Strategy and Competition Assignment

Assignment Instructions:

Word count: Not exceeding 2,500 words (excluding appendices)

File Format: MS Office

Referencing : Harvard Style

Assignment Question:

A major question in the field of Business Strategy/Strategic Management is how firms  achieve and sustain growth.

1. Select an industry of your choice (e.g., the airline or pharmaceutical sector),  and analyse fundamental characteristics of the industry that shape corporate /firm behaviour in the sector.

2. Building on the analysis in part 1, explain major modes of corporate growth (e.g. patenting or strategic alliances) and business models in the industry.

3. Select a company of your choice that has struggled to grow and expand profits in the past, and apply the framework developed in part 2 to explain how the firm can sustainably and persistently grow, expand market share, and increase profits.

4. Draw general managerial lessons that go beyond the case studied part 3.

Assignment Notes:

Focus on  the concept of industry fundamentals and  explain how they shape corporate behaviour and strategy, and offer ample examples to guide your analysis.

  • Clear research par excellence, showing evidence of detail and focus, with critical depth and insight that befits research at MBA graduate executive level.
  • Demonstrates the ability to evaluate relevant economic & strategy
  • theories and models critically and to thoughtfully apply concepts to practice. Demonstrates independent thinking and insight into theoretical issues.
  • Shows evidence of extensive research and the ability to synthesise and integrate the relevant data.
  • Demonstrates good analytical skills.Par excellent achievement of the relevant stated learning outcomes


Assignment Marking Scheme

Introduction (10 marks)

– Introducing the topic,

– Positioning the topic / importance and relevance,

– Outlining the structure of the essay.

Background / Literature review (15 marks)

– A systematic introduction to the market / firm,

– Reviewing relevant literature on the firm, its key characteristics and history,

– Reviewing first and secondary data on the firm / performance and possibly debt history.

Theoretical depth (20 marks)

– Identify types of failure: industry – based versus firm-based causes

– Specific mechanisms that led to the firm’s failure.

– Explain how the mechanisms (should) shape the firm’s turnaround strategies

– Reference to / use of relevant theories.

– Clear exposition of key concepts,

Application (25 marks)

– Offer a clear exposition of the firm’s turnaround strategy,

– Offer a systematic analysis of why the turnaround strategy succeeded or failed,

– Possibly link the analysis to other historical turnaround cases to generalize the analysis

– Systematic use of data to inform the analysis.

Critical Analysis (20 marks)

– Show an ability to discuss possible alternatives / strategies,

– Explain critically how the turnaround strategies fitted with the sources of the firm’s failure,

– Explain why exactly the turnaround strategy succeeded or failed,

– Reflect on possible self-renewal strategies to reduce the risk of future failure,

– Highlights the limits of the analysis.

Logical structure & Clear exposition (10 marks)

– The piece is logically structured,

– The exposition flows well,

– The piece shows adequate research, with sufficient references to the literature,

– Strong bibliography – mainly drawn from the academic literature

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