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You will be required to undertake a detailed evaluation of an existing small or medium sized enterprise SME of your choice

 

 

 

Assignment Brief

 

Module Title:

Managing and Leading SMEs

Module Code:

 

Assignment No/Title:

Real Life Case Study-individual Report

Assessment Weighting:

50%

Submission Date:

 

Feedback Target Date:

15 days after submission

Module Co-ordinator/

Tutor:

 

Word count

2,000

Submission Instructions:

This assignment is to be submitted electronically

 

  1. This assignment must be submitted electronically by 2 pm on the submission date
  2. To submit electronically you must upload your work to the e-submission area within the respective module on Moodle.
  3. Multiple drafts can be submitted up to the submission date.
  4. Please remember you must leave at least 24 hours between submissions if you make changes to your work. Each submission will overwrite the previous one until the due date and time has passed.
  5. You are reminded of the University’s regulations on cheating and plagiarism. In submitting your assignment, you are acknowledging that you have read and understood these regulations.
  6. You are reminded that it is your responsibility to keep an electronic copy of your assignment for future reference.
  7. Your citation needs to follow the Harvard style referencing.

The Assignment Tasks

Real Life Case Study-Individual Report

The assessment consists of a formative and a summative element.

  1.  Formative Assessment
  2.  Summative Assessment
  • The formative task is there to help you complete the summative assessment task successfully. 
  • The formative process is important because it will help you address the task more fully and therefore contributes to your learning and understanding of  how to manage and small and medium enterprise and help you develop your business development & planning skills in relation to SMEs.
  • This task is an individual piece of work. This assignment is designed to give students some exposure to Secondary data analysis. This will hopefully encourage students to carefully ground their work in the experiences of real-life entrepreneurs or small business owners.  As always though, this is an academic piece of work, and as such it is expected that students will engage actively with the academic literature in this area.
  • You will be required to undertake a detailed evaluation of an existing small or medium sized enterprise SME of your choice (SME; to be agreed with your tutor in advance).
  • The SME can be any business that conforms to the definition of an SME.
  • You should critically evaluate the small and medium sized business start-up process and then design a growth/development strategy for the business.
  • You will present your findings in a report and make clear and costed recommendations
  • During  the evaluation and analysis of your chosen SME, you should try to determine the following during the research:

1) The SME Background and SME start-up processes.

2) The business concept and any sources of competitive advantage (including any use of e-commerce if appropriate)

3) The current level of demand and the competitive environment

4) Conduct a SWOT analysis for your SME and  identify the current growth and development strategy

5) Managing and running small and medium enterprise:

a) Suggest a suitable leadership style/styles that entrepreneur/ small business owner could use to take the company through its next stage of growth and development. Give reasons using suitable theory/theories and at least one journal article that talks about leadership for entrepreneurs.

b) Suggest a suitable organisational culture type that entrepreneur/ small business owner could use to take the company through its next stage of growth and development. Give reasons using suitable theory/theories and at least one journal article that talks about leadership and organisational culture .

6) Your proposal for the future growth/development strategy for the SME

  • You should make use of all available sources and current thinking on SMEs should be central to your analysis and illustrated with reference to current articles from relevant journals and from broadsheet newspapers (e.g. Financial Times ). Use should be made of the library’s electronic databases such as Science direct, Emerald, etc. 
  • You should apply theoretical concepts and models relating to the entrepreneurial process and to the various stages of growth and development of the business
  • Once you have done your research you will need to write your report in which you will present your findings and your recommendations for the future growth and development for the business. 

You are advised to adopt the following structure for the report:

  • Title page: Include module title, the names of the SME discussed, student ID number and the total word count (excluding bibliography)
  • Contents page
  • Introduction: this should include some background on the SME and entrepreneur(s), and SME start-up processes. The business concept and any sources of competitive advantage. You may wish to include details such as the type of business, size, how long it has been trading, etc. Students should also give a brief account here of the research process (focusing primarily on the  Secondary data collection). 
  • Findings: here the results of the research need to be presented. This should include  the evaluation and analysis of the current competitive environment. The SWOT analysis and the SMEs current growth and development strategy. Suggestion  of  suitable leadership style(s) and organisational culture typology that entrepreneur/ small business owner could use to take the company through its next stage of growth and development. Students are also expected to consistently support their work with reference to appropriate sources (cited in accordance with the Harvard referencing convention).
  • Conclusions: this should follow logically on from the findings and provide a concise summary of them.  No new information should be presented here.
  • Recommendations: here students should present their proposals for the future growth and development of their SMEs.  Work should be supported with reference to appropriate sources.
  • References and Bibliography: you should be discerning about your sources of information and ensure that all references conform to the Harvard convention.

Mark Distribution :

1-    Introduction

10 %

2-    Findings

50%

3-    Conclusions

10%

4-    Recommendations

20%

5-    Reference and Structure

10%


  1. 3.   
    Assessment Checklist

 The Assessment checklist is designed to monitor your weekly progression during seminar classes in order to help you complete the summative assessment task successfully.

 Student Assessment Checklist

Mark

Comment

Weekly progression

Introduction

This should include:

  • Background on the SME
  • SME start-up processes
  • Business Concept
  • Any sources of competitive advantage

10%

 

 

Findings

This should include:

  • The current level of demand and the competitive environment
  • Conduct a SWOT analysis for your SME
  • Identify the current growth and development strategy
  • Suggest a suitable leadership style/styles that entrepreneur/ small business owner could use to take the company through its next stage of growth and development.
  • Suggest a suitable organisational culture type that entrepreneur/ small business owner could use to take the company through its next stage of growth and development.

50%

 

 

 

Conclusions

  • A concise summary of the main findings and a detailed evaluation of the implication for the business. 
  • No new information should be presented here.

10%

 

 

Recommendations

  • You should present your proposal for the future growth/development strategy  for the SME
  • Work should be supported with reference to appropriate sources.

20%

 

 

Reference and Structure

  • Adheres to a recognised report format and remains within the specified word count
  • Spelling and grammar is accurate
  • Citations and references adhere to the Harvard convention
  • Integration of theory and practice consistently throughout the report
  • Work is logically structured and coherent throughout

Plagiarism, Referencing & Turnitin

All materials about plagiarism, referencing and Turnitin can be found on the   link below

https://libguides.lsbu.ac.uk/marketing/referencing

10%

 

 

           

Assessment Criteria:

Each task is being marked according to the following rubric: -

 

Marking Scheme

Application of course concepts, and evidence of background reading and research (including literature review).

Discussion and analysis of key issues in the case, calculation and solutions

Coherent argument, logical structure, overall presentation of the report, and referencing

%

40

50

10

Excellent

A

Extensive knowledge and understanding of small business challenges and issues.  Management process  presented with the exploration and critique of information/ideas from a comprehensive range of sources. Very Good literature review in connection with references to textbook and website material.

Demonstrates a very good level of argument with critical judgement in the analysis, evaluation, synthesis and findings evaluated critically, rigorously, and fully discussed in context with research. Exceptional research and excellent information collected and analysed in full

Well-structured arguments with good design of the sections with well structure diagrams and flow of the report .Very good  range of background reading with very good referencing consistently accurate to a recognised standard.

Good

B

Good knowledge and understanding of small business challenges and issues.  Management process  presented with the exploration and critique of information/ideas from a comprehensive range of sources. Good literature review in connection with references to textbook and website material.

Demonstrates a good level of argument with critical judgement in the analysis, evaluation, synthesis and findings evaluated critically, rigorously, and fully discussed in context with research. Good l research and good amount  information collected and analysed in full

Well-structured arguments and design with reasonable flow of the report.

Good  range of background reading with good referencing consistently accurate to a recognised standard.

Fair

C

Fair understanding of small business challenges and issues.  Management process  presented with the exploration and critique of information/ideas from a comprehensive range of sources. Fair literature review  presented in connection with references to textbook and website material.

Demonstrates a fair level of argument with critical judgement in the analysis, evaluation, synthesis and findings evaluated critically, rigorously, and fully discussed in context with research. Fair research and fair amount  information collected and analysed in full

Fair structure , design and reference.

Weak

D

Some understanding of small business challenges and issues. Management process  presented with the exploration and critique of information/ideas from a comprehensive range of sources. Fair literature review  presented in connection with references to textbook and website material.

Demonstrates some  level of argument with critical judgement in the analysis, evaluation, synthesis and findings evaluated critically, rigorously, and fully discussed in context with research. Some evidence of research and some information collected and analysed in full

Poor structure and design with a reasonable flow of ideas

Poor

E or below

Barely any investigation into the background

No reasoning and no ideas of their own

Lack of all the above

         

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