As a strategy consultant, you have been approached by the Board of Directors of a company of your choice to advise them on their future strategic direction. You are required to present your opinion, based upon researched evidence, in the form of a report to cover the following five tasks:

As a strategy consultant, you have been approached by the Board of Directors of a company of your choice to advise them on their future strategic direction. You are required to present your opinion, based upon researched evidence, in the form of a report to cover the following five tasks:
Task 1

The strategic direction that the company has followed in the past and the way in which strategic thinking has developed within the past 5 years.
(10 marks)

Task 2

A detailed analysis of the industry in which the company is operating to include:

• PESTLE analysis.
• A critical discussion of the company’s competitive advantage among its direct competitors.
• The probable industry scenarios facing the company within its existing market domains.

(20 marks)

Task 3

Further analysis with regard to:

• Whether their mission and vision statements are aligned to the demands of the marketplace.
• The company’s strategic capabilities.
(20 marks)

Task 4

Discuss possible strategies that the company could follow to defend its core business. (30 marks)

Task 5

In the light of your discussion in tasks 1-4 analyse and evaluate the resource implications of your recommendations that the company has to address.
(10 marks)

10 marks for presentation

(Total: 100 marks)

You may use appendices. These do not affect the word count.

Marking Scheme
Task 1
Discussion of the strategy to date and strategic challenges facing the company (10 marks)
Task 2
Application of relevant tools and techniques to identify strategic drivers (20 marsk)
Task 3
Position audit grounded in relevant analytical approaches (20 marks)
Task 4
Ability to generate strategic options and applicatio of evaluatio tools to assess strategies (30 marks)
Task 5
Discussion of implementation challenges (10 marks)
10 marks for presentation


Individual Supporting Contributions to Group Presentation

Learning outcome assessed:
Critically analyse a case situation in terms of strategic issues and make justified recommendations.

• Each student is required to provide supporting documentation within a stipulated allowed maximum of 3000 words from each student.
• The required content of the supporting documentation produced by each student also is required to be within the following maximum word lengths (in brackets) and to cover the specific categories listed:
(a) Provide an executive summary for their personal and individual research and work undertaken for the topic set-required in Executive Report standard format: 5 marks
(b) Indicate and identify the key areas of research and sources which the student has had to identify and undertake to contribute to the group report and their key sources of research/references/literature search sources related to the topic selected. 5 marks
(c) A critical discussion of strategic models from the evidence identified by the individual student related to the topic set . 40 marks
(d) An indication of the individual key conclusions and findings related to strategic theories and models and the practical implications. 20 marks
(e) Identification of the key issues and conclusions which the student has learned as a result of undertaking the group assignment on the topic set and an idenfication of the success or failure of their group-team endeavours. 10 marks
(f) An indication of the way in which their individual contribution impacted on Group Discussion by listing the action points included in the report 20 marks

• Each student will receive an individual mark for their submission of their individual supporting contributions and documentation. It is emphasised that this aspect of the assessment is to be the work of the individual student and should reflect individual researches; comprehension of the tasks involved; views; critical awareness; use of theory; interpretation and judgements; use of evidence; evaluation and a systematic approach to the use of research
• (Max 3000 words, 100 marks/ 50% weighting)

SECTION 5: Learning Outcomes

Learning outcomes tested:

Task 1
? Critically analyse a case situation in terms of strategic issues and make justified recommendations.

Task 2

? Demonstrate, understand and critically explain the importance of integrational thinking in their understanding of strategy and its formation and development in complex organisations.

Task 3

? Evaluate and develop the ability to identify strategic issues and design appropriate courses of action.

? Identify and explain the importance of how the synthesise of knowledge gained from other business modules may be brought together into a comprehensive understanding of the concepts underpinning competitive advantage.
? Understand and be able to critically analyse the strategic position and the interrelated functions of Production and Operations Management (POM) in organisations.


Section 6: Grading Criteria

MARK 29 or less 30 – 39 40 – 49 50 – 59 60 – 69 70 +

Has the question been answered?
Vague, random, unrelated material Some mention of the issue, but a collection of disparate points Barely answers the question – just reproduces what knows about the topic Some looseness/
digressions Well focused Highly focused
Is there evidence of having read widely
and use of appropriate and up to date material to make a case? No evidence of reading.
No use of theory – not even hinted at implicitly. No evidence of reading.
An implicit hint at some knowledge of theory, etc. No evidence of reading. Very basic theories mentioned but not developed or well used. Some reading evident, but confined to core texts. Good reading.
Good range of theories included. Excellent reading.
Well chosen theories.
Are ideas summarized rather than being reproduced, and are they inter-related with other ideas?
No theory included. Vague assertions/poor explanations. Long winded descriptions of theory.
Some long winded sections.
Some quotations, but stand alone.
Some inter- connections. Good summary of theory.
Good use of quotations that flow with narrative.
Good inter-connections. Succinct, effective summaries of theory. Excellent choice and threading of quotations into argument. Good counterpoising of a range of perspectives.
Does it show appropriate use of theory in a
Practical situation? No examples No/limited/
inappropriate examples Few examples Uneven examples Good examples Excellent range of examples.
Does it identify the key issues, etc in a given scenario, proposal or argument? Vague assertions about issues. Largely descriptive with no identification and analysis of central issues. Limited insight into issues. Some good observations. Good, detailed analysis. Comprehensive range of issues identified and discussed fully.
Does it critically assess material?
Are there workable and imaginative solutions? No evaluation. Uncritical acceptance of material. Some evaluation but weak. Little insight. Good interpretation. Some but limited sophistication in argument.
Good critical assessment. Independent thought displayed. Full critical assessment and substantial individual insight.
Thorough and accurate citation and referencing No referencing No referencing Limited/poor referencing Some inconsistencies in referencing
Appropriate referencing Appropriate referencing
Logical and coherent structure to argument and effective presentation
No structure apparent.
Poor presentation.
Poor structure.
Poor presentation. Acceptable, but uneven structure.
Reasonable presentation. Reasonable structure.
Good presentation. Good argument.
Well presented material. Excellent argument.
Very effective presentation format.

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