Various media rank employers according to criteria they believe identifies good companies for whom to work. One website with such rankings plus access to typical interview questions, typical salaries by job title, and more is Glassdoor.
You may have come across a company problem in your daily exposure to newspapers, blogs, t.v. or other media.
If not yet sure which company to research, one of the best ways to find a company with problems for your class project is to read the Wall Street Journal or the Business section of newspapers like the New York Times.
Once you begin browsing articles, companies with recent problems - financial or otherwise - should be fairly easy to spot. Both of these newspapers are available via an off campus connection as well as in the University Libraries.
You can also search databases such as Business Source Complete and the "News" section of Lexis-Nexis Academic. Figuring out the best search terms to use is often the most difficult part of the research process. Try searching for articles using these search terms
Click here to see an example of a SWOT analysis (a listing and/or discussion of company strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats). It is a great starting point for convincing the teacher why your proposed solutions to company problems are likely to work. For example, if sales of a high-tech product are falling and you suspect better tech support would induce more people to buy the product, you could propose introducing 24/7 tech support.
This would only work if your company strengths included adequate resources to implement this solution -- for example, some combination of factors like these:
Not every company will make its SWOT analysis available to the public. But two research databases often include SWOT's for large. well-established companies. There are two ways to look:
Choosing the right company to use for your assignment can save you a lot of time in the library. Three kinds of companies or other entities can be difficult to research because they are not required to make information available. It is not in their interest to let competitors find out proprietary information. And they might not want employees or customers to know certain things either.
And even some public companies just don't get a lot of press. They may be operating in a small or less profitable segment of the market (e.g. sports teams or suppliers of consumer automotive parts) or their corporate culture may be conservative about sharing information beyond the basic required disclosures (e.g. banks).
The Private vs Public Companies tab of this guide gives examples of each kind of company. The Finding Company Reports and News tab identifies sources of information about non-public companies. Even after checking the recommended sources, however, you may have to rely on one or more of the following strategies to get information: