Module Code: SM0492 Module Title: Strategy and Change in a Global Environment Distributed on: Via the module BB site Hand in Date: To be arranged by the Programme Office Instructions on Assessment: You will participate in a business simulation exercise (“The Business Game”) based on the European Car Industry. The purpose of the exercise is to give you the opportunity to use the learning accumulated from previous study experience to simulate the setting up and running of a business which is competing for market share. Before the game starts, you will be divided into teams. Each team has to set up a car manufacturing company, design two cars and sell these to the market. The teams will compete with one another for market share as part of the game. Information on the market together with cost data will be posted on the e-learning portal. Each team should read this information carefully and use it to establish a business strategy. During the game, the teams will make decisions over a number of rounds (each round is a year in the life of the company) which will be delivered to the Chief Executive of the parent company (NBS Motor Holdings Ltd) who will analyse them. The results, in the form of a computer-generated report, will be provided to each team at the start of the next round. The objective for each team is to maximise the market share of their company at the end of the game. In order to complete the assessment detailed below, it is essential that each team keeps a detailed record (the Minutes) of the team meetings, including a note of the decisions made, the rationale for these decisions and their own role as a member of the team. Non-attendance at seminars will be penalised. Instructions on Assessment and indicative marking: Each student will submit an individual report, based on the game output and experiences from being part of their team. The report, however, is an individual piece of work, and as such, should be undertaken by students individually. Students should not share their report or analysis with fellow team members. However, students can share the material from the game, i.e. decision forms, team meeting minutes and the computer output. This report, which should be 3,000 words and will consist of the following sections: 1. Front page 2. Contents (with page numbers) 3. Introduction (5%): An overview of the initial business strategy with rationale and associated link to the initial group decisions, together with a table showing forecast production, sales, post tax profit and bank balance for the first round. 4. A Critical Evaluation on the Company Performance (50%): a. Start with a clear explanation of what happened during the game supported by graphs/tables of key financial and non-financial data for the company. Guidance: You MUST compare the Round 1 results with the forecast, explain the differences, explain the rationale for the Round 2 decisions then present the Round 2 forecast. Follow this approach for all rounds. You should then comment on the trends in key data over the game. The key data should include as a minimum prices, production, sales, gross margin, unsold stock, post-tax profit and market share. b. Continue with a critical evaluation of the performance of the company over the course of the game which should include a clear explanation of the links between decisions, outcomes and strategy. Where possible you should also apply referenced strategic management frameworks and theories to illustrate your learning, decision making & actions (NOTE: a discussion of the theory is not required). Guidance: Overall we want to see if you understand what actually happened during the game and can relate this to strategic theory. In your critical evaluation, we would also like you to demonstrate how you could improve the company performance if you played the game again. The critical evaluation of the company should be allocated about 1500 words 5. A critical evaluation of the performance of the team – for example, the effectiveness of the decision-making process and the roles played by individuals including leadership (25%): Guidance: Discuss, for example, the organisation of the team, the effectiveness of the decision-making process and the roles played by individuals including leadership. For example, how effective was your contribution to the team? What did you learn from the game about effective teamwork and decision making? What would you do differently if you played the game again? NOTE: It is important to go beyond simply “telling a story” and to make use of relevant material from the Semester 1 Residential and the Developing Self module. You can also make use of the meeting logs that you kept during the game. The critical evaluation of the team should be allocated about 1000 words 6. Conclusion (10%): To what extent was your company successful? To what extent did the vision become reality? Provide an assessment of the key organisational successes and challenges that have emerged from the four years the organisation has been in operation. The introduction and conclusion should be allocated about 500 words 7. References – see later guidelines on the assessment brief (page 4). 8. Appendices (not more than 6 pages). These should be used for supporting data and can include tables and graphs. The main tables and graphs should be included in the main body of your report. 9. A mark will also be awarded for report presentation, including structure, style, clarity, flow and grammar. (10%). Important note about ARNA regulations The regulations specify that students must complete every assessment component contributing to the modules on their programme. This applies to all forms of assessment as defined in the module descriptor. Please note that: • if any assessment component is not completed, students will be failed in the module even if the module pass mark has been achieved; • if the requirements for referral specified in section 5 of ARNA1 are met, a resit opportunity will be given; • if unable to complete an assessment component because of extenuating circumstances, students should follow the procedure described in the Student Guide to Extenuating Circumstances1. 1ARNA and the Student Guide to Extenuating Circumstances Affecting Assessed Work are available from http://www.northumbria.ac.uk/sd/central/ar/lts/assess/assproc/assdocstud/ Word limits and penalties for assignments If the assignment is within +10% of the stated word limit no penalty will apply. The word count is to be declared on the front page of your assignment and the assignment cover sheet. The word count does not include: • Title and Contents page • Reference list • Appendices • Appropriate tables, figures and illustrations • Glossary • Bibliography • Quotes from interviews and focus groups. Please note, in text citations [e.g. (Smith, 2011)] and direct secondary quotations [e.g. “dib-dab nonsense analysis” (Smith, 2011 p.123)] are INCLUDED in the word count. If this word count is falsified, students are reminded that under ARNA page 30 Section 3.4 this will be regarded as academic misconduct. If the word limit of the full assignment exceeds the +10% limit, 10% of the mark provisionally awarded to the assignment will be deducted. For example: if the assignment is worth 70 marks but is above the word limit by more than 10%, a penalty of 7 marks will be imposed, giving a final mark of 63. Students are advised that they may be asked to submit an electronic version of their assignment. Time limits and penalties for presentations The time allocated for the presentation must be adhered to. At the end of this time, the presentation will be stopped and will be marked based on what has been delivered within the time limit. Submission of Assessment: All assignments must be submitted via the Postgraduate Programme Office. Each assignment must be accompanied by an Assessed Work Form which must be completed in full. The assignment will not be accepted by the Postgraduate Programme Office unless the form is completed correctly. Marked assignments will be returned to students. It is advisable to retain a copy of your assignment for you own records. Your mark will be returned on the Assessed Work Form via the Postgraduate Programme Office. Referencing your work The APA method of referencing uses the author’s name and the date of the publication. In-text citations give brief details of the work you are referring to in your text. References are listed at the end of the text in alphabetical order by the author’s name. The general format of an electronic journal reference in the APA style is shown below: Coutu, D. (2009). Why Teams Don’t Work. Harvard Business Review, 87(5), 98-105. Retrieved 29th April 2012 from EBSCO http://searchebscohost.com Author/s name and initials are listed first, followed by year of publication in brackets. Then there is the title of article and the journal where the article appears, which is in italics. Then state the volume and issue number (in brackets) along with the pages where article can be located. Finally add the date the article was retrieved and then the name of the database, followed by the web address. Wherever possible use the homepage URL rather than the full and extended web address. For further information on why it is important to reference accurately go to the Referencing and Plagiarism topic in Skills Plus available from the Library website: www.northumbria.ac.uk/skillsplus You will find other useful help guides on Skills Plus to help you with the skills involved in writing your assessments and preparing for exams. For further information on the APA style of referencing see the Concise Rules of APA style and the APA website http://www.apastyle.org/learn Plagiarism and Cheating Your attention is drawn to the University’s stated position on plagiarism. THE WORK OF OTHERS, WHICH IS INCLUDED IN THE ASSIGNMENT, MUST BE ATTRIBUTED TO ITS SOURCE (a full bibliography and/or a list of references must be submitted as prescribed in the assessment brief). Please note that this is intended to be an individual piece of work. Action will be taken where a student is suspected of having cheated or engaged in any dishonest practice. Students are referred to the University regulations on plagiarism and other forms of academic irregularity. Students must not copy or collude with one another or present any information that they themselves have not generated. For further information on Plagiarism, see the Referencing and Plagiarism topic on Skills Plus. www.northumbria.ac.uk/skillsplus Mapping to Programme Goals and Objectives: This assessment will contribute directly to the following Postgraduate programme goals and objectives. Goal One: Be independent, reflective critical thinkers 1. Demonstrate awareness of their personal strengths and weaknesses through critical reflective practice. 2. Understand and challenge personal patterns of thinking and behaving. Goal Two: Be culturally and ethically aware x 1. Demonstrate their ability to work in diverse groups and teams. 2. Reflect on their own ethical values. Goal Three: Have developed leadership and management capability x 1. Demonstrate their personal contribution to team effectiveness. x 2. Communicate complex issues effectively. x 3. Demonstrate decision making and problem solving skills. x 4. Carry out presentations and lead discussions. Goal Four: Have developed and applied knowledge of international business and management theory x 1. Acquire, interpret and apply knowledge of international business, management and organisational functions. Goal Five: Have developed a range of research skills and project capabilities 1. Plan and complete a major individual piece of research on a contemporary business, management or leadership topic of their choice. 2. Demonstrate skills of analysis and synthesis in the application of research methods to the exploration of contemporary business issues. Goal Six: Have developed specialist knowledge about the theory and practice of your programme of study 1. Demonstrate specialist functional knowledge in relation to your programme of study. Note: For those assessments or partial assessments based on calculation, multiple choice etc. Marks will be gained on an accumulative basis. In these cases, marks allocated to each section will be made clear. Students must retain an electronic copy of this assignment and it must be made available within 24 hours of them requesting it be submitted. Assessment Criteria (NBS) General Assessment Criteria Trait 0 Fail 1 – 39 Fail 40 – 49 Fail 50 – 54 Pass 55 – 59 Pass 60 – 69 Commendation 70 – 100 Distinction Knowledge and Understanding Work not submitted OR Work giving evidence of serious academic misconduct (subject to regulations in ARNA Appendix 1) OR Work showing no evidence of the knowledge, understanding and skills appropriate to level 7. None of the learning outcomes are met. Work is not acceptable and provides little evidence of the knowledge, understanding and skills appropriate to level 7. Few of the learning outcomes are met. Work is not acceptable in providing evidence of the knowledge, understanding and skills appropriate to level 7. However a majority of the learning outcomes are met and others are nearly satisfied Adequate work providing evidence of the knowledge, understanding and skills appropriate to level 7 but only at a bare pass level. All learning outcomes are met (or nearly met and balanced by strengths elsewhere). Satisfactory work providing evidence of the knowledge, understanding and skills appropriate to level 7. All learning outcomes are met. Commendable work providing evidence to a high level of the knowledge, understanding and skills appropriate to level 7. All learning outcomes met, many are more than satisfied. Excellent work providing evidence to a very high level of the knowledge, understanding and skills appropriate to level 7. All learning outcomes met, many at high level. Marks at the high end of this range indicate outstanding work where all learning outcomes are met at a high level. Structure, Alignment and Research Inadequate in some of the following aspects or seriously inadequate in at least one: use of relevant material; development of analysis and structure of argument; evaluation of theory; application of relevant theory, research methods and findings to the problem in question; presentation of information to the intended audience. Adequate in most but not all of the following aspects: use of relevant material; development of analysis and structure of argument; evaluation of theory; application of relevant theory, research methods and findings to the problem in question; presentation of information to the intended audience. Adequate in all of (or most of, with balancing strength elsewhere): use of relevant material; development of analysis and structure of argument; evaluation of theory; application of relevant theory, research methods and findings to the problem in question; presentation of information to the intended audience. Satisfactory in all or most of: use of relevant material from a variety of sources; development of analysis and structure of argument; evaluation of theory; application of relevant theory, research methods and findings to the problem in question; presentation of information to the intended audience. Good in all or most of: use of up-to-date material from a variety of sources; development of analysis and structure of argument; critical evaluation of relevant theory, research methods and findings to the problem in question; presentation of information to the intended audience. Excellent in all or most of: use of primary sources of literature from a range of perspectives; development of analysis and structure of argument; critical evaluation and creative use of theory, research methods and findings; presentation of information to the intended audience. Evaluation of Company Performance Evaluation of the team Introduction and Conclusion Presentation Overall Excellent Excellent discussion of all key measures which shows sound understanding of decisions, forecasts and outcomes. The answer draws on a wide range of data and contains links to relevant theories and frameworks. Excellent critical evaluation of both the team and the student – making good use of material from Residential and Developing Self. There is a clear organisational vision around market segments, module types, quality and pricing. The conclusion evaluates the company performance against both market and original vision for the company. An excellent report which is easy to read and well-laid out. The student has demonstrated a thorough understanding of functional areas, their links with performance and the decision-making process. The level of critical thinking will be very good and the student has shown mastery of tools and concepts discussed in class and beyond. Excellent reflection on team and personal role. 35 – 50 20 – 25 13 – 15 8-10 70 – 100 The student has exceeded PG Goal 3 Objective 3 The student has exceeded PG Goal 2 Objective 1 and PG Goal 3 Objective 1 The student has exceeded PG Goal 4 Objective 1 Very Good Very good discussion with sound analysis which covers most areas and shows clearly the links between decisions, forecasts and outcomes. The answer makes good use of data and appropriate theories. Very good evaluation of both team and student but use of R/DS material not strong. There is an organisational vision that covers most of market segments, module types, quality and pricing. The conclusion evaluates the company performance against the market, less so against vision. The report is very good and easy to read. All the key points are there with a good level of discussion. There is clear critical thinking demonstrating awareness of how decisions affected performance and how the group dynamics affected the decision-making process. Good reflection on learning. 30 – 34 17 – 19 11 – 12 7 60 – 69 The student has exceeded PG Goal 3 Objective 3 The student has exceeded PG Goal 2 Objective 1 and PG Goal 3 Objective 1 The student has exceeded PG Goal 4 Objective 1 Good Good explanation of performance – student clearly understands what happened but misses some key measures and/or links. Reasonable use of data and theories. Evaluation is good but either team or student evaluation rather one-sided and so lacks critical thinking. Some use of R/DS. The vision is explained, the conclusion provides some evaluation of performance. The quality of presentation is reasonable and fairly easy to follow. The student has been selective in choosing key data to discuss. The student shows sound understanding of how decisions in each functional area have affected performance and the roles of the team members in reaching these decisions. 26 – 29 15 – 16 9 – 10 6 55 – 59 The student has achieved PG Goal 3 Objective 3 The student has achieved PG Goal 2 Objective 1 and PG Goal 3 Objective 1 The student has achieved PG Goal 4 Objective 1 Adequate Adequate explanation which shows reasonable understanding of a basic range of performance measures, although not very well linked. Limited use of theories and concepts. Either of the team or the student has a reasonable evaluation although tends to be one-sided and/or lacks analytical rigour. There is a description of the vision of the organisation, a little more rationale would be welcome, the conclusion states what has happened, but little or nothing more. The report is adequate, but there are likely to be weaknesses in presentation and writing. A basic understanding of what happened in the simulation is evident, but the linking together of functional areas, decision-making and performance is limited. Adequate review of the team performance. 25 13 – 14 7 – 8 5 50 – 54 The student has achieved PG Goal 3 Objective 3 The student has achieved PG Goal 2 Objective 1 and PG Goal 3 Objective 1 The student has achieved PG Goal 4 Objective 1 Inadequate Tells a story but does not convey real understanding – lack of linkage between measures and/or poor choice of measures. Does not make use of simulation data in a useful way. Inappropriate or no reliance on relevant theories. The performance of both the team and the student is described but contains little if any evaluation and no real analysis. The vision lacks detail in terms of price, market segment and related organisational aims, the conclusion may be superficial. The standard of presentation and writing is likely to be less than would be expected for a professional piece of work. Inconsistent referencing. Although reasonable understanding is shown, the report fails in at least one major aspect to convey an appreciation of the link between functional areas, decision-making and performance. 20 – 24 10 – 12 5 – 6 4 40 – 49 The student has not achieved PG Goal 3 Objective 3 The student has not achieved PG Goal 2 Objective 1 and PG Goal 3 Objective 1 The student has not achieved PG Goal 4 Objective 1 Weak Very poor choice of measures and goes little beyond simple tables/graphs. Very little understanding shown. The answer can be confusing and lacking focus. Performance described but far too briefly to be useful. Non-existent to very brief introduction and summary. The standard of presentation and writing is weak and inconsistent. Conclusion is missing. Poor referencing. Language mistakes throughout. The report has serious weaknesses. The student has failed to demonstrate that he/she understands what happened in the simulation and has been unable to use the learning in an effective way. 0 – 19 0 – 9 0 – 4 0-3 1 – 39 The student has not achieved PG Goal 3 Objective 3 The student has not achieved PG Goal 2 Objective 1 and PG Goal 3 Objective 1 The student has not achieved PG Goal 4 Objective 1 Postgraduate Goals and Objectives Not Achieved Achieved Exceeded Goal 2 Objective 1 Demonstrate their ability to work in diverse groups and teams □ □ □ Goals 3 Objective 1 Demonstrate their personal contribution to team effectiveness □ □ □ Goal 3 Objective 3 Demonstrate decision making and problem solving skills □ □ □ Goal 4 Objective 1 Knowledge of business, management and organisational functions □ □ □ ~~~For this or similar assignment papers~~~