B870A – TMA 01: Supply Change Management Assessment Solutions


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WAWA: Supply Change Management Case Study Analysis


Case Objectives:


This case addresses Wawa’s supply chain management (SCM) in the context of strategic decision, organizational design, and future growth opportunities. Over an eight-year period, Wawa had transformed its supply chain from a disjointed array of pieces into a coherent, high- functioning system. Issues before the company now included (1) the relation between SCM and competitiveness; (2) the nature of typical store, and store manager; and (3) possible expansion beyond Wawa’s current area of operations.


This case is an excellent example of systems theory – and the consequent difficulty of reducing its lessons to a specific discipline. The case demand high-level, generalist thinking. Wawa illustrates profoundly the intersection of strategy, technology, and organization. The case shows how the concept of organization has evolved from the notion of a focal, even monolithic structure to include both extended network and share mindset.


This case also poses a fundamental dilemma common to organizations that historically have operated within a single geographical are but are confronting the limits to expansion within that region: where else to compete, and how?


Therefore, candidates are supposed to grasp the complexity of strategic, organizational and supply chain management. They will appreciate the difficulty of simultaneously reinforcing continuity and pursuing change. The will also confront the issue of geographical expansion by replicating existing systems elsewhere.


Complementary Reading


  1. Lipman-Blumen, , (2000), Connective Leadership: Managing in a Changing World, Oxford University Press, 1st Edition.
  2. Beardsley, , Johnson B., and Manyika, J. (2006), “Competitive Advantage from Better Interactions”, The McKinsey Quarterly, vol.2.
  3. Bendapudi, , and Bendapudi, V., (2005), “Creating the living Brand”, Harvard Business Review, May.
  4. Stewart, , and Raman, A. (2007), “Lessons from Toyota’s Long Drive” (an interview with Toyota President Katsuaki Watanebe), Harvard Business Review, July-August.



The PDF attached case document is authorized for educator review use only by Dr. Rima ROUHANA.





Question 1 (Up to 50% Marks): (1250 words +/- 10 %)


One of the strongest criticisms of centralization is by futurist Ray Kurzweil in The Singularity Is Near (Viking, 2005, p.420): “Centralized technologies involve an aggregation of resources such as people (for example, cities, buildings), energy (such as nuclear-power plants, liquid- natural-gas and oil tankers, energy pipelines), transportation (airplanes, trains), and other items. Centralized technologies are subject to disruption and disaster. They also tend to be inefficient, wasteful, and harmful to the environment.


In your opinion, what impact can technology have on the nature of the company and the way it competes? Is it a major factor causing organizational change? How should a manager/leader respond to such change?


Question 2 (Up to 50% Marks): (1250 words +/- 10 %)


Strategy theorist Michael Porter has observed: “what makes Southwest airlines so successful is not bunch of separate things, but rather the strategy that ties everything together. If you were to experiment with onboard service, then with gate service, then with ticketing mechanisms, all separately, you’d never get to Southwest’s strategy”.


Accordingly, how would you characterize the company’s organization design, incorporating strategic and technological aspects? How did it affect the internal organizational culture?


Note: Evidences of contextualization, connectivity, and understanding are essential. Candidates should be aware that a critical thinking is a big part of marking his/her answer.


“For top marks you will need to show command of academic literature beyond the course material (including appropriate citation and referencing).”


Assessment criterion Description
Engagement with theory

In all TMA submissions students should be engaging with concepts, frameworks, models and theories which are drawn from their work on the relevant units of the module. They should always explain the theory, rather than list bullet points. Bullet points do not demonstrate an understanding of the ideas, but rather display memory only. Students must show you that they have fully grasped and presented the ideas in their terms, not only that they can repeat them.





Use of evidence

Evidence will inform both the way that students critique theory and how they demonstrate their understanding of it. They should give practical examples from their own experiences and practice, or an organisation they know well, in order to provide strong evidence for their arguments. Likewise, they can offer evidence and illustrations for their arguments from the module materials. They must always link their examples to theory, otherwise it is just description and not analysis. They should attempt to weave the theory and evidence together, rather than having large chunks of text about the theory and then large chunks of text about ‘evidence’, as the latter inevitably ends up being descriptive rather than analytical and can feel contrived and difficult to write.





Level of discussion

At Masters level, simple answers and essentially descriptive reports are not adequate. Student TMA submissions should present a level of discussion in which their consideration of evidence and theory takes account of competing positions and elements of contrast, comparison and evaluation. Their work should demonstrate a Masters’ level of critical analysis, where appropriate.

The dialogue between theory and practice should inform their discussions. They should develop the arguments they are making and situate them in relation to other views and perspectives, which may be supported (or not supported) by the theory. They need to be sure that they answer the question set!



  • In an author-date style, a textual citation generally requires only the name of the author(s) and the year of publication (and specific page(s) if necessary).
  • This may appear at the end of a sentence, before the full stop.


It is futile to maintain that the sexes are interchangeable (Moir & Jessel 1991).

It is futile to maintain that the sexes are interchangeable (Moir & Jessel 1991, p.94).

  • Alternatively, the author’s surname may be integrated into the text, followed by the year of publication in


Moir and Jessel (1991) have shown that it is futile to maintain that the sexes are interchangeable.

Moir and Jessel (1991, pp. 93-4) have shown that it is futile to maintain that the sexes  are interchangeable.

  • If two or more works by different authors are cited at the same time, separate them with a semicolon


The implications for land degradation have been much debated (Malinowski, Miller & Gupta 1995; Thomson 1999).

  • If two or more works by the same author are cited at the same time, do not repeat the author’s Separate the years of publication by a comma
  • Alternatively, the author’s surname may be integrated into the text, followed by the year of publication in


Subsequent investigation confirmed these results (Watson & Clark 1996, 1998). Public housing remains a neglected area (ACOSS 1997a, 1997b).

  • If there are more than three authors, list only the first, followed by ‘et al.’


Other researchers have questioned these findings (Larson et al. 1987).

  • If you cannot establish the year of publication, use ‘n.d.’ (no date).


Recent advances have been made in this area (Bolton n.d.).

  • If there is no author or authoring body, cite the work by title, in


In military settings, leadership acquires a different significance (Be, know, do: leadership the Army way, 2004).




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