Assessment – Coursework

This graded assessment accounts for 90% of your final grade and comprises two separate assessment

exercises: Part A & Part B which are both weighted equally at 45% of your final grade.
Part A
In Part A, we assess learning outcomes related to topics 2, 3, 4 & 8 by providing you with case

study information on the leadership and strategic development processes which operate within the

innovative context at Google.
The purpose of this brief is to provide you:
• Details of the coursework assessment: background to the case and questions
• Information on presentation and submission date.
• Guidelines to assist you in answering the questions
• The assessment marking criteria and feedback sheet for Part A.
Case Study Background & Questions
Read carefully the case evidence on Twitter which is contained in the following three sources:
1. Mark, K. & Parker, S. (2011) Twitter extracted from:
Ireland, R.D., Hoskisson, R. E., & Hitt, M.A. (2013) The Management of Strategy: Concepts and

Cases, 10th International Edition, South-Western, Cengage Learning, pages 371-377
2. Twitter (2013) Annual Report 2013, Twitter, Inc.

3. Twitter (2014) Annual Report 2014, Twitter, Inc.

4. Twitter (2016) Annual Report 2016, Twitter, Inc.

Each source covers a distinct period of Twitter’s strategic development from start-up, to stock

market listing (IPO), to growth within the internet information provider industry.
• Source 1 provides a case analysis of Twitter’s strategic development at start-up (2006-

2011).
• Source 2 reports on Twitter’s strategic position having achieved an initial public offering

(IPO) in 2013.
• Source 3 reports on Twitter’s proposed growth directions and future strategic choices in

2014-2015.
• Source 4 reports on Twitter’s current strategic position and outlines the current risks

related to Twitter and their industry in 2015-2016.

All sources provide insights into the leadership, strategy and innovation practices within Twitter.

Source 1 critiques Twitter’s origins, current business model and future strategic choices, whereas

sources 2 and 3 provide a corporate account on Twitter’s mission, values, along with the content

and direction of their previous strategy. Source 4 provides a corporate on Twitter’s current

strategic position and warns of the risks the business currently faces. Your analysis of the

Twitter Annual Reports should therefore be particularly critical in order to answer the below

questions.
Part A of your coursework assessment requires you to answer two questions:
Questions.
1. Using the Ashridge Sense of Mission Model analyse the case evidence to critically examine

the argument that Twitter’s current growth and development show signs of a weak sense of mission.
2. Despite a recent net loss of US$107 million, Jack Dorsey, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and

Co-Founder of Twitter states on Q2 2016 results that: “We’re making the right decisions in our

products, and it gives us a foundation for future growth.” Using relevant strategic decision making

theory, analyse Twitter’s strategic development to date and indicate to what extent you agree with

Jack Dorsey’s viewpoint. In your answer, consider Twitter’s strategy in relation to the risks

outlined in the 2016 Annual Report.

Both questions are equally weighed and you should review how grading is allocated in the Coursework

Feedback Sheet.
Presentation and Submission Date
The assessment in Part A is a case analysis and you should note that case analysis is not a

conceptual explanation or discussion but the application of concepts and frameworks to interpret

the case information, analyse key events and statements, and reach evaluative judgements. The

concepts and frameworks are covered in the workshops and prescribed reading and the guidance below

gives you a few pointers on how you need to use this knowledge to answer the questions. In

developing your analysis and arguments, you should use supporting evidence from the information

contained in the case studies.
Your answers must only be derived from the information on Twitter contained in the four case

evidence sources listed above. You are permitted to use additional Twitter sources (internal

documents) that are cited in the Annual Reports. You are not permitted to use any external

documents (press reports, websites, archival documents etc.) The reason for this is that your

analysis and evaluation is being assessed at this point in the organisation’s development and not

in the light of subsequent events. As a result, you should not include references on Twitter from

the internet or other external sources.
In terms of presentation, introduce each question indicating how you will structure your answer and

conclude each answer with reference to your preceding arguments and the task required by the

question. Do not present your answer in rigid report format but you may wish to divide your answer

into sections which reflect the major elements of your analysis. The combined word count of your

answers to both questions must comply with the following guidance:
Minimum Length: 2000 words
Maximum Length: 2500 words
Submission deadline: Friday 9th December 2016, at 11.59pm
The word limit excludes appendices and bibliography. Where a submission exceeds the stated word

limit the maximum grade awarded will be P1. Appendices can be useful to provide additional

information from your analysis but you must incorporate the key analytical arguments into the main

body of your answer.

Guidance Notes
The assessment feedback sheet at the end of this section gives the marking criteria for the overall

case analysis. Remember, in writing your solution to the questions you must not describe what the

case says but use the concepts to analyse the information and use the evidence/facts in the case to

support your analysis.

Question 1 asks you to critically review if Twitter has achieved a strong sense of mission. The

question specifically asks you to use the Ashridge Sense of Mission model which is part of your

prescribed reading for unit 2. Specifically you should apply and discuss the four elements of

mission (Ashridge model) to Twitter. When considering purpose and strategy, you should analyse the

case evidence on mission, values and strategy. When doing this avoid being overly descriptive on

the content of Twitter’s strategy as you will soon exceed the word limit. Attempt to develop

arguments and, if necessary, include supporting details in appendices. More crucially, you must

address the central issue in the question of how the fifth element, a sense of mission, is achieved

through the alignment of the employees’ personal values with the organisation’s identity and

values. In doing this, consider the role played by the leadership and management approach at

Twitter – particularly discussed in sources 2, 3, & 4 – to integrate the elements of mission,

behavioural standards and values of the organisation, with those of the employees. You will also

need to evaluate Twitter’s mission based on the company’s recent expansion and strategic

developments to express and justify your opinion on whether Twitter have a achieved a strong sense

of mission.

To answer question 2 you will need to write a short essay by drawing on your learning of strategic

decision-making theory and your prescribed reading from Johnson et al, chapter 12. Initially, you

should commence your research by reading and examining the case evidence in order to identify a

list of Twitter’s strategic decisions. Once you have identified a list of these decisions in

chronological order, your essay discussion should focus on how this decision-making relates to

deliberate and/or emergent forms of strategy development. When doing this avoid being overly

descriptive on the content of these decisions. Instead, you should ensure that the use the relevant

theory to structure your discussion of case evidence. To develop your arguments further, a brief

distinction between deliberate and intended strategy would be useful, followed by an in-depth

discussion on which approach most closely resembles Twitter’s strategic development. To reach

conclusions on Twitter’s future strategy, you should consider the risks outlined in Twitter’s 2016

Annual Report (pg. 10-35) in relation to effectiveness of Twitter’s vision and strategy.

Important Note:
Please ensure that Part A and Part B are submitted as separate documents. The documents should

clearly be marked Part A and Part B and your matriculation number and module code should be clearly

marked on the submission.
Please also note that it is the intention of the module team to use grademark on this module – so

you may receive feedback in this format.

Turnitin: When uploading your file (either Part A or Part B) to Turnitin, please use your

matriculation number as the file name. For example, your file name should take the following format

“(401xxxxx Part A)” or “(401xxxxx Part B)”.
Your name should not be marked in the submission.
Please note that it can take 24 hours to receive an originality report when using the Turnitin

system.
Please ensure you include your reference list within your Turnitin submission.

Part A
Coursework Assessment Feedback
Matriculation No. Date of Submission:
Module: Leading Strategic Decision-making
Part A: Twitter Case Study Cohort:

Category Grade Comment

Presentation of analysis, use of appropriate concepts, and depth of understanding of the issues

raised in the case.
(10%)

Critically examine Twitter’s sense of mission using the Ashridge Model.
(35%)

Analyse Twitter’s strategic development to date and indicate to what extent you agree with Jack

Dorsey’s viewpoint (35%)

Ability to reach coherent and logical arguments from the analysis, supported by case evidence.
(20%)

E D C B A
Fail
(F1 – F5) Marginal Pass (P1) Satisfactory/ Good
(P2-P3) Very good
(P4-P5) Excellent
(D1+)

General Comments:

Overall Grade: Marker:

N.B. the percentages are shown as indications of the relative importance of each section and should

not be taken as a precise indication of the marking scheme.

PART B
In Part B, we require you to write an essay on the following topic.

Essay Topic:
According to Garcia-Morales et al. (2012), transformational leadership heightens consciousness of

collective interest among the organisation’s members and helps them to achieve their collective

goals.
Critically evaluate this statement with reference to published research on the topic.
Present some examples of transformational leaders who have successfully elevated the consciousness

of their followers.

Marking schedule for Part B:
10% of marks are allocated to the presentation of the essay. The student’s work should be typed

with clear use of paragraphs and headings. Typographical and spelling errors should be avoided.
10% of marks are allocated to appropriate referencing of content. Students should familiarise

themselves and make use of the Harvard referencing system and should cite and reference material

properly. Students should make use of a range of resources (books, journal articles etc) and the

literature used should be appropriate to the arguments made.
60% of marks are allocated to the analysis presented in the essay. Students should examine

appropriate theoretical concepts and frameworks. Students should demonstrate an awareness of the

wider context and present an in-depth discussion of current issues. Better students will

demonstrate critical analysis skills and communicate their arguments in a clear and coherent

manner.
20% of marks are allocated to the conclusions drawn. The conclusions should identify the key themes

or issues under consideration. Conclusions should be well supported from the analysis and

highlight the significance of arguments, evidence and insights

Guidance Notes on Part B:
You must refer to relevant literature throughout the essay. This can be in the form of textbooks,

journal articles, or relevant web-based material. Student are directed in particular to the

following databases which they may find useful in developing their essay:
• ABI Inform Complete (Proquest)
• Ingenta
• Science Direct
• Sage Online

In particular, the following journals may be helpful to you in relation to the prescribed topic:
• Leadership Quarterly (Available on Science Direct)
• Leadership and Organisation Development Journal (Available on ABI Inform)
• Team Performance Management (Available on ABI Inform)
• Journal of Management Development (Available on ABI Inform)
• Group and Organisation Management (Available on Sage Online)

You may wish to refer to relevant theory or you may wish to cite relevant research or examples to

support your arguments. Remember all material cited must be referenced using the Harvard

Referencing system. Also please refer to the University guidance notes on the avoidance of

Plagiarism.
Please remember to structure your essay appropriate. You should use headings – and include an

introduction, main body and conclusion/recommendations sections. Please do not label the main body

as “main body”.
You should avoid using footnotes in your essay.
Please ensure you use UK English spelling in your writing – so avoid “z’s” such as “organization”

and use the UK English spelling of “organisation” instead.
Bullet points and numbered lists should be avoided in your essay – with strong, well-supported

arguments from the literature preferred.
Please use “Justify” alignment and 1 and a half or double spacing. Your font should be a suitable

size (usually 11 or 12 font size).
While we do not specify a particular number of references/citations to be included, you should

include at least a minimum of 15 different journal articles in your essay.
Please answer the topic posed. Your essay should NOT be a summary of leadership theories. You need

to specifically address the topic and question posed.

Minimum Essay Length: 2000 words
Maximum Essay Length: 2500 words

The word count includes your entire essay, your citations and your reference list. However, the

word count does not include the cover page. The word count ranges between 2000 words and 2500 words

(so please do not ask about 10% allowances related to the word count – your full word count should

fit between 2000 words and 2500 words)
Submission deadline: Friday 9th December 2016 at 11:59pm (UK time)
Please note that whilst the submission deadline is Friday 9th December 2016 at 11.59pm (UK time),

you are free to make your submission (Part A or B or both) at any time before this date. You do not

need to wait until this day, or the day before or the week before.

Important Note:
Please ensure that Part A and Part B are submitted as separate documents. The documents should

clearly be marked Part A and Part B and your matriculation number and module code should be clearly

marked on the submission.
Please also note that it is the intention of the module team to use grademark on this module – so

you may receive feedback in this format.

Turnitin: When uploading your file (either Part A or Part B) to Turnitin, please use your

matriculation number as the file name. For example, your file name should take the following format

“(401xxxxx Part A)” or “(401xxxxx Part B)”.
Your name should not be marked in the submission.
Please note that it can take 24 hours to receive an originality report when using the Turnitin

system.
Please ensure you include your reference list within your Turnitin submission.

Coursework Assessment Feedback
Matriculation No. Date of Submission:
Module: Leadership Strategy and Innovation

Part B: Essay Cohort:

Category Comment

Presentation of the essay. Clear use of paragraphs and headings and the text is free from

typographical and spelling errors.
(10%)

Referencing of content. Consistent use of Harvard Referencing throughout the essay with adequate

citation support for arguments being made.
(10%)

Analysis.
Comprehensive examination of appropriate theoretical frameworks and models. Strong arguments

presented with critical insights and good communication skills in evidence.
(60%)

Conclusions.
Clear identification of key themes and issues. Synthesis of core arguments and formulation of

insights and recommendations as appropriate
(20%)

General Comments:

Overall Grade: Marker:

N.B. the percentages are shown as indications of the relative importance of each section and should

not be taken as a precise indication of the marking scheme.

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