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MODULE: Competitive Strategy & Innovation

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Assignment (1) Brief

Richard Branson and the Virgin Group Case Study


Assignment title:
(Attached separately)

Weighting:
50%

Deadline:

Resit Date TBC

Assessment Task

You are required to read the case on Richard Branson and the Virgin Group Case
(Attached separately) and prepare a 15 minute board level PowerPoint presentation
(18-20 slides) that addresses the following questions (support your answer in details in
the Notes page of each slide):

1. Using appropriate academic models and concepts identify and discuss the chief internal
and external factors that have influenced the Virgin Group and the strategies employed
up to the time of the case. (30%)

2. Critically assess whether, in your opinion, there was any evidence that Richard Branson
and his group management team followed a consistent strategy or not in the major
investments. If so, what sort of approach might it have been based upon, and what was
the role of the Virgin head office function? (40%)

3. Drawing on resources such as FT.com, update your audience on any new Virgin Group
activities since the case, commenting on whether or not subsequent major investments
fit in with your findings from Q2 above, or if there was any other strategic rationale.
Conclude with recommendations on the future of the group.
(30%)

The percentages above indicate the weighting given to each section.

Assessment Guidance

You will be expected to read the case several times to make sure you understand the context,
grasp the detail and then review the key elements using the key strategy models to go
through the strategy process, drawing on evidence from the case to justify your views.

You should carry out further research on The Virgin Group, however you must only use
material drawn from credible sources such as: academic articles and texts;; quality newspaper
and business periodicals, e.g., the FT, The Economist and the official Virgin website. You
should not use unreliable sources such as non-reviewed websites, e.g., Wikipedia.

Ensure to read and include the following good books about Strategy:
 Johnson, G. Whittington, R. & Scholes, K. (2011) "Exploring Strategy", 9th
ed, FT Prentice Hall (this book is preferred by the module instructor)
 Grant, R. (2010), "Contemporary Strategy Analysis", 7th ed, Wiley
 Lampel J., Minztberg H., Quinn, J.B., Ghoshal, S (2014), "The Strategy Process:
Concepts, Contexts, Cases", 5th ed, Pearson

Please prepare your submission as a PowerPoint document, using the notes option putting any
narrative or explanatory notes underneath the slide itself. Be conscious about the
maximum time allowed, and therefore the number of slides you need to create (20 slides
max). Brevity, clarity and key strategic thinking is key, showing that you have
understood the essence of the case and can communicate effectively with supporting
evidence.

Presentation Format: (18-20 Slides)