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Individual Strategic Analysis and Decision-making Assignment

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Individual Strategic Analysis and Decision-making Assignment

Summative Assessment # 2:

Individual Strategic Analysis and Decision-making Assignment (40%)

Ryanair: the low fares airline – “always getting better”?

Assessment Brief: Individual Strategic Analysis and Decision-making Assignment (40% of module mark)

Due: 3pm on Friday 14th February 2020 (Week 17) (submit as Personal Journal entry within Weblearn)

Learning Outcome addressed by Individual Strategic Analysis and Decision-making Assignment

 

  • Formulate and evaluate a range of strategic options to address strategic issues in a particular organisational or industry situation using appropriate frameworks and concepts, and justify selection of a particular strategic course of action

 

Introduction

 

You are required to produce an analytical paper of up to 2,500 words, based on the Ryanair case study and the 3 questions shown below.

 

Your paper should demonstrate your ability to apply a range of strategic models to gain constructive insight about strategic analysis and decision-making.

The 3 questions which you must address:

 

  • Apply Porter’s Generic Strategies model and Bowman’s Strategy Clock to the case, and use these to discuss why Ryanair has been successful so far.

 

Note: you should refer to Chapter 7 in the core textbook, namely Johnson G, Whittington R, Scholes K, Angwin D & Regner P (2017), Exploring Strategy, Ed11, Pearson.

  • Is Ryanair’s new strategy sustainable?

Note: you should apply external concepts (Porter’s 5 Forces and Strategic Group Mapping) plus internal concepts (Resources and Competencies), and summarise your analysis using SWOT plus any other relevant academic theory to develop and support your ideas.

Note: you should refer to Chapters 3 & 4 in the core textbook, namely Johnson G, Whittington R, Scholes K, Angwin D & Regner P (2017), Exploring Strategy, Ed11, Pearson.

 

  • Would you recommend any changes to Ryanair’s approach? Justify your recommendations.

Note: you should discuss mergers, acquisitions and alliances; justify your recommendations using the SAFe criteria and Choice Matrix.

 

Note: you should refer to Chapters 11 & 12 in the core textbook, namely Johnson G, Whittington R, Scholes K, Angwin D & Regner P (2017), Exploring Strategy, Ed11, Pearson.

 

Points to note about the case study

The 11 page case study is posted on Weblearn.

You must base your analysis on the case study: you are NOT required to do any additional research on the organisation or industry. Students should focus on using academic concepts taught in seminars during Weeks 1 to 17. The assessment criteria, report structure and some suggested reading can be found on the following pages of this briefing.

Use of tables: For each question you must apply one or more strategy models (as per the questions on page 2). You must create a table or diagram containing each element of the model and populate it with data from the case study using bullet points. The information in tables, diagrams or the end reference section will not be included in the word count. There are marks awarded for “application of key models using relevant data from the case”.

Discussion of table content: It is not enough to just populate the tables. For each model you must also discuss your findings (in full sentences after the table). Do not mention everything in the table. Tell the reader what the most important factors are based on your analysis. You can use the prompt notes in the questions to help e.g. to focus your discussion on the most challenging aspects of the change context for question 1. There are marks for “Discussion of findings demonstrates depth of understanding of the case and the theory and some originality in thinking.”  So, if you just have the table and no discussion or discussion but no table then you will lose valuable marks. 

Evidence of academic reading: for every question you must demonstrate some academic reading about the model you are using (academic text books or academic journal articles rather than internet sources). However, you should not describe the models in detail e.g. you don’t need to explain what Johnson means by ‘stories’ or ‘symbols’; it will be clear from your analysis that you understand this. However, you should summarise each model in 2 or 3 lines in order to introduce it. You should reference your academic reading using the Harvard system (at least five different academic sources). An example could be to use the core text book and find a quote where the authors explain the purpose of Porter’s Five Forces Analysis. Books and articles that will help with this are listed on page 10 of this briefing. There are marks awarded for “evidence of academic reading.  At least five different academic sources cited” so you will lose marks if you don’t do this. You must use in-text references (in the main body of your report) and an end reference list. You will lose valuable marks if you simply list five different books at the end of your paper.

Conclusions: Marks are awarded for “evidence of critical reflection on the theory and the case”.  The conclusion section (see ‘paper structure’ on next page) provides a good opportunity to reflect on the main points from each of the three questions and to reflect on how well strategic analysis and decision-making were managed and the usefulness of the models e.g. any strengths or limitations.

Indicative Structure for Report

Please note that the front pages of the report should be the Student Self-Assessment and Feedback Coversheet specific to this assignment which has been posted on Weblearn.

Each student must complete page one of the Self-Assessment and Feedback Coversheet. The completed form should be uploaded to your Personal Journal on Weblearn together with the report which follows on from the Coversheet.

Contents page

1.0       Introduction – briefly introduce the purpose of your report (approx. 100 words)   

2.0       Case Study Analysis – 3 sub-sections, one for each of the 3 main questions

(approx. 700 words per question plus diagrams or tables)

3.0       Conclusions – summarise the main points from section 2.0 (approx. 300 words). 

4.0       References – there should be at least five different academic references from text books and academic journal articles

Assessment Criteria for Individual Strategic Change Case Study Analysis

Report Presentation:  follows recommended structure.  Logical and persuasive writing style. Well presented with good grammar and spelling. Harvard referencing style throughout. Submitted on time.

Case Study Answers:  all questions answered fully.  Application of key models using relevant data from the case. Discussion of findings demonstrates depth of understanding of the case and the theory and some originality in thinking.  Evidence of critical reflection on the theory and the case.  

Scholarship:  evidence of academic reading.  At least five different academic sources cited.

 

Grading Structure

Letter grade & mark recorded

ASSESSMENT DESCRIPTORS

 

A+

95%

·         Exceptional in meeting the brief of the assessment task, addressing the specific criteria and meeting all of the Learning Outcomes

·         Shows evidence of extensive knowledge and understanding of what has been learned in the course so far

·         Demonstrates originality of approach

·         Outstanding breadth of study

·         Shows exceptional evidence of extensive reading beyond the course content and of independent thought, linking theory and practice

·         Includes accurate references in text, all sources accurately recorded in reference section

·         Is comprehensive, accurate and presented in a well-structured and organised format

·         Shows a sophisticated ability to express complex ideas

·         Exceptionally fluent and clear written and / or oral style, demonstrating flair, with no errors

·         Outstanding discussion & analysis

 

A

85%

·         Excellent in meeting the brief of the assessment task, addressing the specific criteria and meeting all of the Learning Outcomes

·         Shows convincing evidence of significant knowledge and understanding of what has been learned in the course so far, linking theory and practice

·         Shows convincing evidence of extensive and thoughtful reading beyond the course content

·         Includes accurate references in text, all sources accurately recorded in reference section

·         Is clear, concise, well structured and well presented

·         Excellent fluent written and / or oral style, with a few very minor errors

·         Excellent discussion & analysis

 

A-

75%

·         Very good in meeting the brief of the assessment task, addressing the specific criteria and meeting  all of the Learning Outcomes

·         Shows very good evidence of significant knowledge and understanding of what has been learned in the course so far, linking theory and practice

·         Shows very good  evidence of reading beyond the course content

·         Includes accurate references in text, all sources accurately recorded in reference section

·         Is clear, concise, well structured and well presented, with some very minor errors

·         Effective written and / or oral style, with some very minor errors

·         Very good discussion & analysis

 

B+

67%

·         Good in meeting the brief of the assessment task, addressing the specific criteria and meeting all of the Learning Outcomes

·         Refers to experience and reading to advance the line of argument, using argument well, but not always with distinction

·         Shows overall good evidence of significant knowledge and understanding of what has been learned in the course so far, linking theory and practice

·         Provides overall good evidence of wide reading from appropriate academic sources

·         Includes accurate references in text, all sources accurately recorded in reference section

·         Logically structured, and effectively  written and / or presented orally, but perhaps not always with distinction

·         Good discussion & analysis

 

B

63%

·         Generally good in meeting the brief of the assessment task, addressing the specific criteria and meeting all of the Learning Outcomes

·         Shows good evidence of significant knowledge and understanding of what has been learned in the course so far, linking theory and practice

·         Refers to experience and reading to advance the line of argument, using argument fairly well, but not always with distinction

·         Provides some evidence of wide reading from appropriate academic sources

·         Includes accurate references in text, all sources accurately recorded in reference section

·         Is fairly well structured and fairly well written and / or presented orally, but perhaps not always with distinction; some minor errors

·         Generally good discussion & analysis

 

C+

57%

·         Satisfactory in meeting the brief of the assessment task, addressing the specific criteria and meeting all of the Learning Outcomes

·         Shows evidence of knowledge and understanding of what has been learned in the course so far, but not always successful in linking theory and practice

·         Attempts to use argument, although there may be some confusion

·         Provides evidence of appropriate academic reading, although perhaps not from a wide range of texts

·         Includes referencing and a reference section with minor errors

·         Has made a good attempt at a clear structure with minor inconsistency

·         Coherent written and / or oral style – mainly clear, with some minor errors

·         Satisfactory discussion & analysis

 

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