Strategic Management in an International Context

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PGBM156 – Strategic Management in an International Context
Individual Assessment

Case Study: Bringing External Innovation inside – Evidence
from Multinational Corporations (MNCs)

Canvas Turnitin Submission Deadline: Thursday, DD/MM/YYYY by 2pm

Word Count: 3,000 words maximum


This individual assignment will be assessed by means of a 3,000 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 on the strategic problem-solving process. The assignment will be internally moderated by: Module Team
    Please note:
  6. 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’.
  7. Students are required to submit their coursework through Canvas. Only assessments
    submitted through Canvas will be marked. Any other submission including submission to your study centre in hard copy will be treated as a non‐submission.
    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 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 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. 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.
  8. 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 then 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 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
    • 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 & How they Bring External Innovation Inside
    Open innovation is about combining internal and external resources and acting on the
    opportunities this creates. More and more MNCs prove this to be a strong value proposition and cannot afford to lose out on the opportunities created by this combination. Open innovation has the ability to create long term advantages in management or organizational innovation rather than just product or service innovation. Once a MNC gets ahead of its competitors and becomes the preferred partner of choice within its industry, this often turns out to be a longer term
    advantage. It is hard for competitors to copy and thus neutralize the benefits that open innovation leadership can bring.
    Read the Annual Reports of an 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 relevantdata/information from company websites.
    Question One: Open Innovation and Internationalisation
    Briefly distinguish between ‘Open’ and ‘Closed’ Innovation. Using information from the most recent Annual Report of the MNC of your choice, critically evaluate the impact of ‘factor endowment’, ‘related and supporting industries’, ‘demand conditions’, ‘strategy, structure, and rivalry’, ‘government’, and ‘chance’ on the MNC’s approach to external innovation and competition.
    [30 % marks]
    Question Two: Internationalisation, Localisation and Competitiveness
    Critically assess the merits and demerits of meeting the ‘demand for internationalisation’ and the ‘demand for localisation’ simultaneously. Which of these two demands would you recommend that your chosen MNC should adopt in order to maximise its corporate profitability through low-cost leadership or product differentiation or focus – give two key reasons for your choice.
    [30 % marks]
    Question Three: Organisational Purpose, Profitability and Social Responsibility
    Using your understanding of ‘organisational purpose’, ‘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.
    You are expected to demonstrate critical understanding and application of relevant
    strategic management and leadership principles that support organisational values and impact on organisational direction.
    [30 % marks]
    Question Four: Personal reflections on learning
    In 250‐300 words reflect on the impact of this assessment on your understanding of the Multinational corporations (MNCs) operating in an industry and country of your choice, inserting reflections on crisis management, suggesting how to plan prior to a rapid unexpected event such as coronavirus, and highlighting the key benefits and limitations of crisis management, in creating a culture for sustaining corporate profitability.
    [10 % marks]
    Assessment Regulations
    For further information regarding Assessment Regulations, extenuating circumstances or extensions and academic integrity, please refer to your Programme Handbook on the University
    of XYZ in London information page on Canvas.
    Reading List
    Suggested Reading:
    De Wit, B. (2017) – Strategy: An International Perspective, 6th Edition, London: Cengage Learning.
    De Wit, B. and Meyer, R. (2014) Strategy Process, Content, and Context International Perspective, 5th
    Edition, London: Cengage Learning.
    Johnson, G., Scholes, K. and Whittington, R. (2005) Exploring Corporate Strategy: Text and Cases, 7th Edition, London: Financial Times Prentice Hall.
    Lasserre, P. (2018) Global Strategic Management, 4th Edition, London: Palgrave McMillan.
    Lynch, R. (2006) Corporate Strategy, Fourth Edition, Financial Times Prentice Hall.
    Lynch, R. (2018) Strategic Management, 8th Edition, London: Pearson.
    Mintzberg, H., Ahlstrand, B. and Lampel, J. (1998) Strategy Safari, London: Financial Times Prentice Hall
    Mintzberg, H., Ahlstrand, B. and Lampel, J. B. (2008) Strategy Safari: The complete guide through the wilds of strategic management, 2nd Edition, London: Financial Times Prentice Hall
    Websites & PDF documents:
    Harvard Business Review ‐ McKinsey Consultancy. ‐ The Economist ‐ The Financial Times

    Generic Assessment Criteria
    Please refer to the PGBM156 module guide on Canvas. Please access your reading list from the library website.

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