Business Strategy

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Task 1

1a) Assess how the ‘Mission’, ‘Vision’, ‘Objectives’, ‘Goals’ and ‘Core Competencies’ inform strategic planning at IKEA. (you should provide examples of each of these strategic terms from the IKEA
organisation in your analysis.)

1b) Analyse in some detail 2 x factors that have to be considered when formulating strategic plans (e.g. planning systems, competitors, customers, impact on managers etc) at IKEA and evaluate the effectiveness of 2 x strategic planning techniques that might be used when developing strategic business plans at IKEA. (1.2, 1.3)

i.e. who is involved in the strategic planning process, how frequent is it carried out, what elements of the business are discussed / analysed as part of the process, what techniques do they use (e.g gap analysis, Ansoffs matrix), what are the outputs from the process (e.g. overall business objectives / departmental objectives etc.) and how each of the terms
used here contribute to that planning process. As said previously you will not ‘get the answers’ from the case study information provided – you are expected to analyse this yourself!

Answers that describe the strategic planning process in pure ‘theory terms’ will not really achieve the assessment criteria here, so those answers which give a fairly detailed account of the planning process within a real organisation will be better here, although you are permitted to make some assumptions if necessary.
Students should try to make use of diagrams / tables / flow charts to display this answer more coherently / concisely.

I would expect students to be able to demonstrate knowledge of strategic planning techniques and how they are used in strategic planning processes. In particular evaluating how useful specific techniques would be for the organisation, or not as the case may be.

Task 2 (suggested word count of 800 words)

2a) Conduct an environmental and organisational audit for IKEA. (2.1. 2.2)

This answer should include a brief description of what the two types of audit are i.e. environment =

external, and organisation = internal.
You should then have given detailed explanations on the tools to be used in each audit:
i.e. External = uses PESTLE analysis
Internal = uses Porters 5 forces, McKinseys 7 S’s etc.
You should conduct a brief analysis for each audit – organisation specific examples of PEST factors /
SWOT factors etc would enhance the quality of the answers and show better understanding.

2b) Using the results from the audits executed in 2a) analyse the strategic position of IKEA and then

go on to assess the significance of executing stakeholder analysis when formulating a new strategy at
IKEA. (2.1, 2.3)
For the stakeholder analysis I would expect to see a table format here – I would not be specific about
exact layout but the table should contain (some of) the following elements:
Stakeholder name (perhaps an example),
Level of interest / influence,
Frequency of information sharing,
Type of information to be shared,
internal or external to the organisation, etc
As well as the analysis of the significance of the analysis to the business – this aspect is very often
missed by students but it is required to fulfil the assessment criteria so please do NOT miss it out!

Task 3 (suggested word count of 800 words)

3a) Analyse the appropriateness of the following alternative strategies for your chosen organization

and present / suggest an appropriate and justified future strategy for the business.
– market entry
– substantive growth
– limited growth
– retrenchment (2.4, 3.1, 3.2)
Fairly straight forward instruction here – the answer should include a definition of the different
alternative strategies followed by some application to the organisation to show full understanding.
I am looking for students to show their strategic thinking here and would expect students to clearly
state and justify their reasoning for the chosen strategic direction (cost leadership, diversification etc)
for the organisation.

Task 4(suggested word count of 600 words)

Imagine that you are now part of the senior management team at IKEA and that you have to

implement the recommended business strategy from Task 3. You are required to:

4a) Assess the roles and responsibilities of personnel who are would be involved with strategy

implementation in the business and also analyse the estimated resources e.g. HR, time, finance,
materials, that would be required to implement the chosen strategy. (4.1, 4.2)
– ‘who’ would do ‘what’ in implementing the strategy in the org? Would it be individuals or teams that
are responsible for implementation? Again organisation specific answers would achieve higher grades
than generic theory based answers.
– Resources used i.e.HR / Time / Materials / Finance
You should detail how the organisation might use these resources in order to implement the chosen
strategy.

4b) Identify TWO appropriate SMART targets that could be used in the implementation process and

evaluate how and why SMART targets are important to the achievement of the strategy? (4.3)
– Which targets / timescales would be used in order measure the success of the strategy e.g. if strategy
was market penetration – then levels of market share would be a key measurement.
REAL examples applied to the organisation / scenario would gain most marks. Answers which include
diagrams / charts / graphs to show the measures ‘in action’ would be very good here!

 

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