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QAB020X603H Applied Corporate strategy


This assignment is focused on the selected organisation, its industry and business environment. By week 2 you will be given a list of organisations (cases) to choose from. Please choose one case (featuring an organisation) for the purposes of this assignment.

Formative work in weekly seminars will guide students through analytical techniques and processes required to complete the task.

1) Carry out external analysis (business environment and industry) to identify a set of Opportunities and Threats and assess industry attractiveness. (30%)

2) Analyse the resources and key competences of the organisation to identify a set of Strengths and Weaknesses and identify core competences (key factors that may give the company its competitive advantage). (30%)

3) Evaluate the given strategy (as per chosen case) using SAFe criteria. (30%)

How will we support you with your assessment?

There will be weekly references to the assessment task in seminars and weekly activities in those seminars will be helpful in creating “scaffolding” for eventual submission.

The formative mini-casework in seminars will be of direct help in the application of relevant strategic tools. There will be regular Q&A sessions linked to the assessment report and in the final weeks of teaching there will be an opportunity to review and reflect upon work from previous cohorts.

n this Strategic Report, high marks come from using strategic concepts and analysis from the module clearly applied to the organisation. Harvard referencing, a professional report style plus appropriate diagrams/tables are also required. Outline marking expectations are as follows:    

Q1: (30%) External analysis.

Discuss the business environment and identify a number of Opportunities - Os and Threats - Ts (we expect 6 issues from business environment to be discussed in total each of which concluded as an O or a T). Please note that there is no need to address each factor (if for example there are no important legal or technological issues do not discuss these factors). Your task is to identify and discuss 6 most important issues in your opinion. Demonstrate how an issue is an Opportunity or a Threat.

Identify and discuss organisation’s unique resources & distinctive capabilities (at least 6 Strengths and Weaknesses should be covered in total). Discuss resources (what a company has) and competences (activities) separately.

While addressing unique resources (physical – e.g. retail outlets, manufacturing facilities, products etc.; human – e.g. people and teams crucial for successful strategic development; intangible – e.g. brands, links to external stakeholders etc. and possibly financial) make sure that each is discussed separately and concluded .

While discussing distinctive competences construct Value Chain for the organisation and within list a number of specific and distinctive activities for your organisation. Demonstrate how unique capabilities link to competitive advantage (each distinctive competence from Value Chain should be “pushed” through VRIO to identify Core Competences for the organisation). Once you identify one (or two at most) core competence provide a discussion about these below Value Chain or VRIO (what is the activity and how does it contribute to firm’s competitive advantage). Note that all competences listed in value chain (and VRIO) should be company’s Strengths (Weaknesses could be discussed in a descriptive fashion separately). Again, use properly referenced data to support your arguments. This question is about the company (internal analysis).

Between you handing in your work and then receiving your feedback and marks, there are a number of quality assurance processes that we go through to ensure that students receive marks which reflects their work. A brief summary is provided below:

·Step 1 – The module and marking team meet to agree standards, expectations and how feedback will be provided.

·Step 2 – A subject expert will mark your work using the criteria provided in the assessment brief.

·Step 3 – A moderation meeting takes place where all members of the teaching and marking team will review the marking of others to confirm whether they agree with the mark and feedback.

·Step 4 – Work at Levels 5 and 6 then goes to an external examiner who will review a sample of work to confirm that the marking between different staff is consistent and fair.

·Step 5 – The Office process your mark & feedback & it is made available to you.

Resit instructions to Students

If you need to resit this assessment, the requirements are as follows:

You are required to re-work your original submission in line with the original assessment brief and criteria. Your re-submission must address the feedback comments provided by the marker on the original submission. You should provide a summary of the marker’s original feedback from your first submission together with a commentary [between 400 and 500 words) that explains how your revisions improve the original submission by addressing the original feedback.

In brief your re-sit submission MUST include:

·A summary of the original feedback,

·A reflective account [400-500 words] detailing how your revisions have addressed the feedback, and

·The reworked assignment.


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