Main report: A Maximum of 6,000 words + One page ‘map’ You are required to conduct a strategic analysis and context evaluation for a real-life organisation – Otto Marine (http://www.ottomarine.com). The purpose of this assignment is to apply the theoretical framework, concepts, and analytical tools covered in this course to analyse the organisation’s strategic position. As part of your report you will provide a reasoned conclusion based on rigorous analysis detailing what you believe Otto Marine’s current strategy is and whether it is appropriate. You will also produce a one page (A3 size) ‘map’ that captures and summarises your findings.
How this assignment connects to the learning opportunities afforded by this course: This assignment is designed to enable assessment of your knowledge, skills and abilities across three dimensions:
1. Your ability to learn and understand the strategic management theory and concepts contained within the course. This may include other theories and concepts not specifically covered in the course that you discover through your reading of the (strategic) management literature.
2. Your ability to critically evaluate theory and to understand the implications of applying the theory.
3. Your ability to apply the theory in an appropriate or creative manner.
What a typical report includes (this is a guide only):
1. A description of the relevant background and history of Otto Marine. This information should be accurate and relevant to the analysis of Otto Marine. It may include ownership, history, size, business scope, major products/services, and major ‘markets’ and spheres of influence of the organisation. Only include the relevant material that will have a material affect on your analysis. This provides the background against which you undertake subsequent analysis. It may also include an outline of the significant moments in the history of Otto Marine and why you believe these moments were/are consequential to the way Otto Marine undertakes its activities today. Your choices here about which information to include or exclude are important and will require you to use your critical and analytical skills.
2. Conduct a macro-environment analysis for the operating environment within which Otto Marine operates.
3. You must use analytical tools/frameworks that have been published in recognised scholarly publications. Focus on developing and demonstrating: an understanding of the purpose of this analysis identification of key factors/forces and their implications in terms of key opportunities and threats determine the overall direction of the operating environment in the future. Draw well reasoned conclusions that have been supported by analysis about the nature of the macro-operating environment of Otto Marine. Use this analysis to inform later aspects of your assignment.
4. Undertake a sector/competitive analysis. You must use analytical tools/frameworks that have been published in recognised scholarly publications. Focus on developing and demonstrating: an understanding of the purpose of this analysis a critical understanding of any tools/frameworks you select for the analysis an understanding of how this analysis is connected to the macro environmental analysis previously undertaken. You must make reasoned, argued conclusion(s) on the structure of the sector(s) and any competitive/cooperative forces that are operating on and within it. Use this analysis to inform later aspects of your assignment.
5. Identify any resources and competences that are likely to provide sustainable competitive advantage for Otto Marine (and whether or not Otto Marine possess these) Justify why these resources and competences can be regarded as strategic capabilities and discuss how useful they are in relation to the macro-environmental and sector/competitive analysis that you have conducted earlier. You must use analytical tools/frameworks that have been published in recognised scholarly publications. Focus on developing and demonstrating: an understanding of the purpose of this analysis a critical understanding of any tools/frameworks you select for the analysis drawing conclusions as to whether you believe Otto Marine currently possess the resources and competencies that you have identified. Use this analysis to inform later aspects of your assignment.
6. Identify and assess who the key stakeholders are for Otto Marine and how and why they are important. Justify your choices about who the stakeholders are and why you have indicated that they are important. Broad categories are discouraged. Focus on developing and demonstrating: an understanding of the purpose of this analysis a critical understanding of any tools/frameworks you select for the analysis drawing conclusions as to how and why each of these stakeholders are important to Otto Marine and how this knowledge can help you to shape strategic recommendations for Otto Marine.
7. Identify and discuss the current strategy of Otto Marine and assess if it is suitable given the strategic context. Use a well established strategic framework (e.g. Porter’s generic strategies or Mile and Snow’s strategic typology, or similar) to classify the strategy of Otto Marine. Clearly justify your choice with a well developed and logical argument. Justify whether you believe the current strategy is appropriate for the organisation or whether it needs to change. Explain why. Focus on integrating the conclusions from the analysis that you have undertaken in previous aspects of your assignment to make a coherent, logical argument supporting your position.
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