The Assignment Task:
You MUST choose one company from the official list of companies provided on your eLP for this semester. Explain how successful you think that company is, and discuss the strategic reasons behind that success.
Your explanation will include an analysis of the contribution made by the leadership of the company and will go on to suggest strategies and/or actions for ensuring future success in a sustainable manner
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What is contained in the document? Why should someone read it?
This should be a brief (maximum 100 words) introduction to the company and highlighting your key recommendations. Please note that the introduction is not given any marks. We restrict it to 100 words so that you do not waste valuable words from your assignment word limit on a protracted introduction.
It is best practice to write the introduction last.
MEASURES OF SUCCESS
What measures should be used to assess the relative success of your chosen company?
Financial and non-financial metrics should be suggested (with a preference for any data that are ‘benchmarked’ against direct competitors). Show example data for the company in question (in tabular or graphical form) that ideally spans four or five financial years to the present day.
Include in this section a brief discussion concerning the difficulties in determining and measuring business success (cite some of the key authors that have written about this subject).
3. REASONS FOR SUCCESS
What do experts suggest as the reasons for this company’s relative business success?
An outline of 6 to 10 business reasons behind the success stated in a simple, straightforward way with a brief (4 or 5 sentence) explanation of each reason. Each reason should be sub-titled in this section (i.e. 3.1, 3.2, 3.3 etc.). Cite the expert source(s) that have the opinion that you are listing. Do not speculate yourself in this section; just collect and sort the opinions of third-party experts. Do not rely solely upon the company’s own website or its publications. All company “jargon” and “acronyms” must have a brief explanation in brackets at the point of their first usage; thereafter they can be used without explanation.
4. STRATEGIC ANALYSIS (AVC+VRIN)
What are the possible internal success factors and where might they be located in the company’s activities?
This will be a detailed dual analysis of the company’s strategic capabilities starting with an Adapted Value Chain (AVC) and followed by a VRIN evaluation. This section carries the most marks. To score well in Section 4, you must also synthesise the AVC with the VRIN. This is achieved by demonstrating clear linkages between the two so that you can answer the two questions “What internal factors are contributing to future success?” (using VRIN); combined with, “Where are they happening within the activities of the company?” (using the AVC to show location, or locations).
The synthesis of AVC and VRIN is an iterative process (multi-pass), so we only need you to show the end result.
5. LEADERSHIP CONTRIBUTION
How is the current leadership guiding towards success? Is there a leadership legacy from a predecessor?
An evaluation of the contribution of leadership to the company’s success, basing this on appropriate leadership theory (as taught on this module). A wide range of topics will be acceptable including (but not limited to):
Leadership Attributes or Styles
6. STRATEGY FOCUS
Which particular strategic factor of this company deserves closer scrutiny?
A detailed analysis and interpretation based on one additional topic area from the following list:
Business Strategy (consistent with strategic capabilities)
Collaboration Strategy (alliances, joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions)
Sustainability (can the company gain competitive advantage this way)
Choose just one of the above to demonstrate your ability to conduct more in-depth research on one aspect of the company’s future.
7. STRATEGIC RECOMMENDATION
With page referencing to your previous sections, can explain your strategic recommendation for this company?
In this section, you make your strategic recommendation (which might encompass more than one particular suggestion to the company). Using the SAFe criteria (from your textbook); consider how Suitable your suggestions are to achieve the desired outcome of Sustained Competitive Advantage. Further estimate how Acceptable your suggestions might be to key stakeholders, and finally comment on the Feasibility of your suggestions.
Your recommendation must also demonstrate an awareness of future Sustainability issues.
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