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Business Strategy

Information



  • Post Date 2018-11-09T06:46:35+00:00
  • Post Category Assignment

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Business Strategy

Business Strategy 

1.Module information

Welcome to level four Business Strategy (BS4104). Please read and refer to this Module Guide throughout the delivery of the module and during your preparation for assessment. During the semester we will be visiting the main theoretical and practical issues impacting on business strategy. We will also be reviewing some of the most interesting organisations in the world to help us understand how strategy develops and the many pitfalls and problems strategists encounter. The use of case studies will allow us to seebusinessstrategy from the perspective of the organisation, while the coursework assignment will provide you with your own opportunity to investigate an organisation of interest to you. I hope you will find this model as stimulating as you do informative.

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1.1 Aim of the module

The aim of this module is to provide students with an ability to analyse the drivers of competitive strategy and apply strategic principles across a range of organisation types. It has four primary learning outcomes to enable you to:

Analyse the global business environment and critically discuss the impact the environment has on contemporary strategic thinking

Critically evaluate the sources of competitive advantage available to firms within a particular industry

Analyse and critically evaluate the range of strategic options available to firms within a particular industry

Explain and evaluate the risks associated with implementation of strategic change

The teaching team will explore the links between these themes and will introduce and discuss frameworks for analysing the choices, directions and potential responses of strategic management in organisations.

1.2 Moodle E-learning system

Copies of each session’s lecture notes and supporting materials will be placed on the Moodle e-learning environment (http://campusmoodle.rgu.ac.uk). Please check the site regularly as materials and course news will be updated regularly.

2.Readings

Within strategic management, it is important to make use of as wide a selection of texts (books and journals) as you can, rather than sticking to only one. Thinking strategically will require you to draw from all of your previous learning and adopt a more holistic view of the organisation than you have perhaps previously done. Due to the broad nature of the subject area, when we assess performance in the module, one of the criteria we adopt is whether you demonstrate you have read widely within the subject and can apply this reading to the assessment tasks. Bear this in mind when planning your reading strategy for the module.

The list of published texts below represents a small sample of the very wide range of works available in Strategy and related areas. It covers references drawn from within Classical Strategy, Critical Management, the Learning Organization and

Complexity Theory alongside a sprinkling of ‘standard’ student texts. We will make regular recommendations to support your wider reading during the lectures and tutorials. When it comes to your own assignment, it is important that you plan your reading carefully. You simply do not have the time to read absolutely everything related to strategy, therefore it becomes even more important to draw up a reading plan. If you are ever in any doubt as to whether certain reading material you are considering is useful or not, the teaching team are here to help you.

Most of the texts below are available in the University library, some might not be, however (though you can obtain all texts via the inter-library loan system if you are studying on campus). In some cases, editions available from the library might be different from the ones indicated. Do not worry about this! The list is intended to give you a sense of the wide range of literature in the strategic management area. There is plenty of choice and alternative texts, including in the library’s e-

books collection, are easily available. Please feel free to discuss any of the readings during the tutorial sessions of the module.

2.4 Further reading

There are some seminal texts that have greatly informed today’s approach to business strategy. The following represents some of these works, which at their best have changed the direction of academic thought or even criticised theverynatureoforganisationalstructure. As such, they can be quite difficult reading,butforbroadercontextualisationoftheissuesin the module, they are invaluable. For your coursework, they may provide a useful cross-section of additional rationale and reasoning for your arguments. Certainly, they have the potential to make an important contribution to the development of your overall understanding of the subject.

2.5 Academic journals and literature

In order to do well in your coursework, you must show that you have engaged with academic publications. The information contained in academic journals is more recent than what you willfindintextbooks,and often represents the latest research in the field. However, academic journal articles can be difficult to work with, because they are aimed at an academic audience of scholars as well as students, their language reflects this. If you persist, you will be able to build up a deeper understanding of the subject by reading journal articles. In particular, the models and frameworks you are introduced to in the module will be tested and critiqued in the academic literature, this can give you lots to talk about.

The university subscribes to a wide range of journals, which can be easily accessed through the library catalogue. We shall refer you to particular articles during the teaching sessions from time to time. However, as with all publications, academic journals vary in quality and so when reading through them you will have to ask yourself, is this a good piece of work and is it relevant to what I am trying to do.

A useful tool for accessing the quality of a journal is the Academic Journal Quality Guide published by the Association of Business Schools. If you are worried about the quality of the article you are reading, simply look up the journal title in this list and see where it ranks. If it is not listed at all, you may wish to consider findings another article.

In addition to these useful sources of information, you may find industry- or sector-specific data from a wide range of market andbusinessresearchorganizations, we will be exploring such sources in the week 6 tutorial. You can access this information via the university Library web-pages.

2.6 The Internet

As an information resource, the Internet is very powerful and can quickly guide you to useful sites, if you carry out a disciplined search. The greatest value of internet information is its richness – anyone can deposit information about whatever they want on the world-wide-web. For students, however, this richness

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is also its greatest potential weakness. Web-based information is of highly varying quality and can at times be very misleading or even completely inaccurate. The information that you find might be aimed at any kind of audience, sometimes the general user,sometimesmorespecializedinnature. It is often difficult to identify which information is most suitable for your purpose. Always use web-informationcarefully. As with any source of information, take care not to assume that what you are reading is reliable and check out its origin. Finally, make sure that you cite the full web address with any information to which you refer in written work.

3.Organization of the module

Teaching sessions for the module are divided between lectures and tutorials. We will meet for 3 hours per week, with 11 lecture sessions, 1 per week each lasting for approximately 90 minutes and 10, 80-90-minute tutorial sessions. Tutorial activities will combine individual preparation, working in small teams and/or presentations on the various weekly topics. Many strategic management issues often do not have straightforward “black and white” solutions, so being able to see advantages and disadvantages of certain issues will require you to put forward your point of view and justify your choices. Tutorial activities will be available to download from Campus Moodle.

3.1 Personal Study and Student Participation

This is the most vital element of the module. You will need to carefully select the material you are going to study and manage your study time effectively. The learning process will be more useful - and fun - if everyone takes part actively. If you are prepared for each session, you will find it easier to join in discussions and to answer questions.

Some people feel shy about talking in front of a whole group of people or answering questions. Remember, answering questions is not about being competitive with others in the group or being the “cleverest” person in the room.

We will often ask you questions to find out a range of viewpoints on the subject under discussion and to see what opinions, information and experience you may have that can help us all with the learning process. There is no “correct” answer to any question in Business and Management studies, just a wide range of different opinions. Take part in the course actively and we will all benefit from each other’s experience, learn more and enjoy out time together better. Last but not least, it will be of great benefit to you in completing your assignment.

3.3 Tutorial Schedule

The normal pattern for tutorials will involve discussion around one of the ‘Case Examples’ taken from Johnson et al. (2014). Exploring Strategy (10th ed.) as specified in the table below. You should come to the tutorial having read the specified case, made notes in relation to the corresponding discussion topic (table below) and have access to a copy of the Case Example in the tutorial session.

Additional discussion items will also be included in each tutorial which may require prior preparation. Also, four of the tutorial sessions are dedicated entirely to your coursework. This will give you a great opportunity to make sure that you are on the right track and ‘test’ any ideas that you have. In order to gain the most from these sessions, it is important that you come to the session with ideas and a view on how you will be approaching the assignment. This will also save you a lot of time and stress when it comes to the final week before submission.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

topic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NO TUTORIAL FOR THIS MODULE IN WEEK ONE

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2

 

 

Strategic scope

 

 

Glastonbury: from hippy weekend to international festival.

 

 

 

 

Choosing an organisation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Johnson et al., 2014; pp. 24-27)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Global forces and the Western European brewing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3

 

 

External environment

 

 

industry. (Johnson et al., 2014; pp. 567-570) / Students

 

 

 

 

Identifying a key strategic issue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

must name the organisation on which they plan to

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

complete coursework

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4

 

 

Strategic purpose

 

 

Manchester United FC: still successful despite new

 

 

 

 

Identifying a key strategic issue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

threats. (Johnson et al., 2014; pp. 595-599)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5

 

 

Internal capabilities

 

Rocket Internet – will the copycat be imitated? (Johnson

 

 

Evaluate ability to respond

 

 

 

 

 

et al., pp. 102-105) – group activity posted on Moodle site

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6*

 

 

Researching

 

Researching organisations

 

 

Research skills

 

 

 

 

organisations

 

organisations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7

 

 

 

 

 

NO TUTORIAL FOR THIS MODULE DURING READING WEEK

 

 

 

 

8*

 

 

Coursework

 

 

Student-led discussion on chosen coursework

 

 

 

Identifying a strategic issue

 

 

 

 

 

 

discussion

 

 

organisation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9

 

 

Organisational

 

 

Google: who drives the strategy? (Johnson et al., 2014;

 

 

 

Evaluate ability to respond

 

 

 

 

 

 

culture

 

 

pp. 429-431)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10

 

 

Strategic analysis

 

 

Strategic leadership and innovation at Apple, Inc.

 

 

 

Both elements

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Johnson et al., 2014, pp. 680-685)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11*

 

 

Coursework

 

Student-led presentations on chosen organisation

Both elements

 

 

 

 

 

 

presentations

 

(NOT graded)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12*

 

 

Coursework

 

Student-led presentations on chosen organisation

Both elements

 

 

 

presentations

 

(NOT graded)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* The primary focus of this tutorial is on the student’s coursework; therefore, it is essential that all students come to the session prepared to discuss their choice of organisation and their own ideas for the assignment.

The case studies which will inform the tutorials of this module include the following organisations and industries:

Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts

The European beer brewing industry

Manchester United Football Club (plc)

Rocket Internet SE

Google Inc.

Apple Inc.

You may want to familiarise yourself with each of these organisations or industries during the early stages of the module, as you will then be more able to contribute to discussions and analyses.

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4.Module Assignment

The assessment for this module is comprised of:

Strategic Analysis of an Organisation (3,000±10% words)

You need to complete a strategic 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 strategic issue

Conduct a critical analysis in which you clearly identify a specific issue relating to the strategic position of your chosen organisation (considering macro-environmental and competitive factors). The strategic issue may involve such mattersas:technological advancements; political pressure; changing consumer taste; new competition in the marketplace; changing legislation; etc. To highlight the strategic issue, your report should apply a number of the theories and concepts from the course, with justification for their use.

b) Evaluate your organisation’s ability to respond

In relation to a), you will then need to critically analyse the impact of the strategic issueonthe organisation’s strategic capabilities and assess their ability to respond to the strategic issue you identify. Here it is important that you consider any challenges and tensions the issue may cause within the organisation and industry. Examples of such impact mayinclude:changing/emerging stakeholder relationships; dynamics in the operating environment; implications for the value system/resources; implications for organisational culture; etc. 

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