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Strategic management Final EXAM - Essay Example

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Strategic management could be described as the identification of the purpose of the organisation and the plans and actions to achieve that purpose. In practical terms organisations routinely undertake reviews to determine their mission, vision, values, goals, objectives, roles and responsibilities…
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Strategic management Final EXAM
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Download file to see previous pages Strategic management can operate at corporate level or business level. A definition of strategic management at corporate level is:
"the pattern of major objectives, purposes or goals and essential policies or plans for achieving those goals, stated in such a ways as to define what business the company is in or is to be in and the kind of company it is or is to be."1
One must also take into account the culture and leadership of the organisation, both of which influence corporate strategic management. For example, after the return of Steve Jobs to Apple Computers Inc a top-level decision was taken to making a major shift away from heavy investment in Research and Development (R&D) of innovative and premium-priced computers, and have invested more heavily in the highly competitive consumer electronics sector.
At the business or unit level of operation, strategic management is more concerned with competition, adding value and recruiting and retaining clients. Returning to the example of Apple Computers Inc, since 2001 it has been developing products such as the iPod believing that it could add high-value, user-friendly software in a way that a pure electronics business could not. Business level strategic management has been defined as:
"the match between [the organisation's] internal capabilities and its external relationships. It describes how it responds to its suppliers, its customers, its competitors and the social and economic environment within which it operates."2
This view argues that strategic management boils down to having a clear sense of the organisation's objectives and identifying how these will be achieved. However there is no universal agreement on which level the subject should be studied at: corporate or business. Therefore it is important to bear in mind that such gurus as Michael Porter tend to focus on business level strategic management. There is also another school of thought which argues against this prescriptive viewpoint. This alternative and less well-documented emergent view points out that given the impossibility of planning for an uncertain future, identifying a single strategy is a waste of time. Instead organisations should focus on finding market opportunities, experimenting and developing their competitive advantage over-time.3
The three key elements of strategic management are resources, the external environment and the organisation's capacity to add-value to its core activity. An organisation's resources include its personnel and their respective skillsets, its investment and capital. These items are important for the organisation to create and sustain competitive advantage. It could be argued that Apple Computer Inc's recent success in setting the latest standard in MP3 players was built upon the fact that it had a major brand and R&D capabilities from its niche computer business and an excellent own-brand distribution network already in place. In short Apple Computer Inc optimized existing resources.
The environment refers to economic and political situation the organization finds itself in, its competitors, customers and suppliers, and increasingly to 'green' issues as concerns regarding global warming and exploitation of low-wage workers become more wide-spread. For example, IBM lost much of its initial dominance of the personal computer market when it failed ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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