For the paper, there is a minimum word limit of 500 words (excluding your title page, abstract, diagrams and tables, references, and appendices) and a maximum of 600 words. Please use vigorous and concise writing — use strong and effective words that provide meaning. Determine first your message, and articulate that message in your paper. Avoid at all costs the tendency to simply provide information. And always remember that graduate-level coursework requires graduate-level effort.

Citations/References (optional): If students choose to use references, they must be in accordance with the standards set forth in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th Edition, or a similar style manual (i.e. APA style).

Format: Please ensure that you incorporate margins of 1 inch on all four sides of pages; 12 point Times New Roman font (or similar font); single-spaced body text; and page numbers centered at the bottom of each page, including the title page.

Note: The intent of the 500-600 word length is to encourage students to write something that is insightful and meaningful — and in doing so demonstrate insight and the ability to communicate a high level of comprehension. In this course students are rewarded for focused effort and thoughtful engagement. Please understand, this assignment is to write a meaningfully thoughtful and powerfully concise paper. Yes, we all understand that compressing all the material and all your thoughts into 500-600 words is DIFFICULT. It is intended to be.

Synthesis Paper Topic: The Nature of Strategic Management and Firm Performance

The topic and title of your synthesis paper is entirely up to you. Although the subject matter of this course is narrow relative to the broader field of business, by semester’s end we will have taken a deep dive into this narrow topic of Strategic Management. Moreover, we will have examined issues involving (1) strategic planning, (2) the role of the CEO, (3) firm performance, and (4) the nature of business itself. In addition, we will have explored how the role of organizational functional areas (such as finance and marketing, among many others) interact and contribute to the organization; and how the firm interacts with larger social, legal, and business environments. You will have read and discussed various theories relating to strategic management and firm performance. You will have completed assignments requiring research and personal reflection on Strategic Management and related topics. You will have had many conversations with your team mates regarding the content of this course, and the assigned case study. This Synthesis Paper is your opportunity to demonstrate your command of the courses subject matter.

As graduate students you are expected to demonstrate a high level of critical thinking an ability to transcend knowledge and truly understand Strategic Management an ability to connect the dots and make sense of otherwise seemingly disparate information. Most importantly, you are expected to have an opinion, an evidence-based and logical defensible position. This Synthesis Paper is an opportunity for you to express your position on the Nature of Strategic Management. The Socratic Skill Builders assignments throughout the semester have been designed to provide ideas and material for your Synthesis Paper.

Your Synthesis Paper might encompass the entirety of the course, attempting to synthesis the essence of Strategic Management, CEO influence, and firm performance. Your paper might attempt to synthesize the different paradigms of strategic management presented in the course. Your paper may speak to your personal experience with strategic planning or CEOs, or your ambitions and emotions related to becoming a CEO. Or you may attempt to focus on one of the following questions. What is strategic management and how does it relate to firm performance or sustainability? How does it relate to employee or individual happiness? What are the most important issues, advantages, and challenges facing those aspiring to be a CEO? The specific focus of your synthesis paper is entirely up to you as long as it synthesizes the materials taught in this course.

This Synthesis Paper represents YOUR view of Strategic Management. While you should use the concepts and language developed in this course to demonstrate your command of the subject, this is not an exercise in regurgitation. I want to know your thoughts.

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