Length: 1750 words excluding executive summary, reference list and any appendices
Part A: Your organisation and its Strategic Service Vision (Stages 1&2)
Many organisations face choices regarding the types of services they wish to offer and to whom, and the operational procedures they employ. Frameworks are sometimes used to assist in these decisions. Using Heskett’s ‘strategic service vision’ framework as a template, specifically stages one and two, provide an overview of your organisation, its ‘target market segments’ and its ‘service concept’. In addition to the above, the following questions should be addressed:
1. Outline your core and peripheral services that make up the bundle of services you will offer to your customers.
2. Provide a description of the proposed servicescape. Note that although this is relevant to Part B, it will provide substance to your overview.
3. The service sector is now a key generator of economic prosperity in many countries. However, changes in the context in which businesses operate are having an impact on their ability to provide this economic wealth. Using newspaper articles (print or online) written in 2013-15, identify three current issues that would impact on your specific organisation. You will need to include these with your assignment submission.
4. Using a range of sources of information, including both media articles and academic literature as supporting evidence, identify and evaluate four factors that you think will impact on your business in the future.
Guidelines to your Strategic Service Vision report – Part A
This assessment is designed as an experiential learning exercise by having you apply theoretical concepts to a potential real-world situation in a critical manner. You should adopt the mindset of a real business owner/investor for the organisation you have elected to base your report on.
Your strategic service vision report must be presented using academic report format. It should conform to the following format, and should also include a professionally laid out table of contents prior to the executive summary.
An executive summary of a report is just that, a summary (and is not included in your total word count for this assessment). It contains a statement of report purpose and an overview of the actual and specific findings. For this assessment, it should be no longer than one page. The summary can only be written after you have completed your report. Write in past tense (e.g. The purpose of this report was to…). If an executive summary is well written the reader should be able to understand the main points, findings, and conclusions of the actual report without having to read the full report.
Section one – Introduction
This is a brief statement of the purpose of the report, what its objectives are, and an overview of how the report is structured.
Section two – Organisation overview
This is where you will briefly showcase your organisation, its name, description of operations, its bundle of services (core and peripheral services) and its servicescape. Your goal here will be to |sell the idea| to the reader/marker.
Section three – Target market segments
In this section you are to refer to Heskett’s strategic service vision, stage 1 and using the most relevant headings, identify the type of customers you plan to attract. Although there are a number of headings, you are not restricted to this list and it is recommended that you source other data and/or literature to help determine the appropriate markets).
Section four – Current and future implications
As outlined above, you need to identify three current issues (specifically sourced from newspaper articles) and three factors that will have future implications (specifically sourced from media articles or academic literature) on your organisation. It is important here to source information that is actually relevant to your organisation and you must critically analyse the information, potentially exploring strategies to minimise these factors and implications.
Section five – Service concept
Here you are laying down the foundations for Part B of your assessment. It is the how and what of service design, where you need to bridge the customer’s needs (as determined in your Target Market research) and the intent of your organisation. You should be aiming to show how you wish the services to be perceived by the customers and other stakeholders.
Section six – Conclusion
Within this section restate the purpose of the report, then provide an overview of main points covered in your analysis. Ensure that you do not include any new information, only that which has been discussed within the main body of the report.
All works cited must be included in your reference list. Citations must conform to the Harvard referencing style as presented by Summers and Smith (2010), a copy of which will be available on MySCU.
This is an optional section in which you are able to place relevant material which would have otherwise disrupted the logical flow of your report e.g. business data reports. Material included in this section will not count towards the overall word count for this assessment.
The marking criteria for this assessment can be categorised as general – which apply to the report as a whole; and specific – which apply to specific sections of the report (outlined above).
Marks for this assignment will be apportioned as follows:
Section 2 Organisation overview 5 Marks
Section 3 Target market segments 5 Marks
Section 4 Current and future implications 5 Marks
Section 5 Service concept 5 Marks
Referencing (in-text referencing) 1 Marks
Reference List (relevance and consistency) 2 Marks
Presentation (table of contents, executive summary, intro and conclusion) 2 Marks
Total 25 Marks
General marking criteria
Below are three general marking criteria that will be used to mark your report:
Demonstrated ability to critically analyse sources
You are expected to ask critical questions of the material you read. Only minimal marks will be awarded in cases where you have merely re-stated what the authors have already said. Can you identify any potential flaws in the concepts? Is there a difference in opinion between scholars? Who do you think is right, and why? These are potential areas of critical analysis you could focus on.
Evidence of original thought and creativity
You must show that you have developed an ability to think about how the theories and concepts covered might be applied in the real world.
Quality of presentation structure; overall content; quality of bibliographic details; written expression
You should present your work in a logical, easy to read format. It should also conform to the structure outlined previously. Students will be marked down for poor written expression, bad grammar, and spelling errors. The expectation is that you have the ability to hone your writing skills, and should thus present well written and presented work. Correct referencing, both in-text and reference list, is essential. You should ensure that your referencing conforms to the style set out in the Summers and Smith (2010) style guide. A copy of this style guide will be posted on the MySCU site for this unit