There have been issues in getting a conclusive definition for Strategic management; experts all over the world have different ways of viewing the issue of strategic management hence the derivation of different definition for it.
According to Tyndall, Cameron, and Taggart in their book “Strategic planning and management guidelines for transportation agencies” they wrote that every business has its description of strategic management. They further stated that strategic management can be categorised in terms of their growth or advancement in every business due to education or training, occurrence of managerial risk, the way at which the organisation is being run, the external factors impacting the life and activities of the people and the acceptance and desire of the executive (Tyndall, Cameron & Taggart, 1990, p.9).
Strategic management can then be the process of creating, applying, assessing and making decisions that will help an organization in meeting its goals, putting into consideration the external environment and the major part being played internally (Waters, 2006, p.29). It is based on how any organization designs its plan in carrying out how the business is to be run, making the organisation to meet good customer and employee relationship both internally and externally.
Strategic management involves different areas in making the business grow by having an intention of identifying its general growth, the procedures carried out in achieving the organizations aim and goals, the resources that are used in achieving the goal, and the intelligence of the managerial staff towards the realization of such goals (Waters, 2006, p.5). Water in his book on “Operations strategy” affirmed that strategic management is grouped into four levels: Vision and Mission, business strategy, corporate strategy and functional strategy (Waters, 2006, p.15). However, one major area we are going to discuss in this book is on the business strategies of an organization, or the plan being carried out in strategising or managing an organization. The topic covers the developmental plan of achieving success in every organization, including the process of carrying out the strategies of marketing an organisation.
Definition of Strategic Human Resource Management
Strategic Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the overall organizational method of screening the function and purpose of HRM in a well-built organization. Therefore Strategic human resource management can be defined as the outline of intended human resource operations and activities projected to allow an organization accomplish its goals.
The Business aspect of strategic Management
The business strategy is the process by which the business supports the corporate strategy, therefore, bringing about the mission of the organization. It creates the development and success of the organization, in this manner getting to understand the customers want and demands and the satisfaction of the customers (Waters 19). In reference to Business Change Forum Academic Journal, it defined business strategy as “the use of capital value of the organization, in return to achieve good performance to earn a valuable result”. This definition has to do with the everyday transaction of the business to achieve the success of the business. It also specifies the importance of the business for future benefit and transactions.
Approach of strategic management on traditional and emerging approach
The strategy used in both public and private sectors towards optimising quality and productivity is total Quality management. In those organisations which have embraced and utilised it successfully there is often an experience of vibrant creativity. The empowered experience usually yields more optimal results and access to other innovative management strategy alternatives becomes possible.
. Usually viewing a more reactive than a proactive alternative, Privatisation can be thought of as more probable if re-engineering and re-inventing has not been successful (Martin, 1993).
The traditional view of leaders in organisations is that they set direction, make the important decisions, and rally the followers (usually the employees). Consequently, there are many examples of visionary leaders in recent years. Steven Jobs of Apple Computer, Bill Gates of Microsoft and Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com are just a few of the CEOs who are widely viewed as visionary leaders. It is common for organisations to incorporate stories about their great leaders in the myths and rituals that form their organisational culture.
In the traditional model of leadership, the CEO decides where to go and then, through a combination of persuasion and edict, directs others in the process of implementation.
The strategic management process is concerned with the decisions organizations make about their future direction and the development and implementation of strategies which will enhance the competitiveness of organizations. There are many different approaches to strategic management but essentially they all have the aim of establishing the purpose of organization, guiding managers on how to implement strategic to achieve organizational goals (St. John & Harrison, 2009).
We also emphasize the need for integrity in the strategic planning process, as well as the design of marketing programs that are both ethical and socially responsible (Jones, & Hill, 2009). We also strain the combination and management of marketing choices with other practical business decisions as the means to achieving an organization’s general mission and vision.
Throughout the text, we offer examples of successful planning and implementation to illustrate how firms face the challenges of marketing strategy in the present day’s economy.
Strategic marketing planning is viewed not only as a process for achieving organization goals but also a means of building long-term relationships with customers (Werner, Jackson, & Schuler, 2008, p.314). Creating a customer’s orientation takes imagination, vision, and courage, especially in today’s rapidly growing changing economic and technological environments. To help meet this challenge, marketing strategy is approached from both “traditional” and “cutting-edge” practices. Topics such as segmentation, creating a competitive advantage, marketing program development are covered, and the implementation process with a solid ground in traditional marketing but with an eye toward emerging practices. Lessons learnt from the rise, fall and re-emergence of the dot-com sector illustrate the importance of balancing the traditional and emerging practices of marketing strategy. This text never loses sight of this balance.
Although this approach allows for the use of sophisticated research and decision-making processes, practical perspective that permits marketing managers in any size organisation to develop and implement a marketing plan have been employed.
Esoteric, abstract, and highly academic material that does not relate to typical marketing strategy decisions in most organizations has been fully avoided. Many marketing plan framework that is utilized throughout the text has been used by a number of organizations to successfully plan their marketing strategies. Many companies report great success in using this approach, partially due to the ease of communicating the plan to all functional areas of the business.
The strategic options facing management are numerous, what markets to operate in, what resources to deploy, how to organize procurement, production, distribution and how to complete etc. In all these respects, management faces not only the problem of identifying options, but also evaluating each of them and then implementing the chosen ones. Strategic options are considered at the business level unit, where a company or business unit focused on a particular market or groups of similar markets (related with either geographical proximity or product/service similarity).We look to see the ways in which the business can gain strategic success at this level measured in respect of building competitive advantage over industry rivals to gain long-term superior performance. This calls for an understanding of competitive strategies and deciding the basis on how the firm will compete in its chosen market (York, 2009).
As will become apparent from our discussion, the range of possible competitive strategy is wide. This is evident from the different routes to success we observe in different markets. Different companies make different offers to their customers, with different product specifications or service levels. While having different cost implications for themselves and the prices they can command. For the fortunate few, it is their particular offer and mode of business operation that allow them to gain long-term superior performance. There’s no magic formula to this available to all. For, if there were, then all would seek to follow it and in the process the resulting offer would cease to be distinct, being copied by all, thus offering no firm any differential advantage (Dransfield, 2004).
These points to perhaps the key theme, the importance of being distinct and having one’s own unique formula; being different from all other rivals in respect of what is offered and how it is offered. This is never easy to achieve. Some prepositions will either not be sufficiently attractive to the market or be too costly to undertake, while rivals would too easily copy others. The challenge is to develop a position that is attractive, unique and defendable. Once adopted the competitive strategy will considerably influence if not determine the character of the business operation, once established, will largely determine what is possible in respect of developing a competitive strategy.
Simulations have been used for a long time and have proved their worth in a variety of situations. In private sector crisis management there has been a strong tendency to use computer-based simulations which emphasize the importance of critical financial and economic indicators. The task of management is to make the appropriate changes to produce more healthy figures. But this shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of crisis management. The economic indicators are no more than symptoms and no focus on them alone is to mistake the symptoms for the cause.
Simulation techniques have developed based on the belief that:
- People are the most important resource in a crisis
- Individuals can be trained to successfully recognise and cope with crisis.
- The most effective ways of dealing with crisis can be refined through simulation (Pijnenburg and Rosenthal, 1991).
Two new elements can be introduced into simulation exercises which are used to help train individuals in crisis management.
The first is an interactive element, which allows the directing staff to make exercise more realistic. Decisions made by the participants become part of the exercise which all parties have to live with.
The second element is the introduction of stress to exercise. This is an essential aspect of interactive simulations, reproducing to a degree something of the pressures and strains felt in real crises.
Managers take a number of planning approaches, among the most popular of which are management by objectives, single-use plans, standing plans, and contingency plans.
Management’s function in strategic planning
Strategic planning is in an inextricable manner linked or locked closely together into the complete system of management. Planning cannot be disentangled from such management functions as organizing, directing, motivating, and controlling. Strategic planning is a back borne support to strategic management. It is not the entirety of strategic management but a major process in the conduct of strategic management. Strategic and operational management are tightly linked. Strategic management presents leadership, general course along which it has a tendency of developing, and limitations for operational management.
View of strategic planning after completion of simulation
Using information from managerial participants, I identified components of strategic planning. Each of the simulations has been designed to correspond to complexities in the managerial positions and the organizational environment.
Furthermore, my view is that the more points in common between the simulation and criterion, the higher the validity coefficient. Simulations have predictive validity. Hundreds of organizations use assessment centres to provide information for selection, promotion, and developmental purpose.
Roles of Human Resources
Human resources are looked at as a useful or valuable quality that in such a manner as could not be otherwise be carry on or function scrupulously and compatible with the organization’s wants. Most organizations work towards ensuring that they have workers who are have a strong or impatient wish of working and capable of deal with crucial aggressive demanding or stimulating situations. To achieve this, employees have to be stimulated by attracting and training superior talents to perform at peak level. In areas where customer service is important, then training and keeping employees who deliver better services on daily basis and reaching out to the most difficult customers (Werner, Jackson, & Schuler, 2008, p. 4).
Special themes in Managing Human Resources
For a company to succeed, it’s approach to managing human resources is relied on the ability to satisfy the individuals or groups with interests, rights or ownership in an organization and its activities. As part of managing human resources, the following core values need to be considered; a) dedication to customer success b) innovation and learning c) openness d) teamwork. Research shows that the approaches taken by companies to manage their human resources can increase profitability, annual sales per employee, market value and earnings-per share growth.
Issues in Managing Human Resources
Regardless of industry, managing human resources is critical to the success of all companies, large and small. Other than a good living, most employees would like to have and enjoy a good quality of life while on the job. Workers are to have self-esteem no matter what the nature of their jobs. Health Insurance benefits for everyone is another aspect of the human resource management which contributes to a good quality of working life. However, employees needs to be trained and developed to improve their skills and knowledge, given duties that help them use their knowledge and skills, selection and promotion systems that ensure fair and equitable treatment, employees need safe and healthy physical and psychological environment which make them committed hence an increment in returns and customer satisfaction.
Human Resource Planning for alignment and change
In order to meet the people management challenges of this decade, Human resource professionals are required to act differently. Planning must culminate in a significant change in the way Human Resource activity is managed within the organisation. Implementation of new human resource practices brings with it new ways of doing, undertaking tasks and structuring activity.
Planning involves significant changes of which can be one of the major threats to effective implementation of new human resources strategies.
Determining HR Plans and Timetables
Planning outcomes can be rather conveniently categorised in three groups i.e. short term planning which involves plans that typically are accomplished in less than one year. This can be illustrated in a situation whereby objectives to be accomplished with the ensuing year are set. However, intermediate planning is focused on activities that have a time span ranging from one to five years whereas long term planning involves time periods of more than five years. All the planning is conducted within an organizations’ internal and external environment.
All companies occasionally experience disputes over employee’s treatment. In some cases, the disputes end up in court of law where they are eventually resolved by a legal decision or settlement. Most employees are covered by contracts that specify formal written grievance procedures. The growing popularity of formal grievance procedures is consistent with managers’ beliefs that employees have a right to fait treatment.
When disputes cannot be resolved through a company’s internal process, another option can be tried before resorting to courts. In most cases, the courts are always slow, expensive and difficult way to resolve serious disputes, a growing number of businesses are using alternative dispute resolution when making charges of unfair treatment.
Developing an approach to total compensation
Compensation can be referred to as the money paid to employees for their work. It recognizes that there are numerous compensation systems in use. This can also be defined as an organized system for classifying and analyzing the risks and needs of employees. The package or total approach to employee benefits is simply the purposeful management of an integrated program. The organization relies on fundamental principles of management in developing, organizing, directing and evaluating systems of employee benefits.
Employee’s benefits are a very significant element of the entire recompense of employees. Benefits have become an important part of the work rewards provided by employers to their employees. Hence this important element of compensation be planned and organized to be as effective as possible in meeting employee’s needs.
Training and Development within an Integrated HRM System
Training is an essential element of development in organization. The HRM has to present a systematic, legally defensible method which has proved to be successful. Training process should address specific needs that are helpful to the organization’s growth. Any organization that wants to prosper must improve their performance. The HRM policies cover topics like training, job design, analysis, recruitment and selection. After selection of employees they must be developed, evaluated and rewarded. Consequently, this is an area which helps in improving organizational performance and productivity.
Conducting Performance Management
The Human Resource Management has to assess all the elements of performance. This is mainly enforced on the organization’s employees. The process or manner of functioning’s re-evaluation should be entrenched in the realism of the workers successful manner of functioning. This gives the opportunity or permission to managers and employees to have an optimistic appearance at how performance can turn out to be better in the time yet to come and how question raised for consideration or solution in conforming to performance standards and accomplishing the goal intended to be attained (and which is believed to be attainable) can be set on.
Importance of performance Management
An employee’s trait of being active; moving or acting rapidly, effectively and energetically toward a job is determined by the performance assessment. This exercise will encourage and motivate staff to work extra hard to avoid being left lagging behind (Werner, Jackson, & Schuler, 2008, p.314).
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