3. Written Assignment 2: Strategy evaluation (60%)
You are required to submit an individually prepared report of up to 2,000 words which analyses and evaluates the Business Strategy of a real life business venture. Our focus this semester is Unilever.
Select a Business Unit within Unilever and evaluate its strategy. This assignment is in four parts:
Briefly re-state the Business Units strategy
Categorise the business strategy of the Business Unit, using appropriate models and
Critically analyse the long term objectives, the position within the competitive
environment, and the resources and capabilities of the Business Unit
Evaluate the strategy adopted by the Business Unit in terms of its suitability, acceptability
Your attention is directed to the fact that there are three main parts to this task (points 2-4 incl. of the assignment brief above). Each of the three main parts carries roughly equal weight and each must therefore be answered fully. Each part feeds into the next and so your work will be marked as a whole as well as for the individual parts. A key component of the challenge is to identify the core issues and present them succinctly within the word limit. In addition:
You are advised to look carefully at the marking criteria (see relevant section below).
You are expected to find information from multiple appropriate sources, such as
academic literature, quality press, trade journals, analyst reports and information provided by the company. You are expected to critically evaluate supporting information as part of your analysis.
Assignment reports must be submitted as Microsoft Word documents through the Turnitin dropbox on the module Brookes Virtual site before the hand-in deadline in the following format:
Body text in 11 Font Arial with 1.5 line spacing.
Front cover stating: Module number, Module name, Title of the assignment, Your name
and student number, Submission date, Word count
The deadline is 2.00pm on Wednesday 10th December (week 12). Assignments are to be submitted online through a Turnitin dropbox in the modules moodle site. You will receive online feedback and a mark from your Seminar Leader.
You should also note:
The word limit of 2,000 words does not include the cover page, references list or appendices.
An Executive Summary is not required.
Your report will be assessed based on the content within the main body of your
report (within the word limit). However, you are encouraged to use appendices for the presentation of the detailed research which supports your discussion, and for the detailed analysis using course models. Please ensure, however, that your main argument and key findings are included in the body of your report.
Research: We expect you to have completed a substantial amount of relevant research to support your analysis and findings. This might typically include identification of key competitors (or strategic groups of competitors), key groups of suppliers and groups of customers, performance indicators that analysts use to review success in the sector, analysis of the concentration of market shares, etc. It is important that your research enables you to understand the sector, the trends, and the drivers of change that influence it please ensure that you consider trends over the last five years.
The importance of using course concepts, models and frameworks: The module is designed to teach you about the tools of strategy analysis and how to use them. Work which is essentially descriptive in nature will fail, so please evaluate and prioritise your findings in all cases.