Assurance of Learning Exercise 1a

Table of Content

Annual Report, and the Industry Survey document, on a separate sheet of paper list what you consider to be MCD’s three major strengths, three major weaknesses, three major opportunities, and three major threats. Each factor listed for this exercise must include a %, #, $, or ratio to reveal some quantified fact or trend. These factors provide the underlying basis for a strategic plan because a firm strives to take advantage of strengths, improve weaknesses, avoid threats, and capitalize on opportunities.

  • Strengths: S1: Highly successful and recognized advertising (I’m loving it)
  • S2: Strongest Brand Image as the number-1 fast-food company by sales, with more than 32,478 restaurants in 117 countries.
  • S3: Consistently solid financial performance.

Gross margins (36. 7%) and net profit margins (18. 2%) above industry averages.

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Sales revenue up 3. 8% in 2009, global comparable sales up 6. 9%.

Net income up 9% from 2008. Weakness: W1: 80% of restaurants are franchise owned, placing image and reputation in other’s hands. W2: Core product line out of sync with trends toward healthier lifestyles for adults and children.

W3: Struggles with fluctuations in operating and net profits:

  • Operating profits $4,433M (2006), $3,879M (2007), $6443M (2008).
  • Net profits $3,544M (2006), $2,395M (2007), $4,313M (2008).


  • O1: Low fat, low calorie, healthy hamburger – Could be first on market.
  • O2: Increased beverage options (Gourmet coffees) have been shown to increase customer visits in Europe (+7. 2%) and takes advantage of faltering Starbuck’s.
  • O3: Joint ventures with retailers (Walmart, etc. ) can place new locations in high traffic areas at lower capital cost.


  • T1: More health conscious customers.
  • T2: Intense price pressure from competitors like Burger King, Taco Bell, Wendy’s, KFC and any mid-range sit-down restaurants.
  • T3: Global economic recession causing consumers to spend less Assurance of Learning Exercise

The Ethics of Spying on Competitors Purpose This exercise gives you an opportunity to discuss in class ethical and legal issues related to methods being used by many companies to spy on competing firms. Gathering and using information about competitors is an area of strategic management that Japanese firms do more proficiently than American firms. Instructions On a separate sheet of paper, number from 1 to 18.

For the 18 spying activities listed as follows, indicate whether or not you believe the activity is ethical or unethical and legal or illegal. Place either an E for ethical or U for unethical, and either an L for legal or an I for illegal for each activity. Compare your answers to those of your classmates and discuss any differences.

Buying competitors’ garbage:

  • U 2. Dissecting competitors’ products:
  • U 3. Taking competitors’ plant tours anonymously:

E but at the same time

  • U 4. Counting tractor-trailer trucks leaving competitors’ loading bays:
  • E 5. Studying aerial photographs of competitors’ facilities:
  • E 6. Analyzing competitors’ labor contracts: U &;
  • I 7. Analyzing competitors’ help-wanted ads:
  • E 8. Quizzing customers and buyers about the sales of competitors’ products:
  • E 9. Infiltrating customers’ and competitors’ business operations:
  • U 10. Quizzing suppliers about competitors’ level of manufacturing:
  • E 11. Using customers to buy out phony bids:
  • E 12. Encouraging key customers to reveal competitive information:
  • U 13. Quizzing competitors’ former employees:
  • E but I (if the former employee signed a privacy clause) 14.
  • Interviewing consultants who may have worked with competitors:
  • E 15.Hiring key managers away from competitors: E &
  • L 16. Conducting phony job interviews to get competitors’ employees to reveal information: E, U, L, and I.
  • Sending engineers to trade meetings to quiz competitors’ technical employees:
  • E 18. Quizzing potential employees who worked for or with competitors: E but could be I Assurance of Learning Exercise 1B, Steps 1-2 On a separate sheet of paper, write four headings: External Opportunities, External Threats, Internal Strengths, and Internal Weaknesses. As related to your college or university, list five factors under each of the four headings.
  1. W1: Liberty has an opportunity to expand its use of classroom instruction to incorporate the Christian worldview into all courses.
  2. W2: Participation in learning activities increased from 38% of those in the population age 18 or older in 1991 to 50% in 1999.
  3. W3: The University can expand its market by offering more traditional and distance courses for all ages of students, particularly those beyond the traditional college age of 18-21 years.
  4. W4: Technology in the Distance Learning Program (DLP) could be particularly effective in Liberty’s University’s mission of reaching the world for Christ. Threats:
  • T1: Funding sources are needed to maintain the current level of academic excellence into the future.
  • T2: Dramatic business growth creates data upsurge
  • T3: Need for better security
  • T4: Functional requirements to augment a stretched team
  • T5: A four-year liberal arts university has been proposed for Danville, Virginia, one hour from Lynchburg.

That institution could provide significant threat to Liberty University by drawing local and regional students. Assurance of Learning Exercise 1D, Steps 1-2 Select a section of the Standard and Poor’s site that you feel will be most useful to you in this class.

Write a one-page summary of that section and why you feel it will benefit you most. Standard & Poor’s is a leading provider of financial market intelligence. The world’s foremost source of independent credit ratings, indices, risk evaluation, investment research and data, Standard & Poor’s is an essential part of the world’s financial infrastructure. For more than 150 years, Standard & Poor’s provides financial decision-makers with the intelligence they need to feel confident about their decisions (S&P, 2011). After viewing Standard & Poor’s website I chose Credit rating.

Credit ratings are one of several tools that investors can use when making decisions about purchasing bonds and other fixed income investments. Credit ratings can also speak to the credit quality of individual debt issues, such as a corporate or municipal bond, and the relative likelihood that the issue may default. Ratings are provided by credit rating agencies which specialize in evaluating credit risk (S&P, 2011). Why credit ratings are useful? Credit ratings may play a useful role in enabling corporations and governments to raise money in the capital markets.

Instead of taking a loan from a bank, these entities sometimes borrow money directly from investors by issuing bonds or notes. Investors purchase these debt securities, such as municipal bonds, expecting to receive interest plus the return of their principal, either when the bond matures or as periodic payments. Investors and other market participants may use the ratings as a screen device to match the relative credit risk of an issuer or individual debt issue with their own risk tolerance or credit risk guidelines in making investment and business decisions (S&P, 2011).

Credit ratings in business are very useful because they can tell you how a person manages their money as well how their business is running. With that information it gives you a clear view or decision on rather or not you want to invest your money and time with them.


  1. American School Search (2009-2012). Liberty University – Review &     Ranking. Retrieved October 18, 2012 from Web site: http://www. american-school-search. com/review/liberty-university Liberty University (2012).
  2. Liberty University. Retrieved October     18, 2012 from Web site: http://www. iberty. edu/index. cfm? PID=6905
  3. Liberty University (2012). Liberty University. Retrieved October     18, 2012 from Web site: http://www. liberty. edu/index. cfm? PID=21240
  4. Liberty University (2005, May 13). Strategic Plan – 2005-2010. Retrieved October 18, 2012 from Web site: http://www. liberty. edu/media/1616/Strategic%20Plan. pdf Skinner, J. (2010).
  5. Annual Report 2009. Retrieved October 18,     2012 from, Web site: http://www. aboutmcdonalds. com/content/dam/AboutMcDonalds/Investors/C-%5Cfakepath%5Cinvestors-2009-annual-report. pdf
  6. Standard & Poor’s (2011). Understanding Ratings. Retrieved     October 18, 2012 from, Web site: http://img. en25. com/Web/StandardandPoors/SP_CreditRatingsGuide. pdf Q1 Labs (2010).
  7. Dramatic growth creates need for advanced detection     of threats and minimizing risks. Retrieved October 18, 2012     from, Web site: http://www. liberty. edu/media/1155/Liberty-University-Case-Study. pdf (2012).
  8. Liberty University. Retrieved October 18, 2012 from     Web site: http://colleges. usnews. rankingsandreviews. com/best-colleges/liberty-university-10392

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Assurance of Learning Exercise 1a. (2017, Jan 05). Retrieved from

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