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Clarify which approaches would enable the clearest communication of a new strategic approach. Choose 2 approaches. You must explain your reasoning.

1. Put yourself in the position of an advisor to the CEO of a major multi-national company. The CEO is having trouble with strategic recommendations. There are all sorts of models and analytical processes that can possibly be used – SWOT, PESTLE, BCG matrix, Ansoff matrix, Porter’s 5-forces, value chain, economic and financial forecasting, balanced scorecard, business model canvas and so on.

i) Clarify which approaches would enable the clearest communication of a new strategic approach. Choose 2 approaches. You must explain your reasoning. (15 marks)

ii) In developing a new strategy, which stakeholders need to be consulted? Identify at least 5 stakeholders and briefly explain why. (10 marks)

iii) On a forward-looking basis, recommend which strategic analysis tools can be used for monitoring and evaluating a new strategic approach. Recommend 2 analytical tools. (15 marks)

2.

i) What are ‘deliberate’ and ‘emergent’ approaches to strategy development? (10 marks)

ii) In a start-up business that has reached the stage where it has private-equity investors, identify the stakeholders and their position within the power/interest matrix or Mendelow’s Matrix. (10 marks)

iii) Given above, which has the dominant influence – emergent or deliberate strategy? Justify your answer. (10 marks)

3. A large UK-based pharmaceutical company is concerned about rising labour costs in production in the UK. You have been asked to consider some options.

i) Establish a business in another country or another place in the UK with lower labour costs? Briefly evaluate these possibilities. (20 marks)

ii) Engage in outsourcing? If so, where? Discuss the pros and cons of this strategy. (10 marks)

4. A large manufacturing corporation has decided to pursue an acquisition strategy to further its market growth. It has a hierarchical structure and has all members of its executive management who have developed from within the company. You have been asked by members of the management team to advise them on the implementation of this strategy.

i) Management team members seem to be excited by the possibilities of acquiring a new, agile and entrepreneurial business. Would this be an appropriate business to acquire, given that the organisational structures are very different in the two businesses? Justify your answer. (20 marks)

ii) What problems do you see emerging from an acquisition and how can these problems be addressed?

5. Analyse the influence of an organisation’s culture on its strategy using the cultural web. You need to discuss what is the cultural web in your answer.

i) Give a brief explanation of the cultural web. (5 marks)

ii) Discuss how culture, using the cultural web, affects the international strategic development process of an organisation. (15 marks)

iii) Give one example of this in the context of multi-national corporations, with a brief justification of your answer. (10 marks)

6. Critically analyse the ‘Exploring Strategy Framework’. In answering this question, you need to define and discuss what ‘strategy’ is. Where possible, use examples drawn from the literature to support your answers.

7. Compare and contrast ‘deliberate’ and ‘emergent’ strategy development. Include in your discussion the factors that may affect the ‘deliberate’ and ‘emergent’ strategy development.

8. Identify and assess different leadership styles, as related to strategic change.

9. Analyse the main ‘organisational structural types’ in terms of their strengths and weaknesses.

10. Analyse the influence of an organisation’s culture on its strategy using the cultural web. You need to discuss what is the cultural web in your answer.

11. If you would like to appraise the attractiveness of going into a sector, industry or market, and also for assessing the competitiveness of an organization you could use the Porter’s Five Forces Model. Apply the Porter’s Five Forces Model for a business of your preference. Based on your analysis, review the organisation’s strategy. Use relevant examples or literature. Define and discuss strategy in your answer.

12. Critically evaluate the benefits of the PESTEL framework for analysing the environment of a business.

13. In the process of assessing a competitive advantage, this can be evaluated using four attributes under the acronym VRIO. As a matter of example, assess the competitive advantage of a company of your preference, using the VRIO framework.

14. Critically compare and contrast the application of ‘deliberate’ and ‘emergent’ approaches to strategy and outline their role in the delivery of this aim. Where possible use examples drawn from the literature to support points you put forward.

15. “The use and application of a SWOT analysis is ‘blunt tool’ when applied to strategy management (McDonald, 2018)’’.

Critically evaluate this statement appraising issues and limitations associated with its use. What conclusions can reasonably be made about the use of this tool in strategy?

16. Critically explore the term ‘Strategic Management’. Using examples as appropriate, discriminate between prescriptive and emergent models and explain the factors affecting the successful application of each model.

17. Explore the practical application of SWOT Analysis as a strategic management tool, critically appraising issues and limitations associated with its use. What conclusions can reasonably be made, about the use of this tool in strategy?

18. “Innovation is often thought of as a lucky incident. But most successful innovations are the result of a disciplined process which sorts through many ideas” (Satpathy et al, 2015).

Critically evaluate this statement and the benefits, costs and risks of using ‘innovation’ to drive long-term organisational development, illustrating your answer with examples of how this approach to formulating and deploying strategy works in practice.

19. Comment critically on the idea that ‘Core Competence’ is an essential component in developing Sustainable Competitive Advantage (SCA) for an organisation. Use examples from the literature to support your arguments.

20. “Strategy is the comprehensive action plan that identifies the long-term direction for an organization and guides resource utilization to accomplish organizational goals with sustainable competitive advantage” (McCuddy 2007).

Compare and contrast two models or theoretical approaches available to managers to assess the competitive position of an organisation to fulfil this requirement. Comment critically on the benefits and limitations of each model/approach and apply your response in context where possible.


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