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Assignment: Competitive Business Game and MBA Toolkit

Learning outcomes

Learning outcomes

On completion of this assignment you should be able to:

Demonstrate a systematic understanding and critical appreciation of theories in the MBA toolkit to challenge existing preconceptions and develop positive and enquiring approaches to management and enterprise.

Demonstrate intelligent practice by imaginatively and critically integrating theory and practice, stipulating areas of excellence and reflecting on areas for development to improve performance in a dynamic competitive environment.

What am I required to do in this assignment?

The assessment strategy supports the emphasis on experiential and enquiry-based learning in progressively supporting the effective integration of theory and practice to facilitate your transition into the professional work environment. You will participate in a competitive business game designed to simulate a realistic management situation. You will engage in the simulation as part of a group and as team of ‘Directors’, over successive periods you will monitor the performance of your own business and the competition, adjusting your strategic and tactical decisions accordingly.

The performance of your team and the final outcome will depend on how effectively you apply theory in practice to support critical analysis and evaluation in context. Your aim is to enact informed problem solving and identify opportunities as a result of your clear decision making. You will need to draw extensively on theories and techniques from your MBA toolkit through taught units, for example, including:

You will be assessed on an individual report. This demands in-depth critical analysis and evaluation of theory in practice leading to clear conclusions and feasible recommendations. Your individual report should be 2250 (+/-10%) words and cover:

  1. On the effectiveness of your individual performance in making team decisions
  1. Consider, how theory which you have learnt on the course was demonstrated both in your decisions and how as a team your final recommendations emerged.

Your report must be professionally written in business report style. It should be clear and concise to best communicate your analysis, concisely communicating your ideas through integration of theory and practice, your conclusions and recommendations. You should ensure that throughout you integrate theory and practice.

What do I need to do to pass? (Threshold Expectations from UIF)

In order to pass the assessment you will need to:

Show independence of thought in evaluating the usefulness of theory in practice applied to a live consultancy project or a simulated task of running a business, monitoring performance and adjusting decisions in the light of the success or failure in a competitive environment.

Demonstrate a critical appraisal of the complexity of management in the implementation of strategic decisions.

Research, select and use creatively appropriate business and management theory to manage and complete a project in the context of a new situation.

What am I required to do in this assignment?

How do I produce high quality work that merits a good grade?

We shall discuss this during the scheduled workshops. Please make sure that you have with you the results of all of the periods of the simulation and a template for continuing personal development.

Here are some of the requirements that we shall be discussing in the workshops:

How has the business performed to date and what elements of the MBA Toolkit have you applied that have affected that performance?

How has the business performed to date and, with the benefit of hindsight, how can you explain that performance using the knowledge that you have gained from the MBA Toolkit?

Which particular elements of the MBA Toolkit have you found to be most useful so far?

Which model of reflection do you consider most useful for your critical evaluation of your performance? What has been your personal contribution to the team of which you have been part?

What are the areas of your personal contribution to the running of the business do you feel need to be improved upon?

The need for a clear report structure, appropriately referenced

How does this assignment relate to what we are doing in scheduled sessions?

You will participate in a competitive business simulation designed to simulate a realistic management situation and give you the opportunity to demonstrate your ability to think through the implications of applying the knowledge and skills acquired through the taught elements of the course.

The simulation will also give you a holistic view of organisational activities as a preparation for the placement experience, demonstrating the necessary interconnectedness of thinking and action required to understand organisational life and the service and stakeholder relationships in delivering excellent services and products. You engage in the business simulation as a group. You will need to set a strategy for your company within the competitive industry and make decisions about all aspects of the business in order to implement the strategy effectively.

Over successive periods in the simulation you monitor the performance of your own business and the competition, adjusting your strategic and tactical decisions accordingly.

The workshops will consist of:

Formation of teams to engage in the simulation.

An introduction to the simulation and number of deadlines when decisions must be submitted (some of these will occur outside of the sessions).

Discussion of the results that each team has achieved after each deadline with examination of the performance and the reasons why the outcomes have been as expected / unexpected in the context of the MBA Toolkit.

In part the workshops will be run as consultancy sessions whereby the teams will be dealt with individually of the consideration of their results as the businesses are operating on a competitive environment as well as a dynamic one.

Discussion of the process of reflection and models of reflection together with guidance on how personal development might be achieved.

At times during the workshops there will be general discussions not related to the performance of individual teams that will relate to the students understanding of the underpinning theory relating to all of the disciplines that have a bearing on running the businesses for which each team is responsible. There will be discussion of how the theory into practice approach that has been used during the simulation can be brought to bear by the student once they are on placement. It is intended that this will lead to students developing a clearer underpinning for the decisions that they make in terms the identification of issues and the execution of solutions.

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