MBA7013 Strategic Management
You should approach this assignment from the perspective of a Business Consultant engaged to critically evaluate the challenges facing a selected organisation in developing and deploying strategy for sustainable competitive advantage. This will require you to apply a range of models and concepts in exploring strategic issues, processes and resources, plus the recommendation of plausible and evidence-based options suitable for your selected organisation.
Important! Before undertaking any work on this assignment, please select an appropriate organisation within which to contextualise your work, and seek written confirmation from your module tutor (or tutorial leader) that this is suitable for your paper. Please submit this written confirmation (normally an email) as an appendix to your written work.
Using the selected organisation you have agreed with your tutor, undertake a critical analysis of key strategic challenges it faces, using an evidence-based approach to inform your assessment. Where you use tools, models or theories of Strategic Management to structure your analysis, you must include commentary setting out your rationale for adopting these, and explaining any key critical issues associated with their use in exploring strategy.
From your analysis, present a prioritised summary of the organisation’s key strategic challenges, supporting this with an explanation of how these priorities were arrived at.
Next, for each of the two highest ranked strategic priorities from your analysis, explore the strategic options potentially available to your selected organisation, providing theoretical support to frame your discussion.
As a practical output from your assessment, draw appropriate and logical conclusions and recommendations that would, in your view, best enhance your organisation’s competitive position, using evidence set out previously in your analysis to support your proposals.
Finally, comment upon the effectiveness of the tools and techniques of strategic management in supporting your investigation, evaluation and building recommendations.
Please include a short reflective assessment of your overall learning journey in completing the assignment, using an appropriate framework (e.g. Gibbs Reflective Cycle) to set out insights and their chronology.
Your report should contain as a minimum the following content (N.B. this is NOT a suggested structure for your paper):
1. An introduction setting out your understanding of the task, your planned approach. (150-200 words) 5 marks
2. An outline of the organisational context selected for the report and key milestones in its development. (200-300 words) 5 marks
3. Evidence of your engagement with relevant academic sources and literature. You should aim to demonstrate balanced critical evaluation of relevant theoretical concepts drawn from a range of appropriate sources (2000-2500 words maximum) 40 marks
4. Application of theory in the context of your selected organisation, as directed above, and using insights and examples from your literature review to provide support for any observations and arguments (1200-1500 words maximum) 30 marks
5. A short concluding section drawing conclusions about the relevance of Strategic Management theory in informing organisational strategy (400-500 words maximum) 15 marks
6. A short ‘Reflective Assessment’ of your key learning from undertaking the assignment (150-300 words) 5 marks
7. A reference list for all resources used in compiling your report. This element is not part of your word count.
8. Appendices (if appropriate) including evidence of approval for your selected organisation – not part of the word count for the assignment.
The module learning outcomes addressed by this assignment are:
LO1 – critically evaluate the challenges faced by managers in the development and deployment of strategy
LO2 – understand and apply a range of alternative models and concepts in dealing with strategic planning issues in order to achieve competitive advantage
LO3 – critically evaluate the processes and outcomes in the implementation of strategic choices facing an organisation
LO4 – successfully deploy relevant critical, analytical and academic skills in an extended piece of writing related to Strategic Management.
Important And Helpful Information
Please refer to the Module Guide for information regarding indicative reading, guidelines for the preparation and submission of assignments, and the assessment criteria.
Submission, Assessment & Feedback
Electronic copies of assignments should be submitted via “Turn-it-in”. Please ensure you follow the instructions provided by your module tutor and on the assessment brief.
Written feedback in the form of annotations onto your electronic submission and summary comments will be provided within three working weeks of the submission deadline, together with your internally moderated grade for the assignment.
THERE IS NO NEED TO SUBMIT A HARD COPY OF THIS ASSIGNMENT
Late Work & Exceeding The Word Count
Late work and an excessive word count will be penalised as outlined in the student handbook
Submission of assessments may be done on or before the published submission date. Assignments not available at this time will be considered late unless an extension has been previously agreed.
Students who fail to submit assessments by the specified date (without an extension being granted or without accepted Mitigating Circumstances) will be subject to the following penalties:
Up to 5 calendar days late = 10 marks subtracted but if the assignment would normally gain a pass mark, then the final mark to be no lower than 40%.
Up to 10 calendar days late = 20 marks subtracted but if the assignment would normally gain a pass mark, then the final mark to be no lower than 50%.
More than 10 calendar days late = 1 mark awarded.
Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure that the assignment is submitted in the format/s specified in the Module Guide or on the Assessment Brief. It is expected that the standard of written English and communication used in your submission is consistent with that required for entry onto a programme at this level in the UK.
YOU SHOULD ALWAYS ENSURE YOU KEEP A COPY OF ANY ASSIGNMENT SUBMITTED.
In the case of exceptional and unforeseen circumstances, an extension of up to 14 days after the assessment submission deadline may be granted by your Programme Leader. You should complete an Extension Request Form available from Student Services and attach documentary evidence of your circumstances, prior to the published submission deadline.
Requests for extensions for periods longer than 14 days must be made using the Mitigating Circumstances procedures.
Please see the Programme Handbook for further details.
This assessment satisfies the learning outcomes as specified in your module guide.
The pass mark for this assignment is 50%. Please see below for specific assessment criteria.