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BST714 Strategic and Operational Decision Assignment Sample


To give you an opportunity to obtain first-hand experience in

1. Employing strategic management concepts and analytical tools.

2. Appraising strategic choices and develop and evaluate viable strategic options.

3. Demonstrating a comprehensive understanding of the salient issues in the implementation of strategic change in the internal and external organisational environments.

4. Identifying and evaluating appropriate strategies to manage stakeholder demands.

5. Developing project plans to enable strategy implementation.

If you take this assignment seriously, you will teach yourself many basic principles on strategy, which will stand you in good stead in many subjects, and in many walks of life.


You will be judged on criteria given


For the sector you have been allocated task you should;

1. Review the marketplace characteristics for the sector allocated by using any public domain information available and relevant academic literature search. Select a particular case company to undertake tasks 2-4. Highlight secondary data sources that you will exploit and explain their strengths and weaknesses.

2. Highlight and evaluate the corporate strategy of the organisation selected. Is the corporate strategy effective and is the business model appropriate for the marketplace characteristics?

3. Providing empirical evidence and analysis as appropriate, determine the order winners and market qualifying criteria and classify the supporting operational process using the Hoekstra, and Romme (Buy-to-Order, Make-to-Order, Assemble-to-Order, Make-to-Stock, or Ship-to-Stock) or the Lampel and Mintzberg (Pure Standardisation, Segmented Standardisation, Customised Standardisation, Tailored Customisation, or Pure Customisation) process categorisation system. Is the supporting operational process appropriate for that particular market? If not, what should it be?

4. Develop a change management plan to either z a) realign the case company’s operations strategy or b) improve the case company’s operations strategy, taking into account the change levers for each phase. Is your change plan feasible in days, weeks, months or years? What are the resource implications of your plan?

Your coursework format should be:

The level of detail in your assignment may well be a trade-off between payoff and time. Whatever you include in your assignment has to be “value adding” i.e. do not include wasteful words, figures or tables.
Title Page with student number

Summary (or abstract) (Generally up to 300 words – not included in the word count)

Content – split into four sections as per the four tasks assigned. Each section should be 1000 words equivalent, +/- 10%. In addition, you are encouraged to make use of tables and/or figures. Be selective about the use of tables and figures, and ensure you explain what each table / figure means within the main text. Any tables / figures are in addition to the 1000 words.

Reference list (Not included in the word count)

Bibliography (Not included in the word count)



The Coursework focuses on the strategic and operational decision-making process. The marketplace characteristics for the creative industry will be evaluated, and within the industry, Walt Disney is the selected organization upon which the entire research will be focused. The corporate strategy of Walt Disney will be evaluated for understanding whether the business model of the company justifies the proposed characteristics or not. The order winners and market qualifying criteria will be evaluated, and a supporting operational process will be classified. However, the appropriateness of the supporting operational process will help to understand the suitability of the process with Walt Disney's operational strategies. A change management plan will be used to understand the specific needs in operational strategy.

1. Review of the marketplace characteristics of Creative Industry

Creative industries are established upon the talent, skills, and potentiality of individuals who demonstrate their creativity in their career fields. The industry undertakes several types of sectors such as advertising, architecture, computer services, TV, Photography, radio, film, museums, galleries, libraries, and crafts (Davidparris, 2021). This industry drives a human-centric approach where human creativity and talent are prioritized. Intellectual capital building through primary production input and the output is highly differentiated, which can be characterized as cultural, creative, or artistic. The industry contributes to the national economy and international recognition. It is a source of structural economic shift and socio-economic improvement (Kerr, 2019). However, creativity leads to innovation which contributes to sustainable human development and social inclusion. However, the largest sector among the creative industry is television which contributes to a nation's economic development through newspapers, visual arts, and magazines. The sector accounted for $1.2 trillion in global revenue. The creative industry uses culture as a medium to produce an economy through industrial means. The creativity of individuals and groups is utilized for creating cultural products, which increases the commercial value (Flew, 2017). Creative industries involve the applied art practices for generating profit which helps to create intellectual property. However, the economic system where the income is derived from innovative capabilities and qualities rather than the labour-capital can be considered a creative economy. The annual revenues from the creative industry sectors generate approximately US$2,250million (Unesco, 2017). The sector represents 10% of the global GDP. The requirements of an external environment help the organizations under the creative industry manage the strategies for business improvement. The concept of strategic management in this industry lies in performance and innovation. Organizations need to innovate alternative products to promote creativity in the strategic management process.

Based on internal perspectives of creative industries, it can be ascertained that the creative industry is recognized as the carrier and producer of symbolic content. The industry faces higher demand uncertainty and strong volatility, which generates higher risks. The market conditions of the services and goods are distinguished from the ordinary ones. Moreover, the industry constantly produces novelty which breeds innovation. Several discussions proposed that the creative industry is more innovative than the manufacturing and other industries. The intellectual property generated by this industry confirms its identity as one of the main sources of wealth generation. The industry has a polarized structure that surrounds few large corporations which are vertically integrated. However, the external perspectives also define several features of the marketplace. The industry is fastest growing than other types of industries in terms of value and employability. It is advantageous as it depends upon the local production system and global connection. The industry contributes to the growth of other industries through linkages. Furthermore, it is significant in both aspects of production and innovation.

However, the creative enterprises are considered a bespoke set of initiatives to connect access for ambitious screen businesses for coursework assignment help. Continuous training of performance and networks for connections help to achieve business growth in the creative industry. Creativity and innovation enable path-breaking discovery, which helps entrepreneurs acquire a perspective for solving operational and financial problems (Patterson, 2018). Focusing largely upon the entertainment zone, the creative industry provides an opportunity to use the talents through effective performance for achieving huge profits.

Selected Organization

The American multinational mass media company Walt Disney is well recognized in the creative industry. The company aims to entertain, inspire and inform people around the world by reflecting iconic brands, unparalleled storytelling, innovative technologies, and creative minds (Thewaltdisneycompany, 2021). The company has reputed itself among the premier entertainment companies in the world. The global platform it shares attributes its recognition, economic growth, and continuous progression. However, to ensure growth, the strong points of Walt Disney are needed to be evaluated. The well-known reputation of the company, its brand image, the logo has been witnessing its heritage. The high-quality content which it produces and the high-budget projects which it undertakes retain its continuous cash flow. For obtaining high-quality raw materials, the company is associated with the best suppliers. The creative team of Walt Disney, including the writers, artists, graphic designers, and producers, is the strength of the company (Dana, 2021). The strengths show several opportunities for the company. The brand image can be used for promotion. Innovative technologies can be brought through the company as it expertise over technology (Madej, 2019). The collaborative approach can help the company to gain a competitive advantage in the market. The PESTLE analysis has also been done to gather more knowledge . To improve marketing techniques, the company can invest economy as it is financially stable.

The company has several weak points also. The company has to spend a significant amount of money on training as it is always upgrading its mechanism with innovative technology. The poor financial planning of the company has led to suffering significant losses. However, the demand for the products upon which the company spends large merchandise varies with changing market demands (Baker, 2018). The company lacks promotional and proper marketing activities, which are needed to survive in a competitive market. The problem of incompetency can lead to failure of using the resources properly. The non-specificity of the company can lead to significant issues as the company creates linkages with different trades, but it does not master over a particular trade (Edrawsoft, 2021). It generates issues to work on different ranges of products. Evaluation of the company's strengths and weaknesses has been done to determine a proper corporate strategy for the company, which will help align the company with marketplace characteristics and enhance its reputation in the creative industry .

2. Evaluation of the corporate strategy of Walt Disney

Walt Disney has become an inseparable part of a creative industry that has expanded its business region worldwide through its effective corporate strategy. The company follows a specific thinking style that includes analyzing the problem, generating ideas, evaluating ideas and construction, and critical understanding a plan of action. Disney primarily targets 4 to 12 years old boys and girls (Weebly. 2021).Among them, one part is still indulged in childhood, and another part is at the peak of teenage. The diverse needs from the customers to the company's entertainment zone have led it to create innovative ideas for entrainment. The company aims to produce products and services which are different from its competitors. The major competitors of the company are Sony, ViacomCBS, Comcast, and Warner Media (Craft, 2021).

Figure 1: Competitors of Walt Disney company
Source : (Craft, 2021)

The company can gain profit from sustainable development by using synergy to increase value. The corporate strategies of Disney may include horizontal, vertical, and geographic expansion. The company visions to achieve long-term success by improving the decision-making process and creating diversification in managing creativity and brand image. Disney values the vertical integration process, which helps the company to integrate the production of movies and financial investment in television (Iera, 2020). A wider level of distribution provided Disney with quick success and larger access to expand its corporate zone. However, the sustainable approach in corporate strategy helps the company to gain cost-effective benefits. Walt Disney has the largest media and entertainment zone, where 11parks, 43 resorts, and 4 cruise lines are managed to increase the production level (Ivypanda, 2020). The corporate strategy of the company is dependent upon the competitive advantage gaining by managing diversified business operations. Within different geographic locations, the company expanded its business to use the opportunities in Asia-Pacific and Europe. This accounts for a significant value for the company. Moreover, the company invests in various market segments, which have created an opportunity for the company to increase its profit range by supporting other trades.

The company follows the 'go-green agenda. The theme parks of Disney are promoting the development of a green environment, which can help the company to drive a sustainable approach. Corporate social responsibility is also significant in this case. Walt Disney manages its CSR across the world by providing donations and encouraging green environment creation. Diversification in operation management decreases the potential risk in business. The company targeted to reduce 50% greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 (Blooloop. 2021). To retain its workers in the theme park, the company uses a low-cost strategy. It also applies forward and backward integration for controlling the distribution network.

For policy formulation, the company follows a competitive dynamic strategy which helps the company to respond in various ways to dynamics in the creative industry. The high-tech strategy to increasing the visual experience of the customers is considerably significant (Ivypanda, 2020). In resource acquisition, the company manages the suppliers through multiple network channels, which support the company to acquire raw materials of low cost and high quality. The diversified strategy of the company increases its market share and helps the company expand at the international level. Disney's operations help expand geographic regions while minimizing the potential risk of loss (Ivypanda, 2020). However, the company uses a joint venture to enter the new market and apply an integrated strategy for accumulating merchandise, hotels, accommodation, and dining. Walt Disney focuses upon technological innovation, high-quality content creation, global expansion, and consumer distribution for managing its corporate strategy (Thewaltdisneycompany, 2018). The company's corporate strategy also includes stakeholder management techniques where the company manages the demands of the consumers by engaging the employees in giving better service to its customers.

Effectiveness of corporate strategy

The corporate strategy of Walt Disney company is significantly effective as the company generated revenue of 16.5 billion USD in 2020. The market media networks of the company had a revenue of 28.39 billion USD, and the direct to consumers and international revenue grew up to 16.97 billion USD (Stoll, 2021b). The company uses a generic strategy for gaining a competitive advantage which has led it to grow through creativity and innovation. The company aims to achieve high profits through an intensive competitive strategy (Williams, 2019). The revenue growth also reflects the efforts of the company in strategic management. Increased operational efficiency and dedication of the employees have motivated the company to emerge globally as a reputable company. The company employs 201,000 employees who effectively manage the corporate strategy of the company across different geographical regions. In 2020, the company achieved a net worth of 201.55 billion USD (Stoll, 2021a). The company manages corporate strategy through investing in different markets, which help the company to increase its profit rate by managing businesses across different countries like China, Japan, France, California, the US, and many more. The company's diversification growth strategy best describes its corporate strategies as it has allowed the company to create a theme park, produce the movie, broadcast television and merchandise in industries.

Figure 2: Revenue of Walt Disney company
Source: (Stoll, 2021b)

Aligning with the characteristics of the creative industry

Walt Disney's corporate strategy for business models aligns with the characteristics of the creative marketplace industry. The company produces symbolic content, which gives the company worldwide recognition. Walt Disney often faces high demands in the market, and the uncertainty of the demand depends upon the changing business environment. The company faces higher risks in this case, but its effective corporate strategy helps the company to manage its continuous improvement. However, the stakeholders of the company, who are the consumers, employees, and managing team, provide support to overcome challenging situations for the company. Production system and its services are different from other trades as it attracts the customers upon the basis of talent, creativity, skills, and performance. The company helps in generating intellectual property, which helps it to grow its economic standards. Incorporating innovative technologies in the business, the company creates a distinguished way for business management. However, the company is among the fastest-growing organizations around the world, which increases its value continuously and improves employability.

3. Determination of the order winners and marker qualifying criteria

The order winners and qualifiers are time-specific and market-specific. The company's order winning capability depends upon the competitiveness. Walt Disney grows its sales by winning orders, and it led to a positive impact on the sales performance of the company. The diversification strategy of the company makes a difference in its product ranges and attracts the customers towards the qualified offered products. The intensive growth strategy of the company helps in product development, and it helps to offer new products in the existing market. The brand positioning strategy pays attention to the experience of the consumers, and this helps the creative minds to think of innovative ideas for implementation (Yao, 2017). However, the competitive advantage of Walt Disney can be considered as order winning characteristics. It involves intense competition within the creative industry and provides quality content to its consumers.

Walt Disney incorporates advanced technological innovations in its contents which provides the best visual experiences to its customers. The movies it produces or the television shows it hosts make the audience spellbound. The magical experience within the movies it provides to the children increases their attraction towards the production of Walt Disney. However, the theme parks of Walt Disney also provide a superior visual experience to the views. This has possible due to the advanced and unique technology which Walt Disney has utilized in its products and services (Mitchell, 2020). The different, unique, and innovative content production helps to gain a competitive advantage for the company. The advanced IoT services in the Disney parks providean immersive experience to the audience, which provides Walt Disney, a stable place in the global market among its competitors.

Classification of the supporting operational process using Lampen and Mintzberg process categorization system

The concept regarding strategic planning and implementation defines an organization's capability to support its operational processes. Lampen and Mintzberg's strategic process planning concept demonstrates that a proper strategy helps integrate the organization's goals, action sequences, and policies into a cohesive whole (Mintzberg et al. 2003). It helps to accumulate and arrange all the resources for planning a unique strategy that improves internal competencies and helps in change management. For understanding the competitive strategies, Walt Disney Company has to notice the contingent moves of the intelligent opponents, which will help the company manage the anticipated changes in the business environment. Several segments will help to understand the supporting operational processes.

Pure Standardization: The pure standardization process correlates with the approach of "one size fits all". The company has to manage equality in services, prices, distribution channels, and promotional programs to achieve operational efficiency. In the case of Walt Disney, the segments operate through diversification strategy within a related-constrained.

Segmented Standardization: The needs of different clusters of buyers are focused upon segmented standardization. Within a minimum number of features, a standardized product is offered. Walt Disney Company has segmented media networks, parks and resorts, customer products, and interactive media and studio entertainment by focusing upon the standard products and service delivery approach to its consumers.

Customized Standardization: The customization adds value for the consumers. Standardization of the customized products may help to achieve higher satisfaction of the consumers. Looking into the needs of the customers can help Walt Disney company to find opportunities to provide the common value of the customized products and services.

Tailored Customization: This process helps in planning and creating products as per the individual specifications. The company operates globally. Therefore individual specifications will not be possible while planning and building products and services.

Pure Customization: The pure customization process provides specifically tailored services to the customers. A distinguished pricing strategy, distribution channel, and promotion strategy is managed for the pure customization process. The corporate strategy of Walt Disney specifies several types of segments, but pure customization will not be applicable as the company operates through functional groups and geographical divisions (Ivypanda. 2020).

Evaluation of the appropriateness of supporting operational process

The process of Lampen and Mintzberg's strategic planning has given several ideas on standardization and customization of customers' needs for strategic management. The analysis of the pure standardization process shows that Walt Disney has to follow the approach "one size fits all", but as the company's different segments target specific objectives like media networks for entertainment products and parks for amusement, it will not be possible for the company to apply the same strategy to manage all the segments. However, segmented standardization will be possible as the company operates through distinctive mediums. The company can target customized needs for the customers for a specific geographical region. However, the pure and tailored customization will not be applicable for the company as it works upon a global platform. The company uses a specific organizational structure that capitalizes on the competencies of diversified business segments (Williams, 2019). Among the different operational processes, the implementation of Segmented Standardization will be effective as the company itself divides the business type segments, functional groups, and geographical divisions. Depending upon each segment, the needs and requirements of customers will be evaluated. The segmented standardization process will help to specify the needs of consumers across the different geographical divisions, which will promote the organization to develop strategic planning for gaining a competitive advantage. However, the technological innovations in its products and services will help to increase the experience of the consumers. Gaining a competitive advantage through the usage of technology will help the company to standardization of each segment. The strategic planning will ultimately help the company to retain its reputation across the world.

4. Change Management Plan

Change management plan mainly directs to produce something different (Turner,2019). The different factors associated with change management are people, processes and technology. The role of the human resource manager is responsible for making the people adapt to change, and the processes must have a smooth transition to change and technology to automate the change process. The different phases of the change management process using the ADKAR model are awareness where the need for change is necessary to be conveyed to the employees. Then, the desire to support change and the knowledge about the importance of the change process is necessary to be identified. The final phase is ability and reinforcement, where the ability of the employees is judged, and the behaviour is reinforced within the change management process (Personio, 2021).

• Proposed change: Walt Disney is one of the most renowned organizations in the creative sector, with its presence all over the world. Recently, the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has decreased the cost margins due to the closing of theatres. In such a scenario, the organization must realign the operational strategy and utilize the online platforms more efficiently for their services. The company must have a separate creative team dedicated to its online services and to improve its technology and media services with more personalized features and choices than ever before. Disney creates innovative and engaging physical products in several categories like toys, t-shirts. They have four strategic brand priorities of Media, Classic Entertainment, Pixar Animation and Star Wars (Disney, 2021). The Disney+ channel is the original subscription of Disney services through online apps and televisions. It is necessary to better utilize the platform for more innovative products and original Disney content at a low cost. Disney can use this platform for advertising their products like games, toys or t-shirts that bring to life several Disney characters.

• Need for change: The company has achieved huge success in their Direct-To-Consumer business, and the success of Disney+ has accelerated the need for further regenerating the business strategies to facilitate maximum growth for the organization and utilizing the online platforms for creating original content for global audiences.

• Intended outcomes: The intended outcome is accelerated growth during the pandemic where people are not visiting physical stores or going to movie theatres. Using an online platform will help Walt Disney to continue with its journey of growth and maintain its brand image in the global arena.

• Estimated duration: The people who need to be informed about the change are the creative team experts and the experts in the media segment, and the technologically expert team. For implementing the change, a new operational process design needs to be implemented where the original contents need to be considered more for an online audience. The media and entertainment sector must collaborate with Direct-To Consumer Product services, and all the advertising are to be displayed through the online platforms. The OTT platforms are creating better opportunities and utilizing it will create more opportunities for Disney. The time estimation is about six months to accommodate all the contents towards online presentations. The media of all the services must be centralized to be using the online sector, which is a time-consuming process and will require additional 3 months.

• Estimated costs: The cost or budget for the change is huge where all the international media channels are brought in direct-to-consumer products through the
Disney+ channel. On-demand video and some free subscriptions will be provided for consumers.

• Resources: As per the term of human resources, manpower, quality developers and marketers will be needed.

By following the ADKAR model of change management, the five levers defined in the change management plan are communication plan, Sponsor Roadmap, Coaching Plan, Training Plan and Resistance Management Plan (Creasey, 2021). The communication plan is to inform about the change process and the need for change to the employees. A proper communication plan is necessary for enforcing the change process in business effectively. The contents of the communication plan must identify the need for change, the consequences if the change is not made, how the change is made and what are the outcomes of change. The Sponsor Roadmap is about the specific actions that need to be taken according to the instructions of senior leaders. Sponsorship is related to providing direction, mission and commitment towards the change process. The employees need information from their sponsors of change. A proper coalition between sponsor is required to have a sustainable change management process. A proper coaching Plan is necessary where the managers must give assistance regarding the positive effects of change and how it will affect the employees. The roles played by a manager are the liaison, communicator, coach and mentor who facilitate the change process and advocate the need for change in employees. The training plan is essential to provide clear instructions for employees regarding the change and how it needs to be implemented. If any new technology is implemented and operational strategies occur, proper training of employees is necessary to cope with the change. Resistance Management plan is a crucial lever for the change process as it is common to face some reluctance from the employees towards change. People usually fear change as the outcomes are not known. Identifying the root causes for change and proactively look for alternatives can be helpful in business perspectives.

Figure 3: Levers of the change management plan
Source: (Creasey, 2021)

Table 1: Change management plan
Source: (Developed by the author)


The different characteristics of the creative industry have been aligned with Walt Disney's business model, which created a comprehensive view of the specific aspects of the company's corporate strategy. The strengths and weaknesses of the company have been evaluated to create an understanding of the organization's present situation. The corporate strategy discussion of Walt Disney company has helped to classify the supporting operational process. The order winners and market qualifying criteria have also been determined to use them while examining the appropriateness of supporting the operational process. However, the change management plan has been addressed, taking into account the change levers for each


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