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Evaluation of Business and Corporate Strategies

0 Evaluation of Business and Corporate Strategies
Main focus should be on:
• Identifying what strategies are being pursued
a) This should predominantly be at the Business level for the strategies of the unit under analysis
b) Corporate strategy discussion (If any) should be focussed on how the Corporate parent (head-office) interacts with and supports the business unit that is the main focus of the report
• Evaluating how well the organisation is delivering the strategies you identified above, being clear as to the criteria you are using for this evaluation and the evidence you are basing it on
(this should probably in part link back to the objectives for the organisation you identified in the internal company analysis previously, perhaps in an Objectives Pyramid)
7.0 Identification of Major Strategic Issues facing organisation
What are the major strategic issues facing the organisation, and why are these important?
• (The main issues following from the preceding analysis, liable to be a mix of internal and external. As a rough estimate of number of issues, probably 4-6)
• (Avoid bringing in new material at this stage. This relatively short section should build on previous work NOT be the result of separate research and analysis)
8.0 Conclusions
• Summary of the key things YOU have found above
• Should NOT bring in new material at this point
• Should NOT bring in view of other writers/textbook(s), should be based on your analysis
9.0 Recommendations
Given what you have found, what do you think the organisation should do as a result?
• Make sure your recommendations map onto the issues you found (sometimes reports come up with recommendations/”fixes” that have little link to the issues)
• Should NOT bring in view of other writers/textbook(s), should be based on your analysis
• Remember to include references to all books (including the core text) and articles used in the production of the report
• Remember to use Harvard referencing to do so
• The role of the appendices is generally to provide relevant supporting more detailed data and evidence
• It should NOT be carrying the main argument (this should be covered in the main report)
• Generally, unless there are good reasons to the contrary, graphics should probably be in the main report unless they are particularly detailed
• It is generally good practice if you have something like a table of data in an appendix to summarise the key takeout from that data in the appendix itself (for instance by highlighting key aspects of the data or having some short discussion in the appendix as to the key point[s])
• You can then bring forward these key points into the report itself
• Remember that there are some elements that are mandatory appendices (i.e. they have to be included)
• The vast majority of this report is about one sector and the business/division within that sector
• However if you are looking at a multi-business organisation (e.g. Apple) part of the discussion in point 4 above should be looking at the Corporate strategy(s) being pursued by the organisation
• Any Corporate discussion should principally be looking at how the Centre supports the particular business unit that you are focussed on (i.e. do NOT spend lots of space doing lots of discussion about the other divisions)
• As long as you can cover the above issues, you can choose the precise headings for elements of your document (you could for instance choose the main headings from the Strategy Context brief and put in some sub-headings to suit you), but it should be in business report format overall
• We are looking for analytical rigour, not descriptive discussion
• We are also looking for a logical flow through the document (i.e. avoid bolting together separate elements – the conclusions and recommendations should follow naturally from the preceding issues)
• The word length should force you to be succinct, using graphics and bullet points to get your analysis across in a punchy fashion
Additional notes
• You DO NOT have to use all the models/techniques mentioned in the formative/summative feedback form
o Just because there are lots of techniques (particularly internal ones) mentioned in both the Workload Allocation form and the Feedback form, you don’t have to use all of them, or even something in this proportion
o Part of your learning from this process is for you to balance the breadth versus depth of techniques used to best tell the story of your organisation and its context
• In terms of the mix of External vs Internal focus for your selected organisation – this depends on its context.
o If you have evidence to believe that the majority of important issues for that organisation lie outside in the Macro or Micro (Competitive) Environment, then the majority of your word count and techniques should be focused here.
o If you believe that most are internal, than there should be a corresponding increase in word count and internal techniques
• Be aware that there are some “overlaps” between some of the techniques
o e.g. “customer segmentation” can easily be incorporated into the “value proposition” model when identifying which customers;
o you do not need to do both a “Value Chain” or an “Activity Map” as both of these essentially look at value creation but in different ways;
o you can identify competitive strategies and position via Porter’s Generic Strategies or Bowman’s Strategy Clock, and not both models
o The same can apply to the Cultural Web or McKinsey 7S framework, etc.

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