A business takes time to develop and reach the desired stage. Within the course of time, the venture may face a wide range of complexities. Due to these challenges, managing a business has become a complex task. The end result of this has been the need for proper management measures. Every organisation has its own set of objectives (Grant et al. 2014, p. 12).
However, to meet the goals, the efforts of the various experienced personnel must be coordinated using integrating the available resources. Afsar (2011, p. 144) considers management to be an ‘integrating’ force in any organisation. Currently, the corporate world is highly competitive. Due to this, strategic management is viewed as a major component of success, especially in the process of gaining a competitive advantage.
According to Adegbesan (2009, p. 466), strategic management is an art and a science. It involves three key principles that help an organisation to attain its objectives. The concepts include formulation, implementation, and evaluation. In most organisations, the development of sound strategies is the responsibility of strategists. The title refers to persons responsible for the success or failure of a business. Such individuals include CEOs, entrepreneurs, owners, and board chairpersons.
In this paper, the author will use case studies and tutorials to provide an in-depth understanding of strategic management. Six management concepts will be used. They include forecasting, planning, organising, coordinating, commanding, and controlling. In addition, four key areas of strategic management that are critical to the success of contemporary organisations will be analysed.
Areas of Strategic Management that are Critical to the Success of a Modern Organisation
Formulation of strategy entails the development of vision and mission statements for a business organisation. In addition, it involves the identification of external opportunities and threats associated with a firm. It is also noted that the process entails the establishment of long term and short term goals for the firm. Individuals charged with the responsibility of strategy formulation are also expected to assess the internal strengths and weaknesses of the firm (Grant et al. 2014, p. 54). Mulcaster (2009, p. 70) points out that there are various issues linked to strategy formulation.
A number of questions are also involved. They include those touching on whether to merge (form a joint venture), go public, or expand operations of the business. According to Grant et al. (2014, p. 44), it is a fact that most organisations operate on limited resources. As a result, strategists must determine the best approach to use. The strategy selected should be the one with the most benefits for the business organisation. The process of strategy formulation and incorporation of key management elements is evident in many organisations across the globe (Grant et al. 2014, p. 110).
A critical analysis of the case studies touching on the success of Facebook and Qantas provides information on the importance of management concepts when it comes to the strategic positioning of business organisations today. When Facebook began in 2004, it operated as an online directory that was mainly used by college students.
After gaining popularity in other universities, the social networking site was opened to the general public. For a business to strive, proper planning and organisation is vital. In the midst of complexities on how to generate profits, Facebook formulated a strategy that involved considering customers as top priority (Boulton 2011, p. 14). The founder, Mark Zuckerberg, focused on the company’s future and long term profits. In terms of organisation, Zuckerberg ensured all human and non-human resources were utilised for the success of the business.
Qantas, which is an Australian airline carrier, incurred huge losses during the 2011 to 2012 operations period. The operating challenges were triggered by natural disasters, increased competition, and poor employee relations (Piskorski 2011, p. 119). In addition, the downfall was also influenced by spiked oil prices and introduction of carbon tax legislation. Initially, the airliner used to garner significant profits. In addition, it was the most popular brand in Australia.
The downfall of Qantas shows the importance of operating under sound strategic management approaches. When strategists formulate effective plans through proper planning and organisation, they are able to adapt to changes and complexities (Pirtea, Nicolescu & Botoc 2009, p. 954). To regain its spot in the competitive airline industry, Qantas formulated new strategies focused on long-term gains. One primary plan is the development of the ten year alliance with Emirates. The formation of a coalition by Qantas involved a lot of planning and organisation by the strategists.
Implementation of strategy is another key component of strategic management that is needed to enhance the success of a modern business organisation. To this end, business firms are required to take a number of steps. They include, among others, development of annual goals, formulation of new policies, allocation of resources, and motivation of employees. The measures are needed to ensure that the formulated strategies are effectively executed for the benefits of the firm and its stakeholders, such as clients (Grant et al. 2014, 99).
According to Kraus and Schwarz (2007, p. 12), strategies that are formulated but are not implemented are of no use to the business. To highlight this point, the author will discuss how effective implementation of strategies has supported the success of businesses in the Australian Supermarket Industry. The venture is considered to be a mature trade with over 3500 competitors. According to market reports, mature industries focus on cost-reduction initiatives. In addition, competitive advantage is achieved with the help of cost based elements.
Honig and Karlsson (2004, p. 45) point out that strategic implementation is linked to various management concepts. The concepts include, among others, coordination and control. Coordination entails putting in place structures to support the realisation of set goals. On its part, commanding involves determining appropriate measures to be taken in certain situations. To maintain a competitive advantage, Aldi supermarket introduced private label products. The initiative was a success.
As a result of its popularity, the plan was adopted by competitors. The rivals included Woolworths and Coles. The primary factor behind this impressive performance was the effective implementation of the plan after its formulation. In addition, Aldi Supermarket, with the help of its strategists, was able to determine the best approach to capture the market from competition. According to Zott, Amitt, and Massa (2011, p. 1023), the food and groceries chain used the initiative to develop a structure that helped it achieve its strategic goal of boosting profits. Within a period of two years, organic domestic retail sales increased by over 50%.
Australia supermarket industry has been competitive for years. Due to this, it has attracted the interest of foreign players. In the midst of this competition, Aldi food and groceries lines strategists ensure success by analysing the entire market environment. In 2011, for example, Woolworths implemented its plan of technological advancements aimed at making the life of customers easier. To maintain this trend and remain competitive, strategists at Aldi and Coles formulated and implemented the idea of iphone applications (Zott, Amit & Massa 2011, p. 1022). The move would allow clients to access products from the supermarkets by use mobile phones.
Evaluation is a key aspect of strategic management. In most organisations, managers strive to determine the strategies that may not be working as required. According to Yu and Cannella (2007, p. 680), such information can only be acquired through evaluation.
Due to constant changes in the business environment, strategies require modification after a certain period of time. The success associated with a current tactic does not guarantee same results in the future. The notion of analysis is linked to the management concept of control. The reason behind this is because the facet entails analysing progress against plans (Grant et al. 2014, p. 44).
In this section, the author will examine the impacts of strategic planning on organisational success by using the case study of Fortescue Metals Group Limited. For decades, the mining business has been booming in Australia. However, in mid 2012, the country’s Federal Minister of Resource and Energy hinted on a closure of the business.
Since 2003, Fortescue metals group limited has achieved great success and grown on a rapid rate. According to Pirskorski (2011, p. 120), the firm’s achievement has been resulted by effective strategic management measures. In addition, the Group’s strategists have been on considering key management concepts, such as forecasting, planning, and controlling. Within a period of nine years, Fortescue Metals Group Limited had made numerous evaluations and changes to their set strategies.
In addition, much planning aimed at achieving long-term profits had been made. Between 2003 and 2012, the firm had spent over $15 billion in resource projects (Rothaermel 2013, p. 23). In addition, the Group exported 40 million tonnes of iron core to different markets across the world. Through proper forecasting on the probable market and business future, the mining corporation has operated on steady and fast implementation of projects. If Fortescue metals group limited did not constantly evaluate its strategies, it would not been a major force in the mining industry. In addition, most of the set goals would not have been achieved.
Integrating Intuition and Analysis
Grant et al. (2014, p. 34) define this area of strategic management as a systematic, objective, and logical approach in making choices in a venture. The concept operates by classifying qualitative and quantitative information in simple manner which facilitates decision making in times of uncertainty. According to Afsar (2011, p. 145), intuition is a significant tool in strategic management. Reports and findings from numerous research studies reveal a majority of business managers have been able to develop brilliant strategies through imagination analysis. Due to this, intuition is considered to be a form of inspiration and key to success.
The success of Michael Hill International and Collingwood Football Club can be attributed to creativity and innovativeness. The former began as a single jewellery shop. However, within three decades, the venture grew to multinational company worth $400 million (Hill & Harvey 2009, p. 88). At the current moment, MHI has over 230 stores in four nations. Despite of the significant growth, the business has plans to expand more over the coming years. To achieve the great success, Michael Hill had to put much work together.
The growth tremendous growth over the thirty years period has been facilitated by effective management. The measures put in place include proper planning, organising, controlling, and coordinating. Towards the beginning, Hill lacked sufficient capital to expand his company further. To achieve his goal, Hill had no option but to take the company public.
Since that moment MHI has strived to ensure both human and non-human resources are put in place through proper management approaches (Hill & Harvey 2009, p. 33). In addition, MHI ensures any progress made is evaluated against the set plans. Another key factor to success has been working through a system which facilitates striving to achieve targets. Currently, MHI primary goal is to open 1000 stores by 2022.
Not Just a Game is the second case study to be used to show the importance of strategic management. According to numerous studies, majority of high ranking football clubs are faced with the challenge of diversifying their income channels (Kraus & Schwarz 2007, p. 13). In the midst of this struggles Gary Pert has managed to turn Collingwood Football Club into the biggest club in Australia. Pert is being a manager is guided by intuition. In addition, the manager considers key management principles such as organisation, commanding, coordinating, and planning to ensure success of football club.
For a business to run effectively, resources are required. Pert makes use of club members and sponsors as a driving force to ensuring financial success and team motivation. Sponsorship deals facilitate quick cash injection to the club on long term deals. On its part, membership enhances loyalty (Mulcaster 2009, p. 70). Through proper planning, Pert is able to determine probable things which might happen in future. Consequently, the manger can develop plans in advance. Football business requires sound strategic management approaches to achieve the desired success. The reason is because of changes in seasons.
Strategic management in the business sector is crucial to the success of an organisation. The process entails coordinating peoples’ efforts with the primary aim of achieving set goals. In addition, management involves directing both human and non-human resources to the right channels. In today’s corporate world, competition continues to increase. As a result, businesses have to work with various uncertainties. To remain competitive and meet the set targets, strategists must understand the changes taking place in the business field.
According to Pirtea, Nicolescu, and Botoc (2009, p. 956), managers should ensure that their strategic abilities are exploited to the maximum. In addition, businesses should ensure they act swiftly to respond to environmental changes and probable barriers. Through proper strategic management, organisations can enjoy long-term success. The reason behind this is because they will out-perform major rivals and maintain a competitive advantage. Honig and Karlsson (2004, p. 44) point out that effective strategic management entails a number of complex steps.
The major factor that helps the organisation to attain success involves thinking strategically. Through this, strategists are able to look at various aspects from a logical perspective. An analysis of the six case studies, which involved linking them to concepts of management, revealed that success requires strategic reasoning. It is important to note that strategy is not all about planning. On the contrary, it calls for effective implementation of the formulated strategies.
Adegbesan, J 2009, ‘On the origins of competitive advantage: strategic factor markets and heterogeneous resource complementarity’, Academy of Management Review, vol. 34, no. 3, pp. 463-475.
Afsar, B 2011, ‘Strategic management in today’s complex world’, Business Intelligence Journal, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 143-149.
Boulton, C 2011, ‘Google+ strategy vs. Facebook: shaping up with brand pages’, eWeek, vol. 28, no. 19, pp. 13-14.
Grant, R, Butler, B, Orr, S & Murray, P 2014, Contemporary strategic management: an Australian perspective, 2nd edn, John Wiley and Sons, Milton, Qld.
Hill, M & Harvey, C 2009, Toughen up: what I’ve learned about surviving tough times, Random House, Auckland.
Honig, B & Karlsson, T 2004, ‘Institutional forces and the written business plan’, Journal of Management, vol. 30, no. 1, pp. 29-48.
Kraus, S & Schwarz, E 2007, ‘The role of pre-start-up planning in new small business’, International Journal of Management and Enterprise Development, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 1-17.
Mulcaster, W 2009, ‘Three strategic frameworks’, Business Strategy Series, vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 68-75.
Pirtea, M, Nicolescu, C & Botoc, C 2009, ‘The role of strategic planning in modern organisations’, Annales Universitatis Apulensis Series Oeconomica, vol. 11, no. 2, pp. 953-957.
Piskorski, M 2011, ‘Social strategies that work’, Harvard Business Review, vol. 89, no. 11, pp. 116-122.
Rothaermel, F 2013, Strategic management, concepts, and cases, McGraw-Hill Irwin, New York.
Yu, T & Cannella, A 2007, ‘Rivalry between multinational enterprises: an event history approach’, Academy of Management Journal, vol. 50, no. 3, pp. 663-684.
Zott, C, Amit, R & Massa, L 2011, ‘The business model: recent developments and future research’, Journal of Management, vol. 37, no. 4, pp. 1019-1042.