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Learning Outcome 3: Evaluate the levels of business strategy formulation and analyse the impact on sustainable strategic performance.
Key Element (a): Strategic Intent
Key Element (b): Business Level Strategy
Key Element (c): Competitive Rivalry & Dynamics
Key Element (d): Corporate Level Strategy
Key Element (e): Merger & Acquisition Strategies
Key Element (f): International Strategy
Key Element (g): Cooperative Strategy
Learning Outcome 5: Exercise full academic integrity, demonstrate sound choice, application and synthesis of strategic management principles/tools into cogent conclusions
Key Element (a): Demonstrate sound choice, application and synthesis of strategic management principles/tools into cogent conclusions
Key Element (b): Demonstrate academic integrity, adopt accurate in-text and full page referencing
Key Element (c): Self evaluate and justify performance in team participation, personal commitment, personal communication, self-discipline, personal attitude


This assessment is designed to facilitate Learning Outcomes Three and Five of this course which are outlined in Section 2. This assessment contributes 30% towards your total course grade and will be marked out of a total of 75 marks.


The purpose of this assessment is for you to undertake self-directed research to develop a fictitious ‘for profit’ New Zealand based organisation with business connections to the global milieu.

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Learning Outcome Three:

Evaluate the levels of business strategy formulation and analyse the impact on sustainable strategic performance.

Learning Outcome Five:

Analyse organisational strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities.   Synthesise research findings into effective business strategies, demonstrate significant thinking in self-directed research.

This is highlighted in the Strategic Management Process (Figure 1) and drawn from Chapters 4 – 9 of Hanson et al (2014) p. 4.

Figure 1. Strategic Management Process

You are required to undertake the following self-directed research activities outlined below.  Marks will be awarded as shown alongside each activity in brackets in accordance with criteria outlined in the Marking Rubric (Appendix A).

It is suggested that you use the ‘Glossary of Action Words’ in Section 5 to effectively interpret each research activity and complete your research. Apply these to develop a fictitious ‘for profit’ organisation that has affiliation(s) with the global milieu as outlined in the following sections.
It is recommended that you find and research a real ‘for profit’ New Zealand based organisation that has business connections to the global and/or regional milieu to provide a ‘real world’ basis for your assignment.

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1.  Strategic Intent KE (a) (15 marks)

Consider examining a real organisation’s Vision and Mission statements.

Using principles from your research findings and Hanson et al (2014) Chapter 1:

a.    Decide on an industry and create a profile of a fictitious organisation within it to use as the basis for the research activities required by this assignment.  Describe this information. (5 marks)

b.     Define a Vision statement for your fictitious organisation.  Justify your response. (5 marks)

c.     Define a Mission statement for your fictitious organisation. Justify your response. (5 marks)

2.  Business-level Strategy KE (b) (5 marks)

Consider examining a real organisation’s Business-level strategies from five perspectives:
•    Cost leadership
•    Differentiation
•    Focused cost leadership
•    Focused differentiation
•    Integrated cost leadership/differentiation

Using principles from your research findings and Hanson et al (2014) Chapter 4:

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2.1    Describe your fictitious organisation’s optimal business-level strategy(s).  Justify your response.  (5 marks)

3. Competitive Rivalry & Competitive Dynamics KE (c) (5 marks)

Consider examining a real organisation’s industry and at least one instance of a ‘first mover’.  Research the introduction of a new product or service offering into new market segments.  Analyse how its innovation of new products has been accomplished within its industry.

Using principles from your research findings and Hanson et al (2014) Chapter 5,

3.1     Describe your fictitious organisation’s optimal approach(es) to enter its new products or services into its market.  Justify your response. (5 marks)

4. Corporate-level Strategy KE (d) (10 marks)

Consider examining a real organisation’s diversified corporate-level strategy and use your findings to develop a Boston Consulting Group (BCG) product portfolio matrix based on your research.

Using principles from your research findings and Hanson et al (2014) Chapter 6:

4.1    Describe your fictitious organisation’s diversified corporate-level strategy(s). Justify your response.  (5 marks)

4.2 Illustrate the strategy(s) with a BCG product portfolio matrix of your fictitious organisation’s products/services. (5 marks)

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5.  Merger & Acquisition Strategies KE (e) (5 marks)

Consider identifying if a real organisation has recently undertaken a merger or acquisition recently:
•    Analyse the external and internal environment of this arrangement at the time it was completed.  Focus on management’s representation to its stakeholders, the industry environment and response for the transaction
•    Issues encountered in achieving successful acquisition and how these were overcome
•    If the transaction was (un)successful, determine reasons why/why not

Using principles from your research findings and Hanson et al (2014) Chapter 7:

5.1 Describe optimal merger, acquisition, or takeover strategy(s) for your organisation.  Justify your response.  (5 marks)

6.  International Strategy KE (f) (10 marks)

Consider identifying a real organisation’s mode(s) of entry into its international market(s) and explore their characteristics including:
•    Exporting
•    Licensing
•    Strategic alliances
•    Acquisitions
•    New wholly – owned subsidiary

Using principles from your research findings and Hanson et al (2014) Chapter 8:

6.1 Describe your fictitious organisation’s international market(s) and its characteristics.  Justify your response.  (5 marks)

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6.2 Describe potential Political, Economic, Sociological, Technological, Legal (PESTL) risks or issues associated with the mode(s) of entry into its international market(s).  Explain how your fictitious organisation should deal with these and justify your response.  (5 marks)

7.  Cooperative Strategy KE (g) (15 marks)

Consider exploring and analysing a real organisation’s:
•    Strategic alliance it has formed with another organisation (preferably an international one)
•    Key benefits it is gaining from the alliance in terms of sustainable competitive advantage and above-average financial returns
•    Disadvantages it encounters from the alliance and the workarounds for these
Using principles from your research findings and Hanson et al (2014) Chapter 9, for your fictitious organisation:

7.1    Describe a concept for an optimal strategic alliance with organisation(s) in the global milieu. Justify your response.  (5 marks)

7.2 Describe the anticipated benefits to arise from the alliance in terms of sustainable competitive advantage and above-average financial returns. Justify your response. (5 marks)

7.2    Describe disadvantages your fictitious organisation might encounter from the alliance and develop effective workarounds for these. Justify your response. (5 marks)

LEARNING OUTCOME 5: Research Synthesis (10 Marks–includes 2 marks for Academic Integrity)

8.  Conclusion (5 marks) (KE a)

8.1 From your research in the previous sections, summarise how your fictitious organisation will achieve sustainable strategic competitiveness and earn above average financial returns.  Justify your response. (5 marks)

Note: ‘8.2’ in the Appendix A Marking Rubric (p. 11) is a reference point for the marker to award marks for the choice and use of strategic management principles/tools/processes in this assignment.  It is not to be included as a sub-section in the assignment.

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Title Page
Table of Contents
1. Strategic Intent
1.1 Industry & fictitious organisation profile
1.2 Vision statement
1.3 Mission statement
2. Business-level strategy
2.1 Business-Level strategy(s)
3. Competitive Rivalry & Competitive Dynamics
3.1 New marketplace products/services
4. Corporate-level Strategy
4.1 Diversified corporate-level strategy
4.2 BCG product portfolio matrix
5. Merger & Acquisition Strategies
5.1 Merger/acquisition/takeover strategy(s)
6. International Strategy
6.1 International market(s) characteristics
6.2 PESTL risks/issues with international market entry
7. Cooperative Strategy
7.1 Strategic alliance with international organisations
7.2 Anticipated benefits of alliance
7.3 Disadvantages of alliance and workarounds
8. Conclusion
8.1 Summary of strategic intent
References & Bibliography

 The table below outlines a range of assignment ‘action words’ used in this document and how they should be interpreted.  Note that the definitions provided are not intended to be precise and that some terms can be used interchangeably (e.g. analyse and discuss).

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Action Word Suggested Interpretation
AnalyseDiscuss Treat the topic in some depth, examining all relevant issues.  Identify key components, theories, principles, or concepts.  After considering all perspectives, develop a viewpoint in response to the assignment question, and support your reasoning with evidence as appropriate.
Assess Examine all aspects and make a judgment as to quality or attributes.  May involve identifying cause and effect, implications and impacts, or strengths and weaknesses.
Define Give precise meaning.  May involve showing different interpretations, or explaining boundaries or limitations.  Provide example(s) if appropriate.
Describe Provide accurate and precise information:  illustrate with example(s) where appropriate.
Examine, Explore Inspect in detail, investigate thoroughly.  Identify all important aspects.
Outline Briefly describe, summarise main features of principles.  Clearly define stages in a process.  Omit lesser detail.
Summarise Provide a shortened version in your own words, highlighting major points and omitting less important detail.

Source: Planning & Writing University Assignments (2009) Otago University Retrieved from

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A template has been created for this assignment and uploaded to this course’s website at EITonline for your use.  If you prefer not to use the template, your assignment should be formatted according to the following guidelines.

•    Title page shows the following elements:
o    Appropriate title
o    Course number and name
o    Assignment number
o    Fictitious organisation name
o    Student Name and Student Number
o    Date of submission
o    Number of words in assignment body (excluding Appendices, References, Bibliography)

•    Each section should have a bold, numbered title and start on a new page
•    The word length for this assessment is 3,500 words +/- 10%, excluding the References, Bibliograpy and Appendices
•    Line spacing set to 1½
•    Centered page numbers in the Footer
•    Set page margins to 4 cm left and 2.5 cm right, 2.5 cm top and 2.5 cm bottom
•    12 point Arial font
•    Reference list of full citations included for information sources used in APA v6 format
•    Bibliography list of full citations for information sources read but not used in APA v6 format
•    A Table of Contents is to present each numbered assignment section and sub-section, Table of Figures, Table of Tables showing page numbers

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