The Strategy Development Field

Introduction

The review aims to analyze and evaluate the paper related to the strategy development field. Notably, the chosen article is ‘Put Purpose at the Core of Your Strategy’ by Malnight, Buche, and Dhanaraj, published in 2019 in one of the best management magazines, namely Harvard Business Review. The authors demonstrate the ways “how successful companies redefine their businesses” (Malnight et al., 2019, p. 70).

The article describes the global study of strategies that assist firms in achieving high growth. Malnight et al. (2019) suggest that there were three fundamental strategies to enhance growth, such as “creating new markets, serving broader stakeholder needs, and changing the rules of the game” (p. 72). Nevertheless, the authors defined the fourth crucial success driver, namely purpose.

The article’s primary goal is to illustrate how the firm can define, adjust, and apply purpose to succeed. Essentially, I enjoyed reading this study because of my interest in strategy development. From my point of view, the article is beneficial to companies aiming at sustaining competitive advantage and creating a solid value proposition that will lead to higher customer satisfaction and business growth.

Background Information

The criteria for judging the article include the relevance of the findings to the research area, the data reliability, the scope of the research, and theoretical/managerial implications. First, the findings are relevant and valuable to the strategy field because the authors illustrate the purpose as the crucial element that has to be at the core of every company. Thus, Malnight et al. (2019) identify the two roles that purpose plays for businesses: redefining the playing field and reshaping the value proposition.

Significantly, the data is reliable because the authors provide companies’ names, business facts, and supporting evidence. In addition, the authors of ‘Put Purpose at the Core of Your Strategy” are professors of strategy.

The scope of research is excellent because it includes the discussions and finding on purpose as a strategic concept combined with discovering strategies from twenty-eight companies globally, specifically located in the United States, and Europe. And India. Thus, the article presents and compares approaches from global companies and provides theoretical and managerial implications.

Summary

Essentially, the article is divided into four key parts: purpose’s two critical roles, developing a purpose, implementing a purpose-driven strategy, and benefits on the soft side. In the first part, Malnight et al. (2019) claim that “a purpose-driven strategy helps companies overcome the challenges of slowing growth and declining profits” and illustrate the comparison between various companies (p. 73).

For instance, the authors compare two huge players in the pet-food industry, such as Nestlé Purina PetCare and Mars Petcare. Both companies have well-formulated purposes; nevertheless, Mars Petcare achieved success globally because the company used its purpose to enhance expansion and discover new opportunities, while Purina focused on competition instead of redefining the playing field (Malnight et al., 2019). Briefly, Purina concentrated on pet food only when Mars Petcare started to sell not only pet food but also smart collars, which allow tracking pet activity.

The second purpose’s role is value proposition reshaping, which can be done in three ways. Malnight et al. (2019) state that companies can reshape value propositions by “responding to trends, building on trust, and focusing on pain points” (p. 74). For instance, Securitas AB, a security company from Sweden, reshaped its value proposition and increased total revenue by focusing on digitalization trends and investing significantly in new technologies.

A successful company, Mahindra Finance from India, achieved enormous business growth by developing trust between the company and its customers. The primary purpose was to “help rural citizens improve their lives” (Malnight et al., 2019, p. 76). Finally, by focusing on customers’ pain points and needs, a company may improve its value proposition and increase profits. Malnight et al. (2019) illustrate Mars Petcare which searched for various ways to create “a better world for pets” and offer an ideal experience for pet owners (p. 76). Therefore, the company invested in technology and developed smart collars.

The second part of the article describes how companies should develop a purpose through two approaches, retrospective, and prospective. Malnight et al. (2019) acknowledge that the retrospective approach “builds on a firm’s existing reason for being,” while the prospective “reshapes your reason for being” (p. 76-77). In addition, the authors consider Mahindra Group and Securitas as examples of companies that applied retrospective and prospective approaches accordingly.

Consequently, the third part suggests how to implement a purpose-driven strategy. Malnight et al. (2019) emphasize the two best methods, such as “to transform the leadership agenda and to disseminate purpose throughout the organization” (p. 77). For example, Mars Petcare modified the leadership plan and changed the organizational structure by launching new programs and enhancing the leadership team. Finland’s Nestle is another brilliant example of a purpose-driven strategy. According to Malnight et al. (2019), the company initiated an entirely new purpose by shifting towards renewable energy and clean fuels. Thus, the company increased its value to customers by disseminating a new purpose.

Finally, the last part presents the benefits the purpose offers to the soft side of management. Malnight et al. (2019) determine three significant advantages, such as “unifying the organization, motivating stakeholders, and broadening impact” (p. 79). For instance, a well-defined and implemented purpose positively impacts growth, profitability, and both business and society. Therefore, the authors argue that the purpose is vital for any strategy and cannot be ignored.

Evaluation

The article achieved its goal by presenting the benefits of purpose-driven strategies based on real examples. The central lesson is that companies should consider developing a purpose, implementing, and putting it as the core of the business. Essentially, the article’s strengths are theoretical and managerial implications, which are based on successful companies. The shortcoming of the paper is that the authors did not present suggestions for future studies. Notably, I claim that the article is informative and engaging. Regarding my personal experiences, I believe that the purpose as a phenomenon is crucial not only in business but also in daily life. People can achieve success if they have a purpose and know how to implement it.

Conclusion

To conclude, I would emphasize that the article was well written and in an appropriate academic style. In addition, the authors demonstrated a good understanding of the research topic and data reliability. The research problem was defined by explaining the importance of purpose in the strategy. I would suggest analyzing global companies and their value propositions by focusing on the businesses’ purposes in a specific field. Thus, this suggestion for further research will enable a collection of valuable data on the connectivity between value proposition, purpose, and firm success.

Reference

Malnight, T. W., Buche, I., & Dhanaraj, C. (2019). Put purpose at the core of your strategy. Harvard Business Review, 97(5), 70-79. Web.

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BusinessEssay. (2023) 'The Strategy Development Field'. 7 January.

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BusinessEssay. 2023. "The Strategy Development Field." January 7, 2023. https://business-essay.com/the-strategy-development-field/.

1. BusinessEssay. "The Strategy Development Field." January 7, 2023. https://business-essay.com/the-strategy-development-field/.


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