BUSM4586 - Assessment 2: Individual Written Assessment

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Assessment details

Task & Scope:

Explain which three of the HBR articles studied in the first half of the course (weeks 1-3 inclusive) would be most useful to conduct research for a company of your choice in ways that would enhance its business; and explain how the research strategies, techniques, and concepts discussed in those articles could be used to improve that company’s customer value proposition.

This means you have to explain what you would advise the company to actually do to take advantage of the concepts and techniques that are detailed in any three of the articles studied in the first half of the term. Please note that you are not being asked to just summarise the content of the articles. Instead of just summarising, explain the various ways in which the ideas presented in each article could be made relevant to the challenges faced by a particular company (of your choice – it could be a company that you’re already familiar with or have worked with). Provide details from one article related to focusing on customers, one article related to innovation, and one article related to the future.

The above task is designed to test your ability to apply course material concepts to real world business challenges by critically evaluating a range of methods and techniques to synthesize options for improved and innovative solutions. It develops your capacity to see how different course topics overlap with each other and provide you with tools for understanding contemporary business problems and using research to design innovative solutions.

To complete this assessment task, you have to explain what you would advise the company to actually do to take advantage of the concepts and techniques that are detailed in any three of the articles studied in weeks one to three. This means that you need information about that company’s challenges in relation to customers, innovation, and the future. Obtaining that information may mean that you need to do some secondary research and read available information about that company in addition to your study of the journal articles provided on Canvas.

Be sure to begin with a clear explanation of what is meant by ‘customer value proposition’. You should then present the value proposition currently being used by the company you are focusing on – and comment on the strengths and weaknesses of that value proposition. In particular, comment on ways how it could potentially be improved. What additional knowledge could be gained by using the data gathering and data analysis techniques presented in each of the articles?

You are expected to refer to the reading materials (in particular the Harvard Business Review articles from your weekly readings) in your answers. You can include relevant verbatim quotations, properly referenced, in each answer. Also provide a reference list at the end of your assignment that complies with the RMIT Harvard referencing system.

You do not have to present your answers as if you are writing essays or writing a business report; just respond to each of the two parts:

  • explain which three of the HBR articles studied in the first three weeks would be most useful to conducting business enhancing research for a company of your choice; and
  • explain how the research strategies, techniques, and concepts discussed in those articles could be used to improve that company’s customer value proposition, one at a time.

Suggestions to structure your assignment are provided below:

Suggested Structure

  • Introduction to the company
  • Part 1: Business enhancement
    • Article one and its relevance to researching customers
    • Article two and its relevance to creating innovations
    • Article three and its relevance to understanding the future
  • Part 2: Customer Value Proposition (CVP)

Note: you can draw on and use additional articles from the courseware to strengthen your arguments relating to the above key themes (i.e. business enhancement and CVP) and the three main articles (discussed in Part 1). But remember that your assignment must use the reading materials studied in this course only.

Assignments which rely on references that have not been studied in this course cannot achieve even a Pass grade because such assignments fail to demonstrate what you have learnt about business research from studying this course. However, this restriction is not applicable to the references relating to the company or industry information you will be referring to.

Make sure you report your assessment word count at the end of the assessment.

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