Strategic management;

Strategic management;

LO1    LO1 Critically evaluate the underlying concepts and theories of strategic management and the relationship between strategy, stakeholder aspirations and governance.
LO2    LO2 Demonstrate understanding and awareness of current and emerging Economic, Political, Legal and Cultural factors and critically evaluate those which will have an impact on strategic management in an international context.
LO3    LO3 Formulate business strategies in a systematic way , and develop criteria in order to evaluate and select those most likely to prove successful for a particular organisation.
LO4    LO4 Develop plans for the implementation of business strategies, presenting strategic proposals to stakeholders in a persuasive and authoritative manner.
Assessment types    Weightings (%)
Assessment type, weighting and LOs tested by this assessment indicated in the shaded area above by a ?

Mark required to pass this coursework:      50%
(Complete following detail)
Hand in date & time    Semester One: 1st February 2015 at 12:00 midnight
Semester Two:
Date & method by which you will receive feedback    Semester one & semester two feedback will be provided via PebblePAD latest three weeks after hand in date.
TNE iterations tbc
Resit/retrieval date    TBA

Do clearly state your student number when submitting work but do not indicate your name.       Always keep a copy of your work.                                                                                                 Always keep a file of working papers (containing, for instance, working notes, copied journal article and early drafts of your work, etc.) that show the development of your work and the sources you have used. You may need to show this to tutor at some point so notes should be clear and written in English. This is an important requirement. There may be circumstances where it is difficult to arrive at a mark for your work. If this is so you may be asked to submit your file within 3 working days and possibly meet with your tutor to answer questions on your submission.
Explanation of submission requirements and further guidance

•    Assessments are subject to a word limit to ensure consistency of approach across all modules. Your work should not exceed the limit indicated (excluding references and appendices). Do not feel that you have to “achieve” this word count in your work.  What is important is that the work satisfies the stated learning outcomes which are articulated through the assessment criteria (see following page).
•    Care is taken to ensure that work has been marked correctly. Checks are conducted by both a second lecturer and an independent expert from outside the University on batches of work.
•    Your work will not be returned to you but you will receive detailed feedback explaining how your mark has been arrived at and how your work could have been improved upon.
•    Always use the Harvard style referencing system. The University’s Learning Information Services have produced a series of guides covering a range of topics to support your studies and develop your academic skills including a guide to Harvard referencing Expensive or elaborate bindings and covers for submissions are not required in most instances. (Refer to guidelines however in the case of dissertations).
•    The Business School has a policy of anonymous marking of individual assessments which applies to most modules.  You should not identify yourself directly in the work you submit and you may need to use phrases such as “the author of this assignment ….”in the detail of your submission.
Avoid academic misconduct
Warning: Collusion, plagiarism and cheating are very serious offences that can result in a student being expelled from the University.  The Business School has a policy of actively identifying students who engage in academic misconduct of this nature and routinely applying detection techniques including the use of sophisticated software packages.
•    Avoid Collusion. The Business School encourages group working, however to avoid collusion always work on your own when completing individual assessments.  Do not let fellow students have access to your work at any stage and do not be tempted to access the work of others.  Refer to your module tutor if you do not understand or you need further guidance.
•    Avoid Plagiarism. You must use available and relevant literature to demonstrate your knowledge of a subject, however to avoid plagiarism you must take great care to acknowledge it properly. Plagiarism is the act of stealing someone else’s work and passing it off as your own.  This includes incorporating either unattributed direct quotation(s) or substantial paraphrasing from the work of another/others.  For this reason it is important that you cite all the sources whose work you have drawn on and reference them fully in accordance with the Harvard referencing standard. (This includes citing any work that you may have submitted yourself previously).   Extensive direct quotations in assessed work is ill advised because it represents a poor writing style, and it could lead to omission errors and a plagiarism offence could be committed accidentally.
•    Avoid the temptation to “commission” work or to cheat in other ways. There are temptations on the internet for you to take “short cuts”. Do not be tempted to either commission work to be completed on your behalf or search for completed past academic work.
When you submit your work you will be required to sign an important declaration that the submission is your own work, any material you have used has been acknowledged and referenced,  you have not allowed another student to have access to your work, the work has not been submitted previously, etc.

Assessment Brief/ Task
The detailed requirements for this task are as follows:
The portfolio is comprised of the following sections:

•    Assessed Task No 2 Business planning & selecting strategies
•    Assessed task no 3 competition and business unit strategy
•    Assessed task no 4 stakeholder mapping
•    Reflection on the module
•    Annotated Bibliography

Assessed task no 2, competition and business unit strategy
Using as an example companies with which you are familiar or can research:
Identify two businesses which are using different competitive strategies, for example: one business which has adopted a strategy of differentiation, and one which has adopted a cost leadership strategy. Explain why the strategies which they have chosen are appropriate and describe the capabilities and competencies which would be required for each of the two business units.
Sir David Lees, the ex-chairman of GKN plc has been quoted as saying that maintaining the right mix of strategic business units [and prioritising them] was one of his most important jobs when running GKN.
Using business units from a multi-business unit company, position at least two business units on a GE business screen and explain their postions . What would this indicates about your future investment proposals for the two businesses?
Indicative length: 700 words / ~equivalent of two A4 four pages
Assessed Task 3: International Mergers Acquisitions and joint ventures
It seems that cross-border mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures have been very popular as expansion strategies in recent years, but have often had a poor record of success and in some circumstances, a disastrous effect on shareholder value. And yet there are some notable success stories too.
Choose a recent example of a cross-border merger, acquisition or joint venture, identify the reasons for the success or failure of the strategy and discuss them in the context of the theoretical content of the module..
You should discuss and agree your choice of company with the module tutor before starting this task.
Indicative length: 700 words / ~equivalent of two A4 four pages
Assessed task no 4, Governance, Stakeholder Mapping & CSR

For a company or organisation with which you are familiar or which you can easily research, identify the main stakeholders and briefly described their interest in the organisation and their ability to influence strategic decisions.
Plot the positioning of the stakeholders on a stakeholder map you can use the following as a template, or you can produce one which is a bit prettier &ncreate a link to the portfolio page
Stakeholder template example
Briefly comment on how you might use stakeholder mapping in future and how useful you consider it to be.
Using a current example, discuss the extent to which ethical issues /CSR drive strategy in the organisation.
Indicative length: 700 words

The following information is important when:
•    Preparing for your assessment
•    Checking your work before you submit it
•    Interpreting feedback on your work after marking.
Assessment Criteria

A good portfolio will demonstrate, in each task, the application of appropriate theory, demonstrate that the portfolio topic has been well researched and that the evaluation/analysis is logically consistent with the conclusions drawn by the student.

The portfolio will include a business plan which is convincingly presented, viable and based on market predictions and scenario projections The precise criteria against which your work will be marked is as follows:

Task 2: The critical evaluation of theories of competitive strategy and their application to real-world examples.
Task 3:  The application of theories pertaining to mergers acquisitions & joint ventures so as to identify & evaluate aspects of good and bad practice in a brief real-world case study.
Task 4:   The application of theories pertaining to corporate governance and corporate social responsibility so as to identify and evaluate governance & CSR practice in a real-world organisation.

Performance descriptors
Performance descriptors indicate how marks will be arrived at against each of the above criteria. The descriptors indicate the likely characteristics of work that is marked within the percentage bands indicated.

Criteria     70-100%
Work of an outstanding, standard     60-69%
Work of a good standard.     Pass 50-59%
Work of a pass standard.     40-49%
FAIL     0-39%

Tasks 2 & 3 Content, Theory & Application
The task answer demonstrates
originality, innovation and depth in the content and theory which is comparable to published work The work clearly demonstrates application of theory through the use of well chosen novel and insightful examples.    In the main the task answer is insightful and has an appropriate selection of content and theory in key areas identified in the brief.
The work demonstrates application of theory through the use of appropriate live examples    Key theories and ideas are
included in the task answer in an appropriate manner although not consistently across all tasks. The work demonstrates basic application through the use of appropriate live examples, although these may be traditional textbook cases rather than ones which are novel or insightful    Appropriate selection
of content/theory but some key aspects missed/misconstrued. Lack of theory in most areas. The work does not sufficiently demonstrate basic application through the use of live examples    Does not address the assignment brief. Uses Inaccurate or inappropriate
content/theory. The work does not create a link between theory and practice.
Application of the theory by reference to live examples may be missing.
Task 4 stakeholder mapping, governance & CSR
Impressive organisational overview and its context and reflection of perspectives and expectations of key stakeholders. . Includes a stakeholder map in which the positioning is well justified.. A comprehensive description of the process of governance and discussion of CSR with strong links to the case example.    A good overview of the organisation, and its context including the perspectives and expectations of key stakeholders.  The inclusion of the stakeholder map with some justification of stakeholder positioning.
Good discussion of governance & CSR concepts, linked to the case example    A reasonable overview of the organisation, its context including some reflection of perspectives and expectations of key players along with a appropriate stakeholder map (although the positioning of may not be justified)
Competent discussion of governance & CSR concepts.    Some overview of the organisation, its context and stakeholders and reflection of perspectives of key players. These aspects could be improved upon and made clearer.
Some discussion of governance & CSR issues, but key concepts missing    Confused overview of the organisation & its context and key stakeholders.  Possibly missing stakeholder expectations.  Possibly incoherent description in places or no real attempt to address assignment brief.  Parts of the question remain unanswered

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