Articles on Strategic Management

Strategic Management is about the strategies that managers carry to achieve better performance. Study in detail about Strategic Management Concepts, Strategic Decisions, Strategy Statement etc.

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Strategic Management is about the strategies that managers carry to achieve better performance. Study in detail about Strategic Management Concepts, Strategic Decisions, Strategy Statement etc.

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A strategy is all about integrating organizational activities and utilizing and allocating the scarce resources within the organizational environment so as to meet the present objectives.

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The strategy statement of a firm sets the firms long-term strategic direction and broad policy directions. It gives the firm a clear sense of direction and a blueprint for the firms activities for the upcoming years.

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One of the first things that management thought and practice discuss is vision and mission statements. This article discusses some of the benefits of having articulate, coherent, and meaningful vision and mission statements and examines why these statements are so important for organizations.

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Strategic Management Process means defining the organizations strategy. Strategic management process consists of four components - Environmental Scanning, Strategic Formulation, Strategy Implementation and Strategy Evaluation

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Environmental scanning refers to possession and utilization of information about occasions, patterns, trends, and relationships within an organizations internal and external environment

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Strategy formulation refers to the process of choosing the most appropriate course of action for the realization of organizational goals. The process of strategy formulation basically involves six main steps.

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Strategy implementation is defined as the manner in which an organization should develop and utilize organizational structure, control systems, and culture to follow strategies that lead to competitive advantage and a better performance.

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Strategy Formulation includes planning and decision-making involved in developing organizations strategic plans whereas Strategy Implementation involves all those means related to executing the strategic plans.

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Strategy Evaluation is as significant as strategy formulation because it throws light on the efficiency and effectiveness of the comprehensive plans in achieving the desired results.

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Strategic decisions are the decisions that are concerned with whole environment in which the firm operates, the entire resources and the people who form the company and the interface between the two.

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There are many benefits of strategic management and they include tangible financial results and intangible cultural and behavioral aspects. This article discusses some of these benefits and cautions against the lack of strategic planning as that would lead to failure over the longer term.

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Business Policy defines the scope or spheres within which decisions can be taken by the subordinates in an organization. Business policies are the guidelines developed by an organization to govern its actions.

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Boston Consulting Group (BCG) Matrix is a four celled matrix (a 2 * 2 matrix) developed by BCG, USA. It is the most renowned corporate portfolio analysis tool.

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SWOT is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. SWOT Analysis is the most renowned tool for audit and analysis of the overall strategic position of the business and its environment.

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SWOT Analysis provides readers with the ability to assess companies critically and examine the market environment in which they operate. This article discusses the SWOT of the leading internet company, Google with specific reference to its current and future threats and opportunities. The key theme in this article is that Google is poised on the edge of a new world where it can either make the next evolutionary leap or remain stuck in its current business model.

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This article performs a SWOT Analysis of the famous coffeehouse chain, Starbucks. The key themes in this analysis are related to the excessive dependence on a few products and hence, the need to diversify its product range; the questions over its procurement practices and the negative publicity arising out of it; and the fact that its traditional markets have become saturated and hence, it urgently needs to enter new markets in the emerging economies.

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This article is a SWOT Analysis of the pioneer among the mobile computing providers, Blackberry. The article analyses the strategic moves of the company using the SWOT Methodology and the tool is used as a prism through which the recent moves and the outlook for the company are discussed. The key themes in this article are that the company has to broaden its customer base as well as reinvent itself and rejuvenate itself if it has to take on the competition from Samsung and Apple. Further, the article also makes the case for Blackberry to think about what went wrong as it fell from the pedestal to the bottom of the market.

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This article lists some steps that can be followed when preparing a personal SWOT Analysis. The key theme in this article is that chance favors the prepared mind and when opportunity knocks, we had better have a door to welcome it. Further, the article also cautions against falling prey to blind spots and not identifying weaknesses and threats in an accurate manner.

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This article examines the strategy of the world’s leading online retailer, Amazon through a SWOT Analysis methodology. The key themes discussed in this article are that Amazon has to rethink its obsessive focus on cost alone as its margins are suffering and moreover, the company has to urgently address consumer concerns over privacy and security as online shopping in recent years has seen its share of identity thefts and other issues. Apart from this, Amazon has pioneered the online retailing experience and this gives it a unique edge over its competitors as it understands the business better than its rivals because of the first mover advantage do.

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This article performs a SWOT Analysis of IKEA by focusing on the key drivers of success for the company. The key themes in this article are that IKEA’s business model of cost leadership has held it in good stead so far and to continue, the company needs to innovate and find newer strategic imperatives for itself. Further, the article also discusses the pioneering DIY or Do It Yourself concept at the heart of IKEA’s success and cautions the company that such a model might lose its relevance in the present age of internet retailing.

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Nike is a global brand that is synonymous with quality and excellence. This article analyses the company using the SWOT Methodology. The key theme in this article is that Nike is currently at a stage where it has to either diversify into other segments or risk placing all its eggs in one basket. The SWOT Analysis is a useful methodological tool to analyze companies and arrive at a logical reasoning about where the companies stand in the strategic sense.

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This article analyses the strategy of Microsoft through the SWOT Tool and discusses the match between the internal dynamics and the external business drivers. The key theme in this article is that Microsoft has one more chance to set right the misreading of the internet wave, the mobile wave, and the recent appointment of Satya Nadella as the CEO must be viewed in this perspective. Further, this article also discusses some commercial drivers including its large cash reserves and the problem of piracy that is costing the company dearly. The article suggests that acquisitions of smaller companies might be the way forward for Microsoft.

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This article is a SWOT Analysis of a hot new emerging company called China Mobile. Though many non-Chinese would not have heard of this company, we reckon that it is a company to watch for the reasons detailed in this article. These range from its eye popping subscriber base to its market leadership in the domestic market and its global expansion plans as well as its double-digit profit and growth rates. Indeed, many western investors are keenly following China Mobile because it has the potential to emerge as the Most Important Brand from the Emerging Markets in the near future.

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Analyzing organizations competitors helps an organization to discover its weaknesses, to identify opportunities for and threats to the organization from the industrial environment.

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Strategic Management starts with firms exploring how they would gain advantages over their rivals that are unique and place them at a better pedestal than their rivals. This is what competitive advantage is all about and this article discusses some aspects of how firms need to gain and sustain competitive advantage.

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This article discusses the terms human, social, and intellectual capital and examines why they are so important to the success of economies and firms. The key theme in this article is that the governments have a central role to play in the formation of these forms of capital and that the reason for the western countries stealing a march over the eastern ones can be traced to their investments in these forms of capital over a longer period of time. Apart from this, this article also analyses how as individuals we can all participate in the development of these forms of capital.

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Michael Porter designed various vital frameworks for developing an organizations strategy. One of the most renowned among managers making strategic decisions is the five competitive forces model that determines industry structure.

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This article explains what the Blue Ocean Strategy is and how it can become a game changer for businesses stuck in stagnating markets. This article uses examples from the real world to discuss the specifics of the Blue Ocean Strategy. The key theme in this article is that when businesses are faced with a choice of battling competition in saturated markets or creating an entirely new market altogether, they must enter the waters that are blue instead of sticking to the red waters where the cutthroat competition has turned the waters bloody.

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This report discusses the present day realities of resource scarcity and declines in raw materials as well as increases in the prices of them that managers everywhere have to contend with. The strategies to deal with such realities are known as overfished ocean strategies so named because it is no longer a question of finding new oceans (blue oceans), or innovating in saturated markets (red oceans) but instead the ocean itself is running dry of fish to catch.

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This article applies the Porter’s Five Forces methodology to the airline industry in the United States. The key themes discussed in this article are that the airline industry in the United States is undergoing a “death spiral” because of a combination of external factors, which are analyzed in detail in this article. The key take away from this article for the readers is that the churn in the airline industry in the United States is unlikely to end soon and this means that any analysis has to take into account the highly volatile situation in the industry.

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This article applies Michael Porters Five Forces Methodology to the White Goods Maker Samsung. The key themes in this article are that companies like Samsung have to do their due diligence before entering foreign markets especially in the developing world. This is because the strength of the elements in the Porters Model all point to the fact that while it is easy to exit emerging markets for companies like Samsung, it is difficult to enter these markets as the analysis indicates. This article also makes some observations about specific strategies that companies like Samsung can follow around the world.

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This article applies the Porters Five Forces Framework to the case of the low cost British airline, Virgin Atlantic. The key themes that are discussed in this article are about how each of the five forces affects Virgin Atlantic and how the global airline industry in general is going through tough times because of the reasons that are discussed in detail subsequently. The focus of this article is on a critical analysis of the external environment in which Virgin Atlantic operates with an assessment of the ground realities (literally and metaphorically) that influences the strategy of the carrier.

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This article analyzes the external environment of the Chinese Telecom major, China Mobile. The key themes that emerge from the analysis are that China Mobiles dominant leadership position might be threatened in the near future and hence, it has to prepare for the arrival of domestic and foreign competition much sooner than it would like. Apart from that, the other theme that emerges is that China Mobile can expect hand holding from the Chinese Government to continue as it is a SOE or a State Owned Enterprise meaning that it can expect the government to be benign towards it even after the sector is opened up.

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Strategic leadership refers to a managers potential to express a strategic vision for the organization, or a part of the organization, and to motivate and persuade others to acquire that vision

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Strategic planning if done poorly results in more harm than good and this is the reason why the pitfalls of strategic planning and strategic management must be avoided. This article discusses some of the common pitfalls of strategic management and suggests some approaches to actualize strategies that make the firms market leaders.

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Corporate Governance refers to the way a corporation is governed. It is the technique by which companies are directed and managed. Corporate Governance deals with determining ways to take effective strategic decisions.

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Business Ethics refers to carrying business as per self-acknowledged moral standards. Business ethics not only talk about the code of conduct at workplace but also with the clients and associates.

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Core competency is a unique skill or technology that creates distinct customer value. Core competencies help an organization to distinguish its products from its rivals as well as to reduce its costs than its competitors and thereby attain a competitive advantage.

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Core Competencies are strengths that each firm has that cannot be copied by others, can be used across the firms markets and products, and add value to the customers. This theory developed by CK Prahalad and Gary Hamel became quite popular with management consultants and managers world over.

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This article discusses the Ansoff Matrix, which is often seen as a guide for firms wishing to expand and grow. The key themes of this article are the description of the four strategies and the examples pertaining to each strategy would help the readers to apply the theory behind the Ansoff Matrix to real world situations.

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Either companies can grow on their own which is the organic growth route or they can grow by merging themselves with other companies or acquiring smaller companies. This article discusses these aspects along with some possible strategies based on the various factors that need to be considered in each case.

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This article discusses diversification as a growth oriented and profitable strategy especially in the current market conditions where growth is hard to come by because of declining demand and oversupply at the same time. The key theme in this article is that though diversification seems attractive, it is a high-risk strategy, as firms have to embrace uncertainty and enter uncharted waters for which they need a good compass if they are to successfully navigate the choppy waters.

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This article is part of the series of articles on the famous management expert, Henry Mintzbergs theories of strategy. Many business schools devote considerable time to Mintzberg’s theories because of their appeal and popularity among management consultants.

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This article continues the discussion of the Mintzberg’s Configuration Theory of Strategy and discusses the role of planning, plans, and planners in formulating and implementing strategy.

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There are many reasons why firms do not engage in strategic management or do poor planning. This article discusses some of the common reasons for such a scenario and highlights the important reasons along with stressing the importance of strategic management.

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Companies have to strategize differently to target the rising millennial generation if they are to make use of the fundamental shift happening around the world. This means that business leaders have to change their internal and external strategies and ensure that the energy of the Millennials is channelized positively instead of negatively.

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This article is based on the recent book on management; own the Future, from the consultants at Boston Consulting Group. This article discusses and analyzes the top ten qualities needed by companies and business leaders of tomorrow if they are to navigate the future and own it instead of merely following it.

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PESTLE or the External Environmental Analysis of industries and companies that operate globally is a useful methodology to analyze the external environmental factors. This article uses the PESTLE methodology to analyze the global aviation industry or the airline industry. The key theme in this article is that global airlines are going through what can be called the “Airline Death Spiral” and hence, the external environment is turbulent and characterized by headwinds, which threaten to blow them away from the skies.

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This article examines the external environment in which Starbucks operates by using the PESTLE methodology. This methodology consists of six external environmental drivers and within each, the key drivers or the external trends are discussed. The key conclusions reached in this article are that despite the global economic slowdown, Starbucks has the opportunity to reach out to its existing consumer base by offering value added but lower priced options. In other words, based on the market research, which shows that consumers have not really cut down on their coffee consumption but have shifted to lower priced options, is an indicator that Starbucks can continue to be the market leader. Apart from this conclusion, this article also examines the rise of the “Ethical Chic” consumer who wants the brands he or she consumes to be socially and environmentally responsible.

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This article analyses the external environment in which Samsung operates globally. The analysis is based on the current developments in the market niches in which Samsung operates and is grounded in the specific drivers of its strategy as far as the external pressures on its business are concerned. The key theme in this article is that Samsung has to understand that though being the first to reach the market is indeed a good strategy, the underlying fundamentals of doing its basics right is still important.

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This article performs a SWOT Analysis of the consumer giant, Unilever. The key themes in this article are that Unilever can leverage its historical track record combined with breadth and depth of execution to outsmart the emerging threat from the Asian multinationals that after having conquered the local markets are beginning to acquire a global footprint.

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This article discusses strategies that businesses can actualize to beat the economic odds during downturns. The article lays extra emphasis on how investment in IT and innovative HR policies can help businesses thrive in difficult situations. The vertical and horizontal integration, synergies, and blue ocean strategies are also discussed. Finally, the article repeats the mantra that innovation should be the buzzword for businesses and they can do this through strategic investments in IT and by putting in place HR policies that bring the best out of their employees.

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This article examines Amazon’s current corporate strategy and evaluates its suitability going forward. This analysis is based on the drivers of corporate strategy including the need to grow quickly and more importantly sustain such growth, the need to not lose sight of either longer term profitability and the shorter term results and the balancing of both, and its focus on cost leadership and whether its diversification into non-core businesses is profitable for the company.

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This article recommends three strategic options or alternatives based on the evaluation of the current corporate and business level strategies of Amazon. The key themes explored in this article pertain to how Amazon can leverage the existing strategy and sustain its efficiencies through careful analysis and effective implementation of these recommendations.

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This article explains the concept of strategic cost cutting. It explains the process that can be used to cut costs effectively as well as the disadvantages towards following this approach.

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