Question: 40 marks
Case Study Analysis: The Reece Group’s External Environment, Core Competencies and Strategic Choices
First, using the internet and business related literature, research the company, The Reece Group, an Australian company comprised of three businesses in the plumbing, bathroom (Reece), heating, air conditioning and refrigeration (Actrol and Metaflex) industries. You could begin your search with The Reece Group’s website, http://www.reecegroup.com.au/. Be sure to click on the various links on the site.
Second, by way of a formal introduction to your formal academic essay (ie not a business report), provide a brief synopsis of the company and the strategic issues, opportunities and challenges it faces.
Note: You are not writing a descriptive case study; you are required to write a case analysis in a formal academic essay style. You need to know about the case to identify relevant strategic management issues and you need to identify the strategic issues in order to undertake an analysis of them in the body of your essay. If you do not identify relevant strategic issues upfront, you will struggle to undertake a meaningful analysis in the body of your essay.
Third, in the body of your essay undertake the following analyses:
1. The Reece Group’s general external environment. Focus on the most salient elements applicable to The Reece Group (allocate your words according to the marking criteria and do not spend too many words on this section).
Note, do not write a series of short paragraphs about all seven segments in the environment. Instead, develop a complete paragraph that identifies all segments, but explains and discusses the most relevant segments. You might find that two segments can be combined into one.
2. An industry analysis for Reece, the plumbing and bathroom business within The Reece Group. Remember to draw some conclusions or insights about Reece’s external environment and hence its opportunities and threats. For example, what are the industry structure and dynamics? What are the industry trends
and the implications of those trends?
3. An internal organisation analysis for The Reece Group. Again draw insights about its resources, capabilities, core competencies and hence competitive strengths and weaknesses. Also consider the implications for The Reece Group’s vision, mission and values.
4. Identify, discuss and evaluate the business level strategies used by Reece (plumbing and bathroom) to compete in the industry it operates in. Consider the risks and benefits associated with those strategies (eg against the forces of competition and why the company has been so successful to date).
Note: in undertaking the above analyses be sure to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of the relevant core strategic management concepts and theories, as well as your ability to apply them meaningfully to the business case of Reece. This requires that you undertake a solid literature review and use theory to inform practice and strategy. Guard carefully against undocumented assertions. Be sure to fully reference your work (in-text and end reference list).
Fourth, comment briefly on The Reece Group’s corporate level strategy with regard to diversification.
Finally, assume you are a strategic adviser to the Reece Group In light of the issues you identified in the introduction and the analyses you have undertaken, what recommendations would you make to The Reece Group with regard to developing the company’s competitive advantage for above average returns over the next 5 years?
Note: the assignment is designed to focus on topics 1-4 of the study schedule, and to include a brief comment on the concept of diversification from topic 5.
This is a major piece of assessment which will require sustained reading, reflection and writing. It is strongly recommended that you commence your assignment in Week 1 of the teaching period and consistently develop it on a week-by-week basis. You will need more than two (or three) drafts in order to achieve the clarity, consistency, and structure necessary for a graduate level analytical essay. Remember, it always takes longer than you think; failure to prepare is to be prepared to fail!
You are expected to conform to high standards of literacy and academic practice, including literature research and full documentation of sources. This means you must use references in your essay and you must cite those references both in the text and in an end reference list. Failure to do so is likely to result in a failed paper. Use the author-date method which is explained in this Companion (p26-28). Be sure to express the ideas you read about in your own words, but acknowledge their source by citing the reference. Avoid direct quotes and bullet points as they do not demonstrate to the marker your understanding of the concepts and reading material. Direct quotes attract no marks.
3. High standards of literacy means that your paragraphs should be well developed