Assignment Roadmap Client:
Hesham Miladi Module: Strategy Topic:
How should Corinthia Hotels respond to a changing environment?
* This is a structural outline and should act as a guide only. Please use your discretion and adopt a structure that makes sense for you. Similarly, the word count is only indicative – don’t feel the need to align perfectly with this. Some sections will be longer and some shorter.
** I note that Corinthia Hotels has multiple hotels across various countries. So, for this assignment, you can either take the viewpoint of the group, or of one specific hotel (for example, the London hotel). Both will have pros and cons.
Taking the group view will make the analysis more challenging, as there are multiple countries and competitive sets to consider, but you’ll potentially have more options that emerge as a result of having operations spread across countries (for example, you could dispose of hotels in certain countries and double down on others).
Conversely, if you take a hotel-specific view (e.g. London), your analysis will be a lot cleaner and simpler, but you will likely have fewer strategic-level options to work with, as its just one entity in one location. If I were to choose for myself, I’d probably stick to the latter (hotel-specific view) as it will make the analysis a lot simpler and cleaner, which will improve the odds of earning marks. Of course, there’s nothing stopping you from changing course along the way
– if you focus narrowly at first and find that the analysis is not bubbling any opportunities up, then you can always expand to the group view. Page 1 of 17 --------------------- All advisory content within this document is © Grad Coach and is for use by Hesham Miladi only. This document may not be shared, copied or distributed under any circumstances. Chapter 1 - Introduction (~500 words): You will need to cover the following in your intro chapter: • Provide a brief introduction to Corinthia (either a specific hotel or the chain – depending on what level you choose to focus on): o What does it do (i.e. core services/offerings) and where (i.e. geographic markets)? o When did it start operating, how many staff does it employ, etc? o What are its goals and aspirations? (this will feed into the value proposition in the next chapter, so be specific). o Assume that the marker/reader knows nothing about the business or its operating environment. Make sure you paint a clear picture for the intelligent layman.
• Discuss the context and emerging problems: o In this section, you need to provide some context that leads to the strategic challenge. For example, you would mention that Corinthia is facing a rapidly changing (and challenging) external environment due to COVID-19. Not only has demand dropped off substantially, consumer priorities and preferences have changed substantially, making the hotel’s value proposition less relevant. o Therefore, Corinthia needs to consider how it should respond to the changing landscape and revise its value proposition to ensure both short-term and long-term success. o You need to show a little pending doom and gloom so that the investigation warrants the time and effort – in Henley speak, that your challenge has strategic relevance/importance. Therefore, you should make it clear what the negative consequences of simply doing nothing are (e.g. continued loss of market share, revenue decline, potential insolvency, etc), so that your choice of assignment topic is well justified.
• Identify the research questions (RQs) –
state what your assignment will focus on and what core questions you will seek to answer. This would be something like: o “What is the nature of Corinthia’s operating environment (and how’s it changing) at the macro, meso and micro-level?” (this will be covered by your analysis chapter) o “How should Corinthia respond to this to ensure it has a strong value proposition, which will drive success both in the short and long-term?” (this will be covered in your recommendation)
• Provide a brief discussion of analytical approach taken (write this paragraph after you’ve completed your assignment) – i.e. what did you analyse and with what key theory / models / frameworks?
• Provide a brief mention of the data sources you consulted and any fieldwork you undertook (e.g. interviews, email conversations, etc). Ideally, you should provide transcripts of any discussions in the appendix and note these here.
• Note your relationship to organisation (you may have done this already in the earlier sections – either section is fine). Extras: The following post discusses the introduction chapter in more detail and may be useful: https://gradcoach.com/introduction-essentials/ Page 3 of 17 --------------------- All advisory content within this document is © Grad Coach and is for use by Hesham 2.1 External analysis There are two levels within the external analysis – macro-level (country context) and meso-level (industry/competitive context). You will start at the higher level and then work your way down. PESTLE/PEST/PESTEL This framework provides a good tool for assessing the macro-level context. So, you can use it to present a big-picture view of the national environment. Importantly, you must keep the discussion linked to your research question/core focus – don’t waste word count discussing macro factors that have no real impact on your business or industry (you don’t need to cover every letter of PESTLE). Some questions to consider
• How does the current political situation impact the industry and demand for your services?
• How does the economic situation impact the industry and demand for your services?
• How does the COVID situation impact the way you do business, operations, supply, demand?
• Is there any new/pending regulation on the horizon that could hurt or help your industry?
• Are the emerging social trends that impact your industry by changing consumer preferences?
• Are there new technologies emerging that create opportunities for the industry?
• Do any potential opportunities emerge from the PESTLE? This analysis links to both the “external context” section of the VP model and the “stakeholder value offering” section (i.e. what do customers want and need). Therefore, give some thought to changing customer needs in this section of your analysis. Are there new needs emerging, or perhaps a new customer segment emerging? The rest of the analysis tools/frameworks are more focused on competitors and internal resources, so this is a good place to explore customer needs to identify how market needs are changing (so that you can respond to them), or how new potential markets/segments might be emerging as a result of new needs/wants (so that you may consider developing solutions for such markets). At the end of your
provide a concluding summary paragraph where you highlight the key takeaways from the analysis – what are the key points you want the marker to notice, that will inform the strategic options later? You’ll probably revise this summary as you work through your analysis and develop your thinking regarding strategic options – that’s completely fine.
Industry value chain (IVC)
analysis Now that you’ve analysed the macro-level environment, you can move the analysis down to the industry level. The first step is to look at where your organisation sits within the broader industry value chain by using IVC analysis. This analysis provides the opportunity to explore the industry value chain to assess whether there are potential response opportunities:
• Up and down the chain – for example, acquiring or building a supplier or customer (vertical integration). If supplier power is high, then acquiring a supplier might help improve your profitability. Page 6 of 17 --------------------- All advisory content within this document is © Grad Coach and is for use by Hesham Miladi only. This document may not be shared, copied or distributed under any circumstances. Miladi only. This document may not be shared, copied or distributed under any circumstances.
• Across the chain –
for example, acquiring a competitor or even an emergent substitute. If you find that there is a new customer group emerging or changing customer trends, a small- scale acquisition of a firm which specialises in that new niche (or changing needs) can accelerate your entry into that space. Remember, at this point, you’re just fishing for opportunities, so let everything bubble up and don’t evaluate options just yet – you’ll evaluate them later. For now, adopt an exploratory mindset. NOTE - If there are no useful insights generated from this analysis, don’t feel obligated to include it. There may be something to say, there may not. You don’t need to cover every possible analysis – just focus on those that produce insights. As with every section of analysis, provide a concluding summary paragraph. Porter’s five forces (P5F) analysis The P5F analysis has (at least) three potential purposes/uses:
1. The primary purpose is to assess the attractiveness of a market
(the less rivalry, the more profit potential, the more attractive it is), to determine whether you should enter a new market, double down on a market you’re currently just dipping your toes into, or just stay where you are.
2. Second, in cases where you wish to evaluate multiple markets
(for example, if a potential market emerged through the PESTLE or IVC analysis), you can use P5F to compare the attractiveness of two or three markets.
3. Third, the model allows you to identify which forces are
contributing strongly to competitiveness (and therefore reducing profitability) in any given market, so that you can explore ways to reduce those forces (and therefore, improve profitability. For example, if suppliers have a lot of power (e.g. input costs rising), you might consider acquiring a supplier to improve your input costs (i.e. vertical integration). Or, if buyer power is high, you’d explore ways you can differentiate your offering (using KSF analysis), so that buyers have less power. Similarly, you could explore horizontal integration, buying up some of the competition to reduce overall competitiveness. You may, for example, find that your core market(s) is/are still attractive, but that buyers have increasing power as competition increases, demand tapers or customer needs change. This would provide a sound base for you to argue that the organisation needs to differentiate its offering in a meaningful way to reduce this buyer power (which you will then explore with KSF analysis –
Alternatively, if supplier power is high, you might consider purchasing a supplier or building your own to reduce supply costs or to give you some new capability/resource. These are just examples – they may or may not be relevant for you, but hopefully they spark some ideas. Importantly, this all needs to be exploratory at this stage – don’t start presenting solution options yet and don’t start assessing your ability to execute on ideas yet (i.e. viability). Just mention that these potential opportunities might exist and move on. Page 7 of 17
All advisory content within this document is © Grad Coach and is for use by Hesham Miladi only. This document may not be shared, copied or distributed under any circumstances.
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