Case Study: Marks and Spencer
You are required to analyse the Marks and Spencer Case Study,
and in essay format answer the following questions:
Q1. Identify and explain five strengths and five weaknesses of Marks and Spencer;
and the impact of each of these on the organisation.
As well as information gathered from the case study, you should research and provide
some recent examples to answer the question.
(Recommended word limit 800)
Q2. Critically discuss to what extent you regard the following as key factors in
accounting for Marks & Spencer’s relative underperformance over the last 20
(Recommended word limit 1700)
Total word limit for Q1 and Q2 combined = 2,500 words
To support your answer for Q2:
(i) You MUST include theory to underpin your answer.
(ii) Research and use recent examples as well as examples gathered from the
case study. Other information sources of good quality which can be used
include: company websites, reports, news articles, academic journals etc.
(iii) You must “critically discuss”. Do not just “describe” or just repeat what is
already in the case study.
(iv) You must write in the third person. Do not use personal pronouns e.g. “I”.
Essay with two separate sections representing questions 1 and 2.
A reference list should be added at the end of your essay but this is not included
in the word count, neither are essay headings. Harvard Referencing style must be
Harvard Style in-text references (citations) must be included within the body of
your essay for both questions to evidence and support your findings.
A guide to Harvard Referencing can be found at:
You can also research the Marks and Spencer web site for information about the
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Five strengths and five weaknesses, PLUS some justification; including the impact on the
organisation for maximum marks.
N.B. There MUST be some justifications and explanations included, not just a ’list’ of
points. If just lists are provided, then only a grade C maximum can be achieved.
Some recent examples should be included.
The main task is to critically analyse and explain the linkages between leadership, culture
and corporate governance found in the case study and in company reports/Business news
and other good quality sources. This should include underpinning theory.
There should be a good balance between theory and the evidence derived from the case study
and reports/articles, web sites etc.
Remember in-text references also need to be included.
The learning outcomes being addressed through this assessment are:
Knowledge and Understanding
a) Explain the role and responsibilities of managers within specific business contexts and
c) Explain the different factors that influence management decision-making in varying
d) Explain the different management styles within organisations
e) Explore a range of organisational issues
Subject – specific Skills
i) To apply management concepts from organisational behaviour to some management
j) Apply concepts and ideas to contemporary management contexts and issues.
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