UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT URBANA-CHAMPAIGN
College of Business
Department of Business Administration
BADM449 Strategic Management/Business Policy
Purpose of Course Mission Statements
Sources of Competitive Information Sources of Secondary Data
Purpose of Course
The strategic management course is the "big picture" course in the undergraduate program at the University
of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The focus of this course is on the total performance of an entire business
enterprise. In this sense, it is the only required course in the undergraduate curriculum that focuses on some
fundamental business issues:
Knowing how to answer these questions is, of course, important to senior executives, who bear the burden of
responsibility and who bear the ultimate fiduciary responsibility to shareholders for the company's
performance. However, thinking about these fundamental business issues is also important to others as well:
- What determines total corporate performance?
- Why do some companies succeed, while other companies fail?
- And what if anything can managers do about it? What can managers do to improve the
performance of their companies?
To help answer these fundamental business questions the course provides the following tools:
- Front-line and middle-level managers (and, indeed, those beginning in the organization who want to
advance in their managerial career) need to know how to answer these fundamental business issues in
order to understand the company's overall strategy and to ensure that their decisions are consistent with
corporate strategy and with the future challenges that the company will face. The better you understand
the problems faced by your company's senior executives, the better prepared you will be to help them
solve those problems, and the further you will advance in your career.
- Consultants need to know how to answer these questions in order to help their clients make better
- Investment analysts need to know how to answer these questions in order to make more informed
decisions about where to invest by anticipating future performance.
- Developing strategic coherence maps for understanding a business unit's overall strategy
- Using industry analysis to evaluate current profitability and future profitability potential of an industry,
market, or niche
- Understanding the typical issues for empirical testing of industry analysis predictions
- Using resource-based theory to understand how firms can create and sustain value
- Using value chain analysis and transaction costs economics to decide when a firm should keep the
activity in-house rather than relying on the market (e.g., outsourcing)
- Understanding learning curves and their applications
- Developing pro forma cash flow analysis and integrating this tool with strategic analysis
- Using game theory to understand how firms use strategic commitment to influence both competitor
response and cooperative response
- Using strategic (or real) options theory to inform investment decision-making under uncertainty
- Combining learning curves, pro forma cash flow analysis, game theory and strategic (real) options
theory to inform strategic decisions
- Using corporate-level analysis to understand how firms create (or destroy) value by deciding which
businesses to compete in, and how to integrate those businesses with each other.
Ben & Jerry's
Ben & Jerry's is dedicated to the creation and demonstration of a new corporate concept of linked prosperity.
Our mission consists of three interrelated parts:
Product Mission: To make, distribute, and sell the finest quality, all-natural ice cream and related products in
a wide variety of innovative flavors made from Vermont dairy products.
Social Mission: To operate the company in a way that actively recognizes the central role that business plays
in the structure of society by initiating innovative ways to improve the quality of life of a broad community
-- local, national and international.
Economic Mission: To operate the company on a sound financial basis of profitable growth, increasing value
for our shareholders, and creating career opportunities and financial rewards for our employees.
To be the number one aerospace company in the world and among the premier industrial concerns in terms of
quality, profitability, and growth.
Do a great job for our customers, employees and stockholders by being the preeminent block supplier to the
The mission of the Leo Burnett Company is to create superior advertising.
In Leo's words: "Our primary function in life is to produce the best advertising in the world, bar none. This
is to be advertising so interrupting, so daring, so fresh, so engaging, so human, so believable, and so well-focused as to themes and ideas that, at one and the same time, it builds a quality reputation for the long haul
as it produces sales for the immediate present."
We are in business to please our customers ... to provide greater value than our competitors.
- By giving customers what they seek in terms of quality merchandise that is both fashion-right and
- By having the most wanted merchandise in stock and in depth in our stores.
- By giving customers a total shopping experience that meets or exceeds their expectation for service,
convenience, environment, and ethical standards.
Everything we do -- throughout our organization -- should support and advance the accomplishment of the
The people and resources of the Gerber Products Company are dedicated to assuring that the company is the
world leader in, and advocate for, infant nutrition, care, and development.
Johnson & Johnson
We believe our first responsibility is to the doctors, nurses, and patients, to mothers and fathers and all others
who use our products and services. In meeting their needs, everything we do must be of high quality. We must
constantly strive to reduce our costs in order to maintain reasonable prices. Customers' orders must be serviced
promptly and accurately. Our suppliers and distributors must have an opportunity to make a fair profit.
We are responsible to our employees, the men and women who work with us throughout the world. Everyone
must be considered as an individual. We must respect their dignity and recognize their merit. They must have
a sense of security in their jobs. Compensation must be fair and adequate, and working conditions clean,
orderly and safe. We must be mindful of ways to help our employees fulfill their family responsibilities.
Employees must feel free to make suggestions and complaints. There must be equal opportunity for
employment, development and advancement of those qualified. We must provide competent management, and
their actions must be just and ethical.
We are responsible to the communities in which we live and work and to the work community as well. We
must be good citizens -- support good works and charities and bear our fair share of taxes. We must encourage
civic improvements and better health and education. We must remain in good order the property we are
privliged to use, protecting the environment and natural resources.
Our final responsibility is to our stockholders. Business must make a sound profit. We must experiment with
new ideas. Research must be carried on, innovative programs developed and mistakes paid for. New
equipment must be purchased, new facilities provided and new products launched. Reserves must be created
to provide for adverse times. When we operate according to these principles, the stockholders should receive
a fair return.
Merck & Co., Inc.
The mission of Merck & Co., Inc. is to provide society with superior products and services -- innovations and
solutions that satisfy customer needs and improve the quality of life -- to provide employees with meaningful
work and advancement opportunities and investors with a superior rate of return.
Market vehicles developed and manufactured in the United States that are world leaders in quality, cost and
customer satisfaction through the interaction of people, technology and business systems and to transfer
knowledge, technology and experience through General Motors.
Tom's of Maine
To serve our customers by providing safe, effective, innovative natural products of high quality.
To build a relationship with our customers that extends beyond product usage to include full and honest
dialogue, responsiveness to feedback, and the exchange of information about products and services.
To respect, value, and serve not only our customers, but also our co-workers, owners, agents, suppliers, and
our community; to be concerned about and contribute to their well-being, and to operate with integrity so as
to be deserving of their trust.
To provide meaningful work, fair compensation, and a safe, healthy work environment that encourages
openness, creativity, self-discipline, and growth.
To contribute to and affirm a high level of commitment, skill and effectiveness in the work community.
To recognize, encourage, and seek a diversity of gifts and perspectives in our worklife.
To acknowledge the value of each person's contribution to our goals, and to foster teamwork in our tasks.
To be distinctive in products and policies which honor and sustain our natural world.
To address community concerns, in Maine and around the globe, by devoting a portion of our time, talents, and
resources to the environment, human needs, the arts and education.
To work together to contribute to the long-term value and sustainability of our company.
To be a profitable and successful company, while acting in a socially and environmentally responsible manner.
Sources of Competitive Information
The following are a list of sources available on the commercial market. Many of them are expensive (often charge by the hour and the cost of full-text of an article or a report) and are not easy to search because of the way the files are structured, thus it is recommended that an information professional search them for you for a fee. The fee may seem high at times, but a professional searcher will save you time and money in the long run.
Many of these sources are ones that the University Library and the College of Business subscribe to and are free of charge as long as you are enrolled at the university. They are not to be used for clients or work purposes. If you need assistance using the databases Illinois subscribes to, feel free to drop by the Business & Economics Library (BEL) at the Main Library, Room 101. BEL’s hours are listed here.
INVESTEXT PDF FULLTEXT: Indexes and provides full text to company, industry, and topical research reports written by analysts at leading investment banks, brokerage houses and consulting firms worldwide
ABI/INFORM: Information on business management and administration for approximately 2,700 publications. Illinois subscribes to ABI/Inform Complete which includes the Wall Street Journal, various newspapers, and trade publications.
D&B-DUN'S MARKET IDENTIFIERS: Contains basic company data, including executive names and titles, corporate linkages, sales, DUNS® Numbers, organization status, and more on over 28 million U.S. business locations, including public, private, and government organizations.
GALE GROUP NEWSLETTER DATABASE: Full texts from over 100 business and trade newsletters covering many industries. Illinois subscribes to Cengage/Gale’s Academic Onefile, which has many similar resources.
Company Snapshots: Detailed financial and business information on public companies.
Dow Jones Newswires: press releases and around the world news are presented.
Peer Comparisons of Companies and Industries: Comparative stock price, volume, and fundamental data on companies and industries.
Standard & Poor's Profiles and Zack’s Earnings Estimates: Company reports with descriptive and statistical data.
Top Business, Financial, and Economic News: Summaries of the day's business and financial stories.
Analyst Research: Brokerage reports liked under Company & Industry Reports, including Nelson’s Analyst Directory, which supplies analysts by industry sector.
Company Profiles & Directories: supplies company financial snapshots, including Standard & Poor’s Corporate Descriptions, Credit Union Directory, Standard Directory of Advertisers, and SEC filings
Industry Reports: information from over 60 trade publications and market research reports on the cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, retail and apparel sectors.
Marketing & Advertising: information from trade publications and other sources on promotions, demographics and new product launches. Illinois subscribes to Product Launch Analytics by Datamonitor, which is the same data in Lexis.
Patent Law: Has cases, treaties, and applications for patents in the US.
Illinois subscribes to LexisNexis Academic and many of the same files are available. Click on “Companies” on the left bar menu, then click “Company Profiles”. The profiles include corporate family linkages, recent patents, bond ratings, and one analyst report. One can also search for credit reports supplied by Experian.
Formerly known as Moody’s, Mergent has a competitive intelligence database called Mergent Horizon for mainly US public companies but also international companies. One can search by company name, trade-name, industry sector, and market index. The company profiles contain names of competitors, suppliers, customers, suppliers of customers, key partners for investment and the top institutional holders. One can also format reports for peer comparisons. FDA Approval Decisions (not all) are also available. Illinois subscribes to Mergent Horizon, but the number of concurrent users is very limited.
OneSource is well known for searching for building lists of companies and executives, SEC filings, market research reports, key business ratios, earnings estimates and recent news reports. There are two versions: US Business Browser and Global Business Brower. The College of Business subscribes to OneSource Global Business Browser, but you must sign up for an account and the number of concurrent users is limited
Sources of Secondary Data
1. Internal Sources
Company annual reports, balance sheets, income statements, invoices, inventory records, sales reports, databases on the intranet or MIS, and previous research studies. Some of this information is available on company web sites. Illinois subscribes to Mergent Online for recent annual reports. Credit reports by Dun & Bradstreet or Experian are helpful in determining if a company is paying its bills in a timely manner.
2. Government Sources
U.S. Government data sources are too numerous to provide a complete listing. Some of the better sources include:
Bureau of the Census provides raw data on practically every imaginable demographic, economic, or social aspect of U.S. business and society in general. Some of the best Census Bureau sources include:
CommerceConnect is a new website from the Department of Commerce. It is a good place to start as it pulls together resources ranging from patents to contracting opportunities.
EDGAR Database via the SEC provides comprehensive financial data (10K and 10Q reports) on public corporations in the U.S.
Federal Trade Commission provides reports, speeches, and other facts about competitive, antitrust, and consumer protection issues.
Small Business Administration offers numerous resources for small businesses, including industry reports, maps, market analyses (national, regional, or local), library resources, and checklists.
3. Periodicals and Books
The examples listed below are sources of business information that are available in both print and electronic formats. Although some are free and available on the Internet, some require paid subscriptions. Many local libraries, particularly university libraries, subscribe to these information services.
Business Abstracts with Fulltext maintains a listing of business-related articles that appear in a vast array of publications. The information tends to focus on newsworthy items about specific industries and companies. Some widely read examples include:
The database is updated regularly. Illinois subscribes to Academic OneFile, which contains the full text of many trade publications, although there are no graphics supplied.
Mergent Manuals and Hoover's Manuals both provide basic information about major corporations, including industry and company overviews and analyses. Illinois subscribes both to Mergent Online and Hoover’s Online.
Standard and Poor's Industry Surveys offers in-depth analyses and current statistics about major industries and corporations.
Trade Associations, Trade Magazines, and Trade Journals offer information on their membership and readers, as well as articles on competing products and companies.
Encyclopedia of Associations, available in print and online, provides information on 140,000 major professional and trade organizations around the world. Illinois subscribes to Associations Unlimited.
American Demographics via Ad Age provides articles, links to other databases, and tips for finding marketing information.
Fast Company provides articles, links to other databases, and tips for finding marketing information.
Value Line provides financial and risk data for the top 1800 companies in the US and an additional 1800 smaller and midcap firms. Illinois subscribes to the online version.
Academic Journals such as Harvard Business Review. Illinois subscribes to EBSCO Business Source Complete, which contains all of the Harvard Business Review issues, various business videos and scholarly journals. There is a corporate version of Business Source Complete that contains business book summaries and audio books.
Business news sources provide the latest information related to business and financial news. Some examples include:
4. Market Research Sources
Commercial market research sources generally charge a fee for their services. Some commercial sources provide limited information on their Internet sites.
- A.C. Nielsen Company supplies data and reports on retail sales of products and brands through the use of scanner technology.
- Information Resources Inc. specializes in supermarket scanner data and the impact of promotions on sales of brands and products in supermarkets.
Market Research.com supplies in depth market research reports in various industries, countries, and companies.
Illinois subscribes to a number of market research reports.
Updated by Becky Smith, BEL Librarian