Essentials of Strategic Management
Authors: David Hunger & Thomas. L.
Book Review by Asik Kathwala
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The Essentials of Strategic Management
â€œThe Essentials of Strategic Managementâ€ provides us with a short, concise
explanation of the most important concepts and techniques in strategic management. It is
a rigorous explanation of many topics and concerns in strategic management. These
concepts are clearly explained by citing various examples.
Precisely the book deals with the following.
â€¢ A strategic decision-making model based on the underlying process of
environmental scanning, strategy formation, strategy implementation and
evaluation and control.
â€¢ Michael Porterâ€™s approach to industry analysis and competitive strategy
â€¢ Functional analysis and functional strategies. R & D and R & D strategies which
emphasize the importance of technology to strategy and product-market decisions.
â€¢ Executive leadership and succession, reengineering, total quality management,
MBO and action planning.
â€¢ Social responsibility in terms of its importance to strategic decision making.
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Basics concepts of strategic management
The study of strategic management
Strategic management is the set of managerial decision and action that determines the
long-run performance of a corporation. It includes environmental scanning (both external and
internal), strategy formulation (strategic or long range planning), strategy implementation, and
evaluation and control. The study of strategic management therefore emphasizes the monitoring
and evaluating of external opportunities and threats in lights of a corporationâ€™s strengths and
Evolution of strategic management
From his extensive work in the field, Bruce Henderson of the Boston Consulting Group
concluded that intuitive strategies cannot be continued successfully if (1) the corporation becomes
large, (2) the layers of management increase, or (3) the environment changes substantially.
Phase 1 – Basic financial planning: Seek better operational control by trying to meet budgets.
Phase 2 – Fore-cast based planning: Seeking more effective planning for growth by trying to
predict the future beyond next year.
Phase 3. Externally oriented planning (strategic planning): Seeking increasing responsiveness to
markets and competition by trying to think strategically.
Phase 4. Strategic management: Seeking a competitive advantage and a successful future by
managing all resources.
Phase 4 in the evolution of the strategic management includes a consideration of strategy
implementation and evaluation and control, in addition to the emphasis on the strategic planning
in Phase 3.
General Electric, one of the pioneers of the strategic planning, led the transition from the
strategic planning to strategic management during the 1980s. By the 1990s, most corporations
around the world had also begun the conversion to strategic management.
Learning-A part of strategic management
Strategic management has now evolved to the point that it is primary value is to help the
organization operate successfully in dynamic, complex environment. To be competitive in
dynamic environment, corporations have to become less bureaucratic and more flexible. In stable
environments such as those that have existed in the past, a competitive strategy simply involved
defining a competitive position and then defending it. Because it takes less and less time for one
product or technology to replace another, companies are finding that there are no such thing as
Corporations must develop strategic flexibility: the ability to shift from one dominant strategy to
another. Strategic flexibility demands a long term commitment to the development and nurturing
of critical resources. It also demands that the company become a learning organization: an
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organization skilled at creating, acquiring, and transferring knowledge and at modifying its
behaviour to reflect new knowledge and insights. Learning organizations avoid stability through
continuous self-examinations and experimentations. People at all levels, not just top the
management, need to be involved in strategic management: scanning the environment for critical
information, suggesting changes to strategies and programs to take advantage of environmental
shifts, and working with others to continuously improve work methods, procedures and
evaluation techniques. At Xerox, for example, all employees have been trained in small-group
activities and problem solving techniques. They are expected to use the techniques at all meetings
and at all levels, with no topic being off-limits.
Initiation of strategy: Triggering Events
A triggering event is something that stimulates a change in strategy .Some of the possible
triggering events is:
New CEO: By asking a series of embarrassing questions, the new CEO cuts through the veil of
complacency and forces people to question the very reason for the corporationâ€™s existence.
Intervention by an external institution: The firmâ€™s bank suddenly refuses to agree to a new
loan or suddenly calls for payment in full on an old one.
Threat of a change in ownership: Another firm may initiate a takeover by buying the
companyâ€™s common stock.
Managementâ€™s recognition of a performance gap: A performance gap exists when
performance does not meet expectations. Sales and profits either are no longer increasing or may
even be falling.
Basic model of strategic management
Strategic management consists of four basic elements
1. Environmental scanning
2. Strategy Formulation
3. Strategy Implementation and
4. Evaluation and control
Management scans both the external environment for opportunities and threats and the internal
environmental for strengths and weakness. The following factors that are most important to the
corporationâ€™s future are called strategic factors: strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats
Strategy formulation is the development of long-range plans for they effective management of
environmental opportunities and threats, taking into consideration corporate strengths and
weakness. It includes defining the corporate mission, specifying achievable objectives,
developing strategies and setting policy guidelines.
An organizationâ€™s mission is its purpose, or the reason for its existence. It states what it is
providing to society .A well conceived mission statement defines the fundamental , unique
purpose that sets a company apart from other firms of its types and identifies the scope of the
company â€˜s operation in terms of products offered and markets served
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Objectives are the end results of planned activity; they state what is to be accomplished
by when and should be quantified if possible. The achievement of corporate objectives should
result in fulfillment of the corporationâ€™s mission.
A strategy of a corporation is a comprehensive master plan stating how corporation will
achieve its mission and its objectives. It maximizes competitive advantage and minimizes
competitive disadvantage. The typical business firm usually considers three types of strategy:
corporate, business and functional.
A policy is a broad guideline for decision making that links the formulation of strategy
with its implementation. Companies use policies to make sure that the employees throughout the
firm make decisions and take actions that support the corporationâ€™s mission, its objectives and its
Strategic decision making
Strategic deals with the long-run future of the entire organization and have three
1. Rare- Strategic decisions are unusual and typically have no precedent to follow.
2. Consequential-Strategic decisions commit substantial resources and demand a great deal of
3. Directive- strategic decisions set precedents for lesser decisions and future actions throughout
Mintzbergâ€™s mode s of strategic decision making
According to Henry Mintzberg, the most typical approaches or modes of strategic
decision making are entrepreneurial, adaptive and planning.
Making better strategic decisions
The book proposes that in most situations the planning mode, which includes the basic
elements of strategic management process, is a more rational and thus better way of making
Following eight-step strategic decision-making process is proposed
1. Evaluate current performance results
2. Review corporate governance
3. Scan the external environment
4. Analyze strategic factors (SWOT)
5. Generate, evaluate and select the best alternative strategy
6. Implement selected strategies
7. Evaluate implemented strategies
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Corporate Governance and Social Responsibility
Corporate governance is a mechanism established to allow different parties to contribute
capital, expertise and labour for their mutual benefit the investor or shareholder participates in the
profits of the enterprise without taking responsibility for the operations. Management runs the
company without being personally responsible for providing the funds. So as representatives of
the shareholders, directors have both the authority and the responsibility to establish basic
corporate policies and to ensure they arte followed.
The board of directors has, therefore, an obligation to approve all decisions that might
affect the long run performance of the corporation. The term corporate governance refers to the
relationship among these three groups (board of directors, management and shareholders) in
determining the direction and performance of the corporation
Responsibilities of the board
Specific requirements of board members of board members vary, depending on the state
in which the corporate charter is issued. The following five responsibilities of board of directors
listed in order of importance
1. Setting corporate strategy ,overall direction, mission and vision
2. Succession: hiring and firing the CEO and top management
3. Controlling , monitoring or supervising top management
4. Reviewing and approving the use of resources
5. Caring for stockholders interests
Role of board in strategic management
The role of board of directors is to carry out three basic tasks
2. Evaluate and influence
3. Initiate and determine
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Environmental scanning and industry analysis
Environmental scanning is the monitoring, evaluating and disseminating of information
from the external and internal environments to keep people within the corporation. It is a tool that
a corporation uses to avoid strategic surprise and to ensure long-term health.
Scanning of external environmental variables
The social environment includes general forces that do not directly touch on the short-run
activities of the organization but those can, and often do, influence its long-run decisions. These
â€¢ Economic forces
â€¢ Technological forces
â€¢ Political-legal forces
â€¢ Sociocultural forces
Scanning of social environment
The social environment contains many possible strategic factors. The number of factors
becomes enormous when one realize that each country in the world can be represented by its own
unique set of societal forces, some of which are very similar to neighboring countries and some of
which are very different.
Monitoring of social trends
Large corporations categorized the social environment in any one geographic region into
four areas and focus their scanning in each area on trends with corporate-wide relevance. Trends
in any area may be very important to the firms in other industries.
Trends in economic part of societal environment can have an obvious impact on business
activity. Changes in the technological part of the societal environment have a significant impact
on business firms. Demographic trends are part of sociocultural aspects of the societal
International society consideration
For each countries or group of countries in which a company operates, management must
face a whole new societal environment having different economic, technological, political-legal,
and Sociocultural variables. This is especially an issue for a multinational corporation, a company
having significant manufacturing and marketing operations in multiple countries. International
society environments vary so widely that a corporationâ€™s internal environment and strategic
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management process must be very flexible. Differences in social environments strongly affect the
ways in which a multinational company.
Scanning of the task environment
A corporationâ€™s scanning of the environment should include analysis of all the relevant elements
in the task environment. These analyses take the form of individual reports written by various
people in different parts of the firms. These and other reports are then summarized and
transmitted up the corporate hierarchy for top management to use in strategic decision making. If
a new development reported regarding a particular product category, top management may then
sent memos to people throughout the organization to watch for and reports on development in
related product areas. The many reports resulting from these scanning efforts when boiled down
to their essential, act as a detailed list of external strategic factors.
Identification of external strategic factors:
One way to identify and analyze developments in the external environment is to use the
issues priority matrix as follows.
1. Identify a number of likely trends emerging in the societal and task environment. These are
strategic environmental issues: Those important trends that, if they happen, will determine
what various industries will look like.
2. Assess the probability of these trends actually occurring.
3. Attempt to ascertain the likely impact of each of these trends of these corporations.
Industry analysis: Analyzing the task environment
Michael Porterâ€™s approach to industry analysis
Michael Porter, an authority on competitive strategy, contends that a corporation is most
concerned with the intensity of competition within its industry. Basic competitive forces
determine the intensity level. The stronger each of these forces is, the more companies are limited
in their ability to raise prices and earned greater profits.
Threat of new entrants
New entrants are newcomers to an existing industry. They typically bring new capacity,
a desire to gain market share and substantial resources. Therefore they are threats to an
established corporation. Some of the possible barriers to entry are the following.
1. Economies of scale
2. Product differentiation
3. Capital requirements
4. Switching costs
5. Access to distribution channels
6. Cost disadvantages independent of size
7. Government policy
Rivalry among existing firms
Rivalry is the amount of direct competition in an industry. In most industries corporations
are mutually dependent. A competitive move by one firm can be expected to have a noticeable
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effect on its competitors and thus make us retaliation or counter efforts. According to Porter,
intense rivalry is related to the presence of the following factors.
1. number of competitors
2. rate of industry growth
3. product or service characteristics
4. amount of fixed costs
6. height of exit barriers
7. diversity of rivals
Treat of substitute product or services
Substitute products are those products that appear to be different but can satisfy the same
need as another product. According to Porter, â€œSubstitute limit the potential returns of an industry
by placing a ceiling on the prices firms in the industry can profitably charge.â€ To the extent that
switching costs are low, substitutes may have a strong effect on the industry.
Bargaining power of buyers
Buyers affect the industry through their ability to force down prices, bargain for higher
quality or more services, and play competitors against each other.
Bargaining power of supplier
Suppliers can affect the industry through their ability to raise prices or reduce the quality
of purchased goods and services.
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Corporate strategy is primarily about the choice of direction for the firm as a whole. This is true
whether the firm is a small, one-product Company or a large multinational corporation. In a large
multi-business company, however, corporate strategy is also about managing various product
lines and business units for maximum value. In this instance, corporate headquarters must play
the role of organizational â€œparentâ€ in that it must deal with various product and business unit
â€œchildrenâ€. Even though each product line or business unit has its own competitive or cooperative
strategy that it uses to obtain its own competitive advantage in the marketplace, the corporation
must coordinate these different business strategies so that the corporation as a whole succeeds as
Corporate strategy, therefore, includes decisions regarding the flow of financial and other
resources to and from a companyâ€™s product lines and business units. Though a series of
coordinating devices, a company transfers skills and capabilities developed in a one unit to other
units that need such resources. In this way, it attempts to obtain synergies among numerous
product lines and business units so that the corporate whole is greater than the some of its
individual business unit parts. All corporations, from the smallest company offering one product
in only one industry to the largest conglomerate operating in many industries in many product
must, at one time or another, consider one or more of these issues.
Just as every product or business unit must follow a business strategy to improve its
competitive position, every corporation must decide its orientation towards growth by asking the
following three questions:
â€¢ Should we expand, cut back, or continue our operations unchanged?
â€¢ Should we concentrate our activities within our current industry or should we diversify
into other industries?
â€¢ If we want to grow and expand, should we do so through internal development or through
external acquisitions, mergers, or joint ventures?
A corporationâ€™s directional strategy is composed of three general orientations towards
growth (sometimes called grant strategies):
â€¢ Growth strategy expands the companyâ€™s activities.
â€¢ Stability strategies make no change to the companyâ€™s current activities.
â€¢ Retrenchment strategies reduce the companyâ€™s level of activities.
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By far the most widely pursued corporate strategies of business firms are those designed
to achieve growth in sales, assets, profit, or some combination of these. There are two basic
corporate growth strategies: concentration within one product line or industry and diversification
into other product and industries. These can be achieved either internally by investing in new
product development or externally through mergers acquisitions or strategic alliances.
A merger is a transaction involving to or more corporations in which stock is exchanged,
but from which only one corporation survives. Mergers usually occur between firms of somewhat
similar size and are usually â€œfriendlyâ€. The resulting firm is likely to have a name derived from
its composite firms.
An acquisition is the purchase of company that is completely absorbed as an operating
subsidiary or division of the acquiring corporation. Acquisitions usually occur between firms of
different sizes and can be either friendly or hostile. Hostile acquisitions are often called as
A strategic alliance is a partnership of two or more corporations or business units to
achieve strategically significant objectives that are mutually beneficial.
Growth can be achieved via vertical integration by taking over a function previously
provided by supplier (backward integration) or by distributor (forward integration). This is a
logical strategy for a corporation or business unit with a strong competitive position in a highly
attractive industry. To keep and even improve its competitive position through backward
integration, the company may act to minimize resource acquisition costs and inefficient
operations, as well as to gain more control over quality and product distribution through forward
integration. The firm, in effect, builds on its distinctive competence to gain greater competitive
advantage. The amount of vertical integration can range from full integration, in which a firm
makes 100% of key supplies and distributors, to taper integration, in which the firm internally
produces less than half of its key supplies, to no integration, in which the firm uses long term
contracts with other firms to provide key supplies and distribution. Outsourcing, the use of longterm contracts to reduce internal administrative costs, has become more popular as large
corporations have worked to reduce costs and become more competitive by becoming less
Although backward integration is usually more profitable than forward integration, it can
reduce a corporationâ€™s strategic flexibility; by creating an encumbrance of expensive assets that
might be hard to sell, it can thus create for the corporation an exit barrier to leaving that particular
It is the degree to which a firm operates in multiple geographic locations at the same
point in an industries value changed growth can be achieved via horizontal integration by
expanding firmâ€™s product into other geographic locations or by increasing the range of product
and services offered to current customers.
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The corporation may choose stability over growth by continuing its current activities
without any significant change in direction. The stability family of corporate strategies can be
appropriate for a successful corporation operating in a reasonably predictable environment.
Stability strategies can be very useful in short run but can be dangerous if followed for too long.
Sum of the more popular of these strategies are
1. Pause and proceed with caution strategy
2, no change strategy
3. Profit strategy
Corporate parenting views corporation in terms of resources and capabilities that can be
used to build business value as well as generates synergies across business units.
The corporate parenting strategies can be developed in following ways.
1. Examine each business unit in terms of its critical success factors.
2. Examine each business unit in terms of areas in which performance can be improved
Chapter 5: Strategy formulations: Functional strategy & Strategic choice
A functional strategy is the approach a functional area takes to achieve corporate and
business unit objectives and strategies by maximizing resource productivity. It is concern with
developing and nurturing a distinctive competence to provide a company or a business unit with a
A core competency is something that a corporation can do exceedingly well. It is a key
strength. When this competency is superior to those of competition, they are called distinctive
competencies. To be consider a distinctive competency, the competency must meet three tests
1. Customer value
2. Competitive unique
Outsourcing is purchasing from someone else a product or a service that had been
previously provided internally. The key to outsourcing is to purchase from outside only those
activities that are not key to companyâ€™s distinctive competence.
Selection of strategy:
After the pros and cons of the potential strategies alternatives have been identified any
evaluate one must be selected from implementation. The most important criteria is the identity of
the propose strategy to deal with the specific strategic factors developed earlier in SWOT
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Corporate scenario are pro forma balance sheet and income statement that forecast the
effects that each alternative strategy and its various programs will likely have on division and
corporate return on investment. Corporate scenario is extension of industry scenario.
Development of policies:
The selection of the best strategic alternative is not the end of the strategy formulation.
Management now must established policies that define the ground rule for implementation.
Flowing from the selected strategy, policies provide the guidance for decision making an action
throughout the organization. Policies tend to be rather long lived and can even outlast the
particular strategy that created them.
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Strategy implementation: Organizing for action
Strategy implementation is the sum total of the activities and choices required for the
execution of strategic plan by which strategies and policies are put into action through the
development of programs , budgets and procedures. Although implementation is usually
considered after strategy has been formulated, implementation is a key part of strategic
management. Thus strategy formulation and strategy implementation are the two sides of same
Depending on how the corporation is organized those who implements strategy will
probably be a much more divorced group of people than those who formulate it. Most of the
people in the organization who are crucial to successful strategy implementation probably had
little to do with the development of corporate and even business strategy. Therefore they might be
entirely ignorant of vast amount of data and work into formulation process. This is one reason
why involving middle managers in the formulation as well as in the implementation of strategy
tends to result in better organizational performance.
Developing programs, budgets and procedures
The managers of divisions and functional areas worked with their fellow managers to
develop programs, budgets and procedures for implementation of strategy. They also work to
achieve synergy among the divisions and functional areas in order to establish and maintain a
companyâ€™s distinctive competence.
A program is a statement of the activities or steps needed to accomplish a single use plan.
The purpose of program is to make a strategy action oriented.
A budget is a statement of corporationâ€™s program in monitory terms. After programs are
developed, the budget process begins. Planning a budget is the last real check a corporation has
on the feasibility of its selected strategy. An ideal strategy might found to be completely
impractical only after specific implementation programs are costed in detail.
Procedures are system of sequential steps or techniques that describe in detail how a
particular task or job is to be done.
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One of the goals to be achieved in strategy implementation is synergy between functions
and business units, which is why corporations commonly reorganize after an acquisition. The
acquisition or development of additional product lines is often justified on the basis of achieving
some advantages of scale in one or more of companyâ€™s functional areas.
Stages of corporate development
Successful Corporation tend to follow a pattern of structural development called stages of
development as they grow and expand. Beginning with the simple structure of the entrepreneurial
firm, they usually get larger and organize along functional lines with marketing production and
finance department. With continuing success the company adds new product lines in different
industries and organizes itself into interconnected divisions. The differences among these three
stages of corporate development in terms of typical problems, objectives strategies, reward
systems and other characteristics as specified in detail in table.
Factors differentiating stage I stage II and stage III companies
Function Stage I Stage II Stage III
1 Sizing up: major
Survival and growth
dealing with short
control of large
2 Objectives Personal and
Profits and meetings
ROI, profits, earnings
3 Strategy Implicit and personal Functionally oriented,
exploitation of a basic
product or service
Group and product
4 Organization One man show Functionally
Multiunit general staff
system geared to
More structures Companywide
applied to many
different classes of
managers and workers
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Organizational life cycle
The organizational life cycle describes how the organization grow, develop and
eventually decline. The stages of organization life cycles are
The impact of these stages on corporate and structure are summarized in the table
Organizational life cycle
Stage I Stage II Stage III Stage IV Stage V
Birth Growth Maturity Decline Death
in a niche
into profit or
Advanced types of organizational structures
The matrix and the network are two possible candidates for a forth stage in corporate
development; a stage that not only emphasizes horizontal over vertical connection between
people but also organizes work around temporary projects in which temporary projects in which
sophisticated information system supports collaborative activities.
Most organizations find that organizing around either functions or around products and
geography provide an appropriate organizational structure. The matrix structure may be very
appropriate when organizations conclude that neither functional nor divisional forms, even when
combined with horizontal linking mechanisms are right for their situations. In the matrix
structure, functional and product forms are combined simultaneously at the same level of
organization. The matrix structure is to be used when
1. cross fertilization of areas across projects or products is needed
2. resources are scarce
3. the abilities to process information and to make decisions need improvement
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Network structure is an example of a non-structure because it virtually eliminates inhouse business functions and replaces them with long-term contracts with suppliers and
distributors. It becomes most useful when the firmâ€™s environment is unstable and is expected to
remain so. It gives a company the increased flexibility.
Chapter 7: Strategy implementation: staffing and leading
Staffing focuses on the selection and utilization of employees. The implementation of new
strategies and policies often calls for new human resource management priorities and a different
utilization of personnel. This may mean hiring new people with new skills and/or training
existing employees to learn new skills.
Hiring and Training Requirements Change
Once a new strategy is formulated, either different kinds of people may be needed or the current
employees may need to be retrained to implement the new strategy. Training and development is
one way to implement a companyâ€™s corporate or business strategy. Training is also important
when implementing a retrenchment strategy. As suggested earlier, successful downsizing means
that the company has to invest in its remaining employees.
Company Match the Manager
The most appropriate type of general manager needed to effectively implement a new corporate
or business strategy depends on the strategic direction that firm or business unit desires. A certain
type may be paired with a specific corporate strategy for best result.
Selection and Management Development
Selection and development are important not only to ensure that people with the right mix
of skills and experiences are hired initially, but also to help them grow on the job and prepared
for future promotion.
It is the process of replacing a key top manager. Given that the typical large U.S. Corporation
changes its chief executive every 8 years firms need to plan for his eventuality. Prosperous firms
tend to look outside for CEO candidates only if they have no obvious internal candidates. Boards
realize that the best way to move to a new strategy and to ensure its implementation is to hire a
new CEO with no connections to the current strategy.
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Abilities Be Identified and Potential Developed
A company can identify and prepare its people for important positions in several ways.
One approach is to establish a sound performance appraisal system, which not only evaluates a
personâ€™s performance, but also identifies promotion potential.
Many large organizations are using assessment centers, a method of evaluating a personâ€™s
suitability for an advanced position. Because each is specially tailored to its corporation. These
assessment centers are unique. They use special interviews, management games, in-basket
exercises, leaderless group discussions, case analysis and oral presentations to assess the potential
of employees for specific positions. Many assessment centers have proved to be highly predictive
of subsequent job performance.
Many large corporations use job rotation, moving people from one job to another, to ensure that
employees are gaining the appropriate mix of experiences to prepare them for future
Retrenchment Create Problems
Downsizing refers to the planned elimination of positions or jobs. Companies commonly
use this program to implement retrenchment strategies. Because the financial community is likely
to react favorably to announcement of downsizing from a company in difficulty, such a program
may provide some short-term benefits such as raising the companyâ€™s stock price. Following are
some guidelines for successful downsizing.
1. Eliminate unnecessary work instead of making across-the-board cuts
2. contract out work that others can do cheaper
3. plan for long-run efficiencies
4. communicate the reasons for action
5. invest in the remaining employees
6. develop value-added jobs to balance out job elimination
Implementation also involves leading: motivating people to use their abilities and skills
most effectively and efficiently to achieve organizational objectives. Leading may take the form
of management leadership communicated norms of behavior from the corporate culture or
agreement among workers in autonomous work groups.
Company Manage Corporate Culture
Because an organizationâ€™s culture can exert a powerful influence on the behavior of all
employees, it can strongly affect a companyâ€™s ability to shift its strategic direction. An optimal
culture is one that best supports the mission and strategy of the company of which it is a part.
This means that, like structure and staffing, corporate culture should follow strategy. A key job of
management is therefore to evaluate
1. what a particular strategy change will mean to the corporate culture
2. whether a change in culture will be needed
3. Whether an attempt to change the culture will be worth the likely costs.
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Communication Be Used To Manage Culture. Communication is crucial to effectively
managing change. Companies in which major cultural changes have successfully taken place had
the following characteristics in common:
1. The CEO and other top managers had a strategic vision of what the company could
become and communicated this vision to employees at all levels.
2. The vision was translated into the key elements necessary to accomplish that vision.
Diverse Cultures Be managed In an Acquisition Growth Strategy
When merging with or acquiring another company top management must consider a
potential clash of cultures. The four general methods of managing two different cultures are
integration, assimilation, separation and enculturation. Integration involves a relatively balanced
give â€“and â€“take of culture and managerial practices between the mares and no strong imposition
of culture change on either company. Assimilation involves the domination of one organization
by another. Separation is characterized by a separation of the two companiesâ€™ culture.
Deculturation involves the disintegration of one companyâ€™s culture resulting from unwanted and
extreme pressure from the other to impose its culture and practices.
Activities can be directed towards accomplishing strategic through action planning at a
minimum an action plan states what actions are going to be taken by whom during what
timeframe and with what expected results. Actions serve as a link between strategy formulation
and evaluation and control. The action plan specifies what needs to be done differently from the
way operations are currently carried out. The explicit assignment of responsibilities for
implementing and monitoring the programs may improve motivation.
Management by Objectives (MBO)
MBO is an organization-wide approach to help assure purposeful action toward desired
objectives by liking organizational objectives with individual behavior.
The MBO process involves:
1. Establishing and communicating organizational objectives.
2. Setting individual objectives that help implement organizational ones.
3. Developing an action plan of activities needed to achieve the objectives.
4. Periodically reviewing performance as it replace to the objectives and including the
results in the annual performance appraisal.
Total Quality Management (TQM)
TQM is an operational philosophy that stresses commitment to customer satisfaction and
It has four objectives:
1. Better, less-variable quality of the product and service
2. Quicker, less-variable response to customer needs
3. Greater flexibility in adjusting to customersâ€™ shifting requirement
4. Lower cost through quality improvement and elimination of no value-adding work.
The essential ingredients of TQM are:
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1. An intense focus on customer satisfaction
2. Customers are internal as well as external
3. Accurate measurement of every critical variable in a companyâ€™s operations.
4. Continuous improvement of products and services.
5. New work relationships based on trust and teamwork.
Evaluation and Control
It is the process of by which corporate activities and performance results are monitored
so that actual performance can be compared with desired performance. This process can be
viewed as a five step feedback model.
1. Determine what to measure.
2. Establish standards of performance.
3. Measure actual performance.
4. Compare actual performance with the standard.
5. Take corrective action.
Evaluation and Control in Strategic Management
Evaluation and control information consists of performance data and activity reports. Top
management need not involved. If however, the processes themselves cause the undesired
performance, both top managers and operational managers must know about it so that they can
develop new implementation programs or procedures.
Evaluation and control information must be relevant to what is being monitored. One of the
obstacles to effective control is the difficulty in developing appropriate measures of important
activities and outputs.
Using of measures
Returns on Investment (ROI) are appropriate for evaluating the corporationâ€™s or
divisionâ€™s ability to achieve profitability objectives. This type of measure, however, is adequate
for evaluating additional corporate objectives such as social responsibility or employee
development. A firm therefore needs to develop measures that predict likely profitability. These
are referred to as steering controls because they measure those variables that influence future
Differing of behavior and output control
Controls can be established to focus either on actual performance results or on the
activities that generates the performance. Behavior controls specify how something is to be done
through policies, rules, standard operating procedures and orders from a superior. Output controls
specify what is to be accomplished by focusing on the result on the end result of the behavior
through the use of objectives or performance targets or milestones. They are not interchangeable.
Behavior controls are most appropriate when performance results are hard to measure and a clear
cause-effect connection exists between activities and results. Output controls are most appropriate
when specific output measures are agreed upon and no clear cause-effect connection exists
between activities and results.
Value of activity-based costing
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Activity based costing (ABC) is a new accounting method for allocating indirect and
fixed costs to individual products or product lines based on the value-added activities going into
that product. This method is very useful in doing a value-chain analysis of a firmâ€™s activities for
making outsourcing decisions. It allows accountants to charge costs more accurately because it
allocates overhead far more precisely. It can be used in much type of industries.
The most commonly used measure of corporate performance is ROI. It is simply the
result of dividing net income before taxes by total assets. Return on investment has several
advantages. It is a single comprehensive figure that is influenced by everything that happens. It
measures how well a decision manager uses the divisionâ€™s assets to generate profits. It is a
common denominator that can be compared with other companies and business units. It provides
an incentive to use existing assets efficiently and to buy new once only when it would increase
Each stakeholder has its own set of criteria to determine how well the corporation is
performing. Top management should establish one or more simple measures for each stakeholder
category so that it can keep tack of stakeholder concerns.
It is defined as the present value of the anticipated future streams cash flows from the
business plus the value of the company if liquidated. The value of corporation is thus the value of
its cash flows discounted back to their present value, using the business cost of capital as the
Economic value added (EVA) is after tax operating profit minus the total annual cost of capital. It
measures the pre-strategy value of the business.
Responsibility centers are used to isolate a unit so that it can be evaluated separately
from the rest of the corporation. The center resources to produce a service or a product.
Five major types of responsibility centers is used
1. Standard cost centers.
2. Revenue centers.
3. Expense centers.
4. Profit centers.
5. Investment centers.
Guideline for Proper Control.
Measuring performance is a crucial part of evaluation and control. Without objective and
timely measurements, making operational, let alone strategic, decisions would be extremely
difficult. Nevertheless, the use of timely, quantifiable standards does not guarantee good
The following guidelines are recommended:
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1. Controls should involve only the minimum amount of information needed to give a reliable
picture of events.
2. Control should monitor only meaningful activities and results, regardless of measurement
3. Controls should be timely.
4. Control should be long term and short-term.
5. Control should pinpoint exceptions.
6. Controls should be used to reward meeting or exceeding standards rather than to punish
failure to meet standards.
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