Strategy in Action   Assignment Number and Weighting 2 (Optional)


50% (best mark between assignment 1 and 2)

368SAM   Assignment Title
Essay submission through Turnitin ONLY    

Assessment Information

This assignment is designed to assess learning outcomes 1,2, and 3:

  1. Debate different approaches to strategic management theory.
  2. Critically review and develop current themes in relation to strategy content.
  3. Apply and critically evaluate strategic management theory in an international, industry and organizational context.

In order to allow students to gain the maximum benefit from tutor feedback on the first assignment, this optional second assignment allows you an additional attempt.

After receiving the feedback from assignment 1 you have the option of using that feedback to help you in this assignment.

If you choose to attempt this assignment 2, the better of the two marks will count towards your module mark.

For example if:

assignment 1 mark                 = 56%

and assignment 2 mark          = 65%

The mark carried forward for the assignment will be 65%

You may choose not to complete the second assignment, in that case in the example the first mark (56%) will count towards the module mark.

This is an individual assignment.

The assignment requires you to answer the following question:

Apply appropriate Sustainable Competitive Advantage theory to one of the following companies. Critically evaluate the usefulness of the theory

Criteria for Assessment

Students should provide:

  1. Evidence of appropriate level of knowledge of relevant academic theory and models
  2. Evidence of understanding of selected theory
  3. Evidence of appropriate application of selected theory
  4. Evidence of analysis
  5. Evidence of synthesis
  6. Evidence of critical evaluation
  7. Clear and concise communication.

This assignment requires:

  1. Students must submit a 1,250 word essay (by 18:00 hrs. at the latest). The paper can be in either essay or report format (50% of module mark).

Usual format for the paper would be, individually:

  1. Use the essential text (Johnson et al., 2017), recommended reading and explore further reading related to your allocated topic.
  2. Critically evaluate the model or theories in relation to the question.

Word Count

The word count is a maximum of 1,250 words

The word limit includes citations and quotations, but excludes the final reference list and appendices.

How to submit your assessment;

  • Your coursework will be given a zero mark if you do not submit a copy through Turnitin. Please take care to ensure that you have fully submitted your work.
  • All work submitted after the submission deadline without a valid and approved reason (see below) will be given a mark of zero.
  • The University wants you to do your best. However we know that sometimes events happen which mean that you can’t submit your coursework by the deadline – these events should be beyond your control and not easy to predict.  If this happens, you can apply for an extension to your deadline for up to two weeks, or if you need longer, you can apply for a deferral, which takes you to the next assessment period (for example, to the resit period following the main Assessment Boards). You must apply before the deadline.

You will find information about the process and what is or is not considered to be an event beyond your control at

  • Students MUST keep a copy and/or an electronic file of their assignment.
  • Checks will be made on your work using anti-plagiarism software and approved plagiarism checking websites.


General Advice

One of the early points to be made should clarify the way you interpret the question and how you intend to use theory or models to answer the question. In any assessment if you are asked to ‘debate’, ‘discuss’ or ‘critically evaluate’ there is an implied assumption that you will present the various perspectives or views of that particular topic, before drawing some conclusions.

When you apply theory from the module, indicate why you will use one theory over another and what information you hope it will provide. Once you have applied the theory in some way explain what the outcome of your analysis is and how it relates to the question. In addition, it is helpful if you can evaluate the academic input, e.g. was it useful, does the context matter, etc.

The questions are often deliberately broad and potentially ambiguous. Because of the word and time limit it forces you to make choices, and evaluate what area(s) could or should be included. It also forces you to look at the question from more than one perspective, which matches what the module is trying to achieve.

Whatever focus is adopted it is crucial to justify why it has been chosen and how it relates to the wider question, and how generalisable the results will be.


As part of your study you will be involved in carrying out research and using this when writing up your coursework. It is important that you correctly acknowledge someone else’s writing, thoughts or ideas and that you do not attempt to pass this off as your own work.  Doing so is known as plagiarism.  It is not acceptable to copy from another source without acknowledging that it is someone else’s writing or thinking. This includes using paraphrasing as well as direct quotations. You are expected to correctly cite and reference the works of others. The Centre for Academic Writing provides documents to help you get this right. If you are unsure, please visit  You can also check your understanding of academic conduct by completing the Good Academic Practice quiz available on Moodle.


Moodle includes a plagiarism detection system and assessors are experienced enough to recognize plagiarism when it occurs. Copying another student’s work, using previous work of your own or copying large sections from a book or the internet are examples of plagiarism and carry serious consequences. Please familiarise yourself with the CU Harvard Reference Style (on Moodle) and use it correctly to avoid a case of plagiarism or cheating being brought.  Again, if you are unsure, please contact the Centre for Academic Writing, your Academic Personal Tutor or a member of the course team.


Return of Marked Work

You can normally expect to have marked work returned to you 10 working days after submission. If for any reason there is a delay you will be kept informed. Marks will be available online and the opportunity for feedback will be provided online, in class, and face to face in seminars. As always, marks will have been internally moderated only, and will therefore be provisional; your mark will be formally agreed later in the year once the external examiner has completed his / her review.


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