1. Formal strategic planning process is said to have advantages as well as disadvantages. Martin
(2014) is quite sceptical of the formal process, stating: “This is a truly terrible way to make
strategy”. Critically discuss Martin’s (2014) view, bringing out your perspective on whether
companies would be better served by keeping the process quite simple, or by having a more
elaborate, comprehensive process that involves external and internal analysis and the
preparation of detailed plans and budgets for different organisational units. You may use
relevant companies and industries as examples to illustrate and support your arguments.
2. Consider H&M, a Swedish clothing-retail company. (i) Explain which industry type (viz.,
monopolisitic competition, oligopoly, or perfect competition) best describes H&M’s industry. (ii)
Indicate whether you regard the strength of each of Porter’s five forces affecting H&M as low,
medium, or high. Provide the rationale for your assessment. You may refer to industry and
company information from online sources. (iii) Identify either a resource or a capability that H&M
has in relation to each of the primary value-chain activities. You may base your answer on
information available about H&M online (e.g., in H&M annual reports) and/or the H&M case
discussed in the module textbook (pp. 573-582). (iv) Critically appraise the argument that the
resource-based view (RBV) “breaks down in high-velocity markets” (Eisenhardt & Martin, 2000).
(v) In the light of your appraisal and the ongoing transformation of fashion retail, what resources
and capabilities would you advice H&M to strengthen and/or acquire if the company’s goal is to
keep increasing its market share.
Answer both questions above. Assignments should be a maximum of 3000 words in length.
All coursework assignments that contribute to the assessment of a module are subject to a word limit,
as specified in the online module handbook in the relevant module area of the MINERVA. The word
limit is an extremely important aspect of good academic practice, and must be adhered to. Unless
stated specifically otherwise in the relevant module handbook, the word count includes EVERYTHING
(i.e. all text in the main body of the assignment including summaries, subtitles, contents pages, tables,
supportive material whether in footnotes or in-text references) except the main title, reference list and/
or bibliography and any appendices. It is not acceptable to present matters of substance, which should
be included in the main body of the text, in the appendices (“appendix abuse”). It is not acceptable to
attempt to hide words in graphs and diagrams; only text which is strictly necessary should be included in
graphs and diagrams.
You are required to adhere to the word limit specified and state an accurate word count on the cover
page of your assignment brief. Your declared word count must be accurate, and should not mislead.
Making a fraudulent statement concerning the work submitted for assessment could be considered
academic malpractice and investigated as such. If the amount of work submitted is higher than that
specified by the word limit or that declared on your word count, this may be reflected in the mark
awarded and noted through individual feedback given to you