Question 1

Discuss the role and impact of ‘system thinking’ based tools and approaches such as Soft Systems Methodology (SSM), Brainstorming and Morphological Analysis may have when developing a business strategy.


(25 Marks)


Nature of thinking and looking at problems (hard and soft) – (3 Marks)


Description of teach tool (4 Marks each)


Key parts to strategic development: (10 Marks) (one for each point and one for a business example)


  1. Should be doing Vs is doing
  2. Get lock in and buy in for what should be done
  3. Multiple ‘W’s; agreed W and contentious Ws
  4. Links to Role analysis
  5. Holism and Emergent properties
  6. Cultural and political analysis modes of operation
  7. Etc

























Question 2

Part A

Describe the concept of ‘business value’.  In your attempt, you should illustrate how IT/IS can help to deliver business value.

‘Value’ has a different meaning for different stakeholders – conflicting definitions of business value.  Financial, structural, emotional, intellectual, etc.  (3 marks)


Link the concept of business value to IT/IS and introduce the following or similar concepts – value chain, the supply chain and CRM, B2B, B2C and so on. (2 marks)


Part B

Discuss the concept of innovation and evaluate the use of SCAMPER as a tool to assist organisations to become innovative when looking at their business processes and products and services.  You should illustrate your points with business examples.


View of what is innovation and why it is important (3 Marks)


To cover the stages of innovation (5 Marks)

q  Innovation Prescription

q  Innovation Platforms

q  Innovation Pipeline

q  Innovation Project Portfolio

q  Innovation People


  • Substitute?
  • Combine?
  • Adapt?
  • Modify?  Magnify?
  • Put to other uses?
  • Eliminate?
  • Reverse?  Rearrange?


(12 Marks available, but must have a good business example to support the point)











Question 3


Part A

Critically discuss the issues, challenges and innovative capability of at least three disruptive technologies and they may be used to change the nature, shape and structure of competition.


(10 Marks)


10 marks – This is relatively open-ended but whatever is produced must clearly focus on use and management of the technology chosen.  Students must support their answers with actual examples, and leading players, and types of applications.  (RFID, GIS, GRPS, Smart Dust, Robots, nano, protein/tissue engineering, etc, etc)



Part B

Describe the main tools and approaches of predicting new and emerging technologies.


(15 Marks)

  1. Extrapolators (trend analysis, Fisher-Pry, S curves, etc)
  2. Pattern Analysis (analogy, feedback, morphological matrices)
  3. Goal Analysis (impact, content, stakeholder, patent analysis, roadmaps, value models)
  4. Counter Punches (scanning, scenarios, etc)
  5. Intuitors (Delphi, competitor analysis, etc)


3 marks for what each is and the contextualisation (3 times 5 =  15 marks).


(25 Marks)

















Question 4


Critically evaluate how a differentiation strategy can lead to a competitive advantage. Provide industry examples to support your argument and clarify the different forms of value that can be used as the basis for such a strategy.


(25 Marks)



5 marks – for providing a clear definition of what a differentiation strategy is and how it is developed.

2 marks for providing industry examples.

Up to 4 marks for identifying the different forms of value creation (1/2 mark for each).

Up to 10 marks for linking the nature of differentiation to competitive advantage.

Up to 8 marks for linking the source of value to the differentiation strategy.




Question 5


Using industry examples, critically discuss how political; legal; economic; environmental and social constraints affect the strategic aspirations of either a national or a multi-national enterprise.


(25 Marks)


5 marks – for providing a clear definition and examples of each of the environmental elements – PEST(L)

10 marks for providing critical discussion of relevant industry examples of impacts of the environment.

Up to 10 marks for linking the nature of the environment to the strategic aspirations of the organisation.

Up to 4 marks for evidence of additional reading, breadth of industry knowledge and/or current environmental issues.














Question 6


Critically explore to what extent quality management can be used as a foundation for gaining and sustaining a competitive advantage. Use industry examples to illustrate and support your argument.

(25 Marks)


This is a relatively open-ended question that allows the student to adopt a range of approaches and allows the better student to draw on a range of theory as well as introduce innovative concepts and ideas. The student is expected to use industry examples to show the different perspectives of quality management and to build a discussion between the operational and strategic dimensions of quality. It is likely that the student will draw on TQM, Six Sigma, Lean Sigma, EQF and principles of Juran, Demming, Peters and Waterman, as well as more contemporary authors. The strategic management frameworks used may include the value chain, principles of competence and core competence. The student should balance the answer to explore how to gain advantage but also to sustain such advantage.


Type of paper Academic level Subject area
Number of pages Paper urgency Cost per page: