Communication | DhaSar



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Completing and sending your assignments


Please read these instructions carefully and contact your tutor if you require any further clarification.

When you have completed your TMA, you must fill in the assignment form (PT3 form), taking care to fill all sections correctly. A soft copy of your TMA with the PT3 form filled must be uploaded to the university Moodle within the indicated cut-off date, via the turn-it-in upload link.




The Arab Open University Definitions of cheating and plagiarism

According to the Arab Open University By-laws, “The following acts represent cases of cheating and plagiarism:

  • Verbatim copying of printed material and submitting them as part of TMAs without proper academic acknowledgement and documentation.
  • Verbatim copying of material from the Internet.
  • Copying other students’ notes or reports.
  • Using paid or unpaid material prepared for the student by individuals or firms.
  • Utilization of, or proceeding to utilize, contraband materials or devices in examinations.”

Penalty on plagiarism

The following is the standard plagiarism penalty applied across branches as per Article 11 of the university by-laws:

  • Awarding of zero for a TMA wherein more than 20% of the content is plagiarized.
  • Documentation of warning in student record.
  • Failure in the course to dismissal from the University.

All University programs are required to apply penalties that are consistent with the University bylaws.


Examples of Plagiarism


Copying from single or multiple sources, this is where the student uses one or more of the following as the basis for the whole, or a good part, of the assignment:

  1. Published or unpublished books, articles or reports
  2. The Internet
  3. The media (e.g.TV programs, radio programs or newspaper articles)
  4. An essay from an essay bank
  5. A piece of work previously submitted by another student
  6. Copying from a text which is about to be submitted for the same assignment



The value of TMA is 100 points.

The TMA aims to assess your understanding of the core concepts and frameworks covered in session Sessions 1, 2,3,5,8 &9 of LB170.

You are advised to use the AOU e-library to locate additional relevant resources, which can support your analysis and argument.

The TMA evaluates the following:

  • Your knowledge and understanding of the basic course concepts covered in session 1, 2,3,5,8 &9.


  • Your ability in applying SWOT and STEEPLE when analyzing a case study and problem identification.


  • Your ability to use these techniques in writing your own problem analysis.


  • Your ability to use relevant academic/course concepts in answering questions.


  • Your ability to communicate ideas clearly, and to follow good academic practice in citing sources of information properly.


General Mark’s deductions as follows

  • PT3 Form: failure to complete the PT3 form correctly, (5 Marks).
  • TMA Presentation and Structure, and word count: untidy presentation, work way below or above the word count (deduct up to 5 Marks).
  • Referencing and in-text citation: poor referencing/poor or lack of bibliographical list, and or poor in-text citation without plagiarism, (deduct up to 2 Marks).
PART I     Short answer questions                                                          50 Marks


  1. Match the terms given below in the left column with the expression in the right column that is similar in meaning. (1mark each)


a. Reflection


c.  Analyse



__To include a detailed information about all the sources used in a txt.

__Reading or listening to the information available and using key concepts or frameworks to examine the situation.

___ Looking back at what we did and considering how we can improve what we do in the future.

__Restating the ideas in the original source in your own words.



  1. Below are mixed STEEPLE factors examples of pharmaceutical industry case study. Organise each STEEPLE factors example according to the suitable category. (3marks each)
  1. Legal
___ There is an upward trend in household healthcare spending. That is to say that the average individual spends more and more money on healthcare including medication every year.
  1. Environmental
___ Governments are starting to take interest in limiting the prices drugs can be sold at. Ultimately, this would mean that pharmaceutical companies are left with less profit.
  1. Political
___ Pharmaceutical companies need to be conscious of pollution.
  1. Sociological
___ The pharmaceutical industry has a strict regulatory framework to follow. This regulatory framework is a serious barrier to entry for new competitors in the pharmaceutical industry.
  1. Ethical
___Older individuals typically have more serious health problems and more of them than younger individuals. Thus, the aging population means we have more health issues to tackle. This creates greater demand for pharmaceutical products
  1. Economical
___The introduction of Biotechnology; pharmaceutical companies might have a wider range of drugs to produce and distribute, generating additional revenue.

  1. Technological
___Pharmaceutical companies’ operations should be conducted in accordance with integrity, transparency, accountability, and honesty.


  1. Read the extract carefully and apply the problem-solution pattern of analysis to it. Use numbers only to refer to each answer. (5marks each)
Process Reengineering at IBM Credit

(1) IBM Credit finances the computers, software and services sold by IBM Corporation. (2) The company is considered one of the world’s most profitable publicly- traded companies. (3) Processing a finance application usually took between six days and two weeks. (4) The application wound its way from the credit department to the pricing department, to an administrator who wrote out a formal quote letter. (5) When IBM Credit realized that processing an application actually took only about 90-minutes, and the rest of the normal processing time was spent with the application sitting on a pile on a specialist’s desk waiting to be looked at. (6) They decided to reengineer the entire process. (7) Here’s what IBM Credit did: The four specialists who previously processed the application were replaced by a generalist called the deal structurer, who processed the application from start to end using templates on a new computer system which provided all the data and tools each specialist commonly used. (8) The results of the reengineering program were: Turnaround time was reduced from a typical 7 days to 4 hours without any increase in staff numbers, IBM Credit has been able to achieve a hundred-fold improvement in productivity. (9) It can now handle 100 times the number of credit applications that were handled before reengineering was undertaken. Source: (Adapted from Grant 2008)



Adopted from Grant 2008)











  1. a) The starting situation presented in sentence number ———–


  1. b) The problem presented in sentence number———


  1. c) The underlying cause of the problem is presented in sentence number ———–


  1. d) Solution has been proposed in sentence number ———-


  1. e) Evaluation of the solution presented in sentence number ——-
PART II      ESSAY QUESTIONS                                       50 Marks

In about 300 words, write an essay analyzing the below case study using the SWOT framework.     



Costco Wholesale differentiated itself in a crowded market by offering a membership-only model to its customers. With it, customers were able to buy bulk products at an attractive discount. Some of these products remain private and you can only find it (at an attractive price) at Costco warehouses.

Costco Wholesale has stores in over 600 locations across the United States and Canada. It is most known for its private product selection, exclusive membership, and positive treatment of its employees. Compared to other brands like Walmart, Costco offers benefits to employees, maintains an average wage of $20 an hour, and has a significantly reduced employee turnover rate.

If you want to shop at Costco, try the many food samplings they offer, or grab a $2 hot dog from their small food court, you need a membership first. The membership makes customers feel like they are part of an exclusive club.  It helps Costco focus more on customer retention and loyalty something a lot of companies are forgetting these days.


Another way Costco has differentiated itself in the crowded market is by offering bulk products at discounted prices. It is one of the main reasons people sign up to go to Costco; they know they can walk out with hundreds of bulk products for much cheaper than buying them individuality elsewhere.

Since Costco prides itself on its low-cost model, any type of increase will affect the company’s profits. Considering most people love the discounts Costco offers, increasing costs will likely impact the company’s reputation negatively. Unfortunately, labor costs across the US are currently on the rise, and Costco needs to figure out how to handle this sooner than later. Competition is also on the rise. Costco is used to dealing with the big guys like Target and Walmart, but it still means Costco’s market share is limited. Now with these same guys focusing on ecommerce, it puts even more pressure on Costco.

Costco can create stronger presence through ecommerce. It’s the future of shopping, after all. And with everything Costco has to offer, it will be easier for it to build a strong community of online shoppers and supporters. It also allows Costco to offer even more products without having to put them on the floor of physical stores.

Another thing Costco can do to stand out is to offer even more private label products. And with more access to increased household income, customers can afford luxury items, clothing, and fancier brands. This is a benefit for the entire retail industry, Costco included.

Although you have the option to buy many products at Costco, compared to other stores, the selection is rather limited. The average amount of products circulating on the floor is 4000. In addition, Costco is affected by any product recalls, but especially produce recalls. Not only do the recalls affect sales, but it also harms Costco’s reputation. Customers are less likely to shop at Costco if they feel their health could be at risk.



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