• Evaluate case studies in strategy direction, strategy implementation and strategic management.
• Discuss the strategic directions that can be chosen by organizations through the application of relevant theoretical concepts.
• State the need for strategic alternatives and their selection.
Coursework: Case Study based on key reading – Adnams a living company. (Johnson, G., Whittington, R., Scholes, K., Angwin, D., & Regner, P. (2014). Exploring Strategy: Text and Cases (10 ed.) pages 606-611.
Task: Adnams has a strong iconic brand and wishes to examine its competitive strategy. You have been commissioned by the company to provide a report on their competitive position and make recommendations for their future. The directors have little time to do this at present, so your report must include a critical evaluation and justification of your model prior to using it for your analysis. You are also required to make recommendations for their future from your analysis. These should be well founded and should clearly relate to your analysis.
We advise the following structure as specified in the brief
Part 1: Theoretical underpinning for analysis, identification of key issues, justification and evaluation of the choice of analytical model/s
In the first instance, please identify what you consider as key strategic issues associated with Adnams within the case study. These maybe opportunities or threats, growth issues, culture etc… think of the topics we have covered in the lectures. We suggest not more than 4 strategic issues. You will then need to identify and select relevant analytical model/s that will underpin your analysis, again look back at the lectures to review the modules within these. Please ensure that these are justified and critically evaluated in this section. Critical evaluation means discussing advantages and disadvantages of the selected model/s. Also see who has critiqued these by looking for some literature, we do expect you to provide relevant references from literature to support your analysis and critique.
Examples of analytical models include PESTEL, P’s 5 forces, Value Chain, Ansoff’s matrix, etc. This means focussing on their application as well as advantages and disadvantages. For example, if the Value Chain is one of your selected models, you should define and evaluate its advantages and disadvantages as an internal analysis model and reference Porter correctly. Please note that you may use any model/s that you find relevant to conduct the strategic analysis of Adnams, so long as you justify why this is relevant. Be careful though, using lots of models, would affect clarity and the focus of your analysis. This means that against the word count you could become descriptive rather than give a thorough critical analysis.
You can have a separate introduction to the assignment if you wish but this needs to be very brief – Remember the word count!
We expect part 1 to be not more that 1.5 pages A4
Part 2: Strategic analysis with application of the chosen model (s)
This is the most important part of the assignment, constituting 60% of the total marks so treat it with importance and prepare well. Please note that this section should demonstrate critical analysis and evaluation. Here, we expect you to apply the relevant model (s) that you identified in part 1 of your assignment. For example, if you have selected the Value Chain in part 1, you should then apply the model in this section, fully discuss how the components of the model help us to gain insight into the key strategic issues you identified in part 1. Remember that you need to be more analytical here – i.e. not just highlighting the components of these models (you did that in part 1) without applying them to the organisation. You therefore need to demonstrate deeper analytical work.
Part 3: Recommendations and Conclusion
We expect you to recommend strategic options or directions that come from your analysis. You could can refer back to models from section 1 here to bring things together and support your conclusions. For example, Ansoff’s matrix looks at potential strategic options at corporate level , e.g. diversification, market penetration etc, you could have applied it section 2, then discuss what options this reveals as feasible/viable to add depth from your analysis. You must ensure that any model used in this section has been introduced and evaluated in part 1 of your work.