BM9720 –Analytics for Competitive Advantage




The Business Simulation – component assessment

Module Code

BM9720 –Analytics for Competitive Advantage-The Business Simulation – component assessment

Assignment A (40% of module mark)

Detailed instructions and indicative marking:
Each student will submit an individual report, based on the simulation output and experience. As an
individual piece of work, you should assess this independently (i.e. not as a team exercise). Students
should not share their report or analysis with fellow team members. However, students can share
the material from the simulation, i.e. decision forms, team meeting minutes and the computer
The report has a word limit of 2,000 words and should have the following structure. The words
shown after each section are indicative and are not word limits.

1. Front page – Module Code, Student ID, Group and Team Numbers
2. Contents page (with page numbers)
3. Introduction (5%, 100 words)
Strategic Objectives for your company at the end of the simulation. These include the objectives
that your team agreed at the beginning of the simulation. They can be a mixture of open and closed
objectives but there should be enough measurable (SMART) objectives to evaluate the success of
the company at the end of the simulation.
Competitive Strategy. What was the intended strategy at the start of the simulation? Why would
your Differentiation or Cost Leadership strategy create an advantage over your competitors? What
market segment were you targeting?

4. Critical evaluation of the company performance (50%, 1,000 words)
Present a table showing the following key performance measures over the four rounds:
Production (units) for each model
Sales (units) for each model
Unsold stock (units) for each model
Sales revenue for the company
Profit after tax
Bank balance
Outstanding loan
Shareholder Funds
Critically evaluate the performance of the company from the perspective of the key business
functions. Explain the links between actions, outcomes, and strategy clearly. Where possible you
should also apply referenced business frameworks and theories to illustrate your actions and
learning (NOTE: a detailed discussion of the theory is not required).
Comment on the trends in the above measures over the four rounds of the simulation, linking
these to decisions made during the simulation.  Did you change the competitive strategy during the

Assessment Brief – Postgraduate

simulation? If change in the competitive strategy was required how was this strategic change
managed within the company?
5. Critical evaluation of and reflection on decision making (25%, 500 words)
Base this answer on aspects of your decision making within the business simulation from any one
functional business area of your choice (i.e. state and apply any one from finance, marketing, HRM
or operations management and demonstrate how this functional decision making can benefit
through the deployment of appropriate analytical tools):
How effective and responsible were your functional decisions? Have you considered the impact of
your functional decisions on the company’s stakeholders?
Provide evidence of how your functional decisions were influenced by appropriate academic theory.
How effective was your company demonstration of functional interdependence? In short,
demonstrate the effectiveness of your functional decisions (from the one area selected) in
combination with the other key functional areas.
6. Critical evaluation of teamworking in the Business Simulation (15%, 300 words)
Provide with a link to appropriate theory from your Leadership and Management development
module, a critical evaluation of the of the performance of the team and a personal reflection on
your role in the team.
7. Conclusion (5%, 100 words)
Was your company successful? Explain your answer with respect to exceeding, meeting or not
meeting your pre-defined SMART objectives.
How would you improve the performance of the company if you played the simulation again?
8. References – see later guidelines on the assessment marking grid.
9. Appendices and Tables/Figures
There should be NO appendices used in your report.
Tables and graphs are an essential part of the report. These main tables and graphs should be
included in the main body of your report, located in the relevant sections of the work. The limit of
tables and graphs is a MAXIMUM of 12 in total for the two types of display.

Assessment Brief – Postgraduate

Referencing your work
The APA method of referencing uses the author's name and the date of the publication. In-text
citations give brief details of the work you are referring to in your text. References are listed at the
end of the text in alphabetical order by the author's name. The general format of an electronic
journal reference in the APA style is shown below:
Coutu, D. (2009). Why Teams Don't Work. Harvard Business Review, 87(5), 98-105. Retrieved 29th
April 2012 from EBSCO http://searchebscohost.com
Author/s name and initials are listed first, followed by year of publication in brackets. Then there is
the title of article and the journal where the article appears, which is in italics. Then state the volume
and issue number (in brackets) along with the pages where article can be located. Finally add the
date the article was retrieved and then the name of the database, followed by the web address.
Wherever possible use the homepage URL rather than the full and extended web address.
For further information on why it is important to reference accurately go to the Referencing and
Plagiarism topic in Skills Plus available from the Library website:
You will find other useful help guides on Skills Plus to help you with the skills involved in writing your
assessments and preparing for exams.
For further information on the APA style of referencing see the Concise Rules of APA style and the
APA website http://www.apastyle.org/learn

Assessment Brief – Postgraduate

Late submission of work
Where coursework is submitted without approval, after the published hand-in deadline, the
following penalties will apply.
For coursework submitted up to 1 working day (24 hours) after the published hand-in deadline
without approval, 10% of the total marks available for the assessment (i.e.100%) shall be deducted
from the assessment mark.
For clarity: a late piece of work that would have scored 65%, 55% or 45% had it been handed in on
time will be awarded 55%, 45% or 35% respectively as 10% of the total available marks will have been
The Penalty does not apply to Pass/Fail Modules, i.e. there will be no penalty for late submission if
assessments on Pass/Fail are submitted up to 1 working day (24 hours) after the published hand-in
Coursework submitted more than 1 working day (24 hours) after the published hand-in deadline
without approval will be regarded as not having been completed. A mark of zero will be awarded for
the assessment and the module will be failed, irrespective of the overall module mark.
For clarity: if the original hand-in time on working day A is 12noon the 24 hour late submission
allowance will end at 12noon on working day B.
These provisions apply to all assessments, including those assessed on a Pass/Fail basis.

Assessment Brief – Postgraduate

Word limits and penalties
If the assignment is within +10% of the stated word limit, no penalty will apply.
The word count is to be declared on the front page of your assignment and the assignment cover
sheet. The word count does not include:
 Title and
Contents page

Reference list 

Appendices 

tables, figures
and illustrations



 Quotes from
interviews and
focus groups.

Please note, in text citations [e.g. (Smith, 2011)] and direct secondary quotations [e.g. “dib-dab
nonsense analysis” (Smith, 2011 p.123)] are INCLUDED in the word count.
If this word count is falsified, students are reminded that under ARNA page 30 Section 3.4 this will be
regarded as academic misconduct.
If the word limit of the full assignment exceeds the +10% limit, 10% of the mark provisionally
awarded to the assignment will be deducted. For example: if the assignment is worth 70 marks but is
above the word limit by more than 10%, a penalty of 7 marks will be imposed, giving a final mark of
Students must retain an electronic copy of this assignment (including ALL appendices) and it must
be made available within 24 hours of them requesting it be submitted.
Note: For those assessments or partial assessments based on calculation, multiple choice etc.,
marks will be gained on an accumulative basis. In these cases, marks allocated to each section will be
made clear.

Assessment Brief – Postgraduate

Academic Misconduct
The Assessment Regulations for Northumbria Awards (ARNA) contain the Regulations and
procedures applying to cheating, plagiarism and other forms of academic misconduct.
The full policy is available at: http://www.northumbria.ac.uk/sd/central/ar/qualitysupport/asspolicies/
You are reminded that plagiarism, collusion and other forms of academic misconduct as referred to
in the Academic Misconduct procedure of the assessment regulations are taken very seriously by
Newcastle Business School. Assignments in which evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic
misconduct is found may receive a mark of zero.