Evaluate Twitter’s approach to strategic decision-making and indicate to what extent you think their strategy has been a success to date, and based on your evaluation, make recommendations for future growth.

Leading Strategic Decision-Making                                                                     

End of Module Coursework Assessment

This graded assessment accounts for 100% of your final grade and comprises two separate assessment exercises: Part A & Part B which are both weighted equally at 50% of your final grade.

Part A

In Part A, we assess learning outcomes related to topics 2, 3, 4 & 8 by providing you with case study information on the leadership and strategic development processes which operate within the innovative context at Twitter.

The purpose of this brief is to provide you:

  • Details of the coursework assessment: background to the case and questions
  • Information on presentation and submission date.
  • Guidelines to assist you in answering the questions
  • The assessment marking criteria and feedback sheet for Part A.

Case Study Background & Questions

Read carefully the case evidence on Twitter which is contained in the following three sources:

  1. Mark, K. & Parker, S. (2011) Twitter extracted from:

Ireland, R.D., Hoskisson, R. E., & Hitt, M.A. (2013) The Management of Strategy: Concepts and Cases, 10th International Edition, South-Western, Cengage Learning, pages 371-377

  1. Twitter (2013) Annual Report 2013, Twitter, Inc. <https://investor.twitterinc.com/annuals-proxies.cfm>
  1. Twitter (2014) Annual Report 2014, Twitter, Inc. <https://investor.twitterinc.com/annuals-proxies.cfm>

Each source covers a distinct period of Twitter’s strategic development from start-up, to stock market listing (IPO), to growth within the internet information provider industry.

  • Source 1 provides a case analysis of Twitter’s strategic development at start-up (2006-2011).
  • Source 2 reports on Twitter’s strategic position having achieved an initial public offering (IPO) in 2013.
  • Source 3 reports on Twitter’s current growth directions and future strategic choices in 2014.

All sources provide insights into the leadership, strategy and innovation practices within Twitter. Source 1 critiques Twitter’s origins, current business model and future strategic choices, whereas sources 2 and 3 provide a corporate account on Twitter’s mission, values, along with the content and direction of their strategy. Your analysis of the Twitter Annual Reports should therefore be particularly critical in order to answer the below questions.

Part A of your coursework assessment requires you to answer two questions:


  1. As a strategy consultant to Twitter, use Campbell & Yeung’s (1991) Ashridge Model to advise the board on the relevance of Twitter’s current mission and its effectiveness in achieving a “strong sense of mission”
  2. Evaluate Twitter’s approach to strategic decision-making and indicate to what extent you think their strategy has been a success to date, and based on your evaluation, make recommendations for future growth.

Both questions are equally weighed and you should review how grading is allocated in the Coursework Feedback Sheet on page 4.

Presentation and Submission Date

The assessment in Part A is a case analysis and you should note that case analysis is not a conceptual explanation or discussion but the application of concepts and frameworks to interpret the case information, analyse key events and statements, and reach evaluative judgements. The concepts and frameworks are covered in the workshops and prescribed reading and the guidance below gives you a few pointers on how you need to use this knowledge to answer the questions. In developing your analysis and arguments, you should use supporting evidence from the information contained in the case studies.

Your answers must only be derived from the information on Twitter contained in the three case evidence sources listed above.  You are not required to consult other sources on Twitter or go beyond the end date of third source (2014). The reason for this is that your analysis and evaluation is being assessed at this point in the organisation’s development and not in the light of subsequent events. As a result you should not include references on Twitter from the internet or other sources.

In terms of presentation, introduce each question indicating how you will structure your answer and conclude each answer with reference to your preceding arguments and the task required by the question. Do not present your answer in rigid report format but you may wish to divide your answer into sections which reflect the major elements of your analysis. The combined word count of your answers to both questions must comply with the following guidance:


Minimum Length:               2000 words

Maximum Length:              2500 words

Submission deadline:        Wednesday 12th July 2016, 4pm 

The word limit excludes appendices and bibliography.  Where a submission exceeds the stated word limit the maximum grade awarded will be P1. Appendices can be useful to provide additional information from your analysis but you must incorporate the key analytical arguments into the main body of your answer.


Guidance Notes

The assessment feedback sheet at the end of this section gives the marking criteria for the overall case analysis. Remember, in writing your solution to the questions you must not describe what the case says but use the concepts to analyse the information and use the evidence/facts in the case to support your analysis.


Question 1 asks you as a strategy consultant to review if Twitter has achieved a sense of mission. The question specifically asks you to use the Ashridge Sense of Mission model which is part of your prescribed reading for unit 2. Specifically you should apply and discuss the four elements of mission (Ashridge model) to Twitter. When considering purpose and strategy, you should analyse the case evidence on mission, values and strategy. When doing this avoid being overly descriptive on the content of Twitter’s strategy as you will soon exceed the word limit. Attempt to develop arguments and, if necessary, include supporting details in appendices. More crucially, you must address the central issue in the question of how the fifth element, a sense of mission, is achieved through the alignment of the employees’ personal values with the organisation’s identity and values. In doing this, consider the role played by the leadership and management approach at Twitter – particularly discussed in sources 2 & 3 – to integrate the elements of mission, behavioural standards and values of the organisation, with those of the employees. You will also need to evaluate Twitter’s mission based on the company’s recent expansion and strategic developments to express and justify your opinion on whether Twitter have achieved a strong sense of mission and whether they should


To answer question 2 you will need to write a short essay by drawing on your learning of strategic decision-making and your prescribed reading from Johnson et al, chapter 12. Initially, you should commence your research by reading and examining the case evidence in order to identify Twitter’s strategic decisions. Once you have identified these decisions, your essay discussion should focus on how this decision-making relates to deliberate and/or emergent forms of strategy development. When doing this avoid being overly descriptive on the content of these decisions. Instead, you should ensure that the use the relevant theory to structure your discussion of case evidence. To develop your arguments further, a brief distinction between deliberate and intended strategy would be useful, followed by an in-depth discussion on which approach most closely resembles Twitter’s strategic development. To reach conclusions on how strategic decision-making is practised at Twitter, you should also consider the success of its strategy and make recommendations for future growth.

Part A

Coursework Assessment Feedback

Matriculation No. Date of Submission:
Module: Leading Strategic Decision-making
Part A: Twitter Case Study Cohort:


Category Grade                      Comment

Presentation of analysis, use of appropriate concepts, and depth of understanding of the issues raised in the case.



The use of Campbell & Yeung’s (1991) Ashridge Model to analyse Twitter’s sense of mission














Evualte Twitter’s approach to strategic decision-making and recommendations for future growth




Ability to reach coherent and logical arguments from the analysis, supported by case evidence.



           E D C B A

(F1 – F5)

Marginal Pass (P1) Satisfactory/ Good


Very good





General Comments:


Overall Grade: Marker:


N.B. the percentages are shown as indications of the relative importance of each section and should not be taken as a precise indication of the marking scheme.



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