Strategic and Operational Decision-Making

 

BST714 Strategic and Operational Decision-Making Assignment

From industry context, through corporate strategy to operational realisation

 

 

Purpose

 

To give you an opportunity to obtain first-hand experience in

 

  1. Employing strategic management concepts and analytical tools.
  2. Appraising strategic choices and develop and evaluate viable strategic options.
  3. Demonstrating a comprehensive understanding of the salient issues in the implementation of strategic change in the internal and external organisational environments.
  4. Identifying and evaluating appropriate strategies to manage stakeholder demands.
  5. Developing project plans to enable strategy implementation.

 

If you take this assignment seriously, you will teach yourself many basic principles on strategy, which will stand you in good stead in many subjects, and in many walks of life.

 

Assessment

 

You will be judged on criteria given in Appendix I.

 

Tasks

 

For the sector you have been allocated (see Appendix II) you should;

 

  1. Review the marketplace characteristics for the sector allocated by using any public domain information available and relevant academic literature search. Select a particular case company to undertake tasks 2-4. Highlight secondary data sources that you will exploit and explain their strengths and weaknesses.
  2. Highlight and evaluate the corporate strategy of the organisation selected. Is the corporate strategy effective and is the business model appropriate for the marketplace characteristics?
  3. Providing empirical evidence and analysis as appropriate, determine the order winners and market qualifying criteria and classify the supporting operational process using the Hoekstra, and Romme (Buy-to-Order, Make-to-Order, Assemble-to-Order, Make-to-Stock, or Ship-to-Stock) or the Lampel and Mintzberg (Pure Standardisation, Segmented Standardisation, Customised Standardisation, Tailored Customisation, or Pure Customisation) process categorisation system. Is the supporting operational process appropriate for that particular market? If not, what should it be?
  4. Develop a change management plan to either a) realign the case company’s operations strategy or b) improve the case company’s operations strategy, taking into account the change levers for each phase. Is your change plan feasible in days, weeks, months or years? What are the resource implications of your plan?

 

NB if the case company supports more than one market sector then describe what these are but limit your research to just one.

 

Each part accounts for 25% of the total marks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Getting help /Advice

 

Plan your time well – the data collection is usually the most time-consuming part of this assignment. All tutors/lecturers on the course will not give any industry specific help on the assignment to individual people. You will have to show initiative and self motivation in undertaking this assignment, which is meant to be challenging – you are intended to show Mastery. Here are some information resources to help you get started;

 

The University’s LibrarySearch can access multiple journal databases NB try different key words and combinations.

Access the Financial Analysis Made Easy (fame) database via the University Intranet.

 

Use of appropriate texts, industry and analysts reports, consultancy white papers, blogs, company/institutional websites, and quality newspapers all add value.

 

Note: In text referencing and bibliography – Harvard style is expected. A strong range and depth of appropriate literature is expected.  Selecting, reviewing, and applying this data to the company context in a meaningful way is key e.g., a generic PESTLE or SWOT analysis is just that. These should be dedicated to the organisation current situation and be evidence based.

 

 

Report format and word count?

 

The level of detail in your assignment may well be a trade-off between payoff and time. Whatever you include in your assignment has to be “value adding” i.e. do not include wasteful words, figures or tables.

 

Title Page with student number

 

Summary (or Abstract) (Generally up to 300 words – not included in the word count)

 

Content – split into four sections as per the four tasks assigned. Each section should be 1000 words equivalent, +/- 10%. In addition, you are encouraged to make use of tables and/or figures. Be selective about the use of tables and figures, and ensure you explain what each table / figure means within the main text. Any tables / figures are in addition to the 1000 words.

 

Reference list (Not included in the word count)

 

Bibliography (Not included in the word count)

 

 

 

APPENDIX I – MARKING CRITERIA

 

  70%+ Distinction, 60%-69% Merit 50%-59% Pass less     than      50%

Fail.

Criterion              1

Context 

 

Contextual description based on related literature and secondary data including appraisal of data sources (Learning outcomes 1-4)

(25%)

Comprehensive review, selection and application of academic literature and industry secondary data applicable to the subject sector and company.

 

Highly salient aspects identified and utilised. Full validation of arguments and proposals.

A good review, selection and application of academic literature and industry secondary data applicable to the subject sector and company.

 

Good depth of search and applied knowledge, use of sources. Allows for validation of arguments and proposa           ls.

A         satisfactory review,             selection and application of academic literature and      industry secondary        data applicable to the subject sector and company.

 

Demonstrates

some    academic subject,             market research

knowledge and analysis. Applies satisfactorily.

 

Satisfactory

validation of arguments and proposals.

Fails to review, select, and apply academic literature and industry secondary data applicable to the subject sector and company in any meaningful way.

 

Significant gaps in research and

understanding, application that impacts on the quality of performance.

 

Validation of arguments and proposals are not substantiated.

Criterion              2

Corporate strategy

development

 

Corporate strategy formulation, description     of the strategy, and presentation and discussion       of

implications (Learning outcomes 1 – 4)

(25%)

 

 

 

 

Demonstrates

Comprehensive appreciation of current strategy and analysis of strengths and weaknesses using suitable tools and concepts.

 

Implications and solutions are aligned to both academic and industry perspectives and the analysis itself.

Demonstrates good appreciation of current strategy and analysis of strengths and weaknesses using suitable tools and concepts.

 

 

Implications and solutions are well aligned to both academic and

industry perspectives and the analysis itself.

Demonstrates basic appreciation of current strategy and analysis of strengths and weaknesses using suitable tools and concepts.

 

Implications and solutions are  aligned to some degree in both academic and

industry perspectives and the analysis itself.

 

 

Demonstrates very poor or non –

existent

appreciation of current strategy and analysis of strengths and weaknesses using suitable tools and concepts.

 

Implications and solutions are not aligned to both academic and

industry perspectives and the analysis itself.

 

 

Criterion            3

Operations

strategy analysis

 

Presentation and discussion of the operations strategy and its alignment with the corporate and marketing

strategies (Learning outcomes 1 – 4)

(25%)

Excellent evidence of clear and original thought with highly developed analytical skills, applying concepts and theories to practice in a systematic way.

 

Demonstrates mastery of technical skills.

 

Excellent problemsolving abilities.

 

Extremely clear and well structured.

Good evidence of clear and original thought, with welldeveloped developed analytical             skills, showing ability to apply concepts and theories           to practice.

 

Sound technical skills to mastery.

 

Good             problemsolving ability.

 

Clear   and      well structured.

Some evidence of distinguishing between subjective argument         and objective evidence with some to welldeveloped analytical skills.

 

 

Some   technical skills evidenced.

 

Some evidence of problem-solving ability.

 

Some   lack     of clarity.

Finds difficulty to distinguish between subjective thought and objective evidence with little to some evidence of analytical skills.

 

Little to some technical skills evidenced.

 

Lack of capability to little ability to solve problems.

 

Confused to little structure.

Criterion            4

Operations strategy implementation

 

Design             an

implementation plan with due regard            of             the change             levers (Learning outcomes 3 – 5)

(25%)

Shows excellent evidence of clear and critical thinking.

 

Sets out and supports arguments,

demonstrating an appreciation of

alternative approaches.

 

Has a very sound understanding of the change issues in both breadth and depth.

 

Shows excellent understanding and grasp of complex issues.

 

Highly developed understanding of the change management phases.

 

Extremely clear and well structured.

Shows very good evidence of clear and      critical thinking.

 

Provides arguments indicating some appreciation of

alternative approaches.

 

Has      a             sound understanding of the change issues in         both             breadth and depth.

 

 

Well-developed understanding of the operational

change management phases.

 

Clear   and      well structured.

Able to assess a range   of perspectives    and discuss            the strengths          and weaknesses.

 

May advocate a balanced point of view, and exercise some    critical judgement.

 

Shows awareness of the change issues.

 

Has some understanding of the change

management issues.

 

Shows some understanding of the operational

change management phases.

 

Some   lack     of clarity.

Lack of ability to assess a range of perspectives    and discuss            their merits.

 

Little ability to advocate different approaches, with no to little critical thinking.

 

Shows awareness of the change issues.

 

None to little understanding of the operational

change management phases..

 

Confused to little structure.

 

 

APPENDIX II – LIST OF SECTORS

1.                 Cars, Trucks, & Motorcycles Final Assembly Companies.

2.                 Auto Repair Centres

3.                 Mining and Quarrying Companies 4. Oil Exploration & Refining Companies

5.                 Aerospace Manufacturing Companies.

6.                 Book Publishing Houses.

7.                 Automotive Parts (Manufacturing).

8.                 Chemical Manufacturing Companies.

9.                 Drug Manufacturing Companies.

10.              Earth Moving Equipment Companies.

11.              Electronic & Electrical Manufacturing

12.              Engine & Engineering Companies.

13.              Food Manufacturing Companies

14.              Drink Manufacturing Companies.

15.              Hi-Fi Manufacturing Companies.

16.              Photographic Manufacturing Companies.

17.              Ship Building Companies.

18.              Shoe & Clothing Manufacturing.

19.              Sports Equipment Manufacturing.

20.              Steel Manufacturing Companies.

21.              Toy Manufacturing.

22.              Electricity Supply

23.              Gas Supply

24.              Water Supply

25.              Civil Engineering.

26.              Construction Companies.

27.              Building Materials Manufacturing.

28.              Wholesale & Retail Trade (including supermarkets).

29.              Hotel and Restaurants.

30.              Airlines Companies.

31.              Telecommunications Companies.

32.              Parcel, Letter & Freight Delivery Companies.

33.              Transport Companies (Road and Rail – not Airlines).

34.              Banking Companies.

35.              Insurance Companies.

36.              Accounting Companies.

37.              Advertising & P.R Agencies 38. Computer Hardware Companies.

39.              Computer Software Companies.

40.              Estate Agents

41.              Television Companies 42. Newspaper Companies.

43.    Rental Companies.

44.    Agriculture and Farming

45.    Forestry

46.    Fishing Companies

47.    Private Healthcare Provider Companies

48.    Medical Diagnostic Companies

49.    Social Media Companies

50.    Creative Industries

Special note about industries: if you are allocated for example number 29 Hotel and Restaurants you must stay within this industry.  However, you can specialise, so you could choose either Hotels or Restaurants or even just a fast-food outlet.  If you are allocated number 46 Fishing Companies for example, you cannot do Airlines. Also, you cannot select a company that has been presented and studied in lectures. Finally, if you decide not to stick to your allocation, 15% of your assignment mark will be removed, and if you use a case from the lectures, then 50% of your assignment mark will be removed.