Business magazines and journals provide added depth and insight into a company's operations, strategies, and competition.

Consumer feedback is gathered through case studies, focus groups, surveys, and questionnaires. It provides valuable insight into whether products or services match consumer needs.

Trade publications are magazines, journals, or newspapers geared to professionals in a specific industry. They report news and trends, but not original research. They may provide product or service reviews, job and training listings, and advertisements. They are not typically peer-reviewed.


3. Analyze Financials, Market, Competitors, and Industry

Find information on competitors, industry trends, and market behavior to analyze the company's strategy and potential growth.

SWOT analysis is a process undertaken by a single company or organization, to identify its internal strengths and weaknesses, and external opportunities and threats. 

Reports and profiles on companies or industries are conducted by third-party research consultants. They incorporate SWOT analysis, sales reports, market values, and five forces analysis to produce a comparative report on the company or industry's potential for growth, leading competitors, and predicted trends.