SEMESTER TWO - 2021 / 2022
6MNST010W Strategic Perspectives For Finance and Accounting
Strategic Perspectives For Finance and Accounting
Via Blackboard, there will be 2 submission links: 1) Panopto Assignment link for presentations and 2) Turnitin link for supporting document.
DATE AND FORM OF FEEDBACK:
Group Video Recorded Presentation and MS Word Document
WORD COUNT / LENGTH OF PRESENTATION:
Group presentation 4 minutes maximum per each student; and supporting document up to 1000 words maximum.
LEARNING OUTCOMES ADDRESSED:
LO3. Apply knowledge about competitive and / or corporate and / or international strategies in different and unfamiliar contexts in order to generate novel solutions for the organisations.
LO4. Synthesise information about and select from a range of techniques in order to design and formulate sustainable strategic solutions for organisations.
LO5. Judge significance of evidence to support recommendations about evaluation and implementation of creative strategic options to real world business problems.
ASSESSMENT 2: GROUP PRESENTATION BRIEFING
1. ASSESSMENT SUMMARY:
Assessment 2 is a strategic pitch that is designed to assess students understanding of application of strategy theories and the structure of arguments to the analysis of a real organisation.
In this presentation, you will play a role as a group of newly graduated strategy consultants. Your manager has asked you to make a video recorded presentation for the consultancy clients, senior managers of a particular organisation. In this presentation you are asked to analyse and evaluate current and future business (competitive), corporate and / or international level strategy of a real organisation. Best presentations will be shown to the business owners and representatives of the companies.
This is a group work. Each group needs to choose one of two projects:
- Thai Imm Fusion Restaurant
- WBS and the launch of new MSc Social Enterprise
The briefings to the above two live projects are posted separately on Blackboard.
Even though this assessment is a group presentation, your mark will be individual according to the marking criteria. You will be required to sign a group learning contract when you form your groups in week 7.
This assessment is thought to help students to develop their employability skills. Please feel free to use your part of the presentation in your CV or when you apply for a graduate level job. Since you will present analysis of a live project of a real company this assignment will enhance your CV.
2. DETAILED ASSESSMENT GUIDE AND STRUCTURE:
Video group recorded presentation can include a combination of voice over PowerPoint slides and videos of students speaking embedded in the PowerPoint slides. It is important that your face and voice are seen and heard clearly, and that the PowerPoint slides have important information that you narrate during presentation.
Video format: You must submit an MP4 video file of your group’s presentation. Separate step-by-step guide will be uploaded on Blackboard closer to the submission date.
Length of presentation: 4 minutes maximum per each student.
Group size: ideally between 3 and 4 students per group.
1000-word handout: Each group member needs to submit an individual handout of the section that they explained. Your individual handout format should resemble a professional strategy document. It should not be written like speakers notes. The 1000 word limit includes everything apart from the references list at the end of the document.
Anonymous marking: this assessment is exempt from anonymous marking because the supporting document should summarise the ideas presented during the Strategic Pitch.
Proposed structure of the presentation:
As a group you will be planning your presentation together and receive advice from your seminar leader about the structure of your group’s presentation during the seminars in weeks 7 – 11.
Your group needs to start presentation with a slide that explains the main ideas of the presentation and introduce every member of the group. This slide can be audio narrated or shown as a written text only with a music background. Afterwards each student needs to present their ideas in several slides and explain them in embedded videos. LO3. Apply knowledge about competitive and / or corporate and / or international strategies in different and unfamiliar contexts in order to generate novel solutions for the organisations.
Each student needs to give advice to the business owner or company representative that will address the main questions, identified in the live project briefings. At the same time each student needs to apply theories taught in the module to demonstrate knowledge of relevant theories and engagement with the module materials.
Each student needs to suggest and analyse one business, corporate or international level strategy that the organisation should follow in the future. This strategic move needs to be phrased in practical terms and identified clearly in academics terms. For example, in practical terms a strategic move could be ‘provide a unique customer service’, and in academic terms this strategy can be identified as ‘differentiation’. Once you identify the strategy you should explain in detail how exactly customer service can be different from competitors and justify why you suggest this strategy. The same logic applies to other strategic moves.
Justification of the strategy needs to be analysed through elements of SAF (suitability, acceptability and feasibility) framework. Suitability or rationale of strategy means that you need to explain the main benefits of the strategy, by referring to the external and / or internal environment analysis. Acceptability means that the strategy needs to address risks, returns and reactions of most important stakeholders. To justify feasibility you should explain how the organisation can obtain necessary resources, if they do not already have them.
Each student in a group needs to suggest a different strategic move. This way each group will analyse and suggest 3 – 4 strategic moves for each organisation. For this reason, it is important that you initially work together as a group to identify what each student’s part will be. There should be no repetition of the suggested strategic moves in practical terms among different students. However, several students in the same group may analyse the same strategy in academic terms if they choose to do so. For example, several students might suggest that the company follows differentiation strategy, but this differentiation strategy can be explained by several strategic moves. These strategic moves could be for example:
- Providing unique customer service,
- Improving the quality of product ingredients,
- Improving reputation or developing brand image etc.
Differentiation strategy mentioned above is only an example. The list of strategy theories that you can apply will be covered in the lectures in weeks 4, 5 and 6. You can choose any relevant theory covered in this module.
The suggestions above are proposed only. Your group’s presentation structure might look differently. The most important aspect is to discuss your group’s presentation structure with your seminar leader, that will allow you to address the marking criteria (see below). Additional guidance and advice will also be given in the lectures.
Please note this assessment requires student engagement with the teaching team and the business clients. Just like any other consultancy project this assessment is not designed to be done in isolation.
Timeline for consultations with the seminar leaders:
You are encouraged to start thinking of who you want to work with in a group, and which project you want to choose from week 1. In the seminars in week 1, the students will be familiarised with the two live projects: (1) Thai Imm Fusion restaurant and (2) WBS and the launch of MSc Social Enterprise.
In weeks 2 – 6 seminars you will be encouraged to work with different students on different case studies. This will help you to identify who you prefer to form a group with.
In week 7 you will form a group in the seminars and will sign a learning contract on Blackboard. From this week onwards your seminar leader will guide you and answer your questions in the seminars every week.
Weeks 7 – 11 seminars are designed to help students get guidance and advice from the seminar leaders. As you progress with your research, it is expected that you will have questions every week, that will be answered by your seminar leaders.
Timeline for consultations with the business representatives
As you start working on your projects you are likely to develop questions about what the business owners and representatives’ priorities are. Or you may require additional information not stated in the live project briefings. For this reason, there will be two discussion boards open on Blackboard, one for each live project. The business representatives will answer your questions once a week every Wednesday in weeks 8 – 11 on the following dates:
- 16 March 2022
- 23 March 2022
- 29 March 2022
- 6 April 2022
In addition to the Discussion Board, the business representatives will also attend the week 10 lecture on 31 March 2022, where you will be able to ask questions live and receive immediate answers.
3. MARKING CRITERIA:
The pass mark for this assessment component is 40%. The marking criteria are as follows:
Justification of a choice of appropriate theory covered in this module
Application of theories to the analysis and clarity of explanation
Research and referencing
Presentation skills and quality of video
4. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
Please see advice below that will help you to address every marking criterion.
Justification of a choice of appropriate theory covered in this module
In order to demonstrate engagement with the module materials you need to use only those theories, that we have covered in the lectures in this module. Please do not use other theories, especially SWOT and other simpler theories, that are not covered in this module.
You do not need to explain a theory separately and in detail. However, you do need to briefly explain why you are applying a particular theory, and why it is relevant in your analysis. In other words, theory application needs to be clearly justified. Please discuss your particular part with the seminar leader or ask questions during the lectures.
Application of theories to the analysis and clarity of explanation
Theories need to be used as lens of analysis or framework for the analysis. The main focus of your advice should be on a future strategy. However, since strategy formation is a specific process, which we explain in this module, you may want to start by analysing what aspects of current strategy work well now. And then link it to the analysis of the future strategy. LO3. Apply knowledge about competitive and / or corporate and / or international strategies in different and unfamiliar contexts in order to generate novel solutions for the organisations.
Another way of structuring your arguments, is to start with the analysis of the main aspects of the external or internal environment, and then suggest a completely new strategy that would address external opportunities and risks and use core competencies of the organisation.
Every argument you make needs to be specific. Please avoid making generic advice. For example, if you think that the company needs to improve their customer service, please do not simply suggest that they obtain feedback from customers. Such advice is obvious and does not demonstrate any research or analysis on your part. In this example you will need to do research yourself and provide detailed advice on how the customer service can be improved.
All of your arguments need to be supported by evidence. This could be statistical data, qualitative research findings, such as those that can be found in the government reports or in other reputable sources.
If you conduct a primary research, such as opinion poll or interviews, explain briefly how many people participated in your research, how did you find the participants, how you conducted it (questionnaire, interviews, focus groups?) etc. There is no need to explain methodology in detail though.
Please discuss the logic of your arguments with your seminar leaders during the seminars.
Research and referencing
Please ensure that you reference the main theories in your analysis. Referencing sources from the Reading List on Blackboard is a good start, as it demonstrates engagement with the module materials. Please do not use Internet sources to reference theories. Use only academic journal articles or academic books to reference theories.
It is expected that you will do additional research that will support your arguments. Please use any sources with caution and assess their reliability before referencing them. If in doubt speak with your seminar leader or post a question on the discussion board. Websites such as Statista, Mintel etc. are examples of reliable practical websites. Other examples include business reports and information written and published on government websites.
Certain sources are clearly unreliable, and you should not reference them. These include Wikipedia, UKessays, Businessballs, personal blogs and other similar sources.
You need to have a balance between theoretical references and practical references. Balance does not mean 50% / 50% ratio of theoretical and practical sources. It means that you need to reference all theories that you have used in your analysis and to support your arguments with practical sources. For example, if you used only three theories in your analysis you might have only three references of these theories. At the same time, you might have 10 – 20 practical sources that support your arguments.
Use in-text citations in both written handout and inside the PowerPoint slides, and create a reference list following Westminster Harvard referencing (WHR) style in the handout only. Reference list should be in a single list in alphabetical order. Do not keep web references separate, do not forget the access dates for the latter. Do not use bullet points and numbering in the reference list.
Please check the part Avoiding Plagiarism below for more details.
Presentation skills and quality of video
Start by introducing yourself and the main idea of your part.
During the presentation, please pay attention to the following:
- organisation of ideas
- eye contact and facial expressions
- body language and hand gestures
- voice fluctuation, inflection, intonation, articulation and speed
- what you are wearing
Quality of video
Please pay attention to the following:
- amount of text in the PowerPoint slides
- visual aids, pictures, graphs, tables where appropriate
- annotation tools – pen / highlighter, use of animations / effects
- font type and size – Arial or similar, size 20-24 is recommended
- Headings and bullet points need to be specific but not long
- Avoid writing long sentences in the PowerPoint slides
- Embedded videos should not overlap with text
- Videos of students and PowerPoint slides should be clear, and not blurry
- Video background needs to be professional (no bed, wardrobe, shower, bath clothes hanging on the wall behind you or on your chair, etc.)
- Sound – make sure there are no distracting noises. If unexpected noises happen during the recording, record the video again.
One of the easiest ways to record a video presentation as an assignment, and the one recommended in this module, is to embed the videos into the PowerPoint presentation and then record it as an MP4 file.
Here are some of the YouTube videos that show how to do it:
How to Make a Video in PowerPoint - How to use Annotations & Highlight Text (PowerPoint that comes with Office 365)
How to Add Video to a PowerPoint Presentation For Dummies
PowerPoint: Inserting Audio
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pP3kTmsnbnY (PowerPoint 2019, PowerPoint 2016, and Office 365)
How to quickly record yourself with your laptop using the Win10 Camera app
How to Record Yourself with Built In Webcam on MacBook
Self-Recording Video Tutorial: How to Look and Sound Your Best
Professional handout quality and structure
- Handout is a summary of the important points rather than all the notes from your presentation.
- Handout is not speakers notes.
- Markers should be able to skim read your handout and identify most important information.
- Use elements of report structure.
- Include table of content.
- Include a short introduction to the document.
- Include a brief conclusion summarising the key pints of your analysis.
- You may include pictures, figures and tables if you want, these are included in the word count.
- Use headings and subheadings to show different levels of information (main points, supporting points, examples).
- Headings need to be specific. Avoid generic theoretical headings such as ‘differentiation strategy’ or ‘SAF’.
- You need to give enough time to create a professionally looking handout, that is proofread.
- 1.5-line spacing, 12-point text size Arial, Times New Roman or similar font, standard margins.
- Include a clear title page that explains:
- your part of analysis of the presentation, for example ‘Analysis of future diversification strategy of [the company]’.
- Your name and ID number
- Module code and title
- University of Westminster
- Word count
- Submission date
- Include in-text citations when you refer to an academic theory and a reference list at the end of the handout.
- Include page numbers.
- Do not write long sentences.
- Do not write long paragraphs. Structure of paragraphs needs to be clear.
- Do not write essay with headings.
The layout of your handout may be based on a strategy document. Please check these strategy documents for inspiration:
‘Being Westminster. Our Strategy 2018-2023’: https://www.westminster.ac.uk/sites/default/public-files/general-documents/Being-Westminster-Our-Strategy-2018-23.pdf
University of Oxford Strategic Plan 2018-23:
LSE 2030 (strategy document):
The lectures and seminars will help students to prepare for the presentation, and more details will be uploaded to Blackboard.
A more detailed assessment rubric is presented at the end of this assessment briefing.
5. TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES WITH SUBMISSION:
If you have a financial hold situation, please contact the Marylebone Registry to clarify how you should submit assessment in this situation: [email protected]
Please do not email your module leaders or your seminar leaders your coursework unless you have been asked to do so. The Registry does not accept such a submission in most cases. LO3. Apply knowledge about competitive and / or corporate and / or international strategies in different and unfamiliar contexts in order to generate novel solutions for the organisations.
If you are having technical difficulties with submission, and cannot submit the coursework on time log a call via the IT Service Desk that can be found on this webpage: https://www.westminster.ac.uk/current-students. Please make sure that your message is very specific. The Service Desk will then email you confirmation that you will be able to use as supporting written evidence for your MC claim.
You can also email module leader, Evgeniya Macleod ([email protected]) and ask for advice.
6. PENALTIES FOR LATE SUBMISSION:
Any assessment submitted late online will be penalised unless you submit a claim for Mitigating Circumstances (MC) and the claim is accepted by the Registry. Both parts of the assessment, video recorded presentation and MS Word Document handout, need to be submitted before the deadline. A submission of one part of the assessment will result in a loss of marks for the whole assessment.
Check this page for more information about the MC claims:
If you do not submit an MC claim or if your MC claim is rejected then the penalty for assessments submitted individually online within the 24 hours late period is a reduction of 10% of the overall marks available for the assessment, except for work which is marked in the range 40 – 49%, in which case the mark will be capped at the pass mark (40%).
Assessments submitted individually online more than 24 hours late will be given the mark 0%, unless the Mitigating Circumstances claim has been accepted officially by the Registry.
Please note that only the registry applies the penalties during the Board in June 2022. The teaching team will record a provisional mark on Blackboard without any penalties.
7. AVOIDING PLAGIARISM:
Your assignment must demonstrate your own work and ideas. You may use graphs and clipart as appropriate. All written work must be the work of the individual student. Similarities between the work of students will be reported as collusion.
Any quotations and references that you include in your assignment will be identified by the Plagiarism detection programme as being similar to other sources. Therefore, it is vital that you reference correctly.
Please check information about Westminster Harvard Referencing style here: https://libguides.westminster.ac.uk/referencing
Westminster Harvard Referencing Style booklet can be downloaded here:
Any evidence of plagiarism will be reported to the Academic Standards team.
Please see more information about plagiarism here: