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Organisational Strategy & Decision Making

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3BM020 Organisational Strategy & Decision Making

Guidance on the assessed report

Guidance on structure: this is not a prescriptive guide but is meant to offer some guidance towards the structuring of the report.

Title page: The title page should include the following information: title of the report, author’s name (for this report use your student number), date.

Contents page: the contents page lists the main sections, sub-sections (if any are contained in the report), and appendices, indicating their page numbers. Most word processing packages now offer a facility that enables a contents page to be constructed automatically.

         

Abstract (or summary): the purpose of the abstract is to provide a brief outline of the main themes or issues contained in the report, so that the reader can gain an appreciation of the whole report content without having to read the full report

The abstract should contain an overview of the following:

  • The purpose and scope of the report
  • What has been done and how
  • The main findings
  • Conclusions
  • Recommendations

Introduction: should include sufficient background information to enable the reader to understand the context of the report, in this case the background to the sector/market in which your chosen organisation is operating and background to the actual organisation in question. For example you may perhaps want to offer some history behind the organisation, its size, the nature and scope of its business, its customers, sector/market data to indicate the nature of the environment in which the organisation operates etc. you have to be selective as it is impossible to include and cover everything.

        

Main body: application in relation to the relevant and significant academic concepts and models relating to strategy, again you have to be selective, but for example you might want to consider the following and use them in direct application to the organisation in question:

  • Internal audit – Strengths & Weaknesses
  • External audit – Opportunities & Threats
  • PESTLE
  • Porters Five Forces

Discussion: in this section you should consider how does the content of the environmental analysis inform the strategic position and strategy of the organisation

  • Bring the audit  areas of environmental analysis together in order to discuss and critically analyse the context and strategic options, etc, use academic concepts and referencing to support your discussion, for example:
  • Porters Generic strategies
  • VRIO/VRIN frameworks
  • Core capabilities/threshold capabilities
  • The strategy clock etc

Evaluation:

  • Where is the organisation going in terms of Strategic direction etc? What is informing this from the discussion? The relationship between the practical issues identified in the discussion and the academic concepts
  • Consider any detailed supporting material - relationship back to relevant concepts, models or academic references to support this?
  • Again you have to be selective as it is impossible to include and cover everything.

Conclusions:

  • The material presented in the report should lead the reader logically to the conclusions
  • What are the main points? What can be taken from the evaluation?
  • Make sure that the conclusions are logical, concise and clear
  • Be concise, stick to the main points and avoid rambling or being longwinded
  • Be consistent with what has gone before in the main sections of the report, do not introduce any new material at this stage
  • Offer well considered conclusions, not superficial suggestions
  • The conclusions should be written after the main sections of the report are completed, they should be brief and should be ordered in a way that is in-line with the actual report

Recommendations:

  • From the evidence included in the report offer some recommendations
  • The recommendations you make should be taken from the main sections of the report  and the conclusions
  • Recommendations are the important and influential factors in affecting the future strategic actions and decision making of the organisation you have chosen
  • Remember that the recommendation are advisory, it is not for to say how they will be specifically achieved in this report
  • Do not introduce any new material, new issues or arguments that have not been contained within the main sections of the report or in the conclusions

References: use the Harvard referencing system

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