Module Title Strategic Management Assignment Number 1

Assessment Information – What you need to do
This assignment is an individual assignment.

 

This assignment requires you to analyse the existing business strategy of a company of your choice.  As part of the coursework assessment, you must analyse, in detail, the existing business strategy of your chosen organisation in the form of an individual academic report and provide a set of strategic recommendations for that organisation based on the analysis you conducted. The summative assessment will require you to think critically, be able to analyse, evaluate and then apply concepts and theories taught during the module in the reassessment. Ideally, you should apply your own research skills in finding information and use your own initiative to develop insights into business strategy.

 

Choosing a company:

You can choose any company you like, whether it is UK based or abroad. This company can be a successful one or one that is failing. However, the chosen company must currently be in business and its existence can be verifiable (through the availability of an official website, for example). Explanation of your choice of company and the background context of that company (successful/failing) should be given briefly in the introduction to the work. Your task is to analyse the existing business strategy adopted by the company through using the various lenses, tools, concepts, and theories explained during the module. Consider what strategic position the company is in now and is currently pursuing. You could choose to evaluate their business strategy from the perspective of strategic fit, models of failure, resource-based view, strategic capabilities, SWOT, PESTEL, VRIN analysis, strategy clock, Porter’s 5 forces analysis, cultural web, warfare perspectives, or through perspective of any other strategic analysis tools/theories you find suitable. The choice of methods of analysis is entirely yours but should be justified in your report; your justifications should also be supported by references from literature.

 

Remember that strategic analyses serve a crucial purpose in companies in determining the appropriateness of the business strategy for the future. Bear this in mind while writing your strategic analysis report and ensure you prepare strategic recommendations for your chosen company for the future based on your strategic analysis.

 

Information collection 

In completing the summative assessment coursework, you may wish to search the internet sources for information about your chosen company. Websites, newsletters, articles, business news magazines, blogs, and other sources may be valuable to find the information you need. You may also wish to contact managers or stakeholders of the organisation for interviews or for information regarding existing strategies. You may seek to interview these by contacting them over Skype or via any digital platform you like, or simply requesting they address questions over email. It is important to note that not all managers are available or willing to do so and a lack of interviewing will not compromise your grades. However, you may feel you will better understand the strategic direction of the firm through an interview. To facilitate this please familiarise yourself with the ethical guidelines of the University: http://www.dmu.ac.uk/research/ethics-and-governance/faculty-specific-procedures/business-and-law-ethics-procedures.aspx.

 

This assessment method reflects conditions you will face when working for companies and when having to conduct strategic analyses of competitors or on behalf of clients (e.g., in consultancy). You will need to work under time constraints, you will not have full and perfect access to all information, and you will need to make judgments based on analysis of data and information that you can get access to. Try to integrate information from across different analysis tools and methods for richer strategic insights.

 

Criteria for Assessment – How you will be marked

 

The rubric below will be used as the criteria for assessment:

 

  Needs Improvement Fairly Competent Meets expectations Exceeds expectations Exemplary
Analysis – providing analysis of the business strategy or just describing? (020%) No evidence of real analysis; too much describing the current strategy of business. (4%) Very little evidence of critical analysis of strategy (8%) Some evidence of critical analysis of strategy (12%) Evidence of critical analysis of strategy (16%) Outstanding evidence of critical analysis of business strategy (20%)
Analysis – Providing insights into business strategy? (020%) Too generic or superficial application of analysis tools (not linking parts of analysis together to show strategy) (4%) Very little evidence of linking parts of analysis together to show strategy

(8%)

Some evidence of linking parts of analysis together to show strategy

(12%)

Good evidence of linking parts of analysis together to show strategy

(16%)

Outstanding evidence of linking parts of analysis together to show strategy

(20%)

Attempt to critically evaluate the chosen analysis tools/frameworks? (015%) No evidence of real justification of the chosen tools (why SWOT, PESTEL, 5forces, etc. are the best choice for this type of business) (3%)

 

Very little evidence of real justification of the chosen tools (why SWOT, PESTEL, 5forces, etc. are the best choice for this type of business) (6%) Some evidence of real justification of the chosen tools (why SWOT, PESTEL, 5forces, etc. are the best choice for this type of business) (9%) Evidence of real justification of the chosen tools (why SWOT, PESTEL, 5forces, etc. are the best choice for this type of business) (12%) Outstanding evidence of real justification of the chosen tools (why SWOT, PESTEL, 5forces, etc. are the best choice for this type of business) (15%)
Covering the fundamentals of the business strategy and competition in marketplace (020%) Not covering the fundamentals of the business strategy (i.e. no discussion of main competitive advantages) (4%) Very little discussion of main competitive advantages (8%) Some discussion of main fundamentals of competitive advantages (12%) Good discussion of main fundamentals of competitive advantages (16%) Outstanding proper discussion of main fundamentals of competitive advantages (20%)
Sources of information/References (015%) Conjecture or No enough credible sources of information (i.e. business magazines, business reports, company website, company publications, academic papers/studies)

(3%)

Very few credible sources of information (i.e. business magazines, business reports, company website, company publications, academic papers/studies)

(6%)

Some credible sources of information (i.e. business magazines, business reports, company website, company publications, academic papers/studies)

(9%)

Good number of credible sources of information (i.e. business magazines, business reports, company website, company publications, academic papers/studies)

(12%)

Proper interviews with business employees/experts, business magazines, business reports, company website, company publications, academic papers/studies)

(15%)

Report Structure (Proper academic report structure; suffixes and prefixes) (010%) No clear structure is used

Multiple formatting errors are present.

 

(2%)

A few minor formatting errors are noted.

 

(4%)

Good structure – just needed to be more careful in the flow of ideas.

(6%)

Proper formatting is used throughout the literature review.

(8%)

All required element and structure are available.

 

(10%)

 

Further information on University mark descriptors can be found here. 

 

This assignment is designed to assess the following learning outcomes:

  • Demonstrate a deep and critical understanding of strategic management, current issues in the field and the associated literature.
  • Develop a critical understanding of the factors influencing business strategies and strategic management.
  • Comprehend the multiple different perspectives and approaches to strategy.
  • Develop understanding of a range of theoretical frameworks for analysing of strategy.
  • Understand complications and challenges faced in international strategic management.
  • Be able to apply relevant analytical tools and frameworks to assess environments, strategies and strategic options.
  • Understand, and be able to apply, the concepts and theories of strategic management to practice.
  • Be able to locate, comprehend and critically evaluate relevant research and sources of information relating to strategic management.
  • Be able to apply relevant knowledge in a variety of traditional and non-traditional organisational contexts.

 

Assessment Details

This is an academic report that must follow academic report writing style. The report should be submitted via Turnitin in word format and should have:

·         a cover page with full details about title of submission, you, your module, instructor, date of submission.

·         executive summary to summarize the work done, methods followed in collecting information and analysis, and recommendations achieved.

·         Acknowledgement

·         Declaration (to declare that this is your own work)

·         table of contents.

·         List of tables and figure (if you have them).

·         list of references and appendices (if you have them).

 

Report should be typed, using 1.5 spacing and an easy-to-read Arial 12-point font. The word count is 3500 words.

 

The word count of 3500 words should:

·         Include all the text in body of report, including introduction, in-text citations, quotations, footnotes, tables, figures, and any other items not specifically excluded below.

·         Exclude cover page, executive summary, acknowledgments (if any), declaration, bibliography/list of references, and appendices (if any). However, it is not appropriate to use diagrams or tables merely as a way of circumventing the word limit. If a student uses tables or figures, then this will be included in the word count.

 

There will be a penalty of a deduction of 10% of the mark for work exceeding the word limit by 10% or more.

Dos and Don’ts:

1)      Your task is to understand the current strategy of the chosen company and analyse that strategy to provide recommendations for the business.

2)      Do not go too far back in time when talking about business strategies. You should be focused on the existing current strategies of your chosen business.

3)      You can use any strategic analysis frameworks/theories/tools to complete your assignment.

4)      Please use at least 3 to 4 analysis tools in your assignment so that you cover internal microenvironment, industry level, and general macro environment of the business. This will give yourself enough potential for analysis and to be able to generate sufficient strategic insights.

5)      The key to good marks is ‘analysis’, and not ‘description’. Describing the environment for instance, or who the main competitors are, is ultimately of little value unless it is then related to strategy. Link across concepts, tools, or points that you are making and ensure you are providing insights into the business strategy of your chosen company (what does the company need to change strategically to excel further?).

6)      Use academic references as well (FOLLOWING HARVARD REFERENCING STYLE). Some of your information sources will inevitably be the business press (FT, BBC Business News etc), online interviews of managers/executives, available case studies, and business services such as Mintel, FAME. however, you should also be looking at introducing good academic work into your report. For instance, through justifying the selection of your analysis tools/theories/frameworks, or for purposes of frameworks/theories/tools critique.

7)      Remember the basics: your work should be readable, please provide clear language, logical sequence of ideas and consistent, and be proof-read prior to submission.

8)      Remember to make strategic recommendations for your chosen company. Put thought into this as it is an important aspect of the assignment.

9)      Do not just choose random strategic analysis tools or frameworks. Only choose ones that you can justify their use that will help you to explain the business strategy of your chosen company. Remember, the key to obtaining marks in this assignment is to provide explanation, detail, and insights into the strategy. It is hard to obtain marks merely from describing (e.g., describing the external environment without proper strategic analysis).

10)  please do NOT procrastinate your submission till the last hour or the last day; technical difficulties can always happen at your end. Make sure you submit in good time before deadline.

 

How to Submit your Assessment

The assessment must be submitted by 12:00 noon (GMT/BST) on 08 April 2022. No paper copies are required. You can access the submission link through the module web.

 

·         Your coursework will be given a zero mark if you do not submit a copy through Turnitin. Please take care to ensure that you have fully submitted your work.

·         Please ensure that you have submitted your work using the correct file format, unreadable files will receive a mark of zero. As a module leader, I request the submission of ONLY “MS Word” file of your document.

·         All work submitted after the submission deadline without a valid and approved reason will be subject to the University regulations on late submissions.

o   If an assessment is submitted up to 14 days late the mark for the work will be capped at the pass mark of 40 per cent for undergraduate modules or 50 per cent for postgraduate modules

o   If an assessment is submitted beyond 14 calendar days late the work will receive a mark of zero per cent

o   The above applies to a student’s first attempt at the assessment. If work submitted as a reassessment of a previously failed assessment task is submitted later than the deadline the work will immediately be given a mark of zero per cent

o   If an assessment which is marked as pass/fail rather than given a percentage mark is submitted later than the deadline, the work will immediately be marked as a fail.

·         The University wants you to do your best. However, we know that sometimes events happen which mean that you can’t submit your coursework by the deadline – these events should be beyond your control and not easy to predict.  If this happens, you can apply for an extension to your deadline for up to two weeks, or if you need longer, you can apply for a deferral, which takes you to the next assessment period (for example, to the re-sit period following the main Assessment Boards). You must apply before the deadline. You will find information about applying for extensions and deferrals here.

·         Students MUST keep a copy and/or an electronic file of their assignment.

·         Checks will be made on your work using anti-plagiarism software and approved plagiarism checking websites.

 

Return of Marked Work

 

You can expect to have feedback returned to you on 12 May 2022 (20 working days) 12:00 (Noon). If for any reason, there is a delay you will be kept informed. Marks and feedback will be provided online through the Turnitin link used for submission. It is important that you access the feedback you receive as this will help to make improvements to your later work, you can request a meeting with your Module Leader or Personal Tutor to discuss your feedback in more detail.

 

Marks will have been internally moderated only and will therefore be provisional; your mark will be formally agreed later in the year once the external examiner has completed their review. More information on assessment and feedback can be found here.

 

 

Academic Integrity

In submitting a piece of work for assessment it is essential that you understand the University’s requirements for maintaining academic integrity and ensure that the work does not contravene University regulations. Some examples of behaviour that would not be considered acceptable include plagiarism, re-use of previously assessed work, collusion with others and purchasing your assignment from a third party. For more information on academic offences, bad academic practice, and academic penalties, please read chapter four of our academic regulations.

 

 

Academic Support and Your Well-being

Referencing is the process of acknowledging other people’s work when you have used it in your assignment or research. It allows the reader to locate your source material as quickly and easily as possible so that they can read these sources themselves and verify the validity of your arguments. Referencing provides the link between what you write and the evidence on which it is based.

You identify the sources that you have used by citing them in the text of your assignment (called citations or in-text citations) and referencing them at the end of your assignment (called the reference list or end-text citations). The reference list only includes the sources cited in your text. The main referencing guide can be found here and includes information on the basics of referencing and achieving good academic practice. It also has tabs for the specific referencing styles depending on whether you require Harvard style used in business or OSCOLA style used by the Law school.

The University has a wealth of support services available to students; further information can be obtained from Student Gateway, the Student Advice Centre, Library and Learning Services and, most importantly, your Personal Tutor. If you are struggling with your assessments and/or deadlines please do seek help as soon as possible so that appropriate support and guidance can be identified and put in place for you. More information can be found on the Healthy DMU pages.

 

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