BM3399 Strategic Management 2019/20
Seminar support materials are available on Blackboard in terms of general tips about the expectations with essay writing in this exam as well as how to differentiate answers to obtain potentially higher marks. These recordings include the following key messages:
· We’re not looking for ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answers
· We’re looking for students to demonstrate they know the theory;
· That they can apply the theory;
· That they have done wider academic reading.
· Structure is key (must have an intro, main body, and conclusion). Use
headings/sub-headings to aid the clarity of writing.
· Encourage students to plan answers so that they become focused.
· Critical analysis is key—must demonstrate they are constructing an argument and debating both sides (pros and cons)
· Argument is key—must show they are reaching a position or conclusion and provide a balanced argument to defend it.
· Bullet points are not acceptable for the exam—they’re used here just to provide an illustration of structure and content.
Students should discuss the benefits of the deliberate strategy development process. These advantages are most likely going to be drawn from the strategic planning perspective. Outlined in the lecture and text book (see Johnson et al, 2017, chapter 13). Benefits may include:
· Can provide opportunities for involvement.
· Leads to a sense of ownership.
· Provides security to managers.
· Re-assures managers and stakeholders that the strategy is ‘logical’.
From This Students Can Also Discuss The Role Of Strategic Planning In Being Helpful:
· Formulating strategy: a means by which managers can understand strategic issues and decide future strategy.
· Integration: coordinating business-level strategies within an overall corporate strategy.
· Communicating intended strategy and providing strategic milestones. Students could also bring in arguments around strategic leadership as well as externally imposed strategies if they feel it is relevant to this side of the argument.
Other points could include the drawbacks of logical incrementalism and other emergent approaches.
Emphasise how this is not an exhaustive list, and credit will be awarded for any valid point not listed above.
Highlight the importance of explaining points fully, the value of demonstrating wider academic reading, and using practical examples to bring to life the points. Per the UG marking guidelines, students that demonstrate wider academic reading and the use of practical examples (i.e. demonstrating they have done some research) will be awarded with higher marks.
Question 1. Tech32 Ltd, is a large UK technology business specialising in the development of computer programmes. The company remains in a strong financial position.
a) Using this case and your own examples, discuss the advantages of the deliberate strategy development process.
b) Using this case and your own examples, discuss the disadvantages of the deliberate strategy development process.
c) Choose two strategic management tools from term 1. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of these in helping the company with their strategy development.
Question 2. ‘Bobs’ is a fast food chain with 326 restaurants in the UK. In recent years, the company has seen a dramatic decline in revenue due to changing customer preferences. In your first meeting with the CEO, they declare that “they need to act fast and pursue acquisitions to change the fortunes of their business.”
a) What might be the CEO’s motives for advocating acquisitions? Provide a brief justification for your response.
b) What should the CEO do to ensure an acquisition is successful?
c) Your line manager has reservations about the CEO’s desire to pursue acquisitions and has asked you to prepare a brief document outlining some arguments to try to deter the CEO.
d) Would organic development be a viable alternative for ‘Bobs’ to achieve their strategic objectives?