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Strategic Management Assignment

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Strategic Management Assignment AS2

2.2 Individual assignment (AS2), management report, weighting 70% of the mark (LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4), 3000 words

You are required to complete the attached assignment by the date given.

In order to undertake the assignment, you should critically evaluate the case study HARLEY-DAVIDSON INC., MAY 2012 (provided on Moodle) as published in the Grant textbook. You should also be prepared to undertake further internet based research on Harley. You should only use material drawn from credible sources such as: academic articles and texts; annual reports; industry surveys; quality market research data bases, e.g., Mintel; quality newspaper and business periodicals, e.g., the FT and even corporate biographies. You should not use unreliable sources such as non-reviewed websites, e.g., Wikipedia, Mind map.

This is an integrative and topical case. The case offers an opportunity to assess why Harley-Davidson’s business strategy has been successful and to evaluate the current strategy in relation to its competitive advantage and core competencies issues. Will Harley-Davidson’s competitive advantage be undermined either by imitation by competitors or by changing market circumstances? Further, how is Harley-Davidson exploiting its limited resources?

Note: We will have in class briefing session. You are encouraged to discuss your approach with your tutor.

Some Guidelines:

This assignment is all about applying models and concepts to case issues, in order to make your own judgments and conclusions. Use the models in an applied sense – do not describe them – and also be prepared to use them critically, e.g., modify or adapt them.  You do not have to accept them blindly.  We are also looking for your own ideas supported and guided by the models and case data so be bold in expressing your own opinions.  It is up to you to select and apply the most useful models, obviously you cannot use all the models you will cover on the module; what you need to do is carefully choose a small number of relevant models and apply them in-depth.

It is also important that you use case data effectively to support your answers and that your analysis uses both quantitative and qualitative sources.

Finally, pay attention to your writing style. I am asking you to conduct an assignment that could be presented to two audiences: your academic examiners and as a management report.

Some Specific Guidelines:

  • Do introduce what you are investigating, its purpose and its context. State your objective up front.
  • Do be critical and reflective.
  • Do be applied.
  • Do make your discussion and argument coherent. Link them directly to issues raised.
  • Do identify implications/lessons which arise from your evaluation.

Therefore, do ensure:

  • Do not “blindly” use SWOT/PESTL/5Fs.
  • Do reference properly using the Harvard standard;
  • Ensure each paragraph links to the next one (use connective text where possible);
  • Arguments are fully backed up and not left ’hanging”.
  • Each section/question ends with a clear conclusion;
  • Develop a ‘tight’ writing style that is unambiguous.

Some General Guidelines:

This assignment is all about applying models and concepts to managerial issues in order to make your own judgments and conclusions. Use the models in an applied sense – do not describe them – and also be prepared to use them critically, e.g., modify or adapt them.  You do not have to accept them blindly.  We are also looking for your own ideas supported and guided by the models and case data so be bold in expressing your own opinions.  It is up to you to select and apply the most useful models, obviously you cannot use all the models you will cover on the module; what you need to do is carefully choose a small number of relevant models and apply them in-depth.

  • Do introduce what you are investigating, its purpose and its context. State your objective up front.
  • Do not “blindly” use models. Link and apply them to your story.
  • Do reference properly using the Harvard standard
  • Ensure each paragraph links to the next one (use connective text where possible)
  • Arguments are fully backed up and not left ’hanging”.
  • Each question ends with a clear conclusion
  • Develop a ‘tight’ writing style that is unambiguous.
  • Remember you are telling a story – an interesting story is always well connected with sub-plots
  • A good story has a clear beginning, middle and end
  • You are free to make reasonable assumptions
  • Do link your ideas to issues and concepts discussed in the workshops
  • There is no “right answer”. We are interested in your analysis, application and logical reasoning
  • Do justify and evidence your statements
  • Do refer to articles and videos used during the workshops
  • Do discuss your approach and framework with your tutors

Word Limit: The assessment should be limited to 3,000 words (+/- 10%). If the word count is more than 2,700 words or less than 3,300 words you must revise the text judiciously to deliver work within the stated limits. This limit excludes appendices (please keep these to a minimum) and your references.

Assignment 2:

You are required to:

Use appropriate academic models and relevant case information; explain and evaluate the strategy of Harley and how it is competing (30/100) marks

Use appropriate academic models and relevant case information; assess the core competencies and key capabilities of the company. (30/100) marks

Discuss how Harley-Davidson can sustain its advantage. State your overall assessment (25/100) marks

Presentation, structure, and link to literature of your report (15/100) marks

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