Managing Team Performance

Managing Team Performance

Explain organisational policies, procedures, values and expectations to team members

Before your team can begin to work, they have to know what the internal structure of their company is. The most effective teams are built on a strong foundation of knowledge comprised of the following elements:

Organisational Policies – No matter what organisation you work for, there will be behind-the-scenes policies in place to make sure that the company runs smoothly and that the actions of the company are both legally compliant and representative of the company’s attitude.  These policies may include things such as:

  • Hiring policies
  • Policies regarding accessibility for persons with disabilities
  • Policies regarding ecological impact reduction
  • Confidentiality policies
  • Community outreach and impact policies
  • Quality and service policies

By learning and teaching your company’s organisational policies, you can learn exactly what makes your company tick, and will be able to explain to your team what the rules are, and why you are directing them to make certain choices. Make sure these policies are available to all team members who may want to read them, and that you are available to answer any questions that they might have relating to managing team performance.

Procedures – No matter who you are, it is important that you follow your company’s procedures, and that you teach your team-mates and co-workers to do the same. Not only have these procedures been designed and refined to make the job work safely and effectively, they have also been crafted with the input of legal consultants, human resources advisors, and other people in different fields to ensure that everything works smoothly for all parties involved. When the opportunity to discuss specific procedures arises, make sure to supplement your explanation with information about why the procedures are set up the way they are.

Values – When working with a team, conveying to them your personal values, as well as the values of the company overall, is vital to keeping everyone on track towards the goal, and to encouraging a personal connection to the work. A clear system of values will include core concepts, such as:

  • Leadership
  • Diversity
  • Integrity
  • Humility
  • Simplicity
  • Success

Posting your list of values somewhere visible, or including these concepts in your daily talks, can ensure that everyone is focusing on what is really important in their work.

Expectations – A clear set of expectations is the most basic piece of structure that you can provide for members of your team. Knowing exactly what you are asking of them means that they can sort out their priorities and do their best work without being confused or feeling lost. Furthermore, opening the line of communication regarding projects and expectations can make team-members feel more comfortable initiating conversations about goals, techniques, and other details.

Communicate work objectives, priorities and plans in line with operational requirements

Once you have set down the most basic foundation of your team, you need to convey to them what actually needs to get done, and how important each task is. The easiest way to do this is to follow this structure:

  • Clarify the overarching goals of your company as it relates to this project. If your company is striving to increase its reach, emphasize how your team can affect this outcome.
  • Lay out your individual objectives as a team, clearly defining the steps that you will be taking together to achieve the goal. Let your team know which objectives are of the highest priority, and if there are stretch goals or incentives. Encourage them to meet the most important goals, and then go above and beyond.
  • Share your plan to reach your goals, and discuss the procedural requirements that will be involved in the process. Make sure your team knows how to go about the tasks you are asking of them, and why you are asking them to do things in a certain way.
  • If possible, invite discussion from your team. Do they have any ideas on how to best accomplish a certain task? Does anyone have a unique passion or skill-set that could be used to achieve a goal? Your team is composed of unique individuals, and acknowledging their personal strengths can help enhance work ethic and effectiveness.

Setting out a clear plan of action, as well as clarifying the goals of your team, is the best way to start out a strong when beginning a new project. Confidence comes from knowing what is coming next, and the team that knows what they have to do is much more likely to exceed expectations.

Explain the benefits of encouraging suggestions for improvements to work practices

Because your team members are working directly on projects, they may come up with clever improvements for work practices that could enhance the working experience for your team, and possibly for your company. Encouraging suggestions from your team means that you are actively working towards a better situation for your co-workers and team members, and employees will take more pride in their work if they know that they have a chance to make a real difference in the company.

Provide practical support to team members facing difficulties

If one or more of your team members is not meeting expectations, or needs to improve a certain aspect of their performance, it is important to let them know about these issues as soon as possible, and to share with them practical advice and support for improving.

Not all workers come by every task naturally, and some people need a little more coaching than others to achieve their potential. Once these workers overcome their issues, they often make the best team workers and future leaders, as they are experienced with overcoming the difficulties that lead to success, and they will remember their own errors and be able to help others with similar situations in the future.

Managing Team Performance
Managing Team Performance

Explain the use of leadership techniques in different circumstances

Not every circumstance calls for the same leadership techniques, and not every technique may work for you. Here are some examples of different techniques, and when they are most effective:

  • Democratic Leadership – In situations where you need your team to feel enthusiastic and connected to the project, asking questions such as, “What do you think?” and, “What are your ideas?” is a great way to lead the team by serving as the proctor for discussion. This fosters creativity and increases the flow of ideas, and will increase the likelihood of developing a new technique or approach to a situation.
  • Coaching Leadership – If your team members are new, or if they are learning a new skill, you may need to step in as the leader who can show them how things are done, and make suggestions as to how to improve. Providing positive feedback and constructive criticism may be time consuming, but it can also help to strengthen the team and show that you are involved.
  • Caring Leadership – Building a team and fostering the relationships among your team members is an important part of being a leader. If you have the time and the flexibility, being a leader who is involved and considerate can be a great way to build the team and create strong, lasting connections.
  • Pace-Setting Leadership – If the pressure is mounting, a great way to get the team moving is to take charge and set the pace. This leadership style involves stepping in front of the team and working at the task, saying, “Watch me and do what I do,” which is a great way to motivate team members, if you don’t have other commitments that would keep you from doing the work at the best of your abilities.
  • Authoritative Leadership – Taking authority without being demanding is important if you have other projects that you need to work on, but still want your team to follow your directions implicitly. Projecting an air of confidence when asking your team to trust you is vital to your success, and remember that this style of leadership will not work if you do not already have your team’s respect.
  • Commanding Leadership – For emergency situations or rush projects, you may have to bluntly tell your team what to do and expect them to meet your expectations. This technique will not be taken well by your team if it seems unnecessary, but if time is tight and tension is high, your team will appreciate clear and concise direction.

Knowing when and how to mix and match these techniques can be the difference between an unpleasant working relationship and a leader that makes a real difference for the team, so consider your approach carefully, and be sure to gauge the responses that you receive from your co-workers.

Give recognition for achievements, in line with organisation policies

Positive reinforcement is a psychological tool that has been used for over a century to encourage good behaviors through rewards and positive attention. As long as you are not infringing on your company’s policies, rewarding your workers for a going above and beyond is the best way to keep them working hard, and to encourage other workers to step up their game.

Explain different ways of motivating people to achieve business performance targets

Motivating your team to reach their business goals can be difficult. While some of your employees may self-motivate, you may need to use other methods to get your entire team working at their best. Techniques to motivate your employees include:

  • Perks and Rewards – Some people will be best motivated by rewards like bonus pay or extra time off, while others will be more enthusiastic about things like tickets to sports games or being taken out to lunch.
  • Public Recognition – For others, being promoted or publicly congratulated in front of their group can be a great motivation. This also serves to encourage other team members to perform better so that they, too, can receive recognition.
  • Increased Responsibility – Even if you don’t promote a team member for doing a good job, you can give them different or increased responsibilities that they might enjoy, and that will make them feel more ownership towards their work.
  • Consistent Feedback – Feedback as simple and heartfelt as a “well done” can really mean a lot to an employee, especially if they feel as though they work hard but may not be being appreciated. This kind of positive motivation is free and easy to give, and should be used liberally.
  • Personal Analysis – If your team member really seems to be struggling to get motivated, having a private and personal conversation with them can do wonders to help them sort out their goals. No matter how much an employee might say that they want to succeed at work, if their perceived cost is less than their perceived benefit, they will always struggle to focus. Figure out how to convince them that the results will be worth the effort, and they will be much more likely to work effectively.

If you’re not sure what will motivate a member of your team, there’s nothing wrong with asking him or her specifically. Each person has their own specific needs and desires, and figuring out the way each member of your team works is vital to being a good leader.

Managing Team Performance

Allocating responsibilities making best use of the expertise within the team

Your team is composed of unique workers, which means that you have access to an arsenal of different talents. Learning what these talents are and putting them to the best use can make all the difference when it comes to reaching your business goals, so you should look for employees who demonstrate:

  • Good Interpersonal Skills – If you have a team member that is good with other people, make sure to put these skills to use. Let them out in the field, have them communicate with clients, and let them represent the group in meetings, if needed.
  • Creative or Critical Thinking – If you have workers who are better at problem solving and innovation, make sure that they are allowed to exercise these skills as much as possible. Putting all of the brain power that you have available to work solving problems and developing new ideas is important, and your team will be more successful as a result.
  • Detail-Oriented Nature – Workers who have a good grasp on details are just as important as the rest of their co-workers. Use these workers to filter the ideas and products developed by the team and make sure that no errors make it through to your customers.
  • Patience Under Pressure – For the worker who has the patience needed to repeat tedious tasks, even under the shadow of looming deadlines, the rest of the team should be infinitely grateful. This is the teammate who gets the work done, no matter how slow or arduous, and who is calm and steady enough to keep the team together in times of stress.
  • Specialized Knowledge – Some tasks require different expertise than others, so keep an eye on the skills and passions of all of your team members. It does not matter if their knowledge has been learned through the pursuit of a hobby or an advanced degree program; there is a chance that this specific information will be useful in the future, and you will want to have the most experienced team member on the task.
  • Quick Learning Abilities – In the event that no one on your team is proficient in a certain task, you should know which of your workers is versatile and quick to learn. Knowing which of your team members can be put to any task can help you to quickly adjust and compensate for unusual situations, and can make your team more adaptable and fluid.

Consider the responsibilities of each position within your team, and think about how each of your workers fits into those roles. Fitting people to the right roles for them will increase your team’s productivity, and it will make your team happier in the long run and improve managing team performance.

Agree SMART objectives with team members in line with business needs

By spending time and effort to develop SMART objectives and sharing them with your team, you ensure that everyone involved with the project has the knowledge and understanding needed to contribute effectively and comfortably. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound goals allow the team to work toward one common goal, and give them the support they need to help your team to succeed

For more on the benefits of SMART objectives, refer to Unit 1.

Provide individuals with resources to achieve the agreed objectives

Of course, if your team does not have the resources to achieve their goals, they will be unable to do what they need to do. It is your job as a team leader to ensure that everyone has the tools, information, and support that they need to meet their goals. Communicate frequently with your team and explicitly ask them if they need anything to increase productivity or meet their goals, and you may find that there are ways to speed up the working process that you have not yet addressed.

Monitoring individuals’ progress, providing support and feedback to help them achieve their objectives

A worker cannot make positive change if he or she does not know that there is a problem in the first place. It is your responsibility to make sure that every worker is taken care of and directed towards excellence by following these steps:

  • Monitor Individual Performance – The easiest way to make sure that a worker is not having issues is to watch them work and examine their success. If a worker is having issues, you will most likely be able to see them, and that is the first step to identifying any possible problems. We will discuss techniques for monitoring performance in the next section.
  • Listen to Comments from Co-workers – If a worker is having problems cooperating with other members of their team, or if they are slacking or falling behind, other members of the team may come forward to discuss this issue with you. Because this sort of information is hard to acquire from a management standpoint, you should strengthen this line of communication or arrange for peer reviews to foster feedback from your team.
  • Provide Feedback – Once you have identified a weakness in a worker, you should discuss this issue with them privately. Make sure to have clear examples of the problems, and to avoid an accusatory tone. If a member of the team feels attacked, they are less likely to improve, and distrust may form within the group.
  • Offer Support – After discussing the issue with your team member, make sure to offer continued support to them. Simply revealing the problem to them may not be enough to make them change it. Instead, provide more feedback and assistance as needed, helping them to improve and avoid backsliding.

As the leader of the team, your workers should look up to you for advice and instruction. It is important that you provide these things and encourage them to improve.

Explain techniques to monitor individuals’ performance

There are many strategies for monitoring your team’s performance, which is an important aspect of being a team leader. You can decide how intensive you want to be when monitoring your employees, as there is a wide range of techniques, including:

  • Physical Drop-Ins – The most basic of all monitoring techniques is simply getting up and checking in on your team members. Although anyone who has bad habits may stop as soon as they realise you are approaching, this method can be used to catch a majority of workplace issues.
  • Results Monitoring – Looking at the results of your team’s work, be they sales numbers or product reviews, can be an easy way to identify problem members. Anyone whose performance seems unusually low-quality should either be monitored further or called in for a discussion.
  • Video Surveillance – In some cases, video surveillance of the working area may be necessary. Employees’ actions can be directly viewed at any moment, and even the presence of the cameras can decrease the tendency to slack on shift. This, however, may come at the price of the trust of your team.
  • Call Monitoring – Especially for phone-based sales or customer service teams, call monitoring can be an invaluable tool for change. Recorded calls can be played back for training purposes, and can be used in the case of customer complaints.
  • Computer Monitoring – Similarly to call monitoring, computer monitoring can be used to track internet correspondence for sales and customer service teams. This can also curtail the use of business computers for personal reasons, such as internet browsing and social media.

When you are developing a monitoring system, you should be careful to consider your employees’ rights, and make sure that they are aware that they may be monitored.  You should also consider the legal rulings on monitoring and privacy in your area.

Report on team performance in line with organisational requirements

You should make frequent and detailed reports to your managers or other company officials regarding the performance of your team. Not only will this allow them to evaluate you as a team leader, but it will also provide them with important documentation on your team members, which will be invaluable if one of your team members is to be promoted, or needs to be subjected to disciplinary action. Make sure to use your company or organisation’s approved channels for making these reports so that the higher-ups can deal with them in the appropriate manner.

Be able to deal with problems within a team

Assess actual and potential problems and their consequences

To make sure that your team works smoothly and cooperatively as a group, you will need to be prepared to address inter-group problems. These problems, or the potential for problems, can present in many ways, such as:

  • In-office dating
  • Racial, sexual, religious, or other discrimination
  • Incompatible personality types or beliefs
  • Uneven distribution of effort
  • Fights
  • Harassment

If any of these situations arise, you will need to address the conflict as soon as possible. For things as simple as arguments or workers who are not pulling their weight, you will most likely be able to address the issues on your own. If deeper issues such as harassment, discrimination, or inappropriate relationships arise, however, you may have to report these problems to Human Resources or higher management.

Report problems beyond the limits of your own competence and authority to the right person

In the case of an issue that you feel you cannot address, you should compile a comprehensive report and bring it to your direct manager, or whichever authority is dictated by your organisational policies. Include details from your observations, as well as any observations from other employees or customers. If you have photo, video, or audio evidence, bring this along as well.

Bringing in the proper authorities at the earliest possible stage will help you to avoid further conflict and risk of lawsuit. There are people in your organisation who are specially trained to handle situations in a professional and legally secure manner, and trusting your team into their expert hands is the best recourse in situations where the security and comfort of the group has been violated.

Take action within own limits of authority to resolve or reduce conflict

If an issue arises that you do feel comfortable handling, you should take immediate action to isolate the conflict and address the issues with the parties involved.  Separate the parties and get their individual accounts of what is going wrong, and then work with them together to find the best solution for everyone.

In some cases, one or more parties may be unwilling to change or remedy the situation. If you find that you may need to use more drastic measures than simple mediation, be careful not to exceed your authority or make any firing decisions without consulting with your manager.

Adapt practices and processes as circumstances change

As your team grows and develops, your circumstances may change. It is necessary for you to keep up with this change by adapting your practices and processes to fit with the times, and to be open to change from both within and outside of your group. If a fight breaks out between two team members, be prepared to rearrange your teams to separate the two. If an important team member leaves, be willing to change your process to account for his or her absence.

An inability to change is the most damaging factor a team can face, and as the team leader, it is your responsibility to lead the group in adapting to your situation and improving yourselves. If you can succeed in evolving your team, you will be able to succeed in business.

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Corporate Strategy Sony Corporation

Corporate Strategy Sony Corporation

Sony is a multinational corporation comprising of other corporations engaged in different businesses that fall under one corporate structure. According to Cooper and Glazer (2010) it involves a parent company and subsidiaries, the parent company in this case was started in Konan, Minato, Tokyo, Japan, it’s considered to the largest media conglomerate with revenues estimated to be more than $ 267.1 in 2011 fiscal year. The company’s business corporation include Sony corporations (electronics), Sony financial services, Sony pictures (movies& music) and Sony computer entertainment. Sony also produces communication items and video games for it customers and professional market (Byars 1991). This report is written on Corporate Strategy Sony Corporation.

Vision

To create exciting new digital entertainment experiences for consumers by bringing together cutting-edge products with latest generation content and services.

Mission

To develop a wide range of innovative products and multimedia services that challenge the way consumer’s access and enjoy digital entertainment. The level of saturation within the electronics industry is placing huge difficulties and pressures on Sony in achieving long term competitive advantage. However, The Sony Corporation appears to be striving, achieving record growth to the point where analysts have said it could become the world’s largest electronics industry with time. The purpose of this paper is to understand what origins have driven the success of the Sony organisation. Incorporated within this document: first the paper delves into a brief history of Sony Corporation and then into the description and application of strategic analytical tools. Finally it will provide conclusion to the findings.

Background to Sony Corporation

Sony Company was started by two electrical engineers geniuses Masaru Ibuka and Akio Morita in Japan the year 1946.they were concerned with what the company was to make and how it would be made (McCurry 2008). Their advice was used in production of transistors which they pioneered in its invention. Sony research and development is different from those of other companies with its great flexibility in its essence. Sony is still a Japanese company traditionally. Employment is lifetime with strategy creating values being observed strongly through employee actions. Instead of fringe benefits and bonuses for superior achievements, employees are given status through awards (crystal award). There is also the strong seniority system such as the mentor and apprentice relationship that’s typical of Japanese firm. Strategy formation is considered a collective behaviour.

Competitive Advantage

Competitive advantage is a description of how an organization is able to achieve success over her competitors. This strategy aims at giving customers quality services unlike the ones offered by the competitors that enable the given organization to earn a high average return in terms of profits (Byars 1991).  The competitive strategy should be in line with the organization’s goals and a true reflection of the market where the given organization is situated. It is defined as “delivering superior value to customers and in doing so earning an above average return for the company and its stakeholders”. Potters (1998) states ‘Competitive advantage is achieved whenever you do something better than the competition’ (Capron & Glazer 1987).  Porter goes on to suggest in his work that competitive advantage “grows out of the value a firm is able to create for its buyers that exceeds the firms cost of creating it”. (Kotler 1998). Competitive advantage should support organisational strategy and reflect key market capabilities

Internal analysis

This is the internal organization of the business and how it operates including the factors that affect its smooth operation (Kotler & Schlesinger 1991). Sony being the world largest electronic manufacture since 1946 it engages in research and development for it to maintain its leading position in the market. Sony global (2010) states that the electronic business sector is currently Sony’s cash cow representing 65% of the total revenues. In this segment, two products are vital: TVs (25% of the electronics revenues) and digital and video cameras (21% of the revenue). According to Data monitor, the global consumer electronics market grew by 4% in 2008 to reach a value of $267.2 billion. In 2013, the global consumer electronics market is forecast to have a value of $306.1 billion; therefore research on this area will be pivotal in market share command. This business sector employs world class marketing tactics and skills thus making Sony an international mega brand. At this stage to answer what make the electronics sector such a successful world class business unit in the selected market of China we will look at:

Accounting ratio analysis

Accounting ration analysis is the ratio that is mostly used to evaluate the relationships that exist among the financial statement items. These ratios are used to come up with the trends within a given period of time for a given company and to compare the performance of two or more companies. With theses ratios one would be able to know the success of an organization. Financial statement analysis looks into the liquidity of a business, the profitability, and its solvency (Capron & Glazer 1987).

Corporate Strategy Sony
Corporate Strategy Sony

In the year 2011 Sony electronics operating profit margin accounting ratio in China market was 0.018 (0.045 in the year 2010), return to shareholder equity was 0.006 (0.007 in 2010) while total asset return was 0.002(0.002 in 2010).the high investment rate does not correspond to the business sectors profitability. These poor results show that aspects of the electronic sector had not been managed well in China thus making it hard to achieve average even returns.

Financial resources

Financial resources are concerned with the operations of an organization that make it realize the profits and its strategic goals (Johnson & Scholes 1993). Sony electronic net sales in China for 2011were $21 billion (3% higher than in 2010).however $0.49 billion earned in 2011 as operating income represents a 40% decrease compared to 2010.this is an indication that Sony electronics in China has been eroded significantly.

Organization design and structure

Organizational structure is a form of management in an organization that aims at bringing together the people in the given organization, information and technology. This integration is aimed at making the organization achieve its goals. Through the designing process, most organizations are able to work towards the profitability of the organization. Nevertheless, the design process is an internal change with the facilitation of an external person (Johnson & Scholes 1993).  The management and the employees need to work together to understand the organization’s needs and creating systems to meet those needs in the most effective manner.

With immense and increasing growth in China, Sony electronics employed the Strategic Business Unit way of the multi-division structure to institutionalize and implement its diversification structure. The electronic sector is divided into four SBU (cameras & camcorders, TV, Stereos &radios and VCR & DVD) which are further divided into smaller functional units known as divisions. This functional division are sub related yet different in commonality. This SBU financial and strategic controlled are exercised at the headquarters of Sony electronics in China.

Physical resources

Physical resources are skills such as in the buildings, technology, and other skills that enable the organization’s work to be simple (Cooper 2000). Sony electronics despite its infrastructure in china it still continues to invest heavily in the same infrastructure so as to meet its ever growing customer needs and demand in china. Like in 2009 Sony electronics acquired Chinese based companies Xing Electricals and Guangzhou Electricals Appliances Company in 2010.by 2011 Sony electronics owned 14 manufacturing plants in china, this was after seeing the closure of 3 in the northern part of the country.

Technological resources

Technological resources are the resources that use technology that is applied by an organization to ensure that the delivery of its services is effective and make it gain a competitive advantage. Sony electronic was first in areas such as camcorders, Trinitron, walkman and robot dog in china. The company is advanced technologically than its competitors in china e.g. its DVD offer high performance with new features like record and play making possible complex effects such as viewing oneself while seeing on TV from the DVD in 3 D form. Sony TV also has new features. Above this Sony electronics is capable of leveraging its competitor’s ability well and ahead to create high quality electrical appliances for china’s customer base and it market at large.

Human resource management

Human resource management is the function within the organization that is concerned with the recruitment, management and giving the directions for the employees. It moreover deals with issues such as compensation of employees, hiring, performance management, organizational development administration and training. All these functions relate to the smooth functioning of the organization in service delivery and hence need to be managed in the most efficient manner (Kolter & Schlesinger 1991).

Sony electrical china website stresses that the development and vitality of Sony employees in china drives dynamic growth for Sony electrical. At the moment Sony electrical offers training to it employees for them to be superior in quality production of electrical appliances. Curriculums tailored to local Chinese managers are being provided by Sony electrical in the china region. Sony electronics in china has the ability to identify high calibre managers to take managerial posts for the company sector in china to continue being well managed and innovative culture proliferated business sector.

For these Sony electronics employees in china are recognized and awarded for their outstanding and good performance. This makes Sony electronics human resource management in the china market capable of motivating it employees thus improving productivity of its staff.

Reputation resources

Reputation of resources is one of the strategies in an organization. Public relations are important in the ever changing world and that the way the organization engages with the public is important. This can be through the use of social media that is finding its way into the market.  Reputation resource management makes it possible that the information about an organization is accessible by the public in the most efficient manner such as the use of media and online resources (Johnson & Scholes 1993).

Sony electronics china has the reputation as the best managed company in the region. In 2011 it was proclaimed as china’s largest consumer electronic company a significant media industry player and the fast growing TV maker in china. In short Sony electrical china is one of china’s most recognizable and trusted brands.

Risk management

Risk management is an important tool in the planning of most business organizations. This process reduces the occurrence of certain kinds of events that might affect the organization. This process involves identifying, assessing and giving more priorities to a variety of risks. Once the risks are known, then the risk manager has to minimize its occurrence.  Depending on the type of risk identified, there are a variety of strategies to be applied. Risk standards can be developed by an organization or the organization can use the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

The risk here includes pure risk and price risk.fpr pure risk, for Sony electronics to be successful in the China market then it must be able to take into consideration the various measures of risk management and standards. They need to purchase insurance policies to mitigate them. Price risk will be mitigated by the use of foreign exchange forward contracts and currency swap agreements.

Summary

The internal analysis of the Sony organization has been important in establishing the internal problems within the organization and trying to solve them with an intention of the smooth running of the organization.

Value Chain Analysis

Customer Value Chain Analysis is concerned with the customers and the stakeholders, taking into view their value “propositions” and their relationship to the development of the automobile industry products. Research shows that the definition of a product is vital to providing quality products for the customers. Understanding the various stakeholders involved in the product chain too is vital in the successful production of a product (McCurry 2008).

Together they form value chain analysis. Cost and assets are attached to each activity in the value chain. The cost behaviour depends on a number of causal factors known as cost drivers.

Inbound logistics

In this case Sony electronics in the china market will engage third parties in the production of complex in bound logistics. Sony electronics engaged Ziang a china company in the production of its products components so that Sony electronics will continue being a leading and challenging player in the china market. Sony electronics will have to transfer its production to china to make use of the available cheap labour cost thus making managing complex and regionally spread inbound logistics activities of Sony electrical strengths.

Operations

Sony electronics business will range in china will range to different provinces in Chinese market. Sony electronics production spreads from Europe, Asia and ameerica.teh details can be summarized as: 1) Total annual production for 2011 in electronics, 30% was sold in the Chinese market, 2) Asia excluding china and Japan was responsible for 20% of total annual production, and 3) U.S, Africa and Europe accounted for the rest. Sony electrical though will face and still faces  duplication off products thus making it unable to address inter-operative linked issues which is a cause of alarm which create the company’s sector weakness.

Outbound logistics

Sony electronics in the china market will have to be well connected to the channels of distribution that every country has. Outbound logistics will have to be automated to track movements of finished electronics and the payments made for such electrical products in the Chinese markets. A prominent magazine in china reported that in the year 2011 Sony electronics were rated among the best in china and worldwide as well, and that their staffs are well equipped with the knowledge to any operation. The ability to train employees and outsource outbound logistics is Sony’s Electronics strengths.

Marketing and Sales

Sony electronics strategy for the china market is to make itself a leading provider of electronics in the region and brand itself as a manufacturer of high quality electronics which enables it to sell it products at a higher premium than its competitors. Massive marketing is done and will continue being done for these electrical products which has helped to create several successful sub brands in electronic products such as Trinitron and WEGA. This success strengthens the Sony brand. Due to sensitivity to its competitors actions and reactions the company has no qualms of incurring unwanted expenses, so by doing this  it solidifies the company’s reputation and image. Sony electronics market shrewdness took the first spot on china according to Yao Xing (2011). Due to this Sony electronics marketing is a strength that’s hard to copy and of great value.

Services

Sony electronics sector will have to establish service related activity in the Chinese market that will promote customer satisfaction which will make the customers feel that the product has met the expected required customer qualities. The support activities for Sony electrical in china will be as:

Human Resource Management

This will involve how the company will recruit, train, develop and compensate all personnel (Kotler 1998). At the moment Sony electrical offers training to it employees for them to be superior in quality production of electrical appliances. Curriculums tailored to local Chinese managers are being provided by Sony electrical in the china region. Sony electronics in china has the ability to identify high calibre managers to take managerial posts for the company sector in china to continue being well managed and innovative culture proliferated business sector.  For this Sony electronics employees in china are recognized and awarded for their outstanding and good performance. This makes Sony electronics human resource management in the china market capable of motivating it employees thus improving productivity of its staff.

Technological development

This will include how the company which is Sony in this case in engaged in process design ,products design and how it research and development in carried out to production of better products for the consumers. The company is advanced technologically than its competitors in china e.g. its DVD offer high performance with new features like record and play making possible complex effects such as viewing oneself while seeing on TV from the DVD in 3 D form. Sony TV also has new features. Above this Sony electronics is capable of leveraging its competitor’s ability well and ahead to create high quality electrical appliances for china’s customer base and it market at large.

Procurement

Sony electrical should be keen on how purchase its raw materials that’s it should be having a strong and working procurement system for this to happen. Their suppliers should be acting and supplying the required supplies in time. Highest quality goods should be obtained here in low prices for materials necessary for the company’s operations.

Firm infrastructure

This includes planning and control systems, such as finance, accounting, and corporate strategy etc. (Lynch, 2003). Sony electronics despite its infrastructure in china it still continues to invest heavily in the same infrastructure so as to meet its ever growing customer needs and demand in china. Like in 2009 Sony electronics acquired Chinese based companies Xing Electricals and Guangzhou Electricals Appliances Company in 2010.by 2011 Sony electronics owned 14 manufacturing plants in china, this was after seeing the closure of 3 in the northern part of the country.

To understand Sony electronics activities in china through which competitive advantage is created while observing and maximizing shareholder value, series of value generating activities known as value chain will divide the business system. Transforming input into output looked to have problems and required immediate response from Sony electronics to fix it. If not fixed and solve urgently they might affect the effectiveness and efficiency of operations of the primary activities of sonny electronics business sector downwardly. Though electronics has witnessed a significant increase in internal cooperation between hardware and software managers more work and effort need to be put. The nature of good and fine networking sought to become the habit of Sony electronics sector for it to enjoy a commanding competitive advantage in the Chinese market.

Summary of Sony’s Electrical Sector strength and weaknesses

Strengths Weaknesses
  • Able to motivate and improve employees productivity
  • Positive Sony reputation contributes to increase in sales and revenues
  • World class marketing tool which makes Sony’s mega brands
  • Innovation ability which mesmerizes customers to buy them.
  • Ability to leverage on technology well ahead of competitors
  • High debt ratio put the company in danger in case debtors demand their money.
  • Weakness of divisional structure that include duplication of activities leading to high cost
  • Competing business unit engage in office politic instead strategy formulation and implementation

Resource competency use on Sony’s Electronic models primary and support activities

Functional Activity Capabilities Bundle of Resources Available
Inbound logistics Able to conduct complex inbound logistics for smooth organization operations Technology, human, financial, innovation and infrastructure
operations Capable to innovate and build mesmerising products to customers Technology, human, financial, innovation and infrastructure
Outbound operation Capable of training employees to perform vast complex outbound logistics activities Technology, human, financial, innovation and infrastructure
Marketing and sales World class marketing tools for making Sony mega brands human, financial, innovation
services Able to integrate various resources and functional activities to meet customer need in china Technology, human, financial, innovation and infrastructure
Finance and infrastructure Possess various physical resources to help create competitive advantage human, financial, innovation and infrastructure
Human resource Provision of numerous packages and training that help motivate employees human, financial
technology Able to leverage on technology well and ahead of it competitors Technology, human, financial, innovation and physical
procurement Possess procurement know how that leads to high quality at low costs Technology, human, financial, innovation

Environmental PESTEL Analysis

Environmental analysis is the study of the company’s competitiveness and the whole

Environment where it operates, this will have an impact on the decisions the organization makes in regard to the strategies the organization is to employ in order to achieve profits. (Kotler 1998). PESTEL is one tool used to identify primary factors for consideration in the general environment. When applying a PESTEL analysis it should be recognised that the categories are not ‘mutually exclusive’ (Byars 1991). This section will analyze the companies PESTEL and it consists of political, economic, social cultural, environmental and legal forces impacting Sony electronics in the Chinese market.

Political Factors

Political influence has been particularly evident in recent times. Extreme security measures have been established since rise of the terrorist threat. Government of china policies obviously are of value in running the country successful. Since Sony electronic headquarters in Minato Japan, the corporations policy differ with those in Chinese market. Here marketing strategies and decision activities are restrained and controlled by various laws and regulations established by political institutions in the People’s Republic of China. China will enact laws to preserve a competitive atmosphere or it consumers who in this case are the china people. The extent of the impacts on these laws on the marketing mix variable will depend on Sony electronics sector will interpret such provision that they might be subjected to heavy regulations.

Some political changes in china might make Sony electrical activities difficult and they may encounter political risks during their operations e.g. times of war, political unrest, terrorist activities. The concerns of Sony electronics strategist in this scenario is to understand china’s political system or policies, the government of china’s commitment to the rule of the game ,expectation of change in government and the expected change in business practices.

Economic Factors

The economic status of any country plays a vital role to the success of the industries located in that country. These factors affect the consumers’ decision on the purchase of the products because the economy of a country includes exchange rates, inflation and the income of the individuals. Globalization led to emergence o international production markets. It also led to access of foreign goods and services; due to this the demand for products went high. Strategists at Sony electronics sector should be able to understand the economic variables present in the china market. The economic forces can affect the market either positively or negatively.

Sony electronics sector should be aware of china’s inflation rates which in 2011 was at 1.0003%.the knowledge of this would lead to strategies to counter this economic menace. Sony Electronics should know china’s level of economic condition, is it boom, recovery, recession or depression. The availability of natural resources that can be used by Sony corporation in china to aide it operations in the country. Sony corporation should also know of china business atmosphere is it friendly or otherwise.

Sony corporation should understands china’s purchasing power of the market as this will dictate the levels of income, prices, savings, debts and credit availability. By understanding china’s industrial structure of the economy Sony corporations will determine the level and distribution of income and this will in turn impact on the business organization performance. Some of the important factors to be considered by Sony electrical corporation in the Chinese market are: 1) Economic stage of china, 2) Economic structure adopted by china which in this case is Socialism, 3) Economic policies by china e.g. industrial, monitoring and physical. Nevertheless, Chinas national indices like; National income, distribution of income, rate and growth of GNP, per capita income, disposable income rate, rate of savings, and balance of payment. Infrastructural factors in china like communication, transportation and insurance facilities.

Social Cultural Factors

The socio-cultural factors include demand and the tastes of the consumers. These factors on the other hand vary depending on the fashion, the disposable income, and the general changes that provide the opportunities and threats for given companies. In several cases, products for a given industry have to change depending on the market situation and here prices and the strategies involved in promotion have to change. The society in which people live shapes up their beliefs, values and norms. People of china will absorb a world view that defines their relationship to themselves, others, to nature and to the universe at large. Sony corporation electronics sector should be aware of china’s people core beliefs and values that tend to persist. The knowledge of this factor will ease the penetration of Sony electronics into china’s market.

Technological Environment

Technology is vital on strategic management of any company (Camp 2007). Technology creates a strategic advantage. However, other external factors such as the government support and encouragement affect the use of technology by an organization. This involves the rate and level of change which affects the people of china lifestyle. Technology is seen in electronics through camcorders, computing mobile phones.

This will influence how Sony electronics will produce its products, advertise them, personal selling, market research and pricing. The technological advancement of china will lead to how Sony electronic will invent new electrical products and new methods of production for the Chinese market in China.

The total output of Sony electronics in china market can increase through increased productivity, reduced cost and new type of products.

Sony should be aware that other Chinese companies are able to copy its technologies in a shorter period of time and sell them at throw away prices. Due to this the technological margin is diminishing and Sony corporations through it electronics sector should be cognisant with that.

Effect of Technology

This can be evidenced in the types of products made and sold by Sony electronics. Therefore technology will lead to home working in China, service manufacturing in China and database marketing through the website in China.

Legal Factors

Sony corporation electronic sector should analyze China’s intellectual property and property right which they are capable of applying for their electronics as well commercialization. This will offer Sony in the china market a significant source of comparative merit of enterprise. The PESTEL analysis has proven to be important for the market analysis for the Sony Corporation. It has assisted in identifying vital external factors that affect the operation of the organization and its expansion.

Porter’s Five Forces Model

Porter (1998) suggests that Five forces will look at; threat of substitute products, bargaining power of suppliers, bargaining power of buyers, threat of new entrants and the intensity of rivalry in the Chinese market. From porter five forces model the competition in the electronics industry is fierce thus any company making an entry into the industry in the china market will experience difficulties in profit making. This does not imply that the company will get the same profitability result it got in the previous fiscal period; if Sony applies its business competencies well in china it will still get profits above the industry level.

Porters Five Force Model
Porters Five Force Model

Threat of substitute goods

For the china market the threat of substitute goods is high since substitutes from other industries are a lot and most of them seem to be current and innovative. Although the threat is high Sony corporations through its electronics sector has established and positioned itself by building good reputation and customer loyalty in the Chinese market. This positions Sony electronics effectively against any product from substitutes in the china market.

9.2 Bargaining power of buyer

The buyers bargaining power in china is high since they can swiftly change from one product to another. The access of interest in china has led to consumers finding information on prices charged by various manufacturers thus making the change form one from one manufacturer to another who offers cheaper prices for the same goods as those offered by Sony electrical. Bargaining power in the Chinese market has also increased due to online shopping.

Bargaining power of suppliers

Supplier bargaining power in china is lower due to the fact that a large number of suppliers and customers exist. Sony electronics operate in global chains thus making its supplies less concentrated and above all they are small in size thus commanding a weak supplier bargaining power in china. Due to its direct negotiations with its suppliers they normally cheaper prices though reliable.

Threat of new entrants

The threat of new entrants in the china market is too low due to the fact that they will incur high costs, economies of scale, product differentiation as well as high technology and innovation knowledge. This market in china is regulated by requiring every new entrant to have approval from the relevant authorities being eligible to operate.

Competitive Rivalries

Competitive rivalry in china as a market is high due to intense competition and high exit cost. This rivalry characterized by numerous and equally balanced competition in china due to high research and development, fixed and storage costs, intensity of competition in this market is further heightened by slow growth in the industry.

Summary

Porter’s five analyses has been used by Sony Corporation to gain a clear understanding of the market and enable the organization build a competitive advantage over her rivals in the industry.

Competitive strategies

Competition represent a major determinant of corporate success and if Sony  corporation through its electronic sector fails to take detailed consideration of competitors strength and weaknesses in the Chinese market may lead to poor performance and greater exposure to competitive disadvantage which may lead to make Sony a follower instead of a leader in that market. Cooper and Glazer ( 2006, P.10-21). In this case Sony Corporation should:

Identify its competitors in the Chinese market.

Who they are and how many. This will enable Sony to understand competitors’ moves and monitor them easily and appropriately prepare a marketing defence. The danger though is from emerging competitors and their numbers. In china Sony electronic competitors include; Philips, Toshiba, sharp, Samsung, LG, Kodak & Fuji, Matsushita.

What are the competitors’ goals and objective?

This involves determining the competitors’ goal and objectives. Sony should try to answer what each competitor is seeking in the Chinese market and what drives the competitors aim in the market. Sony should also know how a competitor weighs each objective as this can help them know how they are likely to react to different types of attack.

What are the competitors’ strategies?

 Sony should try to identify competitors’ strategy amongst those competitors within the same market with the same strategy.

What are the competitors’ strength and weaknesses?

Sony electronics sector in the Chinese market should try t identify competitors strength and weaknesses by gathering information on each competitive business. The information will help Sony Corporation on who to attack and how to attack.

What’s the competitors’ reaction and response towards competition?

 Sony predicts this about its Chinese competitors from the competitors’ philosophy of doing business. Sony here will need a deep understanding of the competitors’ mind set so as to anticipate their likely reactions. Strategies that can be adopted by Sony electrical in the Chinese market are;

Cost leadership

 Sony can try to control the Chinese market by being the low cost producer. For this strategy the product is typically undifferentiated. In case of discounts in this stage they shouldn’t be too high so as to offset cost advantages.

Differentiation

In this strategy Sony Corporation will offer products regarded as unique in areas which are high valued by customers. The product uniqueness will protect Sony from competition. However the price premium received should not outweigh the cost of providing differentiated product for this strategy to be successful.

Focus

Sony can use this strategy whereby it either uses cost or differentiation but rather than serving the entire Chinese market it decides to operate in particular attractive segments of that same market.

Recommendations

For Sony electronics to continue enjoying the leader position in the Chinese market it should reduce the cost of its products to increase profit margins. They should also create project based work teams that report to top management, this will reduce office politics and encourage strategic thinking. The employees in the sector should improve interaction and communication, by this team spirit will be high. Sony should incorporate customer oriented features; this will make customers feel they they’re part of the company thus increase customer loyalty. Sony should maintain it leader position in the Chinese market as this will make it outshine it competitors in the market. They should also encourage dreams as this will inspire employees to strive and achieve their dreams thus leading to innovations. Above all Sony should work with the people’s republic of china government.

Conclusion

The Chinese market is a harbour with many business potentials, if Sony Corporation through it electronic sector focus on it seriously it will reap hugely. This is so since Sony is considered as a market leader in the region with strong financial resources, obsession with innovation culture visionary leadership and the pioneer advantage. It should continue marketing it products to stay in touch with its Chinese customer (McCurry 2008). Clearly, despite the increased competition in this industry, Sony Corporation has succeeded in becoming one of the world’s most successful operators. It has recorded highest levels of growth. In contradiction to Porters belief that an industry’s structural characteristics determine the attractiveness and profitability of a market or industry Sony Corporation has excelled. Clearly, the factors that have contributed to the success of this organization come for three distinct areas: financial backing and investment into rapid growth and capital, holistic corporate dedication to its vision of quality and customer service, and vast Branding coverage of noteworthy promotional medium.

References

Byars, L. (1991) Strategic Management, Formulation and Implementation – Concepts and Cases, New York: HarperCollins.

Capron, N. and Glazer, R. (1987) Marketing and technology: a strategic co-alignment, Journal of Marketing, Vol. 51 Issue 3, pp.10-21.

Competitive Advantage: Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance. New York: Free Press, 1998.

Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors. New York: Free Press, 1998.

Cooper, L. (2000) Strategic marketing planning for radically new products, Journal of Marketing, Vol. 64 Issue 1, pp.1-15.

Johnson, G. and Scholes, K. (1993) Exploring Corporate Strategy – Text and Cases, Hemel Hempstead: Prentice-Hall

Kotter, J. and Schlesinger, L. (1991) Choosing strategies for change, Harvard Business Review, pp.24-29.

Kotler, P. (1998). Marketing Management – Analysis, Planning, Implementation. Online Journal, Vol. (6)

McCurry, J. (2008).  Sony to cut 8,000 jobs worldwide. The Guardian, London, Retrieved 23 May 2010. Control, 9th Edition, Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall.

Porter, M. (1998). Michael Porter on Competition. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press, 1998.

Pearce, J. and Robinson, R (2005) Strategic Management, 9th Edition, New York: McGraw-Hill.

Robinson, S., Hichens, R. and Wade, D. (1978). The directional policy matrix-tool for strategic planning, Long Range Planning Journal, Vol. 11, pp.8-15.

Slater, S.  and Olson E. Fresh Look at Industry and Market Analysis; Business Horizons 45. No. 1, (2002, January/February): 153.

Sony Global (2010), Corporate Information.

Thompson, J. (2002) Strategic Management, 4th Edition, London: Thomson.

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Business Management in Grocery Stores

Business Management in Grocery Stores

The revenue of a grocery store depends on the number of products that customers will purchase. Although most customers have their predetermined item lists before shopping, thirty to fifty percent of sales are created by impulse purchases. From this fact, people can conclude that increasing the likelihood of impulse item purchase by customers also increases the revenue. Many scholars have studied the behaviour of buying impulse items and the way to best attract customers to buy impulse items by different marketing strategies for example, by changing layout shape, promotional sale, and discount. None of them, however, have considered the use of a systematic method to place the product so as to increase the likelihood that “impulse” items are purchased. The current topic addresses this research gap and provides a systematic method for item placement within a store to increase impulse purchase. Customers visiting a grocery store purchase items according to their needs and specific utility of the item. When a customer visits a grocery or convenience store, they typically purchase a basket of items that contains a predetermined item-list which people name as must have items, and are inclined to also buy impulse items which are purchased only if the customer  passes by them during his/her visit to the store. Many people define a customer category with reference to a set of must-have items and a set of impulse items, and assume that customer categories are known along with the sale price and potential purchase quantities for impulse items. In the model, there is a need to assume that a customer plans his/her route in the store using a nearest neighbour approach on his/her list of must-have items. The value of the layout is defined to be the total sales from impulse items. Therefore, all the issues and aspects related to Business Management of Grocery Story will be discussed in detail.

The mechanisms of store layouts

Store layout is an important issue in the success of a grocery store. The main objectives of a store layout are to guide the customer around the store and entice increased purchases to create balance between sales and shopping space to create effective merchandise presentation. Selling floor layouts are extremely important because they strongly influence the in-store traffic patterns, shopping behaviour, shopping atmosphere and operational efficiency. The three major types of store layouts are:

(a) Grid: The grid layout is a rectangular arrangement of displays and long aisles that generally run parallel to one another. It provides customers with flexibility and speed in identifying preselected items which appear on their shopping list.

(b) Freeform: The freeform layout is a free flowing and asymmetric arrangement of displays and aisles, employing a variety of different sizes, shapes and styles of display. It is mainly used by large department stores. The freeform layout has been shown to increase the time that customers are willing to spend in the store.

(c) Racetrack/Boutique: In the racetrack/boutique layout, the sales floor is organized into individual, semi-separate areas, each built around a particular shopping theme. It leads customer along the specific paths to visit as many store sections of the departments as possible, because the main aisle/corridor facilitates customer movement through the store (Chin, 1998, 617).

Past research on Grocery Stores

There has been a lot of research on and in grocery supermarkets to understand consumer behaviour. There are ongoing as well as completed studies focused on consumer buying behaviour, travel pattern, etc. A customer purchase can be categorized as a planned or unplanned purchase. A planned purchase is characterized by deliberate, thoughtful search and evaluation that normally results in rational, accurate and better decisions. Impulse buying results from spontaneous buying stimuli, prompted by physical proximity to desired product. Beyond spontaneity, impulse buying is an unexpected urge to buy without regard to the consequences of the purchase decision. Impulse buying could be categorized as (1) Pure Impulse Buying, (2) Reminder Impulse Buying, (3) Suggestion Impulse Buying, and (4) Planned Impulse Buying (Stern, 1962). Studies show that almost 90 percent of people make purchases on impulse occasionally and between 30-50 percent of all purchases were classified by the buyers themselves as impulse purchases. The choice of customer travel path has also received considerable attention. The researchers known as Farley and Ring in 1966 developed a model to predict area-to-area transition probabilities for traffic in supermarkets and proposed a stochastic model of supermarket traffic flow that provides a framework for predicting conditional probabilities of shopper’s traffic flow. The researcher known as Burke in 1996 studied consumer grocery shopping patterns using a virtual (simulated) store. The author known as Sorensen in 2003 tabulated purchase and time-of-stay statistics at different locations within an actual grocery store. The researcher known as Larson et al. in 2005 categorized grocery paths using a clustering algorithm, and identified 14 different canonical paths (Chopra, 2004, 154).

In a traditional retail channel structure, a retailer typically sells multiple differentiated products produced by multiple manufacturers. Manufacturers determine wholesale prices and the retailer selects order quantities, sets retail prices, conducts in-store promotions and manages the sales staff. We refer to this traditional structure as a retailer-managed retail (RMR) system because the retailer determines and manages the marketing environment faced by consumers. This structure may be advantageous because retailers typically have better information about consumer demand in the local market and possess core competencies in retailing activities such as merchandising and promotion planning. In addition, previous research has found that using a retailer as an intermediary may reduce competition between manufacturers and thereby may be preferable for manufacturers whose products are highly substitutable. However, RMR suffers from well-known channel coordination issues such as double marginalization and information distortion. These coordination challenges make it difficult for manufacturers and retailers to resolve their conflicting interests and maximize the total channel profits (Gainer, 1991, 602).

Manufacturing Related Steps

Recently, manufacturer-managed retailing (MMR) systems have become increasingly popular in select product categories and in Asian markets. In contrast to RMR systems, in MMR systems manufacturers set up selling counters and hire their own sales staff to sell their products inside the retail store. In return, the retailer is paid a percentage of the total sales revenue based on a revenue sharing contract. MMR is currently very common in department stores in China and Japan. A recent survey from 30 upscale department stores across major Chinese cities indicates that about 80 percent of product categories are manufacturer-managed. While less widely used in North America, MMR has been adopted in department stores in U.S. such as Macy’s, Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom, for categories such as jewellery, cosmetics and apparel. MMR is also a common practice for online retailers. For example, Motorola operates an online store within In Phonic websites, a leading online seller of wireless products and services. Amazon.com also provides marketplaces where individual sellers can list their items and decide selling prices. In exchange for the hosting services, Amazon receives a percentage of the sales price usually 10% – 15% if an item is sold. These channel innovations have attracted recent academic interest. In particular, the researchers known as Jerath and Zhang in 2009 study the economic incentives that make the store-within-a-store (SS) business model, which is very similar to the MMR system, attractive to both retailers and manufacturers (Gavirneni, 1999, 24).

Under MMR manufacturers have full autonomy in determining retail prices, setting inventory levels and managing their sales force. A possible consequence of direct competition between manufacturers within a store is aggressive pricing. However, because this system virtually allows vertical integration from manufacturers, MMR can resolve channel issues such as the double-marginalization problem, and reduce the frequency of stock-outs. Furthermore, manufacturers may have a strong incentive to provide better in-store service. The researchers known as Jerath and Zhang in 2009 argued that the SS (or MMR) business model is more useful for product categories (such as cosmetics and high-end apparels) for which inter-store substitutability is higher than inter-brand substitutability. A possible reason for the popularity of MMR in Asia is that retail stores in highly populated cities such as Shanghai and Tokyo are typically close to each other.  This may results in intense competition. If MMR mitigates these competitive forces it may provide benefits to both retailers and manufacturers. Jerath and Zhang also emphasize that in order to implement the SS business model retailers need to possess sufficient bargaining power to dictate terms to manufacturers (Halter, 2000, 94).

The Design of Supply Chain Methods for Grocery Stores

In addition to the analytical work, there is a growing body of research that empirically examines the vertical relationship between retailer and manufacturer. The researcher known as Kadiyali et al. in 2000 measure the power of channel members by looking at how channel profits are divided. They find that greater channel power results in greater shares of the total channel profit. The author known as Sudhir in 2001 studied competition among manufacturers under alternative assumptions of vertical interactions with one retailer. The researcher known as Villas-Boas in 2007 extends this work by allowing for multiple retailers. These studies typically use cross market or cross-store data and rely on structural assumptions of vertical strategic interactions between manufacturers and retailers. The study provides empirical testing of the economic consequences using a quasi-experiment within a retail store. Another stream of relevant research is the supply chain management literature (Jackson, 1996, 1121).

 When there is demand uncertainty, retailers may carry safety inventory to satisfy demand that exceeds the amount forecasted. This causes the bullwhip effect as demand fluctuations are more pronounced upstream (manufacturers) than downstream (retailers). Numerous channel structure changes have been proposed to mitigate the bullwhip effect, such as common data definitions, information sharing, electronic data exchanges, collaborative forecasting and planning, and reducing the number of intermediaries in a supply chain. Vendor-managed inventory (VMI) is an increasingly prevalent approach where retailers provide manufacturers with access to real-time inventory levels and let them decide inventory replenishments. Direct-Store-Delivery (DSD) is another approach in which upstream manufacturers are responsible for delivering product to retail stores, managing store shelf space and inventory, and planning and executing in-store merchandising. The author known as Chen et al. in 2007 empirically examined the economic efficiency of DSD systems using cross-market. In MMR manufacturers also have the autonomy in controlling inventory and product delivery but, in addition, they also set retail prices and manage product selling within stores (Lee, 2000, 643).

Pestle Analysis of Grocery Stores

Pestle analysis is one of the most important tools used by the business to assess their external environment. These days, every organisation makes use of Pestle Analysis because of the benefits it provides to various companies. The external factors such as political, economical, social, technological, legal and ecological create a strong impact on the businesses in different ways. The political factors are the biggest concern for the countries that operate in developing countries. The reason is due to unstable political environment, unrest and the riots that place at regular intervals. However, in the case of the current grocery store, they are operating in UK which does have these problems but there are other issues related to investment laws and taxation that needs to be taken seriously by any firm operating in the country. The investment laws and taxation requires businesses to follow some strict regulations. The economical factor also carries immense importance and is in fact the second biggest concern for the businesses. The economic factors such as a decline in the currency value, recession, high operating costs and rising unemployment leads to serious consequences for the businesses. The grocery stores are even facing the similar problems in UK and are affecting their business operations to a very large extent. However, once these problems would get resolved, then the Grocery store is going to experience a positive impact on their overall business operations. The best thing for the company is to prepare effective strategies to handle any situation faced by them (Louise, 2002, 617).

The social factor also has its own value. Though, it does not produce a strong impact on the overall business operations, but the grocery stores needs to take this impact seriously. Grocery Stores did not face many problems in this area because of the nature of their business but they need to be careful in the future to deal with this aspect in the best possible way. The fourth factor is the technological aspect that is important for those businesses that depends on the technological developments. The awareness of the latest technological tools is a key for most of the businesses that operates under a competitive environment. The application of E-commerce tools has increased rapidly over the last few years and most of the businesses are increasing the usage of e-commerce tools. This phenomenon is becoming common in those businesses that are highly dependent on Information Technology (Nicole, 2009, 713).

Business Management in Grocery Stores
Business Management in Grocery Stores

In the case of Grocery Stores, they even depend a lot on technological tools and are also increasing the usage of E-commerce applications in their business. This is the reason why this impact is certainly very useful for them. The fifth factor is the ecological issue in most of the businesses. The ecological issue deals with the environmental aspects of the businesses that have also gained lot of value in recent years. This is the reason why the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility has become quite popular these days and many businesses are investing huge amount of money to fulfil the requirements of Corporate Social Responsibility.  In the case of Grocery Store, they also need to give importance to this factor. Since they are having large operations and huge budget for various operations, they can afford to invest money to fulfil the requirements of environmental issues. This will produce a significant impact on the goodwill of Grocery Store and might even set as an example for other companies operating in the same industry. The last aspect is the legal issues that are there for every business. Legal issues carry lot of value in those countries that gives lot of importance to the rule of law and various principles that are created by the Government for the whole population. In the case of Grocery Store, they did not have any issue related to legal matters but it was important for them to comply with all the rules and regulations of the country (Phillips, 1997, 66).

Porter’s Five Forces Analysis

The model of Porter’s five analyses was developed for the sole purpose of assessing the business operations and then comparing it with their rivals. This model has succeeded for most of the businesses that operates in an industry that has lots of competitors. In the case of Grocery Shopping Store, the threat of entry in their industry was low because the involvement of any other business required huge amount of money for setting up the business. The threat of entry is the first component that is measured by the company. The second aspect was the power of buyers which was not very high. The reason was the strong market position of Grocery Store that had placed themselves well in the market and was even looking for diversification to further strengthen their overall market position. The power of suppliers was not even high because it measures the overall value which the business has and it keeps them in a position to negotiate with the suppliers. The fourth aspect is the threat of substitutes which was low because of the inability of many businesses to earn the same position which Grocery Shopping Store has. This aspect is only high in those businesses when there is an opportunity available for the competitors to enter the industry. The fifth and the last aspect is the existing rivalry which is operating in the industry. Grocery Shopping Stores have few competitors and they did not pose any threat to the because it was very tough for them to gain the same position which the other major super chain store has. However, the competitors can work hard and give tough time to Grocery Shopping Store because they would need lots of effort in achieving this position (Schutt, 2006, 114).

SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis is one of the very old techniques in measuring the value of the business. SWOT Analysis assist businesses in finding out their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. The reason because of SWOT Analysis is conducted to help the businesses in regularly assessing the value and then preparing appropriate strategies to deal with the problems that are affecting the business operations. This is the reason why Grocery Store needs to conduct SWOT Analysis to assess the overall value. Even though, they are having a good position but still the businesses do not ignore the importance of conducting SWOT Analysis because it helps them to identify crucial factors which are very useful for business (Sherry, 1998, 123).

The Importance of Shopping For the Consumers

Spaces of shopping are locales where consumers browse for, and purchase, goods and services. They have also been called service scapes or places where people, processes that shape the selection and acquisition of products and physical attributes of the location interact. A more colloquial term is retail venue. Throughout history, locales where people acquire items to satisfy their needs and wants have become increasingly elaborate, and different types of retail venues have waxed and waned. Popular shopping spaces around the world in the early twenty-first century include shopping malls, boutiques, open-air markets (e.g., farmers’ markets), themed venues, kiosks, mom-and-pop shops (e.g., family-owned businesses), franchised stores, supermarkets, discount stores, regional shopping centers (including factory outlets), and destination retailers. Of the spaces that have declined in popularity, department stores are noteworthy because they dominated the retail landscape in consumption-oriented countries throughout most of the twentieth century (Williams, 2006, 94).

Shopping also takes place in the home through home-shopping parties, where an organizer sponsors an event to demonstrate goods offered by a particular manufacturer. The norms of social obligation and reciprocity that these parties engender within social groups help these parties remain highly successful means of selling goods, even as some consumers resent being invited and being expected to buy. Moreover, Internet home shopping has revolutionized the retail landscape; indeed, it is now often the case that Internet sales outpace those at traditional brick-and-mortar outlets. For example, although most retailers suffered sharp declines during the 2008 Christmas shopping season, Amazon.com actually reported its busiest Christmas season ever. All of these forms of shopping demonstrate the relevance of the home as a key retail site, even as changes in the workforce and increased concerns over crime have diminished other home-shopping activities (e.g., door-to-door sales). Finally, the destination retail outlet typically features themed merchandise, aesthetics, and aspects of retail entertainment. Two attributes distinguish it from all other spaces of shopping: an exceptionally large retail space and a setting that is both stand-alone and typically outside the perimeter of a major urban area. The fact that consumers choose to sacrifice time, money, and effort above and beyond what they would normally expend on typical shopping activities to visit these sites makes them destinations in their own right. Such venues position themselves by offering unique assortments of merchandise and value-added amenities that are designed to surprise and delight customers. One highly successful global destination retailer is IKEA, which offers a unique self-serve line of mid-quality furniture with a high level of design, a Swedish restaurant, a grocery store featuring Swedish-heritage food and gift items, a game room for children, and a bargain level where consumers are literally overwhelmed by a huge assortment of low-priced choices for the home. Another destination retailer, Cabela’s on its website promotes one of its locations outside of Austin, Texas, as an 185,000 square foot facility that features a décor of museum-quality animals, a shooting gallery, and a large aquarium (Zukin, 1998, 839).

Thus, the department store introduced the practice of selling by association. The excessive use of electric lights, modern ventilation systems, telephones, and pneumatic tubes for communication created a rationally managed and comfortable environment for both the public and employees. Technological novelties, such as escalators, not only facilitated mobility within the store but also functioned to stun the public as a kind of enchantment of modernity and rationality. The main public of the department store was the broadly defined middle class. An extensive range of goods was offered for prices accessible to a large public, and historians therefore often talk about the democratization of luxury, to use the words of nineteenth-century French author Émile Zola. The fact that department stores also offered a range of services, entertainment, and facilities that could be enjoyed by anyone for free supports this interpretation. On the other hand, new means of differentiation were introduced. Different departments were often hierarchically situated within the stores, with a bargain department, or bargain basement, on the lowest level. The more expensive the goods, the higher they were placed in the building. In addition, middle-class style and manner was not only shaped and sold by the stores but also expected from the customers (Nicole, 2009, 713).

The Role of Organization Theory for Grocery Shopping Stores

In the last few decades, a major theme of organizational theory has been the increased openness of the environment in which organizations operate. No matter how theorists and scholars try to answer the question of openness there is unanimity in the belief that organizations are now influenced by an increasing number of entities, and need to accommodate their specific demands. This extra burden on organizational resources, in an ever-changing environment, necessitates the need for businesses to have coalitions and engage in multifaceted and intricate transactions within their environment. The bottom line is that modern organizations are now facing a dynamic and an active intrusive environment. The new groups and entities, created by technology and several other conditions under globalization, are interested in what the firms do and how they conduct their business. These entities are not only affected by the firms but they can also influence firms. These changes, therefore, have altered the view that organizations are only answerable to their shareholders (Schutt, 2006, 114).

As already explained descriptive stakeholder theory tries to describe the firm as a centre of many converging and diverging interests representing numerous stakeholders. Descriptive theory also tries to show the impact of stakeholders on organizational decision-making. In short, it explains how organizational decisions are made and what affects them. On the other hand, instrumental stakeholder theory attempts to explain and establish a link between stakeholder management and firm performance. The researcher known as Dill in 1975 gives a broader concept of stakeholder management than the corporatist view, and covers both descriptive and instrumental aspects of the stakeholder theory. He argues that management must increase focus on strategic planning and, through kibitzing, bring stakeholders into the process of decision-making. Otherwise, the organization will be subject to increasing mistrust and loss of confidence. Dill not only talks about stakeholders that can influence the organizational decision-making processes but also mentions intermediaries like representative protestors, communicators, and opportunistic protestors, who intervene on behalf of the stakeholders, and aid them. He recommends that the management needs to deal with stakeholders by increasing the scope of their interactions and by making an effort to help the stakeholders understand the concerns and issues of the organization. The researcher known as Freeman in 1984 defined stakeholders as any entity that is affected or can affect the firm. He gives a long list of stakeholders and their possible interests. Freeman admitted that the list provided in his book is static and simplistic. In reality stakeholders have relations with other stakeholders, their interests change, and over time their salience can also vary. His model was basically a how to do guide for managers to assess the stakeholders’ interests, and formulate processes that will help them in dealing with these interests. Freeman’s model is instrumental and represents an enlightened self interest on the part of the managers aimed at creating a successful organization (Halter, 2000, 94).

The researchers known as Hosseini & Brenner in 1992 described organizations as having influence from a number of stakeholders, and give a descriptive stakeholder theory that focuses on stakeholder influence. Most of the scholarly works claim this aspect of multiple pressures on the decision-making process of the managers, but Hosseini & Brenner actually give a methodology to ascertain these pressures created by the stakeholders. They give a methodology to assess how ethical values are introduced, and subsequently influence managerial decision-making. They propose an Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP), which they propose is a solution to the multi-attribute and multi-dimensional problem posed by stakeholder theory. The researchers known as Donaldson and Preston in 1995, as already discussed, give an instrumental, descriptive, and normative stakeholder theory. They move beyond Freeman’s enlightened self interest view and say that all stakeholders have interests with intrinsic value and are important irrespective of the fact that they add to the value created for the shareholders. Their work is normative as they consider norms to be at the core of the organization. It is descriptive as they describe organizations as centres of multiple interests. It is instrumental as they consider that there should be a link between stakeholder theory and performance. The researcher known as Jones in 1995 developed a formal instrumental stakeholder theory. The main assumptions are: firms have relationships with many groups, each with either power over the firm, or with a stake in the firm; relationships between firms and their stakeholders can be described with the term contracts; contracts can be of many types (forms of exchange, transaction, delegation of decision-making authority, and legal documents); firms are nexuses of contracts; top corporate management has a special strategic position, therefore, firms are recast as nexuses of contracts between its top managers and its stakeholders; finally, markets move towards equilibrium and that produces a tendency for efficient contracting (Gainer, 1991, 602).

Based on the above assumptions the contracting process gives rise to a number of issues like: agency problems, transaction cost problems, and problems related to opportunism and commitment. If the firm is able to solve these contracting issues it will have a competitive advantage. Finally, Jones gives his solution that firms that contract through their managers with their stakeholders on the basis of mutual trust and cooperation will have a competitive advantage over firms that do not. The researchers known as Wheeler & Silanpaa in 1997 argue that long term value of a company rests on: knowledge, ability, and commitment of its employees; and its relationship with investors, customers, and other stakeholders. The basis of this relationship is how the company adds value beyond commercial transactions. There are two types of values an organization can produce: social and commercial. Both these values are mutually reinforcing and lead to loyalty and corporate resilience. The scholars follow Freeman’s 1984 definition of stakeholders and divide stakeholders into primary and secondary. They argue that basically stakeholder management is a question of creating a balance, and they predict that stakeholder inclusive organizations will outperform stakeholder exclusive organizations in the 21st century. The researchers known as Preston & Donaldson in 1999 did not really give a detailed model but they described the basic ingredients of stakeholder theory. They state that the stakeholder view includes firms and their networks of stakeholders, involved in collaborative relationships and routines, to increase firm revenue and reduce risk and cost. The collaboration works through stakeholder linkages and implicit agreements based on trust, mutual control, and ownership of collaborative activities by the firm and the stakeholders. Finally, organizational wealth-that is the aggregate value of a going concern-can be enhanced by appropriate linkages, both formal and informal, with most, if not all, corporate stakeholders. Hence the pursuit of organizational wealth is an appropriate goal and justification of stakeholder management (Jackson, 1996, 1121).

Different Aspects Related To Shopping

In many papers, the researchers found evidence of peer effects among retail cosmetic salespeople. The peer effects are not simply productivity spill over’s, as people also identify likely strategic responses by workers to the ability of their peers. The direction and magnitude of these effects depend on the compensation system used by the brand. When faced with high ability peers within the counter, workers under individual-based compensation employ two strategic responses. First, they discount the prices offered to customers. Second, they focus on retaining high-value repeat customers, who likely are more loyal to specific brands. Still, they lose (especially low-value) customers since they are unable to compete with high-ability peers in selling ability. Yet high-ability workers do not appear to benefit much from the losses of their peers. The reason is that workers at IC counters are less able to compete with outside peers, especially those from TC counters. Focusing on competing against each other, workers at IC counters can only devote limited effort to outside competition and are therefore greatly hurt by high-ability outside peers. The results show how the relationship between worker heterogeneity and team performance depends critically on compensation system under individual-based compensation, heterogeneity can lead to internal customer and price competition, and loss of sales to outside competition (Phillips, 1997, 66).

In contrast, heterogeneity enhances team performance under team-based compensation. Many researchers find that high-ability workers significantly improve the sales productivity of their peers. Workers appear to coordinate on which customers they serve: low-ability workers may focus more on loyal high-value customers while high-ability workers compete for the casual walkthrough customers who are most difficult to gain. Workers at these counters, finding it unnecessary to exert effort toward within-counter competition, can focus all effort toward outside competitors, and may also benefit from the help of high-ability peers. Consequently, these workers lose fewer customers to outside peers and offer less discounting to customers, hence suffering less revenue loss. High-ability workers at TC counters, on the other hand, have much larger negative effects on outside peers than do their IC counter peers. The peer effects identified in this study are conditional on the compensation system and workers chosen by firms. We test the treatment effects of two brands that changed the compensation system in a later period. The consistency of these results with the broader sample suggests that a large part of the relationship between compensation systems and peer effects is indeed causal. Similarly, the observation that compensation changes do not coincide with personnel turnover indicates that whatever endogenous hiring processes exist do not explain the compensation-specific peer effects (Williams, 2006, 94).

Conclusion

It can be concluded that the proper business strategies in any business can lead towards better operations for their whole business. The same case was with the current grocery store that needs a proper business management to run their operations in the best possible way. There are certain elements which are very crucial for any grocery store which they need to consider before conducting their operations. The same case happened with the present grocery store that also required a suitable strategy for running the business. In the future, the grocery store will be able to run its business operations in the best way that will satisfy the stakeholders and customers as well. Therefore, all the issued and aspects related to the Business Management of Grocery Store have been discussed in detail.

References

Chin, E, (1998), Social Inequality and the Context of Consumption: Local Groceries and Downtown Stores, Service scapes: The Concept of Place in Contemporary Markets, Chicago: NTC Business Books, pp. 591–617.

Chopra, S, (2004), Supply Chain Management (2nd edition), Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, pp. 133-154.

Gainer, B, (1991), To Buy or Not to Buy? That Is the Question: Female Ritual in Home Shopping Parties, Advances in Consumer Research vol. 18, pp. 597–602.

Gavirneni, S, (1999), Value of Information in Capacitated Supply Chains, Management Science, pp. 16-24.

Halter, M, (2000), Shopping for Identity: The Marketing of Ethnicity, New York: Schocken Books, pp. 55-94.

Jackson, K, (1996), All the World’s a Mall: Reflections on the Social and Economic Consequences of the American Shopping Center, American Historical Review, vol. 101, pp 1111–1121.

Lee, H, (2000), The Value of Information Sharing in a Two- Level Supply Chain, Management Science, pp. 626-643.

Louise, C, (2002), Shopping, Space and Practice, Environment and Planning vol. 20, p. 597–617.

Nicole, T, (2009), Consumer Mourning and Coping with the Loss of Strategic Rituals: The Case of Marshall Field & Co, Advances in Consumer Research vol. 36, p. 688-713.

Phillips, R, (1997), Stakeholder Theory and the Principle of Fairness, Business Ethics Quarterly, Vol. 7, Issue, pp. 51-66.

Schutt, R, (2006) Investigating the Social World: The Process and Practice of Research, 5th Edition Sage Publications, pp. 91-114.

Sherry, J, (1998), Service scapes: The Concept of Place in Contemporary Markets, Chicago: NTC Business Books, pp. 68-123.

Williams, C, (2006), Inside Toyland: Working, Shopping, and Social Inequality, Berkeley: University of California Press, pp. 70-94.

Zukin, S, (1998), Urban Lifestyles: Diversity and Standardization in Spaces of Consumption, Journal of Urban Studies vol. 35, pp. 825–839.

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Business Strategy BT

Development Strategy for Business Resilience and Sustainability through an Incremental Strategy – A Study of British Telecom

This report discusses the comparative analysis of three strategies namely incremental, renovate and inventive within the context of the internal as well as the external environment of a company such as BT (British Telecommunications Limited) which is a multinational telecommunications services company headquartered in London. It also evaluates a change management programme that can bring about strategic change within this organisation. BT has a global services as well as a retail division. Its operations span 170 countries throughout the world.

Company’s Internal and External Environment and Its Strategy Type

In the current business scenario, intense competition, integration across global markets, changes in technology and the advancement of the telecommunications sector are some of the external factors that influence the change management program of BT. the Company’s managerial talent and the level of the motivation of its workforce are some of the internal factors influencing strategic management. In order to improve the effectiveness of the organisation, strategy is the key because it leverages the capabilities of the individuals and the institution in a cohesive manner. The ideal development strategy for a company like BT that seeks business resilience and sustainability throughout its line of operations is an incremental approach.

Strategic Capabilities

Incremental strategies are effective within the current dynamic environment. Regulatory convergence is a key factor in the selection of incremental strategy for handling change and sustaining profits. The challenges of global competition have to be seen within the broader regulatory framework for effective strategic management. The incremental approach to strategic management is in response to the complex and ever changing corporate environment. Consequently, the strategic process moved in an incremental manner adapting to changes in the internal and external environment of the company. Decisions will then be driven by multiple goals. BT has low levels of business resources with respect to its telecommunications services though it is steadily expanding in the field of broadband communications. BT has reported a fall in sales though it experienced a healthy profit in 2013. Moderate or high business resources imply greater strategic capabilities which enable the company to excel using innovation or denotative strategic management. Annual pre-tax profits of BT were up by more than 40% but sales fell by 4%.

Business Strategy BT Competitive Analysis

The major feature of the incremental strategy is that it is decentralised and it responds to dynamic environmental challenges. BT is facing a changing socioeconomic milieu wherein the incremental approach accounts for this variable. An incremental strategy enables the organisation to fulfil its mission by closing the divide between long as well as short term goals within a changing environment. Organisational design followed a contingency approach since landmark research was conducted by Emery and Trist (1965) as well as Lawrence and Lorsch (1967). When a company faces a challenging environment, incremental strategy is far better than inventive or renovate strategies on account of the challenging environment faced by the company. As a British MNC which has to face global competition, BT should opt for an incremental strategy to boost its prospects and sales.  The degree to which the environment of a company is globalised also influences its development strategy. Porter has proposed the five force model for analyses of competition presented below:

Porters 5 Force Model
Porters 5 Force Model

Figure 1: Porter’s 5 Force Model from Michael Porter, “Competitive Strategies”

Porter’s model elucidates how competition from different sources can create industry rivalry. Competitive analyses in the context of an incremental strategy is suitable for organisations such as BT which want to cope with competition from different sources, as discussed in Porter’s model.

Business Strategy BT Competitive Advantage

BT needs to consider the complete gamut of competitors through an incremental approach to change management. Porter (1980) has argued that organisations should consider the behaviour of firms that are producing same/similar products as well as the action of suppliers, competitors producing substitute products and the customers themselves. An incremental strategy enables companies such as BT to develop a holistic view of the market to promote business resilience and boost profits. Competitive advantage has been discussed through a model proposed by Porter discussed below:

Porters Generic Strategies Model
Porters Generic Strategies Model

Figure 2: Porter’s Generic Strategies Model (Porter, 1980)

Ansoff (1985) has discussed how companies should also develop the strategy keeping in mind the flow of critical resources for production. They should also consider how they will impact non-market actors. Nonmarket actors or strategic interest groups also have an important role to play in influencing the development strategy of a firm. BT should follow a cost leadership strategy for low cost rather than aiming for product uniqueness as there are many rivals offering advanced services in this sector.

Culture

The culture of an organisation also plays a key role in influencing the strategy it adopts. The company’s abilities revolve around the resource, skills and procedures as well as its competencies. Attitudes and other cognitive factors reflect an organisation’s culture. The work culture at BT is unique. It focuses on completion of projects and garnering of crucial contracts. The organisational culture of a company influences its success in current times. BT needs to follow an incremental strategy whereby it adapts to changing global and domestic environment so that it can keep up with its competitors. The choice of a strategic management approach is based on several critical considerations such as an organisation’s strategic capabilities, competitive analyses, competitive advantage and culture.

An organisation must have a strategy that can meet the challenges of its internal or external environment (Ashby, 1961). Therefore, an incremental strategy would be ideal for enhancing the sustainability of business practices and the resilience of British Telecom. Consider the personnel, structure, systems and financial resources to be important factors in any strategy for change management. An incremental strategy follows a contingency approach which is ideal for British Telecom.

The organisation’s culture as reflected by collective values, experiences and beliefs of its members also has a critical role to play in its success. An incremental strategy for development and change management incorporates this effectively, making it the viable and effective choice for BT which has skilled employees. An incremental strategy is ideal for bringing about small but important changes in the organisational functioning compared to inventive or renovate strategies which focus on large scale change.

In order to possess business resilience and sustainability in its operations, BT needs to follow an incremental strategy to bolster its current organisational culture. Companies need to be proactive to cope with changes such as economic slowdowns, increased global competition and massive amount of technological advancement. BT would do well to adopt an incremental, contingency oriented approach to strategic management to cope with this.

Critical Evaluation of the Incremental Strategy

Incremental strategy is ideal for British Telecom.  An incremental strategy enables the company to have flexibility in coping with uncertainties in the field of policy regulation and governance.

People

There is a need to bargain with stakeholders and integrate human and organisational capabilities to catapult the company to the path of success. Renovate and innovative strategies can only be effective in environments where there are less regulation uncertainties (Lindblom, 1979). Each of the different resources within a company plays a critical role in its success. Through an incremental approach, British Telecom can impact its employees in a positive way. By instilling coping skills and out of the box thinking to manage dynamic and changing situations, BT can boost its profits.

Employees also differ in terms of their personal knowledge, perception, limitations, and it is due to this inherent complexity that incremental strategy can be the perfect tool for change. Diversity is one of the chief features of the workforce at BT. Therefore; development strategies followed here should take advantage of this versatility. Incremental approaches to strategic management can accomplish this.  Top managers within the same company can approach the same problem with different solutions (Bower & Doz, 1979).

Operations

Operations system provides guidance regarding how work procedures must be carried on and provides the framework for performing the work People are the key resources of any company. They are the prime assets which spur the growth and development of the organisation. Operations are a key area where rapid changes have to be kept pace with. The internal as well as external stakeholders also play a central role in the company’s success (Lindblom, 1959; Mintzberg, 1919). Balancing the goals and interests of stakeholders is the key to organisational success (Ansoff, 1985). BT should adopt an incremental strategy to improve operations.

Finance

Financial resources are necessary to accomplish goals and provide rewards. Money is one of the primary motivators for obtaining optimal performance from employees in the work setting. Annual pre-tax profits were up 42% to £2.4bn, last year for BT while sales were down 4%. An incremental strategy is ideal for a company such as BT which has ample financial resources.

Technology

Technology sets the stage for the company to maximise its capabilities if it keeps pace with it. Effective utilisation of resources is a must if a company has to progress and make healthy profits. An organisation’s culture is maintained and transmitted by its workers. Leaders of internal stakeholder groups are the key assets to instil positive change within an organisation. For companies such as BT that are facing moderate to heavy environmental turbulence, an incremental strategy for strategic management is needed (Mintzberg, 1973).

Several comprehensive reviews have been conducted by leading researchers in the field of strategic management (Hofer, 1976; Vancil, 1976; Armstrong, 1982). Research has found that degree of formality centralisation, hierarchical structure and comprehensiveness of any company is influenced by its environment, and complexity (Armstong, 1982, Hofer, 1976). In current scenario, an incremental strategy is optimal for BT.

Change Management Programme

A change management programme for British Telecom must incorporate an incremental approach. This is because its external and internal environment is more suited to an approach that makes allowances for sudden and rapid changes. Whether it is people, financial aspects, technological advancements or  organisational culture, all aspects of an organisation’s functioning need to be taken into account for effective change management. A conventional approach towards change management will not be successful. In 1995, John Kotter published his landmark paper “Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail”. This paper cited how only 30% of change programs are successful.

The biggest advantages of a change management programme for British Telecom through an incremental strategy is that it will make allowances for the rapid changes in technology and competition that are taking place in the Indian telecommunications sector. Colin Price and Emily Lawson (2003) suggested that the conditions which must be met for employees within an organisation to embrace change include their agreement to the change, effective role modelling for inculcation of change oriented behaviours, and reinforcement systems that encourage the behaviour and the skills required for change. The structures, systems, processes and incentives within a change management program should be conducive towards a positive transformation of the company into a reliable and sustainable business.

An incremental approach to strategic management can bring about this transformation for British Telecom. But change management processes should have an appeal for employees. Businesses that want to do more than survive have to remodel themselves to match up to competitors. Change management programmes have incorporated various methods such as total quality management, rightsizing, restructuring, cultural change and turnarounds in a bid to improve their profit margins. British Telecom needs to follow a change programme that pursues innovation in a way that is flexible and keeps in line with the incremental strategy of adapting to changes. Too many companies fail to progress beyond a certain point when it comes to garnering market share because they do not anticipate change due to factors such as advances in technology and industrial competition. Even a change management programme based on the incremental approach can have a few pitfalls though. Anticipating change is not easy. Many times, market analysts may be predicting a trend which is short-lived. Kotter’s 10 year study of more than 100 companies found unsuccessful change management programmes failed to generate the urgency or formulate a vision that could be communicated well to bring about a complete transition.

Companies need to be practical and realistic in their aspirations. Only then can change management programmes succeed in a complete sense. Obstacles to the change management programme suggested in this paper include rapid changes in the regulatory framework, unforeseen innovations and advancements in the field of technology and lack of market foresight. Genuine transformations require game changing ideas which can bring about creative solutions to problems. A change management programme based on an incremental strategy can only succeed if company personnel have the objectivity to view successes and failures in accurate ways.

References

Armstrong, 1. S. (1982). The value of formal planning for strategic decisions: Review of empirical research, Strategic Management Journal, 3: 191-21 1.

Barnard, C. I. (1938). The Functions of the Executive, Cambridge, Massachusetts:  Harvard University Press

Baumol, W. (1968). Entrepreneurship in economic theory, American Economic Review, 581 64-72.

Freeman, R. E. (1984). Strategic Management: A Stakeholder Approach, Boston: Pitman.

Hofer, C. W. (1975). Toward a contingency theory of business strategy, Academy of Management Journal, l8: 784-810.

Hofer, C. W. (1976). Research on strategic planning: A survey of past studies and suggestions for future efforts, Journal of Economics and Business, 28: 261-286.

Isern, Joseph and Pung, Caroline, “Organizing for successful change management: A McKinsey global survey”, 4.The McKinsey Quarterly, June 2006.

Kotter, John, “Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail”, Harvard Business Review, March–April 1995, p 1.

Jensen, M. C., and Meckling, W. H, (1976). Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency, costs and ownership structure, Journal of Financial Economics, 3:305-360.

Lawrence, P. R., and Lorsch, J. W. (1967}. Organization and Environment: Managing Differentiation and Integration, Graduate School of Business Administration, Harvard University, Boston.

Lorsch, J. W. (1986). Managing culture: The invisible barrier to strategic change, California Management Review, 23: 95-109.

Mintzberg, H. (1973). Strategy making in three modes, California Management Review, I6: 44-53.

Mintzberg, H. (1977). Policy as a field of management theory, Academy of Management Review, 2: 88-103.

Mintzberg, H. (1978). Patterns in strategy formation, Management Science, 24: 934-948.

Mintzberg, H. (1979). The Structuring of Organizations, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall.

Mintzberg, H. (1987). Crafting strategy, Harvard Business Review, 65: 66-75.

Mintzberg, H., and Walters, J. A. (1985). Of strategies, deliberate and emergent, Strategic Management Journal, 6: 25?-272.

Pettigrew, A. M. (1977). Strategy formation as a political process, International Studies on Management and Organization, 7: 78-87.

Price, Colin and Lawson, Emily, “The Psychology of Change Management,”7.The McKinsey Quarterly, 2003, Number 2, Special Edition: Organization.

Schumpeter, J. A. (1934). The Theory of Economic Development, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.

Vancil, R. F. (l 9? 6}. Strategy formulations in complex organizations, Sloan Management Review, I7: 1—13.

Quinn, J. B. (1977). Strategic goals: Process and politics, Sloan Management Review, 18:21-27.

Williamson, 0. E. (1975). Markets and Hierarchies: Analysis and Antitrust Implications, New York: Free Press.

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How To Write A Business Management Essay

How To Write A Business Management Essay

Title: Business Management Essay. This blog post is an systematic guide on how to write an effective business management essay, it outlines some of the frequent pitfalls of management essay assignments. It also provides management students with a factorial program to business management essays and research papers. This is also intended for business related courses like human resource management, marketing, accounting, economics, systems consultancy, and others. I hope you get a better understanding on how to write a business management essay.

People read management essays to acquire valuable current information that is timely. Moreover, management essays connects theoretical knowledge to concepts prevalent in the market. Management essays offer students an opportunity to apply theoretical information in the field.

After all, management is a soft skill that requires development outside of the class setting. The essays enable students to reflect on the theories and various management frameworks applied in class. Writing a business management essay can be a daunting essay and a management student almost always requires support in meeting all the challenges related to the task.

A management essay writer should design an essay that tests existing knowledge and develops it. The act of preparing the essay should be aimed at developing particular subject knowledge on management – Enhancing your know in a familiar subject is recommended. Your management essay should bear in mind that the instructor is interested in determining the level of knowledge of the student, thus the flow of reason is crucial. You should build logic arguments just like in a debate.

In other words, you should be able to make the readers of your essay think logically, and do not just expect them to believe the statements made by the essay. The method of justifying your claims is quite crucial. One of the best ways to do this is to offer evidence for every claim made. An evaluation of the evidence will also come in handy.

While writing management essays, it is always crucial to provide theoretical backing to claims and arguments. Connecting current affairs to conceptual ideas enables your readers to connect current information to past scholarly ideas. This provides room for critical thinking and the reader is left to be the judge of what they read. Some essays demand that you do more than a single task.

For instance, some require that you provide an outline of the main organizational theories underneath modern management spheres. They also require a discussion of their importance to professional career situations. Such questions usually require that you do more than just describe the theories. The most usual written comment on management essays by examiners is something similar to “you have not responded to the question set”. Marks are never awarded in such instances because you have answered a question the examiner did not set.

Business Management Essay Topics
Business Management Essay Topics

Before writing a business management essay, it is crucial to have a plan. There are two types of plans that are crucial in writing management essays. Firstly, it is crucial to plan for the time you will need. Secondly, you need to come up with an essay plan. The amount of time is hard to determine as it depends on a number of elements. However, the most vital factor to consider while making a time plan include the level of knowledge you have on the topics that you intend to write about.

If you intend to write on a topic you have little knowledge, chances are high that you will spend so much time. Management writers are always advised to focus on topics that they profess so much knowledge. These could include your most favorite topic or even topics you studied through case studies and field trips.

Before writing the essay, make a plan of the possible visits. This could include visits to lecturers and tutors, social events, or field trips to management professionals. At this juncture, make a point of availing possible textbooks, journals, newspapers, articles, and other relevant materials on management issues.

The internet can also offer vital information for the management essay. Making an ample data collection process is a crucial step in coming up with a management essay. This is because this stage can offer current and past information that can be used to contextualize the topic you are planning to write about. The nature and length of planning depend on the amount of information collected and length of the management essay.

Before writing a business management essay, it is crucial for you to analyze the expectations that your audience are likely to have. Moreover, you should strive to ensure that the tone of your paper is formal and on point. Most management essay readers are elites and researchers seeking the underlying idea in every statement.

Business Management Essay Structure

Determining the structure of the essay is crucial before embarking on the writing process. Most management and academic writing present the structure to include the introduction, the body, and the conclusion. The introduction is the most vital part of the essay as it sets the pace for both you as the writer of a management essay, as well as the reader. The introduction is used to captivate the attention of the reader, thus it should be as interesting as possible. The introduction contains the synopsis of the management essay, and introduces various theoretical frameworks. The last part of the introduction should have a thesis statement. A thesis is a statement of claim made by an essay writer. The thesis statement offers the threshold on which the writer measures all other arguments and claims in the essay. A thesis statement provides the direction and tone of the essay hence should be constructed rationally.

The introduction is followed by the body of the essay. This is the section where you present various claims, arguments, positions and knowledge. All the data collected are analyzed and their deductions presented for analysis. The body of a management essay should be able to connect past knowledge with current knowledge. For instance, when writing about organizational behavior, you should connect current organizational behaviors rampant in existing businesses and connect to classical management trends.

It is also crucial to relate organizational practices to outside factors. Some organizations behave the way they do because of external elements like government policies and competition. The body of a management essay provides an explanation of the points introduced at the introduction stage and should reflect a clear flow. You should present your points in a systematic pattern of presenting your points from the strongest to the least strong. Before writing the essay, you should create an outline of the main points as this will facilitate a systematic flow.

Highlighting the points will also ensure that you maintain your word count. It is always important to adhere to typographical and other guidelines provided by your university lecturer. This will help secure marks lost through simple mistakes. Another important reason for highlighting the main points before embarking on the real writing process is to ensure that the essay observe consistency. A good management essay should stick to explaining and developing specific points of view rather than offering a discussion of every management aspect. Showing a clear connection of the arguments with the topic throughout the research is crucial.

The body should offer an analysis of data and measure them with respect to the thesis statement. Usually, data is collected with the objective of determining the validity of the thesis statement. After presenting an in depth argument in the body section, the next important step after the body is the conclusion. This stage is crucial as it consolidates what has already been debated. The tone of the conclusion is vital as it offers more persuasion for your readers. This section should not introduce new knowledge but should just reinforce what has already been discussed. The concluding stage presents the end of the paper and should offer an ending tune.

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