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Unit 3 Project: Consulting Report

Your Unit 3 Project should include:

  1. Section 1: Organisational Issue: An organisational issue you identified
  2. Section 2: Internal Environmental Analysis: A SWOT analysis of your selected organisation
  3. Section 3: External Environmental Analysis: A PESTLE analysis and additional external analysis of the organisation, with explanation of how external analysis can help you understand the organisational issue you identified
  4. Section 4: Resource Allocation: An explanation of how the identified organisational issue can be addressed through better resource allocation

Organise all of the above into a coherent report you could submit to a CIO, CTO, CEO or COO. Your Unit 3 Project document should be approximately 3,000 words.

Section 1: Organisational Issue

Whether large or small, every organisation will at some point encounter issues that might be challenging. Take for example the global franchise Cold Stone Creamery. Several years ago, Cold Stone Creamery franchises were rapidly expanding, and it seemed there was one on every corner. They had a unique product: high-quality, hand-crafted ice creams with a bevy of toppings and flavour combinations. Cold Stone became trendy and began expanding at an extremely fast pace. Soon, franchises started opening too close to one another and were hurting each other’s sales. As fast as franchises were opening, they were closing as well. This is a perfect example of an organisation that encountered the issue of expanding too quickly.

In this section of your Unit 3 Project, you will identify an organisational issue that will serve as the basis for your Unit 3 Project and to which you will return in Unit 5 Project.

To prepare for this section of Unit 3 Project:

  • Review the Learning Resources from Unit 1 focusing on organisational issues.
  • Identify an issue in the organisation you selected. Organisational issues may include ethical problems, understaffing or overstaffing, overuse or underuse of resources, lack of communication between teams and stakeholders, lack of innovation, decreased profits or other problems or challenges faced by the organisation. The issue should be of strategic importance, with a demonstrable impact on organisational performance.

To complete this Section of Unit 3 Project:

  • Describe the organisational issue that you have identified.
  • Explain the scope of the issue.
  • Explain how the issue you identified may impact the organisation from an internal perspective.
Section 2: Internal Environmental Analysis

Organisations can face a multitude of challenging issues that need to be addressed. One effective tool an organisation can use to self-evaluate and determine potential issues is a SWOT analysis. A SWOT analysis can help in the decision-making process for new strategies or ventures. In addition to facilitating analysis of the organisation’s internal characteristics, SWOT analysis also introduces the notion of external environmental analysis, which you will explore in more depth in the next module.

To prepare for this Section of Unit 3 Project:

  • Review the Learning Resources from Unit 1 focusing on SWOT analysis; use these as a basis to identify one to two additional scholarly sources on internal organisational analysis.

To complete this Section of Unit 3 Project:

  • Perform a SWOT analysis on the organisation you selected and analyse the results.
  • Provide two to four questions you might need to ask key stakeholders in the organisation in order to obtain additional information that would help in refining your analysis.
Section 3: External Environmental Analysis

In order to be successful in a business environment, you must acquire tools that can help you analyse various environmental factors and situations. One useful tool to analyse external environmental factors is the political, economic, social, technological, legal, and environmental (PESTLE) analysis. The PESTLE analysis is used to view the external environment from many angles in order to make strategic decisions. The political component analyses the extent to which the government regulates the industry.

For example, the hardware industry may have little or no government regulation, while the firearms industry has intense government regulation. The economic component analyses how the economy can affect an organisation or industry. For example, a weak economy may see an increase in budget-friendly stores like Tesco where more upscale stores like Harrods could see a decline in sales. The social component analyses factors such as trends and demographics; the technological component addresses the impact of innovations in technology; the legal component analyses the legal factors that can affect how an organisation operates or the demand for its products; and the environmental component looks at natural resources and other elements of the natural environment. By using the complete PESTLE analysis, you can enhance strategic decision-making and recognise factors you may have not otherwise considered.

This Section of Unit 3 Project will allow you to practise applying two analytical tools, the PESTLE analysis and one additional analysis method of your choosing, and continue working towards your Unit 3 and Unit 5 Project.

To prepare for this Section of Unit 3 Project:

  • Review Learning Resources from Unit 2 about PESTLE and other external environmental analysis tools and methods; use these as a basis to identify one to two additional scholarly sources on external environmental analysis.
  • Select one external analysis tool or method other than PESTLE to use in this assignment.

To complete this Section of Unit 3 Project:

  • Apply a PESTLE analysis to the organisation you selected.
  • Apply the second external environmental analysis tool or method you selected to the organisation.
  • Compare the results of each analysis and critically evaluate the strengths and limitations of each analytical method. Justify your answer; provide support for your arguments with citations from the literature.
  • Explain whether PESTLE and other external analysis tools are useful in understanding the organisational issue you identified in Section 1, and if so, how.
  • Provide two to four questions you might need to ask key stakeholders in the organisation in order to obtain additional information that would help in refining your analysis.
Section 4: Resource Allocation

Imagine for a moment you are in charge of a manufacturing company with two locations of operation: Location A and Location B. Location A is overstaffed, space is limited and the equipment is very old. Location B is understaffed and cannot keep up with the amount of product their brand-new equipment is producing. Your budget has been increased, and you have permission to hire 20 new employees. You could assign the extra funds and employees to Location B, which would solve their staffing problem, but the funds might be unnecessary since they have brand-new equipment. If you assign the extra funds and employees to Location A, they would have the money to buy new equipment and possibly expand their space, but they would be adding employees to an already over-employed location. What do you do? There is no right or wrong answer. Deciding where to appropriately distribute funds and employees is a difficult decision. This is what is called ‘resource allocation’.

Resource allocation is not only limited to funds and employees but also includes intellectual property, inventory and facilities. Every organisation will have different resources to allocate. If resources are allocated inappropriately, inefficiencies can undermine the organisation; but if resources are allocated appropriately, an organisation might run more efficiently and optimise organisational performance. This Section of Unit 3 Project allows you to consider ways in which better resource allocation could address the organisational issue you identified in Section 1.

To prepare for this Section of Unit 3 project:

  • Review the organisational issue you previously identified.
  • Review Learning Resources from Unit 3 that focus on resource allocation; use these as a basis to identify one to two additional scholarly sources on resource allocation.
  • Think about how resource allocation is related to organisational issues.

To complete this Section of Unit 3 Project:

  • Explain how resource allocation can impact an organisation.
  • Explain two ways how the organisational issue you identified could be addressed through better resource allocation in the organisation.
  • Provide two to four questions you might need to ask key stakeholders in order to obtain additional information that would help in refining your analysis of organisational performance and resource allocation.

Submit your Project in one Word document. Be sure to include references to all sources, including your Learning Resources, in Harvard Referencing Style.

Word count: The suggested word count for this assignment is 3,000 words.

Advice on word count: Submissions that range from 10% below to 10% above the recommended word count are acceptable. Students should recognise that assignment submissions that fall outside these parameters may be marked down. This restriction encourages the development of a concise writing style, as assignment quality is likely to suffer given the potential for overly verbose submissions. The policy is available to review on page 16 of the University of Roehampton Online Policies document, which can be found here.

Assessment and Grading

This Project submission accounts for 50% of your grade for this module. Review the Project Rubric for information on how your assignment will be graded.












Consulting Report – Part 1:  LEGO Group














Table of Contents

Introduction.. 1

Lego: Background information.. 1

Organisational Issue. 2

External and Internal Environment Analysis of LEGO Company. 3

SWOT Analysis. 4

PESTLE Analysis. 7

Political Factors. 7

Economic Factors. 8

Social Factors. 8

Technological Factors. 9

Legal Factors. 9

Environmental Factors. 10

Porter’s five forces. 10

Buyers bargaining power. 10

Suppliers Bargaining Power. 10

Threats of substitutes. 11

Threats of new entrants. 11

Competition rivalry. 11

Resource Allocation.. 12

Conclusion.. 14

References. 15










The current report explores the issue of declining profits for LEGO Inc. in the past two years. In so doing, the report scans the internal and external environments in a bid to establish how environmental factors have impacted the business and the implications of the impacts on resource allocation towards solving the problem of declining profits. After giving LEGO’s background, the report analyses the internal environment (SWOT Analysis) and external environment (PESTEL and Five Porters Forces) followed by prescribing resource allocation to address the issue of declining profits in the context of the environment.

Lego: Background information

Founded by Kirk Kristiansen in 1932, Lego Group is a renowned multinational Danish toy manufacturing company with its headquarters in Billund (LEGO, n.d.). The family-owned company that began at a carpenter’s workshop, producing wooden blocks with 7 employees, has grown to become one of the largest global toy makers in the world employing about 19,000 people globally by 2017. LEGO’s most important toy is the plastic interlocking blocks launched in 1958 that have now been improved to come in different shapes, sizes, colors and formations (LEGO Group, 2017). The name LEGO is derived from the Danish phrase “Leg godt” which loosely translates to “play well” (Hatch & Schultz, 2010) By 2015, LEGO had outsmarted the historically leading toy manufacturers Mattel and become the market leader as well as largest toy maker by revenue (LEGO Group, 2017). Over the years, the company has innovatively expanded to china and other countries as well as introducing such new revenue sources as their globally distributed amusement parks branded LegoLand, games, competitions and supporting movies. Its corporate strategy has consistently placed it as one of the most reputable organizations in the globe.

The Mission of LEGO is to motivate and motivate ‘children to think creatively, reason systematically and release their potential to shape their future – experiencing the endless human possibility.” LEGO’s unique selling point (USP) is the manufacturing intrinsically detailed construction toys that can be disassembled and reassembled infinitely, with thousands of combinations and permutations available thus enabling the development of creativity and innovativeness in their target clientele (ages 3-15 years).

Organisational Issue

Since 2017 through to 2018, LEGO Group has been registering a decline in its profitability (Annual Report, 2017; Annual Report, 2018). Although LEGO still remains generally profitable, this decline is disturbing because it is the first time LEGO is registering a decline in sales and profits since 2004 (14 years ago) (Peltz, 2017). In 2017 annual revenues dropped by 8% from the 2016 revenue DKK 38 billion to DKK 35 billion. Subtracting the influence of foreign exchange the revenue drop comes to 7%. Operating profits for 2017 decreased by 17% from DKK 12.4 billion to DKK 10.4 billion while the net profit dropped from DKK 9.4 billion to DKK 7.8 billion (Annual Report, 2017). While this decline would partially be attributed to inventories clean-up across value chain, this would be experienced in 2018 as well. In the first half of 2018, LEGO continued to see a drop in profits, registering a net profit decline of 10% compared to the first half of 2017 (Annual Report, 2018). Interestingly, Lego faced this decline in 2017 and 2018 when its Chinese market saw a double-digital growth. LEGO saw a substantial decline in market share in Europe and North America, two of the most important markets contrary to a stagnation in North America alone in 2016. In 2018, apart from the Chinese market that continued its double digital growth, the rest global markets faced either a decline or stagnation of LEGO’s market share and revenue (Neate, 2018).  This shows a slow spread of the discontent of LEGO’s products and the need for the organization to act with speed. The declining profit is already impacting the internal environment of LEGO. Early 2018, LEGO Group announced its plan to retrench 1400 workers due to redundancy. It has also tried to focus on newer markets and increasing the organization’s focus on the production of more supporting movies that are aimed at painting Lego as the ultimate toy destination. From the retrenching news it is evident that declining profits stimulate the revisiting of resources, streamlining them and reallocating these resources in a way that ensures the overcoming of the challenge.

External and Internal Environment Analysis of LEGO Company

The current business environment is constantly changing due to the increasing globalization and advancement in technology. The changes results in intense competition in the business market putting pressure on organization to always work towards enhancing their competitiveness. Formulation and implementation of effective strategies is a sure way of assisting the company accomplishes an enhanced competitive advantage to remain in business. An understanding of the internal and external environments of the business is a major prerequisite in the formulation of such strategies. The environment of a company affects its operations including the supply chain, marketing and sales operations making it an important factor to be considered in the formulation of strategies. SWOT analysis is a tool used in the analysis of the internal environment of the company. To understand the happenings in the organization’s external environment, tools such as PESTLE and Porter’s five forces model are used. Focusing on SWOT the tool is used to identify the strengths and the weaknesses of the company, as well as the threats and opportunities of the company (Bhasin, 2017). On the other hand PESTLE tool is adopted in the analysis of the macro-environment of the company. It focuses on understanding the political, economic, social, technological, environmental, and legal environment that is likely to affect the operation and success of the company (CIPD, 2013). Porter’s five forces model is employed to understand the forces that influence competition in the specific industry of the company (Porter, 2008). The three tools are used in the analysis of the internal and external environments of LEGO Group Company.




SWOT Analysis


·                     A strong brand name

·                     Unique and creative toy building concept

·                     Integration of information technology in its operations and designs

·                     Strong association with top movie stars




·                     Failure in understanding the changing needs of customers

·                     Negative influence of some products on children

·                     Premium pricing in relation to other players








·                     Vast opportunity on media platforms

·                     Expansion into the global market



·                     Intense rivalry from competitors producing similar products

·                     Threat from counterfeits toys and cheap imitations






Lego Company enjoys a strong brand name and reputation in the manufacture and supply of learning and creative toys across the world. The company products are sold in more than 140 nations. The creative and unique concept employed by the company in the manufacture of the toys is a strong growth factor. Also, the integration of information technology in its operations has resulted in the release of quality and safe toys (Bhasin, 2017). Lego Company adheres strictly to the set global quality and safety standards, an approach that has ensured it reports zero product recalls.

Despite the strengths identified, Lego Company has some weak spots. The organization charges a premium price for its toys making it only affordable for individuals in the high-end and upper classes in the society. The company has also failed to keep up with the changing trends in the consumer needs, leading to some of its products being faced out (Peltz, 2017). The negative effects associated with its products such as the video games that are believed to derail the brain development of children have not only affected the reputation of the company negatively, but has also adversely affects its financial performance. Lego has maintained an increase in its sales volume for some time now, however, in 2017; the company reported a significant drop in its sale volume, owing to its weakness in meeting the varying and changing needs of the customers.

The threat of intense competition from other players in the industry has also resulted in the lower sales reported by the company in the last two years. Lego Company faces stiff competition from smartphones and other digital technology platforms that supports kids’ games. The threat from counterfeits products offered at lower prices has also had negative impacts on the sales volume of the company.

Regardless of the threats and weaknesses that have contributed to the reduction in the company’s revenue in the recent past, Lego can still use its strengths to explore the various opportunities present in the market for its further growth. The company has an opportunity of expanding its global presence to several other nations. Lego brand has immensely remained popular thus a suitable strength that can be employed by the company to access other markets across the globe (Reed, 2018). The company also has an opportunity of emphasizing parental focus on its creative toys. The approach will enhance the preferences for their products that will mostly support skill and brain development of the child (Peltz, 2017). Lego also has an opportunity of engaging in the manufacture of activity driven learning toys that are highly acceptable in schools. Since Lego’s strong brand name and reputation has remained immensely popular, the company can exploit the identified opportunities to overcome its weaknesses and manage the threats, to consequently report a higher level of performance.

PESTLE Analysis

Political Factors

European Union regulation for toy manufacturers is one of the political factors that influence the operations of Lego Company. The “Toy Safety Directives” are regulations set by the EU to regulate the activities of the manufacturers and to ensure that all toy companies comply with the recommended safety standards (Beh, n.d). The political environment of the nations where Lego operates also influences its operations. The company’s host nation is Denmark, nevertheless, a significant volume of its sales are obtained from Western part of Europe and North America. The political climate in these regions is overly stable limiting the exposure of the company to political instability. As the company plans to expand its operations in other parts of the world, it is likely to face some political pressures. In addition, the company is distributing its products to other nations, thus there operations are likely to be influenced by the political decisions in those regions.

Economic Factors

Economic parameters such as global financial crisis, hedging currencies, debt crisis amongst other financial decisions are likely to impact on the operations of Lego. Changes in these economic parameters have adverse implications on the on the sales of the company, its revenue and overall business performance. The financial crisis witnessed in 2009 caused a significant drop in the market performance that impacted negatively on the performance of the company. Lego however managed to pull through and report an increase in its performance in the year 2010 (Beh, n.d). Lego receives revenue inflows in different currencies, as such; the organization is faced with the risk of currency hedging. Conversion of the different currencies to home country currency is likely to affect negatively the profitability of Lego. Other economic risks such s debt crisis also impact negatively in the profitability of the company. As such, exposure to a high debt as evident in its Southern Europe market contributed to the lower amount of revenue reported form the region in the recent past.

Social Factors

The preference for toy products is continually changing. The needs and wants of the previous kids are vastly different from the current children. The latter group focuses more on technology-based technology or digital platforms to access different kinds of toys or games. Lego faces significant challenges to keep up with the changing needs and the rejection of the traditional toys by most children (Reed, 2018). However, the company has embarked on the production of toys that are not only for recreational purposes but also encourage learning, to empower the children.

Technological Factors

The increase in the use of the internet, presents the need for producers to offer their products through a web platform. Lego has to be innovative and make products that can be released through the web. The digital transformations also instill pressure on the company to come up with highly creative toys (Tsang, 2017). Moreover, the company has to embark on extensive research and development to come up with unique products to meet the changing technology needs. Lego have to put in place sufficient resources in research and development, as well as possess the desired competencies to manage the challenge of advancement in technology and its resulting effects on demand and preference for the toys.

Legal Factors

Copyright law is the major factor that influences the activities of Lego Company. The poor copyright law in most regions of its operation is a major challenge to the company. Lego is required to abide by all the copyrights laws to enable the company operate smoothly in the regions. Despite the strict copyright laws enforced in different nations Lego group has been unable to preserve its patent, giving room for other players to produce counterfeit goods (Peltz, 2017). The implications are intense competition and threats from other toy manufacturers thus negatively impacting on the overall performance of the company. Lego needs to device strategy of preserving its patent to address the issues of duplication and counterfeits.

Environmental Factors

Lego has focused on conserving the environment through different strategies. Responsible sourcing of raw materials and reduction in carbon emissions are the approaches that have been employed by Lego to conserve the environment. The company become a signatory of the United Nations Global compact and has been working towards accomplishing its goal of using 100% renewable source of energy (Reed, 2018). Lego group is required to come up with raw materials that will ensure that the desired level of environmental conservation is accomplished.

Porter’s five forces

Buyers bargaining power

The buyers in the case of Lego toys have a high bargaining power. This is due to the fact the switching cost from one company to the next is minimal. Also, the presence of many substitute products such as video games enhances the bargaining power of the buyers (Tsang, 2017). Lego thus has to focus on identifying the needs and preference of the customers and work towards accomplishing them.

Suppliers Bargaining Power

Suppliers have an average bargaining power. The toys offered by Lego are mostly made from chemicals and plastics that are readily available. However, as the company contemplate adopting environmentally friendly products the power of suppliers is likely to increase (Reed, 2018). In addition, the company’s desire to focus on electronic games, films and other digital gadgets will lead to an enhanced bargaining power of the suppliers.

Threats of substitutes

There is a significant high threat from substitutes that are equally offered at a relatively lower price. Lego generally focus on providing entertainment to children, this is a sector that is overcrowded by other players offering near similar products that can be easily substituted (Peltz, 2017). As such, the threat from substitutes is high since consumers can easily choose from other types of toys.

Threats of new entrants

The high level of investments needed for one to enter the industry has made the threats of new entrants low. Extensive research and development is also required for a manufacturer to come with creative and unique toys, making it difficult for various companies to access the market. Lego has also build a strong brand overtime thus new entrants cannot pose significant competition threat to the company.

Competition rivalry

Lego group operates in an industry that is characterized with intense competition. The many players in the sector and the emergence of near similar products at relatively lower prices have intensified the competition in the industry. Large companies from the electronic industry also compete with the Lego (Tsang, 2017). This intense competition has contributed to the reduction in the amount of revenue reported by Lego in the last two years. The company needs to device strategies that can be employed to counter the competition from other players in the industry.


Resource Allocation

Resource allocation is the most challenging yet vital means of increasing organizational profitability. According to Hall and Andriani (1998) an organization must be able to use its capabilities in a way that not only drives profitability but also ensures the sustainability of the profiteering of the firm. Capabilities in this context are viewed to cover both the organizational resources and the firm’s competencies. These resources can either be tangible or intangible. Hall (1993) notes that since tangible resources such as capital, machines, human resource are transferable and easy to acquire, the do not form the aspect that ensures competitiveness but the intangible. The intangible resources such as brand reputation, knowledge base, organizational culture etc are the aspects of an organization that differentiates towards a competitive advantage (Levinthal, 2017). As such, the value of any organizational resources is not in its ownership but the manner in which the organization deploys it.

Traditionally, an apt deployment or allocation of resources ensured the creation of a competitive advantage that gave an organization an edge over its competitors. This competitive advantage would be created in a red ocean market. The red ocean is a market is one that is rout with competition within which the organization must exploit the existing demand perfectly to ensure he beats competition often through making value cost trade-offs. In the read ocean, the firm must align its operations either with a low cost or differentiation strategic choice. Nevertheless, resource allocation can also be done with an aim of creating a blue ocean where competition is rendered irrelevant through the creation of uncontested market spaces as well as creating and conquering new demand without any value cost trade-off. According to Kim and Mauborgne (2004), the employment of the blue ocean strategy is a sure way of increasing profitability in a sustainable manner. Indeed, it is through the exploration of a blue ocean that LEGO saved its brand from a near collapse after the 2003 crisis when the company was at the brink of financial collapse. Apt resource allocation saves an organization time and enables a significant reduction in costs. According to Barney (2000) the allocation of both intangible and tangible organizational resources in tandem with the blue ocean strategy ensure rapid growth and profitability that can be sustained.

For LEGO to overcome the problem of declining profits, it must allocate sufficient amount of resources in areas that already show signs of sustainable growth and the creation of a blue ocean in the areas where sales are declining. From the analysis presented herein, LEGO can create a Blue ocean by allocating more resources to marketing where it targets the parents and grown-ups who used LEGO toys while young in the tradition markets (Europe and North America) that are experiencing declining sales. This is a deployment of brand which is an intangible resource to drive more sales in stale markets. LeGO can also redeploy the resources allocated to the poorly performing theme parks and board games and instead use them to create a learning brand identity as its mission states. The creation of this learning identity can include creating the toys in a manner that fits the elementary school curriculum as well as creating branded or franchised learning center. This will be a blue ocean because while it will remain within its mission of “learning in play” will be a new market where competition is irrelevant. Instead of the parks, which do not carry the mission, learning centers may be better. While doing so, the company may also consider reducing its dependence on licensing, especially from Disney and use other options like Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network.

Questions to Ask Stakeholders:


  1. What do you like or hate about our theme parks?
  2. Between the theme park and a learning center, which one would you want us to focus on?


  1. What is the economic value of the theme parks? Are they sustainably profitable?
  2. Should we consider the company’s licensing policy?


LEGO has seen a decline in profitability for the first time between 2017 and 2018 since 2003. This issue calls for the need to review both the internal and external organizational environments to evaluate the best way to conduct a resource allocation process. From the review it is evident that Lego operates in a highly competitive market in a volatile business macro environment. As such, instead of continuing to allocate resources within the read ocean, LEGO should try to allocate resources in a way that ensures the creation of a blue ocean that ascertains rapid and sustainable growth across markets in a bid to overcome the declining profits.








Annual Report (2017) LEGO Group

Annual Report (2018) LEGO Group

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Hall, R. & Andriani, P. (1998) Analysing intangible resources and managing knowledge in a supply chain context. European Management Journal. 6(6) pp.685-697.

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Peltz J.F. (2017) After Lego sales drop for first time in 13 years, the firm plans to cut jobs and ‘reset the company.’ Los Angeles Times. Accessed on 2/1/2019

Porter, M. E. (2008) The five competitive forces that shape strategy. Harvard Business Review. pp.24-40. Available at: (Accessed: 1/1/19).

Reed, S. (2018) Lego Wants to Completely Remake Its Toy Bricks (Without Anyone Noticing). The New York Times. Available at: (Accessed 1/1/19)

Tsang, A. (2017) Lego Will Cut 1,400 Jobs as Profit Dips, Despite Big-Screen Heroics. The New York Times. Available at: (Accessed 1/1/19)