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Critically assess the strategic impact of Supply Chain Management, and organization competitiveness in different industrial contexts

Faculty of Business and Law

Assignment Brief Mode C and Q Regulations 

Module Title:

Supply Chain Management Strategy


Assignment Number


Module Code:



Assignment Title

Course Work 1

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Assignment Weighting


Assessment Information 

This assignment is designed to assess learning outcomes:

  1. Critically assess the strategic impact of Supply Chain Management, and organization competitiveness in different industrial contexts (LO1).
  2. Apply knowledge and critical evaluation of organizational strategic direction to the development of Supply Chain and operations resources and capabilities (LO2). 
  3. Contrast and critically discuss different ways of assessing organizational and Supply Chain performance (LO5).

This assignment is an individual assignment.


You are employed as a senior supply chain management analyst by an organization of your own choice. You aim to develop a Supply Chain Strategy to support your organization’s competitive advantage strategy. Critically assess the strategic impact of Supply Chain Management, and organization competitiveness in different industrial contexts

The assignment requires you to:

1) A critical evaluation of the changes in the business environment that are affecting your firm (LO1).

2) A critical review of the firm’s current standing and the strategies employed in the supply chain (LO2).

3) Develop approaches and recommendations to improve the firm’s supply chain strategy (LO5).

You have been asked to produce a strategic management report to inform recommended supply chain strategies for your organization. This will include the implications and justified research-informed recommendations, concerning your organizations management of the supply chain.

Word Count and Structure

The word limit is 2,500 words for the assignment.

There will be a penalty of a deduction of 10% of the mark (after internal moderation) for work exceeding the word limit by 10% or more. Reports that are too short will also be penalized.

The word limit includes quotations and citations but excludes the references list.

Times New Roman 12 font with single line spacing should be used. The format should be a report following the below structure. Please remember to indicate:

  • Front page with university logo, report title, your name and student ID, time, total word count
  • Abstract (no more than 150 words)
  • Table of contents
  • Section 1: Introduction
  • Section 2: Analysis of business environment including, for example, PEST analysis, Porter’s five forces analysis, and corporate social responsibility (circa 800 words)
  • Section 3: Internal analysis including, for example, SWOT, VRIO, portfolio purchasing model, and stakeholder analysis (circa 800 words)
  • Section 4: Results from the internal and external analysis of supply chain and recommendation for supply chain strategy (circa 500 words)
  • Section 5: Conclusion (no more than 250 words)
  • References (not included in word count, CU Harvard style)

It is strongly recommended to reinforce your analysis by giving reference to academic articles. In the following, a list of journals with high relevance to supply chain management strategy is recommended.

  • Journal of Operations Management
  • Production and Operations Management
  • International Journal of Production Economics
  • International Journal of Production Research
  • Production Planning and Control
  • Journal of Purchasing and Supply Management
  • International Journal of Physical Distribution and Logistics Management
  • Supply Chain Management: An International Journal
  • Journal of Supply Chain Management
  • Journal of Business Logistics
  • International Journal of Operations and Production Management
  • Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management
  • Harvard Business Review

Criteria for Assessment

Critical analysis of business environment


Critical internal analysis of firm’s supply chain strategies


Relevant supply chain strategic approaches and recommendations


Justification/rationale, and research-informed content


Structure, clarity, and presentation of report




Marking and Assessment Scheme

Mark range


70 – 100%

In order to secure a mark in this range, a candidate must submit an outstanding answer that could hardly be bettered. In addition to the criteria identified below for a mark between 70-85%, an answer scoring a mark of 85-100% would show an excellent level of understanding and critical/analytic skills and originality. For example, such an answer would include new insights into Supply Chain Strategy which are not drawn from the literature but from the student`s own critical thinking, and which add something to the existing literature.

A report in this range will demonstrate a strong understanding of theories, concepts and issues relating to Supply Chain Strategy. There will be evidence of wide-ranging reading from a variety of valid sources (as described and presented in the marking criteria for 60-69%).

The assignment must be written in a clear, well-structured way with a coherent and seamless flow and show evidence of independent, critical thought. It must show extensive relevant reading on the subject and intelligent use of the material to present a well-balanced and well-argued assignment. For example, the student will have considered a range of relevant issues and be able to assess the strength and weaknesses of various approaches/arguments and put forward a confident and articulate view of their own.

60 – 69%

A report in this mark range will demonstrate a good understanding of the requirements of the assignment and of theories, concepts and issues relating to Supply Chain Strategy. An assignment in this percentage range will include a balanced discussion of issues central to the question, how these are addressed by different authors or sources and some critical thinking into their relative merits or shortcomings.

The answer will contain few errors and little, if any, irrelevant material. It will show evidence of reading from a variety of sources, but not so many sources that the discussion loses focus and becomes unclear or irrelevant. All sources should be of some academic merit (e.g. books, journals, reports, media publications). Unreferenced material from non-credible internet sources MUST be avoided.

All sources must be included and properly referenced in the references. The assignment will be well-organized and clearly written/presented overall.

50 – 59%

The answer will demonstrate some reasonable understanding of relevant theories, concepts and issues relating to Supply Chain Strategy but also some minor errors of fact or understanding.


The assignment will not be based on an extensive range of sources (for example few references are included), or much evidence that they have been read closely or well-understood. For example, the assignment will retell sources rather than analyze them.


The assignment may be quite general in part. Some errors may be present, and some irrelevant material may be included.


The report may not be particularly well-structured, and/or clearly presented and contain some spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. A few sentences may be unclear.

40 - 49%

A mark within this percentage range will be given to a report which:

-       shows some limited basic understanding of the subject but is incomplete. For example, if it answers one part of a question but not the rest.

-       makes only very general statements

-       includes some factual errors or misunderstandings e.g. confusion between different companies or misuse of certain key terms.

-       shows limited use of material with limited reading/research on the topic and includes only a very small number of references, not all of which are included in the references

-       includes spelling mistakes, is poorly structured with no clear argument and grammar mistakes making it difficult to understand.

-       includes some irrelevant material.

35 – 39%

A mark within this percentage range will be given to an assignment which:

-     includes only a limited amount of relevant material.

-     shows little evidence of reading or research on the topic. For example, the report includes only very few references, and relies only on material or case studies used during the course.

-     shows only a very basic understanding of the subject.

-     is poorly presented with bad grammar, some spelling mistakes and an incomplete reference list.

-     has a poor structure and does not flow e.g. if there is no conclusion or new facts are introduced in the conclusion rather than introduction or main discussion.

-     contains some fundamental errors.

20 – 34%

A poor fail on this assignment means the assignment submitted:

-     bears little relation to the assignment topic.

-     is poor and suggests that the student has spent very little time on it

e.g. if the answer is considerably under the word requirement and/or presented in note form rather than as a fully written up report.

-     shows a poor understanding of theories, concepts and issues relating to Principles of Strategy and to the learning outcomes detailed in this document.

-     contains some or many fundamental errors and misunderstandings of the academic or other material used. For example, many of the facts cited are incorrect.

-     uses literature or other material which is largely irrelevant or has no academic value

-     is poorly structured and poorly presented. For example, sentences may be hard to understand and contain many spelling or grammatical mistakes.

-     contains no references.

0 - 19%

Work within this mark range shows a complete failure to meet the requirements of the assignment. A mark in this range will be given for a report which:

-     is below 1000 words in length.

-     bears no link to the question chosen and shows very little or no knowledge or understanding of any of the theories, concepts and issues relating to Principles of Strategy. The answer may be fundamentally wrong or trivial.

-     contains no references and/or evidence of relevant reading.

-     shows little understanding of the requirements of the assignment and only a vague knowledge of the subject area.

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