Submitting your Assignment
1. Assignments should be typed, 10 or 11 point font size (Times Roman or similar if possible) double spaced with a 4 cm margin on the right side of the page with the page size specified as UK A4. All pages must be numbered.
2. Assignments should be submitted in either Microsoft Office and/or PDF format (.doc, .docx, .pdf etc.). File names should be kept simple and only contain alphanumeric characters (a-z0-9), spaces and underscores (e.g. Valid_filename_1.doc). Files with other characters such as apostrophes, brackets or commas may not be accessible by markers.
3. Assignments may be uploaded only once; substitutions are not permitted and students should therefore ensure that the version uploaded is their final submission.
4. Please ensure you include your student number and the assignment reference (SM/Student Number/Jan15/3) in all submitted assignments and that assignments are paginated. Failure to do this may lead either to a grade not being assigned or being wrongly assigned
5. If you are experiencing any difficulty in uploading your assignment to Blackboard, please email a copy of the assignment and a screenshot of the error message immediately to your local centre/Student Adviser.
Select ONE Concept or Framework or Methodological Approach from the SM Course
Manual or Grant’s text book that you find especially relevant to a selected company.
DO NOT select Concepts, Frameworks or Methodologies used to aIDress Business
Strategy in Assignment 3 (i.e.: Porter’s Generics; Disciplines; Value Map; Spider; Zig-
Zag; SNAP; Strategy Canvas; KSF’s; Marketing P’s; Business System; Value Chain;
Activity System Map)
Assignment Structure Guidelines (1700 words maximum, 20 pages maximum – The
assignment cover sheet, contents page and bibliography are not part of your word
count or page length guidelines)
1. Provide some background to your company (circa 150 words) and the key issues,challenges, opportunities it faces
2. Select one important key issue, challenge or opportunity faced by the company (Note: This implies you have considered the Competitive Environment context). Select the one concept from the Course (excluding Business Strategy Concepts,
Frameworks or Methodologies) that best aIDresses the topic selected. Why is the Concept or Framework or Methodological Approach selected especially relevant to the selected topic?(circa 150 words)
3. Apply the Concept or Framework or Methodological Approach to your selected company (circa 600 words)
4. What are the key managerial implications? (circa 150 words)
5. 400 words on how managerial implications in 4. above link to other Concepts, Frameworks or Methodological Approaches covered in the entire SM Course (including content on Business Strategy). You should link to at least 3 other Concepts, Frameworks or Methodologies
6. Outline a managerial agenda that aIDresses the managerial implications raised in 4. above (circa 250 words)
Overall word length target: 1700 words maximum; assignments significantly in excess of this target will be penalised. Diagrams and tabulations are not part of the word count. You should probably have diagrams and/or tabulations to support Sections 1, 3, 5 and 6. For
Section 5 you may wish to have diagrams applying other Course Concepts, Frameworks or
Methodologies. Your assignment should be no longer than 20 pages. Assignments
significantly in excess of the word count or length guidelines will be penalised.
Supporting Appendix data is not wanted.
Please ensure you include your student number and the assignment reference (SM/Student
Number/XXX15/3) in all submitted assignments and that assignments are paginated.
Failure to do this may lead either to a grade not being assigned or being wrongly assigned
In completing the assignment you can naturally pull on the contents of Grant’s textbook
You can assume the marker is familiar with the Concept or Framework or Methodological Approach selected – hence there is no need to explain – just managerially apply
As this is a company application it may be useful to complete it with the mindset of the CEO or as an advisor to the CEO and senior management team
Naturally the focus should be on company application
Assignments with specific management agendas/action plans are likely to score better
Quantify, be analytic, be managerial
If your company is large and diverse in terms of markets, customers, product/services offered you may narrow down the scope of your assignment to perhaps a specific:
– capability area (R. Grant chapter 5 considers resource and capability analysis)
If you do decide to narrow down please do not:
1. Narrow down too far – the subject matter of Assignment 3 is on a business or part of a business, this is a company assignment
2. As this is a company assignment still have the mindset of the CEO or an advisor to the CEO and the senior management team
3. Ensure that your final agenda will be acceptable to the CEO/Head Office.
You should not omit data/analysis needed to complete the assignment on the grounds of confidentiality. If you have concerns over confidentiality you can:
– Change the name of your company
– Use a disguise factor (i.e.: divide all data by a percentage)
Note: at maximum four markers review your assignment (the first marker; the second marker; Course moderator; external examiner) unless there is a case of plagiarism to investigate.
If you are still uncomfortable then select another topic.