AccoladesA Collection of Student Scholarship

2016 Accolades

Accolades entries are organized by degree program. Each program section includes an overview of the featured student works followed by a listing of individual project abstracts for easy browsing.

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Master of Business Administration View all accolades »

Students in the Master of Business Administration program develop knowledge in operations, finance, organizational leadership, and other core business areas as well as real-world experience through projects related to their workplace and other organizations.

  • 2016
  • Master of Business Administration

An Analysis of Michael Porter’s Five Competitive Forces that Shape Strategy in the Ever-Changing Landscape Defense Contracting Field

Author: Brian Noland
Abstract:

The field of defense contracting is one of the more unique fields within the modern American economy. From 2003 to the current day, Defense Contractors have become a pivotal and crucial part of our national defense and security strategies. This need sparked a new market and along with that, an ever changing landscape of different market trends and needs. This paper sought to identify how these changes coincide with Porter's Five Competitive Forces to give a better understanding of how the defense contracting field, while unique, follows the incontrovertible truths of all business markets. Through my findings, I was able to identify multiple instances where Porter's factors lined up effectively with changes to the industry. From increased competition due to reduced market viability, the threat of substitutes and new companies entering the market, to the change in power dynamic from the contractors to the government, all of these factors prove that in order to best navigate the complex world of national security solutions, one must observe proper business principles to succeed.

 

  • 2016
  • Master of Business Administration

Current State of Organization

Author: Michael Savidakis
Abstract:

The purpose of this paper is to assess the current state of organization for AECOM utilizing the Bradach 7-S Model (Bradach, 1996). AECOM, as a leader in the industry in design services is expanding its services to the construction industry through its acquisitions of Tishman Construction and Hunt Construction Group. To continue its growth strategy to become the largest design and construction services organization in the world, AECOM has expanded its design services network with the acquisition of URS Corporation. Through its experience, skilled professionals, and reputation to deliver quality services and successful projects for its clients and stakeholders, they are strategically positioned to collaboratively expand in these markets globally. AECOM is currently going through a transition period, however with growth it is critical to align organization and strategy. Business success is a fit between the alignment of key organizational variables such as strategy, values, culture, employees, systems, organizational design, and the behavior of the senior management team (Ross, 1999). With a common goal to solve its clients’ most complex challenges, gap and alignment issues are identified utilizing the application of the 7-S Model, with suggested courses of action. AECOM’s executive leadership is analyzing the current functions of each of its companies’ organizational environments, reviewing its strengths and ‘opportunities for improvement’, meeting with its individual companies leadership, and focusing on organizational alignment to ensure each company’s core values and functionality are in alignment with the overall organization’s core structure, [shared] values, culture, and strategy. Employee participation and contribution to management’s plans are encouraged for development of new strategies, creativity, innovation, and solutions to its present and future challenges. This establishes partnership, ownership, incentive, commitment, autonomy, and a sense of pride to contribute to making a difference in the organization. Integration of support & resources, improving Human Capital and Operational Capital will be key factors in this strategic expansion.

  • 2016
  • Master of Business Administration

Current State of the Alternative Transportation Systems

Author: Christopher Farell
Abstract:

The Current State of Alternative Transportation Systems utilizes Mckinsey's 7-S model to provide the reader with an inside look at both the highlights and structural deficits of the organization. The interrelated elements of the 7-S model provide a useful breakdown of the elements comprising the company as a whole, along with how they interact with one another.

  • 2016
  • Master of Business Administration

Energy Management Plan for JLG Industries, Inc.

Author: Jason Grentus
Abstract:

This project was for the development of an Energy Management Plan for JLG Industries, Inc. (JLG) for use in the McConnellsburg, Pennsylvania facility. JLG’s parent company Oshkosh Corporation (Oshkosh), has agreed to reduce energy consumption by following the Department of Energy’s “Better Plants Program” that focuses on the reduction of energy by 25% over a ten year period. The project included forming an energy reduction team within the facility, developing a significant energy users report prepared by Pennsylvania Technical Assistance Program (PennTAP) from Pennsylvania State University, an approved Energy Policy and an Energy Management Plan based on ISO 500001:2011 guidance. During the building of the Energy Management Plan, the project team determined the best process model to be used for capturing the monthly key performance indicators (KPIs). The KPI’s included documenting the electric and natural gas consumption and comparing that to the direct labor hours for the McConnellsburg facility. The model used also removed the weather effects to the data to normalize energy consumption over the fiscal year. The project began on September 21, 2015 and concluded on May 13, 2016. JLG and Oshkosh strive to provide energy efficient facilities and look forward to a sustainable future.

  • 2016
  • Master of Business Administration

Global Alignment: A Distributed Approach to Maintaining Transnational Strategy

Author: Marcus Wilson
Abstract:

Global operations are no longer the domain of large embedded conglomerates. The reality of transnational commerce impacts the majority of companies and the need for defining strategy across distributed operating environments has increased dramatically. While modern business has become more international in scope and operation, many companies have failed in unifying their international operations due to lack of strategy and action. This failure to perform a strategic assessment may have drastic consequences that run the risk of hindering a company’s opportunity to compete in the global arena. This paper explores the pain points of establishing and maintaining a global strategy, offering realistic solutions that will assist leaders in formulating a clear and concise "global" operating strategy.

  • 2016
  • Master of Business Administration

Transportation Management System

Author: Brian Walton
Abstract:

This paper discusses the integration process of a transportation management system (TMS). This new system will enhance and control daily activities, file historic information, and monitor performance metrics. Implementing TMS, a database within this company's current enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, will assist with operating and executing more efficiently as well as identifying opportunities for improving the logistics infrastructure and network. The TMS will offer value-added services and have the ability to analyze its internal performance against external performance and environmental factors such as its core carrier base and industry competitors.

  • 2016
  • Master of Business Administration

U.S. Chopsticks

Author: Steven Bartomioli
Abstract:

This project will establish the organization U.S. Chopstick, in the southwestern United States. U.S. Chopsticks will produce 580 million pairs of disposable, wooden chopsticks per year in order to tap into the global demand of 80 billion pairs of disposable chopsticks annually. The project deliverables include the purchasing of a manufacturing facility of approximately 60,000 square feet, approximately 300 acres of land, chopstick manufacturing equipment, and warehouse equipment. The facility will be used to produce chopsticks at a rate of 2 million per day while the surrounding land will be used for the growth and harvest of natural resources congruent with the manufacture of chopsticks in order to promote sustainability. Given the nature of this project’s deliverable and the possibility for high consumption of natural resources this project will also aim to partner with local timber mills in order to acquire scrap wood that may be recycled through the creation of disposable chopsticks. The underlying theme of this project is sustainability. Through the effective use of harvesting techniques and tactics it is possible to meet demand while simultaneously "giving back". One program to be enlisted once operations begin is to plant two trees for every one tree consumed for production. While this is one of many programs to be enlisted it is a defining program of the underlying ethics defining this project.