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Strategic Investigation and Recommendations Report


You have been asked by the CEO of the firm organization to undertake a comprehensive strategic investigation to identify any strategic issues they may be facing and to suggest ways of dealing with them.

The strategic analysis should follow the two questions to answer are:
1) Are there any issues that might affect the success and survival of the firm / organization?
2) If there are, what can be done about them?

Once you have completed your strategic analysis and investigation, you should follow the instructions set out in the workbook, writing a report to the CEO of the firm / organization in question, making your recommendations. The report should be dated at the current date and should consider the firm’s organization’s state of affairs and options at this date. In your report, the CEO would particularly like you to focus on how the firm / organization can develop and sustain competitive advantage as well as maintain legitimacy. Therefore you will need to apply at least one theoretical approach that is based on competitive advantage and one theoretical approach that is based on legitimacy.

Your recommendations must be analytically grounded to enable you to produce coherent and wellreasoned arguments in support of the conclusions and recommendations in your report, and should include an executive summary, and suitable appendices to support the arguments where appropriate.

This does not mean that the more theoretical approaches you apply, the better it is. You will have to weigh depth of analysis against breath within defined word count.

Please do not treat the appendices as a dumping ground for everything that you could not fit into the main text. The content of appendices will not be considered for deciding the mark for your work, apart from having points distracted if what is in the appendices does not serve a particular purpose. While there will be information on your chosen firm / organization on the Internet, the onus is on you/your group to find the information you require on the firm / organization and its’ operations.

Access to information for example, on the current strategy, the environment and the firm / organization itself is essential in this assignment to enable you to undertake a sufficiently comprehensive analysis.

Note that while it is accepted that certain information will not be easy to obtain because it may not be publicly available, there are other ways to collect information – you may for example arrange to interview a manager(s) of your case study firm / organization in your city/state.

Assignment Assessment:
Assessment of this assignment is based on two essential strategic management skills:
(1) understanding and application of strategy theory; and
(2) synthesis of insights and argument building.

Clearly therefore while ‘analysis’ is extremely important, it is only one ingredient in the assessment of this assignment, and for an assignment to fall into the “excellent” range, it would require:
The utilization of at least two theoretical approaches, one based on competitive advantage and one based on legitimacy;

The in-depth analysis based on extensive research, of the organization itself, the environment in which the organization operates, and the organization’s strategy;

A coherent and logical synthesis of the analysis presented, leading to the identification of issues and key implications for competitive advantage and legitimacy in terms of the match between the three elements of organization, environment, and strategy;

A thorough assessment of the strategic options available to the organization (strategic options can be put forward in terms of changing the strategy, working on the organization, and / or changing the environment in which the organization operates) to address the issues that have been identified;

Recommendations made on the basis of a thoughtful consideration of the options that have been put forward, explaining how well an option addresses the issues that have been identified, highlighting possible contradictions between the recommendations derived from different theoretical approaches and suggesting ways to accommodate them

A professional overall presentation, the selective use of appropriate supporting appendices and appropriate referencing of academic and data sources.

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