Assessment Point Homework

Assessment task: Case Study-based Report

Word count limit: 3500 words +/- 10% (excluding references and appendices)

General guidance

Your report should be MS-Word processed (handwritten assessments are not accepted), using Times New Roman size 12 font, double spaced, with numbered pages and your student number printed as a footer on every page. Please note that this report is supported by academic research, so you should adhere to the appropriate referencing guidance. Please note that your report will be submitted via the Turnitin software. This allows us to monitor and deal with plagiarism.

The word limit stated for this report excludes the list of references at the end of the report but includes all text in the main body (including direct quotations, in-text citations, footnotes, tables, diagrams, and graphs). Please be aware that exceeding the word limit will affect the academic judgment of the piece of work and may result in the award of a lower mark. Appendices are not considered a supplement and will not be assessed as part of the content of the report. As such, they will not contribute to the grade awarded; however, it may be appropriate to use an Appendices section for any material which is a useful reference for the reader. Please note that appendices are not included in the word count. Please indicate the word count length at the end of your report.

The majority of references should come from primary sources (e.g. journal articles, conference papers, reports, etc.), although you can also utilize area-specific textbooks. You must ensure that you use the Harvard style of referencing.

Marking and assessment

This assessment will be marked out of 100% and contributes to 100% of the total module mark. The pass mark is 50%.

Submitting via Turnitin

Your assignment will be submitted via Turnitin. Please note that you are responsible for ensuring you understand the process of uploading your assessment on the VLE before your assignment submission deadline. This includes submitting your work via Turnitin for similarity checks and accepting the Turnitin terms and conditions.

As a first step, you are advised to upload your work as a draft and check the Turnitin similarity indication well before the relevant deadline. This way, you can see whether further amendments are needed to reduce similarity in case this is high. After editing your work, you can proceed with the final submission by the deadline.

Any submitted work not accompanied by a Turnitin similarity report will not be accepted. Please contact your tutor if you experience any issues with the use of Turnitin.

Learning Outcomes

After completing this assessment, the students should be able to:

  1. Analyse and critically appraise the major features of the macro and microenvironment within which organisations function.
  2. Evaluate the impact of market and competitive environments, globalisation, and international factors and demographic, social and technological trends on contemporary organisations.
  3. Evaluate the role of management and different organisational/managerial functions within contemporary organisations.
  4. Analyse the often conflicting interests of stakeholders and challenges of the macro and micro environment as they impact organisations’ business and HR choices.
  5. Design systems and rationale for creating a high-performance culture influencing individual and organizational performance.
  6. Critically evaluate tools for managing both under-performance and high performance.
  7. Evaluate the need for strategic integration of Managing Performance with Human Resource Development.
  8. Critically appraise various development strategies in line with strategic aims.

Assessment guidelines

Please read the following case study carefully and produce a report by answering the below


Case Study: “What makes Korres a Greek pioneer in natural cosmetics”

The phones at Korres SA’s headquarters in a northern Athens suburb often ring with requests from foreign hedge funds seeking an appointment. Some of those funds are looking into the possibility of a direct investment.

With a presence in 30 countries, growth in the double digits and a gross profit margin close to 65 percent, the Greek firm that produces and distributes natural cosmetics is regarded as holding great promise worldwide. This is especially so now, when sales in North America are expected to accelerate thanks to a restructuring of the distribution network and the collaboration with Avon in Brazil. The opinion that the company has completed a successful restructuring and is poised to show sustainable robust growth is starting to prevail in the market. The company’s main shareholder’ attention is firmly on research and development for new innovative products based on natural ingredients, advanced packaging design and further expansion abroad. This is, after all, the successful mix that has allowed Korres SA, despite the crisis, to reduce borrowing, improve inflows and profit margins, rationalize its financial figures and attract fresh talent, leading to a burst in exports from 15-20 percent a few years ago to 45 percent today, along with an increase in turnover from 39 million euros in 2013 to 54.5 million euros in 2016. In the first half of this year, turnover exceeded 30 million euros. Borrowing is at 34.8 million euros and after the cash availability is deducted, net borrowing amounts to 24.4 million euros. These results arise from a slight uptick in sales in Greece in H1 but mainly from a much more significant rise in strategic foreign markets. Sales in Greece rose 1 percent, but in Germany, Norway, the UK and France, they shot up 32 percent. In the US, meanwhile, the main distribution channels – like Sephora, Sephora Inside JCPenney and – also saw sales grow. Why then did group US sales come to

30.1 million euros in H1 this year compared to 31 million euros in the same period of 2016? This is explained by changes at the Home Shopping Network, one of the channels distributing Korres products, but the Greek company’s management tells Kathimerini that HSN has already completed its own restructuring plan and the Korres team has already speeded up sales, with positive results expected to start showing more clearly after the second half of this year. Sales are also doing well in Canada, where Korres has started working with a new independent distributor, and in South America, where it works with Avon.

The value of natural personal care products that are sold only in pharmacies, meanwhile, comes to 60 million euros, with an annual growth rate of 15-20 percent, DK Consultants estimates. The sector, however, has not been impervious to the crisis, prompting Greek companies to increase exports. This outward-looking mind-set has been spearheaded by market leaders, Korres and Apivita in particular, with new firms following their lead and aiming abroad from the get-go. The establishment of some particularly dynamic Greek export groups, in combination with the recognizability of Greek natural ingredients, have attracted the attention of giants in the sector and investment funds that see significant promise in their activities.

The existence of highly skilled scientists and researchers in the sector, as well as the significant expenditure made by leading Greek companies in research and development for new products and innovation across the board, including packaging, provide the Greek natural cosmetics industry with yet another competitive advantage, experts say.

*the text includes alterations from the original text for educational purposes.

Full reference: Bellos, I. (2017) Korres: A Greek pioneer in natural cosmetics. eKathemerini(online), 23 December 2017.


Question 1:

Based on the information provided in the text above, briefly describe the main characteristics that make Korres a pioneer in natural cosmetics.

Question 2:

2A. Based on the information provided in the text, how would you define the corporate strategy that is formulated by Korres and why?

2B. Critically analyze the purpose of the corporate strategy you identified and propose alternatives that may interest the organization.

Question 3:

The role of human resources in Korres’ success might be critical.

3A. Based on what you taught during this module, critically analyze the role of human resources in formulating successful strategies.

3B. How could Korres manage the performance of employees so they can contribute to organizational outcomes?

Question 4:

Considering the organization’s external environment, propose an appropriate tool that will enable Korres to analyze its external environment and justify your proposal based on the advantages and disadvantages of the tool.

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