• April 12th, 2016

Contemporary Business Strategy

Paper, Order, or Assignment Requirements


The organization in focus for this assignment is “Visa Inc.”, the financial and payment-cards company. You should focus on the core business of Visa i.e. debit and credit cards.
Feel free to collect information from their annual reports, press releases and the Internet to support your analysis.
Your report must not exceed 3,000 words excluding the Executive Summary (where you sum up your results for the whole report: maximum length 300 words), the Appendix, and references. You should clearly indicate the number of words of your work (main text, excluding the Executive Summary, Appendix, and references) in the front page.

The core structure of your report should include 3 different sections, each one addressing one of the following questions. At the end of each section you should provide a brief summary (length: between 200 and 250 words) where you recap your main findings for that specific section. You should thus provide altogether three section-summaries which must be included in the word counting of your work (3,000 words).
For each question, carefully select the theoretical concepts and tools you consider to be more appropriate for answering that question.

Please address all of these 3 questions (analyse each question in a specific section):

1. Critically define and assess the business microenvironment (industry) of Visa i.e. the global payment industry: use the Porter’s Five Forces Framework to clearly indicate and analyze the main industry players. Evaluate the strength of each Force.

[35 marks]

2. What is the competitive advantage of Visa? What are the main sources of this advantage? Explain the reasons for the relevance of these sources.
[30 marks]

3. a) What are the main future challenges Visa is going to face with regard to its medium- and long-term growth and the sustainability of its competitive advantage? Explain why these challenges are relevant.
Provide your recommendations on how Visa should cope with these challenges.
[35 marks]


The assignment will be assessed using the general postgraduate grade criteria outlined below. Study them to ensure you appreciate the requirements to achieve each grade.

Essentially, what we look for in your final document is:

1. Theoretical understanding: has the candidate shown a good breadth of understanding and referenced a range of literature?

2. Use of examples to support points made: where appropriate, have the arguments been supported by examples drawn from business practice or the case study?

3. Structure of the answer: has the answer been structured using paragraphs that are linked and build to form a coherent answer to the question (or to achieve coherence across questions)? Some candidates find this difficult. Consult BLASC or academic advisors on topic sentences and paragraph construction before you submit.

4. Clarity of expression and analytical ability: is the language used clear & easy to follow and does it contain evidence of critical reflection?

5. Conclusion – Have the key points been drawn out of the discussion to ensure that the reader is clear what the answer to the question being tackled is?

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