STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT SIM336
ASSIGNMENT 1 – TITLE: Strategic Analysis
|8th November 2013
6th January 2014
|Learning outcomes:||Strategic analysis of an organization(s).
Synthesis of ideas or solutions relating to strategy issues
Skills outcomes:Research skills
Moderated by: John Dixon-Dawson
All work submitted must adhere to the University Policy on ‘Cheating, Collusion and Plagiarism’
You must not submit an assignment that analyses the mobile phone industry and or a mobile
You are required to submit an individual report of 3,000 ±10% words, which can be based on an
organization or idea of your own choice.
The strategic analysis must be related to a recognised aspect of business policy, strategic
management or the philosophical underpinning of a particular methodology within the public or
private sector strategic management domain.
If your analysis is of an organisation then do not submit a functional analysis; for example do not
submit a strategic marketing analysis or a strategic human resource analysis. You should be
applying the concepts and models from the topics that are within the module to your chosen
The report must be written in a recognised style, i.e. table of contents, introduction, main
analysis, conclusions, recommendations, references and bibliography. You must apply the Harvard
system of referencing in your report.
To analyse a business policy or strategic management topic, to carry out individual research or
evaluation of an organization.
Meet the learning outcomes listed above, identify and critically analyse fundamental issues
related to strategic management. Undertake a study that shows clear evidence of synthesis and
There are a number of ways you might carry out this assignment: here are a few ideas:
Use a theoretical model to reflect upon the reality (practice) of a situation. Use theory to
predict the outcomes of practice. Use practice to reflect upon / modify theory;
Compare theory and practice: Does M.E. Porter’s (1985) model of competition support
the experience of practitioners? i.e. use a practical example /case / issue to reflect on
Porter’s model(s) and examine success and / or failure.
A case study approach: Is Steve Ballmer, C.E.O. managing Microsoft as effectively as he
might? i.e. do an analysis of Microsoft’s performance in relation to declared (or
undeclared) strategy and the efficacy of his strategy.
A recovery plan: My advice to the Chief Executive Officer of the Sony Corporation is
……i.e. suggest a way forward for the organization in light of their poor performance over
the last 5 years.
A risk management strategy: My advice to British Petroleum’s Chief Executive Officer in
light of their environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.
These are merely examples of approaches you might take; thinking up your own ideas might be
more productive and fun.
Your seminar tutor on the basis of the following general criteria will assess the paper:
Content – the quality of research and analysis undertaken and the use of initiative in
finding sources of information;
Process – the quality and clarity of the assignment and your ability to demonstrate
command over the subject area and the development of a case or argument;
Discretion – additional credit may be awarded to a student who tackles a difficult subject
The assignment will be graded for individuals on the basis of the specific criteria outlined on the
The “Presentation” element of the Generic Assessment Criteria will be used to assess the report
Generic Assessment Criteria – Undergraduate
These should be interpreted according to the level at which you are working and related to the assessment criteria for the module
|Grade||Relevance||Knowledge||Analysis||Argument and Structure||Critical Evaluation||Presentation||Reference to Literature|
|Pass||86 – 100%||The work examined is exemplary and provides clear evidence of a complete grasp of the knowledge, understanding and skills appropriate to the Level of the qualification. There is also ample excellent evidence
showing that all the learning outcomes and responsibilities appropriate to that Level are fully satisfied. At this level it is expected that the work will be exemplary in all the categories cited above. It will
demonstrate a particularly compelling evaluation, originality, and elegance of argument, interpretation or discourse.
|76-85%||The work examined is outstanding and demonstrates comprehensive knowledge, understanding and skills appropriate to the Level of the qualification. There is also
excellent evidence showing that all the learning outcomes and responsibilities appropriate to that level are fully satisfied. At this level it is expected that the work will be
outstanding in the majority of the categories cited above or by demonstrating particularly compelling evaluation and elegance of argument, interpretation or discourse.
|70 – 75%||The work examined is excellent and is evidence of comprehensive knowledge, understanding and skills appropriate to the Level of the qualification. There is also
excellent evidence showing that all the learning outcomes and responsibilities appropriate to that level are satisfied At this level it is expected that the work will be
excellent in the majority of the categories cited above or by demonstrating particularly compelling evaluation and elegance of argument, interpretation or discourse.
|60 – 69%||Directly relevant to
of the assessment
|A substantial knowledge
of strategy material,
showing a clear grasp of
themes, questions and
|A good strategic
clear and orderly
|Generally coherent and logically
structured, using an appropriate
mode of argument and/or
|May contain some
distinctive or independent
thinking; may begin to
formulate an independent
position in relation to
|Well written, with
standard spelling and
grammar, in a readable
style with acceptable
|Critical appraisal of up-todate
and/or appropriate literature.
Recognition of different
Very good use of source material.
Uses a range of sources
|50 – 59%||Some attempt to address
the requirements of
may drift away
from this in less
|Adequate knowledge of a
fair range of relevant
strategy material, with
intermittent evidence of
an appreciation of its
treatment, but may be
prone to description, or
to narrative, which
lacks clear analytical
|Some attempt to construct a
coherent argument, but may suffer
loss of focus and consistency,
with issues at stake stated only
vaguely, or theoretical mode(s)
couched in simplistic terms
|Sound work which expresses
a coherent position only in
broad terms and in uncritical
conformity to one or more
standard views of strategy.
|Competently written, with
only minor lapses from
standard grammar, with
|Uses a variety of literature which
includes some recent strategic
texts and/or appropriate literature,
though not necessarily including a
substantive amount beyond library
texts. Competent use of source
|40 – 49%||Some correlation with
the requirements of the
assessment but there are
instances of irrelevance
|Basic understanding of
the strategy but
addressing a limited
range of material
|Largely descriptive or
narrative, with little
evidence of analysis
|A basic argument is evident, but
mainly supported by assertion
and there may be a lack of clarity
|Some evidence of a view
starting to be formed but
|A simple basic style but
deficiencies in expression
or format that may pose
obstacles for the reader
|Some up-to-date and/or
appropriate literature used. Goes
beyond the material tutor has
provided. Limited use of sources
to support a point.
|Fail||35 – 39%||Relevance to the
requirements of the
assessment may be very
intermittent, and may be
reduced to its vaguest
and least challenging
|A limited understanding
of a narrow range of
|Heavy dependence on
description, and/or on
paraphrase, is common
|Little evidence of coherent
argument: lacks development and
may be repetitive or thin
|Almost wholly derivative:
the writer’s contribution
rarely goes beyond
|Numerous deficiencies in
presentation; the writer
may achieve clarity (if at
all) only by using a
simplistic or repetitious
|Barely adequate use of literature.
Over reliance on material
provided by the tutor.
|The evidence provided shows that the majority of the learning outcomes and responsibilities appropriate to that Level are satisfied – for compensation consideration.|
|30 – 34%||The work examined provides insufficient evidence of the knowledge, understanding and skills appropriate to the Level of the qualification. The evidence provided shows that some of the learning outcomes and
responsibilities appropriate to that Level are satisfied. The work will be weak in some of the indicators.
|15-29%||The work examined is unacceptable and provides little evidence of the knowledge, understanding and skills appropriate to the Level of the qualification. The evidence shows that few of the learning outcomes
and responsibilities appropriate to that Level are satisfied. The work will be weak in several of the indicators.
|0-14%||The work examined is unacceptable and provides almost no evidence of the knowledge, understanding and skills appropriate to the Level of the qualification. The evidence fails to show that any of the learning
outcomes and responsibilities appropriate to that Level are satisfied. The work will be weak in the majority or all of the indicators.
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