What is Strategy: Discussion

Introduction

The questions of strategy and strategic management are important today because many organizations are still unable to develop effective and successful strategies in modern environment. In his paper, “Are you sure you have a strategy?” Don Hambrick admits that cheap books and “easy” strategic approaches cannot help organizations in their strategic plans.They disorientate and disorganize modem managers and deprive them a chance to compete on the global scale. Don Hambrick suggests that: “strategy addresses how the business intends to engage its environment, choices about internal organizational arrangements are not part of strategy”. He prefers this definition because it accommodates times of turbulent environment, and because it embraces both ends and means. The concepts of strategic effect and strategic performance, which are required to perform hard duty in this text, flow from the nature and function of strategy. Strategic effect is the impact of strategic performance upon the course of events. The concept of strategic performance, logically, can be employed both descriptively and judgmentally.

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Five Elements of Strategy

Don Hambrick identifies five main elements of strategic analysis. arenas, vehicles, differentiators staging, and economic logic. Each of these elements determines the position of a company and its strategic development. Under “arenas”, Don Hambrick means active environment of the corporation. Under “vehicles” he means approaches and strategic tools used by the corporation to reach this environment “Differentiators” means uniqueness and brand positioning. Staging implies “sequence of moves and speed”. Economic logic means “a clear idea of how profits will be generated”. These definitions reflect that researchers pay less attention to steps and strategic flow of strategy implementation but concentrate on the outcomes and means. As operations and tactics are the instruments of strategy, so strategy should serve policy goals which are instrumental in relation to a polity’s broad vision of the desirable. Conditioned by ethical traditions, culture, and the reasoning that balances means with ends, organizational policy choice should express an idea of the political equivalent to the good, or at least a tolerable, life. For example, behind the grand strategic choices of the day lie the policy goals that yield organizational political guidance.

Analysis of FedEx Corporation

What is the Arena for this company?

The case of FedEx suggests that a personal process of strategy-making is wise and effective. Strategic ideas are staffed and coordinated, priced, and critically reviewed at the grand strategic level of assay. On the evidence of comparative strategic performance, only a fairly complex organization like FedEx is able to make, execute, and constantly review strategy. Scholars recognize in principle the organizational demands of practicable strategy, but in practice they often proceed to discuss strategy as though the subject were simply a matter of contending ideas.

For FedEx, strategy is not a game played against nature. Instead, it is activity. A problem with popular formulas can be that their familiarity breeds an unwarranted confidence in interpretation. That granted there is much about strategy that requires further elucidation if strategic ideas are to be helpful in practical application. In the domain of management, motives typically are distinctly mixed, of variable weight, and prove less than durable in the face of developments. For the logistics environment, sector, it is apparently sensible to approach vision, policy, grand strategy, operations, and tactics (with administration, logistics, and technology as major contributors) as comprising a descending hierarchy of realms of behavior, there is a strong argument for regarding these realms as being very substantially interdependent. This means that these realms need to be viewed as mutually dependent partners, related essentially horizontally, as well as on a ladder of subordination. For the logistics environment, sector, the hierarchical view, with its inevitable implication of a descent from matters of greater to lesser importance, can conceal the interdependencies that give integrity to the whole. Recognition of these complex interdependencies underlies the emphatically non-hierarchical concept of strategy’s many vital dimensions.

What are the Vehicles for this company?

FedEx corporation takes into account its uniqueness and important of the main strategic functions: planning, organization, directing and control. Strategy and tactics, and, one should add, policy, operations, and logistics, can be regarded more as distinctive points of view of a single complex phenomenon than as discrete subjects the whole house of strategy. In FedEx, tactical success does not have to yield successful strategic performance, while even tactical failure paradoxically can have positive strategic effect. For the logistics environment sector, it is only in very special circumstances that a record of all but unrelieved tactical failure will prove compatible with strategic success. But, tactical competence is the material of which strategic effect is made. Such competence is not the only material of which strategic effect consists, because quality of strategic performance requires assessment in the light of the often shifting demands of policy or politics. Tactical achievement has meaning only in terms of operational intention and strategic effect. Nonetheless, without positive tactical achievement the operational intention and the desired strategic effect are strictly moot.

What are the Differentiators for this company?

In FedEx, strategy has both extrinsic and intrinsic value. For the service sector, the extrinsic merit in strategy lies in its utility for keeping the assets of a particular security community, or coalition of communities, roughly in balance with the demands and opportunities that flow as stimuli from the outside world. The means and ends that grand and strategy balance and direct are means and ends connected by the threat or use of the instrument of force. The intrinsic merit in strategy resides in its role as conductor of the organization and other assets so that they can be applied economically to serve political objectives. Within the logistics environment sector, strategy transforms tactical performance into strategic effect for strategic performance in the service of policy. Beyond the role of enforcer and monitor, though, strategic management can shape the culture of the organization by its wide-ranging attention to personnel matters of whatever sort. By drawing management or employee attention to issues or activities, strategic management sends signals and causes the employees of the organization to think, decide, and act on matters of potential importance. Managing effectively has never been as important as it is today and will be tomorrow. In today’s service economy of knowledge-based, high-discretion jobs, the commitment and competence of employees can spell the difference between those organizations that win and those that are merely in the race. Establishing policies, programs, and practices that produce these results on a cost-effective basis and comply with laws and regulations is a complex undertaking.

What are the Staging elements for this company?

The best approach to strategy interprets it as a process based on several important steps and stages of development. For the logistics environment, sector, strategy and strategic management operate as a continuous process based on planning, organization, directing and control. The strategic management should be expected to introduce better systems for managing a firm’s human resources. The problem for strategy persuasively, is that every cunning plan has to succeed against, not blind nature, but rather an adversary with whom you conduct a permanent tactical, operational, strategic, and political-moral dialogue. battle. Strategy is so difficult to design and do well that consideration of an intelligent and self-willed foe is frequently a complication too far. Many are the studies on modern strategy that impress in all regards especially their promise of devastating organizational performance save that of coping with the malign machinations of a dedicated, competent, and devious foe. For the logistics environment, sector, strategy presents both danger and opportunity. The opportunities, though, are exciting: to design and implement strategy that best support the organization’s pursuit of excellence and the employees’ pursuit of an outstanding quality of work life.

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What is the Economic Logic that drives the activities of this company?

Even where return is strong’ it is prudent to validate key facts/assumptions and to compare alternative views of the future. The analysis should be used to identify: This module introduces certain concepts for creating a map’ of the marketplace in which the firm operates. The purpose is to examine the relative position and strength of the business versus the competition. The analysis allows to compare current and past results and evaluates customers’ loyalty and preferences. This map’ identifies the degree to which market share is a driver of company growth. Relative market share is the size of each firm’s share expressed as a proportion of the share held by the market leader. This map’ examines the correlation between relative size of the business (defined as annual turnover) and company growth. This reveals that in this market both large and small businesses are failing to grow whilst one medium size player is bucking the trend and achieving high growth. These two analyses help to build-up a general picture of the market in which the business operates and the relative fortunes of the competitors. Different markets and products will have a different relationship between the key factors of market share, size and growth. It is important to understand these relationships, and how they are changing over time, as part of the input to business development planning. Strategic planning must focus individually on each factor to define clearly targeted goals and actions. The approach to the development of each factor is likely to be different, reflecting the specific nature of the customer relationship, the competitive environment and the key factors for successful development.

Conclusion

FedEx uses strategic elements as one of the technique intended to capture the key characteristics of the environment in which the business operates. These factors, which may be supportive or constraining to the future development of the organization, provide the backcloth’ against which the future strategies and plans must be formulated. The model analyses the environment into four areas of focus. It should be used flexibly to reflect the nature of the relevant country/market environment. This means that for FedEx, with a significant spread of operations, it is appropriate to separately map the different environments in which the various parts of the organization operate. The facts are normally identified by the senior management of the business from their personal knowledge and experience. Naturally this assumes that they have sufficient background in the environment to generate accurate data.

References

Drejer, A. (2002). Strategic Management and Core Competencies: Theory and Application. Quorum Books.

FedEx Home Page. (2009). Web.

FedEx Corporation (FDX) Yahoo! Finance. (2009). Web.

FedEx Expands International Economy Services. (2009). Web.

Hambrick, D. (2001). “Are you sure you have a strategy?” Web.

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Ireland, R. D., Hoskisson, R. E., Hitt, M. A. (2005), Understanding Business Strategy. South-Western College Pub.

Pittengrew, A. M., Thomas, H. Whittington, R. (2006), Handbook of Strategy and Management. Sage Publications.

Whittington, R. (2000), What is strategy and does it matter?, Thomson, London.

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