BMP6002 Strategic Management Level 7


Strategies are the course of actions which are planned well in advance so that the long and short term goals of organisation are achieved. For this resources are allocated according to the need so that implementation of the strategy is done in most effective manner (Rothaermel, 2017). Planning is done as per the capacities of the firm as it is important that there are enough resources with the organisation to follow the strategic path. Marks and Spencer is a retail firm having its headquarters in Westminster. It was founded in 1884. The following report will cover the external and internal analysis of the organisation along with eth mission and purpose of the strategic planning in context of the chosen firm. Various alternatives to follow and apply in the business will be elaborated which will help in understanding how strategies are implemented in work context.

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1. An introduction including a definition of strategic management

Strategic management is a continuous process through which included monitoring assessing and evaluating the required modifications of business. it consists of various stages and each stage focus on facilitating vision for the organisation so that the desired outcome is achieved. there are different areas of business and depending upon complexities planning has to be done before hand so that full capacity utilisation of resources is made (Ansoff and, 2018). Environment for business keeps on changing and hence it makes it necessary for Marks and Spencer to do regular check on their strategies as this will help in identifying weather any modification in them are required or not. Effectiveness of the employees in the organisation can be evaluated through strategic management process as it helps in identifying weather the work is done in accordance to the strategies planned or not. Strategies are planned according to the goals of the organisation as where it sees itself in the next coming years. As per the need both long and short term tactics are planned which has an overall impact on the final outcomes. Marks and spencer is dealing in retail business which has close rivalry. It is important for referred to organisation that it evaluates its strategies on regular basis so that in case of any change in the business environment if found than accordingly alteration in the current working style can be made.

Importance of strategic management:

  • Assist in planning for the future coursework.
  • Help in facing the competition present in the industry.
  • As common vison is given to the work force through strategic management process, hence this way the overall efficiency of the operations increases.

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2. Process used by organisations to determine their strategy

Formulation of plan is a complex process as before deciding upon a particular action it has to be tested that it is capable of achieving the desired goals and will give the maximum return (Freeman, 2010). There are many options that are available with M&S and it has to follow series of stages that will help it in identifying that which is the best suitable conduct for it from all the alternatives. In order to explore the framework for strategies the current strategic position is determine first than all the strategic choices are evaluated on different basis and lastly management of action as per the set framework is done.

Strategicposition– An organisation is affected by different factors like internal and external factors, investors, shareholders, company’s resources and capacities of doing work etc. All these elements have direct influence on the strategy that is made for the business. The macro factors offer various favourable and favourable conditions for business like tax rates, economic conditions, law related to trade etc. restrictions imposed by government regarding the afety of environment etc. all these are beyond the control of the management and has to be adopted in the same manner. while formulating the strategies all these needs to be evaluated first so that such framework is developed which fulfils all the criteria’s and can assist business in achieving its goals. Planning is done to manage these forces like following the guidelines given against the industry, fulfilling the CSR etc. Apart from the external factors stakeholders also has great influence on eth formulation of tactics (David and David, 2013). They are comprised of different parties and each one of them has distinct purpose behind being part of business. While designing the policies management has to make sure that the purpose of stakeholder is not affected and they have their consent in the new strategy.

Thereafter, comes the other main factor that has its crucial role in policy creation and it is analysing present means and capacities of the business. It is important that strategy is planned in accordance to these as only then successful implementations of same can be done. If such plan is made which is not possible to be executed with the current assets and resources of the company than it is assured that the planning will fail. Also even if all the required factors are there but if the code of conduct of the strategy is not in accordance of the regular company culture than also the chances of its failure increases (Wheelen and, 2010). Adopting the new process become difficult and therefore while designing the tactics it should be ensured that it well fits to the company culture so that employees do not find it difficult to execute.

Strategic Choices– This is another step which need to be determine while selecting strategy for business. It consists of distinct directions towards which the tactics are followed and ways through which the movement in the direction will be done. Here it is first identified that how different business in same industry must give rivalry to one another. Once it is recognised than it becomes necessary to identify that what all business can be made part of the strategic direction scope as it will help in focusing on areas which has possibilities of giving the maximum returns (Hitt, Ireland and Hoskisson, 2012). Thereafter process of self-evaluation of capacities of business is done that weather it is capable of establishing completion at global level or not and if yes than choice of international market has to be made. It includes market analysis of different places so that the most suitable place is selected. Last but not the least, depending upon the choices made it is then find that weather operating alone is better for business or it is required to form an alliance as this will increase the total capacities.

Strategy in action – This is the final step which can only be taken once the above two stages are crossed. At this phase the suitability of different stages is tested on different basis. These are the likelihood and aptness and fulfilment of both these criteria is required for successful implementation of tactics. Once the strategyis decided that steps for formulating same are determined and accordingly modifications to the present culture of business is made. As a new concept is brought when a sudden action is taken it needs arrangements in the work accordingly and are executed by the management and other superior authorities which are responsible for the plan implementation process (Hill, Jones and Schilling, 2014).

3. Models and tools used by organisations to determine their strategy

There are many options of strategies that can be adopted by the organisation in order to achieve the results. Every model has their own way of implementation and gives distinct solution to business. It is very important that before deciding any particular option its evaluation is done in detail so that maximum help of the tool can be made. Porters five force mode, VRIO analysis, SWOT analysis, balance scorecard approach, theory of change, PEST(LE) analysis are some of the most commonly used tools for enterprises to plan their strategy. Evaluation of some are done below:

SWOT analysis– This is a critical tool that is used by the business in order to analyse its external (threats and opportunities) and internal factors (strength and weakness). It facilitates organisations in doing the strategic planning as with the application of same company can identify its current position (Schilling, 2010). SWOT helps in knowing where the business is going as a result of its daily operations which is very important or the leaders so that they can make the future plans.

Strength of SWOT analysis:

1.Applicable to all business and state of affairs

Application of this tool is very simple that it can be used by any variety of business and in any situation.

2.Different analysis with one tool

SWOT analysis gives the information about the strength, weakness, threat and opportunity. It shows that user is assisted with distinct data with the application of only one model which is again a benefit of this technique.

3.Combination of qualitative and quantitative data

Results of SWOT are presented in numerical as well as in theoretical terms. It facilitates the leaders in understanding the current position in more precise way.

4.Less expensive

No special resources are required for analysing the strength, weakness, threat and opportunities of business. results can be brought in hand by simply investing some time and hence it is a low cost option for business (Wheelen and Hunger, 2011).


Weaknesses of SWOT analysis:

1.Non-existence of ranking system

Many time WOT analysis is conducted without clearing the objective behind the same. It results into mix data which is not set according to the category of its importance in the business.

2.Too many opinions to address

Results of this tool depends upon the object or nature of people involved. In case different personnel from distinct department are part of this process than a mix result will be achieved which might not help in strategy formulation.

Benchmarking– This is another technique through which companies determine their strategies. It is a process under which criteria are set against the performance of employees and on completion of the project or task the final results are compared with the set benchmark. In case of non-achievement of same management do take the actions accordingly against the concern person.

Disadvantages of Benchmarking

Advantages of benchmarking

·One most common negative aspect of this model is that it stabilises the standards which is not correct in case where the internal capacities of two organisations are different and it is not practically possible to achieve the benchmark.

·Less or incomplete analysis of the standards to be benchmarked may lead to great disturbance in own business as inappropriate knowledge of standards and process of achieving same can lead to huge cost for the business.

·When benchmarks are set by the companies it affects the present working processes. It is widely observed that in many cases it has affected the present working style and resulted into failure.

·Due to lack of time many times standards are set against the work force without providing proper training to them. it leads to work pressure and dissatisfaction among the employees.


·Through this concept an organisation can get the results of own business in comparison to other commercial unit which is dealing in same sector or having same resources. It facilitates in evaluating the working standards.

·When employees are given benchmarks to achieve they work with more responsibility as they know that they are accountable for the non-achievements of targets.

·Motivation is another advantage of this practice as when the work force know that a particular standard can be achieved with the provided standard and someone else has already done it then it influences them also. they do not easily give up in this case (Eden and Ackermann, , 2013).

·Once the culture of achieving the benchmarks is establishing in business it creates the developing working culture in the organisation and every time a better work is done.

·One most common negative aspect of this model is that it stabilises the standards which is not correct in case where the internal capacities of two organisations are different and it is not practically possible to achieve the benchmark.

·Less or incomplete analysis of the standards to be benchmarked may lead to great disturbance in own business as inappropriate knowledge of standards and process of achieving same can lead to huge cost for the business.

·When benchmarks are set by the companies it affects the present working processes. It is widely observed that in many cases it has affected the present working style and resulted into failure.

·Due to lack of time many times standards are set against the work force without providing proper training to them. it leads to work pressure and dissatisfaction among the employees (Ward, 2012).

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4. Application of SWOT analysis to M&S

M&S, in order to determine the strategies for its business, can apply SWOT analyses to business. Strength, weakness, opportunity and threat of Marks and Spencer are as follows:

Strength – Brand value of M&S is very high and this is one of the main strength of this company. it offers great variety of products which provides them options to choose and hence their satisfaction level is increased. It has many stores which are globally present which further add value to business.

Weakness – Non trendy outlets is the major flaw with this company. It has resulted into less attraction of new segment of customer towards the brand and hence the overall sales are affected. Most of the procedures here are carried out manually which further reduces its popularity and also makes a time consuming process for customers to shop.

Opportunity – M&S can increase its scale of business by raising its global presence. It has limited connections with the global franchises which shows that it has chance to expand more. More of digitalisation in the stores can be done as it will decrease the overall manual cost and will also add better efficiency in the work (López-Nicolás and Meroño-Cerdán, 2011).

Threat – One of the common danger to every business in this industry is that of the close competition. There are many brands which are operating at same level which increases the bargaining power of buyers. Thereafter as close substitutes are available in the market any small mistake can be an opportunity for another brand to capture the market and attract the customer of M&S.

5. Importance of change management

Whenever a new practice is brought into business it comes with some risk of failure too. It is because this is not necessary that the application of strategy is always done in the exact manner in which it is planned. It results into loss of time, resources cost and sometimes failure of business if the change is not properly planed. This develops the value of change management for M&S which is discussed below:

Reduce complexities of innovation– when the alterations are made it is important that all the arrangements for same are made well in advance so that while implementing same employees do not find it difficult to work with same. Change management process facilitates in same and reduce the complexities (Lasserre, 2017).

Reduce risks– The process of change management gives a complete scaffolding to the parties involve in innovation. Therefore, it increases the knowledge of the personals and they are more careful while applying the modification.

Sustainability –By educating the employees and communicating the benefits of change in the organisation level of business performances is maintained though change management.

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The above report concludes that strategic management is an ongoing process in business and needs proper planning before taking any decision regarding same. SWOT is an effective tool through which changes can be brought in the business but due to its collective data which is not categories sometimes it is ineffective in assisting management with change.

You may also like to read: 


  • Rothaermel, F.T., 2017. Strategic management. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.
  • Ansoff, H.I. And, 2018. Implanting strategic management. Springer.
  • Freeman, R.E., 2010. Strategic management: A stakeholder approach. Cambridge university press.
  • David, F.R. and David, F.R., 2013. Strategic management: Concepts and cases: A competitive advantage approach. Pearson.
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