General Evaluation Criteria:

  1. Knowledge and Clarity of Reasoning
  2. Interface between Theory and Practice in the Professional Context
  3. Use of literature
  4. Organization of Material

Intended Learning Outcomes:

  1. Critically assess the effectiveness of strategic management theory in contexts of dynamic and uncertain industries.
  2. Use strategic management theories tools and techniques to evaluate the effectiveness of existing corporate strategies in context.
  3. Critically evaluate and plan the implementation of alternative approaches to strategic issues in context
  4. Devise and justify alternative multi-strategies.

General Objectives:

  • Introduction to the organization – in a few words saying what it does, its history, and the current key issues it must address.
  • Does the SWOT follow recommended good practice in how it was produced and presented?
  • The range and quality  of the data collected – have you organized the data using PESTLE, five forces and competitor analysis, value chain, VRIO, and other frameworks.
  • The quality of the analysis and the conclusions.
  • The recommendations for further action.

General Instructions:

  1. Identify an organization whose strategies you will examine. We strongly suggest you review your own organization, as it is easier to collect data about it. You can use the same organization used for the interim assessment (Digicel Group) or one you are more familiar with. Do not choose a famous name organization like Google, Nike, Amazon, etc.
    1. The aim of the section is for you to show you can collect data about an organization from a variety of sources, and analyze it objectively by collecting and analyzing data using:
      1. PESTLE
      1. Five Forces
      1. Core Competency analysis
      1. Value chain analysis.
  2. Using the SWOT from the Interim Assignment – you should update/improve it – write a short evaluation of the current strategic position of the organization, its environment and the degree of uncertainty and change going on, its strategies in use and the strategic issues it faces.
  3. From the SWOT evaluation in #2, you need to propose future strategies for the organization. There may be many alternative options open to the organization; what are they?
    1. Choose ONE (1) direction you recommend the organization go in.
    1. To support that direction, choose ONE (1) concept from the following list that you argue is the number one priority concept the organization should focus on in future. Make an argument to justify your choice.
      1. Core competencies
      1. Generic strategies, either cost leadership or differentiation, or focused cost leadership or differentiation, or outpacing
      1. Mergers and acquisitions
      1. Alliances
      1. Outsourcing
      1. CSR and shared value
      1. Blue ocean strategy
      1. BSC
      1. Capability development and agility
      1. Culture change
  4. You must demonstrate you have a deep understanding of the concept you apply. You must do this by critically examining the concept. Research a minimum of 15 peer-reviewed articles about the concept from the research literature. Examine what different researchers say about how the concept is used in practice, what its strengths and weaknesses are, and how the concept can be adapted or strengthened to make it effective in the organization you have chosen for your SWOT. You must apply theory to practice by saying what the organization must do to make the concept work in practice.


1. Cover Page

2. Table of Contents/List of Appendices

3. Executive Summary

4. Main Report broken down in three (3) sections

1) SWOT and its explanation (1,000 words): Conventional matrix format. Only give the three (3) most important items for each S, W, O and T. An explanation of how the SWOT was produced, where the data was collected from, and how you chose the top three (3) items for each S, W, O and T. You need to provide “hard” evidence.

Improve the quality of the SWOT. What more data do you need to collect? (You should state your sources of data.) Who can you consult with to check your analysis?

Reflect on the future of the organization. What might the organization do in the next 2-3 years to address the findings in your SWOT? Add a TOWS matrix to the SWOT to identify the actions the organization should take to address the SWOT results.

  1. Where is the organization now, i.e. its SWOT?
  2. What are its current strategies and how effective are they?
  3. What are the organization’s main challenges and opportunities?

2) Recommendations (1,500 words): Develop the recommended strategy and its justification. Make recommendations how the organization might address the issues identified in the SWOT.

  • Of the alternative futures for the organization, which direction do you recommend the organization go in, and what needs to be done to go in that direction? What is your argument for your recommendation?
  • Within that recommended strategy for the desired future, which ONE concept do you recommend the organization focuses on, as its number one priority? What is your argument for your recommendation?”


– Exploiting its core competencies?

– Adapting its choice of generic strategy?

– Changing its value chain through M and A, or alliances or outsourcing?

– Improving its relationship to society and the environment through better CSR strategies?

– Developing its own new and unique market through BOS?

– Carrying on doing what it is doing but improving the way it implements its current strategies through a BSC or similar framework?

– Developing its current capabilities to become more agile and robust?

3) Academic analysis (2,000 words): You MUST critically examine the academic literature about the concept, including at least 15 peer-reviewed articles

  • What do different academic researchers say are the strengths and weaknesses of the ONE concept you recommend as the main priority
  • What is the best way to make the concept work in practice?
  • What does your chosen organization need to pay attention to make the concept work?

5. List of references (minimum of 30): All sources to be correctly referenced using the Harvard system.

6. Appendices

Key Feedback to Apply:

  • A good SWOT will be based on a good range of data, both hard and soft data, and will follow recommended good practice. You will find examples on the web of good, and bad, SWOTs for organizations:
  • With the SWOT and the big picture in mind, choose ONE concept from strategic management that you think the organisation needs to prioritise. I expect different markets will need different generic strategies i.e. cost leadership for some differentiation for others. Maybe some alliances are needed, or M and A, to really compete in some markets. And you mention the culture issues. Whatever justify your choice?
  • What are the PESTLE factors and trends that your company (and its competitors) must consider when designing its strategy?
    • For example, the economy is slowing, but there is great potential; what data is there?
    • Segment the markets because the PESTLE factors and trends will differ.
    • As for Tech trends, what is there that the company must consider?
    • Social issues of future employees; what do the current generation of job entrants want from their employers?
  • Look at the competitors to see how they fit in the industry, how they compete with your company. How does your company compete? What would a competitor matrix look like e.g.
  • Where do you get data?
    • Internal organisation reports, published industry reports, financial analyst reports, commentaries by industry journalists in the business press, discussions with colleagues.
    • You must do some searching on the web. we are expecting the SWOT to be a concise and effective summary of the current situation of the organisation and you will have to provide some evidence for each statement.

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