Topics covered

  • ​​Historical background of business analysis, a background that very much centres on gathering information about operational issues. 
  • Introduction to industry-structure analysis, value-chain analysis and the ways these models of analysis can be used to inform strategic decision-making and moves. 
  • In this topic we introduce an accounting framework for the analysis of business performance. 
  • In this topic we move on from static analysis of the operating ratios of business to the dynamics of market conditions. 
  • In this topic you will see that there is an increasing pressure for firms to deliver shareholder value in terms of income and profit surplus, and market value on the stock market. 
  • Why strategic moves are often frustrated by events outside the control of management
  • How the accounting framework of analysis can be used to review the strategic performance of a business.
  • Why firms restructure and, more generally, why they interact in the capital market to fund acquisitions and mergers.

Learning outcomes

  • Critically understand the variable relation between product markets, internal organisation, cost structures and capital market expectations, and how they impact on strategy formulation
  • Deconstruct the return on capital employed
  • Critically appreciate that accounting numbers reflect complex market, organisation and institutional relations
  • Explain and understand that the outcomes of strategy are shaped by accounting calculations but are often subject to vagaries that limit
  • Understand and explain the relationship between efficiency, distribution and stakeholder interests
  • Apply interpretive and analytical skills to interpret the performance of companies, and be able to employ analyses and numbers to construct well-argued presentations and reports


This module is assessed by a two hour unseen written examination.

Taster study material