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Certificate in Business Administration

Certificate in Business Administration

 Certificate in Business Administration

Master of Business Administration, Postgraduate Diploma and Postgraduate Certificate in Business Administration

Module: Strategic Management [BAM050]

Coursework (April-September 2018 study session)

Submission Deadline: Monday 25 June 2018 by 1pm (1300 hours) GMT

Please Note: You are permitted to upload your Coursework in the final submission area as many times as you like before the deadline. You will receive a similarity/originality score which represents what the Turnitin system identifies as work similar to another source. The originality score can take over 24 hours to generate, especially at busy times e.g. submission deadline.


If you upload the wrong version of your Coursework, you are able to upload the correct version of your Coursework via the same submission area. You simply need to click on the 'submit paper' button again and submit your new version before the deadline.


In doing so, this will delete the previous version which you submitted and your new updated version will replace it. Therefore your turnitin similarity score should not be affected. If there is a change in your turnitin similarity score, it will be due to any changes you may have made to your Coursework.


Please note, when the due date is reached, the version you have submitted last, will be considered as your final submission and it will be the version that is marked.


Once the due date has passed, it will not be possible for you to upload a different version of your assessment. Therefore, you must ensure you have submitted the correct version of your assessment which you wish to be marked, by the due date.


Your overall total word count should not exceed 3000 words (Weighted at 30% of final mark for the module)


Throughout this Module, you have been studying key concepts, frameworks and practices of strategic management. The topics of the Module prepare you to respond to today’s challenging business environment and develop a critical understanding of the purpose, formation and implementation of strategy in maintaining or achieving competitive advantages.


In this assignment, you will apply to an organisation of your choice the material and concepts studied and learnt in the first five topics of the Module. Select a publicly traded company which is listed on a stock exchange either in your country or in another region. Acting as a consultant, you should briefly present the nature of the company, analyse its internal and external environment as well as its resources and capabilities. Finally, you have to provide recommendations about the future strategic posture of the company and how it can ameliorate its performance and develop a competitive advantage in the industry(ies) that operates.


Your submission will be comprised of three sections:

Section 1: Presentation of the chosen organisation (800 words)

Briefly present the organisation you selected (short history of the company and its origins,


organizational size etc), its products and services and industry and market that operates.


Present and critically discuss the mission, vision, strategic aim and objectives of the organization. (Comment if the company has been consistent towards its purpose and mission/vision over the years.


Does the strategic decisions align with the mission and the vision of the company?).


Analyse the major stakeholders that are essential to strategy formulation and implementation. Discuss the ethical posture of the company (e.g. Corporate Social Responsibility).


Section 2: Company’s environmental analysis: internal and external issues (1,100 words)


Utilise the PESTEL (political, economic, sociocultural, technological, environmental, and legal)


framework for evaluating the macro-environment in which the firm operates.

Apply the Porter’s Five Forces framework for assessing the structure of the industry that the company


mainly operates.

Evaluate the resources and capabilities of the company, using the VRINE model (value, rarity,


inimitability, non-substitutability and exploitability)

Summarize how well the company is performing the last 3 years

Section 3: Evaluation and recommendation (1,100 words)

 What are the strategic implications of your analysis?


Which future business level strategy do you consider as more appropriate for the organization so as


to achieve an advantageous position relative to its competitors?

and discuss how the company can gain competitive advantage and achieve superior performance



 Previous experience suggests several important differences between excellent and mediocre written case analyses.

 Excellent written analyses “tell a story” about a firm’s strategies. Excellent analyses justify each major point with reference to critical facts in the case. Ideas and concepts from lectures and the readings are incorporated into the discussion as appropriate and in a seamless way. The application of these ideas and concepts often leads to surprising, counter-intuitive analyses and recommendations. At the end of these excellent written analyses, the reader is absolutely convinced of the wisdom of any final recommendations.

 Mediocre written analyses have few of these attributes. Instead of “telling a story” about a firm’s corporate strategies, these analyses simply repeat the facts and assertions contained in the case. Critical facts in the case are ignored or not integrated into the paper. For example, these mediocre written analyses will often include a summary and cursory analysis of a firm’s profit and loss statement and its balance sheet but will fail to discuss the strategic implications of these analyses. The authors of these reports often seem more interested in making sure that every theory or model mentioned by in the book is mentioned in the report rather than making sure that the report tells an integrated story about a firm’s strategy. Often, the different parts of these mediocre analyses are not linked—almost as if different people wrote different sections, but no one took the time to bring these sections together, to discuss the implications of each section for other sections. These written analyses rarely generate any counter-intuitive or surprising analyses or recommendations. At the end of reading these reports, the reader is only convinced that, in fact, members of the group read the case. The reader is not convinced about the wisdom of any final recommendations. Certainly, just answering the study questions associated with each case almost certainly dooms a written case analysis to mediocrity.

 Points for consideration:

Does my case study have the following traits:

 Relevant information presented in a comprehensive and unbiased fashion Explains adequately the application of the relevant frameworks


Accurate information


Appropriate sources/citations Well-written


Appropriate structure and flow


Selected appropriate scope for firm issues


Present  competitive  data,  company  history  and/or  additional  data  and  supporting


documentation where needed

Relevant data and issues clearly identified (or embedded in the case) for the reader to identify.

 General hints about good practices and common problems to avoid in your paper:

    Focus - Strive to develop a small set of actions or tactics that will work together in a coherent manner. By contrast, do not throw all possible ideas into your paper. Creativity is good – and logical consistency for a viable set of actions is just as important.

   Pay attention to assumptions - You will have to make assumptions in any project. For instance, you will likely make assumptions involving: 1) competitive reactions (e.g., if and how competing firms will respond to actions you consider), 2) the outcome of various company actions (e.g., product development or clinical trial efforts), 3) patient/consumer responses (e.g., whether citing clinical data



is enough to convince end users that an intervention has medical value). Try to make these assumptions as reasonable as possible, and indicate why you think your assumptions are reasonable. Also, try to think through the possible implications for your recommendations if each assumption is wrong. Above all, make sure that you explicitly identify the assumptions you make. An important part of effective strategy is making sure you know what you don’t know.

   Specify your proposals in a concise, yet concrete manner - Put recommendations into concrete terms that managers and/or policy makers would understand and be able to act on. For instance, it is much more direct to specify that a product "should run patient testimonial advertisements in magazines targeted to medium- to high-income people over 50 years old” than it would be to simply state that the product "should engage in direct to consumer advertising."

   Balance analytics and creativity - The most rigorous analytical work does not necessarily lead to a great idea (ideas can be right without being exciting). In parallel, the most creative ideas do not necessarily hold up to analytical scrutiny (ideas can be exciting without being right). In the early phase of your work, try to cycle back and forth between brainstorming (for creative ideas) and careful analysis (for correct ideas). This is particularly important when you are trying to identify the concrete offering (e.g., product/service/intervention) that you will evaluate.


 Use a combination of sources to back up your arguments. It is important that the sources you use are accurate, thorough and verifiable. Sources that you can use are the following:

 scholarly, and/or peer-reviewed articles from the online library of the University; articles from the Google Scholar and ssrn.com;


books and book chapters;


business magazine and newspaper articles;


reports from consulting companies, government agencies or institutions; interview and speech transcripts and recordings;


personal communications




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