Topics are allocated on a ‘first come – first served basis’ and can only be reserved in writing (e.g. by e-mail to your lecturer).
Please nominate your preferred presentation time (see Lecture Schedule in the Subject Outline) at the time you bid for the topic. In the event of two different groups choosing the same topic, the group who nominates the earlier presentation time-slot will secure the topic. The other group will have to choose another topic.
Research on the broad topic is a group activity and each student must contribute to that work. Each student in the group will then research, in depth, an individual component drawn from the broad research topic.
Topics are to be undertaken as group work in a group of three or four persons
Each topic has a general framework as well as individual components
The work on the general framework is the responsibility of each team member
The work on the individual components is the responsibility of the individual choosing that component. However, that individual can be helped by other group members who in turn also can help other team members
Students form into groups and nominate their broad research topic. Research on the broad topic is a group activity and each student must contribute to that work. Each student in the group will then research, in depth, an individual component drawn from the broad research topic.
The live presentation (worth 10%) must be organised as a business presentation. Strict adherence to the ten minute limit is expected so the time should be carefully allocated to allow for a very short introduction on the broad topic followed by a few minutes allocated to each student to present their individual component.
The presentation is primarily assessed on presentation technique. Your tutor will make suggestions on how the academic content can be improved and that will only be assessed on the written report due in the final week of the semester. Students can therefore choose to present at any time in the semester and it is suggested that you make the decision to present earlier rather than later when there will be many assignments falling due.
The final report on your topic will be written up as a seminar report (worth 20%) and submitted to your lecturer by the end of the semester. You may incorporate ideas generated in the live presentation. The written report should begin with the broad research topic which is followed by each individual component identified by the individual student who prepared it
A key ingredient to writing a successful report involves the planning or organising stage. Organising can help you to sort out your ideas and to present your report in the order that communicates best to your readers. Organisation is the procedure of constructing an outline that acts as a plan for your writing task. An outline forces you to think before you write.
Your essay is to be structured and written as a business report. It, therefore, must begin with a Management (or Executive) Summary within which you state in stark form (i.e. unsupported by argument) what you are asserting in this report and you must do that in less than two pages.
As already stated above, you begin the main body of the report with some general background on the broad research topic. This introduction should end with a brief paragraph outlining the plan of the rest of the essay.
What follows is the specific issues of each individual component which were considered. As for any good business report these components should be structured into sections and sub-sections and the heading for these should be in the Table of Contents. In these individual components the in-depth discussion of the relevant issues is elaborated based on the existing literature and/or data. You must provide in-text references to your sources.
The last section of the report contains a brief summary followed by a complete list of references that are cited in the text of the essay. Follow a standard referencing method consistently.
Management Summary: ideally one page but no more than two.
§ Sections 1: Introduction 400-600 words,
§ Section 2: Main body of the essay consisting of each of the individual components limit each
component to approximately 500 words each,
Sections 3: Conclusions 100-300 words,
§ Summary and Complete List of References (5-15 references- that depends on yourtopic)
There are two components of assessment adding to a total possible mark of 30% of the subject:
The Presentation which is worth 10 marks. Here we assess the quality of the presentation
NOT the academic quality of the work.
The Opening Impact 3 marks
Overall Presentation Technique (incl. Quality ofthe Slides) 5 marks
Adherence to Time Limit 2 marks
The Report which is worth 20 marks It is here that we assess the academic quality of your
Work.(including referencing) as well as your ability to correctly structure a businessreport.
The Management Summary 6 marks
Report Structure (TOC, Paragraphs, Sections and use of Diagrams) 5 marks
Academic Quality (incl. Referencing) 9 marks
Discuss Strategic Planning distinguishing it and contrasting it with other planning functions and techniques.
1. The use of BCG Analysis in formulating the strategies for the management of a portfolio of products or services offered to the market
2. Product life cycle as a guide to the management of a portfolio of products or services offered to the market (Take two examples: CISCO’s FLIP camera and the typical electric jug) 3. SWOT Analysis and the concepts of ‘fit’ and ‘stretch’
4. Porters Competitive Strategies (Illustrate with examples)
5. Porter’s Five forces (Illustrate with examples)
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