Critically analyse the role of leadership in Alibaba`s journey to becoming a leading e- commerce company. Discuss how strategic direction was set and evaluate the formulation and implementation of strategic plans under Jack Ma`s leadership.

Assessment Brief 1

Strategy and Leadership in Practice BUS7B64

1. Module Details

Module Name:

Strategy and Leadership in Practice

Module Code:




Credit Value


Academic Year


2. Assessment Structure

Item of Assessment



This assessment is worth 50% of the module grade

Word Limit

3,000 words

Submission Deadline

Friday, 1 December, 3pm

Acceptable Formats for Submission

Microsoft Word

Feedback and Provisional Grade1

Feedback and provisional grades will normally be due 15 working days after the submission deadline

Please check announcements page in Canvas, for the resit/resubmission dates.

3. Assessment 1 Details

3.1 Task


The primary aim of this portfolio (3,000 words) is to explore various themes while considering different perspectives. It entails the discussion and critical evaluation of leadership`s role in establishing strategic direction and executing strategic plans within organisations (Learning Outcome 1). Additionally,students are expected to conduct a thorough analysis of strategic leadership`s significance, context, and principles. The portfolio also includes reflections on the necessary skills, behaviours, and personal and professional development essential for effective strategic leadership (Learning Outcome 2).

Please review the case study titled "Alibaba:the Yangtze River Crocodile?" from the module core text authored by Whittington et al. (2019), pages 59-61.The complete reference details of the core text and a link for access are provided in the Syllabus section for your convenience. Once familiarised with the case, undertake the following assessment tasks. Utilise relevant concepts, theories, or models in each section to analyse the case effectively.

1 The grade is provisional until confirmed by the relevant assessment board(s). Your work will be marked in percentages. This is considered to deliver the most accurate and fair outcomes for students. Each assessment that you undertake will be assessed using the common grading system. Information about the grading system can be found in your Student Handbook, Section 13.

The Grade Criteria can be found in Appendix C of your Student Handbook

Here is a link to the case study:

Portfolio Questions:

  1. Critically analyse the role of leadership in Alibaba`s journey to becoming a leading e- commerce company. Discuss how strategic direction was set and evaluate the formulation and implementation of strategic plans under Jack Ma`s leadership. (750 words) (25%)
  1. Assess Alibaba`s internationalisation strategy under Chairman Daniel Zhang from a strategic leadership perspective.  Analyse the challenges faced during global expansion, particularly in the United States, and critically evaluate the strategic decisions made to address these challenges. (750 words) (25%)
  1. Conduct a PESTEL analysis of Alibaba at the time of the case study, critically evaluating the impact of the macro-environment on the company. Evaluate how strategic leadership played a role in adapting to opportunities and mitigating threats. (750 words) (25%)
  1. Create a basic sociogram of Alibaba`s network (equivalent of 100 words), highlighting key stakeholders and their relationships. Critically analyse the significance of this network in Alibaba`s operations and discuss how strategic leadership principles influenced and maintained these relationships. (750 words) (25%)

3.2 Submission requirements

You must submit your assignment by using the Turnitin gateway in the module’s Canvas site.

Please Note: When you submit you will be asked to confirm you have referred to the Submission Checklist (see Appendix 2) and the act of submitting your work electronically will be taken as an acceptance of the Declaration of Authorship (see Appendix 3 and Appendix 4). Wrexham Glyndŵr University provides guidance for students on Academic Integrity and it is available through their own Academic Integrity Portal.

If you are experiencing technical issues with submitting your work, you should notify your Module Leader/Tutor and IT Services [] by email before the submission deadline with a copy of your work file attached. Your file will not be accepted if you do not do so.

3.2.1 Word Limits and Penalties for Excess Word Count

All written assignments include clear guidance on the maximum amount that should be written in order to address the requirements of the assessment task (a ‘word limit’).

If the submission exceeds the word limit by more than 10%, the submission will only be marked up to and including the additional 10%. Anything over this will not be included in the final grade for the item of assessment.

The penalty for exceeding the word count will be 5 marks per 1,000 words excess (e.g. a 1,000 word assignment would have 5 marks deducted if it were to be between 1,101 and 2,100 words, 10 marks deducted for if it were to be between 2,101 and 3,100 words and so on).

Abstracts, citations in footnotes, reference lists, bibliographies and appendices are excluded from any word limit requirements.

In-text citations, embedded quotations, and all headings and titles are included in the word limit.

Where a submission is notably under the word limit, the full submission will be marked on the extent to which the requirements of the assessment task have been met. Generally speaking, submissions under the word limit fall short of the requirements of the assessment task.

4. Learning Outcomes for the assessment

This item of assessment covers the following learning outcomes. For the full list of learning outcomes for the module, please refer to the Module Study Guide.

  • Discuss and critically evaluate the role of leadership in setting strategic direction and formulating and implementing strategic plans in organisations.
  • Critically analyse the role, context and principles for strategic leadership and reflect on skills, behaviours, and personal and professional development for strategic leadership practice.

Appendix 1: Extensions and Extenuating Circumstances

Information on extensions and extenuating circumstances can be found in the Student Handbook,

Section 13.

Applications for extensions should be submitted via the Student Self-service Portal, SSP.

Applications for extenuating circumstances, with supporting evidence (such as medical certificates) should be made through the e-Vision portal.

Wrexham Glyndŵr University’s Extenuating Circumstances Policy document can be accessed through our Quality and Enhancement Manual: QEM Section 3: All Policies and Procedures.

Appendix 2: Submission Checklist

  1. Have you checked Canvas messages/announcements for any additional/final details of the assessment?
  1. Are you submitting in the correct submission area e.g., if it is a resubmission of your

second assignment it should be ‘AS2R’?

  1. Make sure you are submitting the correct final version of your work.
  1. Have you kept to the word limit? Remember, anything greater than 10% above the word count will not be marked.
  1. Have you addressed the assessment requirements as outlined in the Assessment Brief?
  1. Have you spell checked and proofread your work?
  1. Is your work formatted correctly and consistently?
  1. Are you submitting a document in the correct format?
  1. Is your work written in an appropriate academic style?
  1. Have you checked your citations and Reference List/Bibliography?
  1. Have you submitted your work through Turnitin to get a similarity report to check you have paraphrased where required?
  1. Have you read the Declaration of Authorship (Appendix 3)?
Critically analyse the role of leadership in Alibaba`s journey to becoming a leading e-commerce company. Discuss how strategic direction was set and evaluate the formulation and implementation of strategic plans under Jack Ma`s leadership. 

Appendix 3: Declaration of Authorship

By submitting this work electronically to Bloomsbury Institute and Wrexham Glyndŵr University, I confirm that I have read and understood the Declaration and Definitions below:

Declaration of Authorship:

  1. I hold a copy of this assignment which can be produced if the original is lost/damaged.
  1. This assignment is my original work and no part of it has been copied from any other student’s work or from any other source except where due acknowledgement has been made.
  1. No part of this assignment has been written for me by any other person except where such collaboration has been authorised in the Assessment Brief.
  1. I have not previously submitted this work for any other course/module.
  1. I have not submitted any work generated by Artificial Intelligence as my own, as this will be considered as an academic integrity violation. This includes the use of Artificial Intelligence to outline, write, create, or edit my assignment. e.g., work generated by Artificial Intelligence including chatbots, language models and learning algorithms.
  1. Where applicable, I have included a declaration confirming external editorial or proofreading services (see Appendix 3).


I understand that:

  1. Plagiarism is defined as using another person’s words or ideas without acknowledgment and submitting them for assessment as if they were one’s own work. This can include copying, translating from one language to another or unacknowledged paraphrasing. It includes the use of quotations from the published or unpublished work of other persons, whether from books, articles, the internet, or any other format, when these quotations have not been acknowledged as such by being placed in quotation marks and acknowledged. It can also include the use of summaries of another person’s ideas, judgements, diagrams, graphs, drawings, computer programmes, laboratory, or survey results without reference to that person in the text and the source in the bibliography. Note: Wrexham Glyndŵr University will not accept a lack of understanding of the requirements for acknowledging the work of others as a legitimate defence for disregard of academic integrity.
  1. Collusion is defined as work which has been undertaken by or with others but is submitted solely as the work of one person. This can also apply when the work of one person is submitted in the name of another. Where this is done with the knowledge of the originator, both parties can be considered to be at fault. This should not be confused with group working when clear advice will be provided on what students are permitted to submit for assessment. Unless specifically advised to the contrary, any work submitted for assessment should be that of the individual and not that of a group.
  1. Contract cheating/Commissioning includes any action whereby a third party undertakes work on behalf of the student whether or not paid for by the student. The definition of third party includes a fellow student, friend, or family member but where it is another student, that student is also subject to action under this procedure.
  2. Re-use of one’s own material (either in part or wholly) is where material has previously been submitted in support of an application for academic credit, except where this is appropriately referenced or where it is a resubmission of previously failed work and has been authorised by the programme team.
  1. Fabrication of data involves making false claims to have carried out experiments, observations, interviews or other forms of data collection and analysis, or acting dishonestly in any other way.
  1. Failure to obtain appropriate permission to conduct research: this directly relates to a student’s studies.
  1. My completed assignment is submitted and checked for plagiarism through the use of plagiarism detection software called Turnitin.

Please note: Submitting work which is not your own and/or cheating in exams can be considered as fraud2 and handled in accordance with Wrexham Glyndŵr University‘s Academic Integrity and Misconduct Policy. Penalties can include:

– Cancellation of the student’s marks in part or an instruction to the markers to ignore any plagiarised text when marking.

– The reduction of the degree result by one class or the non-award of a distinction, as appropriate.

– The disqualification of the student from future examinations (applicable to offences occurring during examinations)

Further information on Academic Integrity can be found in your Student Handbook, Section 13.

2 If a student is suspected of commissioning (e.g., paying someone to write an assignment for them), this could be classed as fraud under student disciplinary procedures, separate to academic misconduct procedures. If proven, the consequences would be severe, including removal from their course of study.

Appendix 4: Use of external editorial or proofreading services

Wrexham Glyndŵr University ‘s Academic Integrity Guide for Students provides clear guidance on the use of proof-readers to check your work. Please check the link in Section 2.

What you need to know:

  1. You can ask your tutors or our Learning Enhancement (LEE) team for advice and support on how to proof your work.
  1. Proofreaders should not make live changes to your work. They should only indicate where possible changes could be made.
  1. A proofreader should not change the meaning of your work in any way.
  1. If a proofreader’s comments or amendments do change the meaning of your work, this may be deemed as academic misconduct.
  1. If you do use a proofreader, you must declare this clearly when you submit your work. The declaration should be on the first page (cover page) of your assignment.

Example declaration:

“A proofreader has helped me with this assignment. The proofreader was my friend/name of proofreading service/a family member/other. I have kept a copy of my original work with comments from the proofreader.”

For more information, please go to the Academic Integrity policy itself, which is available in the Quality Enhancement Manual on our website.

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