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You are to complete a series of analyses of Nippn, the industry they operate within and its environment. You should then develop conclusions from your findings. All of the activities below form the first component of your portfolio.


In this module will enable you to explore the process of creating, evaluating and developing strategy and operations. You will be introduced to the challenges and practices associated with becoming strategic leaders and how organizations manage their operations.

At the end of this module, students will be able to:


  1. Demonstrate critical understanding of the theory and practice of strategic development and operations.
  2. Evaluate the impact of current and emerging trends on organizations.

Thinking skills

  1. Demonstrate the ability to effectively analyse problems and issues employing a range of appropriate concepts, theories and approaches.
  2. Analyse and synthesize contextual information.
  3. Think strategically and assess the impact of strategic change processes.

Subject-based practical skills

  1. Apply tools and techniques of strategic and operations analysis.
  2. Explain how to influence the strategic direction of an organization.

Skills for life and work (general skills)

  1. Developing succinct business reports.
  2. Judging complexity, diversity, and a multiplicity of perspectives accommodated in management decisions.


This module is core to your MBA and is normally one of the first that you will study, meaning there are no pre-requisite modules. During the difficulties the pandemic has created for travel, it is possible that students will be accepted onto the MBA quite late in the term.

However, it is in the student’s interest to defer commencing their studies until next term if they arrive after week 3. Catching up any missed material would pose a significant challenge.

Dual Delivery

The University offers all of its classes both in person and remotely. However remote delivery is for those who are instructed to self-isolate or other extreme unavoidable situations. For further information: https://uelac.sharepoint.com/sites/home/SitePages/Dual-Delivery-2.0.aspx

Microsoft Teams will be used to co-ordinate group discussions during your seminars. This will facilitate the seamless transition to online learning should it become necessary at any time.

Your Lectures

The module is structure in such a way that your lectures all provide the necessary learning for your assessment, but you should also complete the recommended reading because lectures cannot deliver the same amount of detail, and miss some topics entirely. Historically, students tend to think that they can just look up the required material online and work from there, but we know that this approach tends to result in a disjointed piece of work with critical errors. Please do not underestimate the value of attending your lectures

Your Seminars

Your seminars are vitally important. This is where you will have the opportunity to practice applying the theories and concepts taught in the lectures and ensuring you understand them. Seeing as the lectures relate to different stages of your assessment, active participation is vital so that when you to do it for yourself for your assessment, you will have the confidence of knowing what is expected. Your seminar tutor sometimes has further material to present which adds further understanding to the topic in question, and you will always find that there is an activity you cannot afford to miss.

Keeping up with your studies.

Materials are provided on a weekly basis, and there are regular tasks for you to complete as part of your submission for your portfolio. It is important that you keep up with your studies. Managing strategy and operations is complex, involving numerous concepts and stages. The subject matter moves quickly through the weeks, so even if you are not attending class face to face, you do need to engage with the materials that are provided for you in Moodle. If you miss classes, you will have everything you need in Moodle to help you catch up.

For the most effective learning.

You will find that each area within Moodle is divided into different types of task. Complete them in the given order to make sure that foundations are put in place in an order that has been designed to help you build your learning.

Announcements are made through Moodle. These will be sent to your university webmail account, which you should monitor regularly to stay abreast of any changes that we have to make. These are naturally kept to the minimum, but with the current pandemic, we might find they are unavoidable.


Moodle is our primary way of delivering your teaching materials, the material is organised in a way that facilitates easy access to relevant materials. You are advised to look at the materials in the section labelled Module Introduction. You will probably only need to refer back to it if you have a specific question. Do however read all of this handbook.

Frequently Asked Questions

This should be where you find answers to your questions for a whole range of issues from how to study and how to upload assessments to how to interpret results. Please do not email staff if the answer is in the FAQ. The team have been instructed not to respond, because it is the only way we can look after the needs of such a large cohort of students. You will find the same approach is taken in many company web sites.

There is provision for you to post your question under the FAQ’s I will monitor that site and provide responses there. If it proves to be a common problem, I will add it to the FAQ. Please remember that he University is a large institution and its framework applies to the entire student body. Please do not ask staff to modify anything to your particular situation. I explain the regulations in the FAQ and they can not be changed on an individual basis


In this area you will find the assessment brief extracted from this handbook. Page numbering will naturally be different, but all other details are the same. You will also find the Turnitin sites where you submit your assessments and links to support material providing guidance for critical processes that you need to undertake.

Please make sure that you look at the material on the page that instructs you how to get to reports and results and how to make sense of what you see.


The teaching schedule along with a summary of the core theories and concepts that are covered, and the core activities that count towards your portfolio that is in this handbook is repeated in this section.

Recorded lectures

You will find recorded lectures are an essential part of your learning. These might not be identical to your face to face lecture, but they will contain similar material. They can be found in the Engage section for each week.

Your questions

We want to make sure you are supported as well as possible. This includes answering your questions, but it is very difficult to do this when we get multiple emails asking the same question (possibly tailored to your exact personal situation). Please observe the following:

  • Please do not email staff through Moodle if you are wanting an answer. The email we would receive is “Do not reply”. We cannot simply reply to your email.
  • Please do not email multiple members of staff / departments with your query. It simply means that multiple staff will respond, which and multiplies our work, You will find that you often get an automated response explaining that response to your email might be delayed because of the volume of emails being received. The FAQ and request not to email multiple staff are both in place in order to help us be more responsive to your queries



You are to submit an individual portfolio that includes a variety of activities leading to the development of strategic proposals at both corporate and operational level for Nippn; https://www.nippn.co.jp/en/news/index.html

You should only focus on the company activity as described in the above web pages, and assume the date of 2019 (the date of the latest company report): You should ignore any reference to issues that have resulted from the pandemic.

Please be aware that there are other companies with a similar name.

Weighting: 100%

Due date / time: 3.1.22 / 3.00 pm.

Learning outcomes assessed: 1 – 9 (refer to pages 5 and 6) Details of the task

Component 1: 50% of the portfolio mark.

You are to complete a series of analyses of Nippn, the industry they operate within and its environment. You should then develop conclusions from your findings. All of the activities below form the first component of your portfolio.

You should submit your activities for feedback, ideally by the target dates provided below. This will allow you to improve your work before you submit it in your portfolio for marking. Feedback will be generic so that you can learn to assess your own work against university standards.

You are also provided with indicative word counts. As with the word count for the portfolio, you are advised to adhere to these with flexibility of ± 10%. Where these apply to tables, the word count relates to the rows that you complete. Marks will be awarded for the degree to which you have adhered to the instructions in this assessment brief. If you exceed the word count more than this we reserve the right to stop marking at the word count.

You will find that you have access to the feedback even if you do not submit your work for feedback. However we also award marks for submitting the work by the target date so not getting these done as the term progresses not only undermines your learning but it undermines your mark as well.

Important note: Whilst these submissions are for feedback only, the process of submitting them attracts marks. Higher marks are earned for submissions by the target date than those that are submitted later in the term

Activity 1: Target date 3.00 pm, 15.10.21.

An analysis of the implications of the vision of the organisation. 20 marks

Complete the table below.

  1. Describe the vision of the organisation (A short statement of 50 words) and place it in the first row.
  2. Analyse the organisation characteristics (4Vs) and the desirable performance attributes (SQFD&C) (450 words)



Quality (4 Vs & SQFD&C)

Evaluation (e.g High / moderate / low)

Description & Justification Provide evidence from the case study to support your evaluation, using technical terms where appropriate.

Link it to the vision or the nature of the operation.


Given the nature of the operation, how would you expect the operation to be structured?

  • Show that you are familiar with the taught concepts.
  • You are not asked for recommendations.









Use one row per characteristic. You will need to add further rows.

Activity 2: Target date 3.00 pm, 5.11.21

Your activity this week consists of two parts. They should be submitted on one document.


Key issues affecting the organisation

Impact and Implication

Eg industry 4 / sustainability etc

Eg. Potential legislation to reduce the use of plastic.


  • The potential impact on operation.
  • Whether it is a high priority to address (threat or opportunity)
  • Identification of factors that would aid or hinder response to the opportunity or threat.








Activity 2a:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          An evaluation of opportunities and threats posed by megatrends.                                                                                              15 marks Complete the table below. (400 words)

Add further rows as require

Activity 2b:                                                                        

Proposed recommendation for the operation and evaluation of the impact of your recommendation on stakeholders.                                                                                                  15 marks The table below should be based on a high priority megatrend identified in activity 3a.

Complete the table below. (300 words)


(Just its title)


Recommendation  Recommend one change that should be made to the operation in order to address the impact of the megatrend. It should not be

something that the organisation is already doing.



Explain how your earlier analysis shows this change is needed


Potential implications.

This should consider risks and impact on at least 3 stakeholders.


Activity 3: Target date 3.00 pm, 19.11.21

A critical evaluation of the level of integration maintained by the organisation with consideration of viable options.                                                                                                  10 marks

Right that’s

This should be presented as a concise report without the use of any table. (500 words).

Activity 4: Target date 3.00 pm, 3.12.21

Important Note: For all sections of this activity you should focus on the industry, not the organisation. Make sure you know the difference.

A critical analysis of the industry environment.  (800 words)                                                                                                       40 marks
  • Complete the tables below, adding rows as needed.
  • The marks below indicate how the 40 marks are distributed.
  • Do not repeat the content of your prior work, but bear any findings that also apply to the industry in mind when developing survival and success factors.

Identification of the industry in question.


Environmental Factor

Political / Economic etc

Issue(s) pertinent to the industry.

Implications for the industry







15 mark

Porter’s Force


Justification/ Reasons for your decision about the strength







10 marks


Stage in the industry life cycle (just its title)




5 marks



Survival factor

Success factor







10 marks

Component 2. 35% of the portfolio mark

Propose a corporate strategy for Nippn that will apply for the next 10 years. Submit a report of 2500 words (± 10%):

Critically assess the competitive advantage of Nippn stemming from their strategy:

  • Use the tools taught during the term to identify and evaluate the factors that contribute to their competitive advantage.
  • Develop issues pertinent to Nippn in the light of the success factors developed in component 1. You are to complete a series of analyses of Nippn, the industry they operate within and its environment. You should then develop conclusions from your findings. All of the activities below form the first component of your portfolio.

Do not repeat any of your prior analyses                                                                                              (750 words)

Prioritise the issues and select two of them.

  • Develop at least three options relevant for the corporate strategy.
  • Assess these options using RACES (Not RACE) and create a proposal.
  • Include an explanation of the resultant strategic direction of Nippn.
(800 words)

Defend your proposal and preferred strategic direction by explaining why each of the relevant stages you have undertaken for this assessment was needed in order to ensure your proposal is robust.                                                                      (700 words)


Please note

The above word counts are recommendations. They are 250 words short of the full wordcount for the report to accommodate the need for a concise introduction and conclusion. The overall wordcount should be observed ± 10%. We will stop marking at this point when scripts exceed this.

Your report should be organised under appropriate sub headings and should contain no more than three tables used for the assessment of the strategy. You are to complete a series of analyses of Nippn, the industry they operate within and its environment. You should then develop conclusions from your findings. All of the activities below form the first component of your portfolio.

Component 3. 15% of the portfolio mark

Throughout the term you will have had quizzes and formative submissions to complete. You are required to submit evidence that you have completed these core activities as indicated below.

You are to submit:

  • A screen shot of your formative submissions.
  • A screenshot of your quiz results (Make sure you include your name)
Formative submissions:

Take a screenshot of the entry in Turnitin. Make sure it includes your name.

Quiz results:

Go to the side panel in Moodle by clicking on

Find the Activities area and click on the +

Select Quizzes and take a screen shot of the results.

Do remember to include your name and make sure that the text in the screenshot is legible.

Presentation is included in the mark for component 3.

Your work should be word processed in accordance with the following:

Font size 12, using a sans serif font such as Arial or similar

1.5  line spacing

The page orientation should be ‘portrait’

Margins on both sides of the page should be no less than 2 cm Pages should be numbered

All tables should be presented as requested. They should not be altered, although the text in italics can be removed.

If the report contains tables they should be constructed in such a way that their contents are easily communicated.

Your name should not appear on the script

Your student number should be included on every page.


Assessment criteria:


Component 1 (50%)

Analysis of the operation against the vision.


Evaluation of the role of integration


Evaluation of megatrends


Proposal and evaluation


Evaluation of the external environment.


Identification of survival and success factors.



Component 2 (35%)

Evaluation of the strategy                                                                                            40%

Proposal                                                                                            30%

Defence of proposal                                                                                            30%


Component 3 (15%)

Formative submissions                                                                                            20%

Core quizzes                                                                                            40%

Presentation                                                                                            40%

Refer to the next page for further detail in the rubric.


How to submit your work:

All submissions for this component(s) of this Module must be submitted according to these instructions. If you fail to submit this component as directed, a mark of 0 will be awarded for the component.

You should submit your work to the Turnitin site in the Assessment and Feedback area in Moodle. You should check that you have access to the site at least a week before the first submission and email me at [email protected] if you can not do so.

You will be given the opportunity to submit stages of your work as formative submissions.

You should submit all of the components of your portfolio in one Word document to the Turnitin site in Moodle for your tutor which is in the Assessment and Feedback area in Moodle.

Return of your work:
Formative submissions

Feedback will be provided beneath the Turnitin site where you submitted your work. This will be between 1 and 2 weeks after submission.

Your final submission.

We aim complete the marking and feedback within 3 weeks of submission. When this can not be achieved then we will hide the site from your view and inform you when it is available. You should make sure that you do not just note your grade, but also you should click on the pencil next to it in order to see the feedback on your work. The marks should be read in conjunction with the rubric overleaf.


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