Imagine, you are an alliance manager. You need to persuade your CEO that you are capable of running the alliance in respect of one of the five aspects (as listed above). You could say the first thing that comes to your mind, but that is not going to be very persuasive (e.g. you lose your job / fail assignment). Instead, you need to demonstrate your analytical thinking. You need to support your analysis with examples from other companies – what they did, where can you inspire, what you should avoid. You need to demonstrate your understanding of theories and concepts, so your CEO can be confident that you are aware of the best practices (so you are not reinventing wheel). Your analysis supported with theory, examples from practice, and understanding of your company (and industry) is the winning formula. Do not forget about appropriate academic referencing (since this is an academic assignment).
Choice of alliance
Choose and briefly present the alliance you are involved in. You can choose to be involved in:
• Alliance as presented in a case study (perhaps using a different case study than those presented in module learning guide could be more exciting)
• Other real life alliance (for example, you have heard about an alliance in news, you have seen an alliance in your previous work experience, …)
• Imaginary alliance (invent your own company and imagine the alliance with a real existing company)
• Briefly present the alliance background
o ‘Who do you work for?’ – Identify from whose perspective (company) you will analyse selected aspect
o Keep it brief (cca. 400 words should be enough)
• Research Academic theory
o Demonstrate your understanding of theory
o Critically evaluate theory, do not simply repeat what one author said in one journal. Look at different sources / different views, think about it (critically analyse), and offer your understanding.
o You are encouraged to create your own theoretical model. You still need to critically evaluate other theories and concepts. During your analysis you may arrive to the conclusion that no theory is working for you. Create your own model. Understanding theories is good, creation of knowledge is excellent (so might be your mark). Try it.
o Do not forget to reference authors of those theories (sources). Reference only sources that you have read. Do not copy references from journals.
o You must consider academic theories in order to pass
• Illustrate your chosen answer by referring to several alliances
o Apply theories on examples from practice
o Support your analysis – demonstrate what works, or does not work
o Use case studies (you can refer to cases studied during the module or to other cases of similar depth). Academic case studies will not always offer the most up-to-date information, but will offer very good level of detail supported with academic theories.
o You can supplement your research with up-to-date information obtained from news articles
o You must present examples from practice in order to pass
Format and innovation
The individual assignment is equivalent of a 4,000 word report and accounts for 75% of the marks for the module.
Easiest format is report (strongly preferred to essay – headings and subheadings make reading easier, report format is what you are going to use in business). However, you are encouraged to innovate.
o mind maps
o process diagrams
o presentation (you can even record voice over)
o combined format (e.g. video in a presentation)
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