n formulating its strategy, an organisation must thoroughly understand its industry'.

Referencing Styles : Harvard In order to succeed, organisations must learn to learn to respond and adapt quickly to the challenges in today’s rapidly changing business environment. Horngren, Datar and Rajan (2012, p. 467) stated that ‘in formulating its strategy, an organisation must thoroughly understand its industry’. Understanding the firm’s industry is important, but learning to deal with changing circumstances and competing demands posed by various stakeholders such as shareholders, customers, employees, government and the media (just to name a few) is possibly more challenging. The latter could sway the firm to adopt one or both the strategies of product differentiation and/or cost leadership. This assessment task supports unit learning outcome 1, unit learning outcome 2 and unit learning outcome 3. Assessment details For this assessment, you will form a team of four or five and work together to conduct and write up your research efforts. There are two major components to this teamwork research assessment task. Firstly, a company research component and secondly, research into the industry and strategy and recommendations. Your team is required to present the assignment in a 4,000-word research paper format, including an introduction and conclusion. Your report must have an executive summary (about 300 words), table of contents, references and appendices, but these elements are not included in the word limit. A. Company research 1. Company Profile You are required to select ONE company that has introduced a new product or service in the past 12 months. Conduct extensive research on the profile of the company chosen. Your research should include an analysis of the products and/or services provided by the firm before the launch of the new product/service. Clearly discuss the launch of the new product/service and identify the circumstances leading to the launch of the new product/service. 2. Company Performance Considering the knowledge you gained from your prior studies and other related topics covered/to be covered in this unit (e.g. Business Performance Measures, Balanced Scorecard, SWOT analysis, etc.), analyse and discuss the overall economic and/or social and environmental performance of the company for the past two years before the launch of the new product/service. Your analysis and discussion should explain how the company has either succeeded or failed to strengthen its competitive advantage as a result of the new product/service launched. Note that your team’s discussion should be well supported by relevant academic research. Do not rely on textbooks. Useful references can be found from numerous sources such as Annual Reports, Sustainability Reports, Shareholder Reviews, company websites and through various library electronic databases such as DatAnalysis and Factiva, among others. (An examination of between 10 to 20 articles is a guide to the level of research required for this section.) B. Industry and Strategy Research 1. Industry and Generic Strategy From the point of view of your chosen firm, prepare a Five-Force Analysis (Porter 1980; 1985) of the industry to which your company belongs. Considering the two generic strategies of product differentiation and cost leadership, identify and explain whether your chosen firm is likely to adopt one or a combination of these strategies. Your analysis and explanation must be supported by research (e.g. media releases, statistics, industry report) and the relevant literature on strategic management and competitive advantage. 2. Strategic Recommendation Taking the role of a team of management accountants employed by the chosen company, provide recommendation/s on how the company could better adapt to changing circumstances to maintain its competitive advantage. Your recommendation must be supported by research (e.g. media releases, statistics, industry reports) as well as the relevant academic literature on strategic management and competitive advantage). You may use industry reports, which can be sourced from databases such as IBISWorld, Factiva and. .

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