ADDITIONAL ANALYTIC COMMENTS PER QUESTION – EVERY PART
OF THE STRUCTURE.
Please take some time to go through the following
details for the third assignment.
Very quickly: you will need to prepare a 4.000 words report
(+/- 10%) where you don’t have to repeat the theories, just use them and
reference them in order to provide related answers to the 4 questions.
In general: It is a report (not an essay) thus you will need analytic headings,
sub-headings, clearly structured answers. Please follow the particular suggested structure:
Executive Summary (excluded from the word count)
Table of contents
2. Q1 – Analysis of the
Sub-headings here e.g. 1.Macro Environment Analysis – PESTEL, 2 Micro
Environment Analysis – Porter’s 5 Forces Model
3. Q2. – Analysis of the
Sub-headings here: e.g. 1.Resource Based View of the Company, 2 Value Chain
4. Q3. – Analysis of PR crises
Subheadings again here – according to your identified crises/relevant
5. Q4. – Strategic Analysis
Subheadings here: e.g. 1. Business Level Strategy, 2. Corporate Strategy, 3.
Strategies Suggested for future/Evaluation, 4. Implementation Modes/Techniques
and Final Suggestions.
6. Conclusions – Yes, this can
be as part/sub-heading of the previous point – it is up to you.
7. Full list of References /
Bibliography (excluded from the word count)
8. Appendices. (excluded from
the word count)
With regards to
theory and application: You are not required to analyse any theory! Briefly
mention (within one-two lines max) what it is about and the original/initial
reference, not our book all the time, e.g instead of “Christodoulou and Patel,
2015” use “Porter, 1985”
And here are some
Make sure that you include ALL the relevant
information of your school, department, course, name , ID number, NAME OF BOTH
SEMINAR TUTORS THAT YOU BELONG ACCORDING TO YOUR SRS TIMETABLE. – they are the
ones to mark your work.
Yes, it must be before the table of contents! It can
be max one page and it is excluded from the word count, so please be analytic
about it. Use it to impress us, make it professional. Here you need to include
all the major points from every part of your report. Again, this is not an
introduction, it is an executive summary
Since you have limited word count, the intro should be
very small – max one paragraph. Here you simply introduce the reader in what is
this report about and what you will analyse. – It is different from the
Q1 – 20%:
Here you are
analysing the external environment of COBRA BEER market/industry– thus the
focus is not COBRA BEER – the focus is the micro (5 Forces) and macro
(PESTEL) environment. That means both PESTEL and 5 forces should not be
about COBRA BEER but for the industry that COBRA BEER belongs to... Many of you
were asking whether you should focus on UK or other countries or globally. My
answer is that it is up to you. Preferably I would like to see either an
external environment analysis for Europe, mentioning also some essential global
trends OR you can make a Global analysis straightforward. In any case, you
will need to make that explicitly clear in your executive summary and
introduction, state in which level you make your external environment analysis.
Also, here you will need first to analyse PESTEL –
just mention only those relevant trends to your industry . You don’t have to go
into describing every dimension. If you want to and already done it – then use
tables and/or appendices and mention in the text only the most important
5Forces: Use the “Structural Determinants” slide from
the external environment lecture slides – 1st semester. Please
mention whether every force is high, moderate or low and in the end conclude
whether the industry is attractive and profitable or not.
As to industry life cycle (ILC): You can either
clearly incorporate it within the “existing competition” force of 5 forces, by
saying whether the industry is in a development or maturity stage along with
the market growth rate (which a structural determinant of the particular force)
OR you can make a short section only for the industry life cycle theory.
In any case, you will need to reference every
single concept and model used above both in text and in the final list of
In this question we expect you to use resources and
capabilities theory (R+Cs or else Resource Based view of the Company) and/or
Value Chain . Yes, please, mention both theories and reference them of course.
However, if you feel comfortable using only one then it is still fine – just
state it clearly. So, we would like you to: present the key strategic
resources. Please see examples of resources and capabilities from our book and
lecture slides. Within the financial resources you must mention some key
financial indexes either of COBRA BEER’ Strategic Business Unit (SBU) that you
can find from Google, published statements, Mintel or Bloomberg databases. As
for mentioning comparative measures from a key competitor, yes you can do it. More
than that, you will need to state clearly what are the core
capabilities/competencies of COBRA BEER and why they are core? E.g. financial
control and economies of scale-are they core? Also do they lead to competitive
advantage? If yes, is it cost leadership or differentiation or a bit of both
(hybrid strategy)? In this way you are actually describing COBRA BEER’ existing
business level strategy that you need in the last question.
As for Value Chain. You don’t need to analyse highly
descriptive every single activity. If you want to or have done so, please use
appendices and tables to avoid the word count. Here, you need to show those linkages
(combinations of primary to support activities) that either increase the
customer value or reduce the operating cost. In this way, again you can
conclude into what competitive advantage(s) are created for COBRA BEER and how.
The outcomes of Resources+Capabilities and Value Chain should agree.
The above are the essential ones that we want for Q2.
As for leadership, decision making, culture, politics
etc. Yes, you can mention them within the resources appraisal above! OR, if you
want to make a separate section/part for those (since you have a limited word
count), please keep it short and practically focused. In any case, please
reference properly/academically every single of those concepts. The essential
part of this question is R+Cs and Value Chain.
NOTE ABOUT SWOT: We didn’t and we don’t want you to do
a SWOT analysis. Essentially you have analysed OT from Q1 and SW from Q2. If you want or have already done a SWOT
please use is as framework to summarize your key points from questions one and
two. You can put them in a table after Q2 and before Q3.
In this question you are required to identify one, two
or three issues that affected the image of the company, either internal or
external. You will need to briefly analyse what happened applying theories on
organisational ethics theory,, corporate governance CSR concepts, stakeholder
applications & reputation management concepts/metrics. Not all of them are
required, but the more you apply and reference inside the PR crisis/issue the
better it is. We want you to demonstrate application of relevant theories.
Q4 – 30%
This is obviously the most important question. Here
you need to:
a) Identify the business level strategy of COBRA BEER
(this could be also been found/linked from question 2. That is either cost
leadership or differentiation or hybrid (both). Of course you will need to
reference all concepts such as “Porter, 1985”. In Q2 you conclude justifying
the competitive advantages --> thus, if they are mostly on uniqueness
(differentiation) then the competitive strategy is most probably
differentiation leadership and so on :-).
b) Identify the corporate level strategies. These
could be growth: e.g. market penetration, market development, product
development, vertical/horizontal integration, related/unrelated
diversification. Here you can use the Ansoff’s matrix/directional policy table
(it is essentially the same). Of course
there are turnaround corporate strategies (e.g. downsizing, liquidation, divesture
etc) and stability strategies ( no-change strategy, pause, etc)
So in a) and b)
you can identify/record plenty of strategies but please use the terminology and
reference properly every concept.
c) Suggest strategies: Either you can suggest
sustaining the existing ones, or developing the existing ones, or developing
d) Choose two (advisable)-three (max) strategies to
evaluate them according to certain criteria. These can be:
– acceptability – feasibility, that is SAF (highly recommended, simple and
- or any other properly referenced model.
You don’t need to use more than one of the above.
HELP for these models above: you can either found them on our slides (apart
from SUITS) and in the following sources:
SAF check (also attached in the same link as the word
document that you read now):
pages 365 of Johnson et al.; Exploring Corporate Strategy, Financial
Times/ Prentice Hall; 7th
RACES in Haberberg & Rieple – the extra textbook
of our module-see it in our module handbook and library.
STAIR – our slides.
And of course you can always reference our slides as
e) Finally, you will need to say a few words about the
implementation techniques/modes of those suggested strategies. Examples of
implementation modes: licensing, franchising, merger/acquisition, joint
venture, direct investment/wholly owned subsidiary. Remember, these are ways of
implementing strategies – they are not strategies themselves. You can also
combine this part with part d) if you want.
For this question, please avoid suggesting simple
actions like “enhancing the CRS policies” “or improve the quality”– these
are not strategies. In such a case the strategy is “differentiation” and it
entails improving the quality etc…
Yes, appendices should be avoided for this question,
but if you want to use tables you are free to do so, or if you want to mention
additional e.g. theoretical explanation of a strategy you can put it in the
– Structure – Clarity – Referencing – 20%
to the guidelines existing in the complementary previous file:
PLEASE make sure that this is a report that you
are writing – not an essay. Essay
type reports are not acceptable.
All seminar tutors will mark according to the above
Tables and appendices are excluded from word count but
they must not in any way exceed the length of the actual report. Also, please
don’t make tables that are huge – e.g. two pages long!
It is really important to cross check your work. Avoid
grammar and spelling mistakes - use the spelling check of word before submission.
Again, there is going to be ONLY ONE submission
on turn-it-in. Make sure you upload the right file and the complete report
answering all questions. No additional files will be accepted in any form.
Works without in-text referencing and full list of
references/bibliography are not acceptable. Yes, you need more than 10 academic
references and theories. If you simply mention all the original references for
every concept mentioned above you will have more than 10 for sure – this should
not be an issue.
Please don’t put the book reference all the time or
only electronic sources. You need academic textbooks, papers and additional
valid sources for the company. Again, you need to use the
initial/original sources for every theory/concept from the book that you can
find in the end of each chapter.(for chapters in the part B of the book you
have the sources electronically on Blackboard)
Finally, you can reference and you need to reference
the case study (mentioning the page you took the info from) in the form of
teaching notes according to Harvard Referencing Style. This
is the style of referencing that we are using in general.
keep focused and do the job – you can “hate” me later.
regularly – drink a lot of water – rest/have shot breaks – you need your brain
over search extra sources – your time is limited so don’t spend much time
thinking about it.
writing and then decide what to cut and how to format.
all the report/questions and then work on the ex.summary and refinement.
we are next to you to help out!
you all and good luck!