Contemporary Business Issues

Group Project
Your task is to choose a case study relating to a contemporary business issue based on the relevant theme you have been allocated by your tutor. Each group is expected to do a 7-10 minutes presentation to staff and students in your Seminar group.
Each group will be assessed and graded based on the PowerPoint presentation: (Each group member will receive the same grade for the group project).
Note: Remember to give a copy of the PowerPoint to your tutor before the start of the presentation. (See the marking Criteria Sheet for allocation of marks per section)

Presentations would be delivered on the following themes:

THEME 1: Globalisation: free markets or state intervention and impact of Foreign Direct Investment: The impact of Globalisation on Business performance.

THEME 2: Corporate Governance: The effect of corporate reputation on firm performance.

THEME 3: Technology and its implications on Business Processes:
The changing role of technology and artificial intelligence on business processes of companies.
THEME 4: Corporate Social Responsibility: The effect of contributions made by companies to the local economy they operate in.

THEME 5: Innovation: The influence of innovation on firm performance.

Guidance for the Group project- 30%
Contemporary Business Issue analysis of an Organisation
You need to complete a contemporary business issue analysis on an organisation of your choice. The following represents the different elements you will need to consider in this assignment:
a) Identify a key contemporary business issue in relation to your chosen theme.
Conduct a critical analysis in which you clearly identify a specific business issue relating to the theme of your chosen organisation (considering macro-environmental and competitive factors). The contemporary business issue may involve such matters as: technological advancements; political pressure; changing consumer taste; new competition in the marketplace; changing legislation; etc. To

highlight the contemporary business issue, your report should apply a number of the theories and concepts from the course, with justification for their use (10% of total marks).
b) Evaluate your organisation’s ability to respond
In relation to a), you will then need to critically analyse the impact of the contemporary business issue on the organisation’s strategic capabilities and assess their ability to respond to the contemporary business issue you identify. Here it is important that you consider any opportunities, challenges and tensions the issue may cause within the organisation and industry. Examples of such impact may include: changing/emerging stakeholder relationships; dynamics in the operating environment; implications for the value system/resources; implications for organisational culture; etc. (10% of total marks).
A further 5% is awarded on the basis of communication and presentation, and another 5% awarded based on appropriate use of evidence and referencing.
Note: You should choose an organization which is currently active and for which you are able to access publicly-available information in support of the points you make in the assignment. We will discuss the most important considerations in choosing your organisation in the lectures and tutorials.

Guidance for the Individual Report: 70%
Based on the same question delivered for the group presentation, you will write and submit an individual report of 1500 words (±10% = 1350-1650 words). As this is an individual report, there should be no form of collaboration in writing the report to avoid plagiarism. You are allowed to use materials used in the group presentation.

  1. Answer the question
    Think carefully about how you structure your work and ensure that it explicitly meets the criteria set out in the assignment brief. Pay attention to the themes and issues set out and check that you have included everything that you need to when you submit the work.
  2. Written presentation
    Your work should take the form of a written paper of 1500 words (±10% = 1350-1650 words). You should include a word count at the front of your paper. Use headings, diagrams, brief tables if appropriate to illustrate points and to support your arguments. Ensure that these are relevant, based on your reading, and their significance to your argument is clear. The assessment focuses on the documentation of your analysis and discussion of a contemporary business issue in relation to your chosen theme of the company. An Executive Summary, Abstract or other formal additions to the paper are not required for this piece of work, however, a clear contents page may help you structure your work.
  3. Citation
    You should demonstrate your reading in the subject area through continuous reference to or occasional direct quotations from appropriate sources. Do not simply reproduce diagrams or extensive general information from the textbooks or articles! You should assume that the reader is familiar with any basic theoretical or analytical models you use and will allocate marks for the way you apply them to the question, clearly supporting a line of argument that helps you to answer the question. Where you use direct quotations or show diagrams, try to keep them short and ensure that they make a direct and clear contribution to your argument. Remember: absolutely everything that is not your own idea must be cited appropriately.
  4. Style and Content
    Your work summarizes your findings and evidence that is relevant to your chosen theme in relation to the business issue of the company. You do not need to make a complete listing of all the analytical and interpretative processes you went through. You should expect, therefore, to carry out considerably more analysis in the process of exploring the contemporary business issue than you will show in your presentation.
  5. Combine practical information and academic theory
    We will give marks for a well-supported argument and discussion of the question that draws on evidence; applies the evidence intelligently; and shows some insight in drawing conclusions. The aim of the assignment is to evaluate the issues embedded in your chosen theme/business issue of a company, not to descriptively reproduce factual information on a topic area. In order to do this, you will need to look far beyond the company accounts/websites and consider output from academic journals and books, industry texts, business media, and competitor information. Therefore, your evidence base should show that you have done a broad range of reading.
  6. Sources of research and case development information
    You will find information from a variety of sources, including academic and trade journals, press reports and company- or industry-produced information. Remember to consider the validity of the information and the writer’s viewpoint in the sources that you use in your final text. You should minimize the general descriptive information you include. You should focus on analysis and interpretation of the significant issues you identify, rather than describing them in excessive detail. Remember to credit all sources of information that you use, in your text and in the reference list, following the university’s guidance on referencing and citation conventions.
  7. Structure and development
    Try to ensure that the structure of your work follows a clear pattern and that the topical headings develop in a way that is appropriate to your line of argument. Ensure that what you write makes a direct and clear contribution to all parts of your chosen theme/business issue of a company and try to avoid including general or irrelevant information in your answers. However, please include appropriate headings, sub-headings and other ‘sign-posts’ so that we can see the direction of your thinking and analysis.
  8. Appendices
    You may wish to include some additional, contextual information or analysis that you have carried out in appendices. Appendices will not be included in the word-count. They should not act as a ‘dumping ground’ for information you don’t know what to do with. You cannot use appendices to get round the word count limit e.g., saying ‘See Appendix 1 for the strategic analyses! Remember that appendices work well for additional supportive information which shows the work you have undertaken but should not include anything that is essential to your arguments or main answers to the questions. You should be able to write a sound strategic analysis within the word count advised.

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