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Business Strategy Report

Business strategy report on the Shangrila Hotels

Length: 3500 words (excl. executive summary, reference list and any appendices).

A key concern of strategic management is making prudent and effective use of an organisation’s resources and capabilities to achieve the organisation’s goals in light of prevailing external conditions. Thus, for this assessment you are required to conduct an analysis of the Shangrila Hotels internal and external environments, then make recommendations as to how the organisation might maintain or improve its competitive advantage.

This assessment must be presented in academic report format, the details of which are specified in the following sub-section. The business strategy report must be presented using academic report format and should conform to the following format, and should also include a professionally laid-out table of contents prior to the executive summary:

It must cite a minimum of five (5) academic references in compiling this report.

It must also cite a minimum of six (6) pieces of ‘applied literature’ (e.g. company websites, newspaper and/or industry/trade journal articles) throughout specified sections of the report. Details of this requirement are spelt out in the following sub-section.
When writing the report, you should adopt the mindset of a business strategist. You must show that you have developed an ability to think about how the theories and concepts covered might be applied in the real world.

It is broken into four sections with only section 3 due by 4 December and the rest due by 18 December.
Executive summary

An executive summary of a report that should be no longer than one page.

Section One – Introduction (~100 words)

A brief statement of the purpose of the report, what its objectives are, and an overview of how the report is structured.

Section Two – Analysis of the internal environment (1000 words)

In this section you are required to critically analyse the brand of Shangrila Hotels’ internal environment. You should critically evaluate the organisation’s resources, capabilities, strategic capabilities (a.k.a. distinctive competencies), and how these contribute to that organisation’s competitive advantage.

In compiling this section you must: critically analyse the organisation’s internal environment. Here you must:
a. critically discuss the organisation’s key resources, capabilities, and how those resources and capabilities combine to form distinctive competencies. You should also briefly discuss what you believe is the organisation’s key competitive advantage, and comment on its durability.
b. incorporate at least two (2) ‘applied literature’ references into your analysis to demonstrate wider reading on the organisation you are analysing.

It is strongly suggested that you make use of sub-headings in this section, and address each concept (i.e. resources, capabilities, distinctive competencies, competitive advantage) in isolation.

Section Three – Analysis of the external environments (1300 words), due 4 December
You are required to analyse the Shangrila Hotels external environments. There are two components to this section: an analysis of the macro-environment, and an analysis of the industry environment.

3.1 Analysis of the macro-environment
In compiling your analysis of the organisation’s macro-environment you must:
a. discuss two (2) contemporary macro-environmental trends pertinent to the organisation you are analysing
b. incorporate at least two (2) ‘applied literature’ references into your macro-environmental analysis to demonstrate wider reading on such issues.

3.2 Analysis of the industry environment
In compiling your discussion on the organisation’s industry environment you must:
a. analyse the organisation’s industry environment using Michael Porter’s Five Forces of industry competitiveness model (refer to Topic 3) to frame your analysis
b. address all five elements of Porter’s Five Forces model
c. incorporate at least two (2) ‘applied literature’ references into your industry environment analysis to demonstrate wider reading on such issues.

Sub-headings to distinguish the discussion of each force are to be used.

Section Four – Recommended strategic direction (~1000 words)

The purpose of this section is for you to make recommendations regarding the strategic direction of the organisation. That is, are the organisation’s current strategies prudent? And, should the organisation change its strategies?

You must make recommendations for both i) business-level strategy and ii) corporate-level strategy in this section:
a. Make recommendations regarding business-level strategy by discussing the organisation’s generic strategy (i.e. cost leadership, differentiation, focus, or combination of the strategies). You should discuss why the organisation should retain or change its current generic strategy in order to maintain or improve its competitive advantage.
b. Make recommendations regarding corporate-level strategy by discussing whether the organisation could create additional value through any of the corporate-level strategies covered in Topic 6.

In this section you must draw upon the analyses you have compiled in Sections Two and Three. There should be a logical link between discussions in Sections Two and Three and the recommendations made in Section Four. Failure to make this logical link will result in only minimal marks being awarded for this section.

Adopting a critical demeanour here is essential. You should critically discuss why different strategic approaches may or may not work. For example, if you recommend that the organisation changes to a ‘focused differentiation’ strategy, then you should discuss the benefits and pitfalls of a focused differentiation strategy, and also discuss how a focused differentiation strategy will enable the organisation to maintain or increase its competitive advantage.

It is important that you use applied (i.e. newspaper, trade journal articles etc.) and/or academic literature to support your recommendations in this section. Failure to adequately support your argument with pertinent literature will result in minimal marks.

Section Five – Conclusion (100 words)

Within this section restate the purpose of the report, then provide an overview of main points covered in your analysis. Ensure that you do not include any new information, only that which has been discussed within the main body of the report.

Distribution of marks
Section 2 – Analysis of the internal environment: 12
Section 3 – Analysis of macro-environment: 9 & Analysis of industry environment: 14
Section 4 – Recommended strategic direction: 15
Referencing – In-text referencing: 1 and Reference list: 2
Other – Table of contents, executive summary, introduction, conclusion: 2
Total marks: 55


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