How strategic intent can lead to competitive advantage

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Reference no: EM13847978 , Length:

Activity -1:

Strategy and Sustainability The Expression of Organisational Values and Vision

Before you begin to work on specific external, internal and integrative strategic thinking and analysis frameworks, it is important to take stock of the company you are studying from the perspective of its mission and vision of social responsibility (Kramer and Porter, 2006) and strategic intent (Hamel and Prahalad, 2005).

To prepare for this Individual Assignment:

• Examine the mission, vision and objectives of several organisations and select the company that best meets the requirements described in the Final Project Guidelines. This may be the company that you work for, or another organisation with which you are familiar and in which you are interested. To find an appropriate organisation, you may want to consider a publically traded firm listed on one of your country's stock exchanges since their annual reports and other communications will be readily available. If you anticipate problems due to confidentiality or intellectual property concerns, select a different company.

• Review the Readings.

• Consider how strategic intent can lead to sustainable competitive advantage.

• Also consider how an organisation's posture towards CSR can affect its long-term opportunities.

To complete this Individual Assignment:

Part 1:

• Briefly describe the company you selected, its products and services, market and niche.

• Conduct a thorough and well-argued analysis of your selected organisation's strategic intent posture that provides evidence that the organisation either has, or does not have, a strong strategic-intent posture.

• Be sure to explain the strategic implications of your analysis and speculate on what this strong strategic intent posture could bring to the organisation in terms of future strategic direction and choices.

• Be sure to support your assignment with evidence from the Readings and other current literature credible sources. Consult the Harvard Referencing Style Guide for proper citation and referencing information.

Part 2:

• Evaluate the CSR and mission/vision and values of the organisation by conducting on-line research of secondary sources (annual reports, magazine and journal articles, etc.) and answering the following questions as an analyst, making sure to document your sources:

What is the fundamental purpose of the organisation (apart from ‘making money'), why does it exist and what problems does it solve in the world?

How would customers and other major stakeholders react if this company were to go bankrupt next year? Would it matter? Why or why not?

Has the company been consistent and true towards it purpose and vision over the years? Is it consistent now?

Since ‘actions speak louder than words', has the company said it valued its human resources and then cut back or laid off many workers in a time of retrenchment? Is this a historical pattern?

Has senior leadership demonstrated a willingness to give-back in times of organisational stress?

How many CEOs, COOs and CFO's has the company had in the past 10 years?

Is leadership stable and forward looking?

Are organisation-wide goals stated merely in terms of market growth or financial outcomes for a year or two?

Does the organisation have a long-term, ambitious strategic intent? Note: Review and integrate the Hamel & Prahalad (2005) concepts into this answer.

Is it clear where the company would like to be in the long-term?

What must the organisation do differently to achieve its long-term intentions?

• Once you have conducted your research and have responded with detailed evidence and documentation, take a look at all of your answers and identify the major implications, in terms of strategic analysis.

• Remember, an implication is the conclusion that can be drawn from something, although it is not explicitly stated. In this case, you as the analyst should review all of your answers to the questions and write a ‘what does it mean?' summary.

Activity -2: Strategy as Long Term Intent and Systemic Optimization

After Apple Inc., released its iPhone in 2007, Google had a decision to make. Should it try to make a phone that would compete directly? If not, what should it do?

The situation Google found itself in is not unique. Companies in every industry have to respond to their competition. Far too often, the response does not serve a greater, long-term goal. Companies often act reflexively and mimic their competitors. They attempt to do the same thing, yet they hope for better results. However, successful companies will have a strategy in place that guides responses to competitors. While Google may have had the resources to manufacture a great smartphone to compete with Apple, the company believed this did not align with its overall long-term strategy. Instead, Google chose to design Android, the software that other smartphone manufacturers could use as they competed for market share with Apple's phone. Now, almost every smartphone, with the exception of the iPhone, uses Google's Android to power its operating system. Google therefore competes indirectly with Apple, and drives users to Google's core strength: its search platform.

Google's response to the iPhone is a demonstration of what Hamel and Prahalad (2005) refer to as ‘strategic intent.' The response did not merely react to the competition; the response successfully supported a strong, long-term goal with a logical strategy for reaching that goal and one which forced the company to expand beyond its current skills, competencies and capabilities.

To prepare for this Shared Activity:

• Review the Readings.

• Then consider how strategic intent can lead to sustainable competitive advantage.

• Research organisations to find one example of an organisation that clearly has an articulated strategic intent and long-term posture towards innovation and capability expansion.

• Research organisations to find one example of an organisation that clearly does not have an articulated strategic intent and long-term posture towards innovation and capability expansion.

To complete this Shared Activity:

• Conduct a thorough and well-argued analysis that provides evidence that one of your chosen companies does have a strong strategic-intent posture.

Be sure to explain the strategic implications of your analysis and speculate on what this strong strategic intent posture could bring to the organisation in terms of future strategic direction and choices.

• Conduct a thorough and well-argued analysis that provides evidence that one of your chosen companies does not have a strong strategic-intent posture.

Be sure to explain the strategic implications of your analysis and speculate on what this lack of strategic-intent posture could mean to the organisation in terms of future strategic directions and choices.

• Use credible sources. Consult the Harvard Referencing Style Guide for proper citation and referencing information.

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Reference no: EM13847978

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