B301 A: Making Sense of Strategy I

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This tutor marked-assignment is meant to assess the student’s ability in understanding, and application of the course materials provided in the class room and ideas from external sources, as well as to test his/her reflection and critical thinking. Among other ILOs, it is also intended to test the student’s ability to argue relevantly and to justify a point of view besides, constructing, defending and evaluating an argument, using relevant evidence and giving reasons for conclusions. It consists of three questions and accounts for 20% of the total grade assigned to the course.


The TMA must be done with strict compliance to the guidelines and instructions stated, otherwise there will be penalties in form of marks deduction as per the university’s policy.

You are encouraged to collaborate with others in studying, but submitted work copied from or written jointly with others is not acceptable.  Submitting work that has been done by someone else and persistent borrowing of other people’s work without citation are obvious instances of plagiarism and are regarded as cheating.

Paying for work from other sources and submitting it as your own is also cheating. It is intellectually dishonest to cheat. If a case of plagiarism is proven, this is a serious offence and the disciplinary procedures will be followed, as described under the Examination Policy of the AOU. Cases of plagiarism will receive a mark of “Zero” on the assignment. Please refer to AOU plagiarism policy.

  1. TMA must be written in ESSAY (discussion) format, BULLETS and NUMBERING to be avoided. Avoid writing TMA in first person tense. E.g. “I suggest that …” or “In this TMA I am going to discuss…”etc.
  2. Word count should be exact with 10% (More/less) tolerance.
  3. You must acknowledge all sources of information using full Harvard Style Referencing (In-text referencing plus list of references at the end) Minimum of 5 references are required. MUST include E-library and course materials.
  4. 4. Wikipedia is not recommended as a reference.
  5. 5. Copy and paste- plagiarized work will be detected by TURNITIN and heavily penalized.
  6. 6. TMAs to tutors through emails and late submission not permitted.
  7. 7. Strictly use the PT3 Form with yellow color mark accompanying this TMA.

Any other non compliance to guidelines and requirements will be penalized


Please Note that this particular TMA is meant to respond to recommendations given by EE to encourage and develop greater critical analytical skills especially at  level 6, by encouraging the students to read more widely; the greater use of comparative case studies; and encouraging part-time students to reflect  on the application of the theories discussed to their own workplace.


For the purposes of this TMA you should imagine that you are working as a strategist in an industry in your country. (Bahrain, Jordan, Oman, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Egypt or Sudan)  You have been asked to critically analyze the strategy adopted by any two *firms doing similar business in the same industry.

You are required to discuss:

  1. Structure of the chosen industry (150 words Marks 10)
  2. Why the two similar firms are different in their performance (350 words Marks 20)
  3. Based on Question No.2 above you are required to discuss:
  4. a) Strategy to be adopted by the high performing firm to sustain its competitive advantage. (1000 words Marks 35)
  5. b) Strategy to be adopted by the low performing firm to improve its performance. (1000 words marks 35)

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