Assignments

Guidelines for New Business Development Mini-Paper

(1) 3 pages, typed double-spaced, prepared individually.

(2) Submit this mini-paper on or before Ses #4.

(3) Discuss a single real case, preferably in an organization in which you have worked, of an attempted "new business development" using one of these several alternative strategies: internal development, acquisition, licensing, internal venture, joint venture, alliance, contract R&D, minority venture capital investment, or educational acquisition. See Roberts/Berry paper (in Ses #1 reading assignment) for general discussion of these alternatives. Paper should discuss, from the viewpoint of the performing company, the "positioning" on the Roberts/Berry "familiarity matrix" of the case at its beginning, as well as the technical and business outcomes achieved. Present your assessment of the reasons for success or failure: (a) in terms of the rationale underlying the "familiarity matrix", as well as (b) any other factors that might have mattered.

If you are not going to write about an episode in an organization for which you have worked, please send an email note to Professor Livada prior to Ses #2, indicating why you are choosing a case from another organization, and what your sources of information are that will enable you to prepare the paper.

Guidelines for Team Term Paper

An originally-written (by 3 to 5 persons only) team term paper of 10 to 12 pages, typed double-spaced, must be handed in not later than Ses #7. Please append to the paper a page signed by each co-author that affirms that he/she has personally participated in a major way in the research and writing of this paper, and that the paper is wholly original work carried out by the team members.

Term papers should follow the specific pattern outlined here, and will develop insights on either (a) acquisitions, or (b) alliances/joint ventures, or (c) corporate equity-investment-based partnerships. "Technology Strategy in Defence Industry Acquisitions: A Comparative Assessment of Two Giants" (Advani, et al.), in the Ses #4 readings is a good guide for an excellent term paper. This article is based on a 15.369 term project that carried out in-depth comparative analyses of the acquisition activities of two major U.S. defense firms, considered in terms of technology strategy. Computer data bases and company Web sites were used to develop comprehensive lists of all the acquisitions recently made by those two firms. Other data bases, the business press, and telephone and in-person interviews were used to compile the detailed information needed to understand the technology strategy issues and the decisions made and outcomes achieved in these cases.

Your 15.369 term paper should carry out this kind of comparative analysis of two major competing firms. You may choose to examine thoroughly the efforts of those two firms either in carrying out multiple acquisitions (as done by Advani, et al. in the Ses #4 readings, or in developing and implementing multiple alliances and joint ventures (as done in the Ghandour, et al. paper in the readings for Ses #4), or in making multiple equity investments in smaller firms as part of their technology-based business development activities (see Chapter 3 of the Roberts reading for Ses #3). A minimum of a half-dozen endeavors by each of the two competitors is expected in order for you to be able to detect and report any kind of policy, pattern and systematic outcome.

Whichever alternative you choose, your team will need to begin by locating or creating comprehensive lists of company activities in the domain selected. The Dewey Research Librarian can help to identify relevant databases and other sources. Company Web sites frequently contain lists of alliances and/or acquisitions. Your team will then proceed to locate and utilize other sources, including the business press and telephone and in-person interviews, to compile the needed information to understand the technology strategy issues and the decisions made and outcomes achieved in the cases. The resulting term paper will provide impressive testimony to what you have learned about the business development strategy your team examined in those two firms.

Your paper should reflect substantial supplemental reading by your team of books, journal articles and the business press on your topic, going well beyond the assigned readings for the course. This paper is your principal work effort in this course and the effort is being shared by a group. I am therefore looking forward to a significant and thoughtful original paper-preparation effort, one that could produce a first draft of a publishable managerially interesting piece of work, even though the paper is relatively short. Papers are to be prepared in a manner consistent with the highest forms of academic integrity; all sources of data and information are to be cited explicitly in footnotes and complete references.

All term papers are to be co-authored by teams of three to five class participants (neither more nor less), with significant effort expected from each participant. All co-authors will receive the same grade for their term paper contribution.

Class participants are discouraged from integrating this paper with your theses and/or with papers in another course. If anyone wants "relief" from this policy, please indicate this fact in an email note to Professor Livada prior to Ses #4 in which you clarify how your two efforts will differ significantly from each other.