CRKC7020 Strategic Management Assessment
eneral Instructions – Please read carefully
University of Cumbria, Strategic Management, May 2020
General Instructions – Please read carefully
1. You are required to complete the Final Assignment outlined below and submit your completed final paper through the RKC Online Campus by the end of Unit 6. Your grade will be based 100% on this final paper, to which you will also receive written feedback.
2. Please ask any questions about the Final Assignment in the Forum.
The Final Assignment is a 4500 words paper. It is strongly advised to start working on it early in the course. Actions:
1. Identify an organisation whose strategies you will examine. We strongly suggest you review your own organisation as it is easier to collect data about it. If that is not possible, for example if you are not working at the moment, then examine an organisation you are personally familiar with. Do not choose a famous name organisation like Google, IBM, Nestle, etc. unless you work for them. Depending on the concept selected in point 3, you may want to reduce the scope to a strategic business unit in a particular geography, as emphasised already in the interim assignment.
2. Using the SWOT you prepared for the Interim Assignment – you should update it based on the feedback we gave you to your Interim Assignment – write a short evaluation of the current
position of the organisation, its environment and the degree of uncertainty and change going on, its strategies in use and the strategic issues it faces.
3. From the evaluation, you need to propose future strategies for the organisation. There may be many alternative options open to the organisation, what are they? Then choose one direction you recommend the organisation goes in? Choose ONE concept from the following list that you argue is the number one priority concept the organisation should focus on:
o Core competencies
o Generic strategies – either cost leadership or differentiation, or focused cost leadership or differentiation, or outpacing.
o Mergers and acquisitions
o CSR and shared value
o Blue ocean strategy
o Capability development and agility
o Culture change
Make an argument to justify your choice.
4. You must demonstrate you have a deep understanding of the concept you apply. You must do this by critically examining the concept. Research a minimum of 10 peer-reviewed articles about the concept from the research literature. Examine what different researchers say about how the concept is used in practice, what its strengths and weaknesses are, and how the concept can be adapted or strengthened to make it effective.
The paper should answer the following questions in a three-part structure:
1. SWOT and its explanation – Where is the organisation now, i.e. its SWOT? What are its current strategies and how effective are they? What are the organisation’s main challenges and opportunities?
(Approximately 1000 words, 20% of the marks)
2. Recommended strategy – Of the alternative futures for the organisation, which direction do you recommend the organisation go in, and what needs to be done to go in that direction? What is your argument for your recommendation?
Within that recommended strategy for the desired future, which ONE concept do you recommend the organisation focuses on, as its number one priority? Exploiting its core competencies? Or adapting its choice of generic strategy; or changing its value chain through M and A or alliances or outsourcing; or improving its relationship to society and the environment through better CSR strategies; or developing its own new and unique market through BOS; or carrying on doing what it is doing but improving the way it implements its current strategies through a BSC or similar framework; or developing its current capabilities to become more agile and robust? What is your argument for your recommendation?
(Approximately 1500 words 30% of the marks)
3. Academic analysis – What do the different researchers say are the strengths and weaknesses of the ONE concept you recommend is the main priority, and what is the best way to make the concept work in practice? What does your chosen organisation need to pay attention to make the concept work? (You MUST critically examine the academic literature about the concept, including at least 10 peer-reviewed articles.)
(Approximately 2000 words 50% of the marks)
All sources should be correctly referenced using the Harvard system, as for any professional academic document.
Your report for the Final Assessment will be graded using the University’s grading criteria of: Knowledge and Clarity of Reasoning; Interface between Theory and Practice in the Professional Context; Use of literature; Organisation of Material.
Papers that are excessively long (i.e. exceeding the 4500 word limit of the main report by more than 10%) will not be read beyond the point of the word limit; there is no minimum word limit. Do not put your name on the paper.
The overall structure should be as follows:
1. Cover Page (1 page)
2. Table of Contents/List of Appendices (1 page)
3. Executive Summary
4. Main Report in 3 sections – SWOT, Recommendations, Academic analysis
6. List of references
Submit only one document.
RKC is committed to fight plagiarism, and we use Turnitin anti-plagiarism software. Do not use external sources without referencing them. Do not cut and paste the work of others. Do not copy the work of others.
A forum will be open to discuss any questions you may have on this assignment.
80-100% Distinction Knowledge and Clarity of Reasoning – Exceptionally comprehensive knowledge base. Ability to discriminate and justify key issues and relate them to the wider context. Lines of thought are innovative and transparent and the arguments are confidently expressed to develop and synthesise compelling and novel conclusions. Conclusions drawn make a new contribution to the knowledge base of the discipline and there is clear evidence of originality in the work Innovative thinker.
Interface between Theory and Practice in the Professional Context – Exceptional critical analysis of the interface between theory and practice, which evaluates and challenges theoretical adequacy and synthesises the development of professional practice. Exceptional evidence of self understanding which leads to creative and novel use of multiple frameworks for evaluation and synthesis and challenges current practice in the professional context.
Use of literature – Exceptional, discerning and balanced range of key and peripheral primary and secondary sources demonstrating a very high level of critical evaluation and synthesis and the ability to challenge received wisdom in the subject. Outstanding evidence of wide reading on the subject and this is incorporated into novel conclusions.
Organisation of Material – Exceptional clarity of presentation that demonstrates ability to attend to all detailed aspects of organisation and structure of discussion and all supporting evidence. The work has the qualities consistent with publishable material.
70-79% Distinction Knowledge and Clarity of Reasoning – Excellent, comprehensive knowledge base. Ability to discriminate and justify key issues and relate them to the wider context. Lines of thought are transparent and the arguments are confidently expressed to develop and synthesise compelling conclusions.
Interface between Theory and Practice in the Professional Context – Rigorous critical analysis of the interface between theory and practice, clearly elaborated to evaluate theoretical adequacy and synthesise the development of professional practice. Excellent, creative use of multiple frameworks for evaluation and synthesis of own stance.
Use of literature – Excellent, wide range of key and peripheral primary and secondary sources, demonstrating critical evaluation and synthesis within the professional context.
Organisation of Material – Excellent, coherent organisation and structure which enhances comprehension. Excellent presentation of all material. Referencing is accurate to a high degree.
Good Pass Knowledge and Clarity of Reasoning – Substantial knowledge base. Ability to discriminate key issues and establish some links to the wider context. Arguments are confidently expressed through clear, logical lines of thought. Conclusions are firmly articulated, comprehensive, and relevant and arise directly from the premised arguments.
Interface between Theory and Practice in the Professional Context – Excellent critical analysis/evaluation of the relationship between theory and practice. Substantial use of multiple theoretical frameworks to evaluate professional practice with wide ranging synthesis to show how each is informing the other. Clear, critical evaluation of their usefulness.
Use of literature – Substantial selection of key primary and secondary literature sources demonstrating analysis and critical evaluation of a wide range of relevant issues for the professional context.
Organisation of Material – Organisation is comprehensive and structure coherent.
Well presented, with considerable attention to detail which facilitates effortless comprehension. Supporting material is well presented and ordered with accurate referencing and minimal errors of detail.
50-59% Satisfactory Pass
Knowledge and Clarity of Reasoning – Sound knowledge base. Ability to discriminate key issues. Arguments are confidently expressed through clear, logical lines of thought. Conclusions are firmly articulated, relevant and arise directly from the premised arguments.
Interface between Theory and Practice in the Professional Context – Good, critical analysis/evaluation of the relationship between theory and practice. Some use of multiple theoretical frameworks to evaluate professional practice. Demonstrable synthesis to show how each is informing the other. Some evaluation of their usefulness.
Use of literature – Good selection of key primary literature sources with critical evaluation of significant issues for the professional. Some limited analysis of related, secondary material.
Organisation of Material – Organisation and structure is coherent.
Well presented, facilitating comprehension. Supporting material is well presented and ordered. Accurate referencing.
Knowledge and Clarity of Reasoning – Some defended knowledge of current, relevant issues. Limited development of arguments where lines of thought are discernible. Limited conclusions arising from premises.
Interface between Theory and Practice in the Professional Context – Some articulation of the relationship between and critical analysis/evaluation of the significance of relevant theory to specific professional practice with some awareness of how each may be informed by the other.
Use of literature – Range and choice of evidence/literature marginally inadequate. Some recognition and critical analysis of issues of significance for the professional context.
Organisation of Material – Organisation and structure does not adequately support the work. Presentation includes supporting material but is somewhat disorganised in places. Most referencing is sound and appropriate but limited in scope.
Knowledge and Clarity of Reasoning – Some evidence of relevant knowledge base but little argument and lines of thought are poorly expressed and often demonstrate confused thinking. Conclusions drawn but often not related to discussion.
Interface between Theory and Practice in the Professional Context – Some use of relevant theory but lack of awareness of relationship to practice. Little integration of the articulation between theory and practice
Use of literature – Narrow but mainly relevant selection of evidence/literature demonstrating some recognition of significance for the professional context
Organisation of Material – Poorly organised, incoherent structure.
Poor presentation and referencing.
Little appropriate supporting material given.
0-29% Fail Student has failed to meet the majority of the learning outcomes of the assessment.