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1. Using the Ashridge Sense of Mission Model analyse the case evidence to interpret whether Twitter’s strategy show signs of a weak or strong sense of mission.

Assessment – Coursework

Part A

In Part A, we assess learning outcomes related to topics 1, 2, 3, 7 & 10 by providing you with case study information on the leadership and strategic development processes which operate within the innovative context at Twitter.

The purpose of this brief is to provide you:

  • Details of the coursework assessment: background to the case and questions
  • Information on presentation and submission date.
  • Guidelines to assist you in answering the questions
  • The assessment marking criteria and feedback sheet for Part A


1. Using the Ashridge Sense of Mission Model analyse the case evidence to interpret whether Twitter’s strategy show signs of a weak or strong sense of mission.

2. Using relevant strategic decision-making theory, analyse Twitter’s existing strategic decisions to interpret if Twitter have pursued a deliberate or emergent strategy. In your answer, discuss to what extent you believe Twitter have built and sustained a long-term competitive advantage.

Question 1 asks you to critically review if Twitter has achieved a strong sense of mission. The question specifically asks you to use the Ashridge Sense of Mission model which part of your prescribed reading for unit is 2. Specifically you should apply and discuss the four elements of mission (Ashridge model) to Twitter. When considering purpose and strategy, you should analyse the case evidence on mission, values and strategy. When doing this avoid being overly descriptive on the content of Twitter’s strategy as you will soon exceed the word limit. Attempt to develop arguments and, if necessary, include supporting details in appendices. More crucially, you must address the central issue in the question of how the fifth element, a sense of mission, is achieved through the alignment of the employees’ personal values with the organisation’s identity and values. In doing this, consider the role played by the leadership and management approach at Twitter – particularly discussed in sources 2, 3, & 4 – to integrate the elements of mission, behavioural standards and values of the organisation, with those of the employees. You will also need to evaluate Twitter’s mission based on the company’s recent expansion and strategic developments to express and justify your opinion on whether Twitter have a achieved a strong sense of mission.

To answer question 2 you will need to write a short essay by drawing on your learning of strategic decision-making theory and your prescribed reading from Johnson et al, chapter 12. Initially, you should commence your research by reading and examining the case evidence in order to identify a list of Twitter’s strategic decisions. Once you have identified a list of these decisions in chronological order, your essay discussion should focus on how this decision-making relates to deliberate and/or emergent forms of strategy development. When doing this avoid being overly descriptive on the content of these decisions. Instead, you should ensure that the use the relevant theory to structure your discussion of case evidence. To develop your arguments further, a brief distinction between deliberate and intended strategy would be useful, followed by an in-depth discussion on which approach most closely resembles Twitter’s strategic development. To reach conclusions on Twitter’s competitive advantage, you should consider the sources of their competitive advantage (e.g. cost leadership, differentiation, focus etc.) and whether this has been sustained (e.g. through various types of isolating mechanisms). See Grant (2012), Chapter 7 and Unit 7 on Strategic Decision-Making in Innovative Contexts for further guidance.

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