Individual case study: Grant’s Contemporary Strategy Analysis analysis

Individual case study: Grant’s Contemporary Strategy Analysis analysis

Case 19 in Grant’s Contemporary Strategy Analysis (8th ed.)

By 2012, Richard Branson’s Virgin group of companies extended from airlines and railways to financial services, telecommunications, and music publishing. Despite the advancing maturity of Branson and his Virgin empire, the entrepreneurial vigor that had driven Virgin into new areas of business remained strong. Recent ventures had included the acquisition of retail banks from Northern Rock, and the opening of health clubs and mobile telephony services in several new countries.
Based on the case and your own research, how would you describe and evaluate the logic of Branson’s diversified and loose-knit business empire ? What strategic logic underlies the wide range of businesses that coexist under the Virgin name? Do all these businesses fit with the resources and capabilities of the Virgin group, or should some be divested? Is there a need for a more formal organizational and management structure to ensure an optimal balance between entrepreneurial drive and effective control within the group?
To answer this broad question, perform a comprehensive written case analysis keeping in mind the following questions:
1 What common resources and capabilities link the separate Virgin companies?
2 Which businesses, if any, should Branson consider divesting?
3 What criteria should Branson apply in deciding what new diversification to pursue?
4 What changes in the financial structure, organizational structure, and management systems of the Virgin group would you recommend?
These questions are meant to provide thinking points. Do not write the case analysis as a question and answer report. The three main sections of your assignment will be :

1. Identification of Strategic Issues and Problems
2. Analysis and Evaluation
3. Recommendations
For a HD mark, individual research may be required. By individual research we mean high-quality articles in the strategy literature that help you address the issues and problems.
The three major sections of your report should be numbered and presented separately. Please use the headings above (and any other subheadings, if necessary or appropriate). In addition to these three main sections, please include an (unnumbered) Introduction and Conclusion. The Introduction should not summarise the case, but instead preview the main conclusions and structure of your paper. The Conclusion should present general, creative, and insightful take-away lessons that may be applicable to other companies.

The ideal process for preparing your submission will probably look as follows:
1) Read the Virgin case linked in the Assignments folder on the LearnOnline course website.
2) Read the Guide to Case Analysis (pp. 8-10) PDF that is linked in the Resources folder on the LearnOnline website.
3) Review all course material and try to figure out what tools, theories, or concepts from BUSS 3023 are most relevant to this case. Be selective.
4) Also think about material from other business courses that may apply and should therefore be referenced in your capstone case analysis.
5) Perhaps you can (on your own) identify other research that may be relevant to this case analysis. Because the case is quite comprehensive and detailed you actually won’t have to conduct extensive additional research; 2-3 more sources will typically suffice.
6) Read the case again.
7) Develop a detailed outline of your paper (going beyond the three main sections mentioned above).
8) Following the instructions below, write your paper.
9) Submit the assignment on time!

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