Virgin Group Strategic Management
Please follow the instructions in the file called assignment instructions and Assignment 3 Initial Thoughts.
The instructions also come with links to help understand the company, and example cases. The PDF’s provided include a guide for writing case analysis and
journal articles that can be used for the analysis.
I have also provided the feedback form so that mark distribution is clearer. This assignment is not about financials but about the analysis and the case
The case is in the 16 images I have attached please tell me if any are unclear and I will try to take a better picture of them.
If there is any other info you need to know please tell me and I will do my best to find out.
INDIVIDUAL CASE ANALYSIS (A3)
BUSS 3023 Strategic Management
The Virgin Group in 2012
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
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
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!
Support your discussion and arguments with reference to the class material introduced in the course and the facts mentioned in the case. To accomplish the
latter, you will, at least occasionally, have to cite the page (number) on which you found specific evidence supporting your analysis. In addition, you
should reference evidence and argumentative support, whenever appropriate, from the course material, your own research, and prior business courses. (Please
note that this class is a capstone course!) Your report may also include various charts, tables, or exhibits to support your analysis and recommendations.
Keep in mind that some of your charts, tables, or exhibits may replace narrative text and make your paper more concise and therefore better. More guidance
on length and exhibits can be found in the following reading posted on the course website: A Guide to Case Analysis.
Use Times New Roman or Calibri size 12 font and 1.5-line spacing in your assignment. Please number all pages of your paper. The word limit is 2500 words.
Exceeding the word limit by 10% will be fine. (Note that the word limit is not one of the nine assessment criteria.)
If you miss the due date, you must contact the course coordinator before or on the due date. All requests for an extension must be lodged via the
Learnonline website. Extensions will only be granted in exceptional, unforeseen circumstances. Your submission will count for a whopping 55% of your course
grade, so please start working on this individual assignment soon—not the night before it is due.
Assessment #3 – Individual case analysis
This individual assignment will consist of the development of a comprehensive written case analysis, for which the expectation is that you (1) identify all
important strategic issues, (2) perform whatever analysis and evaluation is appropriate, and (3) propose an overall action plan and set of specific
recommendations addressing the issues you have identified. In going through the exercise of “Identify-Evaluate-Recommend,” please follow the advice in the
handout A Guide to Case Analysis (posted on the course website) as closely as possible. Thus, your case analysis should consist of at least the following
1. Identification of Strategic Issues and Problems
2. Analysis and Evaluation
The three sections of your report should be numbered and presented separately. Please use the headings above (and other subheadings whenever appropriate). In
addition to these three main sections, please include an (unnumbered) Introduction and Conclusion.
Use the comprehensive case analysis to demonstrate your in-depth understanding of the various strategy tools introduced in the course. At the same time,
though, do not try to apply all of the tools. Instead, only apply those tools that you consider key to ‘solving’ the specific strategy case you have been
assigned. Each case in the Grant textbook focuses on a different set of issues and problems. It is your task to figure out what they are and how to solve
them, using any (some of the) material learned this semester in this course. 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.
Exceeding the word limit by 10% will be fine. If you expect your case analysis to be longer than 2800 words, however, please email your tutor. In general,
please be as concise as possible–and as detailed and comprehensive as necessary.
More detailed instructions will be posted in due course in a separate A3 assignment file on the course website.
Example Case Studies:
http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/2/4d4fb05e-64cd-11e4-bb43-00144feabdc0.html#axzz3oJDRjUAH ( this also has a mini video explaining the virgin structure)
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