By Support


 The purpose of this assignment is to

  1. test the student’s knowledge of the core concepts, models and frameworks taught in the module and relevant to the strategy process
  1. 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

 Assessment Task

You have a choice of two cases from Grant’s ‘Contemporary Stratgy Analysis’ 9th Edition text book and must chose ONE:


  • Harley-Davidson, Inc 2015


  • Wal-Mart Stores Inc 2015

You are required to read the  chosen case and prepare a 15 minute board level Powerpoint presentation (.pptx format) that addresses the following questions with full support to your answers in the Notes section of each slide. The required number of words to be contained in “Notes” should be 1500-2000 words:

Harley-Davidson Inc. 2015

  1. What are the resources and capabilities of Harley-Davidson? And how do they grant the firm competitive advantage to compete in the motorcycle industry?
  2. How effectively Harley Davidson’s strategy is implemented and how the firm exploit its key strengths while protecting itself from its key weaknesses?
  3. What threats to its continuing success does Harley Davidson face, and how should it respond to current & future challenges?

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. 2015

  1. In which of Wal-Mart’s principal functions and activities do its main competitive advantages lie and why?
  2. To what extent is Wal-Mart’s competitive advantage sustainable?
  3. What challenges does Wal-Mart face now and in the future, and what measures does it need to take in order to sustain its recent performance?

The cases are available from the Grant e-textbook

The percentages above indicate the weighting given to each section.

 Assessment Submission

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.

Assessment Guidance

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 read the module material for the first half of the module, and the related chapters in the core module text/e-book – Grant’s ‘Contemporary Strategy Analysis’ 9th edition.

 You can carry out further research on your chosen company, 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 company website. You should not use unreliable sources such as non-reviewed websites, e.g., Wikipedia.




Academic Practice

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

  • CfAP:

Learning outcomes

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

  1. e) Develop appropriate policies and strategies within a changing environment for a variety of organisations, to meet stakeholder interests.

        Key Skills

  1. f) Develop and demonstrate key communication and time management skills.
  2. 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.