Business and corporate level strategy, Strategic Management

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Business-Level Strategy

From the outset, you were required to focus on the strategic business unit (SBU) to ensure that Business-level strategies could be applied. The challenge here is to determine how each of the strategic options determined from the TOWS process ‘looks like' in competitive strategy terms. In other words, you need to identify each option using the language provided (Bowman's Clock, p. 225) and from there, how the competitive advantage can be sustained. If appropriate, you may choose to enter into discussion about whether to compete or collaborate.

It is important to note that it very much depends of your own strategy as to which tools you choose and how many options you come up with.

Corporate-level Strategy

This section may not apply for most of you but some have chosen organizations that are not-for-profit such as NGO's and Government departments (and sub-sets thereof) so if that is the case, then you may look towards the various parenting matrices as these provide an appropriate framework within which you can discuss how you can assure sustainability.

Those of you who have chosen a strategic business unit (SBU) may refer to this section to consider the myriad of ways by which sustainability and competitive advantage can be achieved through diversification.

International Strategy

The development of an international strategy is expected only if it is applicable.
Innovation and Entrepreneurship
If your organization is in a start-up operation, then this chapter applies to you. It won't apply otherwise.

Strategy Methods and Evaluation

Use the processes most appropriate to your organization to determine the method by which your organization will develop - organically, by way of mergers/acquisitions, or by way of alliances.

The next challenge is to use the criteria of suitability (p. 366), acceptability (p. 368) and feasibility (p. 380) as a ‘screening' process to eliminate those strategies that are not appropriate to enact.
I expect that you will use dot-points on this section given the word limits that apply.

Enacting your chosen strategy

Given that all organizations are different and the therefore all strategies are different, it is impossible to even outline what needs to happen here without being prescriptive. So the challenge for you is to devise a way by which your chosen strategy can be brought into action. Not everything listed in the final chapters of the text is going to be appropriate or relevant.

You have to make a choice here about identifying the most important factor that will either facilitate strategic enactment or impede it, so this section is about addressing that. Don't go too broadly because the more focus your develop, the better and the best way to do this is to keep focussed on the problems (or enabling aspects) of your own specific organisation.

You may choose to argue that your organization needs to consider a culture change to bring your strategy into action so you will looking beyond the text to leadership issues to facilitate that happening. I welcome anything that will facilitate strategic change, which means that it must surround what happens on an organization-wide (holistic) basis.


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