Critically assess one of the choices of literature within one of the firms below. Please note that your answer should focus on ONE choice of literature and ONE firm.




Critically assess one of the choices of literature within one of the firms below. Please note that your answer should focus on ONE choice of literature and ONE firm.


Choices of literature:

  • R&D management
  • Product innovation
  • Service innovation



Salesforce, Ocado, Enel Group, Siemens




  • Brief introduction of the industry and context, in which your chosen firm is competing. You need to explain the sector using facts and figures from reliable business sources. This section should also include an introduction to your chosen firm and the diversity of its innovation activities. (roughly 400 words)
  • Explore and discuss your choice of literature. You need to review the key literature regarding your topic and explain how the concept has developed and evolved over the years. (roughly 1000 words)
  • Evaluate your chosen innovation concept within your chosen firm. This evaluation should apply choice of literature, which you discussed in the previous section, to your case and the diversity of its activities. It is recommended to support your arguments using references and real-life examples. (roughly 800 words)
  • Suggest any recommendations for the business and justify these suggestions. You have to explore and discuss how your firm has been benefiting from your choice of literature. You also need to explain how the firm can benefit from the innovation theory in the future. (roughly 300 words)


*Word count for each bullet point is a guideline only. You may change or modify this suggestive structure as you see fit for addressing the question


Notes on the assignment

  • Individual coursework: Essay style, 2500 words (including in-text citations and excluding references).
  • There is NO -/+10% for the word count.
  • All work must be submitted on time. Please double check Faser for further guidelines.
  • This piece will be judged in terms of the strength and depth of its evaluation. It will also be judged in terms of the quality of the theoretical foundation (use of a wide variety of relevant research papers about innovation activities. The recommendations you make must be clearly explained and justified showing exactly why such recommendations are significant.
  • A list reliable business and academic sources are available on Moodle to use and improve the quality of your work, please help yourself!
  • You must reference your work using Essex Referencing style as mentioned in student handbook. Please contact the library staff if you need further information on that. Poor referencing will result in poor marks (also failing to reference may result in a case of plagiarism, so ensure you reference your work properly, if in doubt, please ask do not leave it to chance!)



Assessment Criteria


Failed works will show a flawed or incorrect understanding; lack coherence and overall structure.


Better works will have a tendency to show basic understanding with descriptive answers. These essays will only elaborate a number of basic issues related to the innovation concept and its challenges.


Good works will clearly demonstrate a solid understanding of the innovation concept and how the firm can benefit from it to achieve competitive advantage.


Best works will demonstrate a coherent understanding of the innovation concept by developing critical thinking. The answers will develop a solid structure and be clearly written with a critical point of view.


Assessment Criteria


Grade                    Structure (15%)

Distinction 5 The essay is structured in a clear and concise manner which fully addresses the question asked. The structure is logical, and the argument is coherent.

Merit 4 The essay is structured in a clear manner which addresses the question asked. The structure is logical although there are some areas which do not flow entirely well. There is some repetition.
Pass 3 The essay shows an understanding of the topic and it manages to address the question in most parts. However, it could have benefitted from better structuring to build toward a solid argument.


1 The essay lacks structure and is written in a manner which does not address the question and is very disjointed. The essay lacks a logic flow of discussion.
Grade Referencing (15%) (If you get F in this category you will be referred to an academic offence committee) 
Distinction      5      Referencing is accurate although there are one or two minor errors.
Merit Referencing is accurate in the main although there are a small number of

4 errors.

Pass Referencing is mainly accurate although there are some inconsistencies and

3 some errors.



Referencing is inaccurate and there are places where there is borderline

1 plagiarism.

Grade   Theoretical development (35%)
Distinction 5 A well developed and researched theoretical framework is presented which draws on a wide variety of academic sources.
Merit 4 A sound theoretical framework is presented which incorporates a wide range of academic literature. There are places where a more detailed analysis is required.
Pass 3 A reasonable theoretical framework is provided which draws on key literature however the range of sources incorporated in your analysis could have been wider.



1 There is little or no attempt to provide a theoretical framework to support discussion. There are inaccuracies in the interpretation provided. Few if any academic sources have been incorporated in your essay.
Grade   Practical implications (35%)
Distinction 5 Application of theory to examples is very well managed with these used to illustrate important issues.
Merit 4 Application of theory to examples is managed reasonably well although

there are areas of the essay where this is not always accurate.

Pass 3 Application of theory to examples is reasonable however further illustration is required in places. There are some inconsistencies or inaccuracies in interpretation.
Fail 1 Application of theory to examples is poorly managed or absent in this essay. Where an attempt is made to link theory and examples, interpretation is generally weak.



Plagiarism Prevention

In submitting coursework online, it must be assumed that you have read and understood the following guidelines about academic offences. Please note that all coursework is being monitored by plagiarism detection software. All submitted papers will be included as source documents in the reference database of the respective software solely for the purpose of detecting plagiarism of such papers.


The university regulations state that


“The University and the Students’ Union expect all students:


  • to behave with honesty and integrity in relation to coursework, examinations and other assessed work;
  • to be familiar and act in accordance with the conventions of academic writing

(including appropriate referencing of sources);

  • to show understanding of ethical considerations and be compliant with the relevant University Procedures.


A student who does not comply with any of these requirements may be charged with having committed an academic offence.” (University Calendar 2017-18, p. 135)


“A student may be found guilty of an academic offence whether or not there has been intention to deceive; that is, a judgement that negligence has occurred is sufficient to determine guilt.” (University Calendar 2017-18, p. 102)


“The following are some examples of academic offences and do not constitute an exhaustive list:

  1. plagiarism, that is, using or copying the work of others (whether written, printed or in any other form) without proper acknowledgement in any assignment, examination or other assessed work;
  2. self-plagiarism, that is, using or copying one’s own work that has previously been submitted for assessment, at the University or elsewhere, without proper acknowledgement in any assignment, examination or other assessed work, unless this is explicitly permitted;
  3. false authorship, that is the submission of work for assessment that has been written wholly or in part by a third party and presented as one’s own original work;
  4. collusion, that is, submitting work produced collaboratively for individual assessment, unless this is explicitly permitted and acknowledged; e. falsifying data or evidence;
  5. unethical research behaviour, that is, conducting research without obtaining ethical approval from the University where such approval is required, or the unauthorised use of information that has been confidentially acquired;
  6. introducing, or attempting to introduce, any written, printed or electronically accessible information into an examination, other than material explicitly permitted in the instructions for that examination;
  7. copying, or attempting to copy, the work of another candidate in an examination;
  8. communicating, or attempting to communicate, with another person, other than an invigilator, during an examination.” (University Calendar 2017-18, p. 135)


In submitting any piece of work (eg dissertation, thesis, essay, test or report) a student shall acknowledge any assistance received or any use of the work of others.”

(University Calendar 2017-18, p. 102)