How will we support you with your assessment?

The formative mini-casework in seminars will be of direct help in the application of relevant strategic tools. There will be regular Q&A sessions linked to the assessment report and in the final weeks of teaching there will be an opportunity to review and reflect upon work from previous cohorts.

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Discussed and assessed as High, Moderate or Low and industry attractiveness should be assessed having these forces in mind.
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How will your work be assessed?

Q1: (30%) External analysis.
Discuss the business environment and identify several Opportunities – Os and Threats – Ts (we expect 6 issues from business environment to be discussed in total each of which concluded as an O or a T). Please note that there is no need to address each factor (if for example there are no important legal or technological issues do not discuss these factors). Your task is to identify and discuss 6 most important issues in your opinion. Demonstrate how an issue is an Opportunity or a Threat.

Industry analysis (5 Forces) should be applied to assess industry attractiveness (each force should be discussed and assessed as High, Moderate or Low and industry attractiveness should be assessed having these forces in mind).

Please make sure that you use appropriately referenced data (charts, figures, quotes etc) to support your arguments. Also, note that this is an external analysis, so it is not about the firm but about issues in that industry (in context).

Q2: (30%) Internal analysis.
Identify and discuss organisation’s unique resources & distinctive capabilities (at least 6 Strengths and Weaknesses should be covered in total). Discuss resources (what a company has) and competences (activities) separately.
While addressing unique resources (physical – e.g. retail outlets, manufacturing facilities, products etc.; human – e.g. people and teams crucial for successful strategic development; intangible – e.g. brands, links to external stakeholders etc. and possibly financial) make sure that each is discussed separately and concluded as an S or a W.
While discussing distinctive competences construct Value Chain for the organisation and within list a number of specific and distinctive activities for your organisation. Demonstrate how unique capabilities link to competitive advantage (each distinctive competence from Value Chain should be “pushed” through VRIO to identify Core Competences for the organisation). Once you identify one (or two at most) core competence provide a discussion about these below Value Chain or VRIO (what is the activity and how does it contribute to firm’s competitive advantage). Note that all competences listed in value chain (and VRIO) should be company’s Strengths (Weaknesses could be discussed in a descriptive fashion separately). Again, use properly referenced data to support your arguments. This question is about the company (internal analysis).

Q3: (30%) Strategy Evaluation
Evaluate the given strategy – please see “Cases for the assignment” on Moodle) using the three SAFe tests:
Construct TOWS populating Os, Ts, Ss and Ws fully (all Os and Ts obtained from Q1, all Ss and Ws obtained from Q2). Place the strategy you are evaluating in one of the inner sections and try to associate it to one or more internal and one or more external items while addressing Suitability (e.g. if you place a strategy in S-O quadrant identify appropriate S or Ss combined with O or Os while contemplating this strategy).
Construct Power/Interest matrix with several relevant stakeholders, then choose two stakeholder groups that will be affected with the strategy and for each discuss if the strategy you are evaluating is acceptable or not and why.
While addressing Feasibility, comment on financial resources and skills required for implementation of the strategy being evaluated.

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