Assignment 1 – title: strategic analysis

 

STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT SIM336

ASSIGNMENT 1 – TITLE: Strategic Analysis

Issue Date:

Due Date:                  

Learning outcomes:        Strategic analysis of an organization(s).

Synthesis of ideas or solutions relating to strategy issues

Skills outcomes:                Research skills

                                                Critical evaluation

                                                Creativity

                                                Communication

Moderated by:                 John Dixon-Dawson

All work submitted must adhere to the University Policy on ‘Cheating, Collusion and Plagiarism’

You must not submit an assignment that analyses the mobile phone industry and or a mobile phone company.

Task:

You are required to submit an individual report of 3,000 ±10% words, which can be based on an organization or idea of your own choice.

The strategic analysis must be related to a recognised aspect of business policy, strategic management or the philosophical underpinning of a particular methodology within the public or private sector strategic management domain.

If your analysis is of an organisation then do not submit a functional analysis; for example do not submit a strategic marketing analysis or a strategic human resource analysis. You should be applying the concepts and models from the topics that are within the module to your chosen organisation.

The report must be written in a recognised style, i.e. table of contents, introduction, main analysis, conclusions, recommendations, references and bibliography. You must apply the Harvard system of referencing in your report.

Objectives

To analyse a business policy or strategic management topic, to carry out individual research or evaluation of an organization.

Requirements

Meet the learning outcomes listed above, identify and critically analyse fundamental issues related to strategic management. Undertake a study that shows clear evidence of synthesis and evaluation.

There are a number of ways you might carry out this assignment: here are a few ideas:

  • Use a theoretical model to reflect upon the reality (practice) of a situation. Use theory to predict the outcomes of practice. Use practice to reflect upon / modify theory;
  • Compare theory and practice: Does M.E. Porter’s (1985) model of competition support the experience of practitioners? i.e. use a practical example /case / issue to reflect on Porter’s model(s) and examine success and / or failure.
  • A case study approach: Is the C.E.O. managing Microsoft as effectively as he might? i.e. do an analysis of Microsoft’s performance in  relation to declared (or undeclared) strategy and the efficacy of his strategy.
  • A recovery plan: My advice to the Chief Executive Officer of the Sony Corporation is ……i.e. suggest a way forward for the organization in light of their poor performance over the last 5 years.
  • A risk management strategy: My advice to British Petroleum’s Chief Executive Officer in light of their environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

These are merely examples of approaches you might take; thinking up your own ideas might be more productive and fun.

Assessment Criteria

Your seminar tutor on the basis of the following general criteria will assess the paper:

  • Content – the quality of research and analysis undertaken and the use of initiative in finding sources of information;
  • Process – the quality and clarity of the assignment and your ability to demonstrate command over the subject area and the development of a case or argument;
  • Discretion – additional credit may be awarded to a student who tackles a difficult subject well.

The assignment will be graded for individuals on the basis of the specific criteria outlined on the following page.

The “Presentation” element of the Generic Assessment Criteria will be used to assess the report structure.

These should be interpreted according to the level at which you are working and related to the assessment criteria for the module

Categories

Grade

Relevance

Knowledge

Analysis

Argument and Structure

Critical Evaluation

Presentation

Reference to Literature

Pass

86 – 100%

The work examined is exemplary and provides clear evidence of a complete grasp of the knowledge, understanding and skills appropriate to the Level of the qualification. There is also ample excellent evidence showing that all the learning outcomes and responsibilities appropriate to that Level are fully satisfied. At this level it is expected that the work will be exemplary in all the categories cited above. It will demonstrate a particularly compelling evaluation, originality, and elegance of argument, interpretation or discourse.

76-85%

The work examined is outstanding and demonstrates comprehensive knowledge, understanding and skills appropriate to the Level of the qualification. There is also

excellent evidence showing that all the learning outcomes and responsibilities appropriate to that level are fully satisfied. At this level it is expected that the work will be

outstanding in the majority of the categories cited above or by demonstrating particularly compelling evaluation and elegance of argument, interpretation or discourse.

70 – 75%

The work examined is excellent and is evidence of comprehensive knowledge, understanding and skills appropriate to the Level of the qualification. There is also

excellent evidence showing that all the learning outcomes and responsibilities appropriate to that level are satisfied At this level it is expected that the work will be

excellent in the majority of the categories cited above or by demonstrating particularly compelling evaluation and elegance of argument, interpretation or discourse.

60 – 69%

Directly relevant to

the requirements

of the assessment

A substantial knowledge of strategy material,

showing a clear grasp of themes, questions and

issues therein

A good strategic analysis,

clear and orderly

Generally coherent and logically structured, using an appropriate mode of argument and/or

theoretical mode(s)

May contain some distinctive or independent thinking; may begin to

formulate an independent position in relation to strategic theory

and/or practice.

Well written, with standard spelling and grammar, in a readable style with acceptable format

Critical appraisal of up-todate

and/or appropriate literature. Recognition of different perspectives.

Very good use of source material. Uses a range of sources

50 – 59%

Some attempt to address the requirements of

the assessment:

may drift away

from this in less

focused passages

Adequate knowledge of a fair range of relevant strategy material, with intermittent evidence of an appreciation of its

significance

Some analytical treatment, but may be prone to description, or to narrative, which

lacks clear analytical

purpose

Some attempt to construct a coherent argument, but may suffer loss of focus and consistency, with issues at stake stated only

vaguely, or theoretical mode(s) couched in simplistic terms

Sound work which expresses a coherent position only in broad terms and in uncritical

conformity to one or more standard views of strategy.

Competently written, with only minor lapses from

standard grammar, with acceptable format

Uses a variety of literature which includes some recent strategic texts and/or appropriate literature, though not necessarily including a substantive amount beyond library

texts. Competent use of source material.

40 – 49%

Some correlation with the requirements of the assessment but there are

instances of irrelevance

Basic understanding of

the strategy but addressing a limited range of material

Largely descriptive or

narrative, with little evidence of analysis

A basic argument is evident, but mainly supported by assertion

and there may be a lack of clarity and coherence

Some evidence of a view starting to be formed but mainly derivative.

A simple basic style but with significant  deficiencies in expression or format that may pose obstacles for the reader

Some up-to-date and/or appropriate literature used. Goes beyond the material tutor has provided. Limited use of sources to support a point.

Fail

35 – 39%

Relevance to the requirements of the assessment may be very

intermittent, and may be reduced to its vaguest and least challenging

terms

A limited understanding of a narrow range of strategic material.

Heavy dependence on

description, and/or on

paraphrase, is common

Little evidence of coherent argument: lacks development and may be repetitive or thin

Almost wholly derivative: the writer’s contribution rarely goes beyond simplifying paraphrase

Numerous deficiencies in

expression and presentation; the writer may achieve clarity (if at all) only by using a simplistic or repetitious style

Barely adequate use of literature. Over reliance on material provided by the tutor.

The evidence provided shows that the majority of the learning outcomes and responsibilities appropriate to that Level are satisfied – for compensation consideration.

30 – 34%

The work examined provides insufficient evidence of the knowledge, understanding and skills appropriate to the Level of the qualification. The evidence provided shows that some of the learning outcomes and responsibilities appropriate to that Level are satisfied. The work will be weak in some of the indicators.

15-29%

The work examined is unacceptable and provides little evidence of the knowledge, understanding and skills appropriate to the Level of the qualification. The evidence shows that few of the learning outcomes and responsibilities appropriate to that Level are satisfied. The work will be weak in several of the indicators.

0-14%

The work examined is unacceptable and provides almost no evidence of the knowledge, understanding and skills appropriate to the Level of the qualification. The evidence fails to show that any of the learning outcomes and responsibilities appropriate to that Level are satisfied. The work will be weak in the majority or all of the indicators.

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