Module Code: UMSDQ5-15-3
Module Title: BUSINESS STRATEGY
Assessment Component: A
Submission will be made by: Using a normal Blackboard submission portal in the Assignments folder of this module on Blackboard
Assessment opens: 0900 tbc
Deadline/Submission closes: 0900 tbc (Next Day)
Assessment Weighting: 80 per cent of total module mark
N.B. all times are 24-hour clock GMT (UK Time)
Important Information – Referencing and Assessment Offences
As is usual for an exam, for this assessment you are not expected to include full referencing, but are encouraged to cite the sources of key theories, models, cases, legislation etc.
Text-matching software (e.g. SafeAssign) is used to check every submission against other submissions made at the same time, previous submissions to UWE and other universities, and internet sources. When submitting your work, you will be required to confirm that the work is your own.
It is an assessment offence to copy work from any source, including your own previous assessments, and present it as your own work for this assessment, or to provide your own work to others. It is an assessment offence to work with others on the assessment in any way.
Paraphrasing by changing individual words but keeping essentially the same sentences or structures from other sources is not acceptable and will be detected by text-matching software: please write in your own words and style to convey your own learning.
UWE’s Assessment Offences Policy outlines potential offences including plagiarism, collusion, self-plagiarism and sharing of assessment submissions, and it is your responsibility to understand this policy and avoid potential offences. Details of what constitutes plagiarism and how to avoid it can be found on UWE’s Study Skill’s plagiarism pages.
Please use the following file formats: .doc and .pdf. We cannot ensure that other formats are compatible with markers’ software and cannot guarantee to mark incorrect formats.
Please include the module name and number and your student number (not your name).
Please indicate clearly which questions you are answering.
Instructions for submission
You must submit your assignment before the stated deadline by electronic submission through Blackboard.
- It is your responsibility to submit coursework in a format stipulated above
Your marks will be affected if your tutor cannot open or properly view your submission.
- You can submit as many times as you like up to the deadline; only the last successful submission will be marked.
- Do not leave submission to the very last minute. Always allow time in case of technical issues.
- The date and time of your submission is taken from the Blackboard server and is recorded when your submission is complete, not when you click Submit.
- It is essential that you check that you have submitted the correct file(s), and that each complete file was received. Submission receipts are accessed from the Coursework tab.
There is no late submission permitted on this timed assessment.
Further guidance and support before and during assessment
See UWE’s IT support pages for support with software for home and immediate technical issues. Note that a limited service may be available due to ongoing UK restrictions, and therefore please report issues as soon as possible. If it is not possible to resolve them, personal circumstances will be offered.
- There are TWO sections in this exam. You MUST answer the ONE question in SECTION A and TWO questions from SECTION B
- Each question carries the same weighting
- The maximum word count for each answer is 1000 words
- We encourage you to make full use of the word limit to show your understanding of the theory covered in that question and its application
- The exam paper will be available at 0900hrs GMT on the day of the examinations. Answers must be submitted by 0900hrs GMT the following day (i.e. 24 hours later).
- The submission must be one file containing all your answers
- As is usual for an exam, for this assessment you are not expected to include full referencing, but are encouraged to cite the sources of key theories, models, case studies, statutes etc.
- Multiple submissions can be made to the portal, but only the final one will be accepted. Please save your work frequently.
- This is an individual assessment: do not copy and paste work from any other source. Text-matching software will be used on all submissions – more detail provided above.
- There is no +/- 10% on word count and anything after the maximum word count will not be marked, in line with UWE’s Word Count Policy.
Instructions to Candidates:
Candidates must answer the ONE essay question in SECTION A and TWO essay questions from SECTION B
Answer the ONE question
- Porter and Kramer (2006) state that effective CSR initiatives occur when shared value is created. CEMEX is considering the following CSR initiatives:
- Partnering with the RSPB (Royal Society for Protection of Birds) in the UK to maintain 1,000 hectares of priority habitats
- Expanding their local programs in the Philippines to bring seminars on health, nutrition and family planning to rural areas
- Continuing development of “Vertua”, CEMEX’s Net-Zero CO2 concrete development. This new material reduces the carbon foot print of Concrete manufacture by 70%. CEMEX is looking to offset the remaining 30%.
- Working with a consortium of global construction companies and other concrete manufacturers to create road construction techniques that required less concrete.
- Providing financial support to the Museum of Modern Art in Mexico City to acquire a work by Frida Kahlo – who is considered one of Mexico’s greatest artists.
Use Porter and Kramer’s CSV framework to critically consider which, if any, of these initiatives CEMEX should adopt. (Up to 1000 words)
Answer TWO questions selected from the four options
- “A firm gains sustainable competitive advantage from the rare resources it owns”. Using examples from the CEMEX case study, critically discuss if this statement is correct. (Up to 1000 words)
- Kim and Mauborgne (2005) challenge the idea that a successful strategy requires a trade-off choice between value and cost. Critically assess how their concept of Blue Ocean strategy enables firms to reject this claim. Use examples from the Netflix case study to illustrate your answer. (Up to 1000 words)
- Critically evaluate Novo Nordisk’s corporate strategy using Campbell, Goold and Alexander’s (1995) parenting matrix. (Up to 1000 words)
- Porter (1996, 2014) argues that sustainable competitive advantage results from a high order of fit in a firm’s activity system. Critically assess if the fit in Jet Blue’s activity system was a source of competitive advantage. (Up to 1000 words)
END OF QUESTION PAPER