The Hong Kong and Shanghai Hotels Group
Answer the following question (word limit 3,000 words):
Choose one company from the following list. For this company, explain how successful you think it is and discuss the strategic reasons behind that success (or why the company is not very successful). Your explanation should include something about the contribution of leadership to the company. Go on to suggest strategies and/or actions for ensuring success in the future.
You should read the information on the next page and the marking scheme at the end of this brief to understand how you should approach the assignment and what we shall be looking for.
Company: The Hong Kong and Shanghai Hotels Group
We want you to tell the reader what is “special” about the company and justify your answer with analysis using frameworks carefully selected from those you have been taught. Success could be measured in terms of growth, profitability, market share and so on. But how has the company achieved this position which may well have taken several years? It could be due to, for example:
• Exploitation of opportunities in the factors in the far environment including market growth (but you MUST show clearly how the company has exploited the opportunities better than other companies – a simple PESTEL analysis will be awarded no marks)
• A favourable near environment (but you must explain how the company has been able to position itself within that environment – a basic 5F analysis will be awarded no marks)
• Strong strategic capabilities leading to competitive advantage
• A clear competitive strategy consistent with strategic capabilities
• Development strategies leading to growth
• Methods of strategic development supporting the growth strategy
• A well-managed international strategy
• An effective innovation strategy
• Good leadership
• A combination of two or three of the above
To tackle the question you need to carry out a full strategic analysis of the company and the business environment. But we only want to read the really important outputs of that analysis. You have to judge what outputs from the analysis (i.e. your conclusions) are most important and present these to us in a clear, academically rigorous manner.
So, your assignment should contain the following sections:
1. Your ideas about measures of success for the company concluding with your view on how successful it is (remember to cite sources)
2. An outline of up to 10 reasons behind the success stated in a simple, straightforward way with a brief explanation of each reason.
3. Focus on the most important reasons behind the success and provide a detailed analysis using analytical frameworks from TWO areas in the list above (or another part of the module) and your interpretation of the analysis. For example, you may feel that a value chain analysis (done properly, with genuine evaluation) will capture the most important reasons and this can be linked to an analysis of the competitive strategy to show how the company’s value-adding activities have supported the competitive strategy.
4. Evaluate the contribution of leadership (good or bad) to the company’s success
5. Explain what external and/or internal factors might make it difficult for the company to remain as successful as it has been and make suggestions as to how the company can best deal with these.
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