IS THIS ASSIGNMENT AN ESSAY OR A REPORT?
While it is both …
A. For assignment purposes it is considered an academic essay (with APA citation/referencing of Theory and Authoritative Sources).
B. Additionally, from a “transferable employment skills” viewpoint is has the elements of a carefully documented strategic consultancy report that could brief a Top Management Team.
What is contained in the document? Why should someone read it?
This should be a brief (maximum 100 words) introduction to the company and highlighting your key recommendations. Please note that the introduction is not given any marks. We restrict it to 100 words so that you do not waste valuable words from your assignment word-limit on a protracted introduction.
It is best practice to write the introduction last.
2. MEASURES OF SUCCESS
What measures should be used to assess the relative success of your chosen company?
Financial and non-financial metrics should be suggested (with a preference for any data that are ‘benchmarked’ against direct competitors). Show example data for the company in question (in tabular or graphical form) that ideally spans four or five financial years to the present day.
Include in this section a brief discussion concerning the difficulties in determining and measuring business success (cite some of the key authors that have written about this subject).
3. REASONS FOR SUCCESS
What do experts suggest as the reasons for this company’s relative business success?
An outline of 6 to 10 business reasons behind the success stated in a simple, straightforward way with a brief (4 or 5 sentence) explanation of each reason. Each reason should be sub-titled in this section (i.e. 3.1, 3.2, 3.3 etc.). Cite the expert source(s) that have the opinion that you are listing. Do not speculate yourself in this section; just collect and sort the opinions of third-party experts. Do not rely solely upon the company’s own website or its publications. All company “jargon” and “acronyms” must have a brief explanation in brackets at the point of their first usage; thereafter they can be used without explanation.
4. STRATEGIC ANALYSIS (AVC+VRIN)
What are the possible internal success factors and where might they be located in the company’s activities?
This will be a detailed dual analysis of the company’s strategic capabilities starting with an Adapted Value Chain (AVC) and followed by a VRIN evaluation. This section carries the most marks. To score well in Section 4, you must also synthesise the AVC with the VRIN. This is achieved by demonstrating clear linkages between the two so that you can answer the two questions “What internal factors are contributing to future success?” (using VRIN); combined with, “Where are they happening within the activities of the company?” (using the AVC to show location, or locations).
The synthesis of AVC and VRIN is an iterative process (multi-pass), so we only need you to show the end result.
5. LEADERSHIP CONTRIBUTION
How is the current leadership guiding towards success? Is there a leadership legacy from a predecessor?
An evaluation of the contribution of leadership to the company’s success, basing this on appropriate leadership theory (as taught on this module). A wide range of topics will be acceptable including (but not limited to):
o Leadership Attributes or Styles
o Organisational Culture
o Decision-making Theory
6. STRATEGY FOCUS
Which particular strategic factor of this company deserves closer scrutiny?
A detailed analysis and interpretation based on one additional topic area from the following list:
o Business Strategy (consistent with strategic capabilities)
o International Strategy
o Innovation Strategy
o Collaboration Strategy (alliances, joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions)
o Sustainability (can the company gain competitive advantage this way)
Choose just one of the above to demonstrate your ability to conduct more in-depth research on one aspect of the company’s future.
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