MPM703 Business Strategy and Analysis Trimester 1, 2013 Assignment: Business Strategy Report In this assignment you are acting either as a group of strategy consultants (group assignment), or as one strategy consultant (individual assignment). You have been asked to prepare a strategy report for a business. The first step is to select a business as the subject of your assignment. The business can be a publicly listed company in Australia or overseas which is of interest to you or other members of your group, or it may be a large private or family business located either in Australia or overseas.
Do not use or refer to assignments completed by students for this unit in previous trimesters. (A record of past assignments is kept on a database). Note also that the requirements of the assignment change from trimester to trimester. The focus of this assignment is on the business level of analysis. Therefore if you select a diversified company then make sure you focus only on one of the company’s business units. The report must be specific and applied to the business. In other words you must apply the relevant concepts and tools of business strategy to the particular conditions and circumstances of the business you are studying.
General statements and references to theories and models that are not applied to the business will not add value to your assignment. Similarly, data about the business that is not analysed and presented from a strategic perspective – using the relevant concepts and tools of strategy – is of little value. To help you in this exercise, consider the position of the CEO of the business who will be reading your report and looking for a strategic analysis and recommendation that is practical and specific to her or his business.
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The CEO does not want to read a broad analysis that could apply to any number of organisations and does not ‘speak’ to their business. Group or individual submission This assignment may be completed either as a group submission (up to 5 people) or as an individual assignment (one person only). Either way, you must sign up in one of the group assignment spaces online. Marking will be done without regard to whether the assignment was a group or individual submission. In other words an individual assignment should be of a similar standard and quality to that of a group assignment.
For group assignments the mark will be shared by all in the group. Therefore: 1. Allocate the various tasks among your group members and agree on interim due dates for the stages of work. Make sure your interim due dates allow for drafts to be circulated and edited so that the final submission is of the highest standard. 2. Each group member must make a relatively fair and reasonable contribution to the report, in whatever form or shape that might take, in order to share equally in the mark. In the rare event that there are any issues you should contact me two weeks prior to the report due date so that a resolution can be reached.
Report format and requirements The presentation of your report is a critical aspect of this assignment. It is essential that your report is formatted appropriately, and carefully edited and re-edited to achieve a professional standard. Allow time to draft and re-draft your assignment prior to the due date in order to improve the quality of writing and presentation. You must follow carefully the report structure and requirements set out below. 1. Title Page In the title page, you should include: • Title of the report, e. g. ‘Company X: A Business Strategy Report’. Cloud Deakin Group number (whether you are a group or individual). • The names and student IDs of your group members. • Off campus or on campus status. • Date and Unit Code. • Name and postal address for the return of your assignment. 2. Table of contents Include all of the section headings and subheadings used in your report, together with page numbers. 3. Executive summary (Less than 300 words) This is a one page only summary of the report, written as a series of short paragraphs, outlining your key findings and recommended strategic option. 4. Introduction (Approximately 400 words)
This section provides some background and context to your report. Your introduction should include: • A brief description of the reasons for undertaking the study, i. e. the value of undertaking a strategy review of the business. • An introduction to the business and its macro environment and industry. 5. Strategic Analysis 5. 1 Methods (Approximately 200 words) Provide a brief description of the techniques of data collection and analysis used in this section, including an outline of the sources used to gather the data upon which the report is based.
Data may be collected from sources within the business (business documents, questionnaires, interviews) and from industry reports, media sources, the World Wide Web and database searches. It is important to describe the types and quantity of your data sources so that the reader can evaluate the quality and validity of the data on which your analysis is based. 5. 2 Business strategy statement (Approximately 300 words) Describe the mission, vision, objectives, scope, and advantage of the business (see section 1. 2. 3 in the text). Summarise these descriptions into a clear and compelling strategy statement in 35 words or less. . 3 External analysis (Approximately 800 words) • Conduct a PESTEL analysis of your business’s macro environment, evaluating whether each of the PESTEL factors are positive, neutral, or negative for the industry. • Provide an overall evaluation of the impact of these factors on growth and consumer demand in the industry. Explain which of the influences in your analysis are likely to be the main drivers for change in the future. • Using the five forces framework described in your text, evaluate and briefly describe the key forces at work in your business’s industry environment. Draw a strategy canvas for your business and the two main rivals (see Figure 2. 9 in the text). Describe briefly the three most critical success factors for your business (see pp. 73-74 in the text). 5. 4 Strategic capability (Approximately 400 words) • Describe your business’s strategic capability in the form of a value chain analysis. • Present a SWOT analysis in table form. 5. 5 Strategy and culture (Approximately 400 words) Draw a cultural web of the business (see Chapter 5 of your text and Figure 5. 8). Briefly evaluate the relationship between the business’s culture and its strategy. . 6Strategic direction (Approximately 450 words) Identify and describe the one most viable strategic direction for the business. To undertake this task refer to Figure 7. 2 on p. 232 and the relevant commentary. Explain how your chosen strategic direction allows the business to: • Respond appropriately to the industry and macro environments described in your external analysis. • Match the strengths of the business to the opportunities in the environment, described in your earlier analyses, to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage. . Conclusion (Approximately 250 words) This section is written in paragraph form to provide a summary of one key finding from each of the report sections from 5. 2 to 5. 6. 7. References List all of the references referred to in the report. Please note that appendices are not allowed. Requirements Word limit:3500 (excluding the references only) Line spacing: 1. 5 Font size: 12 Contribution to your final mark: 40% Due date: 3. 00pm, Tuesday 7 May 2013 NB. Words in excess of 3500 will not be marked. Assignment submission rules All assignments are to be submitted online, in addition to a printed copy delivered to the Faculty office, or handed in at lecture. For off campus students the mailed hard copy of the assignment is deemed to be on time if sent and post-marked by the due date of the assignment. Please note that the version of an assignment you submit electronically must be the same as any version you submit in any other form. Students enrolled through partnership agreements must submit as required by the unit chair at the partner institution on the due date. Assignments are on time if they are submitted online and in hard copy on the due date. On campus students must submit the printed version in lecture or at the Faculty office by the due date; off campus students must mail their submission on or before the due date to: Assignment Tracking AASD Deakin University Waurn Ponds, VIC, 3217 3Remote students: A student is classified as remote if they are living in a place where it takes more than 3 days for mail to reach Deakin University, Geelong, for example overseas in certain locations.
If you are a remote student, you may submit your assignment by email to [email protected] edu. au If you are a remote student and submit via email, please clearly state your name, student ID number, unit code and assignment number on the email. It is also recommended that you place this information on your assignment as a Footer or Header. The Assignment Tracking staff will print your assignment and place an Assignment Attachment Form onto your assignment. It will then be tracked and sent to your assessor for marking the same day.
When returning the assignment, the assignment will be sent by normal postage and not via email. Please do not post another version in the mail if you email your assignment. 5 No extensions will be considered for assignment submission due dates unless a written request is submitted to and negotiated with the unit chair. 6 Assignments submitted late without an extension being granted will not be marked. Plagiarism and other academic offences Plagiarism is the copying of another person’s ideas or expressions without appropriate acknowledgment. Please read the notes on plagiarism in the Unit Guide.
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