Week 5: Organizational Competitiveness

Published by Brenda I. Belcher

Apr 4, 2021


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Week 5: Organizational Competitiveness

The most meaningful way to differentiate your company from your competitors, the best way to put distance between you and the crowd is to do an outstanding job with information. How you gather, manage and use information will determine whether you win or lose.

—Bill Gates

Not long ago, if you were sitting in the comfort of your home and wanted to rent a movie, your only option would have been to leave your house and go to a video rental store. Additionally, if you did not return the video within a certain time frame, you would have to pay a late fee. Now you can download movies through the Internet without getting off the couch, and the concept of late fees no longer applies. Innovations in IT have transformed the movie-renting business and have become the new standard, rather than the exception. Using IT is no longer a luxury for businesses; it is a necessity without which today’s businesses cannot thrive.

XYZ LogoThis week, you will explore using IT systems to accomplish business requirements. You will also examine how the use of IT systems can help organizations gain competitive advantage over their competitors. In the Discussion, you will explain how a real company used IT to gain competitive advantage. In the Assignment, you will work as an IT analysis at XYZ Corporation to create a business analysis for a client company.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Explain how a business can use IT to gain competitive advantage
  • Explain what it means to be a competitive business
  • Identify types of competitive business strategies

Due This Week

DescriptionDue Dates
Discussion: Using IT to Gain Competitive AdvantagePost your initial posting by Day 3.
Respond to your colleagues by Day 5Walden Check BoxNote: As you complete this first Discussion, be sure to reference the Week 5 Discussion Rubric.
Assignment: Company Competitive Advantage: Part 1Submit your Assignment by Day 7Walden Check BoxNote: As you complete this first Assignment, be sure to reference the Week 5 Assignment Rubric.

Learning Resources

Required Resources

Competitive Business Strategy

In order to compete in any business domain, an organization’s leaders must be aware of the current competitive climate and determine how the company will set itself apart from the other businesses in that domain. These resources will help you gain an in-depth understanding of the types of competitive strategies an organization can adopt.25urbany. (2011, June 14). Competitive strategy in 3 minutes [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bl5cyZlay4kNote: The approximate length of this media piece is 3 minutes.LaMarco, N. (2018). Competitive business strategies. Retrieved from https://smallbusiness.chron.com/competitive-business-strategies-4623.htmlTime Estimate: 3 minutesPositive Revolution. (2017, September 6). How to develop competitive advantage for your business? [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvGBYoob1pANote: The approximate length of this media piece is 5 minutes.Quain, S. (2018). What are the four major types of competitive strategies? Retrieved from https://yourbusiness.azcentral.com/four-major-types-competitive-strategies-6166.htmlTime Estimate: 3 minutes

Important Documents for This Week

Document: Academic Writing Expectations for 2000/3000-Level Courses (PDF)Document: Week 5 Assignment Template (Word document)

Required Media

Laureate Education (Producer). (2014). Security: Threats and precaution. [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 7 minutes.Accessible player –Downloads–Download Video w/CCDownload AudioDownload Transcript

Discussion: Using IT to Gain Competitive Advantage

Through this week’s Learning Resources, you were introduced to the concept of organizational competitiveness. As businesses face increased competition on a daily basis, the need for innovative products and services increases as well. Finding effective ways to market and distribute products to a wide audience in the most efficient way possible can be demanding on businesses unless they are prepared to meet the challenges they face. Information technology can play a large role in helping companies meet those challenges and secure competitive advantages.

In this Discussion, you will identify a company that has used IT to gain competitive advantage and examine the role of IT in enabling that advantage.

To prepare for this Discussion:

  • Review this week’s Learning Resources.
  • Identify a company that has used IT to gain competitive advantage over its competitors. In addition, identify two of the company’s competitors.
  • Review the Academic Writing Expectations for 2000/3000-Level Courses, provided in this week’s Learning Resources.

By Day 3

Post a 150- to 225-word (2- to 3-paragraph) explanation of how a company has used IT to gain competitive advantage over its competitors. In your explanation, do the following:

  • Briefly describe the selected company and two of its competitors.
  • Explain the nature of the competitive advantage and how IT has enabled that specific advantage.
  • To support your response, be sure to reference at least one properly cited scholarly source.

Walden Check BoxRefer to the Week 5 Discussion Rubric for specific grading elements and criteria. Your Instructor will use this grading rubric to assess your work.

Read some of your colleagues’ postings.

By Day 5

Respond with at least 75 words (1 paragraph) each to two or more of your colleagues’ postings by contrasting your own identified company with that of your colleague, including any similarities and differences in how the two companies used IT to gain competitive advantage.

Return to this Discussion in a few days to read the responses to your initial posting. Note what you have learned or any insights you have gained as a result of the comments your colleagues made.

Submission and Grading Information

Grading Criteria

To access your rubric:Week 5 Discussion Rubric

Post by Day 3 and Respond by Day 5

To participate in this Discussion:Week 5 Discussion

Assignment: Company Competitive Advantage: Part 1

XYZ Logo Farah AhmadYou are an IT analyst at XYZ Corporation, and the company has recently taken on a new client that wishes to understand how the organization can leverage its IT and IS functions as a form of competitive advantage. The company is small and would like to see some real-world evidence of this in order to arm themselves with information as they seek investors to grow their business. You have been asked by your manager, Farah Ahmad, to create a business analysis for the client company’s leadership in which you analyze the competitive landscape for a business and discuss the role of IT/IS in helping that company achieve a competitive advantage.

First, you should select a company, research two of its competitors, and create a report to present to the client in which you analyze the business’s current competitive standing within its industry using at least two competitive analysis models/tools with a focus on the role IT plays in determining its current competitive posture; one of the models used in the analysis must be Porter’s Five Forces. It is recommended that you search the Internet to identify industries/companies for which a Porter’s Five Forces analysis have been completed prior to selecting the company on which you will focus your response. Part 1 of your business analysis should be 5–7 paragraphs in length and include at least two references from the Walden Library or other scholarly academic sources.

Note: This Assignment consists of two parts. You will complete and submit Part 1 this week and you will complete and submit Part 2 in Week 6.

To prepare for this Assignment:

  • Review this week’s Learning Resources.
  • Refer to the Academic Writing Expectations for 2000/3000-Level Courses as you compose your Assignment.

By Day 7

Submit Part 1 of your business analysis, to include the following:

Part 1: Overview of Competitive Strategy for a Business
  • Describe the company you selected for your analysis, as well as its competitive landscape, and explain why it can be characterized as a competitive business. (225–300 words, or 3–4 paragraphs)
  • Identify at least one type of competitive strategy that this business uses, including specific examples/evidence to support your assertion. (150–225 words, or 2–3 paragraphs)

Note: For each prompt, be sure to reference at least one scholarly source to support your answer. Use the Week 5 Assignment Template, provided in this week’s Learning Resources, to complete this Assignment.

Walden Check BoxRefer to the Week 5 Assignment Rubric for specific grading elements and criteria. Your Instructor will use this grading rubric to assess your work.

Submission and Grading Information

To submit your completed Assignment for review and grading, do the following:

  • Please save your Assignment using the naming convention “WK5Assgn+last name+first initial.(extension)” as the name.
  • Click the Week 5 Assignment Rubric to review the Grading Criteria for the Assignment.
  • Click the Week 5 Assignment link. You will also be able to “View Rubric” for grading criteria from this area.
  • Next, from the Attach File area, click on the Browse My Computer button. Find the document you saved as “WK5Assgn+last name+first initial.(extension)” and click Open.
  • If applicable: From the Plagiarism Tools area, click the checkbox for I agree to submit my paper(s) to the Global Reference Database.
  • Click on the Submit button to complete your submission.
Grading Criteria

To access your rubric:Week 5 Assignment Rubric

Check Your Assignment Draft for Authenticity

To check your Assignment draft for authenticity:Submit your Week 5 Assignment draft and review the originality report.

Submit Your Assignment by Day 7

To submit your Assignment:Week 5 Assignment

Week in Review

This week, you were introduced to the concept of organizational competitiveness. You explored what it means to be a competitive business and how businesses use IT to establish and maintain competitive advantage over their competitors. You also examined different types of competitive business strategies.

Next week, you will continue exploring the concept of organizational competitiveness, focusing on how organizations can use management information systems to gain competitive advantage. You will examine various competitive analysis tools and models, as well as analyze the competitive position of a company.

Next Week


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