Strategic Management: Case Study Based Report

Assignment Brief

As part of the formal assessment for the programme you are required to submit a STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT assignment. Please refer to your Student Handbook for full details of the programme assessment scheme and general information on preparing and submitting assignments.

Learning Outcomes:

After completing the module, you should be able to:

  1. Critically analyse and apply a number of theoretical models and their potential for developing strategy and supporting strategic decisions.
  2. Analyse theoretical developments in strategy.
  3. Support the development of organisational strategies and plans.
  4. Critically assess the impact of strategy making in an increasingly volatile and turbulent environment.
  5. Appreciate the significance of and the difficulties in formulating and implementing strategy.


Your assignment should include: a title page containing your student number, the module name, the submission deadline and the exact word count of your submitted document; the appendices if relevant; and a reference list in AU Harvard system(s). You should address all the elements of the assignment task listed below. Please note that tutors will use the assessment criteria set out below in assessing your work.

You must not include your name in your submission because Arden University operates anonymous marking, which means that markers should not be aware of the identity of the student. However, please do not forget to include your STU number.

Maximum word count: 4000 words

Please refer to the full word count policy which can be found in the Student Policies section here: Arden University | Regulatory Framework

Please note the following:

Students are required to indicate the exact word count on the title page of the assessment.

The word count includes everything in the main body of the assessment (including in text citations and references). The word count excludes numerical data in tables, figures, diagrams, footnotes, reference list and appendices. ALL other printed words ARE included in the word count.

Please note that exceeding the word count by over 10% will result in a 10-percentage point deduction.

Assignment Task

This assessment is weighted 100% of the total marks for the Module. Case Study Organisation: Ryanair

Read the Case Study entitled “Ryanair: The Low Cost Airlines – ‘Always getting better’?” (Johnson et al., 2016, p. 622-632)

This assignment requires you to study the Case Study (provided as a separate document), research further and undertake critical analyses of the business’ current strategic plans and practices. Your strategic plan must be underpinned by relevant, authentic and referenced academic theories, concepts, models, Ryanair Corporate information and any other appropriate sources.


Johnson, G., Whittington, R., Regner, P., Scholes, K. and Angwin, D., 2016.

Exploring Strategy: Text and Cases. 11th Edition. Harlow: Pearson Education Limited.

Produce a Report for Ryanair’s CEO that addresses the following questions based on the case, your own research and relevant strategic management theories:

  1. a) Strategy development approaches are often described as either prescriptive or emergent. Analyse approaches adopted at Ryanair, explain and justify what you believe the balance of prescriptive and emergent strategy formulation processes at the case study is.

Your answer should first provide an outline of the main principles underpinning both prescriptive and emergent approaches and the major differences between the approaches and their main limitations. You should then identify initiatives adopted by Ryanair over the past few years to provide a convincing analysis of the balance between the prescriptive and emergent approaches that you consider to have been applied by Ryanair

(15 Marks)

(600 Words)

  • Michael O’Leary, Ryanair’s CEO, is portrayed in the case study as an enigma and controversial figure. Evaluate the strategic leadership of Ryanair’s CEO. Should he continue to serve as CEO?

(5 Marks)

(200 Words)

Total for Question One:

(20 marks)

(800 words)

(LO’s 2 & 3)

  1. a) With the aid of the SWOT analysis, identify the issues facing Ryanair and evaluate its present situation. Explain why Ryanair has been successful thus far. Evaluate the effectiveness of Ryanair’s responses to major changes in the macro-environment

(20 Marks)

(800 words)

  • Using Porter’s Five Forces Model, critically assess the strength and attractiveness of the European budget airline sector that Ryanair is currently operating in. Your assessment should identify and justify what you believe to be the most important influences arising from the competitive environment facing Ryanair

(20 Marks)

(800 Words)

Total for Question Two:

(40 Marks)

(1600 words)

(LO’s 1 & 4)

  1. a) With the aid of results of the environment analyses in question 2 and any appropriate framework of your choice, critically analyse Ryanair’s competitive strategies and the extent to which Ryanair’s new ‘Always Getting Better (AGB)’ strategy is sustainable over time

(20 Marks

(800 Words)

  • Using the Ansoff Matrix, assess the growth strategies adopted by Ryanair in Europe. In light of the proposal to introduce long haul flights, what changes would you recommend to Ryanair’s approach in the future

(20 Marks)

(800 Words)

Total for Question Three:

(40 Marks)

(1600 words)

(LO’s 1, 4 & 5)

Total for whole paper:

(4,000 words)

(100 marks)

(LOs: 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5)

End of questions

Referencing Guidance                                                                                                              

You MUST underpin your analysis and evaluation of the key issues with appropriate and wide ranging academic research and ensure this is referenced using the AU Harvard system(s).

Follow this link to find the referencing guides for your subject: Arden Library

Submission Guidance

Assignments submitted late will not be accepted and will be marked as a 0% fail.

Your assessment should be submitted as a single Word (MS Word) or PDF file. For more information please see the “Submitting an Assignment – Guide” document available on the A-Z key information on iLearn.

You must ensure that the submitted assignment is all your own work and that all sources used are correctly attributed. Penalties apply to assignments which show evidence of academic unfair practice. (See the Student Handbook which is available on the A-Z key information on iLearn.)

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