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critical review ‘essay (strategic business managment)
Order Description
refrencing APA 6TH
The focus of this assignment is to produce a 1,700 word critical review ‘essay’. This essay is based on the IBM company with a consideration and review of its strategic positioning and business
development in relation to Porter’s generic competitive strategies (Porter 1979, 1980, 1985, 1996 etc). The essay title is:
International Business Machines (IBM) Corporation “Think”
As an initial primer to your assignment, you are provided with some short introductory short reading/reference sources:
• BBC News Website: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-14574747
• BBC News Website: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-28323682
• BBC News Website: https://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8469205.stm
• Financial times website: https://blogs.ft.com/tech-blog/2015/11/techft-master-of-the-mainframe-amdahl-dies/
• Financial times website: https://blogs.ft.com/tech-blog/2016/02/techft-desperately-seeking-the-ai-edge/
These initial sources can be used in addition to research on IBM as a company and with more general reference sources considering Porter’s competitive strategy theories and model(s).
The assignment will be assessed in three areas of content/analysis and the overall presentation and referencing support as follows:
1. Critically review Porter’s theory of generic competitive strategies as well as later developments in that model both by Porter and others (40%)
2. Critical analysis of IBM’s strategic positioning in relation to the relevant generic strategy concepts and theories (50%)
3. Consideration of the quality of presentation, written style and structure and referencing style. In this you should demonstrate the proper use of APA style referencing (10%)
You should note that the principle referencing sources should be traditional texts, academic journals and other quality business sources. Marks will be deducted across each element of the
assignment as appropriate where there is indiscriminate and inappropriate use of web-based source material (in this regard, please note that the above internet references are from respected
sources).
Porter M E (1979) ‘How competitive forces shape strategy’ Harvard Business Review March
Porter M E (1980) Competitive Strategy New York: Free Press
Porter M E (1985) Competitive Advantage New York: Free Press
Porter M E (1996) ‘What is strategy?’ Harvard Business Review Nov-Dec
Word Limit: 1700 words.
critical review essay order no,
Reading list:
1 – Essential reading
collapse|top
book » recommended reading
Davidsson, Per and Wiklund, Johan (2013) – New perspectives on firm growth
book » recommended reading
Grant, Robert M. (2016) – Contemporary strategy analysis
book » essential reading
Hitt, Michael A., Ireland, R. Duane and Hoskisson, Robert E. (2017) – Strategic management: Concepts / competitiveness & globalization (12th ed)
A very important book to read
book » recommended reading
Johnson, Gerry, Whittington, Richard, Scholes, Kevan, et al (2014) – Exploring strategy (10th ed)
A very important book to read
book » essential reading
Johnson, Gerry, Whittington, Richard, Scholes, Kevan, et al (2011) – Exploring strategy (9th ed)
book chapter » essential reading
Lynch, Richard L. (2015) – Strategic management
» chapter: “Why did Kodak Collapse?”
book chapter » essential reading
Lynch, Richard L. (2015) – Strategic management (7th ed)
» chapter 1: “Why did Kodak collapse?”
book » essential reading
Lynch, Richard L. (2015) – Strategic management (7th ed)
A very important book to read
book » recommended reading
Porter, Michael E. (2004) – Competitive strategy : techniques for analyzing industries and competitors
book » recommended reading
Thompson, John L., Scott, Jonathan M. and Martin, Frank (2014) – Strategic management : awareness and change (7th ed)
book » recommended reading
Thompson, John L. (2014) – Strategic Management: Awareness & Change
book » recommended reading
Weber, Yaakov (2014) – Handbook of research on mergers and acquisitions
book » recommended reading
Wit, Bob de and Meyer, Ron (2010) – Strategy : process, content, context : an international perspective (4th ed)
2 – Case studies
collapse|top
book » essential reading
Johnson, Gerry, Whittington, Richard, Angwin, Duncan, et al (2014) – Exploring strategy: text and cases (10th ed)
Individual case studies
book chapter » essential reading
Lynch, Richard L. (2015) – Strategic management
» chapter: “Why did Kodak Collapse?”
3 – Background reading
Journal articles
collapse|top
journal article » background reading
Fahy, John – The resource-based view of the firm: some stumbling-blocks on the road to understanding sustainable competitive advantage in Journal of European Industrial Training (2000)
journal article » recommended reading
Porter, Michael E. – Towards a Dynamic Theory of Strategy in Strategic Management Journal (1991)
Module Learning Outcomes
Knowledge and Understanding Outcomes
1. Understand how a range of concepts and models can be applied to the analysis of strategic issues facing an organisation.
2. Understand the strategic management processes that can be used in shaping organisational policies.
Ability Outcomes
3. Contrast different strategic approaches that can be adopted to overcome problems that an organisation may face in its environment.
4. Develop, analyse, present and defend logical strategies and issues.
The title of the assignment is – International Business Machines (IBM) Corporation “Think”
Number of words: 1, 700
The assignment coursework has been uploaded in unilearn, you will find that the Assessment Tariff in your assignment is divided into 3 main parts:
1. Critical review of Porter’s theory of generic competitive strategies as well as later developments in that model both by Porter and others (represents about 40% of the mark).
2. Critical analysis of IBM’s strategic positioning in relation to the relevant generic strategy concepts and theories (represents about 50% of the mark).
3. Consideration of the quality of presentation, written style and structure and referencing style. In this you should demonstrate the proper use of APA style referencing (represents about 10% of
the mark).
So you may start with General Introduction about the type of industry, the business environment and the importance of this assignment in relation to strategy (up to 100 words max).
Next step you might have two options;
Option One: divide the assignment based on the main parts of the assignment, like you may wish to write a separate section about Porter’s generic competitive strategies and the later developments
in this theory (up to 600 words max), and the next section is the analysis of IBM’s strategic positioning in relation to the relevant generic strategy concepts and theories (up to 850 words max).
Option Two: write the analysis of IBM’s strategic positioning as the main section and while explaining and analysing the application of Porter’s generic competitive strategies in your analysis, you
may explain these competitive strategies and the later developments (up to 1,450 words max).
Remember the assignment should be Analysed Critically – critical means that you should be able to process information collected, evaluate it, provide reasoning and explain the link between the
theories in a creative way.
The review of Porter’s generic competitive strategies and the later developments should be Fully Referenced from journal articles and books.
At the end, you may write the Conclusion that would explain the links between theory and practice of IBM (up to 150 words max).
The last 10% is provided for the quality of presentation, written style and structure and referencing style (i.e. you need to reference your work) using APA style.

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