BP’s challenging decade in Russia

Task overview

For the individual assignment, students are required to submit a ‘case study analysis report’, based around a single case. There is a choice of one from three questions (see below).

The word limit for your report is 2,000 words (excluding reference list, tables and figures). You must include a word count on the front cover of your assignment. The markers reserve the right to penalise work that does not include a word count or exceeds the word limit.

The question (see below) requires you to conduct a theory-informed analysis of a particular case study, drawing on the three legs of the ‘strategy tripod’.

Questions: BP’s challenging decade in Russia


Drawing on all three legs of the ‘strategy tripod’, but particularly the institution-based view, analyze some of the key events and developments during BP’s challenging decade in Russia (2003-2013).

Although the question requires you to give primacy to the institution-based view of strategy, your answer will also need to consider selective insights provided by the industry-based (positioning) and resource-based perspectives.

PS: Strategy tripod

Further guidance

Although each question is loosely based around one of the first semester seminar cases, you may need to undertake further research and reading on the focal case to establish a fuller understanding (e.g. using published reports, industry/market research, reputable news websites).

The assignment requires you to apply relevant theories, concepts and frameworks from the module to analyse the focal case. You should not need to provide detailed, generic explanations of these frameworks (although a brief sentence outlining the main purpose the chosen model might be needed). Rather, you should focus your discussion on the insights provided by the application of these various theories, concepts and frameworks.

Each question places a particular emphasis on one leg of the strategy tripod. As a rough guideline, we would expect around 50-60% of your assignment to be based around this dominant ‘leg’ and the remainder to be based around the other two legs.

Ideally your answer will provide a ‘holistic’ understanding of the focal case by integrating insights from the three legs of the tripod. Try to avoid a fragmented/unconnected application of each of the three legs of the strategy tripod.

You are strongly encouraged to provide supporting evidence for each of your key arguments.

The use of supporting figures and tables is strongly encouraged. These must be professionally presented (numbered consecutively in the order cited, given a meaningful title, and the source clearly acknowledged) and they must be discussed in the main body of your assignment. It is preferable to integrate them into the main body of the assignment rather than an Appendix (unless they are so large or detailed that they disrupt the flow of your essay).

You are strongly encouraged to clearly structure your answer by using thematic headings and sub-headings (probably based around your key analytical themes).

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