The word count is set at a maximum of 3500 words. This is set high so that you are not constrained in your thinking and writing when putting your assignment together.
The purpose of the assessment is to enable you to show your understanding and analytical skills acquired during the course of the module. Your ability to critique, generate insights into strategy, and then look beyond now by generating strategic recommendations form a crucial part of the assessment. The assessment method reflects conditions you will face when working for companies and when having to conduct strategic analyses of competitors or on behalf of clients (e.g., in consultancy). You will need to balance information availability, time, and will need to make inferences/judgements from the information available to you.
Some general advice:
1)You can choose any company, successful or failing, including recent failures.
2)Try not to go too far back in time however. Choosing to focus on a company from early-mid 2000s is somewhat pointless given the economic and competitive conditions we find ourselves in these days.
3)You can use any strategic framework/theory/analysis tool we cover in the module (and beyond if you wish).
4)You should use at least 3 to 4 analysis tools in your assignment so that you give yourself enough potential for analysis and to be able to generate sufficient strategic insights.
5)The key to good marks is 'analysis', and not 'description'. Describing the environment for instance, or who the main competitors are, is ultimately of little value unless it is then related to strategy. Link across concepts, tools, or points that you are making and ensure you are providing insights into the business strategy of your chosen company.
6)Use academic references as well. Most of your information sources will inevitably be the business press (FT, BBC Business News etc), online interviews of managers/executives, available case studies, and business services such as Mintel, FAME. However, you should also be looking at introducing academic work into your report. For instance, through integrating concepts to explain strategy or for purposes of critique.
7)Remember the basics: your work should be readable, have good presentation, and be proof-read prior to submission and consistent.
8)Remember to make strategic recommendations for your chosen company. Put thought into this as it is an important aspect of the assignment.
9)Do not just choose random strategic analysis tools or frameworks. Only choose ones that you can use that will help you to explain the business strategy of your chosen company. Remember, the key to obtaining marks in this assignment is to provide explanation, detail and insights into the strategy. It is hard to obtain marks at Strategy Clock, then ensure you show which one reflects the business strategy of the firm etc.
Suggested information sources
You will need to use your own initiative and research skills to find appropriate information on the business strategy of your chosen organisation. To facilitate this, please consider the following sources:
1)Mintel, FAME - through Library
2)News sources such as BBC, FT, Economist
3)Practice-based journals such as Business Horizons, Strategic Direction, Journal of Business Strategy (you can supplement this with the regular academic journals for critique or application of frameworks - e.g., Strategic Management Journal etc)
5)Harvard Business Review
6)Interviews (conduct your own) or online interviews, for instance on Youtube.