It is important that you relate relevant theoretical frameworks to the empirical information (data) you
have gathered in order to analyse, and not merely describe the firms strategy. You should aim to
evaluate the viability of the firm’s current strategy and make any recommendations for changes to
the strategy that you consider to be appropriate. Where appropriate you should be critical of the
theoretical tools and their application.
1. Introduction and overview
2. Business Strategy
a. External analysis of the industry
b. Internal analysis of the firm
3. Evaluation of Strategy
4. Conclusions and recommendations
Introduce the firm and why it is important to examine the strategy of that firm.
Defining the market for which the organisation resides, geography
You may want to consider:
• Very brief history (not cut and pasted from website)
• Say what the firm does (what type of activities it is involved with).
• What part (Strategic Business Unit) of the company you are analysing and why?
2) Business Level Strategy (External)
Analyse the market/industry you have defined to understand competitive advantage from the external perspective
You may want to consider:
• Use of Porter’s five forces (external environment )
2) Business Level Strategy (Internal)
Internal analysis to assess the competitive advantage of the firm
Which framework better explains the relative competitive advantage of the company?
• Activity system (value chain) and generic strategies
• VRIO model and strategic capabilities
3) Evaluation of Strategy
Consider using one of two frameworks (not both). The first being Rumelt (2000) who’s paper can be found on CANVAS under the reading archive. Rumelt proposes the CCAF framework for evaluating strategy.
Consistency: The strategy must not present mutually inconsistent goals and policies.
Consonance: The strategy must represent an adaptive response to the external environment and to the critical changes occurring within it.
Advantage: The strategy. must provide for the creation and/or maintenance of a competitive advantage in the selected area of activity.
Feasibility: The strategy must neither overtax available resources nor create unsolvable sub problems.
The second framework is proposed by Johnson et al (2020) in chapter 12. They propose the SAFE framework.
• Suitability – concerns with assessing which proposed strategies address the key opportunities and threats of the organisation
• Acceptability – whether the expected performance outcomes of a proposed strategy meet the expectations of the stakeholders
• Feasibility – concerned with whether a strategy could work in practice.
• Evaluation – is concerned with identifying strategies that can pass all the hurdles of suitability, acceptability and feasibility.
Strategy evaluation is vital. For many, it is simply an appraisal of how well a business performs. Has it grown? Are profits increasing?
If the answers to these questions are affirmative, it is argued that the firm’s strategy must be effective.
However, this misses the point. Factors that influence current results are not always directly observable or easily measured. Indeed, when strategic opportunities or threats do directly affect operating results, it may be too late for an effective response.
Strategy evaluation looks beyond the obvious short-term health of a business to assess the fundamental factors that lead to success
4) Conclusions and Recommendations
Synthesise, do not summarise.
Emphasise key material and data!
What do you recommend? What should be next?
Must be realistic and must link back to the organisations mission, vision and objectives.
Hints and Tips
Underpin with relevant academic literature.
Use the models, do not describe them, apply them to the firm of your choice.
Do not be descriptive be analytical.
Show your knowledge of the relevant academic literature, cite it throughout your assignment.
Look at the marking criteria!
Where to find information?
• Company website and annual reports
• Financial Times and non-tabloid newspapers
• Reputable news agencies
• FAME, MINTEL, PASSPORT and many more available from online and the library