In this assignment you are acting either as a group of strategy consultants (group assignment), or as one strategy consultant (individual assignment). You have been asked to prepare a strategy report for a business.
The first step is to select a real, existing business as the subject of your assignment. The business can be a publicly listed company in Australia or overseas which is of interest to you or other members of your group, or it may be a large private or family business located either in Australia or overseas. Do not use or refer to assignments completed by students for this unit in previous trimesters. (A record of past assignments is kept in a database). Note also that the requirements of the assignment change from trimester to trimester.
The focus of this assignment is on the business level of analysis (rather than on corporate or operational levels). Therefore if you select a diversified company then make sure you focus on only one of the company’s business units. The report must be specific and applied to the business. In other words you must apply the relevant concepts and tools of business strategy to the particular conditions and circumstances of the business you are studying. General statements and references to theories and models that are not applied to the business will not add value to your assignment. Similarly, data about the business that is not analysed and presented from a strategic perspective – using the relevant concepts and tools of strategy – is of little value. To help you in this exercise, consider the position of the CEO of the business. Assume that he or she will be reading your report and lwill be ooking for a strategic analysis and recommendation that is practical and specific to her or his business. The CEO does not want to read a broad analysis that could apply to any number of organisations and does not ‘speak’ to their business.
Group or individual submission
This assignment may be completed either as a group submission (up to 5 people) or as an individual assignment (one person only). Either way, you must sign up in one of the group assignment spaces online.
Marking will be done without regard to whether the assignment was a group or individual submission. In other words an individual assignment should be of a similar standard and quality to that of a group assignment. For group assignments all members in the group will share the mark equally. Therefore:
- Allocate the various tasks among your group members and agree on interim due dates for the stages of work. Make sure your interim due dates allow for drafts to be circulated and edited so that the final submission is of the highest standard.
- Each group member must make a relatively fair and reasonable contribution to the report, in whatever form or shape that might take, in order to share equally in the mark. In the rare event that there are any issues you should contact me two weeks prior to the report due date so that a resolution can be reached.
Report format and requirements
The presentation of your report is a critical aspect of this assignment. It is essential that your report is formatted appropriately, and carefully edited and re-edited to achieve a professional standard. (But remember, iot is a serious business report, not marketing razzle-dazzle.) Allow time to draft and re-draft your assignment prior to the due date in order to improve the quality of writing and presentation. You must follow carefully the report structure and requirements set out below, unless you have (and explain) very good reason for doing otherwise.
1. Title Page
In the title page, you should include:
· Title of the report, e.g. ‘Company X: A Business Strategy Report’.
· Cloud Deakin Group number (whether you are a group or individual).
· The names and student IDs of your group members.
· Off campus or on campus status.
2. Table of contents
Include all of the section headings and subheadings used in your report, together with page numbers.
3. Executive summary (Less than 300 words)
This is a one page only summary of the report, written as a series of short paragraphs, outlining your key findings and recommended strategic option.
4. Introduction (Approximately 400 words)
This section provides some background and context to your report. Your introduction should include:
· A brief description of the reasons for undertaking the study, i.e. the value of undertaking a strategy review of the business.
· An introduction to the business and its macro environment and industry, and
· Any serious limitations or restrictions on the report..
5. Strategic Analysis
5.1 Methods (Approximately 200 words)
Provide a brief description of the data collection and analysis used in this section, including an outline of the sources used to gather the data upon which the report is based. Data may be collected from sources within the business (business documents, questionnaires, interviews) and from industry reports, media sources, the World Wide Web and database searches. It is important to describe the types and quantity of your data sources so that the reader can evaluate the breadth, quality and validity of the data on which your analysis is based. At least 8 data sources should be collected and analysed.
5.2. External analysis (Approximately 750 words)
- Conduct a PESTEL analysis of your business’s macro environment, evaluating whether each of the PESTEL factors are positive, neutral, or negative for the industry. Provide an overall evaluation of the impact of these factors on growth and consumer demand in the industry.
- Identify and explain the two most significant influences in your analysis that are likely to be the main drivers of change in the future.
- Using the five forces framework described in your text, evaluate and briefly describe two key forces at work in the industry environment of your business.
- Draw a strategy canvas for your business and the two main rivals (see Figure 2.10 in the text). Describe briefly the three most critical success factors for your business (see pp. 58-59 in the text).
5.3. Strategic capability (Approximately 400 words)
- Apply the ‘VRIO’ criteria to describe and evaluate the strategic capabilities of your business.
- Present a SWOT analysis in table form.
5.4 Strategy and culture (Approximately 400 words)
Draw a cultural web of the business (see Chapter 5 of your text and Figure 5.6). Briefly evaluate the relationship between the culture and strategy of the business.
5.5 Competitive strategy (Approximately 500 words)
Identify and describe the most viable competitive strategy for the business. To undertake this task refer to Figure 6.2 on p. 193 and the relevant commentary. Explain how your chosen competitive strategy enables the business to:
- Respond effectively to the industry and macro environments described in your external analysis.
2. Match the capabilities and strengths of the business to the opportunities in the environment, described in your earlier analyses, to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage.