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Avoid the Hustle

Managing for competitive advantage

Category: Management

IMPORTANT NOTE: Due the quality of the information available and the noise created in different data sets by the number of case studies created to analyze some companies; firms such as APPLE, M&S and TESCO are banned)
List of companies = http://www.ft.com/indepth/ft500
FORMAT: REPORT
The assignment is a case study of your own choice (see the “important note” above) from the FT 500 database (The idea is for you to use up-to-date information about the company of your case study – FS 500 are pubic companies so you can have access to the last quarter reports and information form the company). You must choose an existing company (in any country) to critically analyze.
You are expected to identify its current issues (about the company and its strategy) and critically evaluate its performance in terms of strategy formulation and implementation (AKA: effects on the overall financial performance, productivity, competitive position, etc – to develop the correct mindset assume that you are the NEW CEO of the company and by taking over you are analyzing the plan of your predecessor). You should suggest ways of improving its future business performance (e.g. operative, economic) by enhancing its current strategy offering detailed instructions for the implementation e.g. coordination mechanisms (these must be realistic, persuasive and researched) (Here you can take on board 3 mechanism you can use to develop/implement strategy. Also, you can suggest ways to improve competitive position such as Merge, acquisitions, etc). You are expected to offer insights based on the module content including examining Consistency, Consonance, Advantage, Feasibility, Suitability and Acceptability to your chosen organization. (As usual, if you suggest something, you need to demonstrate that your recommendations are good recommendations by assessing the previously listed elements).
You should not attach any appendices to your assignment. They will not be marked and any reference to them, as such, will not be recognized.
Word Limit: 3000 (+/- 10%) excluding Cover, contents, diagrams, charts, bibliography.
The marker will be looking for:
• Understanding of the process of strategy formulation and implementation
• Knowledge of the subject area
• Evidence of good research
• Ability to critically analyze – not just describe
• Inclusion of relevant theory/concepts
• Correct application of relevant theory/concepts
• Critical and analytical discussion
• Clear and analytical arguments and conclusions
• Realistic and persuasive arguments
• Clarity of arguments through good grammar
• Strength of arguments
USING THE MARKING CRITERIA:
We would be expecting to find in your report:
Suitable choice of organization (10%): Excellent choice of organization. Excellent knowledge and understanding (of the organization). Thorough discussion.

Identify its current issues and critically evaluate its performance in terms of Strategy formulation and implementation (40%): Excellent and thorough identification of issues (related with the evaluation of its current strategy-how well designed it is/was, how good is/was its implementation). Robust and confident evaluation of performance and comprehensive awareness.

Suggest ways of improving its future business performance by enhancing its strategy (40%): Excellent identification of issues. Comprehensive rationalization and contextualization with critically robust use of theory. Excellent, convincing, plausible recommendations …(You are expected to offer insights based on the module content including examining Consistency, Consonance, Advantage, Feasibility, Suitability and Acceptability to your chosen organization. – As usual, if you suggest something, you need to demonstrate that your recommendations are good recommendations by assessing the previously listed elements).

Format, bibliography, references, presentation (10%): Well Presented Easy to Follow/Understand, Clearly formatted and structured, Substantial further reading is apparent with a strong and accurate bibliography (for instance FS 500 database – links already in MyBeckett, ABS Journals/preferably 3* onwards).