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UNIVERSITY COLLEGE DUBLIN

NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF IRELAND, DUBLIN

Bachelor of Science (Sri Lanka)

Business Policy (BMGT3001L)

STUDY GUIDE

BSc18 PT / Sri Lanka

Copyright February 2016

Author: Dr. Disna Pushpakumari

This manual was prepared for University College Dublin as a comprehensive support for students
completing the above mentioned Degree programme.

This publication may not be reproduced, in whole or in part without permission in from University
College Dublin.

Module Co-ordinator: Dr. Disna Pushpakumari

Contact details

Email

: disnamdpk@yahoo.com

TABLE OF CONTENTS
PAGE
Welcome message

1. INTRODUCTION

a. Background details
b. Module aims
2. MODULE OUTLINE

a. Module learning outcomes


b. Themes and topics
c. Learning supports
3. MODULE DELIVERY SCHEDULE

20

a. Session arrangements
b. Student engagement
c. Office hours arrangements
4. ASSESSMENT DETAILS

22

a. Assignments
b. Module assessment components
i. Pre module assignment
ii. Group project
iii. Examination
5. GRADING

27

a. University grading policy


b. Grade descriptors for assessment components
6. CONCLUDING COMMENTS

34

APPENDICES

35

Welcome Message

As coordinator of the Business Policy module, I wish to welcome you to the module. To
operate effectively within the Global Business World, an understanding of the theory and
practice of Business Policy is essential. This module is designed to deepen your interest and
expertise in the area of Business Policy and the Study Guide is designed to support your
learning. While much of the focus is on knowledge acquisition, attention is also given to
enhancing and developing your professional and personal skills and competencies. To
successfully complete this module, several learning activities (individual and group) are to be
completed (prior to, and during the bloc sessions) which should provide enjoyment and fun,
and also facilitate the attainment of the module learning outcomes.
Should you require clarification on any matter pertaining to the module, please do not
hesitate to contact me.

Dr. Disna Pushpakumari


Module coordinator, BMGT3001L

PART 1: INTRODUCTION
This Study Guide is designed to provide you with details of the module Business Policy
BMGT3001L the learning outcomes, delivery and assessment arrangements. The Study
Guide consists of 5 parts. In Part 1, background details to the subject area are provided and
the broad aims of the module are set out. Part 2, consists of the module outline. In this part
the (a) module learning outcomes, (b) the themes and topics to be explored are explained
along with the (c) learning supports to be used. Part 3 gives details of the module delivery
arrangements. It sets out the session arrangements and the expectations in relation to your
prior preparation and student engagement. Part 4, provides details of the assessment
techniques used in this module explaining the assessment components, their rationale. In Part
5, the UCD grading policy is explained and grade descriptors drawing on the university
document are given for each assessment component (i) Assignment 1, (ii) Assignment 2:
Group Project and (iii) Examination (closed book). In Part 6, concluding comments are
presented.
a. Background to the Topic
This provides background to the strategic management and strategy, focusing on development
of strategic management in business management disciplines.

b. Module Aims
The aim of this module is to provide students with an overview of the theory and practice of
strategic management. Moreover the module has designed to understand the strategy
formulation, implementation, and evaluation and control process and then to devise the
strategies for firms sustainability.
The module draws on student prior learning and work experience and combines insights from
strategy, international trade and investment theory, human resource management and other
areas.
The assessment tasks for this module have been designed with this in mind as detailed later in
the study guide.

Programme Goals
Programme Title: Bachelor of Science Sri Lanka (BHBUS007)
Programme Goals
Programme Goal
Business

Policy

specific

knowledge:

Learning Outcome

Managing Change

Understand the relevance and importance of strategy and the

process of developing strategy

Demonstrate an ability to link theoretical knowledge with the

real world examples


Business Communication

Ability to critique the role of strategy at all levels of an


organization
Research and analyze specific business case and write a

concise report detailing the findings and recommended actions


Personal

development

reflective learning:

Global,

multicultural

diversity perspectives:

and

Engage in module-related team activities within and outside

class
apply the main analytical techniques and conceptual

frameworks for evaluating strategic business decisions


Identify the main factors and variables that influence

multinational entities business operations, planning and


competitive positioning
Recognize ethical and social responsibility issues in the

business environment
Examine ethical and legal implications of managerial decisions
Strategic thinking:

and their effect on organizational stakeholders


Identify business opportunities/problems and

develop

alternative solutions, taking account of possible consequences


(intended or unintended)
Evaluate qualitative and quantitative data from multiple
perspectives paying attention to sourcing, biases and logic
Analyze and Assess the importance of organizing the business

for the successful execution of strategy

PART 2: MODULE OUTLINE


6

Module Title : Business Policy


Module Code : BMGT3001L

No. of ECTS : 10

Learning Outcomes
On completing the module, students will be expected to be able to:

Explain the concept of strategy and the role of the management team in the
strategy
process.
Understand the relevance and importance of strategy and the process of
developing
strategy and be able to illustrate with examples from your own experience its
importance in an organisation.
Evaluate and apply the main analytical techniques and conceptual
frameworks for the Conduct of both internal and external analyses.
Critique the role of strategy at all levels of an organisation and illustrate with
examples from your own experience.
Assess the importance of organising the business for the successful
execution of
Strategy and be able to assess the strategic capability of an organisation.
Understand the importance of managing business expectations, especially
those of
Stakeholders, as regards strategy.

Module Text:
Wheelen, T. L., Hunger, J. D. and Bamford, C. E. (2015) Strategic Management and
Business Policy: Toward Global Sustainability, 14th Edition. Prentice Hall. ISBN:
9780133126143

Themes and Topics

1. Basic concept of Strategic Management

2. Corporate Governance and Social Responsibility

3. Environment Scanning and Industry Analysis

4. Organization Analysis

5. Situation Analysis and Business Strategy

6. Corporate Strategy

7. Functional Strategy and Strategic Choice

8. Organizing for Action

9. Staffing and Directing

10. Evolution and Control

Topic 1
8

Basic concept of Strategic Management


Overview:
This topic sets the stage for the study of strategic management and business policy.
It summarizes research supporting the conclusion that those corporations that are
able to learn from their experiences and manage strategically perform at a higher
level than corporations which do not. It describes a number of triggering events
which act to initiate strategic change in most organizations. Key concepts are
defined and explained as part of the discussion of the model.

Objectives:
After completion of this topic, the participants will be aware of the followings
o Introduction to Strategic Management
o Challenges to Strategic Management
o Organizational Adaptation
o Models of Strategic Management
o Strategic Decision Making
Learning Outcomes:
At the end of this topic, the participants will be able to
o Define the strategic management
o Explain the need for integrating analysis and intuition in strategic management.
o Define and give examples of key terms in strategic management

Topic 2
9

Corporate Governance and Social


Responsibility
Overview:
This topic describes the basic governance mechanisms of the corporation: the board
of directors and top management. These are the people who are primarily tasked
with the strategic management process if the corporation is to have long-term
success in accomplishing its mission. The responsibilities of both are described and
explained. It proposes a board of directors continuum on which boards can be
placed in terms of their involvement in strategic management. Agency theory is
contrasted with stewardship theory. Top management is discussed in terms of
executive leadership, strategic vision, and managing the strategic planning process.

Objectives:
After completion of this topic, the participants will be aware of the followings
o Board of directors, their roles and responsibilities.
o Top Management, their roles and responsibilities.
o Social Responsibilities of Strategic Decision Makers.
o Ethical Decision Making.
Learning Outcomes:
At the end of this topic, the participants will be able to
o Identify the role of corporate governance
o Identify the need of business ethics

10

Topic 3
Environment Scanning and Industry Analysis

Overview:
This topic examines key aspects of the external environment of the corporation with
special emphasis on environmental scanning, industry analysis, and forecasting.
Environmental scanning is presented as the first part of the strategic management
model and a crucial task for strategic managers. The emphasis is upon monitoring
strategic factors and utilizing possible sources of information. Porter's approach to
industry analysis is discussed in some detail.

Objectives:
After completion of this topic, the participants will be aware of the followings
o Identify Environmental Variables.
o Industry Evolution.
o International Industry Categorization.
o Strategic Types and Groups
o Competitive Intelligence.
o Forecasting and Forecasting Techniques.
Learning Outcomes:
At the end of this topic, the participants will be able to
o Describe how to conduct an external strategic-management audit
o Discuss the importance of monitoring external trends and events

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Topic 4
Organization Analysis

Overview:
This topic completes the section on environmental scanning by examining the
internal environment of a corporation. Often called organizational analysis (to
contrast it with industry analysis), internal scanning is a key part of the resourcebased view of the firm - the view that a company's sustained competitive advantage
is primarily determined by its resource endowments. Corporate resources are
discussed in terms of marketing, finance, research and development, operations,
human resources, and information systems.

Objectives:
After completion of this topic, the participants will be aware of the followings
o Resource Based Approach.
o Value Chain Analysis.
o Corporate Culture.
o Strategic Marketing/HRM/Operational/Financial/R&D and IS issues.

Learning Outcomes:
At the end of this topic, the participants will be able to
o Describe how to perform an internal strategic-management audit.
o Discuss the Resource-Based View (RBV) in strategic management
o Explain how to determine and prioritize a firms internal strengths and weaknesses.

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Topic 5
Situation Analysis and Business Strategy
Overview:
Situation analysis is conducted using S.W.O.T. in the form of generating a Strategic
Factors Analysis Summary (SFAS) Matrix to summarize a corporation's strategic
factors and to help identify propitious niches. Once a corporation's strengths,
weaknesses, opportunities, and threats are identified, strategic managers should
review and revise, if necessary, the mission and objectives before proceeding to
developing feasible alternative strategies Business strategies are explained in terms
of competitive and cooperative strategies. Competitive tactics are also discussed.
Objectives:
After completion of this topic, the participants will be aware of the followings
o Situation Analysis Using SWOT.
o Alternative Strategy Generation using TOWS matrix.
o Business Strategies.
Learning Outcomes:
At the end of this topic, the participants will be able to
o Conduct a SWOT analysis
o Evaluate SWOT analysis for strategy development

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Topic 6
Corporate Strategy

Overview:
This topic focuses on formulating strategy at the corporate level. Corporate strategy
deals with the three key issues facing the corporation as a whole: (1) the firm's
overall orientation toward growth (directional strategy), (2) the industries or markets
in which the firm competes through its products and business units (portfolio
strategy), and (3) the manner in which management coordinates activities and
transfers resources and cultivates capabilities among product lines and business
units (parenting strategy).

Objectives:
After completion of this topic, the participants will be aware of the followings
o Directional Strategy.
o Portfolio Analysis.
o Corporate Parenting.

Learning Outcomes:
At the end of this topic, the participants will be able to
o Devise corporate level strategies
o Understand different types of corporate level strategies

14

Topic 7
Functional Strategy and Strategic Choice

Overview:
The topic discusses functional strategies in the areas of marketing, finance, R&D,
operations, purchasing, logistics, human resources, and information systems. It also
provides criteria for deciding if specific functional activities should be provided
internally or outsourced.

It discusses strategy selection in terms of corporate

scenarios, attitudes toward risk, external and internal pressures, as well as the
needs and desires of key managers.
Objectives:
After completion of this topic, the participants will be aware of the followings

Marketing Strategy.

Financial Strategy.

R&D Strategy.

Operations Strategy.

Purchasing Strategy.

Logistics Strategy.

HRM Strategy.

IS Strategy.

Strategies to avoid.

Selecting the Best Strategy.

Learning Outcomes:
At the end of this topic, the participants will be able to

Devise functional level strategies

Understand different types of corporate level strategies

15

Topic 8
Organizing for Action

Overview:
This topic begins by specifying who implements strategy and what must be done:
programs, budgets, and procedures. It proposes a Matrix of Change to assess the
impact new programs will have on an organizations current activities. It stresses the
importance of finding synergy among organizational activities. The rest of the topic
emphasizes organizing activities by looking closely at the design of organizations
and jobs. Chandler's proposition that structure follows strategy is explained in terms
of stages of corporate development.
Objectives:
After completion of this topic, the participants will be aware of the followings
o Implementation of strategies
o International Issues

Learning Outcomes:
At the end of this topic, the participants will be able to
o Understand the importance of strategy implementation
o Issues in strategy implementation

16

Topic 9
Staffing and Directing

Overview:
The topic explains how a change in strategy is most likely to have a significant
impact on staffing needs. Research is presented on matching the manager to the
strategy. Executive succession issues are considered. Downsizing is discussed as
a commonly misused way to implement a turnaround strategy. International staffing
issues are presented in terms of managing international assignments and adjusting
to cultural differences. This also explains how a corporation's culture can be
evaluated and managed to better suit the new strategy.

Objectives:
After completion of this topic, the participants will be aware of the followings

Staffing

Leading

Learning outcomes:

At the end of this topic, the participants will be able to

Understanding the role of leadership and staff in strategy implementation

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Topic 10
Evaluation and Control
Overview:

This topic examines the final segment of strategic management - the evaluation of
performance and the control of work activities. Beginning with a basic five-step
feedback model, measures of corporate, divisional, and functional performance are
described. Activity-based costing and enterprise risk management are explained.
Advantages and limitations of ROI, ROE, and EPS as performance measures are
listed. Economic Value Added (EVA) and Market Value Added (MVA) are proposed
as measures of shareholder value. The balanced scorecard is explained.
Responsibility centres are suggested to pinpoint performance in various parts of the
corporation.

Benchmarking is discussed as a way to compare a company's

products, services, and practices with industry leaders.


Objectives:
After completion of this topic, the participants will be aware of the followings

Performance Measures

Type of Controls

Activity Based Costing

Strategic Information System

Strategic Incentive Management

Learning outcomes:

At the end of this topic, the participants will be able to

Describe a practical framework for evaluating strategies


Discuss the importance of contingency planning in strategy evaluation
Discuss the Balanced Scorecard in light of strategy evaluation and control

Learning Supports

18

For this module, please read the assigned chapters in the prescribed text and the
additional readings assigned (see list below).
During the sessions, time will be allocated to completing case study analysis using
cases from the text as detailed on Table 1. Please read the cases before class and
draw up responses to the questions posed at the end of each case.
Readings from Prescribed Text:
Before attending the class, your responsibility is to read the relevant chapter of the
recommended text.
Other Assigned Readings (essential):
1. Gerry Johnson, Kevan Scholes and Richard Whittington (2008), Exploring
Corporate Strategy, (7th) Edition, Pearson Education, India
2. Pearce, J. A. (1982). The company mission as a strategic tool. Sloan

Management Review, Spring: 1524., 23(3), 15-24.


3. Pearce, J. A., & David, F. R. (1987). Corporate mission statements: The

bottom line. Academy of Management Executive, 1(2), 109-116


4. Barney, J., Wright, M., &Ketchen, D. J. (2001). The resource-based view of
the firm: Ten years after 1991. Journal of Management, 27, 625 - 641.
5. Pearce, J. A. (1982). Selecting among alternative grand strategies. California
Management Review, 24(3), 23-31.
Case Studies:
Case studies will be distributed in the class
Other useful sources
Students completing the Business Policy module are expected to participate in
session discussions and learning activities and be familiar with recent developments
in the business world. To facilitate this, the following source material is useful
o The Economist
o The Wall Street Journal
o The South China Morning Post
o The Straits Times
19

o The Financial Times


o Business Week
o Fortune

20

PART 3: MODULE DELIVERY SCHEDULE


The module delivery relies on students ability to engage in prior preparation, to seek
confirmation and clarification as appropriate and to be actively engaged during the
sessions.
Session Arrangements
Each student is expected to attend and be prepared for all sessions. Table 1 below
outlines the structure for the sessions.
MIS Group A: 4th February 9th February, 2016
MIS Group B: 10th February 15th February, 2016
MGT Group A: 16th February 21st February, 2016
MGT Group B: 22nd February 27th February, 2016
Table 1: Module Delivery Schedule
No.

Theme /Topic

Date / Time

Text chapters
articles/
Readings*

As scheduled

Chapter 1

title
1

Basic concept of Strategic


Management

Corporate Governance
Social Responsibility

and

Environment Scanning
Industry Analysis

and

Organization Analysis

Situation
Analysis
Business Strategy

Corporate Strategy

Functional
Strategy
Strategic Choice

Organizing for Action

Chapter 8

Staffing and Directing

Chapter 9

Case / exercise

Chapter 2

As scheduled

Chapter 3

Chapter 4
and

As scheduled

Chapter 5

Chapter 6
and

As scheduled

Chapter 7

21

10

Evolution and Control

Chapter 10

*Note: Chapter Readings and Cases of each topics will be provided in Lectures.
Some chapters in the text are assigned for more than one theme.

Student Engagement
During the sessions, students are expected to be able to discuss issues arising from
the assigned chapters and readings for the topics as scheduled above.
Session participation is a vital element in the design of this module. Therefore, all
students are expected to engage in class discussion and debate in order to facilitate
the formation of their critical judgements.
To support your learning, Power-Point slides will be available which (on certain
occasions) may need to be upgraded / modified during or following the sessions
depending on the issues raised.

Office Hours
If you have any concerns you can contact me via my e-mail address.

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PART 4: ASSESSMENT DETAILS


Assessment is undertaken to establish the extent of student learning on completing a
module and according to Biggs and Tang1 (2009) it is the senior partner of teaching and
learning. This module has three assessment components with specific weightings and
marks awarded totalling 1002. The purpose of each assessment is as follows:

Assessment 1
Individual Assignment

Assessment 2
Group Project (Report and Presentation)

Final Examination
Final (Examination is the formal examination which aims to get insights on your
understanding of issues (theory and practice) addressed in the module.

Students are expected to complete all assignments ensuring that they are submitted by the
specified date. All submissions must be typed, be well laid out, written in an academic style
with appropriate headings (introduction, main part and concluding comments) and sections.
Please ensure that all submissions are entirely your own work for UCDs policy on
plagiarism click on the link below (please see Appendix 2 for further information on
Plagiarism and the policy on the Late Submission of Coursework):
http://www.ucd.ie/registry/academicsecretariat/plag_pol_proc.pdf
The weighting assigned for each component is shown in Table 2 below. (* I = Individual; G =
Group)
Table 2A Assessment Components
Assessment components

Weighting

I / G*

1. Assignment 1

20%

2. Assignment 2: Group Assignment/Project

30%

3. Examination

50%

1 Biggs, J. and Tang, C. 2009, Teaching for Quality Learning at University,


Maidenhead: Open University/McGraw Hill.
2 As the Overseas Programme modules are worth 10 ECTS they should be
graded out of 200 marks.

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Assessment Details
In the following pages, further details of each assessment component are presented along
with expectations in relation to prior preparation and completion.

1. Assignment 1: Individual Assignment


Assignment question/ case study is given by the resource person. Name of the programme,
module, Title of the assignment, participants name & number should be in cover page very
clearly.

Task
The students are required to critically evaluate the different perspectives of strategy based
on following article published by M. Porter in Harvard Business Review (HBR).

Porter, M.E. (1996) "What is Strategy", Harvard Business Review, Nov/Dec 1996.

Further students are supposed to do comparison with other related concepts, models and
theories suggested by different authors.

Guidelines:

The word count for the assignment is 1,200 words with a maximum of 1,500 words.
Times New Roman 12 (Text), 14 bold (Sub headings), 16 bold (Main heading)
Pages must be numbered.
References are a key aspect of an essay. Any idea, theme, or argument that you
have found in other literature to compare with porters views must be cited within the

text.
The assignment is to be undertaken on an individual basis.

This assignment must be submitted by way of a hard copy during the 9 th session and via
Blackboard. See Grade Descriptors on page 24.

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2. Assignment 2: Group Project


Project Details:
This project is a group assignment for evaluating students knowledge on Strategic
Management and Business Policy. The idea behind the project is for you to conduct an indepth examination of an organization of your choosing with the purpose of understanding
strategic management concepts in practical scenarios and to critically evaluate them. This
assignment will be based entirely on information from primary and secondary sources,
including organization web sites, as well as your own professional experiences and insights.
You are not expected to conduct any surveys or primary research. Accordingly each group
should select an established private sector organization (single or multi business)
organization and finalize the scope of your project with the subject lecturer. However
availability of information regarding your selected organization will be immensely useful to
complete the project successfully.
Your report should be included the following areas,
1. Background of the Selected Corporation
Background details of the company such as history, ownership, nature of the current
businesses and any other relevant information for providing basic understanding
about your selected corporation
2. Identify the strategic Aims
a. Vision/Mission/Goals/Objectives
b. Critically comment them
3. Environment Analysis/Strategic Analysis
a. External environment analysis (global, macro, industry and competitors)
b. Internal environment analysis ( Resources, capabilities and competencies)
c. Overall SWOT analysis
4. Stakeholder Analysis
a. Corporate Governance
b. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
c. Stakeholders and their expectations
5. Development of Corporate and Business Level Strategies
a. Identifying current Corporate and Business Level Strategies
b. Their successfulness
c. Identifying the procedure of selecting best strategies and your comments
6. Strategy Implementation
a. Main activities involved in strategy implementation
b. Success and failure of strategy implementation
c. Your comments on current practice of strategy implementation
7. Strategy Review and Control
a. Specify the procedure of strategy reviewing and controlling
b. Specify strategic review and control tools
c. Your comments
8. Conclusion

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In addition to above specified areas, the report should be included sufficient references and
appendices etc.

Guidelines for preparing final report:


Use headings and subheadings throughout your report to address aforesaid areas
As your analysis done based on secondary information, you have freedom to make
any reasonable assumptions in the analysis (Please mention your assumptions in the
report).
The final written report should not exceed 30-typewritten pages in length (not
including unlimited appendixes), 1.5 spaced, 1-inch margin pages, 12-point font of
Times New Roman.
As a group work, you should be struggling to cut the information down to 30 pages.
Thus, this document should be as efficiently written as possible - to the point, with no
wasted words.

Group Member Participation


This is a group project. Students will work in-groups of 4 5 members. As could sometimes
be the case in-group projects, 1-2 students often carry the bulk of the load and the other
team members are carried along on their "coattails". To avoid this, individual contribution
to the project needs to be submitted along with the document.

Due date: 20th March 2016 Submission of project reports

This assignment must be submitted by way of a hard copy and via Blackboard.

Further clarification you can contact


Dr. Disna Pushpakumari
Email:
disnamdpk@yahoo.com
mdpk@sjp.ac.lk

26

4. Examination:
The examination (3 hours) will focus on module themes and the material covered in the text,
cases, assigned readings, videos and class discussions. For this, students are expected to
demonstrate their understanding of theory and practice addressed throughout the module.
The examination question format will be designed to allow you show your understanding of
the topics discussed and also reveal your learning (new and prior). More specific guidelines
regarding the examination paper format and questions will be provided during the final
session.
Students will have the opportunity to ask questions about its design and style and be
advised the type of answers expected.
A recent past examination paper is included in Appendix 3 to this Study Guide, please be
prepared for slightly different style of question.

Table 2B Assignment Deadline Summary


Assignment Deadlines
Assignment 1
Assignment 2

Date Assignment Due


9th Session for each Group
20th March 2016

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PART 5: GRADING
This section of the Study Guide provides students with details of the UCD grading system
and also explains criterion referenced grading (UCD Policy). Under criterion referenced
grading, students are graded on the quality of their work without reference to other students
(norm referenced). For instance, the submission that meets the required guidelines in terms
of writing style, analysis, description and / or summary will be awarded according to the
standards set out. All students work is graded to indicate the standard attained using the
criterion referenced approach.
Table 3: UCD Grading System
Grade

Description

A+
A

Grade Point
4.2

Excellent

4.0

A-

3.8

B+

3.6

Very good

3.4

B-

3.2

C+

3.0

Good

2.8

C-

2.6

D+

2.4

Acceptable

D-

2.2
2.0

Marginal

1.6

Fail (unacceptable, no compensation)

1.0

Fail (Wholly unacceptable; no compensation)

0.4

NG

Fail (Wholly unacceptable; no relevant attempt)

0.0

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More specific grade descriptors are set out for your assessment components in the following
pages. Table 4 below provides descriptors for the Assignment 1 please read them prior to
submitting your work.
Table 4: Grade Descriptors Assignment 1

Grade

Criteria
The student has provided with an account which is far more above the

A3

average, based on an excellent effort on data collection, analysis and


interpretation. The student is almost perfect in the language usage,
formatting and following of the prescribed format of writing the answer.
The student has provided with an account which is above the average,

based on a very good effort on data collection, analysis and interpretation.


The student is above average in the language usage, formatting and
following of the prescribed format of writing the answer.
The student has provided with an account which is of average quality, based

on a moderate effort on data collection, analysis and interpretation. The


student is average in the language usage, formatting and following of the
prescribed format of writing the answer.
The student has provided with an account which is fairly acceptable, based

on some effort on data collection, analysis and interpretation. The student is


fare in the language usage, formatting and following of the prescribed format
of writing the answer.

The student has failed to provide an account which is of minimum


acceptable standard yet has demonstrated a modest effort to collect data,
analysis and interpretation. The student is not sound in the language usage,
formatting and following of the prescribed format of writing the answer.

The student has provided with an account which is of poor quality where the
student as failed to grasp the basic concepts in the under this module and
largely immaterial ideas which has little or no relevance to the selected
scenario. Student has demonstrated on an effort on data collection, analysis
and interpretation which is of no relevance to the study. The student is poor
in the language usage, formatting and following of the prescribed format of

3While the criteria detailed above refer to A D grades (inclusive) only, please note that
all bands will be used (A+, A and A-; B+, B and B- etc) for grading assignments.

29

writing the answer.


Complete failure to address the requirements in the assignment, review
G

resulting in entirely irrelevant information. The student is weak in the


language usage, formatting and following of the prescribed format of writing
the answer.

NG

No work was submitted by the student or work submitted did not merit a
grade.

For each of above grade bands, indicate the standards that students must meet to achieve
each grade. For example, to get an A, it would be expected that the submission would be
excellently written and presented and that the structure of the assignment is very clear etc.
(See Sample Grade descriptors for a Journal Article review Table 5a below)

30

Table 5: Grade Descriptors Assignment 2: Group Project


Grade

Characteristics

Report: The Group has provided with an account which is far more
A

above the average, based on an excellent effort on data collection,


analysis and interpretation. The Group is almost perfect in the language
usage, formatting and following of the prescribed format of writing the
answer.
Report: The Group has provided with an account which is above the

average, based on a very good effort on data collection, analysis and


interpretation. The Group is above average in the language usage,
formatting and following of the prescribed format of writing the answer.
The Group has provided with an account which is of average quality,

based on a moderate effort on data collection, analysis and


interpretation. The Group is average in the language usage, formatting
and following of the prescribed format of writing the answer.
The Group has provided with an account which is fairly acceptable,

based on some effort on data collection, analysis and interpretation. The


Group is fare in the language usage, formatting and following of the
prescribed format of writing the answer.

The Group has failed to provide an account which is of minimum


acceptable standard yet has demonstrated a modest effort to collect
data, analysis and interpretation. The Group is not sound in the
language usage, formatting and following of the prescribed format of
writing the answer.
The Group has provided with an account which is of poor quality where

the student has failed to grasp the basic concepts in the under this
module and largely immaterial ideas which has little or no relevance to
the selected scenario. Group has demonstrated on an effort on data
collection, analysis and interpretation which is of no relevance to the
study. The student is poor in the language usage, formatting and
following of the prescribed format of writing the answer.
Complete failure to address the requirements in the assignment, review
resulting in entirely irrelevant information. The Group is weak in the

31

language usage, formatting and following of the prescribed format of


writing the answer.

NG

No work was submitted by the Group or work submitted did not merit a
grade.

NB All students are advised to read the UCD Business School Code of Practice for
Group work see Appendix 1.

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TABLE 6: Grade Descriptors Formal Closed Book Examination


Grade

Characteristics
Excellent: A comprehensive, highly-structured, focused and concise
response to the assessment task, consistently demonstrating:
An extensive and detailed knowledge of the subject matter.
A highly-developed ability to apply this knowledge to the set task.
Evidence of extensive background reading.
Clear, fluent, stimulating and original expression.
Excellent presentation (spelling, grammar, graphical) with minimal or
no presentation errors.
Very Good: A thorough and well-organized response to the assessment
task,
demonstrating:
A broad knowledge of the subject matter.
Considerable strength in applying that knowledge to the task set.
Evidence of substantial background reading.
Clear and fluent expression.
Quality presentation with few presentation errors.
Good: An adequate and competent response to the assessment task,
demonstrating:
Adequate but not complete knowledge of the subject matter.
Omission of some important subject matter or the appearance of
several minor errors.
Capacity to apply knowledge appropriately to the task albeit with some
errors.
Evidence of some background reading.
Clear expression with few areas of confusion.
Writing of sufficient quality to convey meaning but some lack of fluency
and command of suitable vocabulary.
Good presentation with some presentation errors.
Satisfactory; An acceptable response to the assessment task with:
Basic grasp of subject matter, but somewhat lacking in focus and
structure.
Main points covered but insufficient in detail.
Some effort to apply knowledge to the task but only a basic capacity or
understanding displayed.
Little or no evidence of background reading.
Several minor errors or one or more major error.
Satisfactory presentation with an acceptable level of presentation
errors.
MarginalA response to the assessment task which fails to meet the
minimum acceptable standards yet:
Engages with the subject matter or problem set, despite major
deficiencies in structure, relevance or focus.
Has several major error and some minor errors.
Demonstrates the capacity to complete only part of, or the simpler
elements of the task.
An incomplete answer,e.g. the use of bullet points through part or allof
the answer

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NG

UnacceptableA response to the assessment task that is unacceptable,


with:
A failure to address the question resulting in a largely irrelevant
answer or material of marginal relevance predominating.
A display of some knowledge of material relative to the question
posed, but with very serious omissions / errors and/or major
inaccuracies included in the answer.
Solutions offered to a very limited portion of the problem set.
An answer unacceptably in complete (e.g for lack of time).
A random and undisciplined development of argument, layout or
presentation.
Unacceptable standards of presentation, such as grammar, spelling or
graphical presentation.
Wholly unacceptable
Complete failure to address the question resulting in an entirely
irrelevant answer.
Little or no knowledge displayed relative to the question posed.
Little or no solution offered for the problem set.
No Grade
Student was absent from the assessment did not merit a grade.

34

PART 6: CONCLUDING COMMENTS


This Study Guide is designed to assist and guide your learning for this module. It is
important that you read it regularly and do so in conjunction with the core text, the assigned
readings and session materials. Should you need clarification on issues covered, please let
me know during the seminar sessions.
I hope you enjoy the module and wish you good luck with the rest of your study and for the
future.

Dr. Disna Pushpakumari

35

February 2016APPENDIX 1

UCD SCHOOL OF BUSINESS


STUDENT CODE OF PRACTICE TEAM WORK4
There are many reasons for using team work in higher education such as enhancing student learning,
promoting social interaction among students, developing generic skills (including negotiation,
delegation and leadership) and the individual students strengths and expertise. There is an onus on the
team to ensure that individual members provide maximum effort in completing the assigned
task/project. There is evidence to suggest that individuals frequently exert less effort on collective
tasks than on individual tasks (Williams and Karau, 1991) 5. As the team size increases the
Ringlemann Effect emerges: there can be an inverse relationship between the size of the team and
effort expended. It is fair to assume that team effectiveness will increase when members work on
tasks that are mutually important and when each member believes they are contributing to an end
goal.
UCD School of Business personnel are obliged to ensure that the operation and management of
assigned team-work are consistent with the integrity of the university assessment process. It is also
expected that, where the team-work contributes to a module grade, members are awarded grades that
accurately reflect their contribution to the completion of the task.
This Code of Practice is developed to guide the work of student teams within an academic setting and
safeguard the integrity of team-based projects as part of our assessment of student learning outcomes.
1. All Team members (whether assigned or self selected) are expected to contribute actively and
equitably to the completion of the exercise/project
2. All teams will set out and agree basic ground rules for their team in terms of team communication
procedures, performance targets, arranging and organizing meetings, records, progress reports,
solving problems, finalizing the project and signing off.
3. Roles (such as leader, convener or facilitator) might be assigned to particular team members to
facilitate the working of the team and specific milestones (weekly) agreed.
4. Team membership diversity (cultural, professional etc.) needs to be acknowledged, valued and
utilized as appropriate.
5. Team work undertaken by UCD School of Business students is subject to UCD policy on
academic programmes. For further details on this policy go to
http://www.ucd.ie/registry/academicsecretariat/student_code.pdf
4Members of the School of Business Teaching and Learning Committee
contributed to the development of this protocol.
5 Williams, K.D., & Karau, S. J. (1991). Social loafing and social compensation:
The effects of expectations of co-worker performance. Journal of Personality and
Social Psychology, 61(4), 570-581.

36

6. UCD promotes an environment upholding the dignity and respect of all students as set out in its
policy on Dignity and Respect
University College Dublin is committed to the promotion of an environment for work and
study which upholds the dignity and respect of the individual and which supports every
individuals right to study and/or work in an environment which is free of any form of
harassment, intimidation or bullying.
The university recognizes the right of every individual to such an environment and requires
all members of the University community to recognize their responsibilities in this regard.
Students are advised to read this policy document click on:
http://www.ucd.ie/equality/policieslegislation/dignity_respect_policy.pdf
7. Any team member who is concerned about a members contribution to the team work (and
associated activities) must firstly communicate this (at the earliest time possible) to the team
members, and they must strive to resolve the problem.
8. If a team member believes that his/her concerns have not been addressed satisfactorily within the
team, the matter should be brought to the attention of the module coordinator. The module
coordinator/learning support officer (LSO) should strive to resolve the issue at team level. Where
this has not been achieved, the Academic Coordinator and/or the School Head of Teaching and
Learning will be informed.
9. Should the issues not be resolved, the parties above, taking into consideration the stipulations of
this code and the University policy documents to which it refers, will to seek to mediate to find a
solution, which is acceptable to team members and which retains the integrity of the team work
assessment process.
Dr Ann Bourke,
Vice Principal for Teaching & Learning,
College of Business & Law
February 2015

37

APPENDIX 2: 2 IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS


You are advised to read the important documents before you commence your studies on this
module:
1. Guidelines for the Late Submission of Coursework
This document provides a detailed outline of the rules and regulations surrounding the
presentation, submission and marking of assignments. The guidelines provided must be
adhered at all times to avoid an unnecessary loss of marks. Further details on
www.ucd.ie/registry/academicsecretariat/late_sub.pdf

2. A Briefing Document for Students on Academic Integrity and Plagiarism.


The University understands plagiarism to be the inclusion of another persons writings or
ideas or works, in any formally presented work (including essays, theses, examinations,
projects, laboratory reports, oral, poster or slide presentations) which form part of the
assessment requirements for a module or programme of study, without due
acknowledgement either wholly or in part of the original source of the material through
appropriate citation. Further details please go to
www.ucd.ie/registry/academicsecretariat/plag_pol_proc.pdf
Plagiarism is a form of academic dishonesty. In any assignment, plagiarism means that
you have presented information or ideas belonging to someone else falsely as being your
own original thoughts on a subject.
All assessments/projects submitted must be the result of your own work.
The following statement must be included on the cover page of all assignments
submitted:
I declare that all materials included in this essay/report/project/dissertation is the end
result of my own work and that due acknowledgement have been given in the
bibliography and references to ALL sources be they printed, electronic or personal.
Signed: Student name/s, student number
Date:

38

APPENDIX 3: Most recent Examination Paper


Note to Students
NOTE: Providing a copy of this paper does not signify that future papers will
follow the exact same format.
Question 1
Strategic Management can be understood as a comprehensive and ongoing
management process aimed at formulating and evaluating effective strategies, and it is
a way of approaching business opportunities and challenges. Elaborate this statement
paying special attention to the attributes and basic elements of strategic management
process.
(Total Marks 25)

Question 2
In the context of the current dynamic business world, thorough understanding of the
external environment is more critical in order to adopt a sustainable strategy which
will stand still facing both local and global strategic challenges faced by any
organization. Do you agree? Justify your answer/argument with suitable examples
and applicable theories or models.
(Total Marks 25)

Question 3
Discuss how to conduct an internal environmental analysis connected to rationalizing
business strength and weaknesses. You are supposed to bring actual or hypothetical
example for the same and discuss how the analysis should be integrated into strategic
marketing decisions based on appropriate theories or models.
(Total Marks 25)

39

Question 4
ABC Company Ltd is a reputed soft drink manufacturing company and it currently
holds market leadership position in the domestic market. It has several reputed brands
in the FMCG sector in the local context. Recently the management of ABC has
decided to introduce a fresh milk brand as a Ready to Drink) (RTD) product. Further
senior management has made a decision to execute this project as a separate SBU
followed by the respecting functional and practice activities as well. Assuming that
you are the new business manager, discuss the appropriate strategies for new Strategic
Business Unit (SBU) based on Porters Competitive Strategies. Further explain the
possibility of adapting Blue Ocean Strategy and Red Ocean Strategy for new
business.
(Total Marks 25)

Question 5
Explain the way corporate managers should evaluate Strategic Business Units (SBUs)
to analyze the current performance of business portfolios and justify the relevant
strategies for each of SBUs position. You are allowed to refer actual or hypothetical
organization by providing a brief introduction to the selected or any hypothetical
organization. You may use suitable strategic models and tools as needful.
(Total Marks 25)

Question 6
Corporate strategy is one, which decides what business the organization should be in,
and how the overall group of activities should be structured and managed. It describes
a company's overall direction in terms of its general attitude towards growth and
management of its various business and product lines. Comment on this statements
mainly focusing on directional strategies adopted by an organization.
(Total Marks 25)
40

oOo
APPENDIX 4: TEAM AGREEMENT FOR TEAM X [DATE: ]

TEAM MEMBERS

CONTACT DETAILS
MOBILE

EMAIL

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
INFORMAL COMMUNICATION
We have decided
1)
2)
3)
MEETINGS
We have decided
1)
2)
3)
MAKING DECISIONS
We have agreed
1)
2)
3)
4)
5)
SANCTIONS
We hope to work in harmony together. We have different strengths. We accept that this is a group piece of work
and we are all responsible for doing our best. However we agree now that

If individuals have difficulties in working with the team or on the task, we will try to sort them out
promptly by talking with each other
We will seek advice - as soon as is possible - from our tutor for those serious problems which we
cannot resolve ourselves.

SIGNED

41