Strategic Management;

Strategic Management;

STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT
COURSE ASSESSMENT 1
The final date for submission of this assessment without penalty is
04 January 2015
Assessment will be accepted for marking 14 days prior to the due date
Late Penalty System
Please refer to the Student/Programme Handbook
This module is being delivered through the Manchester Blackboard virtual
learning environment.
All assessments must be submitted through Blackboard at:
http://online.manchester.ac.uk/
If you have any technical difficulties using blackboard, please visit our
support pages at: http://www.studentnet.manchester.ac.uk/blackboard
Submitting your Assignment
1. Assignments should be typed, 10 or 11 point font size (Times Roman or similar if
possible) double spaced with a 4 cm margin on the right side of the page with the
page size specified as UK A4. All pages must be numbered.
2. Assignments should be submitted in either Microsoft Office and/or PDF format (.doc,
.docx, .pdf etc.). File names should be kept simple and only contain alphanumeric
characters (a-z0-9), spaces and underscores (e.g. Valid_filename_1.doc). Files with
other characters such as apostrophes, brackets or commas may not be accessible by
markers.
3. Assignments may be uploaded only once; substitutions are not permitted and students
should therefore ensure that the version uploaded is their final submission.
4. Please ensure you include your student number and the assignment reference
(SM/Student Number/Nov14/1) in all submitted assignments and that assignments
are paginated. Failure to do this may lead either to a grade not being assigned or being
wrongly assigned
5. If you are experiencing any difficulty in uploading your assignment to Blackboard, please
email a copy of the assignment and a screenshot of the error message immediately to
your local centre/Student Adviser.
IMPORTANT: ALWAYS RETAIN A COPY OF YOUR ASSIGNMENT
WARNING: Once submitted no substitute assignments will be allowed
Please ensure you include your student number and the assignment reference (SM/Student
Number/Nov14/1) in all submitted assignments and that assignments are paginated. Failure to
do this may lead either to a grade not being assigned or being wrongly assigned
STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT
COURSE ASSESSMENT 1
Pre-Workshop Individual Assignment – Competitive Environment and Company
Strategy
– 20% of Course Grade (1,000 words, 8 pages maximum)
NOTE: A pre-condition for attending the Strategic Management Workshop is the completion
of this individual assignment before the Workshop. To successfully complete this assignment
you need to review Sections 5 and 6 of the Course Manual; our Course text by R. Grant;
Unilever Cases A and B and a Euromonitor country report on Ice Cream. Reviewing these
materials ensures that you are well prepared and can contribute to the Workshop Group
assessment.
Select a Competitive Environment (Manual Section 5) and a Company (Manual Section 6)
within that Competitive Environment.
The assignment has three components:
1. Provide background to your selected:
a. Competitive Environment
b. Company
2. Application of TWO DIFFERENT Competitive Environment concepts/approaches to:
a. One concept/approach on your selected Competitive Environment
b. One concept/approach on Ice Cream in a country of your choice
3. Application of TWO DIFFERENT Company Strategy concepts/approaches to:
a. One concept/approach on your selected company
b. One concept/approach on Unilever
Assignment Structure Guidelines
– 1,000 words maximum
– 8 pages maximum
– Cover sheet, contents page, bibliography are not part of word count or page length
guidelines
– Labelled Diagrams and Tabulations are not part of your word count
– Appendix data is not wanted
Assignments significantly in excess of word count or page length guidelines will be
penalised.
Assignment Format
1. Background to your selected Competitive Environment and Company
2. Application of ONE concept/approach to your selected Competitive Environment and
ONE concept/approach to your selected company
3. Application of ONE concept/approach to Unilever and ONE concept/approach on Ice
Cream in a country of your choice.
Please ensure you include your student number and the assignment reference (SM/Student
Number/Nov14/1) in all submitted assignments and that assignments are paginated. Failure to
do this may lead either to a grade not being assigned or being wrongly assigned
Assignment Style Guidelines
• The Strategic Management style stresses:
– Labelled Diagrams and Tabulations
– Quantification. Where data is not available provide best estimates
– Trends/the future
– Do not explain concepts/approaches, the marker is familiar with them, just
managerially apply them
– The Managerial Implications
– Managerial actions to be considered
• If appropriate construct a labelled diagram for your application
• Always finish an application with the managerial implications/actions to be considered
The normal protocol for submitting assignments is adopted:
“The assignment should be typed, 10 or 11 point font size (Times Roman or similar if
possible) double spaced, with a 4cm margin on the right side of the page with the page size
specified as UK A4. All pages must be numbered.”
The assignment is limited to 8 pages with the protocol specified above. Assignments that
adhere to the 8 page length guideline but ‘squeeze’ too much in will be penalised (i.e:
smaller font size; single spacing; shorter margins)- as with normal layout the assignment has
exceeded the length guidelines.
Assignment Detail
Background (200 words maximum)
a. Competitive Environment
– Define your Arena/Industry/Market
– If data is available quantify by revenue/units and show trends
– Comment on competitors, customers
– What are the key issues/challenges/opportunities in the Competitive Environment?
b. Company
– Outline overall financial performance (a table with key figures/ratios) and comment
on
performance
– Quantify and trend the portfolio
– What are the key issues/challenges/opportunities faced by the Company?
Competitive Environment Applications (400 words maximum)
Reference Manual Section 5 and Grant chapters 3,4 and for different context chapters
8,9,10 and Unilever Case B.
Select TWO DIFFERENT Concepts/approaches and apply one to your selected Competitive
Environment and one to Ice Cream in a country of your choice (Euromonitor provides
country reports – but you can also refer to other sources)
Concepts/Approaches to select from:
– The Arena Map
– The Profit Pool Map
– The Five Forces
– Strategic Groups
– Strategic Imperatives/Key Success Factors
– Competitor Analysis
– Megatrends
– Scanning and Screening the Wider Environment
– Scenario’s
Please ensure you include your student number and the assignment reference (SM/Student
Number/Nov14/1) in all submitted assignments and that assignments are paginated. Failure to
do this may lead either to a grade not being assigned or being wrongly assigned
Company Strategy Applications (400 words maximum)
Reference Manual Section 6 and Grant Chapters 2,5,11,12,13,14,15 and Unilever Case A.
Select TWO DIFFERENT concepts/approaches and apply one to your selected Company
and one to Unilever.
Concepts/Approaches to select from:
– Vision
– Value Statements
– Mission
– Objectives
– Analysing and Developing Resources & Capabilities (Grant chapter 5 especially pages
134-135)
– Portfolio Analysis (select one portfolio grid)
– Mergers and Acquisition
– Divestment
– Strategic Alliances
– Vertical Integration (Grant chapter 11)
– Diversification (Grant chapter 13)
NOTE: Assignment Format previously outlined.
Confidentiality Considerations
You should not omit data/analysis needed to complete the assignment on the grounds of
confidentiality. If you have concerns over confidentiality you can:

Change the name of your company

Use a disguise factor (i.e.: divide all data by a percentage)
Note: at maximum four markers review your assignment (the first marker; the second
marker; Course moderator; external examiner) unless there is a case of plagiarism to
investigate.
If you still have confidentiality concerns select another assignment topic.
Please ensure you include your student number and the assignment reference (SM/Student
Number/Nov14/1) in all submitted assignments and that assignments are paginated. Failure to
do this may lead either to a grade not being assigned or being wrongly assigned

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