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Global Corporate Strategy
Individual Assessment
Case Study:
LEGO by John Ashcroft & Company
This individual assignment will be assessed by means of a 3,000 maximum words
report. The assignment has been designed to allow you to develop and use your
knowledge and skills in understanding key strategic issues relating to LEGO. You will
be required to apply the strategic concepts and analytical techniques studied in this
module. All the learning outcomes below will be assessed:
1. Demonstrate critical understanding and application of relevant theories associated
with global corporate policies and strategies.
2. Understand the holistic nature of strategy and apply analytical techniques to solve
complex problems in real life organizations.
3. Demonstrate knowledge of the strategic decision making process through critical
analysis of how strategic decision making enables an organisation to relate to its
global business environment.
4. Critically evaluate and monitor the business mission, objectives and policies of
international organisations.
5. Use critical reflective skills to reflect on the impact of their understanding on the
problem solving process
Please note:
1. All work must adhere to the University regulations on ‘Cheating, Collusion and
Plagiarism’ which are provided as an Appendix in your Programme Handbook. You
are encouraged to use‘Harvard Referencing Style’ and avoid ‘Plagiarism’.
2. Students are required to submit their assignments through JIRA. Only assessments
submitted through JIRA will be marked. Any other submission including submission
to your study centre in hard copy will be treated as a non-submission.
If your centre supports Turnitin or alternitively, SafeAssign by Blackboard, a copy of
your Turnitin or SafeAssign originality report must be submitted in conjunction with
your assignment.
Your task is to carry out a critical analysis and evaluation of the strategies adopted
by LEGO, using the information provided and other materials researched. You will
be expected to select and apply appropriate theories, techniques and models studied
during the module whilst having regard to the practical aspects of strategy
Your assignment should be presented in a business report format and should be within
the range 3,000 maximum words (excluding executive summary/abstract, references
and relevant appendices). The report should include a title page and abstract and be
fully and consistently referenced, using Harvard Referencing style.
It is recommended that you research information additional to the case study to
support your arguments. This may be obtained from a diverse range of sources and
you are encouraged to research the issues in whichever way you deem appropriate.
Assessment Criteria
In the event of failing this individual assignment, normal referral / deferral procedures
will apply. This assignment carries a weighting of 100%. The assessment will focus
on the level of ANALYSIS carried out. That is, the application of THEORETICAL
CONCEPTS studied in the module to the ‘practical’ case study presented. In other
words, you should proceed beyond a DESCRIPTION of the company and its actions.
You should be analysing ‘why’ rather then describing ‘what’. The assignment will be
assessed and moderated by two members of staff in accordance with the marks
allocated to each of the questions detailed below. 10% of the marks are set aside for
the ‘presentation’ criteria.
Academic Rigour
your ability to isolate the key strategic issues
the coherence and depth of the analysis of those issues
the ability to analyse the strategy context within which companies operates
the ability to critically review and evaluate strategic decisions made by companies
the use of relevant evidence, from material provided and personal research to
support any statements made
the appropriateness of the methods used and theoretical models and frameworks
the breadth and depth of research undertaken
Evaluation of data
the ability to make sound recommendations or conclusions arising from the
the soundness of arguments put forward
the summary of arguments
report layout and format
use of illustrative material and evidence to support arguments
the appropriateness of length
the quantity and accuracy of referencing
Question One: Toy industry competitiveness
“We are on a burning platform, losing money with negative cash flow and a real risk
of debt default which could lead to a break up of the company”. Fact finding is the
first step to problem solving. That would require a back to basics review and
Using the information in the case study, and relevant data/information from company
annual reports, websites and related journals critically evaluate the nature of the
competitive landscape faced by LEGO from its most relevant competitors. Discuss
the extent to which you believe that industry dynamics had a significant impact on
LEGO’s profitability during the period 1997 to 2006.
[30 % marks]
Question Two: Innovation and knowledge management
In the late 90s, LEGO’s market share had begun to decline. Kids were playing more
with video games, and other toys, and LEGO wasn’t cool anymore. They decided that
they had to disrupt themselves, before someone else did. Lego appointed turnaround
specialist, Poul Plougmann, as the new CEO in October 1998. Plougmann launched a
number of initiatives to achieve disruptive innovation at LEGO, but ultimately was
not able to achieve a successful turnaround, and was replaced in January 2004 by
Jørgen Vig Knudstorp, who succeeded where Plougmann had failed.
Using your understanding of sustaining innovation and disruptive innovation,
critically analyse and compare the innovation strategies adopted by both CEOs. How
did LEGO address the challenges of recruiting and retaining a skilful workforce?
[30 % marks]
Question Three: Corporate social responsibility
“When we design and engineer our toys, we strive to make them safe for children. We
look to reduce their environmental impact and build them in facilities that adhere to
high standards. We are committed to strong ethical and environmental performance
both within our company and in our communities”, Mattel Citizenship website.
“It is at the very heart of our company to always strive to do better. We aspire to give
children the best play experiences, to be the best partner to work with, to be the best
workplace for our employees, and to be the best company for society”, Lego owner,
Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, 2015
Carry out a comparative analysis of the CSR strategies adopted by both Mattel and
[20 % marks]
Question Four: Expansion strategies and global competitiveness
In 2015, LEGO enjoyed an astounding growth of 25% in revenue ($5.2b) and 31% in
net profits ($1.3b). Mattel sales dropped by 5% but they still retained the number one
spot with $5.7b in revenue whereas Hasbro came in third with $4.45b in revenue. In
2016, Mattel and Hasbro (both US-based corporations) were rumoured to have
discussions about a possible merger to take on LEGO though it is highly unlikely to
As a strategic business consultant, what strategies would you recommend and what
would be your advice to LEGO management to move forward and to take over the
number one spot in the toy industry.
[10 % marks]
Note: 10% marks is allocated for overall
Suggested Reading:
De Wit, B. and Meyer, R. (2014) Strategy, an International Perspective, 5th Edition,
Cengage Learning.
De Wit, B. and Meyer, R. (2010) Strategy Process, Content, and Context International
Perspective, 4th Edition, Cengage Learning.
Johnson, G., Scholes, K. and Whittington, R. (2005) Exploring Corporate Strategy:
Text and Cases, 7 th Edition, Financial Times Prentice Hall.
Lynch, R. (2006) Corporate Strategy, Fourth Edition, Financial Times Prentice Hall.
Mintzberg, H., Ahlstrand, B. and Lampel, J. (1998) Strategy Safari, Financial Times
Prentice Hall
Attention: References must be more than 15
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