ASSESSMENT 2: ESSAY
Assessment 2 on BUS204 Strategy asks you to write a critical-theoretical essay, which engages with key debates in strategy. This task assesses your ability to produce a relevant and compelling response to a set question, provide an analytic approach to the topic and its relevant issues, construct a sound argument and use relevant academic sources to support this argument. Coherence of essay structure and clarity in the overall expression and presentation of the argument is essential – as is good footnoting and bibliographic practice. Regardless which essay question you choose, you are encouraged to observe good essay-writing practice. This includes:
Conceiving, developing, and communicating your own critical stance towards the material in question in as systematic and clear a way as possible
Advancing your argument by making your claims as specific as possible, and providing detailed evidence in support of these claims
Addressing your topic from the outset of the essay. Sometimes students broach their topic too late in the essay, and this often results in vague writing, overly broad claims, and cursory use of evidence
Incorporating secondary sources as appropriate, and demonstrating their utility through their effective application within your own independently-formulated argument
Your essay will be marked in terms of the success with which you follow the advice above and the QMUL assessment criteria (described grade band-by-grade band) below.
You will be expected to draw on BOTH set books as well as the sources in the Themed Bibliography in completing this piece of assessment
ANSWER ONLY ONE OF THE FOLLOWING
1. Critically reflect on why the ‘global business revolution’ might be said to show the increasing dependence of strategy on logistics.
2. Critically examine what strategists need to consider when implementing a strategy.
3. Critically assess the following statement: Strategy is a tool in the armoury of different groups in struggle over resources.
In developing your argument, make sure you refer to Nolan, P., D. Sutherland and J. Zhang (2002), Nolan (2012), Cowen (2014), in addition to other academic sources from the module and beyond. There is no hard a fast rule concerning number of additional readings but you will probably want to use in the region of 4-8 additional readings (more would be welcome, if used appropriately rather just to make up the numbers!). You may use a number of non-module academic sources as long as these are closely relevant and demonstrate your ability to go beyond prescribed texts.
In answering these questions, be specific! Whose strategy are you considering? Is it that of a firm, a state, a political party, an NGO, a Trade Union? What is the context? Is the strategy one that was developed and implemented during the Great Recession or in today’s times of widespread austerity, in a developing nation in the hands of an IMF structural adjustment programme, by an NGO or Trade Union attempting to establish fair employment conditions for workers, or by large multi-national trying to open a new market? If you are considering a firm, what kind of industry are you considering and how does this differ from strategic thought and action in other industries? You may find it useful to develop one or more case studies to make your argument.
While you are strongly advised to focus your answer on the module readings, you are also encouraged to carry out your own independent research into your chosen topic. You should make sure you use only academic sources (such as academic journal articles and recently-published, scholarly books) and quality newspapers and magazines for contemporary examples (such as the Financial Times, the Guardian, the New York Times, The Economist and The New Statesman). You should not use online sources unless they come from an unimpeachable source.