Strategic Management and Leadership

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Task:

Answer the following question (word limit 3,000 words):
Choose one company from the following list. For this company, explain how successful you think it is
and discuss the strategic reasons behind that success (or why the company is not very successful).
Your explanation should include something about the contribution of leadership to the company. Go
on to suggest strategies and/or actions for ensuring success in the future.
You should the information on the next page and the marking scheme at the ends of this brief to
understand how you should approach the assignment and what we shall be looking for.
a) Deckers Outdoor Corporation
b) Rolls Royce plc (make sure you look at the correct company)
c) The Hong Kong and Shanghai Hotels Group
d) Sony Corporation

Format for submission:
 The assignment should be written in Arial, 11pt, left-justified, 1? spacing.
 Every page should be numbered and show your student ID (but not your name)
 Leave at least 10cm at the end of each section for us to write comments.
 Print the assignment double-sided, if possible
 All academic and other sources must be cited and included in a reference list.
 No appendices are permitted.
 Tables with sentences (rather than data) will be included in the word count
 The completed assignment should be submitted in a single polypocket ? the type with fixing
holes down one side. Do not staple or otherwise fix pages together.
Submission of Assignment:
All assignments must be submitted via the Undergraduate Programme Office. Each assignment must
be accompanied by an Assessed Work Form which must be completed in full. The assignment will not
be accepted by the Undergraduate Programme Office unless the form is completed correctly and the
assignment is in the correct format.
An electronic copy of the assignment should be uploaded on Bb in the SM0374 Assessment Folder.

Marked assignments will be returned to students. It is advisable to retain a copy of your assignment
for you own records. Your mark will be returned on the Assessed Work Form via the Undergraduate
Programme Office.

Guidance
We want you to tell the reader what is ?special? about the company and justify your answer with
analysis using frameworks carefully selected from those you have been taught. Success could be
measured in terms of growth, profitability, market share and so on. But how has the company
achieved this position which may well have taken several years? It could be due to, for example:
 Exploitation of opportunities in the factors in the far environment including market growth (but
you MUST show clearly how the company has exploited the opportunities better than other
companies ? a simple PESTEL analysis will be awarded no marks)
 A favourable near environment (but you must explain how the company has been able to
position itself within that environment ? a basic 5F analysis will be awarded no marks)
 Strong strategic capabilities leading to competitive advantage
 A clear competitive strategy consistent with strategic capabilities
 Development strategies leading to growth
 Methods of strategic development supporting the growth strategy
 A well-managed international strategy
 An effective innovation strategy
 Good leadership

 A combination of two or three of the above
To tackle the question you need to carry out a full strategic analysis of the company and the business
environment. But we only want to read the really important outputs of that analysis. You have to
judge what outputs from the analysis (i.e. your conclusions) are most important and present these to
us in a clear, academically rigorous manner.
So, your assignment should contain the following sections:
1. Your ideas about measures of success for the company concluding with your view on how
successful it is (remember to cite sources)
2. An outline of up to 10 reasons behind the success stated in a simple, straightforward way with
a brief explanation of each reason.
3. Focus on the most important reasons behind the success and provide a detailed analysis
using analytical frameworks from TWO areas in the list above (or another part of the module)
and your interpretation of the analysis. For example, you may feel that a value chain analysis
(done properly, with genuine evaluation) will capture the most important reasons and this can
be linked to an analysis of the competitive strategy to show how the company?s value-adding
activities have supported the competitive strategy.
4. Evaluate the contribution of leadership (good or bad) to the company?s success
5. Explain what external and/or internal factors might make it difficult for the company to remain
as successful as it has been and make suggestions as to how the company can best deal with
these.