Choose an organization that you are familiar with for the purpose of developing a very comprehensive strategy. The organization must be a Strategic Business Unit (see page 7 of the text), so that business strategies rather than corporate strategies can be applied. The organization must have a distinct and identifiable customer. For example, you cannot choose Woolworths Ltd. but you may choose Woolworths Supermarkets, or any other of their businesses such as Dick Smith, Big W or Dan Murphy’s.
It is essential that you have some familiarity with the business you choose so it need not be a big company, it can be small family business, a not-for profit business. I fact, it may even be a organization that you may be thinking about setting up and as such, may not yet be inexistence. The point is that it must be an organization of which you have genuine and abiding interest because, as you will come to understand, what happens in the ‘real world’ can be so different to what is supposed to happen in theory. I argue that the reason why that is often said to be case is because the theory isn’t applied properly because people don’t know the context well enough and have a simplistic view of the world.
This approach to learning is difficult because it forces you to challenge some of the assumptions about how this business or how this operates. Consequently, it is a highly effective form of learning.
Assignment 1 follows the following format:
Background: 100 words (maximum)
Provide a basic outline of the organization and include details about its size, the industry, and what it produces (or whom it serves) etc., The information should be such that it orientates an totally uniformed reader and as such, must include information that is relevant. The word limit here means that you must make decisions about what is important.
Strategy development: 1–750 words (approximately)
From the information contained in Module 1, critically discuss the current procedures and processes for how strategy is formulated in your organization. This should be just a descriptive piece, it must be critical. This means that you must explain it in the language of the theory and state the ‘pro’s and con’s’ and devise a process that will be more appropriate based on the literature.
External environment analysis: 1–750 words (approximately)
Conduct an external analysis of your organization using the following tools:
Porter’s 5 Forces Network
Strategic Group Analysis
Internal environment analysis: 1–750 words (approximately)
Conduct an internal analysis of your organization using those tools in your text that will provide you with the most effective way to understand and identify the strategic capability of your firm.
Identify for whom your organization exists to serve, and critically discuss whether your organization is successful in this regard.
This information must be tabulated in the form of a SWOT matrix, where you identify and prioritize the three most important opportunities, threats strengths and weaknesses on your chosen organization.
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