LCBS5001– Strategic Management

Faculty of Business and Law

Module Handbook

LCBS5001– Strategic Management

2020 – 2021

October 2020

Department: Management and Entrepreneurship

Module code: LCBS5001 Strategic Management

Academic Year: 2020-2021

Credit value: 15 credits

Module Leader: Dr Ayham Jaaron

Email: [email protected]

Room: HU 4.73

Advice and Feedback hours: Mondays 10am-12 Noon.

Module Overview


Assessment 1Assessment 2
TypeIndividual Report
Length3500 words
Weighting100%
Deadline11.59am (midday) on Friday 29 January 2021. Submission via Turnitin.
Return date11.59am on Friday 26 February 2021.

Note: all coursework must be submitted electronically via Turnitin by the deadlines unless there are mitigating circumstances. Information on penalties and late submissions can be found at: http://www.dmu.ac.uk/dmu-students/the-student-gateway/academic-support-office/deferral-of-assessments.aspx

All Turnitin Submissions (main submissions, extension, Re-assessment, Resit and Deferrals) MUST be submitted by the deadline at: 11:59 noon UK Time. You are encouraged to submit your assessments before the deadline. All e-mail communications between students and module leader must be sent and received using your DMU University e-mail address.

The Faculty is committed to a 20 working days turnaround time for the marking and return of coursework. The turnaround time does not include weekends, bank holidays or university closure days.

Table of Contents

1.Vision and Mission of Leicester Castle Business School 4

2.The Teaching Team 5

3.Module Aims 7

4.Objectives and Learning Outcomes 7

5.How It Is Going to Be Taught 9

5.1 Blackboard Collaborate Ultra (BBCU): 10

5.2 How to prepare for your “Online Session” [Synchronous] 10

6.How this module relates to your programme of study 11

7.How this module enhances your employability 12

8.Your Responsibility 12

9.Lecture and Teaching Activities Schedule 13

9.1 Asynchronous part of delivery: 13

9.2 Synchronous/Online part of delivery: 14

10.Learning Outcomes per lecture 15

11.Module Resource 17

12.Blackboard and Module Communications 18

13.Assessment Briefs 18

Our engagement with you 20

14.Further Information 20

15.Plagiarism and bad academic practice 22

16.Faculty of Business and Law Grade Descriptors 22

17.Useful Links and Contacts 25

  1. Vision and Mission of Leicester Castle Business School
Our MissionOur VisionOur Values

To transform lives in our global community of students, staff and partners through outstanding education and research To go beyond business as usual by fostering creative, distinctive and pioneering solutions to real-world problems To promote the public good through critical analysis of the purpose of business and through active engagement in initiatives aimed at tackling business, social and community challenges

Through our unsurpassed commitment to the public good and transformational scholarship, we will position ourselves as the definition of a 21st century global Business School

LEADERSHIP: Confidence and courage to shape a better future INTEGRITY: Taking personal pride in our work CREATIVITY: Thinking beyond the usual and embracing ideas GLOBAL MINDEDNESS: Finding opportunities in our diversity COMMUNITY: Realising the purpose and power of business
  1. The Teaching Team

Dr Ayham Jaaron (Module Leader)

Dr Ayham Jaaron is a Senior Lecturer in Business and management at the Department of Management and Entrepreneurship of De Montfort University, Leicester. Before this, he was an Associate Professor at the Industrial Engineering Department of An-Najah national University in Palestine 2010-2019. During this time, Ayham served as the Chairman of the Strategic Planning Unit of the University to develop and implement the University Strategic plan 2016-2021. He also served as Head of Industrial Engineering Department for three consecutive years 2011-2014, and also served as Director of Quality Assurance Unit of the University 2014-2016. Ayham is recognized for his expertise and contributions to the quality of education in Palestine. He led the largest ABET Accreditation project in the region for seven engineering programs simultaneously at An-Najah National University, that resulted in a successful ABET Accreditation process. He received his PhD degree (full time) in Manufacturing Engineering and Operations Management from the Wolfson School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Loughborough University in 2010.

His research activities have focused on strategic management, sustainable manufacturing and Industry 4.0, service quality, resource utilization, organizational resilience, and green human resources management in the manufacturing and service sectors. He has published his research widely in internationally renowned journals such as International Journal of Production Research, Journal of Cleaner Production, International Journal of Services and Operations Management, The Service Industries Journal, and International Journal of Logistics Management.

With long experience in strategic thinking, Ayham has consulted for several companies in Palestine and globally. With a team of imminent experience in strategic planning, he led a regional project to assess the strategic plans of professional training on freight drivers in the Arab region.

Dr Frank Nyame-Asiamah

Frank Nyame-Asiamah is Senior Lecturer in Business Management at Leicester Castle Business School, De Montfort University. Frank obtained a PhD in Management Studies from Brunel University, London, a first-class MSc. degree in Management and Applications of IT in Accounting from Dublin City University and a PGCE from the University of East Anglia. Before joining DMU in 2019, he was PhD Supervisor/Director of Study at London School of Commerce, the Associate College of Cardiff Metropolitan University, and Lecturer/Subject Lead on Postgraduate Diploma in Education (Business Studies) at Canterbury Christ Church University. He provided mentor training for many UK secondary school teachers who trained beginner teachers in schools and made recommendations for Qualified Teacher Status award in Business Studies.

Prior to joining higher education, Frank spent 12 years at Hackney Community College/New City College in London as Business Lecturer and Curriculum Manager where he received the ‘high and continuously improving success rate for students’ award. There, he led a British Council prestigious international education project involving three institutions which was delivered for the Queen of England’s visit in Turkey in 2008.

Frank’s research interest covers organizational learning, healthcare information systems, corporate responsibility, entrepreneurship, commercial fire risk assessment, emergent-based theories, and critical research. He developed cohered emergent theory; a theory of social inclusivity that explains how managers can plan strategically with their employees to cater for unpredictable events. This theory has been applied to designing organisational and management systems in many contexts. His research has appeared in excellent scientific publishing outlets such as Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Information Technology for Development, Journal of Global Information Technology Management, Social Responsibility Journal and Palgrave Macmillan. Frank serves as an ambassador for the CMS Community [email protected] group and has been reviewing papers for the Academy of Management Annual Meetings since 2015. He has also been called upon to act as a referee for paper submissions for many excellent academic journals such as Journal of Management Inquiry, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, International Journal of Information Management, Social Responsibility Journal and Management in Education. Frank is an experienced PhD supervisor and examiner with many successful completions.

Contact details and advice hours: Frank is contactable via email on [email protected] and his online advice hours are Mondays 13:00-14:00 and Friday 10:00-11:00. Students are required to send emails to appointments for online meetings.

  1. Module Aims

In an increasingly dynamic environment, it is imperative to adopt a holistic view of what constitutes strategy and its relevance for different organisational contexts. This module is thus developed to provide insight, through engagement in a blend of contemporary theoretical thinking and application, in the field of strategic management. The central underpinning of the module is the exploration of the strategic management process, with participants proactively encouraged to apply and rethink the utility of strategic concepts and frameworks in strategic planning and decision-making, in both planned and emergent contexts. The syllabus, learning materials and teaching/learning methods are therefore specifically designed to expose participants to key theoretical approaches and at the same time to critically challenge existing norms in the field.

This module aims to:

  • develop students’ knowledge and understanding of key issues relating to strategic management and the processes of strategy-making.
  • encourage students to think critically and strategically about strategy, competition and business development.
  • enable students to understand and apply different and diverging perspectives, debates and concepts arising in strategic management.
  • provide students with tools, knowledge and skills for managing strategy in future employment.
  1. Objectives and Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module students will:

Subject specific knowledge

  • Demonstrate a deep and critical understanding of strategic management, current issues in the field and the associated literature.
  • Have developed a critical understanding of the factors influencing business strategies and strategic management.
  • Comprehend the multiple different perspectives and approaches to strategy.
  • Develop understanding of a range of theoretical frameworks for analysing of strategy.
  • Be able to explore the nature of strategy, competition and ‘success’.
  • Understand the nature of ‘failure’ and how to strategically manage such situations.
  • Understand complications and challenges faced in international strategic management.

Subject specific skills

  • Be able to apply relevant analytical tools and frameworks to assess environments, strategies and strategic options.
  • Understand, and be able to apply, the concepts and theories of strategic management to practice.
  • Be able to locate, comprehend and critically evaluate relevant research and sources of information relating to strategic management.
  • Be able to apply relevant knowledge in a variety of traditional and non-traditional organisational contexts.

Key skills

  • Critical thinking, analysis, evaluation and synthesis.
  • Identify and address strategic problems.
  • Develop cohesive and persuasive arguments.
  • Research appropriate periodicals, books, websites and other references to extract and draw together information and knowledge.
  • Research companies and draw out meaningful knowledge and conclusions from various information sources (e.g., from financial statements, Annual Reports, analysts’ reports).
  • Effectively articulate and persuasively communicate strategic issues both verbally and in written forms, instance in terms of analysis of strategic issues, report writing and delivering effective critique.

In addition, you will have had the opportunity to develop the following transferrable skills:

  • Written Communication – e.g., by through the summative coursework.
  • Interpersonal Communication – e.g., by using e-mail to communicate with other students and class leaders; discussing prepared material in seminars with both the class leader and other students in the group.
  • Oral Presentation – e.g., by explaining the answers to case study questions to other students and the class leader; in general, by actively participating in discussion during lecture sessions.
  • Planning, Organisation and Time Management – e.g., by preparing for classes; observing the strict assignment deadlines; downloading before the relevant lectures any required material from Blackboard; revising relevant material before lectures; preparing written notes and answers for case studies.
  • Problem Solving and Analysis – e.g., by applying the necessary analytical and qualitative/quantitative skills, as well as the ability to manipulate concepts in strategic management, in answering class questions and case study problems, and undertaking the summative assignment.
  • Initiative – e.g., searching relevant literature and information in preparation of lectures and the summative assignment.
  • Computer Literacy and Information Retrieval – e.g., by accessing and downloading teaching and lecture material from Blackboard; using e-mail to communicate with the class leader and other students; undertaking bibliographical search and information retrieval for classes and the assignment.

Introduced, Practiced, Assessed


Written communicationIntroduced, Practiced, Assessed
Interpersonal communicationIntroduced, Practiced
Planning and organisationIntroduced, Practiced, Assessed
Oral presentationIntroduced, Practiced
TeamworkingIntroduced, Practiced
AdaptabilityIntroduced, Practiced
Problem solvingIntroduced, Practiced, Assessed
NumeracyIntroduced, Practiced
Computer skillsIntroduced, Practiced


  1. How It Is Going to Be Taught

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the University has had to adapt its mode of teaching delivery. The University has taken the decision that all teaching sessions named ‘Lectures’ will be delivered asynchronously/recorded using DMU Replay and workshops will be delivered in synchronous/online format using Blackboard Collaborate Ultra (BBCU). Therefore, this module will be delivered as follows:

  • Asynchronous/recordings using DMU Replay:for presentation of theories/concepts including key information and critical subjects. These will be a total of 10 recordings for students to view each recording before its related synchronous/online session.
  • Synchronous/Online session: for case-study analysis and related articles discussion activities; we will be having discussions around questions, example companies and thinking points as well as examining specific case studies. These are 10 sessions in total and each session is scheduled to last for up to 2 hours. The case studies used provide a structured programme designed to reinforce knowledge and encourage independent study. All students are expected to read case studies and articles for each scheduled online session, and also to prepare answers to all questions attached to case studies to enter into discussion of the issues. Students will be divided into groups on BBCU and are expected to make major contributions.

Where to find your Learning Materials:

All lecture recordings are now made available in the appropriate DMU Replay module folder and can be accessed by the learning materials content area of the Blackboard module shell. Recordings’ PPT slides, and relevant case study material for each online session will be placed on the Blackboard page for the module.

The University has a wide range of support services to assist staff and students deal with the new online teaching style should you need it:

  1. Centre for Enhancing Learning through Technology (CELT)
  2. Student and Academic Services (The Student Gateway)
  3. Centre for Learning and Study Support (CLaSS)
  4. Centre for Academic Innovation (CAI)
  5. Universal Design for Learning (UDL)
  6. De Montfort Students’ Union (DSU)
  7. Equality and Diversity (EDI)
  8. Decolonising DMU
  9. Healthy DMU
  1. Blackboard Collaborate Ultra (BBCU):

You have access to BBCU 24/7 directly from your module’s Blackboard (BB) page. Blackboard Collaborate Ultra is Blackboards’ video conferencing solution / webinar tool. Collaborate Ultra is web conferencing software specifically aimed at education. It enables lecturers to deliver a lesson online to students in remote locations in much the same was as they would in live classroom. Students can take part in the online session from a PC, laptop or mobile device. Collaborate Ultra also can record a session for students to review later. Collaborate Ultra will work with the most up to date versions of Edge, Safari, and Firefox, but for the best experience use Google Chrome. It no longer works in Internet Explorer or the old version Edge. It is also available for mobile devices. For more information and help on this, please watch the video provided in the link:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1W4sGpVmJaY&feature=emb_logo

This is your Module’s Blackboard Page

(BB)

BBCU

  1. How to prepare for your “Online Session” [Synchronous]

Before you attend the live online session, you’ll need to, first, watch the DMU Replay recorded lecture related to that live session, and, then, read the assigned case study related to that session that you will ll find on your module’s Blackboard, in the Learning Materials tab inside every week folder. You should review essential books and recommended further readings to increase and develop your knowledge and understanding of that session’s topic. The learning materials for the whole module will be live and accessible.

You need to attend the live online session (check your timetable), which can be accessed via the Blackboard Collaborate Ultra (BBCU) tab on your module Blackboard – just think of it as a virtual classroom. You must email your instructor if you are unable to attend your online workshop session.

Every live session is based on case study/ies that directly linked to your asynchronous Lecture materials. You should review and read your lecture’s materials (PowerPoint slide & essential book chapter) and watch DMU replay. Read the case study carefully and answer the questions. Usually there are between 2-4 questions in every case study. Prepare your answers well in advance and bring your answers to the Online Session.

  • Teamwork is the next step! Once you are in your “Online Session” on BBCU, your instructor will provide a short recap of the main concepts from the recorded lecture related to the live session.
  • You will be allocated to a smaller Breakout Group (up to 5 members).
  • Every team needs a Team Leader (who is going to manage the meeting).
  • As a team, you will reread (if required) and discuss your case study’s questions.
  • As a team, you must prepare your team’s answers.
  • Your instructor will visit each Breakout Group during the session.
  • Your instructor will ask each team to present its findings to the rest of students.
  • Your team will decide who or how many of you are going to do the presentation.
  • 15-20 minutes online live Recap by your tutor.
  • 30 minutes Teamwork on the Case Study.
  • 5 minutes breaktime.
  • 40-50 minutes presentation by the selected team.
  • 10-15 minutes for questions and summary.
  1. How this module relates to your programme of study

Strategic management, as a field and as a topic, is highly integrated with all other aspects of business and management whereby practitioners draw on skills and knowledge in operations, finance, marketing, enterprise, managing across cultures, leadership and so forth, in order to achieve maximum success. Strategic management is best understood and practiced when practitioners draw upon knowledge from different areas and then apply their learning in developing business strategies for the business.

  1. How this module enhances your employability

(A description of employability skills covered within the module and any reference to external engagement – visiting speakers, industrial visits, #DMUGlobal, #DMULocal, #DMUworks, etc. Stress the importance of employability and students contacting the careers service.)

While strategic management is a subject or area that you will encounter when reaching senior management positions, it is absolutely necessary and better for any business to have staff that understand strategy-making, the problems associated with it and the means to implement strategy. Accordingly, SMEs, Consultancies and large organisations are increasingly in need of employees with these skills and insights.

Where possible, you will have exposure to visiting speakers on this module and we will reflect on a great range of case studies. The assessment is designed to enable you to learn skills used in consultancy and put them into practice.

The Faculty of Business and Law and the Leicester Castle Business School will be offering #DMUGlobal trips in the year that students will be able to apply for and these are normally illuminative of issues pertaining to strategic management.

DMU has great ambitions for its students and alumni and we want you to have opportunities that match your ambitions. We offer a wide range of work experiences and now we want to make these even better.  

#DMUworks is our fresh new programme to fit around what students, alumni and employers need, focusing on work experience opportunities that may be short, long, based in the UK or abroad – with options to suit different circumstances and aspirations. You can find out and sign up for #DMUworks opportunities on MyGateway.

You can also find out further information about our projects by visiting the following webpage: https://www.dmu.ac.uk/dmu-students/careers-and-employability/careers-and-employability.aspx

  1. Your Responsibility

Students are expected to attend and participate in all timetabled activities, including lectures, seminars, workshops, and practical sessions. Students are also encouraged to fully participate in the academic and cultural life of the Faculty and University, including guest lectures, seminars, public debates and external visits.

As students, your responsibilities are:

Preparation: Complete the required readings before coming to each timetabled session on this module and to undertake the required follow-up work.

Participation: Participation in class is based on participation in class lecture/seminar, as well as group activities in class. To assist your engagement in class you should come prepared by writing down ideas, quotes, or concepts from the reading list that you find interesting as well as thought provoking. You should come prepared so that you can fully engage in class discussions and activities.

Respect: Throughout your studies it is important that you treat other students with respect as well as engaging in a respectful manner with academic staff. It is imperative that you listen to others and treat their contributions with respect, even if you disagree with them. In particular it is important that:

  • You are respectful of your peers’ learning and resist talking through seminars, workshops and lectures.
  • You do not answer your phone unless it is an emergency.
  • If you are late, then please take the first available seat and settle yourself as quietly as possible.

The student charter sets out commitments from the university to students, from students to the university, and from the Students’ Union to students. You can consult it at:

http://www.dmu.ac.uk/dmu-students/student-resources/student-charter/student-charter.aspx

The module teaching and assessment team will contribute to this environment by:

  • Treating all students with respect.
  • Welcoming diverse viewpoints, experiences, and interpretations of the class materials.
  • Challenging your thinking, beliefs, and analysis of issues, concepts, and ideas in this class.
  1. Lecture and Teaching Activities Schedule
  1. Asynchronous part of delivery:

The asynchronous part of module delivery is outlined in the table below. Essential readings from the recommended textbooks are identified along with deadline reminders. Additional references will be provided at the end of each recording using DMU Replay. You should also undertake your own search for additional relevant literature and follow up relevant references contained in the literature identified.

Teaching WeekLectureLecture TopicReading (Chapters)Delivery Method
Clegg et alShimizuVolberda et al
111Strategic Management: Introduction to Theory and Practice111Asynchronous/recordings using DMU Replay
112Strategic Positioning222Asynchronous/recordings using DMU Replay
113Strategic Thinking
Epilogue2, 4Asynchronous/recordings using DMU Replay
114Resources and What they Mean for Strategic Management333, 4Asynchronous/recordings using DMU Replay
115Strategic Decision-Making9, 104, 75, 6, 7Asynchronous/recordings using DMU Replay
156Competitive Advantage and Strategic Options4, 5, 64, 75, 6, 7Asynchronous/recordings using DMU Replay
157Strategic Options: International Strategy769Asynchronous/recordings using DMU Replay
158Strategic Options: Growth and Collaboration Strategies5, 66, 88, 10, 12Asynchronous/recordings using DMU Replay
159Strategy Choice12811, 13Asynchronous/recordings using DMU Replay
1510Strategy Failure13

Asynchronous/recordings using DMU Replay
Coursework Assessment submission deadline: Friday 29th January 2021, 11.59am
  1. Synchronous/Online part of delivery:

The synchronous/online part of delivery is 10 sessions in total and each session is scheduled to last for up to 2 hours. The table below provides details about timings and dates of these sessions.

Teaching WeekSessionTopicDayTimeDelivery MethodDelivered by
111Case study 1: Strategic Management: Introduction to Theory and PracticeTuesday10-12Live Using BBCUAyham Jaaron
112Case study 2: Strategic PositioningTuesday14-16Live Using BBCUFrank Nyame-Asiamah
113Case study 3: Strategic ThinkingWednesday10-12Live Using BBCUAyham Jaaron
114Case study 4: Resources and What they Mean for Strategic ManagementThursday11-13Live Using BBCUAyham Jaaron
115Case study 5: Strategic Decision-MakingThursday14-16Live Using BBCUFrank Nyame-Asiamah
156Case study 6: Competitive Advantage and Strategic OptionsTuesday10-12Live Using BBCUAyham Jaaron
157Case study 7: Strategic Options: International StrategyTuesday14-16Live Using BBCUFrank Nyame-Asiamah
158Case study 8: Strategic Options: Growth and Collaboration StrategiesWednesday10-12Live Using BBCUAyham Jaaron
159Case study 9: Strategy ChoiceThursday11-13Live Using BBCUAyham Jaaron
1510Case study 10: Strategy FailureThursday14-16Live Using BBCUFrank Nyame-Asiamah
Coursework Assessment submission deadline: Friday 29th January 2021, 11.59am
  1. Learning Outcomes per lecture

Lecture 1:

  • Describe the origins of contemporary strategic management
  • Describe the basics of strategy in theory and in practice
  • Explain the importance of strategy for management practice
  • Identify and explain different competitive strategies in various sectors
  • Outline the limits of conventional views of strategy

Lecture 2:

  • Describe the importance of differences in competitive environments
  • Explain differences in strategic positioning
  • Analyse the role of industry, competitive forces and generic strategic positioning
  • Distinguish between different types of competitors
  • Explain the role of strategic groups

Lecture 3:

  • Distinguish between the types of strategic thinking and examine the two main perspectives on strategic thinking: Outside-in, Inside-out
  • Discuss the factors that hinder strategic thinking
  • Explain how strategic thinking dominates our approach to strategy and decision-making

Lecture 4:

  • Explain he concepts of resource-based theories
  • Explain the nature of resources, capabilities and competencies used in strategic management
  • Demonstrate critical understanding of how resources and capabilities can positively and negatively affect strategy and strategic activity
  • Discuss the problem of deterioration in the resource and capability bases of the firm and what we might do to address that

Lecture 5:

  • Discuss the nature of strategy-making and strategic decision-making
  • Explain the various ways of making decisions, and, there is no one best way (depends on context)

Lecture 6:

  • Describe the notion of competitive advantage and its centrality in strategic management
  • Explain how competitive advantage can be measured
  • Examine the bases for developing competitive advantage
  • Discuss how competitive advantage can be sustained
  • Explain the concept of strategic options
  • Analyse he importance of competitive advantage in developing options

Lecture 7:

  • Explain the routes to internationalisation
  • Distinguish between, ‘international strategy’ and ’global strategy’
  • Identify strategic issues and problems in international strategic management

Lecture 8:

  • Identify and evaluate different strategies for growth
  • Explain the different forms of cooperation in strategy
  • Explain the dynamics of cooperating with competitors

Lecture 9:

  • Discuss strategy choice in relation to strategic fit
  • Analyse the four tests of suitability applicable to any proposed strategy
  • Distinguish between the concept of fit and adherence and explain why firms adhere

Lecture 10:

  • Distinguish between strategy failure and organisational failure
  • Assess causes/drivers of failure
  • Provide guidelines for managers on avoiding failure
  • Discuss what companies are doing now to be strategically different
  1. Module Resource

The Library Module Resources list for this module can be found on the Blackboard site for this module. This list includes references to important academic journal articles as well as books used during the module. Web links to useful sites, such as the Economist, FT, BBC Business News and so forth can also be found on Blackboard.

Students should ensure they have ready access to the following textbook as it covers much of the material covered in this module. This text is deemed to be required reading.

Clegg, S.R., Schweitzer, J., Whittle, A. and Pitelis, C. (2016), Strategy: Theory and Practice, 2nd edition. Sage Publications. ISBN: 978-1473938458

Students may find it beneficial to consult/purchase some of the following very good textbooks:

  • Shimizu, K. (2011), The Cores of Strategic Management. Routledge. ISBN: 9780415887007.**
  • Volberda, H.W., Morgan, R.E., Reinmoeller, P., Hitt, M.A., Ireland, R.D. and Hoskisson, R.E.. (2011), Strategic Management: Competitiveness and Globalization (Concepts and Cases). Cengage Learning. ISBN: 9781408019184.**
  • De Wit, B. and Meyer, R. (2010), Strategy Synthesis: Resolving Strategy Paradoxes to Create Competitive Advantage, Text and Readings, 3rd edition. Cengage Learning.**
  • Dess, G.G., Lumpkin, G.T. and Eisner, A.B. (2009), Strategic Management, 4th edition. McGraw-Hill.
  • Johnson, G., Scholes, K. and Whittington, R. (2010), Exploring Corporate Strategy, 9th edition. FT Prentice Hall.

** Highly recommended.

  1. Blackboard and Module Communications

Important information relating to this module can be found on Blackboard. This includes information on the module, synchronous and asynchronous materials, all communications and announcements, as well as the procedure for submitting assignments via TurnitinUK.

All teaching materials including asynchronous lectures will be available on Blackboard at least one week prior to the commencement of the module. This will include all necessary case study material, suggested videos and the like.

The coursework assignment deadlines as well as any important announcements relating to the module will appear on Blackboard.

Suggested sources of data and information for assessment purposes will be placed on Blackboard along with hyperlinks where possible. This list is not exhaustive and merely indicative. Students will be expected to gather and collate data and information from multiple sources for successful completion of the assessment.

Students should consult the module entry on Blackboard frequently for updates.

The following material will be posted on Blackboard:

  • A copy of this handbook
  • Teaching materials
  • Assessment deadlines
  • Timetable changes
  • Additional references
  • Web links
  • All announcements

You can access Blackboard by going to this link: https://vle.dmu.ac.uk

Login using the same username and password that you have for access to the University’s computer services.

Further information on Blackboard can be accessed from the Centre for Enhancing Learning through Technology (CELT): http://celt.our.dmu.ac.uk/blackboard/

If you have any difficulties logging into any computer on campus, then you should contact the Help Desk located on the 1st floor of the Kimberlin Library. In addition, you might contact the ITMS helpline ( +44 (0)116 250 6050) or send an email to [email protected] noting your name and degree programme).

  1. Assessment Briefs

This module is assessed by means of a coursework assignment. The summative assessment will provide a test of the understanding and analytical skills acquired by students. As part of the summative coursework assignment, students will be expected to analyse, in detail, the business strategy of an organisation in the form of an individual report and provide a set of strategic recommendations for that organisation. The word limit is set at a maximum of 3500 words inclusive. The summative assessment will require students to think critically, be able to analyse, evaluate and then apply concepts and theories taught during the module in their summative assessment. Ideally, students should apply their own research skills in finding information and use their own initiative to develop insights into business strategy.

In completing the summative assessment coursework you may wish to contact managers or stakeholders of the organisation for online interviews or for information regarding strategies. You may seek to interview these online by contacting them to arrange meetings via Skype of any other digital platform or requesting they address questions over email. It is important to note that not all managers are available or willing to do so and a lack of online interviewing will not compromise your grades. However, you may feel you will better understand the strategic direction of the firm through an online interview. To facilitate this please familiarise yourself with the ethical guidelines of the University: http://www.dmu.ac.uk/research/ethics-and-governance/faculty-specific-procedures/business-and-law-ethics-procedures.aspx.

This assessment method reflects conditions you will face when working for companies and when having to conduct strategic analyses of competitors or on behalf of clients (e.g., in consultancy). You will need to work under time constraints, you will not have full and perfect access to all information and you will need to make judgements based on analysis of data and information that you can get access to. Try to integrate information from across different analysis tools and methods for richer strategic insights.

Assignments should be typed, using 1.5 spacing and an easy-to-read 12-point font.

The word count should:

  • Include all the text, including title, preface, introduction, in-text citations, quotations, footnotes and any other items not specifically excluded below.
  • Exclude diagrams, tables (including tables/lists of contents and figures), equations, executive summary/abstract, acknowledgements, declaration, bibliography/list of references and appendices. However, it is not appropriate to use diagrams or tables merely as a way of circumventing the word limit. If a student uses a table or figure as a means of presenting his/her own words, then this is included in the word count.

If you are unable to submit by the deadline you must apply for mitigating circumstances – forms are available from the Student Advice Centre. Information on penalties and late submissions can be found at: http://www.dmu.ac.uk/dmu-students/the-student-gateway/academic-support-office/deferral-of-assessments.aspx

If you encounter any specific problems external to the assignment then please discuss these with the Programme Leader or the Student Advice Centre who can advise you accordingly (e.g., regarding an extension or deferral).

If you encounter specific problems regarding the assignment itself or require clarification or advice then please do discuss this with the Module Leader.

Turnitin data will be assessed for potential cheating and plagiarism. The absolute score for plagiarism provided by Turnitin is merely an indicator however and where bad academic practice or plagiarism is suspected then appropriate referrals will be made to the Faculty.

Feedback will be given through (a) specific feedback and commentary on your assignment on Turnitin and (b) generic feedback and commentary on the performance of students on the whole across the module, which will be posted on Blackboard. The latter will include general information on improvements that could have been made and the typical pitfalls students fell into.

Reassessment and Resubmission

Normally students will be offered the opportunity to be reassessed in the failed component. Reassessment will be a piece of coursework where you have to analyse the business strategy of a different company to the original. Resubmission deadlines are standardised by the University and information will be provided on Blackboard at the appropriate time.

Our engagement with you

The feedback that we receive from you is vital to the student experience. We gather this feedback through module and course surveys as well as via meetings and engagement with student representatives. Module and programme teams reflect on the comments that students provide and take action accordingly.

  1. Further Information

Attendance: Attendance and engagement in all learning activities is expected in all Faculty of Business and Law modules. These will be collected from BBCU live session attendance reports. For absences due to illness, lasting up to six consecutive calendar days, students must inform tutors, whose classes they are missing, of the reasons for their absence. For absences of seven consecutive days or more due to illness a medical certificate must be submitted to the Faculty Student Advice Centre. Students who wish the illness to be taken into account in relation to an assessment of work must follow the procedures relating to deferral.

Extensions: Extensions to relevant deadlines are only granted where there is a satisfactory explanation provided in advance. Module leaders may be able to grant a short extension of up to 14 days or they can, if appropriate or practical, make alternative arrangements for the assessment. Remember it may not always be possible to make alternative arrangements. In exceptional circumstances extensions beyond 14 days can be granted by the Associate Dean Academic or their nominee.

You may apply for an extension by completing an extension request form available from the Student Advice Centre.

Unauthorised late submission of assessments

If an assessment is submitted later than the deadline without an approved extension or deferral the mark received will be capped. If an assessment is submitted 1-14 calendar days late the mark for the work will be capped at the pass mark of 50 per cent for postgraduate modules. If an assessment is submitted beyond 14 calendar days late the work will receive a mark of zero per cent.

Deferrals

If your circumstances are such that an extension of 14 days would not be sufficient, or if you feel that, despite being granted an extension of up to 14 days, your performance in a piece of coursework has been seriously impaired, you may apply formally to your faculty panel for a deferral of assessment of coursework. You will have to fill in the appropriate form that is obtainable from the Faculty Student Advice Centre and supply supporting evidence. Forms should be submitted to the Faculty Student Advice Centre. Further information on the deferrals policy can be consulted at: http://dmu.ac.uk/dmu-students/the-student-gateway/academic-support-office/deferral-of-assessments.aspx

Style and Referencing: Students in the Faculty of Business and Law follow specific referencing guides for all written work. There are separate guidelines for Law students (https://libguides.library.dmu.ac.uk/law/referencing) and for students in the Leicester Castle Business School (https://libguides.library.dmu.ac.uk/business/referencing).

Law students follow the footnote referencing system: https://libguides.library.dmu.ac.uk/ld.php?content_id=26780459

Leicester Castle Business School students follow the Harvard referencing system:

http://www.library.dmu.ac.uk/Images/Selfstudy/Harvard.pdf

Return of submitted work: All students will be informed via a Blackboard announcement when their assessment is marked. You are strongly encouraged to discuss your written or in some cases audio feedback with your module leader if you have any questions or concerns. Modules assessed wholly or in part by examination may have generic feedback on examination performance made available via Blackboard.

All marks on assessed work are provisional marks only and they will not be confirmed until the Assessment Board meets. Marks and feedback on assessed work will be available within 20 days. The turnaround time does not include weekends, bank holidays or university closure days

The full Assessment and Feedback policy can be consulted at:

http://www.dmu.ac.uk/about-dmu/quality-management-and-policy/academic-quality/learning-teaching-assessment/assessment-feedback-policy.aspx

Good academic conduct and discipline: All students are expected to adhere to the University’s regulations in relation to expected standards of behaviour.

Information on student regulations can be viewed at:

http://www.dmu.ac.uk/dmu-students/the-student-gateway/academic-support-office/student-regulations.aspx
  1. Plagiarism and bad academic practice

De Montfort University’s Academic Regulations describe plagiarism as:

“the significant use of other people’s work and the submission of it as though it were one’s own in assessed coursework (such as dissertations, essays, experiments etc)”.

This includes:

  • Copying from another student’s work
  • Copying text from sources such as books or journals without acknowledgement
  • Downloading information and/or text from the Internet and using it without acknowledgement
  • Submitting work which you claim to be your own when it has been produced by a group
  • Submitting group work without acknowledging all contributors.

De Montfort University describes bad academic practice as:

Low level duplication without citation for example errors made through carelessness or misunderstanding or passing off ideas, data or other information as if originally discovered by the student.

Information on academic offences can be found at:

http://www.dmu.ac.uk/dmu-students/the-student-gateway/academic-support-office/academic-offences.aspx

Further advice on academic offences can be obtained by emailing [email protected] Full details can be found in the University regulations http://www.dmu.ac.uk/dmu-students/the-student-gateway/academic-support-office/student-regulations.aspx

Students are reminded that module assessment results are provisional until ratified by the programme management boards and that results released to students can be revised or redacted if there are concerns regarding academic practices.

Proofreading:

If you do use a third party to proof read your work or a professional proof reading service you must discuss this with your tutor and declare this in a written statement accompanying your work when you submit it for assessment.

  1. Faculty of Business and Law Grade Descriptors

This is a guide to the criteria used by staff in the Faculty of Business and Law assigning a mark to a piece of postgraduate work. The final mark awarded to a piece of work will be informed by its predominant correspondence to these descriptors. The University generic descriptors as well as advice for students can be accessed at:

http://www.dmu.ac.uk/about-dmu/quality-management-and-policy/academic-quality/learning-teaching-assessment/mark-descriptors.aspx

Modules are marked on a range of 0-100%. Mark descriptors are given in the

table below. A mark below 50% indicates a Fail grade (the shaded boxes).

Mark RangeCriteria
90-100% DistinctionDemonstrates an exceptional ability and insight, indicating the highest level of technical competence. The work has the potential to influence the forefront of the subject, and may be of publishable/exhibitable quality. Relevant generic skills are demonstrated at the highest possible standard.
80-89% DistinctionDemonstrates an outstanding ability and insight based on authoritative subject knowledge and a very high level of technical competence. The work is considered to be close to the forefront of the subject, and may be close to publishable/exhibitable quality. Relevant generic skills are demonstrated at a very high level.
70-79% DistinctionDemonstrates an authoritative, current subject knowledge and a high level of technical competence. The work is accurate and extensively supported by appropriate evidence. It may show some originality. Clear evidence of capacity to reflect critically and deal with ambiguity in the data. Relevant generic skills are demonstrated at a high level.
60-69% MeritDemonstrates a sound, current subject knowledge. No significant errors in the application of concepts or appropriate techniques. May contain some minor flaws. The work is well developed and coherent; may show some originality. Clear evidence of capacity to reflect critically. Relevant generic skills are demonstrated at a good level.
50 – 59% PassDemonstrates satisfactory subject knowledge. Some evident weaknesses; possibly shown by conceptual gaps, or limited use of appropriate techniques. The work is generally sound but tends toward the factual or derivative. Limited evidence of capacity to reflect critically. Relevant generic skills are generally at a satisfactory level.
45 -49% Marginal FailDemonstrates satisfactory subject knowledge to some degree. Some important weaknesses; possibly shown by factual errors, conceptual gaps, or limited use of appropriate techniques. The work is generally sound but tends toward the factual or derivative.  Little evidence of capacity to reflect critically. Relevant generic skills are generally at a satisfactory level.
40-44%Demonstrates limited core subject knowledge. Some important weaknesses; possibly shown by factual errors, conceptual gaps, or limited use of appropriate techniques. The work lacks sound development. Little evidence of capacity to reflect critically. The quality of the relevant generic skills do not meet the requirements of the task.
30-39%Demonstrates inadequate subject knowledge. The work lacks coherence and evidence of capacity to reflect critically. The quality of the relevant generic skills do not meet the requirements of the task.
20-29%Demonstrates seriously inadequate knowledge of the subject. The work contains minimal evidence of awareness of relevant issues or theory. The quality of the relevant generic skills do not meet the requirements of the task.
10-19%The work is almost entirely lacking in evidence of knowledge of the subject. No evidence of awareness of relevant issues or theory. The quality of the relevant generic skills do not meet the requirements of the task.
0-9%The work presents information that is irrelevant and unconnected to the task. No evident awareness of appropriate principles, theories, evidence and techniques.

How we support you

Sometimes things happen that are beyond your control, for example, illness or personal problems. If things start to affect your studies, you need to let someone know. There are processes and people to help you.

Your personal tutor is an important starting point for help. He or she will be able to advise you about the various University procedures. Many things can be dealt with by your Programme Leader. Academic matters within the Faculty are led by the Associate Dean Academic in conjunction with Associate Professor Student Experience. The staff in the Student Advice Centre are there to provide support and guidance.

There are in addition a number of sources of help that are listed in the Useful Links and Contacts section below, such as the Student Gateway.

  1. Useful Links and Contacts

Careers Service

Website: http://www.dmu.ac.uk/dmu-students/careers-and-employability/careers-and-employability.aspx

Counselling and Wellbeing

http://www.dmu.ac.uk/dmu-students/the-student-gateway/counselling-mental-health-and-wellbeing/counselling/counselling.aspx

Disability Advice and Support

Website: http://www.dmu.ac.uk/dmu-students/the-student-gateway/disability-advice-and-support/disability-advice-and-support.aspx

The Student Gateway

http://www.dmu.ac.uk/dmu-students/the-student-gateway/student-and-academic-services.aspx

Student Finance and Welfare

Website: http://www.dmu.ac.uk/dmu-students/the-student-gateway/student-finance-and-welfare/student-finance-and-welfare.aspx

Student support

Website: http://dmu.ac.uk/study/postgraduate-study/student-support/student-support.aspx

Students’ Union

Website: http://www.dmu.ac.uk/dmu-students/welcome-to-de-montfort-students-union/welcome-to-de-montfort-students-union.aspx

Student Advice Centre

Website: http://www.dmu.ac.uk/about-dmu/schools-and-departments/leicester-business-school/contact-us.aspx

Support for Mature Students

Website: http://www.dmu.ac.uk/dmu-students/the-student-gateway/adjusting-to-student-life/mature-students.aspx

Other Services and Links

Academic Appeals

http://www.dmu.ac.uk/dmu-students/the-student-gateway/academic-support-office/academic-appeals.aspx

Change in student circumstance (e.g. suspension of studies) –

http://www.dmu.ac.uk/dmu-students/the-student-gateway/student-finance-and-welfare/changes-affecting-finances/taking-a-break.aspx

Complaints Procedure

http://www.dmu.ac.uk/dmu-students/the-student-gateway/academic-support-office/student-complaints/student-complaints-procedure.aspx

Information Technology and Media Services (ITMS)

http://www.dmu.ac.uk/about-dmu/professional-services/information-technology-and-media-services/service-desk.aspx

Nightline

http://www.dmu.ac.uk/dmu-students/student-resources/it-and-media/24-hour-support.aspx

Student Code of Conduct

https://www.dmu.ac.uk/Documents/DMU-students/Academic-Support-Office/Student-Code-of-Conduct.pdf

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