Programme: MSc Innovation Management & Entrepreneurship
Unit name: Business Model Innovation
Assignment Marker / Member of staff from whom advice can be sought about the assignment:
Assignment title: Individual Report
Issue date: 18/09/2023
To be submitted via Brightspace.
In accordance with University’s regulations any coursework submitted after the due deadline will be regarded as a late submission and will be awarded the appropriate mark.
Feedback method: Online Turnitin Feedback Studio
Due date of return:
Weighting of this assignment: 100%
(as % of total coursework assessment for the unit)
Learning outcomes being assessed:
- Understand the role of business models in the activities of businesses;
- Evaluate alternative approaches to strategic management in entrepreneurial ventures;
- Analyse the relationship between entrepreneurial opportunity and competitive advantage;
- Apply appropriate theoretical concepts, models, frameworks, tools and techniques to create business models with the promise of robustness in competitive markets.
It is your responsibility to be aware of University Regulations relating to academic offences and to avoid committing them. The BU definitions and the penalties are listed in: Academic Offences: Policy & Procedure for Taught Awards
If you are unable to submit your assignment on time due to medical or other mitigating circumstances you must complete a Exceptional Circumstances form PRIOR to the deadline and submit it for approval.
The purpose of this assignment is to assess the extent to which you have achieved Intended Learning Outcomes 1 through 4. It gives you an opportunity to demonstrate your understanding of business models and associated theories as well as relevant skills by engaging in business model analysis, evaluation, and development, using a live case study of a real business organisation.
Overview of assignment: This assignment is based on a case study. The assignment tasks are detailed out after the case study scenario.
Case Study Scenario: Shell plc*
Shell is a multinational oil and gas company. It is one of the world’s largest and most well-known energy companies. Shell is involved in various aspects of the energy industry, including exploration, production, refining, distribution and marketing of oil and gas products. In response to growing concerns about climate change and the critical contribution of the oil and gas sector to the climate crisis, the company has taken an interest in renewable energy sources and wind power (Shell 2023).
In 2022, Shell appointed Waal Sawan as its CEO to lead the transition to a lower carbon future (Shabong and Aripaka 2022). However, Shell has been underperforming compared to its rivals, and the new CEO plans to backpedal from the green commitments and refocus on fossil fuels (Mathis 2023; McCormick et al 2023 and Wilson and Brower 2023).
While continuing oil and Gas production is the official position led by the CEO of Shell, the chairman of Shell, chairman Sir Andrew MacKenzie, is considering if it’s the right course of action and he would like to understand what the alternative green business models would be.
The company’s Chairman, Mr Mackenzie, has appointed you as an external consultant to advise him on the company’s future sustainable strategy. More specifically, he has asked you to undertake an analysis and evaluation of Shell’s existing business model within the context of the contemporary business environment and to develop a proposal for business model innovation to prepare the company for current and future challenges and opportunities towards sustainable future keeping UN SDGs as the central drivers.
*NOTE: This case study scenario is semi fictional scenario based on publicly available information for the purposes of teaching and not as an illustration of good or bad practice. Not to be reproduced or quoted without permission.
Hodgson, C. 2023. UK watchdog bans Shell, Repsol and Petronas greenwashing ads. The Financial Times. June 7 2023. Available from: https://www.ft.com/content/fec9e504-7006-495a-964a-ba2ded4df5ad [Accessed: 7 September 2023].
Mathis, W., 2023. Shell’s New CEO goes to New Yor to Show Oil Investors the money. Bloomberg. June 13 2023. Available from:
McCormick, M., Brower, D., Wilson, T. and Chu, A., 2023. Shell steps up in supermajor showdown. The Financial Times. June 15 2023. Available from http://: https://www.ft.com/content/bb4c96ea-a1c2-4170-a34e-3302ddbc48a2
[Accessed: 7 September 2023].
Shabong, Y. and Aripaka, P., 2022. Shell picks gas veteran Sawan as CEO to lead transition. Reuters. September 15 2022. Available from:
[Accessed: 7 September 2023].
Shell, 2023. About us. Available from: https://www.shell.com/about-us.html.
[Accessed: 7 September 2023].
Wilson, T. and Brower, D., 2023. Shell pledges to invest in new oil and gas production for years to come. The Financial Times. June 14 2023 Available from: https://www.ft.com/content/a5d7b2e5-fe13-481d-88a4-de9e66171fad
[Accessed: 7 September 2023].
Carry out the following tasks in a max—3000-word typewritten individual report. This report aims to advise the chairman on how Shell can innovate its business model in line with current and future challenges and opportunities for a sustainable future, keeping UN SDGs as the central drivers.
Task 1: [c. 1500 words] (ILO 1, 3)
Carry out a strategic analysis of Shell, identifying the sources of its competitive advantage and entrepreneurial opportunities that are available to it. Specify and evaluate the company’s existing business model, using relevant analytical tools.
Support your claims with concrete evidence and references, building on the findings of your individual research as well as the action learning set (ALS) findings that were discussed in the ALS sessions.
Task 2: [c. 1500 words] (ILO 2, 4)
Based on the outcomes of Task 1, develop an alternative business model for Shell, using relevant analytical tools. Evaluate your proposed business model and your chosen strategic management approach.
Justify your recommendations with fully referenced research evidence from your individual and action-learning set research, as well as with logical arguments using appropriate theories.
The assignment is an individual report that builds on the research and analysis discussed in the Assignment Learning Activity (ALA) sessions. You are required to write this report individually; however, you are allowed to build on the material and ideas that emerged from the collaborative work of your action-learning set (ALS).
Submit your individual report as an electronic MS Word document (.docx or .doc file format) via the unit’s Turnitin submission box on Brightspace by the deadline. Use A4 document size, Times New Roman size 12 font, 1.5 spaced lines, and 2.54 cm margins.
This report’s maximum word count limit is 3,000 words, with 10% leeway on either side. The report must be correctly referenced, using the Harvard Referencing system (Author-Date method), with both in-text references and a References list after the main body of the text. The 3,000-word limit includes tables and charts placed in the body of the text but it excludes the references list, the title page, table of contents, and material included in the appendices.
Please clearly indicate the word count on your title page. There is no formal penalty based on a mathematical formula for exceeding the 3,000-word limit; however, inability to stay below the limit will be considered as a negative characteristic during the assessment process (taken as a proof of lack of editing) and will normally result in a lower mark, to account for the unfair advantage in opportunities for additional expression the extra word count may have provided.
Marking strategy (linked to GAC matrix):
Tasks 1 and 2 and their subtasks have not been assigned specific weights, thus there is only one overall mark for the assignment.
Your paper is going to be assessed on the basis of how it demonstrates your understanding of business models and your ability to evaluate alternative approaches to strategic management, to analyse the relationship between entrepreneurial opportunity and competitive advantage in the context of the case study organisation, and to apply appropriate theoretical concepts, models, frameworks, tools and techniques to create business models.
Your paper is going to be assessed according to the extent to which it meets the following criteria (in addition to the University’s Generic Level M Assessment Criteria, of which these are a partial specification):
A very good or excellent paper (mark of 70+) would do all or most of the following:
- Answers all the questions set in the assignment brief exhaustively.
- Is coherent across all the sections (no contradictions).
- Is based on an extensive list of references which are successfully used in the text to support assertions.
- Has a relevant appendix with supporting information that is helpful and further shows extent of analysis and research.
- All strategies are clearly formulated and justified through reasoning, appropriate use of concepts, theories, models or frameworks.
- Strategic recommendations are specific and actionable.
- The strategies are realistic, feasible, and convincingly justified.
- The strategic recommendations are creative and based on information that has been critically evaluated.
- The information is successfully communicated, meaning that it is easy to read and follow the argument.
- Tables and charts are used successfully to support text.
A good paper (mark of 60-69) still accomplishes much of the above, but it is less creative, more predictable, has less (though still a significant amount of) research, the research findings are not used as successfully to support the strategic recommendations as above, the quality of the argumentation and writing is uneven, with some excellent or very good sections, and some mediocre or weak ones. However, overall the assignment questions are answered and theories and concepts are generally correctly used.
An adequate paper (pass mark of 50-59) still answers most of the questions, but the argumentation is less successful in using theories and evidence to support assertions than above. There is much less evidence of research, and the research findings are not always linked to assertions to justify them. There may be errors in reasoning and the use of theories (showing some attempts at applying analytical tools but not entirely correctly or not resulting in relevant conclusions), showing some lack of understanding. The recommendations lack sufficient justification. On the whole information has not been sufficiently analysed and evaluated; therefore the paper tends to be descriptive, rather than analytical and evaluative.
A paper with fail mark (0-49) fails to answer most or all of the assignment questions properly. There is very little or no research evidence; or connections are lacking between research evidence and the assertions presented. The paper is descriptive, summarising external information, without analysing and evaluating it. There is a lack of application of theories or major errors in their application, showing lack of understanding. There are contradictory strategies proposed in different sections of the paper, resulting in the lack of a coherent overall approach. The paper is incoherent or incomprehensible. The strategies are unrealistic and unfeasible. Inadequate referencing and poor paraphrasing of external text.
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