Development of the Strategic Recommendations

Learning outcomes
The module learning outcomes that will be assessed in the EMA are:

1.1 Develop knowledge and critical understanding of the theories and frameworks underpinning the strategy process at the different levels where strategies are developed in organisations, including the international context.
1.3 Develop knowledge and understanding of the challenges, risks and ambiguities of the implementation of strategic choices.
2.1 Work with the appropriate data to generate information relevant to the development of strategy.
2.3 Critically apply conceptual knowledge to the development of strategy in different situations and contexts.
2.4 Argue coherently and justify a point of view using appropriate information and theoretical concepts.
3.2 Communicate effectively during strategy development using a wide range of media.
3.3 Engage in collaborative strategic decision making.
4.1 Learn from the feedback provided in order to become an independent learner.
4.2 Provide constructive feedback to others.
4.4 Reflect on how strategic management can inform practice and next steps of career progression and development.

Assignment tasks
The EMA comprises four parts. You must complete all parts.

Part 1
Prepare a management report outlining your strategic recommendations for Ooni. Your report should draw on appropriate B302 module material and provide evidence that supports your recommendations.

Your answer should be no more than 1200 words. (30 marks)

Part 2
Watch the video Reflecting on implementation in Part 3 of the Collaborative activity subsection 3.1.

Prepare a second management report that identifies three implementation issues that Ooni must address if it
is to implement your Part 1 recommendations effectively. This report should draw on appropriate B302 module material and support its arguments with evidence.

Your answer should be no more than 1200 words. (30 marks)

Part 3
Reflect on and evaluate the process that led to the development of the strategic recommendations reported in Part 1.

Your answer should be no more than 700 words. (25 marks)

Part 4
Reflect on and evaluate the skills you have developed while working through Block 5 and the collaborative activity.

Your answer should be no more than 400 words. (15 marks)

Guidance notes
Part 1
Part 1 asks you to produce a management report outlining strategic recommendations that you would offer Ooni’s management team. You should prepare the report as if you were a consultant submitting recommendations to Ooni. You must think about what your target audience needs to know and write in a way that its members are likely to find interesting and relevant.

You should be sensitive to the difference between what Ooni’s executives already know and how your strategic recommendations might affect their established way of doing things.

While your strategic recommendations may build on ideas developed in the collaborative activity, you are free to develop alternative strategic recommendations.

Do not waste words with lengthy descriptions of academic theory that your target audience may struggle to understand.

Think carefully about the style and structure of your report. It should include an executive summary of around 150 words (included in the word limit for Part 1), clearly defined subsections and accurate referencing.

Your recommendations should be succinct and coherent. Markers will assess your capacity to connect theory with practice. You should draw on relevant B302 module material and be clear about how recommendations relate to business strategy and corporate strategy.

Given the word limit, three recommendations may be sensible. You must show you can balance appropriate depth with appropriate breadth. If you make too many recommendations, you may have too few words available to discuss each recommendation in sufficient depth.

Part 2
Guidance concerning the style and structure of your Part 2 report is the same as it was for your Part 1 report, but the subject is different. We have moved from making strategic recommendations to addressing three
implementation issues.

Implementing is not a linear extension of strategic recommending. Rather, the two activities are mutually
interdependent. Whereas your strategic recommendations offered Ooni advice about what it should aim at, implementation issues are concerned with how Ooni might hit its target.

The type of implementation issues you discuss may vary according to the nature of your recommendations. They could include any of the themes covered in Weeks 23, 24 or 25, such as structural, cultural, monitoring and change issues, and barriers to implementation.

Even though your three implementation issues might not be of equal significance, you should still divide the available word count into three equal segments.

Part 3
Part 3 requires you to produce a piece of reflective writing rather than a report. As such, your style may be personal but it should still be academic in tone.

There are diverse ways in which you might tackle the task. For example, you may reflect on how your team allocated activities to individual team members. To what extent did the team’s achievements exceed the sum of each team member’s contribution? How did you benefit from being a team member and how did you support others in your team? If you were to repeat the collaborative activity, what would you do differently? How close did the team come to helping you answer Part 1?

There are no correct answers. Rather, you will receive marks for the quality and depth of your reflections.

Part 4
Part 3’s guidance on reflective writing also applies to Part 4, but the focus has moved to the skills you have developed.

Issues you might like to reflect on include such things as:

What skills were necessary to participate in the collaborative activity?
What have you learnt about the skills necessary to partake in strategic decision making in an organisation?
What academic skills have you developed or enhanced during Block 5?

You may apply reflective models discussed during the ‘EMA preparation’ tutorial. As with Part 3, there are no correct answers. Rather, you will receive marks for the quality and depth of your reflections.

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