Part 1: Academic Essay: Theory and Practice of Strategic Management
In this first section of this assessment, you are invited to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of the theory, models and discourse of strategic management, in relation to the theory and practice of corporate governance, organisational ethics and corporate social responsibility.
You are invited to critically consider an organisational situation as a worked example or case study, in terms of either a critique of recent or current strategic management planning and activity. This might involve analysis of current or past personal experience of an organisational context, or any other public, private or third-sector organisation of which you have sufficient knowledge or can research in order to conduct rigorous analysis.
Your analysis might comprise a critical consideration of a historical emergence of organisational strategy, critical appraisal of a declared current organisational position, and/or critical analysis of strategic options available to the organisation, by means of a thoughtful application and analysis of theory and selected models of strategic management.
This analysis will comprise engagement with one or more of either of the three foundational Schools of strategic management and recent alternative theories or approaches covered within the Module. Your analysis should comprise a clear, well-argued and critical explanation as to why you have selected this theory or theories over other areas of investigation and an analytical argument presenting their advantages and limitations. Analysis may extend to a critical deliberation of the strategic options available to the organisation, perhaps carefully considered from wider and alternative theoretical perspectives. Furthermore, you may wish to also consider your own understanding of theory and what the limitations of your choices and decisions might be.
Your analysis should include at least one of the broader strategic management concerns of the modern era covered within the Module, such as corporate governance, ethical governance of organisations and/or corporate social responsibility. Select at least one of these issues and again explore the theoretical implications of your choice. What does your choice here tell you about the wider implications of strategic management decisions, particularly in relation to your practical case study? How might your organisational case be re-appraised from an alternative strategic management approach such as corporate governance or corporate social responsibility perspectives? What conclusions can you draw from such analysis, if any? You are invited here to critically consider your approach and the limitations of the theoretical ideas you apply.
Critical consideration of theory in relation to practice, involving for example, wider social and political notions of rhetoric of strategy, strategy as practice, discourses of strategic management and governance as mechanisms of control, might also be particularly interesting within this context.
In this section, you are invited to critically reflect on your participation in the module, the learning process â specifically including participation in the simulation game, the development of both strategic management and personal skills, including critical reading and thinking, academic writing, and personal and political awareness in relation to the relationship between strategic management theory and practice and your own personal assumptions, values and beliefs.
Within this section, you should particularly reflect on your use of strategic management theory in relation to the simulation game. Focus on one or more of the suggested approaches to the game and consider how you have applied theory to practice and drawn insights into the difference between strategic management theory and practice. What are the limitations of your knowledge, what are the limitations of the game, and what could you do to improve this? You should also reflect on your discussions of the game with your fellow learners. Did you disagree with the interpretations of other learners?
You are additionally invited to apply a similarly reflective approach to your analysis of the organisational case within Part 1 of this assessment. How has engagement with this module, the simulation game and analysis of the case study (in Part 1 above) developed your strategic management thinking and practical skills? How might you define and describe these skills? In what way/s have you developed them? What have you gained, if anything, from the learning process? If little has been gained, what might you do differently in the future to maximize the benefit derived from your participation in this Course?
Finally, you are invited to reflect on how you might apply your developing skills in practice in the future, in terms of your current role, a future role in management, or any other future career you are interested in.
Overall however, you should discuss what you are taking away from this module as a learner and how you anticipate it might benefit, impact or otherwise influence your future career.