Purpose of the Assessment
The purpose of this assignment is to
a) test the student’s knowledge of the core concepts, models and frameworks taught in the module and relevant to the strategy process
b) allow the student to apply their learning in the module to date in a case study analysis and to present their findings in a high level board manner that captures the key issues
You are required to read the case on Richard Branson and the Virgin Group and prepare a 15 minute board level Powerpoint presentation that addresses the following questions:
1. Using appropriate academic models and concepts identify and discuss the chief internal and external factors that have influenced the Virgin Group and the strategies employed up to the time of the case. (30%)
2. Critically assess whether, in your opinion, there was any evidence that Richard Branson and his group management team followed a consistent strategy or not in the major investments. If so, what sort of approach might it have been based upon, and what was the role of the Virgin head office function? (40%)
3. Drawing on resources such as FT.com, update your audience on any new Virgin Group activities since the case, commenting on whether or not subsequent major investments fit in with your findings from Q2 above, or if there was any other strategic rationale. (30%)
The case is available on NILE with extra information at:
Please prepare your submission as a Powerpoint document, using the notes option putting any narrative or explanatory notes underneath the slide itself. Be conscious about the maximum time allowed, and therefore the number of slides you need to create, if you were to deliver the presentation verbally. Brevity, clarity and key strategic thinking is key, showing that you have understood the essence of the case and can communicate effetcivey with supporting evidence. This will be good practice for case analysis and communicating your ideas. Your Powerpoint document should be submitted via Turnitin (see below)
The percentages above indicate the weighting given to each section.
To submit your work, please go to the ‘Submit your work’ area of the Module NILE site. It is important that you submit your work to the correct module NILE site, and that your work is submitted on time.
An appointment will be made for you to deliver the presentation, either in person or via Skype.
You will be expected to read the case several times to make sure you understand the context, grasp the detail and then review the key elements using the key strategy models to go through the strategy process, drawing on evidence from the case to justify your views.
You should carry out further research on The Virgin Group, however you must only use material drawn from credible sources such as: academic articles and texts;; quality newspaper and business periodicals, e.g., the FT, The Economist and the official Virgin website. You should not use unreliable sources such as non-reviewed websites, e.g., Wikipedia.
This is an individual assignment. The University of Northampton policy will apply in all cases of copying, plagiarism or any other methods by which students have obtained (or attempted to obtain) an unfair advantage.
Support and guidance on assessments and academic integrity can be found from the following resources
• SkillsHub: http://skillshub.northampton.ac.uk
• CfAP: http://skillshub.northampton.ac.uk/centre-for-achievement-and-performance-cfap/
The learning outcomes being addressed through this assignment are:
Knowledge and Understanding
c) Recognise, consider and address macro-economic trends in a changing world and their impact on business whilst evaluating competitive, organisational and ethical values.
Subject Specific Skills
e) Develop appropriate policies and strategies within a changing environment for a variety of organisations, to meet stakeholder interests.
f) Develop and demonstrate key communication and time management skills.
h) Demonstrate critical thinking and creativity: engage the creative processes in self and others; organise thoughts, analyse, synthesise and critically appraise alternative strategies and choices.