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Business Appraisal in the Professional Services Sector - Dissertation Example

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Business Appraisal in the Professional Services Sector Wordcount-15,809 Abstract The aim of this research is to determine how the software development activity at Microsoft is capable of enhancing service delivery to its customers, thereby creating value for the company…
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Download file to see previous pages The study made use of secondary data garnered mainly from official reports and pronouncements issued by the company for its shareholders, consumer groups, and the government. Other secondary data were acquired from investment analyses and professional publications, while the financial data were taken from official online databases. Quantitative analysis were conducted to establish relationships between research and development metrics and the firm’s profitability indicators, to determine which measures in the firm’s financial reports relating to software development impacted upon how profitably the firm performance. Qualitative analysis provided an appreciation of the software development process and the value-enhancing strategies that improved Microsoft’s comparative advantage over its rival firms. The study found that the research and development efforts of Microsoft, which principally consists of software development, impacted on the firm’s profitability within two years after the software development effort had taken place. Competitively, Microsoft had benefitted from a strategy of operational competence until the present, but Apple is gradually overtaking it with a more effective method of customer intimacy as its value discipline. Table of Contents Table of Contents 3 List of Tables 5 List of Figures 6 Chapter 1: Introduction 7 1.1Chapter overview 7 1.2 Background of the study 7 1.3 Significance of the study 9 1.4 Research aim and objectives 9 1.5Research questions 10 1.6 Brief description of the data and analysis 10 1.7 Conceptual framework 11 Chapter 2: Literature Review 14 2.1 Chapter overview 14 2.2 The conceptualization of the phrase “value of Microsoft’s software development” 14 2.3 The organizational dynamics of software development 15 2.4 Microsoft’s software development strategy 17 2.5 Discerning the rationale in code development at Microsoft 20 2.6 Accounting treatment of software development costs 23 2.7 The Conceptual Framework: The Treacy & Wiersema Value Discipline Model 24 Chapter 3: Methodology 29 3.1 Chapter overview 29 3.2 Research strategy 29 3.3Description of variables used in the quantitative study 31 3.4 Statistical model and treatment used in the study 34 3.5Data collection method 35 3.6 Sampling method and size 36 3.7 Data analysis 36 3.8 Scope and Limitation 37 3.9 Ethical considerations 37 Chapter 4: Data and Discussion 39 4.1 Chapter Overview 39 4.2 Microsoft’s Product Innovation and Momentum 39 4.3 Perceived implementation of Microsoft’s corporate strategy 41 4.4 Human resources management at Microsoft 43 4.5 Assessment of Microsoft’s operating performance 44 4.6 Competitive values dimension comparison among Microsoft, Apple and Google 49 4.7 Results of statistical correlation studies 54 Chapter 5: Conclusion 62 5.1 Chapter overview 62 5.2 Summary of the research findings 62 5.3 Conclusion 67 5.4 Limitation of the findings and conclusion 68 References: 70 Appendices 74 List of Tables Table 1: Examples of incumbent and entrant software products 18 Table 2: Criteria to measure the disruptive potential of an innovation in software markets 19 Table 3: Comparison of “Waterfall” and Microsoft development processes 20 Table 4: Revenues and income per business segment 44 Table 5: Growth rates of Microsoft’s yearend revenues and operating income for 2011 46 Table 6: Direct competitor comparison 47 Table ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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