In the complex and ambiguous world we now operate in, we have been focused on
leveraging Spark’s competitive advantage – the thing that gives us confidence we can live up
to our purpose: to help all of New Zealand win big in a digital world. Spark was officially
born known as Telecom New Zealand on 1 April, 1987 but our company has a rich history
that has roots all the way back to New Zealand’s early days in the 1800s.
A Strategic Analysis of a Spark new Zealand. This assessment will focuses on a strategic analysis.
The format for this analysis will be a report. Follow the guidelines set out below as you assemble this information. Ensure you are familiar with the tools used in strategic analysis and understand them fully before attempting this assignment.
The length of your report is expected to be 8 typed pages, but must not exceed 10 pages (excluding Title Page, Exec Summary and Reference List).
Note too that this is a substantial piece of work and requires reading and synthesis of material outside of the prescribed text. There is no prescription on the number of references to be included in this report. HOWEVER, you are expected to include references to authoritative sources wherever such material is used to substantiate the assertions you make.
Much of the supporting analytical data you source for your report can be condensed into tables and attached as appendices. Appendices and Lists of References do not count toward the overall length requirement. The purpose of the appendices is to provide further supporting evidence should that be required.
Your report must be complete and provide all of the essential information, evidence, and argument without having to access appendices. Make sure, therefore, that important tables and figures are included in the main text (it may be necessary to provide, for example, a summary of lengthier material placed in an appendix).
DO YOUR HOMEWORK AND GET STARTED EARLY! We cannot emphasize enough the importance of starting early. Avoid the temptation to leave this to the last minute and end up submitting work that is substandard at best. Strategic analysis does not ‘happen’ overnight – focus on the guidelines provided below in the first instance and start thinking about how you will structure your work and develop a plan. Then, once we post the case details onto Stream, you can implement your plan.
• Your report starts with the usual cover sheet and an Executive Summary – the Exec Summary is the last thing to be written in a report and summarises all the information contained in it. It also includes any assumptions and limitations encountered during the analysis. The Exec Summary should be approximately one full page. Many students provide only approximately 150 words or an Abstract. This is INAPPROPRIATE FOR A REPORT! The Exec Summary is just that – a summary of the key points and findings of your investigation but sufficiently comprehensive as to provide an overall guide on which to make important strategic decisions.
• Table of Contents – this is self-explanatory, however, students do forget sometimes to put in the page numbers for the various headings! Check your work before you submit it!
• Introduction – The introduction outlines and briefly describes the business of the case study. It provides context and should cover the first element of your audit, namely, the Industry Analysis. Questions to cover are, but are not limited to, the following:
o What industry sector is it and how is this defined?
o How large is this industry?
o Is it consolidated or fragmented?
o What are the key drivers in the industry?
o Where is the organization placed on the industry life cycle curve?
o How dynamic is the industry?
o Who are the big players that dominate this industry?
o Do not confine yourself to the above questions – describe the industry as thoroughly and comprehensively as you can with points that are relevant from a strategic perspective. A stranger, reading your report for the first time should have an immediate general grasp of the industry you are describing and a broad understanding of some of the issues. This section is expected to be approximately a page and a half.
• Macro-environmental analysis – We use a tool for this which is called a PESTEL analysis (evolved from a PEST and PESTE analysis). The acronym stands for Political; Economic; Social/Demographic; Technological; Environmental and Legal; all elements that have a direct or indirect influence on the performance of the organization you are analysing. It is possible to tabulate your analysis and place this in the appendices, however, key issues in each of the dimensions need to be highlighted and
discussed in the report, particularly if they have a strong direct influence on the business at present or at some near future stage.
YOU MUST NOT EXPLAIN WHAT PESTEL IS OR DOES – THIS IS NOT AN ASSESSMENT OF YOUR KNOWLEDGE OF THE TOOL! IT IS AN ASSESSMENT OF YOUR ABILITY TO THINK AND ANALYSE A SITUATION FROM A STRATEGIC PERSPECTIVE. I am quite familiar with the tools used in strategic analysis; my aim is to determine whether YOU CAN APPLY the tools used in analysis.
You are going to need to read and study the industry from a holistic perspective and understand how it operates in order to do this analysis. A key aspect of this analysis is to do more than just point out factors in each of the dimensions (i.e., political economic, etc.). After you have identified the factor, you need to explain what impact it has on the performance of the industry. Next, on each factor, you need to explain the possible future implications this factor will have on the industry and finally, you need to point out whether this represents an opportunity or threat. Restrict your analysis to only those factors that have a direct impact on the industry.
Note: This is a critical component of any strategic analysis. You must go further than simply providing a bullet list with a couple of factors for each dimension. Explain them briefly, and integrate them together. What is the picture that is forming? In which areas are there major concerns? THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU ARE DOING AND BE ABLE TO DEFEND YOUR REASONING!
• Competitive analysis – There is a tool for this analysis as well, Porter’s Five Forces. Refer to your readings and texts on this analysis and what output you are attempting to convey. Some elements of your industry analysis and macro-environmental analysis will be relevant here but it focuses mainly on the degree of competition, identification of key competitors and their position in the market.
Note that the same requirements set out above apply for this analysis, i.e., we do not need you to explain what the tool is. Rather, explain the analysis through each stage and identify whether the information derived from this represents an opportunity or threat. You also need to provide an evaluation of the impact/level of power each element has on the competitive environment. The analysis is typically rated as ‘HIGH’; ‘MEDIUM’ or ‘LOW’. A key aspect of this analysis is your argument and substantiation for the rating you have provided on each of the five forces.
Again, a full analysis can be attached in the appendices but we expect a summary and discussion of key issues that directly influence the organization to be put into the report itself.
• Conclusion – This will be a brief summary of your findings from which you will draw significant conclusions. One way to present this is in a SWOT format (which can be provided as a table or figure) where you provide the most important opportunities and threats in the external environment and then the strengths and weaknesses of the case organisation. Your conclusions will arise from the integration of this information and what this means for the organisation concerned. At this point do not provide a range of options for consideration as this will form part of assessment two.
Tips for completing the analysis: