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Carry out external analysis (business environment and industry) to identify a set of Opportunities and Threats and assess industry attractiveness

Applied Corporate Strategy Assessment: Strategic Analysis Report

The module is assessed (100%) by an individual Strategic Report (maximum 3,000 words) involving an in-depth, strategic analysis of a large organisation. The subject of the report will be decided by the module convenor but students will be able to choose from a list of several examples.

Instructions for assessment

This assignment is focused on the selected organisation, its industry and business environment. By week 2 you will be given a list of organisations (cases) to choose from. Please choose one case (featuring an organisation) for the purposes of this assignment.

Formative work in weekly seminars will guide students through analytical techniques and processes required to complete the task.

The Strategic Report should address the following:

 1) Carry out external analysis (business environment and industry) to identify a set of Opportunities and Threats and assess industry attractiveness. (30%)

2) Analyse the resources and key competences of the organisation and identify core competences (key factors that may give the company its competitive advantage). (30%)

3) Choose one strategy that the company implemented recently and evaluate it using SAFe criteria. (30%)

A further 10% is available for clarity, structure, grammar, correct Harvard referencing and overall professional presentation showing clear report style.      

Please note that the emphasis is on application (strategic models should be applied to the organisation)! Appropriately referenced data should be used in support of your arguments and discussion.

The report should not exceed 3,000 words + 10%.  Appendices are allowed outside this limit but NO MORE than 6 pages.

How will we support you with your assessment?

There will be weekly references to the assessment task in seminars and weekly activities in those seminars will be helpful in creating “scaffolding” for eventual submission.

The formative mini-casework in seminars will be of direct help in the application of relevant strategic tools. There will be regular Q&A sessions linked to the assessment report and in the final weeks of teaching there will be an opportunity to review and reflect upon work from previous cohorts

How will your work be assessed?

Your work will be assessed by a subject expert who will use the marking scheme indicated below.  Feedback will be given in the Turnitin/Grademark system with script comments plus overall points. When you access your marked work it is important that you reflect on the feedback so that you can use it to improve future assignments.

In this Strategic Report, high marks come from using strategic concepts and analysis from the module clearly applied to the organisation. Harvard referencing, a professional report style plus appropriate diagrams/tables are also required. Outline marking expectations are as follows:   

Q1: (30%) External analysis.

Discuss the business environment and identify a number of Opportunities - Os and Threats - Ts (we expect 6 issues from business environment to be discussed in total each of which concluded as an O or a T). Industry analysis (5 Forces) should be applied to assess industry attractiveness (each force should be discussed and assessed as High, Moderate or Low and industry attractiveness should be assessed having those forces in mind).

Q2: (30%) Internal analysis.

Identify and discuss organisation’s resources & unique capabilities (at least 6 Strengths and Weaknesses should be covered in total). Demonstrate how unique capabilities link to competitive advantage (use VRIO to identify Core Competences for the organisation).

Q3: (30%) Strategy Evaluation

Choose a recent strategy that the company undertook and evaluate it using the three SAFe tests.

PRESENTATION: (10%) We expect a professional report with clear report style (not an essay) e.g. frontsheet, contents, clear sections, tables & diagrams and relevant Harvard referencing. The word count should not be exceeded by more than 10%.

(In addition to marker feedback, a full marking rubric will be available within the Turnitin submission system for student consideration.) 


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