The assessment exercise for this class invites critical analysis and discussion of the strategic and leadership issues that arise in current business settings. The primary objective of this assessment is to deepen classroom learning by putting it to practical use in a real and emerging situation. A good analysis will demonstrate:
• Excellent background research in building a broad-based description of the chosen business situation;
• Clear justification and understanding of the strategy tools and leadership perspectives that are most appropriate for analysing this situation;
• Comprehensive exploration of the situation using these tools and perspectives;
• Critical analysis that generates fresh insights by uncovering the strengths and weaknesses of these tools and perspectives in their practical application to this specific situation;
• Enlightened and creative reflections on how managers might proceed in light of this analysis.
The assessment will be conducted in two stages:
1. Working in groups of 5-6, students will begin by identifying the business situation that will form the focus of their analysis. Students are advised to scour the news media for interesting business stories that will continue to unfold over the course of the semester. For instance, recent ongoing stories have concerned the impacts of COVID-19 on all aspects of business activity, plus issues in the development of the NHS, as well as the hospitality, retail, and sports sectors. Each group’s choice of topic must be approved by the class facilitator before progressing to build a comprehensive description, analysis, and reflection on the strategy and leadership dimensions of this situation. Groups will prepare a 15 minute video presentation summarising their findings, which will be discussed in class on 26th March 2021.
Each group’s video presentation must be uploaded using the Forum link on the MG418 MyPlace page before 5pm on 25th March, where it will be made available to all class members for reference. In addition, each group must upload their presentation file (Powerpoint) for formal assessment using the separate link for this purpose on MyPlace (submission deadline is 5pm on 25th March). This presentation is worth 20% of the final grade. All members of the group will receive the same grade, so groups need to pay attention to how they can most effectively work together.
2. Working independently, each student will write a personal account of the focal business situation studied by their group, specifically elaborating its strategy and leadership dimensions. Students are encouraged to draw on their group’s research and analysis in order to build their own personal perspective. This individual essay should lay out the relevant details of the case study, and then critically examine the case using tools / theories / perspectives / models that are clearly justified, and which offer fresh and interesting insights into the strategy and leadership dimensions of the case. Students should also add a commentary about how they might develop their own practice as future managers based on these insights. This essay should be about 4000 words long and will constitute 80% of the final grade.