Unit 7 Assignment on Business Strategy

Unit 7 Assignment on Business Strategy

Unit 7 Assignment on Business Strategy

Lecture 1 – introduction of business strategy

Unit 7 Assignment on Business Strategy

1.1 – Weekly Brief

With the initiation of the business strategy course in the first week, we were informed about the overall concepts of different organizational aspects of the unit such as:

  • Scheme of the work
  • Format of the given assignment like presentation, personal portfolio, written exam, etc
  • The criteria of the assessment
  • Proper allocation of the contents of the presentation

Further, in the next part of the class the introduction to business strategy was been given. The information being covered in the session was as follows:

  • Strategy: Strategy is been mainly considered as a long term objective or goal being framed by an organization, optimum allocation of the resources to carry out the goals and adoption of the courses of action effectively (Galpin.et.al, 2015). Moreover, it is all about the planning of long term goals within the organizational framework and make effective actions towards the achievement of the same.
  • Vision: Visions are basically related to the goals and the desired future status of the organization being desired to achieve the same (Rothaermel, 2015). In other words, vision provides with the answer to the question that what do the organization actually wants to be achieved and in what manner.
  • Mission: Mission statement of any of the organization is referred to the dominating purposes of the organization and are been majorly related to the goals of an organization (West, 2016). This also depicts the current status of the enterprise and justifies that in what business the enterprise is in presently.
  • Values: These are the beliefs of the organization which helps in shaping and influencing the  decision making  process.

1.2 – Article: Best practices in sustainability: Ford, Starbucks and more

Commentary: In order to acquire enhanced understanding about the session of our first week of business strategy course I explored vast number of articles related to the topic and out of all the article “Best practices in sustainability: Ford, Starbucks and more” found to be most relevant with the subject of the course and also helped me to connect it to my own newly commenced enterprise. The above article basically depicts the best practices being adopted in the business strategies of different giant organizations in diversified sectors. The organizations like PepsiCo, Ford motor company, Starbuck’s, Johnson & Johnson, etc. had made different initiatives to acquire sustainable business practices with the help of their set goals, mission and competitive advantage in the market. With the help of this article I explored that how businesses establish their mission and visions and achieve the desired goals effectively. As per my views the major aspect which could be learned through the article is the initiatives being adopted by different organizations to sustain their businesses in more profitable manner.

With all this I conclude that this article had proved to be beneficial to me as it made me acquire a new way of thinking towards the business strategies and the developmental activities. However, this is the initiation towards the development of business strategies effectively for my new start up.

1.3. Reflective Journal

When the session started I was bit confused with the terms used in business strategy course and was not getting much interest as well. As I am more inclined towards the subjects of marketing which sounds more interesting to me but after attending the 1st lecture all my perceptions changed towards the business strategies and my interest was also increased over the time.

With this I conclude that the major challenge in the business strategy course is to understand the basics of the strategic concepts. This would help me in developing new thoughts and make me initiate as a real entrepreneur.


Galpin, T., Whitttington, J.L. and Bell, G., 2015. Is your sustainability strategy sustainable? Creating a culture of sustainability. Corporate Governance15(1), pp.1-17.
West, J.D., 2016. The Effects of Mission Statement Design on Behavioral Intention (Doctoral dissertation, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA).
Rothaermel, F.T., 2015. Strategic management. McGraw-Hill.
Confino, Jo. 2014. Best practices in sustainability: Ford, Starbucks and more. Guardian Sustainable Business Blog [blog]. Available at: <http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/blog/best-practices-sustainability-us-corporations-ceres> [Accessed on: May 6, 2014]

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Lecture 2 – strategic thinking &competitive advantage

2.1 – Weekly Brief

The next week i.e. the second week of the business strategy course was commenced with the presentation which was been presented by myself. The feedback for the presentation was bit disappointing for me as I lacked many of the basics to be covered in it. In this lecture, the concepts such as objectives, goals, tactics along with the concepts of core competencies was discussed. In addition to this, the second session of the class was covered with the exploration of the Ansoff matrix and the strategic model (Dutt, 2015). However, the lecture was not completed in this session and the second part i.e. competitive advantage would be covered in the next week. Following aspects were discussed briefly:

  • Goals: Goals are been mainly framed to convert the strategic issues into the performance targets particularly which lays an impact on the whole organizational activities. These goals could be either quantitative or qualitative.
  • Objectives: Objectives are the ideal and specifically proven statements of the goals of the organization for the particular period of time. It is been considered that the objectives introduce a control over the strategies.
  • Core competencies: The core competencies of an organization are been defined as the sources of the competitive advantage. These are basically used for developing the new products and services or bring improvement in the existing one (David and David, 2016). It also provides with the access to the new business operations or the new marketplaces.
  • Exploring the strategy model: This particular model is been mainly concerned with the three interrelated circles. It mainly includes the strategic position of an enterprise, assessment of the possible strategic choices for the future and the management of the strategic actions.
  • Ansoff matrix: The Ansoff’s matrix indicates that the initiatives of the  business law  to grow mainly depend on whether it introduces the new or existing products in the new or existing market. The matrix mainly includes 4 possible strategies which could be used by the businesses to establish their roots in the market (Bamford.et.al, 2015). The strategies are: market penetration, product development, market development and diversification. 

2.2 – Article:  Strategic Capabilities: Bridging Strategy and Impact

Commentary: In order to gain better understanding, I had gone through the article on above topic which made me gain me an enlarged concept of the strategies and the capabilities of the business. With respect to the lecture being provided to us in this week was much fruitful and the article presents a crux of the concepts. The article “Strategic Capabilities: Bridging Strategy and Impact” is not fully related to the topic but helps in knowing the importance of strategies and the knowing the capabilities to frame the objectives and goals of a business. Thus, as per my opinion the article acquires good content and presents relevant information.

In conclusion I can justify that the article depicts plenty of useful content which could be considered important for me in the development of my business management practices.

2.3. Reflective Journal

As I have talked about my presentation in the weekly brief here I will reflect some more about my presentation on the case study of “Tesco’s digital transformation”. The presentation as such was average but didn’t met the expectation of all and required to be included much précised information as it was supposed to be completed in 10 minutes.  However, I had been given one more chance to present the case study more appropriately.

With respect to the knowledge attained from the lecture, I was able to relate the concepts with the strategies and the business. The Ansoff matrix helped me develop new perspective about the business development and thus enhanced my interest in the business strategy as well.


Deloitte United States. (2016). Strategic Capabilities: Bridging Strategy and Impact | Deloitte US | Monitor Deloitte. [online] Available at: <http://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/pages/strategy/articles/strategic-capabilities-bridging-strategy-and-impact.html> [Accessed 22 Jul. 2016].
David, F. and David, F.R., 2016. Strategic Management: A Competitive Advantage Approach, Concepts and Cases.
Bamford, D., Forrester, P., Reid, I., Dehe, B., Bamford, J. and Papalexi, M., 2015. Where is the competitive edge in Knowledge Transfer?: the impact of KTPs.
Dutt, S., 2015. Global development goals. New Zealand International Review40(6), p.27.

Lecture 3: competitive advantage

3.1 Weekly brief

The class in week three delivered the information on “Global expansion in food retail industry” It covered related information of the topics that is completed in week 2. I have received nice feedback on my presentation but I could have performed better by including more topics related to the case study.

In our next lecture we covered the important topics like Competitive capabilities, Strategic capabilities and distinctive capabilities. As the subject is quite difficult due to which we have covered only a fraction in our third lecture by gaining the knowledge about strategic development processes and competitive advantage. The definitions we covered are explained as follows:

  • Competitive Advantage: It can be defined as ability that one gains through available resources to improve its performance over others.
  • Strategic Capabilities: It refers to organisations capability to survive for long time or competitive advantage.
  • Distinctive Capabilities: It refers to those capabilities which are valued by the customers and is hard to reproduce by the competitors.

3.2 Article: “The Fundamental Dimensions of Strategy”

Commentary: I have selected the above article as it gives a brief idea about competitive advantage, business model and competitions of various organizations like Mac Donald’s, Starbucks etc. In the 21st century, the competition is increasing at a fast pace. In order to survive, organization must adapt to these changes as quickly as possible to sustain their competitive advantage. Also it is important that one should have unique resources and skill that is valued by the customer and the organization gets performance appraisal. It helps the organization in gaining competitive advantage.

3.3 Reflective Journal

In my personal opinion the information delivered was quite promising and topic I chose was interesting. Despite of the fact that the topic was interesting the presenters did not paid much attention as I have putted much of the meaningless information which was not related with topics covered in the class. I hope that I can improve my presentation and I will perform much better next time.


Technology, M. (2006). The Fundamental Dimensions of Strategy. [online] MIT Sloan Management Review. Available at: <http://sloanreview.mit.edu/article/the-fundamental-dimensions-of-strategy/>  [Accessed 22 Jul. 2016].

Lecture 4: strategic planning and strategic tools

4.1 Weekly brief

With the firth lecture of fourth week, we were supposed to have two presentations from the course book of fundamentals of strategy but only one student was prepared with the presentation and this was the most effective one so far. The presentation was very clear and simple to understand and included most relevant information about the topic. After the presentation we managed to complete the topic of strategic planning in which we were introduced with the top down and bottom up planning. In the next part of the session, different strategic tools were been discussed in details. It has very much interesting to explore the tools like Ansoff matrix which was already discussed earlier, Boston consulting group matrix, McKinsey’s 7S model, etc (Úbeda.et.al, 2015). it was much interesting to know how these tool could be implemented in the business and gain profits. In addition to this, we have also explored about behavioral approaches of strategic planning, internal and external tools, etc.

4.2. Article: Five Essentials of Strategic Planning

Commentary: The above article was been published in the Stanford social innovation review and found to be useful in understanding the concepts of the strategic planning and helped me relate the aspect being detailed in the lecture. With respect to the article, it has been stated that there are five essential aspects which must be considered while carrying out the strategic planning effectively (Ssir.org. 2016). It has provided with the information about the elements which could help in planning for the future terms and had helped me in implementing the same in my start up business. in addition to this, the strategic tools are also found to be helpful for carrying out the business activities effectively.

In the conclusion I can state that the use of these essential elements could help in establishing the business and understanding the concepts more deeply. It states that there must be flexibility in the business which helps in modifying the planning easily and carry out the business in our own way.

4.3 Reflective

As I have discussed in the weekly brief about the presentation I would like to add more in its specification. The presentation was much impressive and acquired good quality information which helps the students in understanding the lecture more effectively. I found that way he presented to be very interesting and was successful in grabbing the attention of everyone. This had helped me a lot as I have to present my presentation as well. in addition to this, I found this lecture much more useful as it explained the use and importance of  the strategic tools which could be used by me in my business development as well.


Ssir.org. (2016). Five Essentials of Strategic Planning (SSIR). [online] Available at: <http://ssir.org/articles/entry/five_essentials_of_strategic_planning>  [Accessed 22 Jul. 2016].
Úbeda, R., Alsua, C. and Carrasco, N., 2015. Purchasing models and organizational performance: a study of key strategic tools. Journal of Business Research68(2), pp.177-188.

Lecture 5: external strategic tool: pest, porter’s five forces, stakeholders

5.1 Weekly brief

In the fifth week, we started with the in-depth studies of external strategic tool which mainly included the stakeholders, porter’s five forces, pest analysis, etc. This information was explained with the help of a presentation which found to be interesting and more helpful. The presentation was focused on mainly on the Pestle analysis, Porter’s five forces analysis, stakeholders mapping, etc. The Pestle analysis was explained us with the help of a video clipping of recycling the wastage in US.  This method helped us largely to relate the concepts and acquire more detailed information out of it (Arline, 2015). However, all the topic were been covered in this week and with a deeper knowledge these topic were already studies ion out other courses like porter's five forces was covered in marketing principles, Pestle analysis was covered in business environment but this session gave more detailed and specific understanding about the same.

5.2 Article: The five Competitive forces that shape strategy

Commentary: According to porter, it is a social responsibility of the business to enhance its profits. I found the above article much fruitful as it includes ample of information about the five forces which helps an organization to develop its strategies and make higher profits out of it. I had gone through the entire article and found much interested to know that how the businesses are been influenced with its surroundings and could overcome with the same effectively. The porters’ five forces specifies the elements such as bargaining power of suppliers, bargaining power of customers, threats of entrants, threats of substitute of products and services  and the rivalry among the existing suppliers.

In conclusion I can state that the business world had changed with the time and had been influenced with the external forces to the great extent

5.3 Reflective

In my opinion the porters’ five forces are much useful for acquiring the information about the external factors which affects the organization largely. I explored that it was bit easy to relate the strategies with the concepts with the help of the lecture along with the article. I had also explored the concepts of other external tools which helped me to apply in the practical life and improve my basics in much broader ways.


Harvard Business Review. (2008). The Five Competitive Forces That Shape Strategy. [online] Available at: <https://hbr.org/2008/01/the-five-competitive-forces-that-shape-strategy>  [Accessed 22 Jul. 2016].
Arline, K., 2015. Porter’s Five Forces: Analyzing the Competition. Retrieved October16, p.2015.

Lecture 6: organizational audit: swot analysis, benchmarking, value chain and scenario planning

6.1 Weekly brief

In the week 6, we were provided with the written notes along with the presentation to acquire enhanced understanding about the concepts. I found this way of lecture more useful as we can relate the understanding with the written notes and recall them even later in the session. This week was planned with the topics of organizational audit like SWOT analysis, value chain, scenario planning and benchmarking. All the topics were been covered in the same week and we were told to make presentations for the next coming week. The topics included were:

  • Benchmarking: The basic objective of benchmarking is to evaluate and enhance the understanding of the present position of the business with respect to the best practice and find the improvement areas for the future.
  • SWOT analysis: This is mainly focused to the assessment of the strength, weakness, opportunities and threats of a business (Goodrich, 2015).
  • Value chain: This analysis mainly explains various categories of the activities in an organization framework to produce the products and services.
  • Scenario planning: This analysis is been conducted in order to recognize various possibilities and help the organization to assess the alternatives (Phadnis.et.al, 2016).

6.2 Article: SWOT analysis: It’s time for a product recall

Commentary: In my opinion the articles is much useful in understanding the relevance of the SWOT analysis with respect to the products and services. I had explored with the help of article that the organization or the group members hesitates in coming up with their weaknesses and thus sometimes lacks in including fair and original facts. In terms of learning, I found that the SWOT analysis could be an effective tool if used properly in the business. In addition to this, the value chain analysis also helps in locating the products and services and helps in bringing improvement as required.

6.3 Reflective

As I have already discussed that the lecture had helped a lot in gaining the knowledge about the business strategies. However, with the passage of the weeks and the lectures I am finding the course much interesting and acquired plenty of information out of it.


strategyforstudents. (2011). SWOT: Time for a product recall revisited. [online] Available at: <https://strategyforstudents.wordpress.com/2011/03/08/swot-time-for-a-product-recall-revisited/> [Accessed 22 Jul. 2016].
Goodrich, R., 2015. SWOT analysis: examples, templates & definition.Business News Daily.
Phadnis, S., Caplice, C. and Sheffi, Y., 2016. How Scenario Planning Influences Strategic Decisions. MIT Sloan Management Review57(4), p.24.

Lecture 7: market entry strategies: mergers and acquisition 

7.1 Weekly brief

In the seventh week we started with the presentation which were suppose to prepare.  In this session we have learnt about market entry through mergers and acquisition we have learned so many things. The lecture makes us aware about the market entry strategy and how to merge the business with the other business to earn more profits. The lecture clears my all the doubts regarding the mergers and acquisitions (Phillips and Zhdanov, 2013). The overall lecture was good that explains the various theories of new market entry strategy and how to deal with the laws of new market for the business expansion.

7.2 Article Merger, Acquisition, Alliance-which is the Best

Commentary: The article is taken from the Mckinsey reports that explain the merger and acquisition done by the organization to explore the business. Organization has done various mergers for the growth of the business.

7.3 Reflective

As per my study this topic was so familiar and easy to learn the necessary topics. The outcome was much familiar with the concerned knowledge. I put lot of efforts to learn this merger and acquisition topic and finally I got the success to learn this topic. Overall the learning is very good and I learn all the chapters of this topic


Roll, M. (2016). Merger, Acquisition, Alliance—Which is the Best?. [online] Chinabusinessphilippines.com. Available at: <http://chinabusinessphilippines.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=249:merger-acquisition-alliancewhich-is-the-best-&catid=31:asian-brand-strategy&Itemid=73>  [Accessed 22 Jul. 2016].
Phillips, G.M. and Zhdanov, A., 2013. R&D and the Incentives from Merger and Acquisition Activity. Review of Financial Studies26(1), pp.34-78.

Lecture 8: approaches of strategic evaluation

8.1 Weekly brief

In the eighth week of the course various approaches of strategic evaluation were been explained. This week there was no presentation which saved time and helped in covering more numbers of topics related to the subject. This session covered topics such as strategic alliance, vertical integration, diversification, innovation, etc. However, this session was bit difficult and confusing for me as these topics are new for us and required extra efforts to understand.

8.2 Article: The evaluation of business strategy

Commentary: I have gone through the entire article which helped me understand the basic concepts of the strategic evaluation and its relevance to the business. This includes the aspects such as challenges of the evaluation, the organizational conflicts, competitive advantage, etc. The article helped me to plot the information in the practical situation and acquire better results out of it.

8.3 Reflective

As I discussed earlier there was no presentation this week which relaxed us with the panic to be evaluated. On more good news is that we are at the end of this term and only one more lecture and the business strategy course would be completed. On the overall I think that the session was pretty good and interesting and helped me a lot in my start-up company.

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Richard Rumelt  (2016). The evaluation of business strategy [online] Available at: <http://teaching.up.edu/bus580/bps/Rumelt,%20evaluation%20of%20a%20business%20strategy.PDF> [Accessed 22 Jul. 2016]

Lecture 9: implementation of the selected strategies

9.1 Weekly brief

This is the 9th week and the last week of out course. However, in this session all the students were supposed to make presentation and no extra lecture was been left. The presentations were much effective and simple which depicted the understanding of the entire session. Moreover, we explained the concepts in well structured and relevant manner.

9.2 Article: Managing the strategy journey

Commentary: This article proved to be a combined package of the fundamentals of strategy. This was been extracted from the McKinsey quarterly report which helped me in understanding the concepts and relate the entire course effectively. This made me learn and acquire enhanced knowledge of the business strategies to the great extent.

9.3 Reflective

As I have already stated that I found this course very much helpful and interesting which helped me in making effective decision for my newly commenced business. I have been also facilitated in establishing my business activities in a systematic and profitable manner in the market.


McKinsey & Company. (2012). Managing the strategy journey. [online] Available at: <http://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/strategy-and-corporate-finance/our-insights/managing-the-strategy-journey>  [Accessed 22 Jul. 2016].