Business Paper Writing



The module aims to equip students with theories and critical thinking in strategic management and strategic change as well as to develop the academic and professional skills necessary to make judgements and proposals for present and future personal development and value creation in contemporary business.

Areas covered in the module include the theoretical background to strategic analysis, developing corporate strategy, global strategic management, change management, and systems thinking. The module will also equip students to reflect on their career positioning and introduce the students to strategies and skills to enhance this for their future.

The required readings in this module expose students to a broad range of strategic and change management issues and research insights, providing a foundation for their on-going journey through their strategic thinking and personal value creation management skills.



At the end of this module, you should be able to:

L1. Understand and demonstrate how to operationalize and synthesize a range of theoretical and conceptual approaches pertaining to strategy and strategic change to build professional credibility.

L2. Using a systematic approach, critically reflect on how a theoretical knowledge of strategic and management approaches can be used in a career context.

L3. Critically appraise, evaluate and summarize the literature pertinent to their chosen programm of study.

L4. Identify areas of professional self-development within their area of professional practice. Prepare and develop a self-reflective report on what they learned from the module and how they intend to develop their strategic management skills to apply themselves in business, taking cognizance of ethical considerations.

L5. Learn to understand and apply principles of Action Research and thematic analysis in ‘everyday’ life.



The module will be taught primarily in a workshop format, combining formal lectures with seminars. A variety of participative teaching methods will be used to enable students to develop their knowledge and understanding of strategic thinking and change management. It is expected that students will participate fully during classes and contribute towards class discussion and debate.


1.4.1 BRIEF

There will be two written reports, one of which will be assessed. The assessed part consists of an individual written report of 4500 words critically analyzing (applying the theory of the module) a real life industry scenario in which strategy is put into action. It may relate to a management or leadership dilemma or a crisis (e.g an overall problem in an organization experiencing low profitability, loss of market share, lack of innovation, sustainability or ethical problems causing poor organization image, loss of competitive strength or poor leadership etc).


The report must be theorized and ideally include evidence from other modules within the DBA (e.g. leadership, strategy, values, and operational contexts for organizations within the business and management field)


This report accounts for 100% obtainable marks for this module.

You should note that to pass this module, you must obtain at least 50% overall


Deadlines for submission will be announced by your Module coordinator in accordance with your cohort


Word count: 4,500 words.

The usual 10% plus or minus rule applies to assignments


The other part, which will not be assessed, is an updated personal portfolio with a reflective report (1000 words) on how they have used strategic thinking learned from the module to develop their understanding.


(An alternative assessment is available in extenuating circumstances where a student is not yet in a management position and this will entail critically analysing a scenario from a published source).




Your assignments must be submitted via turnitin no later than the dates and times specified, unless an extension has been obtained from the module coordinator in advance of the submission date. Extensions will only be given for reason of illness. In all cases a medical certificate/letter signed by a doctor must be submitted. Marks will be deducted for late submission of work without permission, according to the University regulations. Please plan your work carefully.

1.4.2  Details of assignments

The assignments require you to consider all aspects (strategy process, organizational culture and strategic change) of the module. It is advisable to work in groups for the purpose of gathering materials and academic brainstorming. You will however, write and submit two individual assignments. You must be aware that plagiarism is academic misconduct and is therefore not allowed.

  1. Your coursework assignment will be combining Academic with a Consultancy Report style. This has been designed to help you to demonstrate your understanding of the topics you have covered in this module and its application to practice.

You will select a real life industry scenario you are familiar with and in which strategy is put into action. You will examine a management or leadership dilemma or a crisis (e.g an overall problem in an organization experiencing low profitability, loss of market share, lack of innovation, sustainability or ethical problems causing poor organization image, loss of competitive strength or poor leadership etc).

Your selection might be a previous employer or current employer. However, you may, if you wish, do your own research and select some other appropriate organization as long as you are satisfied that it underwent a cultural/strategic change process. This means that you are free to use secondary data and literature to select a well-known case example of an organization that undertook a process of strategic change.

  • You will research and write a critically evaluated consultancy report for your organization of choice. Your report will be based on astrategic/cultural change management scenario that occurred in the organization. You may seek the advice of your lecturer on your choice.
  • Your report will identify and articulate a progressive/strategic resolution to the problem posed by the scenario, based on theoretical models and evidence based research. You are expected to combine both theoretical and practical perspectives of your module in this consultancy report.

The following might help you to structure your assignment:

  1. Identify an appropriate organisation
  2. Highlight the key strategic/cultural issues in the organisation
  3. Identify the rationale behind the initiation of the change process.
  4. Outline the key stages involved in the change process.
  5. What challenges, if any, threatened to derail the change process?
  6. What Theoretical/Strategic model/models are the most appropriate to apply
  7. What was the end result? Successful cultural change or otherwise?

Additional things you may wish to consider could include the extent of your own role, if relevant, in the cultural/strategic change process and how leaders managed the whole process.

Word count: 4,500 words


Part two, not assessed, but obligatory and must be submitted with part one.This is an updated personal portfolio with a reflective report (1000 words) on how they have used strategic thinking learned from the module to develop their understanding.


Word Count: 1000 words


1.4.3(a)Submission Deadline: Teaching Week 12 of your cohort (This might be flexible according to circumstances). This will be indicated on your weekly lecture schedule. It is your responsibility to ensure that you submit your assignment to meet the deadline dates.

You are expected to build up your coursework as your semester progresses. Please do not keep your work to the tail end of the lecture block.


1.4.3(b) TURNITIN HANDLE: The University requirement is that your coursework must be submitted on-line via the Moodle turnitin. The submission handle for your cohort will be set up for you anytime before the deadline week. Please ensure that you do not delay your work until the turnitin handle is set. We advise that you start to work on your assignment well ahead of your submission deadline.

1.4.3 (C) PLEASE NOTE: It is your responsibility as a student at this Doctoral level to ensure you adopt the appropriate academic writing standard in your coursework. Poor presentation (i.e. sentence construction, spelling, punctuation and grammar as well as inappropriate citations and referencing styles), and other poor writing practices may attract a deduction of 10% from your marks. You are therefore expected to present your work to meet the high standard of writing at the doctoral level.


1.4.3 (d) Plagiarism:This is a serious academic misconduct and the University of the West of Scotland takes it very seriously. Any issue of plagiarism will be picked up and forwarded to the plagiarism panel.You are therefore advised to avoid committing this act by ensuring that you do not engage in any form of plagiarism.



1.5 Assessment criteria

Report will be assessed according to the following criteria


Gr.Knowledge:understanding of theories, and analytical methods applied appropriately. Adequate/appropriate  citations and referencingAcademic discourse:Structured, sequential and logical argument, supported by rationale and evidence.


Critical evaluation:analysis, evaluation and development of creative insights.Communication

Organisation, grammar, spelling,





Excellent understanding of theory throughout.  Good use made of theory & models to evaluate.


Content is adequately and appropriately referenced throughout.

Identify key issues clearly with logical argument and points of view systematic and fully supported.  Assessment questions/brief fully addressed.Demonstrates ability to apply concepts & principles to the assessment brief. Good use models to evaluate the issues identified. Ability to synthesise the arguments presented.Spelling is accurate and standard conventions of punctuation & grammar are adopted.





Demonstrates sound basic knowledge & understanding of theory and strategic models/tools.

Content is generally referenced throughout.

Solution responds to the assessment questions/brief.  Use of supporting evidence, illustration & argument is relevant but not necessarily sufficient.Ability to apply theory to tackling the assessment brief.  Satisfactory use made of theory and models to evaluate issues identified.Spelling is generally accurate. Standard conventions of punctuation & grammar are usually followed.



Exhibits adequate basic understanding of theory and strategic tools.

Content is generally referenced although not always.

A point of view is presented, but is sometimes confusing.  Attempts to include supporting evidence, illustrations or argument are made.Attempts to apply relevant theories and ideas.  A reasonable understanding of theory is demonstrated.  Although evaluation is limited.Generally able to spell commonly used words & usually follows standard conventions of punctuation & grammar.



Apparent knowledge & understanding of relevant theory and use of strategic tools is limited.

Content is lacking in references. Little evidence of knowing the relevant theory and lacks application of strategic tools.

Lacks referencing.

Argument does not progress smoothly.  Main points and supporting material are not clearly distinguished from each other. Ideas or facts presented apparent relation have little to each other or to the assessment briefAn attempt is made to address the assessment brief but little satisfactory analysis or evaluation. Theories are not adequately understood or applied to the assessment brief.Little ability to spell commonly used words & standard conventions of punctuation & grammar. Poor spelling, punctuation and use of grammar


Grades/Marks indicator

70% + above


60 – 69 %


50 – 59%


0 – 49%

Overall Grade and Mark
Marks1st2nd1st2nd1st2nd1st2ndAgreed marks











Various opportunities are given for student feedback on the module. If you have any problems then please raise them, in the first instance, with the module coordinator. A module review questionnaire will be circulated before the end of the course.





In addition to the core texts, this module booklet provides additional required readings, students are therefore strongly advised to consult the reading lists for each lecture.








The module will cover a series of topics related to strategic thinking, organisation culture, change management and value management, with the aim of ensuring that the learning outcomes for the module are met.


Each week, a specific topic will be covered in class. Classes will be in the form of workshops combining formal lectures with seminars. Details of workshop tasks will be provided on a week-by-week basis in class and via Moodle.



2.1       DBA Strategy into Action Module

          Indicative Weekly Schedule


Programme: Doctor of Business Administration

Module: Strategy into Action (SIA)

Module Co-ordinator: Dr Adebisi Adewole (PhD)

Indicative Module Contents


Weekly Topics Theme Contents Sources /Bibliography 
Week 1 InductionRegistration and Enrolment etcSchool Administration
Week 2


Topic 1











Module Orientation and Introduction




Introduction to Strategy into Action







Exploration of module booklet explaining  requirements; contents, assignments and expectations etc


Strategic Management: Context, content and processes;

Strategy and the Business Landscape




SIA Module Booklet (Students to ensure they are familiar with their booklet)


Richard Lynch (2015) Strategic Management;  Ch 1


Ghemawat Pankat  Ch 1,2 &3.

Week 3


Topic 2



Theories of Strategy



Prescriptive  Vs Emergent Theories of Strategy



Richard Lynch, (2015) Strategic Management;   Ch 2

Week 4


Topic 3



Organisational DNA: Strategic Analysis and Purpose ; Analysing the strategic environment



The Strategic Environment;

The Competitive industry environment – Analysing customer and market segments;

Market growth ;

Role of Govern







Richard Lynch (2015) Strategic Management;  Ch 3

Richard Lynch (2015) Strategic Management;  Chs 8,9 10, 11 and 12 .







Week 5


Topic 4





Analysing Resources and Capabilities



The Value Chain and Value system; Resource analysis and adding value; the make-or-buy-decision.



Richard Lynch (2015) Strategic Management;  Ch 4

Week 6



Topic 5




Models of Strategic Change and Strategic Management Tools







Models of Strategic Change and Strategic Management Tools



Application of models










Workshop: Application of models


Week 7


Topic 6



Implementing and Controlling strategic Plan


Role of Technology and Innovation



The Balanced Score Card (Kaplan and Norton)

Communicating the Strategy


Knowledge Creation and Competitive advantage



Richard Lynch (2015) Strategic Management;  Ch 13


Richard Lynch (2015) Strategic Management;  Ch 7

Week 8


Topic 7



















Organisational Culture






Cultural influence






OD approach to Strategic Change













Schein – Organisational Culture

Hofstede – National Culture

Deal and Kennedy – Organisational Culture



Influence of culture on strategy Development





Planned change process

Open systems thinking

Entering and contracting












Application of models

Working on assignment preparation


Johnson G, Whittington R, & Scholes K (2012) Fundamentals of Strategy; Ch 4


Cummings T.G & Worley C.G (2015) Organisation Development and Change; Part 1 Ch 2 and  Part 2 Chps 4-9.


Workshop: Application of models



Week 9


Topic 8

Managing Strategic Change











Student-led  workshop



Week 10


Topic 9



Managing Recipients of Strategic Change and Influencing Internal Stakeholders




Managing Recipients of Strategic Change and Influencing Internal Stakeholders


Application of models




Causey T.F Deszca G & Ingols C (2012) Organisational Change; Ch 7



Workshop: Application of models


Week 11


Topic 10



Navigating Strategic Change through Formal Structures and Systems AND the Informal Organisation



Navigating Strategic Change through Formal Structures and Systems AND the Informal Organisation




Application of models





Causey T.F Deszca G & Ingols C (2012; Ch 5


Workshop: Application of models.


Working on assignment preparation


Discuss First draft of courseworkreport

Week 12


Topic 11



Implementing and Action Planning in Strategic Change



Implementing and Action Planning in Strategic Change



Application of models






Causey T.F Deszca G &Ingols C (2012; Ch 9



Workshop: Application of models



Week 13


Topic 12



Students to submit a reflection report with assignment during this week



Students are expected to submit a reflective report with their coursework at the end of this week



Coursework  assignment.


Turnitin submission deadline.



Week 14 Module evaluation and reflectionInteractive session


Week 15 Drop- sessionsInteractive




Lynch Richard (2015) Strategic Management; Pearson,  UK

Cawsey T F , Deszca G and Ingols C ( 2012), Organisational Change: An Action Oriented Toolkit; Sage, UK

Cummings T G, and Worley C G (2015) Organisation Development and Change, Cengage Learning, UK

Knights D and Willmott H (2017) (Ed), Introducing Organisational Behaviour and Management; Cengage Learning, UK

Martin J and Fellenz M (2017), Organisational Behaviour and Management, Cengage

Johnson G, Whittington R, & Scholes K (2012) Fundamentals of Strategy; Prentice Hall

Ghemawat Pankaj ( 2010) Strategy and the Business Landscape, Pearson Publishers




2.2  Additional information


This is a Doctor of Business Administration module. Students at this level of university study are expected to be capable of independent learning. Your module tutors will deliver the weekly lecture schedule and take you through the workshops. You are however expected to be aware that you are responsible for your learning.

Your module Coordinator and your module tutors will deliver quality of service and teaching to you and they will be prepared to assist in case you run into difficulties. You must however understand that you will not be treated as undergraduates who are just experiencing university education for the first time in their life. Professional Doctorate is one of the topmost level of academic attainment and requires you to behave maturely and study diligently with minimum supervision.


In addition to your module delivery booklet, you are given access to the Doctor of Business Administration Programme Handbook where you will find detailed information relating to problems you are likely to encounter. You are advised to read your Programme Handbook thoroughly and understandably. Your Handbook is available on your DBA Moodle on the University webpage.


Here are some useful hints:

2.2.1  Extenuation: How to apply for extenuating circumstances: NOTE your lecturer or your module coordinator cannot authorise this for you, it will be a waste of time sending endless emails to them requesting an extenuation. What you need to do is to consult your DBA Programme Handbook where the details of the procedure for extenuation are explained. Basically you will need to go on to the appropriate university website, download the appropriate forms, complete the forms and send off to the appropriate university team who will process your form for assessment. It is however expected of you to inform both your module coordinator and your module tutor what you may have done.


2.2.2  Short extension: this facility is available for a few days extension. Should you need a few extra days to complete your assignment, your module coordinator is the appropriate personnel to contact. You will make your request to your module coordinator with credible evidence (e.g Medical) to support your claim. Your Module coordinator will assess your situation and decide whether or not to grant you an extension.

Note that extensions without credible evidence will normally carry a penalty of 10% markdeduction from the total mark you may have been awarded in the module.


2.3 Technical problems relating to enrolment, inclusion on turnitin or other IT problems must be directed to ITDS ( you will find ITDS contact details in your DBA handbook). They are in the best position to resolve your technical problems. Your module lecturer or module coordinator does not have the technical expertise to resolve IT problems for you.


2.4 Assignment submission and results: if you have submitted an assignment and you have not received your result whilst your colleagues had already received theirs, your module coordinator will be able to provide you with information. So contact your module coordinator


2.5 Personal Tutor: if you have a personal academic tutor, he/she will be happy to listen to you if you have personal problems bothering you which may affect your performance. Personal tutors will be able to direct you to the appropriate university department who can help you.



Last Updated on June 21, 2021