Global Corporate Strategy

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Individual Assessment
Case Study: Volkswagen’s Competitiveness in the Global Car Manufacturing Industry

Introduction:
This individual assignment will be assessed by means of a 3,000 words (maximum) report. The assignment has been designed to allow you to develop and use your knowledge and skills in understanding key strategic issues relating to the Global Car Manufacturing Industry. 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 theories associated with global corporate policies and strategies.
2. Understand the holistic nature of strategy and apply analytical techniques to solve complex problems in real life organisations.
3. Demonstrate knowledge of the strategic decision making process through critical analysis of how strategic decision making enables an organisation to relate to its global business environment.
4. Critically evaluate and monitor the business mission, objectives and policies of international organisations.
5. Use critical reflective skills to reflect on the impact of their understanding on the problem solving process.
The assignment will be internally moderated by: 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 encouraged to use ‘Harvard Referencing Style’ and avoid ‘Plagiarism’.
2. An electronic copy of the assignment in pdf format or Microsoft Word file must be submitted online on or before the appointed date. Please include a Turnitin Report.
Task
Your task is to carry out a critical analysis and evaluation of the strategies adopted by global car manufacturers, using the case study provided and other materials researched. You will be expected to select and apply appropriate theories, techniques and models studied during the module whilst having regard to the practical aspects of strategy development.
Your assignment should be presented in a business report format and should be 3,000 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 Harvard Referencing style. The title page should be clearly labelled with your name, your course and the name of the case study.
It is recommended that you research information additional to the case study 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
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. 10% of the marks are set aside for the ‘presentation’ criteria. In the event of failing this individual assignment, normal referral / deferral procedures will apply. This assignment carries a weighting of
100%.
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 strategy 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
Grading Systems
Distinction: 70 – 100%
Merit: 50 – 69%
Pass: 40 – 49%
Fail: 0 – 39%
The Global Car Manufacturing Industry:
“The Volkswagen Group is optimally positioned to deal with the mixed developments in the global automotive markets. The Company’s strengths include in particular its unique brand portfolio, its diverse range of models, its steadily growing presence in all major world markets and its wide selection of financial services. We offer an extensive array of attractive, environmentally friendly, cutting-edge, high-quality vehicles for all markets and customer groups. This ranges from motorcycles through compact, sports and luxury cars to heavy trucks and buses, and covers almost all segments. The Volkswagen Group’s brands will press ahead with their product initiative in 2015, modernizing and expanding their offering by introducing new models. Our goal is to offer all customers the products and innovations they need, sustainably strengthening our competitive position in the process.” (http://annualreport2014.volkswagenag.com/group-managementreport/ prospects.html )
Read the 2014 Annual Report of Volkswagen entitled “moving progress” available online
[http://annualreport2014.volkswagenag.com/], and carry out appropriate analyses of the global corporate strategies adopted by the Volkswagen Group and other leading car manufacturers, in response to the questions below. You are encouraged to use relevant data/information from company websites.
Question One: Portfolio, Integrated Organisation Perspectives and Competitiveness
Using relevant literature and examples from the 2014 Annual Report of the Volkswagen Group
(http://annualreport2014.volkswagenag.com/), critically evaluate the merits and demerits, of adopting
the ‘portfolio organisation perspective’ or the ‘integrated organisation perspective’ in the management of Volkswagen’s range of products – in today’s fast-changing dynamic global business environment. Based on your evaluation, is it possible for Volkswagen to adopt both perspectives simultaneously, and why?
[20 % marks]
Question Two: Technological Innovation through Strategic alliances, M&As The Volkswagen Group aims “to increase its unit sales and profitability for the long term” and intends “to become the global economic and environmental leader among automobile manufacturers by 2018” by deploying intelligent innovations and technologies to become a world leader in customer satisfaction and quality.
Using relevant literature and examples from Volkswagen, carry out a critical assessment of the company’s ability to acquire and deploy intelligent innovations and technologies through ‘strategic alliances’ (SAs) and ‘mergers and acquisitions’ (M&As). In your opinion does Volkswagen have the mix of resources and capabilities to bring the ‘digital and mobile’ technologies together in order to achieve its aims and intentions?
[30 % marks]
Question Three: Corporate governance, CSR, Sustainability and Leadership
“The Volkswagen Group is committed to transparent and responsible corporate governance … Volkswagen Group is aiming to become the most successful, fascinating and sustainable automobile manufacturer in the world by 2018…this means creating enduring value, facilitating good work, and using the environment and resources with care. Our CSR concept is aimed at ensuring that we recognize and manage at an early stage risks and development opportunities in the areas of environment, society and governance at every step along the value chain, and further improve our reputation.” (http://annualreport2014.volkswagenag.com/group-management-report/sustainablevalue- enhancement/csr-and-sustainability.html )
Using your understanding of Corporate governance, Corporate social responsibility (CSR), Sustainability and relevant management and leadership concepts, critique the above statement and evaluate the ability of Volkswagen’s senior management team to ensure that the company’s CSR activities contribute to increasing the company’s value in a strategic and sustainable way. [30 % marks]
Question Four: Personal reflections on learning
In 350-400 words reflect on the impact of this assessment on your understanding of the Global Car Manufacturing Industry competition, highlighting the key role of strategic alliances, M&As, and corporate leadership, in sustaining growth through responsible policies and practices. [10 % marks]
Note: 10% marks is allocated for overall presentation in report format, including correct
use of Harvard referencing style.
Suggested Reading:
De Wit, B. and Meyer, R. (2014) Strategy, An International Perspective, 5th Edition, Cengage Learning.
De Wit, B. and Meyer, R. (2010) Strategy Process, Content, and Context International Perspective, 4th
Edition, Cengage Learning.
Johnson, G., Scholes, K. and Whittington, R. (2005) Exploring Corporate Strategy: Text and Cases, 7th
Edition, Financial Times Prentice Hall.
Lynch, R. (2006) Corporate Strategy, Fourth Edition, Financial Times Prentice Hall.
Mintzberg, H., Ahlstrand, B. and Lampel, J. (1998) Strategy Safari, Financial Times Prentice Hall
Websites & PDF documents:
http://annualreport2014.volkswagenag.com/ Volkswagen Group, UK
http://annualreport2014.volkswagenag.com/group-management-report/sustainable-valueenhancement/
csr-and-sustainability.html CSR and Sustainability at Volkswagen
www.economist.com The Economist
www.ft.com The Financial Times

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