The module is assessed (100%) by an individual Strategic Report (maximum 3,000 words) involving an in-depth, strategic analysis of a large organisation. The subject of the report will be decided by the module convenor but students will be able to choose from a list of several examples.
Instructions for assessment:
This assignment is focused on the selected organisation, its industry and business environment. In week 2 you will be given a list of organisations to choose from. Please choose only one organisation for the purposes of this assignment.
VF Corporation – Global fashion/apparel/sportswear industry
Nvidia – Global microchip industry
Formative work in weekly seminars will guide students through analytical techniques and processes required to complete the task.
The Strategic Report should address the following:
1. Introduction to the report and company profile
Start with a one-sentence introduction to the report giving the subject and scope of the investigation, e.g. This is a strategic analysis of International Airline Group’s British Airways business in Europe. Provide appropriate background information which will help the reader get some contextual information about the company (and its industry). This information sets up the report. Please provide only a short introduction
2. External analysis (not about company). PESTEL & 5 Forces – approx. 1300 words
PESTEL: 6 most important issues to be identified, discussed and each concluded as an O or a T.
No definition of how to do it. You need to show you understand how to do a PESTEL analysis by doing it not describing it.
5 Forces: each force to be discussed and assessed as High, Moderate or Low. Having these forces in mind assess industry attractiveness.
3. Internal analysis (resources and competences) – approx. 1000 words
Resources (what a company has) – descriptive approach. Approximately 5-6 resources to be identified and discussed (each should be discussed in a separate paragraph and concluded as a Strength or a Weakness). Try to address human, physical and intangible resources (financial resources are important but you are not required to address these). Try to identify at least one Weakness.
Competences (what a company does). Two tables needed (Value Chain and VRIO). Approximately 5 – 6 activities (distinctive competences) to be placed in Value Chain and pushed through VRIO to identify one Core Competence.
One distinctive competence (ideally core competence) should be discussed in detail (explain the activity, state why it is good/special, provide evidence, provide your reasoning behind VRIO – why is this activity Valuable to customers, Rare and difficult to imitate; do not worry about O, just assume that all activities have organisational support) in the main body. You can discuss another distinctive competence in the appendix. Each distinctive competence is a Strength, so (assuming that you identified and discussed 5 resources – 4 Ss and 1 W) and listed 5 distinctive competences in value chain, in total you should have 5Ss (competences) + 4Ss (resources) + 1W (resources) = 9Ss + 1W.
It is the specific strategy that should be evaluated! Strategy was given with the company (it depends on the company you chose for your assignment). This is where you may mention the target company (this is not a requirement). You are not required to carry out internal analysis for the target company (you will go over your word limit and might sacrifice quality for quantity).
Suitability (does the strategy make sense – ex-ante analysis). Start with TOWS. Place the strategy you are evaluating in one of the inner 4 quadrants and try to link internal and external issues with it (e.g. if you placed a strategy in SO quadrant state what Ss you combine with what Os while considering the strategy.
Acceptability (is the strategy acceptable – to selected stakeholders). Identify a number of stakeholder groups (e.g. 5) and place them in a Power/Interest matrix. Then select 3 groups and for each discuss how will they be affected by the strategy you are evaluating and therefore is the strategy acceptable to them or not.
Feasibility (can the strategy be implemented). Discuss skills and financial resources that may be required (and how did/will the company obtain these).
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