STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT SIM336
ASSIGNMENT 1 – TITLE: Strategic Analysis
Due Date: TBC, Week commencing 17th November 2014
Learning outcomes: Strategic analysis of an organization(s).
Synthesis of ideas or solutions relating to strategy issues
Skills outcomes: Research skills
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.
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.
To analyse a business policy or strategic management topic, to carry out individual research or evaluation of an organization.
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 Steve Ballmer, 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.
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.
Generic Assessment Criteria – Undergraduate
These should be interpreted according to the level at which you are working and related to the assessment criteria for the module
Argument and Structure
Reference to Literature
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.
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
of the assessment
A substantial knowledge of strategy material,
showing a clear grasp of themes, questions and
A good strategic analysis,
clear and orderly
Generally coherent and logically structured, using an appropriate mode of argument and/or
May contain some distinctive or independent thinking; may begin to
formulate an independent position in relation to strategic theory
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
may drift away
from this in less
Adequate knowledge of a fair range of relevant strategy material, with intermittent evidence of an appreciation of its
Some analytical treatment, but may be prone to description, or to narrative, which
lacks clear analytical
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.
35 – 39%
Relevance to the requirements of the assessment may be very
intermittent, and may be reduced to its vaguest and least challenging
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.
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.
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.