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Research Proposal Approach - Essay Example

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According to Lussier & Achua (2015), the effectiveness of an organization’s strategic plan is influenced by the degree of fit or alignment between the organization’s internal capabilities and its opportunities. The outcome of internal and external analysis also leads to a…
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Research proposal approach According to Lussier & Achua , the effectiveness of an organization’s strategic plan is influenced by the degree of fit or alignment between the organization’s internal capabilities and its opportunities. The outcome of internal and external analysis also leads to a fine-tuning of the strategic vision and long-term objectives. The study will explore the internal and external environments of Wal-Mart. The combined analysis of the external and internal environment is commonly referred to as SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) (Lussier & Achua, 2015). The formulation of organization’s strategic plan does not necessarily mean it is pursuing strategic alignment (Akpan, 2007). Therefore, this study seeks to align Walmart’s strategic plan with its operations.
Strategic alignment in this study means the alignment of company’s goals with internal and external factors to earn competitive advantages. The objective of this strategic alignment is to enhance Walmart’s business operation and it plan. It will make the goals clear, flexible, attainable, and in line with the overall company’s objectives. This study will attempt to align Wal-Mart’s mission, vision, and people strategies and value statements with the proposed strategic plan. Walmart’s mission is “Save money, live better” and its vision is “respect for the individuals’ service to our customer and striving for excellence” (Walmart, 2015). Also, there are value statements such as “Everyday Low Prices (EDLP)” (Walmart, 2015).
This study will start by defining Wal-Mart because it will be the focus of the strategic plan. It is a secondary research. The secondary research draws heavily on available data (Akpan, 2007). There are two types of information that are needed for the purpose of strategic planning. The study requires internal environment data and external environment data. The Wal-Mart’s internal environment entails factors and characteristics that indicate its strengths and weaknesses. The sources that will generate this information include company’s financial statements and reviews, and employees views from previous studies. Employees’ views are important because they will make the study not to disconnect the strategy and operational reality.
The external environment entails factors and characteristics that indicate Wal-Mart’s opportunities and threats. The sources of that will generate data and information for external environment analysis are statistical studies academic institutions, trade associations, government agencies, marketing research firms (quantitative) and; magazines, newspapers, and online (qualitative). Another important source that ill be used is competitors’ sources which includes information on competitors’ new products, promotions, and new target market segments.
The three objectives that this study seeks to accomplish are:
i. Ensuring strong connection among Walmart’s mission and vision, and its operational resources.
ii. Fine tuning the objectives and goals and discovering implementation gaps.
iii. Addressing issues existing around internal efficiencies and effectiveness
To fulfill these objectives, this study will follow four steps to align the company’s mission and vision to the strategic plan. These steps are:
i. Lay an outline of Walmart’s vision, mission, programs, resources, and other support areas.
ii. Identify the areas that are functioning well and those that need improvements or adjustments
iii. Identify the best approach to making these adjustments and improvements
iv. Make these adjustments and improvements a part of the strategic plan and roadmap for an alignment path
Finally, this study will link the strategic plan and Walmart’s operations.
References
Akpan, E. (2007). Strategic Alignment: The Business Imperative for Leading Organizations. Tate Publishing
Lussier, R. & Achua, C. (2013). Leadership: Theory, Application, & Skill Development. Mason: Cengage Learning.
Walmart (2015). Retrieved from www.walmart.com Read More
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