Identifying Themes and Concerns to support Strategic Direction

This assignment assesses the following learning outcomes:

3. Understand the potential of an outward looking orientation for managers and the development of associated capabilities.

4. Positively engage with new and unstructured issues in a deliberate and systematic fashion.
5. Systematically assess, research and highlight dominant elements extracted from a basket of unstructured information.
6. Foster the early stages of deeper questioning and debate, hold argued positions and be open to question with peers.
7. Construct and present information in a coherent and professional format which inspires further inquiry.

1. As in assignment one, use your notes, research and presentations and then thematic analysis to identify three to four common connections, but this time based on lectures three, four and five. However, in this second assignment your arguments should be concerned with Issues of Strategic Importance, drawn from the themes, and of general value to any typical business and therefore should be addressed as a paper to the Company Board. (Strategic Direction is concerned with the long-term, beyond the financial year, and not immediate operational performance.)

2. Having identified three or four (maximum) common themes and concerns now use text books, journals and secondary research to support your unique arguments for why The Board should take note that these concerns are significant to them.

3. Therefore, the arguments offered will NOT be concerned with the practice of individual managers but more concerned with the long-term survival and performance of a company as a whole. E.g. If you identify a theme concerned with supply chain management, you should argue, using the lecture and your additional research for how supply chain management in the future is changing and why this might be a concern for businesses in general.

1. The work should offer arguments that are directly drawn from the connections and should demonstrate your unique thinking supported by evidence from academic research and previous learning from within the course. These links must be explicitly grounded in academic concepts and theory, supported by good referencing.

4. A short critical and personal reflection on your approach to questioning should contain no more than 200 words. (Using the word “I” in this section is permissible.)

The work will be assessed in three areas:

Thematic connections: The work will clearly demonstrate the building of a coherent argument built from the unstructured content from guest speaker contributions. Description should be avoided, instead critically evaluating the content that relates to a strategic perspective.

Evidenced argumentation: Assignments will give strong argued reasoning for the points raised. They will demonstrate wider reading and cite examples from the lectures in support. A wide variety of academic materials is recommended including textbooks, journal articles and reliable websites all of which should be accurately referenced. Recommended reading lists are available in the handbook but original, relevant research will be recognised.

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