Strategic Management Report


Maximum Word Length: 3000 (excluding references and appendices but including text in figures and tables)

Unless otherwise specified, the word count is for the main body of the text and ignores the reference list and appendices. Text in figures and tables in the main body of the text is included in the word count. If you exceed the word length, you will be penalised. For details, see the Management School Handbooks.

Question Requirements:
You are required to submit a strategic management report focussing on ONE of six given organisations. (attention my organisation choice is H&M)Each organisation is facing different strategic management issues. Strategic management issues are those that impact upon the competitive advantage, performance and/or wider survival of the organisation. Information on these organisations, and the strategic management issues they each face can be found in the ‘Assessment Guidance’ area on MOLE.

For your selected organisation, you are first to perform a strategic analysis to examine in-depth the nature of the strategic issues they face. You should then propose TWO strategic options for addressing the organisation’s strategic issues. You should

critically evaluate the pros and cons of these different strategic options before choosing the ONE option that you think is most appropriate for addressing the organisation’s strategic management issues. Finally, you will explain how the organisation should implement the chosen strategic option, reflecting upon any potential barriers and challenges. Your report should draw upon relevant strategic management concepts, theories and frameworks, and be supported with evidence and analysis.

You are NOT expected to collect primary data for this assignment. The material provided in the ‘Assessment Guidance’ area on MOLE should be supplemented with your own research from secondary sources. Your report should be structured as follows:

Section A: Strategic Analysis (1000 +/- words)

In this section, you should identify your chosen organisation and perform a strategic analysis of the strategic management issues it currently faces. In your analysis, you should make appropriate use of strategic management concepts, theories and frameworks (e.g. you might utilise the PESTEL or Porter’s five forces frameworks, the VRIO framework, the Mitchell et al (1997) framework for stakeholder mapping and salience, you might analyse your organisation and the strategic issues it faces using Porter’s generic strategies, or with reference to corporate and global strategy frameworks etc.).

Section B: Strategic Options and Choice (1000+/- words)

In this section, you will propose and evaluate TWO different strategic options (alternatives) for the organisation to address the strategic management issues it faces. These options should be identified clearly; they should also be discrete/non overlapping. You should evaluate the pros and cons of the different options before making a strategic choice about which option you think is most appropriate for addressing the strategic management issues faced by the organisation. The justification for your choice should be clear and fully supported by your critical evaluation

Section C: Strategy Implementation (1000 +/- words)

In this section, you should discuss how the selected organisation should implement the chosen strategic option. Include a plan identifying: key activities that should be undertaken, timelines for work to be done, resources needed, and how progress will be monitored and controlled. Reflect on any possible barriers and challenges the organisation may face in implementation. For example, there may be stakeholder issues, a culture that is not conducive to change, or limitations in existing resources and capabilities. As far as practicable, your recommendations for implementation should be tangible, realistic and specific.

You are NOT expected to use all strategic management theories, concepts and frameworks introduced in the lectures and reading, only those relevant to your chosen organisation, its specific situation and the strategic management issues it faces. You can draw upon theory and concepts from other modules if correctly referenced and relevant. However, the lens through which you examine your organisation and its issues should be one of strategic management.


Use of figures and tables to support discussions is encouraged, but such figures and tables should be appropriately captioned and referenced in the text. Text in figures and tables in the main body of the text is included in the word count. The document should be prepared with 1.5 line spacing.

Use of appendices

You are advised to be cautious when including appendices in the assignment. There are no specific criteria for marking or mark allocation available for appendices, so the assessment process focuses on the appropriate use of appendices. When deciding whether or not to include appendices, you should consider the following points:

• Appendices should always be referenced at the appropriate point within the discussion in the main body of the text.
• Appendices should add value or detail to the discussion and analysis undertaken in the main body of the assignment.
• They offer you the opportunity to give greater relevance and appropriate detail to support the main analysis and discussion.
• Discussions in the assignment should make sense without referring to the appendices. Using bullet points in the text (which does not constitute analysis) and putting the detailed analysis in the appendices is not acceptable practice and could result in failure.
• The inclusion of appendices should not be viewed as an opportunity to include anything that cannot fit in the word count.
• Assignments that make excessive use of appendices suggest inappropriate use. As a guide, we would not normally expect appendices to exceed one third of the length of the assignment.


It is very strongly recommended that you make yourself fully aware of what plagiarism constitutes, and what the penalties for plagiarism comprise.

The following definitions of plagiarism and collusion are taken from the University’s Teaching and Learning Support Unit, and represent the University’s standard policy on this issue.

Plagiarism is passing off others’ work as your own, whether intentionally or unintentionally, to your benefit. The work can include ideas, compositions, designs, images, computer code, and, of course, words. This list is not exhaustive. The benefit accrued could be, for example, an examination grade or the award of a research degree.

• If a student submits a piece of work produced by others, or copied from another source, this is plagiarism.
• If a student produces a piece of work, which includes sections taken from other authors, this is plagiarism. The length of the copied section is not relevant, since any act of plagiarism offends against the general principle set out above. When copying sections from other authors it is not sufficient simply to list the source in the bibliography.
• If a student paraphrases from another source without the appropriate attribution, as outlined in the section on referencing, this is plagiarism. Paraphrasing should use a student’s own words to demonstrate an understanding and accurately convey the meaning of the original work, and should not merely reorder or change a few words or phrases of the existing text.
• If a student copies from or resubmits his or her own previous work for another assignment, this is self-plagiarism, and is not acceptable.
• Collusion is a form of plagiarism where two or more people work together to produce a piece of work all or part of which is then submitted by each of them as their own individual work.
• If a student gets someone else to compose the whole or part of any piece of work, this is collusion.
• If a student copies the whole or part of someone else’s piece of work with the knowledge and consent of the latter, then this is collusion.
• If a student allows another student to copy material, knowing that it will subsequently be presented as that student’s own work, then this is collusion.
• If two or more students work on an assignment together, produce an agreed piece of work and then copy it up for individual submission, then this is normally collusion. In group assignments such as group projects, some degree of collaboration may be acceptable, or even required: if it is not clear from the written instructions, students should seek the advice of the member of staff who set the assigned work regarding the acceptable limits of collaboration.

Both plagiarism and collusion are strictly forbidden. Students are warned that the piece of work affected may be given a grade of zero, which in some cases will entail failure in the examination for the relevant unit or research degree. The student may also be referred to the Discipline Committee.

Extract taken from collusion.

‘TurnitinUK’ is available through MOLE and should be used in submitting your individual assignments. This software allows you submit a draft and receive a ‘score’ which tells you how close your assignment is to your sources. These scores do not necessarily mean that you are being dishonest, but it can help you to learn how to reference more appropriately. You can address any issues highlighted before you finally submit your assignment. You must submit your assignment through TurnitinUK.


It is extremely important that you cite references in your course work and bibliographies consistently and accurately. The referencing system used at the University of Sheffield is the Harvard system. Referencing according to the Harvard system. Academic work includes literature citations and a bibliography or reference list. Citations can be from multiple sources, including course materials, course readers and set books, magazines, newspapers and websites. All of them require an appropriate reference. You should always provide references for your arguments. When producing academic work, convention dictates that authors give credit to other people’s work to substantiate their arguments when they cite their theories or research findings. You should use what is known as the Harvard system. It works as follows:

When you cite an author’s work you should put in your text their name, the publication date and, if you are quoting their words, the page number, all enclosed in brackets; for example (Foucault, 1980, pp. 35). You should then put the full reference in alphabetical order in a reference list at the end of your essay or report. For the example above the entry would be:

Foucault, M. (1980) Power/Knowledge, Brighton, Harvester.

The styles for full references to chapters in edited books and journal articles are slightly different, as shown below:

A chapter in an edited book

When citing the author of a chapter in a book your text reference should be, for example, (Rivera-Santos & Rufín, 2012). Then in the reference list, you should include the full reference as follows Rivera-Santos, M. & Rufín, C. (2012). Bottom-of-the- Pyramid strategies and networks. In H. Merchant & A. Verbeke (Eds.), Handbook of Research on International Strategic Management. Cheltenham, England, and Northampton, Massachusetts: Edward Elgar.

A journal article

Schafer, M. & Crichlow, S. (1996). Antecedents of groupthink: a quantitative study, Journal of Conflict Resolution, 40(3): 415–35.