Strategic management basically refers to the various types of strategic methods which are adopted and implemented by managers in order to manage various kinds of operation within an organization in a better way. All the decisions which are taken related to management in order to accomplish better management system and performance can be termed as strategic management. All organizations in order to establish developed functional systems need the tool of strategic management. It is actually a kind of continuous process which controls and evaluates the operational aspect of industries various industries and organizations.
The chief objective of the conducted assignment is to introduce the readers to the concept of strategic management and the way it brings organizational improvement through its application. A discussion is conducted, describing its key concepts, techniques and principles. Strategic evaluation of this tool in competitive circumstances is also presented, followed by different strategic alternatives available. A suitable explanation regarding selected strategy enforcement is also given, that can be useful in persuasion in the professional field. Lastly, Porter's five forces concerning the topic are explained.
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Comprehensive understanding of strategic management, chief concepts, techniques and principles
In order to conduct effective strategic management methods and means, it is important for every organization and company to have basic concept along with principles and varied techniques related to strategic management. The basic concept of strategic management refers to the various decisions, methods which the organization makes in order to accomplish a specific set of objectives. The first factor of management strategy is goal setting. Without setting a specified goal, it is not possible for the organization to operate properly. Hence, establishing a clear set of the goal is the core part of strategic management. Creating a goal helps the organization to set a target to achieve the former, which in turn gives a clear picture of required operation style to employees. This measure also helps in creating a broader mission statement for the organization (Marshall, 2013, p.216). Strategy formation assessment is another important aspect.
This suggests the organization needs to conduct a proper analysis regarding its strengths and shortcomings concerning the external and internal system of the organization and develop decisions accordingly. Strategic implementation refers to the stage when the organization is implementing the decisions and measures which the managerial member of the company has decided to enforce in order to accomplish business goals. The chief idea regarding the concept is collecting the necessary available resources needed in order execute the strategic plan in reality. Organizations enforce strategies while making programs, budget plans, different policies (required in the field of human resources, management, and finance along with various operational goals) (Ajagbe et al. 2015, p.2).
The last concept is strategy monitoring. This means monitoring and controlling the strategies which are being executed and trying to evaluate the utility of the decisions which are enforced for the functional operation of the organization. The organizations with the help of monitoring get a clear evaluation regarding modification and adjustment of the enforced management decision.
Principles related to strategic management involve a large range of guidelines, policies, along with related practices. With the application of these principles, an organization is able to achieve better results, quicker development, gaining good market position in the process. There exists a wide variety of principles; among them, some of the principles are explained in the assignment.
Principle related to expediency suggests to the making of objectives, establishing goals, as per the values of the organization approved by its management section and its owners (Hill et al. 2014, p.6). Principle related to the system of approach refers to the methodology of approach or more clearly the way the organization should work. Principle regarding strategic choice refers to the business decisions, choices which are taken in order to improve the functional stability of the organization.
The principles related to creativity and thinking indicates the creativity and ideas which are developed and initiated in order to gain better management results depending on the present situation. Principle related to strategic change, on the other hand, indicates the various decisions which are taken and initiated as per modification requirement based on the present market situation (Ethiraj et al. 2016, p.2192).
However, in order to execute the principles successfully, it is necessary to be familiar with the varied techniques of strategic management. SWOT analysis tool, for instance, helps to identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the company. PESTLE analysis helps to evaluate the external factors of the organization like political, environment, social, technological, legal and environmental. The Balanced Scorecard refers to a certain management and planning system, extensively employed in the industrial and business sector, also in various kinds of organizations. (Bettis et al. 2015, p.637). VRIO analysis is a useful analytical technique employed to evaluate the organization’s resources, striving to calculate the competitive advantage of the organization.
Mintzberg’s theory of 5Ps is another useful strategic technique which includes plan, plot, pattern, position, perspective. This means an organization before making a strategic decision must make a plot. Based on the plot, a plan must be made after careful consideration of market position, the market trend or pattern along with the existing of the perspective of the market and consumers. One of the techniques which are discussed in the assignment is Porter’s five forces; it helps in determining the competitive intensity of the organization (Bettis et al. 2014, p.949).
The organization, based on certain strategic management principles, adopts and enforces suitable strategic techniques for the development and growth of the organization, after carefully assessing the existing strategic concepts.
Strategic evaluation concerning various National Express as well as competitive situations
Various organizations have developed their respective strategic management system as per the market situation and to tackle the competitive atmosphere. Taking the case scenario into consideration, an analysis of strategic management can be further explained taking the help of National Express. It is a UK based leading operator of public transport, based on the case study, has decided to launch the country’s first Bus Alliance (Simon et al. 2014, p.40). The National Express has set for itself a structured list of objectives, as per its strategic planning. It aims to increase the number of bus patronage, strives to offer service during pressure hours, and aims to facilitate the feature of payment via smart watch and phone, facility of Wi-Fi and so on. Taking the case scenario into account, the origination has planned to develop the method of alliance concerning their service; therefore it is better to know the kinds of strategic alliance required for this partnership venture by the National Express (Chen et al. 2015, p.20).
There are chiefly three types of relationship which can be considered by the organization. However, the readers before knowing the categories of relationship must also know the essential influential factors which determine the types of relationship. These are a market, resources (management and partner's assets, the risk of asset loss), and expectations (political atmosphere, economic risk).
If National Express is aiming to go for a loose (Market) relationship, then it has the opportunity of getting the vast platform of the network. Establishing this relationship helps the organization to get opportunistic alliances, forming a wide network of the alliance in the process (Trigeorgis and Reuer, 2017, p.60). This process is helpful for the origination to expand in the market, it can bring easy change. Resources can be easily achieved. However, the process also has certain drawbacks. Since the relationship is loose, along with the easy availability of assets, it also poses the risk of losing assets. Opportunistic alliances, in terms of crisis, can get away, leading to operation instability and financial crisis. Hence, economic crisis, the unstable political situation is highly expected.
A contractual form of relationship is a good option for the company; however, this form also has certain advantages and disadvantages which need to be considered. The change of market can be taken as moderate in this form of relationship. This form is considered a narrow form of relationship as it is based on contracts. This mean, the group of alliances cannot go outside the rules and regulations stated in the concerned contract made during the process of partnership ((Vogel and Güttel, 2013, p.427). The process of licensing, franchising and subcontracting is needed in this form of relationship. In this process, security of asset is guaranteed; the issue of asset loss does not arise since conditions related to business are already stated in the contract and during the process of licensing. However, an alliance is hard to get in this relationship, since working on the basis of contract means partner companies are bounded for a certain period of time. However, working as per contractual basis gives work security. This method is quite helpful to tackle the competitive market situation. Take help from assignment writer
Another form of relationship which the National Express can adopt for launching its Bus Alliance is the form of ownership. This method means, the organization has a certain individual or group of people as owners (Goldfarb and King, 2016, p.168). This process is slower if compared to other two relationship forms. This is because all the operations, functions must be handled by the specific individual or the respected group. It is quite risky, however asset remains secured, financial risk can be a major stumbling block. Consortia or joint ventures are applicable. The mentioned organization can also adopt this type of relationship. Since this form of relationship is time-consuming, tackling market competition can become a bit difficult.
Reasoning concerning various available strategic alternatives to gain a suitable competitive advantage
An organization can take various strategic measures in order to strive for competitive advantage (Rothaermel, 2015, p.9). Among many factors, here exist certain generic factors regarding which appropriate planning must be organized. Taking the mentioned case scenario into consideration, the National Express needs to give emphasis on certain mandatory factors; these are cost, differentiation, and focus. Since the organization is planning launch the Bus Alliance which is a first of its kind in the UK, the organization needs to make a careful assessment regarding the cost and expenditure of the business. For example, budget, regarding bus expenditure, driver employment and such needs to be considered. Stress should be given on the product launch and how it is different from other products/service from the same industry. For example, National Express has decided to launch Bus Alliance, aiming to provide better transport facility along with comfort and convenience (for instance the facility of Wi-Fi, payment via smart watch and cell phones) (E. Dobbs, 2014, p.42).
Implementation of a selected strategy
Taking into view the stated case scenario, National Express can take the strategy of ownership relationship. This means the method of the joint venture can be implemented. This method can be a bit problematic to handle, however, it also can be very effective if handled in a proper manner. Since the organization is a renowned organization; getting resources of assets should not be a problem. Partnerships are formed so assets of partnership can also be used. Financial crisis can be expected, however since the National Express is opting for partnership approach, hence this risk can be avoided if the business is handled properly. The factor of political aspect is an important issue for this joint venture. Since the organization is forming a partnership with other transport operators, political instability might become a major issue if the different operators do not work in cooperation (Rothaermel, 2015, p. 5).
Reasons regarding action plans that seems persuasive and professional to others
An action plan is presented regarding the assignment.
Porter’s Five Force, a convenient theoretical framework
In order to explain the operation and significance of strategic management, it is better to portray a suitable theoretical framework. Taking into account the given case scenario, the technique of Porter's five forces can be used in the given organization, the National Express. Five factors are a competitive rivalry, the threat of new entry, buyer power, supplier power and the threat of substitution.
The National Express organization needs to consider the rival competitors which exist in the market world. The organization needs to make an accurate evaluation regarding the number of competitive rivals which are present in the same market, trying to offer similar service. The factor of quality is a major factor in gaining a competitive advantage over other operators. Good service, round the clock availability, especially in busy work hour acts as crucial factors, useful in gaining the market advantage, attracting consumers and clients in the process. The factor of cost indeed acts as a major factor to gain market advantage in garnering customer loyalty which is the ultimate objective of the organization.
The organization before service launch must also need to consider possible threats of new participants or new organizations. The organization needs to make an estimation regarding these new participations. Economic scale needs to be considered along with the factor of technology superiority (Marshall, 2013, p.216). Supplier power basically means keeping track of the number of suppliers. In this case, National Express needs to keep track of the operators which are providing buses, the transport quality. The cost of changing also needs to be considered by the organization, along with the organization's ability to provide service. Buyer power is an important factor. The major objective of the company is to provide service to customers, giving them satisfaction, as this, in turn, is responsible for making the launch a success. The size of each customer order needs to considered, along with the issue of appropriate costing and the ability to provide satisfactory service.
In conclusion, it can be said, implementing appropriate strategic management is essential in every field of organization. This is because an organization cannot work without the help of suitable management strategies. The main significance of strategic management is that it helps the working members of the organization to work in an organized manner, improving the overall functional system in the process.
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