PGBM156: Strategic Management in an International Context

Individual Assessment

Case Study: Strategic Renewal in Covid-19 Environment – evidence from Multinational Corporations (MNCs)

Introduction:

This individual assignment will be assessed by means of a 2,000 maximum word report. The assignment has been designed to allow you to develop and use your knowledge and skills in understanding key strategic issues relating to any Global Industry you are familiar with. You will be required to apply the strategic concepts and analytical techniques studied in this module. All the learning outcomes below will be assessed:

  1. Demonstrate critical understanding and application of relevant strategic management and leadership principles that support organisational values and impact on organisational direction.
  2. Understand the holistic nature of strategy and the relationship between strategic management and leadership and apply analytical techniques to solve complex problems in real-life organizations.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of the strategic decision-making process through critical analysis of how strategic decision-making enables an organisation to relate to changes in its international business environment.
  4. Critically evaluate and monitor the business mission, vision, objectives and policies of international organisations.
  5. Use critical reflective skills to reflect on the impact of their understanding of the strategic problem- solving process.

The assignment will be internally moderated by: Module Team/John Dixon-Dawson

Please note:

  1. All work must adhere to the University regulations on ‘Cheating, Collusion and Plagiarism’ which are provided as an Appendix in your Programme Handbook. You are required to use the ‘Harvard Referencing Style’ andavoid ‘Plagiarism’.
  2. An electronic copy of the assignment must be submitted Online (via JIRA), on or before the appointed date under cover of the Sunderland Business School (SBS) Feedback Sheet.
  3. Issue Date: 1st  June 2021
  4. Submission Date: 31st August 2021

Task

Your task is to carry out a critical analysis and evaluation of the strategies adopted by Multinational Corporations (MNCs) operating in an industry and country of your choice, using the information available to the public, e.g. company annual reports in pdf and other materials researched. You will be expected to select and apply appropriate theories, techniques and models studied during the module while having regard to the practical aspects of strategy development.

Your assignment should be presented in a business report format and should be 2,000 words maximum (excluding executive summary/abstract, references and relevant appendices). The report should include a title page and abstract and be fully and consistently referenced, using the Harvard Referencing style. You must submit an electronic version of the report Online via the University’s Assignment Space – this should be clearly labelled with your name, your course and the name of the case study.

It is recommended that you research information to support your arguments. This may be obtained from a diverse range of sources and you are encouraged to research the issues in whichever way you deem appropriate.

Assessment Criteria

In the event of failing this individual assignment, normal referral/deferral procedures will apply. This assignment carries a weighting of 100%. The assessment will focus on the level of ANALYSIS carried out. That is, the application of THEORETICAL CONCEPTS studied in the module to the ‘practical’ case study presented. In other words, you should proceed beyond a DESCRIPTION of the company and its actions. You should be analysing ‘why’ rather than describing ‘what’. The assignment will be assessed and moderated by two members of staff in accordance with the marks allocated to each of the questions detailed below.

Academic Rigour

  • your ability to isolate the key strategic issues
  • the coherence and depth of the analysis of those issues
  • the ability to analyse the strategic context within which companies operates
  • the ability to critically review and evaluate strategic decisions made by companies

Methodology

  • the use of relevant evidence, from material provided and personal research to support any statements made
  • the appropriateness of the methods used and theoretical models and frameworks applied
  • the breadth and depth of research undertaken

Evaluation of data

  • the ability to make sound recommendations or conclusions arising from the analysis
  • the soundness of arguments put forward

Presentation

  • the summary of arguments
  • report layout and format
  • use of illustrative material and evidence to support arguments
  • the appropriateness of length
  • the quantity and accuracy of referencing
Multinational Corporations: Strategy in Covid-19 Environment

As nations move towards recovery from COVID-19, the success or competitiveness of multinational corporations (MNCs) will depend upon efficient and effective management of strategy in uncertain times – developing core competences and dynamic capabilities relating to strategic use of capital, reducing overhead costs, and upgrading facility infrastructure are obvious first step towards a sustainable recovery.

Read the Annual Reports of a MNC operating in an industry and country of your choice; and carry out appropriate analyses of the global corporate strategies adopted by the MNC and its closest competitors, in response to the questions below. You are encouraged to use relevant data/information from company websites.

Question One: Managing Demands for Localisation and Globalisation

Briefly distinguish between ‘the demand for localisation’ and ‘the demand for globalisation’. Using information from the most recent Annual Report of the MNC of your choice, critically evaluate the potential impact of Covid-19 on the MNC’s approach to low-cost leadership and product differentiation in both domestic and international markets. Note: You are expected to include a discussion on how your MNC manages the ‘paradox of localization and globalization’.

                                                                                                                                              [30 % marks]

Question Two:  Managing Industry Compliance and Choice

What is ‘industry context’ in terms of ‘industry development’? Critically assess the benefits and limitations of the ‘industry leadership perspective’ and the ‘industry dynamics perspective’, using appropriate examples from your chosen MNC. Discuss how the MNC can explore and exploit the demand for compliance and the demand for choice to maximise its corporate profitability through low-cost leadership and/or product differentiation.

          [30 % marks]

Question Three: Managing the Paradox of Profitability and Social Responsibility

Using your understanding of the paradox of ‘corporate profitability’ and ‘corporate social responsibility’, critically evaluate the ability of the CEO and Senior management team in your chosen MNC’s to simultaneously achieve corporate profitability and corporate social responsibility objectives crucial for the MNC’s survival and growth in domestic and international markets.

You are expected to demonstrate critical understanding of the challenges of reconciling the conflicting demands for profitability and social responsibility simultaneously in an international context.

                                                          [30 % marks]

Question Four: Personal reflections and reflexions on learning

In 100-150 words reflect on the impact of this assessment on your understanding of the Multinational corporations (MNCs) operating in the industry and country of your choice, highlighting the MNC’s approaches to ‘localisation and globalisation’, managing the ‘paradox of compliance and choice’, and the paradox of ‘corporate profitability and social responsibility’, with a view to sustaining its long-term competitiveness in domestic and international markets.

         [10 % marks]

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