Critical Evaluation of Article on Strategic Landscape

The debilitating effect of the 2008 global financial crisis which sent many companies and economies crushing down to their knees was indeed a wake up call for businesses and governments. With profits figures stuck in the negative red zone, business turnover and sales volumes at all time, income per capita decreasing with each passing day and unemployment figures increasing quarterly, businesses and economies must adopt a new strategy in order to survive. It is this fact that Pankaj Ghemawat, the author of this article, appreciates and aims at tackling. The article aptly identifies a growing trend in the marketplace where governments and policymakers are changing and adopting new regulations which are aimed at stemming and safeguarding the economies against such misfortunes as witnessed during and after the financial crisis that gripped the world economies in 2008. However, such appreciation sometimes calls for going against the grain of the widely held ideological approach that encourages globalization. But one thing that clearly comes out from the article is that the financial crisis was partly brought by the incessant and almost blind following of globalization ideologies. Many managers especially in multinational entities unquestioningly pursued globalization initiatives without critical analysis of its effects. Therefore, it is only right that businesses rethink and in some cases, retract their steps in order to remain relevant in the fast-paced corporate world.

However, such changes must be multifaceted and must cut across all departments and every aspect of the any business. From human resource management to marketing, product design and public relations, sweeping changes must be made in order to refocus and fine tune management strategies, realigning them with the new landscape. The article takes an objective analysis of the problems in various organizational operations in the new strategic landscape. The proposals are also very actionable proposals to address them. The suggestions are very insightful and indicative of author’s grip of the situation in the marketplace. The topical analysis of the various aspects of business operations and options makes it easier to understand the topic. The recommendation of this article takes into the account the interconnectivity between various aspects of business operations. Therefore, as article recommends, changing marketing strategy will affect the whole organization including its human resource management and product development departments.

Mr. Price is one of the leading companies in the retail industry. However, over the years it has faced stiff competition from other entities such as Costco and Wal-Mart which though are relatively new entrants into the market, have amassed a significant share of the market. The retail market industry, just like the corporate world, has increasingly become very competitive with new retail chains and established entities adopting marketing strategies that threaten Mr. Price and the rest of the companies in the market. The company faces stiff competition in emerging and existing markets which are increasingly becoming difficult to penetrate because of the strong presence of competitors and protectionism policies. And with the increasing financial pressures becoming on the backdrop of the global financial crisis, it is imperative that the company adapt new strategies which can make it sustainably compete in the new landscape (Newbert, 2008; Marrewijk, 2007).

Marquardt (2011) and O’Keeffe (2002) note that more and more organizations are adopting a new approach to human resource management. The new approach, organizational learning, enables organizations to create and share information and knowledge across all levels of management (Liao, Chang & Wu, 2010). The new market is knowledge-based and success is mainly determined by how information and knowledge is created and used. Taking full advantage of computing technology, organizational learning promotes creativity and innovativeness which are important in the new landscape. Other than helping in creating cutting edge products for various segments of the market, it also helps in building the reputation of the organization especially when it comes to human resource management record. It will enable the company attract and retain top talents which can enable it navigate the turbulent and tricky waters of the post-crisis and modern corporate sector. Ivancevich (2006) notes that human capital is the single most important factor of production (Schultz & Schultz, 2010). Therefore, how Mr. Price treats their employees will determine their survival and competitiveness in the new business landscape.

The United States has a potential market for retailers. By diversifying and targeting the ‘forgotten’ markets especially the middle and low income earners, Mr. Price can gain a significant market share, membership and increase its sales volumes and profits. The international market is increasingly becoming unsustainable to compete in. The protectionism that has become common place after the economic recession has left many multinationals disadvantaged when it comes to competing. Targeting the untapped market segments is a blue ocean strategy that will enable Mr. Price to create demand and create a niche for itself rather than compete for demand like its competitors which aim at beating competition (Pearce, 2008; Kim & Mauborgne, 2004). All these changes will converge to help Mr. Price create strong and unique brand image and ultimately a marketable reputation.

References

Ivancevich, J.M. (2006). Human Resource Management. New York: Irwin/McGraw-Hill.

Schultz & Schultz, D. (2010). Psychology and work today. New York: Prentice Hall.

Marquardt, M. J. (2011). Building the learning organization: Achieving strategic advantage through a commitment to learning (3rd ed.). Boston, MA: Nicholas Brealey.

O’Keeffe, T. (2002). Organizational learning: a new perspective. Journal of European Industrial Training 26(2): 130 – 141.

Liao, S., Chang, W. & Wu, C. (2010). “An integrated model for learning organization with strategic view: Benchmarking in the knowledge-intensive industry.” Expert Systems with Applications, 37, 3792-3798.

Kim, W. C. & Mauborgne, R. (2004). “Blue ocean strategy. Harvard Business Review, 82(10): 76 – 84.

Pearce, R. (2008). Strategic Management. Strategic Management: Formulation, Implementation, and Control (11th ed.). NY: McGraw-Hill and Irwin.

Newbert, S.L. (2008). “Value, rareness, competitive advantage, and performance: A conceptual-level empirical investigation of the resource-based view of the firm.” Strategic Management Journal 29(7): 745-768.

Marrewijk, C. (2007). “Absolute advantage.” Department of Economics, Erasmus University Rotterdam: world economy. Princeton University Press.

Ghemawat, P. (2010). “Finding Your Strategy in the New Landscape.” Harvard Business Review.

 

 

Nakilat Agency Company

Executive summary

Nakilat Agency Company is the only shipping agency company in Qatar as per the regulations of this country. The company has been mandated to deal with two ports, Ras Fallan and Mesaieed and has been licensed by the government of Qatar to carry out the agency function. This report wished to look into how it could improve the performance of this company as well as how this player in the shipping industry could grow. The report answered various questions on NAC concerning its feasibility and extended existence in the market. The report was generated after the two ports were researched, and the findings analyzed. The report analyzed the company using the SWOT analysis to give recommendations for the company’s enhancement on service provision. The report was a success as all the groups being investigated responded quite well and were highly cooperative. The recommendations given in this report were also explained in detail. More so the report gave the implementation procedure of each recommendation it gave. The report indicated that the company was on track for a highly positive growth and exemplary performance.

 

Table of Contents

1.0 Introduction. 4

2.0 Findings. 5

2.1 SWOT Analysis. 5

2.2 Future strategic techniques. 10

3.0 Recommendations. 11

4.0 Conclusion. 14

1.0 Introduction

Nakilat Agency Company that took over Ras Laffan Industrial City Port Operations seven years ago is a company that is entitled with handling travel ships in Ras Laffan and hydrocarbon ships in Mesaieed port (Thorpe & Mitra 2012, p. 15). The company has been successful over the years it has been in existence and has proved its worth to the Qatar Petroleum Port Agency License for trusting it to handle ships in both ports. The company however wishes to look into its travel operations and improve on its performance. This report wishes to establish whether the company has met its objectives, vision and mission statements in terms of service delivery. The companies travel performance has also been reviewed and analyzed. The report has looked into the recommendations that are subtle to exemplary performance of the company. Implementation of these recommendations has also been looked into, and the followup process highlighted. Is there anything that can be done to catapult Nakilat Agency Company (NAC) to efficient service delivery and consequentially greater success? More so the report looks into activities that can be added into the companies list of activities to add value to the company. What can be added to the existing travel services to increase the company’s revenue generation?

The company’s expansion stumbling blocks have been featured in addition to how the existing resources can be used to improve the company’s revenue. What has been the company’s biggest stumbling block to total success? Are there any in-waiting stumbling blocks to success, and how can they be prevented? Efficiency of a company’s operations is very vital for increased revenue generation in any sector. Therefore, it is important for any service provider or good producer to smoothen a company’s operations in order to maximize revenue and most important enhance customer satisfaction. This report will, therefore, look into the company’s operations in both ports and assess their performance while looking for new opportunities. How can NAC improve its travel operations?  Assessment will include and not limited to the human resource performance while providing service. Additionally the report will include the activities that are carried out in the two ports with their performances overall. The report will consider the results that will be acquired from the operations’ analysis in the company.  The report will look into the operation all the employed staff their rating according to performance index and evaluate their importance to the company as well as how they can be motivated to improve the service delivery in the travel operations. The report is anticipating getting fewer stumbling blocks to the company’s operations. The report also thinks that there are less or no in-waiting threats to its operations.

It is also anticipating that an increase in its human resource with more qualified and highly skilled labor into its operations could increase the revenue it generally generates. While generating this report several factors could limit its credibility and/or completion. The groups being investigated might be unwilling to give the correct information or might rather decide to withhold information to the report generators. The findings on this study might, therefore, be interfered with in any case. The groups being looked into might be actually busy failing to adequately giving attention to the report compilers. This might lead to incomplete analysis of the company’s operations. Due to the schedule of various staff the report might fail to contain some valuable information that is necessary for critical analysis of the company’s operations as well failure to generate valid recommendations and conclusion.

2.0 Findings

2.1 SWOT Analysis

The NAC Company is an established company that enjoys quite a good foundation and has continued to enjoy vast revenues in Qatar. The company just like other organizations has a number of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that affect the performance of any other company. The company needed to analyze all these to ensure that it makes a decision regarding its position presently and what it aims to achieve in the near and longer future. However, it enjoys bigger advantages compared to its shortcomings. The company is at a larger extent endowed with a greater chance of continued improvement rather than deterioration.

The company has quite a number of strengths that makes it one of best companies in the industry it saves. It enjoys the several advantages that make it a company that has continuously grown into its exemplary stature. The company has quite a number of strengths that work to its advantage.  One such strength is that it is the only licensed company to undertake services at the Ras Fallan ports for travel ships and the Mesaieed port for hydrocarbon ships. The company is the only one that has been approved by the Qatar government to offer harbor services in Qatar ports. Being partly owned by state-owned Qatar Petroleum; the company was able to be easily approved for this purpose in the ports. This ensures that the country is not afraid of another company carrying out its mandate (Freeman 2010, p.19). The company also enjoys the advantage of having the best paid workers in its sector. Owing to this reason workers perform their functions with many commitments and much pride for the company.

The company’s workers are much committed to working without causing any flaws in the production process. Paying employees, better salaries have been an effective tool in ensuring that the company production is efficient and produces increasing marginal revenue (Shaw 1993, p. 49). The company is partly state-owned with five percent of its shares being owned fully by a government parastatal, Qatar Petroleum. This makes people have faith in the company thereby seeking its services. The fact that the government has a shareholding in this company ensures that there are no bumps in the service delivery caused by the lack of capital resources. Anytime the company wishes to expand its capital the government comes to its rescue. Moreover being the only company in the docks the government wouldn’t want a case of stalled operations. Therefore, whenever there is a problem with customer service the government comes into intervention. This makes it always to remain efficient since the government wouldn’t want to lose revenue by breakdown of services in these ports.

The government depends on the ports managed by the NAC for foreign trade on oil and other petroleum products. This means that the government does everything to ensure that there are free flow and exchange of goods in the two ports. The company has its own immigration office. This works to its advantage by ensuring that the company is very fast and effective in its operations on travel services. The issues of clearing and forwarding of the goods that are destined or are from the foreign countries have, therefore, been catered for. The office has made operations in these ports very fast and easy without much paper work taking place in the docks. Existence of diverse labor force in the company has made it efficient for companies to deal with different customers at a great ease. While recruiting its employees, NAC looks for people who can handle different clientele and who are capable of handling different situations as they arise (Enoch 2011, p. 96). The operations manager, for instance, can use four different languages that make him capable of dealing with many people from different backgrounds who are major trading partners with Qatar. The manager can handle several clients. This makes the operations o the company well spread over the different clients they handle within the docks. The company, therefore, enjoys quite a number of strengths that can be used for the betterment of the company’s performance.

Just like other companies, NAC faces quite a number of weaknesses that derail its operations and improvement in its performances generally. The company in as much as it enjoys the above advantages has over time found challenges that are not favorable for its service delivery. The company lacks competition from other similar companies. Inasmuch as this is viewed as good for the company, it is not healthy for the service delivery to its clientele. With knowledge that no other company can serve customers seeking travel services in the sea, NAC might offer poor services since they know no other company can offer services of its kind. This might reduce the revenue generated by this company.

The company might also be faced with the challenge of employment regulations by the government. Imposition of harsh employment legislation may force the company to employ poorly skilled manpower that is not capable of handling the company’s objectives, core values, mission and vision. This might cause a reduction in innovation, leading to loss of new ideas in the company. This pulls down the growth of companies as no new ideas are integrated with the company. New ideas are the ones that catapult any company to greater heights of success and excellence. With continued employment of non-skilled labor, the company will lose chances of getting new ideas and, therefore, limit its growth. The oil producing nations have been known for occasional internal conflicts. They have been known for the emergence of separatist groups like the Boko Haram of Nigeria. These groups have been known for their propulsion of political instability. Emergence of such terror groups cannot be limited to the developing countries only. Even big economies like Qatar could be faced by this political instability. Eruption of violence, as a result, of political instability could lead to a wavy performance in the NAC. This could mean that no country would be willing to sell its products in Qatar leading to little inflow of goods at the two most important harbors of Qatar. This means that there are a few challenges that the NAC needs to deal with to ensure that it gives the best for its customers and generates respectable revenue. If the company’s performance is not as the law recommends, it might be substituted with a company of its kind. This means that the company ceases a market it is used to and goes to look for a new market which is production wise unhealthy. Laws in a country change occasionally. The Qatar government may revise regulations to allow other countries enter the market that NAC is serving. This means that the company changes its monopolistic nature and serves in presence of a competitor. This might augur badly with its revenue generation and growth as well as expansion.

Despite the above challenges, NAC has opportunities to expand its revenue base and improve its service delivery to higher levels. Qatar is a country that has been described by the World Bank as the country with the highest per capita income making it the richest country as per this ranking index. Moreover, this country operates a tax free economy that favors the operations of any company. This makes it one of the most marketable nations in the world. Due to its ever growing gross domestic product it has become one o the major players in the international trade. As per this feature most countries have decided to trade with Qatar. Moreover, other countries have decided to invest heavily in this Middle East country. This has worked positively to ensure that its ports have become very busy with more and more ships docking on the shores or Qatar. With this in mind it is, therefore, important to keenly note that the ports of Qatar are a major source of income to this country. There are, therefore, more chances in the shipping industry in Qatar. To NAC these are good news since this means that NAC needs to expand its operations and embark on new service delivery as long as it is connected to the shipping industry. With this in mind the operations officers need to work harder to ensure that he scales the heights of production in this company to greater heights. On this account, it is also critical to note that most countries have been much interested in the petroleum products of the country in exchange of other products. Other countries dealing with crude oil products in this region are mostly in chaos or running headlines for vexing vices. In fact, Qatar has been named the most peaceful country that produces oil. This means that most countries are most likely to import oil from this country. With this in mind the operations manager needs to understand that there exists a more open opportunity in the shipping industry of Qatar. With more counties willing to import oil from here there is likely to be more trading between Qatar and .other nations. This means that the ports are on the brink of getting a higher number of ships per a single dock than what has been the case.

There are various threats that have been identified that could retard the company’s investment into its new opportunities. As time goes by liquefied natural gas (LNG) could be discovered in other countries that more strategically positioned as compared to Qatar. For example, if LNG were discovered in the south East Asia it could much compete with Qatar due to its strategic position. It would be able to serve the American and the Australian continents at ease. Production of this product by other countries could mean that Qatar doesn’t trade as much as was the situation. Similarly, return of calmness and peace in hostile and potential competitors would mean that Qatar loses some of its customers. With the above factors, the workload of the ports would drastically reduce. This means a loose schedule and reduced revenue. The marginal revenue of NAC would grow negatively as time goes by. Either way, this would mean that the company output would reduce, and its operations shrink.

Another threat would be where the country goes into violence. This would mean that lesser production of crude oil and its products. Consequentially this would lead to reduced production in the country. With this few countries would be willing to trade with this nation resulting into too few activities in the ports. NAC should there look into preventing these threats affect its operations.

2.2 Future strategic techniques

The company needs to keep in touch with its future. Most important the company needs to understand the trendy nature of the shipping activities. Moreover, the company needs to understand whatever is happening in the oil industry of Qatar and how it is behaving. This will enable the company to strategically plan for its future and get to know where it is headed to. With a daily changing world, the company will need to acquaint it with whatever that is happening in the corporate world. The company needs to look so much into its future rather than what is present or what is currently going on. The company interest on the future should exceed its current operations concentration (Ferrell & Hartline 2011, p. 59).

The company needs to come up with the future strategy technique that ensures continued growth without shrinking. To ensure a brighter future, the company should ensure that it always focuses its strategic management on the future. By creating a future strategic techniques model, the company will be seeking to address in-waiting problems. This should ensure continued growth of the company with increasing marginal revenue as compared to a company with no future strategies at all. The company’s operation manager is mandated with ensuring that the company’s plans are all made to fit for future service delivery rather than for current usage (Robbins & Coulter 2012, p. 88). The company has been very futuristic over time. For instance, it has made collaborations with other service offering companies to expand their operations. The company is to come up with a technique that will ensure that if new methods of transport emerge it will still be competitive in the market.

3.0 Recommendations

The aim of this report is to enhance the travel operations of this company in the ports it manages. This is to ensure that the company becomes one of the best shipping companies in the world. In fact, the report has come up with recommendations that will improve the performance of this company. The recommendations are meant to jump start the company’s improved performance even with an increased number of performance threats in the industry.

This report recommends the creation of a team that investigates the nature and the features of the constantly changing market. The market is the most important aspect of investment according to Chorafas (2011, p. 21). The report, therefore, feels it should be treated with much caution, and its behavior should be always revised and studied. The role of this strategic team will be to give direction to the operations manager on which direction to take to enhance the growth of this company. The team will be selected from various staff in different departments. In the case of shortage of human resource, the company could recruit other employees. To ensure good value for money, the team should also be tasked with marketing the company internally and externally. The team should be a qualified one to ensure that it gives the best results over what it is mandated to do. The team should be experienced and most recommended was recruitment of people who have formerly worked in this industry.

The report also recommends that the company occasionally carries out audit on the performance of its human resource to exterminate non-performing human resource. The audit will help to identify the poorly performing departments and help reduce wastage of the invested resource. This will also help in ensuring the company gives the best services to its customers who can only be retained by good service delivery. This will also ensure that service delivery is done at a lesser cost ensuring more revenues. This audit will be carried out by external auditors with approval by an international audit firm like Ernst and Young Audit Company. The audit should occasionally be done like thrice a financial year to ensure that laxity is totally eliminated. The audit will save the company millions of money at all. The results of the audit should be immediately discussed by the top management and necessary action taken.

The report also recommends that its workers are sent for benchmarking in other ports to visit agencies that deal with the same type of services. The visits will not only be limited to performing agencies but will also be extended to agencies that do not perform. This ensures that the workers learn from different perspectives. In the performing countries, the workers will learn how efficiently to carry out their duties. On the other hand in poorly performing countries, the workers will learn the effects of laxity and sleeping on one’s job. This benchmarking should only happen whenever there is little work in the ports. Most important to be taken for benchmarking are the under hands, and part of the management hat is under performing. The benchmarking should always be compulsory to the target group under any circumstance. The group should then be monitored for improvement with action being taken against those who do not change at all.

This report calls for performance appraisal of the workforce. This will motivate workers to work harder in the company to get recognition and be appraised by the company. The appraisal should be done regularly so as to remind the workforce their importance in the company. The report calls for two appraisals in a single financial year. The appraisal should be done annually. Those who have performed or improved should be rewarded to ensure that the non-performing are motivated to perform (KUMAR 2011, p. 19). The appraisal should be attended by each and every worker in the company to ensure that everybody witnesses. The appraisal should involve a prominent person in Qatar for more motivation in the performance of NAC’s workers.

This report recommends that the company undertakes a routine internal training for its employees. Most important is training the employees on importantly managerial skills (Spruyt 1994, p 17). This will help the workers easily to deal with situations whenever they arise. Moreover, the training will equip the workers with knowhow on how to grow their company to greater heights. This training should be compulsory to the target group, and promotion or wage increment should be based upon performance in this training. The training should be free and should be made to coincide with performance appraisal to motivate more people take up this training.

The report recommends that the company increases its capital investment if it seeks to grow. The company has over time put its capital on extra investments like ship building and repair. The report feels that more areas of investment should be identified in marine travel with caution being exercised to ensure that the company’s investment doesn’t sink into deep waters. The investment area should be identified by the strategic team in recommendation one. This investment should be discussed intensively by the top management team before it is passed through. The investment should be made from the company’s reserves without public borrowing at all. This will commit the company to oversee the investment progress.

4.0 Conclusion

Nakilat Agency Company is a company that has enjoyed a good revenue generation over the last years of its existence. Since its inception and licensing it has beyond doubt performed better than it was expected. With a good management team, the company has been able to expand its revenue generators and engaged in other services other than shipping agency according to Business Monitor International (2009, p. 44). The company has been favored by its extensive business strengths which are triumphant over its weaknesses and threats. The company enjoys an economy that has greater opportunities of expansion and growth. With the recommendations in this report, the company is poised for greater levels of growth and expansion. It is set to become one of the best companies in this industry. The government’s intervention in the economy, the company, is silently growing into an industrial giant in this sector. The company as it stands right now will grow into one of the best service providers in shipping agency.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

BUSINESS MONITOR INTERNATIONAL LTD. (2009). Qatar shipping report: includes 5-year forecasts to. London, Business Monitor International.

CHORAFAS, D. N. (2011). Business, marketing, and management principles for IT and engineering. Boca Raton, FL, CRC Press. http://public.eblib.com/EBLPublic/PublicView.do?ptiID=767858.

ENOCH, M. (2011). Sustainable transport, mobility management and travel plans. Farnham, Ashgate. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&scope=site&db=nlebk&db=nlabk&AN=444339.

FERRELL, O. C., & HARTLINE, M. D. (2011). Marketing strategy. Mason, OH, South-Western Cengage Learning.

FREEMAN, R. E. (2010). Strategic management: a stakeholder approach. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

KUMAR, R. (2011). Human resource management : strategic analysis text and cases. New Dehli, I.K. International.

ROBBINS, S. P., & COULTER, M. K. (2012). Management. Boston, Prentice Hall.

SHAW, S. J. (1993). Transport: strategy and policy. Oxford, UK, Blackwell.

SPRUYT, J. (1994). Ship management. London, Lloyd’s of London Press.

THORPE, M., & MITRA, S. (2012). Transport and

Strategic change management case study

Name:

Institution:

Memo

TO:  Instructor

FROM: Student

DATE: May 20, 2007

SUBJECT:  Strategic management for Charles Schwab Company

Charles Schwab & Company, Inc deals with brokerage business.  The company started the business in 11975 when the Securities and Exchange Commission abolished mandatory fixed commission on stock trades.  The company experienced tremendous growth in the next 25 years.  This growth was fueled by customer centric focus, and investment in information technology. The company also engaged in products innovation that led to its growth. In 1996, the company engaged in online trading that contributed so much to its growth. This was a strategy that attracted customers who invested in the Company. By the year 200, the company had experience growth and revenues had risen to $7.1 billion. Online trading had grown and was recorded to be 84 percent of all stock trades.  However, in the year 2000, the business was faced with challenges. The United States Economy was not doing quite well. Share prices had gone done. Technology was losing and most shares in Schwab Company were trading online. The revenues fell and also net income reduced at an alarming rate. For instance, the net income had fallen to $472 million from $803 million in 2000. The price of shares had decreased from $51.70 in 1999 o $ 6.30 in early 2003. All these changes require strategies that would help the company grow and make profits.

Strategy

Decision to be made

The first decision that Schwab can make is to adjust the costs.  Adjusting costs would make the company revitalize growth as well as give quality services to customers.  This would be done by merging company’s electronic services into Schwab.com. This would help coordinate online and offline business. This is one way of cutting down the cost. The role of branches would change and will focus on customer support.  When customers receive effective support, they will remain loyal to the business even when the economy is not stable. They will be advised on their financial investments and when to make sales of their shares.  They will also be guided on the shares to invest in so that their money will yield profits.  When costs are adjusted, the company can be in a capacity to manage finances effectively, and eliminate unwanted expenses. This is a sensitive strategy but it can work.  This includes reducing the number of employees.  I suggest that the company reduce the number of employees. Since the business is shaky and revenues are decreasing, it is important to cut down costs by reducing the number of workers. This decision will help the company have extra finances that can be used for investment.

Adjusting cost will leave the company with finances that can be invested in other business. The aim of investing is to ensure growth of investors’ money.  This will help the business stand amidst of challenges in the economy.  Investing in services that are offered by huge companies such as U.S trust can help maintain growth. Schwab should invest in this trust because it has good returns. U.S Trust offers services that include personal trusts, estate planning, tax services and private banking. These services are not offered by Schwab. Assessing the environment and knowing the services competitor offer can help the company implement strategies that can lead to growth.  Schwab should invest in such services that will foster growth and trust of the customers.  in doing this, the company should employ financial experts who are able to provide extensive advise to customers targeted for a new service to be launched.  These consultants should not tell the customers what to buy and sell. The decision is left to the client.  Customers will be having financial plans and consultations regarding the industry and market conditions. Schwab will also have a new stock rating system. This will help analyze stock and assign grades.  This will ensure objectivity and know the type of services to be recommended to customers.  Product differentiation is an important factor in ensuring growth. It helps the company have a competitive advantage. The customers will have quality products and variety of options to choose their products. This is an effective decision in ensuring the company does not lose its customers. Schwab will need to diversify its products.  This will include personal trusts and estate planning among others. When customers know that all services can offered in the same company without going to invest in other companies, they will be loyal and ensure that they invest in the company and in variety of services.

Implementing these decisions will require effective leadership. Schwab and another leader will take the action of working on the decision. With effective leadership, it is easy to cause changes in the company. This will influence the stakeholders and convince them that the decision taken will be beneficial.  Schwab will ensure that electronic services are working effectively in the implementation of these decisions.  Strong leadership will help make changes effective. This is because the leaders will help solve problems as well as deal with technical problems that may take place in these changes.

Exhibits

A company will ensure growth if it implements different strategies.  Such strategies include adjusting cost and differentiation. Once Schwab invest in such strategies, it will be assured of growth. This ensures competitive advantage. In this strategy, there is average cost, low cost, best cost and differentiation. There is also unit margin and unit cost. When the cost is adjusted, the unit margin will change.  For instance, when Schwab reduces costs, it will invest in other services that were not offered before. There will be additional units of the products.

Adjusting costs will help the company invest in product differentiation. Adding others unique services in Schwab is a strategy of product differentiation.

Strategic management also involves analyzing the company’s mission, external and internal forces in order to come up with an effective strategy. The external forces will include having well trained work force that has experience in brokerage business. The staff will offer financial advice to customers. By doing so, the company will earn customer loyalty and attract more customers. The other internal factor includes financial strength of the company. When the company has finances, it will invest in strategic decisions that will enhance growth of the company. External factors include competitors. Schwab have competitor dealing with brokerage business. U.S Trust is one of the companies. Understanding competitors will help the company make strategic decisions that adds to the company’s strategic. The diagram below shows antecedents of strategy.

Strategic Management Case Study

In order to change the general performance and key achievements by any company, it is necessary to embrace organizational as well as management changes. The management is the key pivotal tool of any organization as it is the body that monitors and controls an entire organization. If the management is lacking, it implies that the entire running of a company will be negatively impacted. General Electricals is one company that has been subjected to ups and downs in the entire life of its operations. However, under the leadership of the CEO, Jeff Immelt, the company has gone far and has been able to realize several development-related benefits, such as increase in the aggregate market share, increased profits, and strong employee-customer relationship among others (Case study).

However, just like any other company, General Electricals has a long way to go before it realizes its optimal goals. There is a dire to come up with a strategy that incorporates different developmental elements.  Like many other companies, GE has been facing both internal as well as external challenges that have affected its operations in one way or the other. From one CEO to the other, there have been issues of management. There have been both internal wrangles as well as external wrangles that have been attributed to weak internal management as well other external factors. However, since Jeff Immelt became the company’s CEO, GE has realized some notable developments as above highlighted. However, there is a wide gap of what needs to be done. Having this in mind, there is a dire need to put in place mechanisms that will focus on key improvement areas. The decision to be adopted should be comprehensive cutting across the board in order to cover all the key central areas of the business.

Based on the case study, GE has to lay its focus mainly on the external environment in order to address key external factors that are affecting the business. However, some of the internal factors have close connection with the external factors and as such an in depth analysis need to be carried out before arriving at the optimal decision. SWOT analysis is an appropriate strategy that will help interconnect internal and external environments that would boost the general business’s performance. For instance, the company is said to enjoy good management, under the leadership of Jeff Immelt (Case Study). The company has been enjoying competitive advantage. From a personal perspective, GE should focus on strategizing on how to adopt new technologies. There are many emerging technologies in the modern times that have transformed the entire lives of different individuals. New technologies have dramatically changed the way in which business are conducted nowadays.

Communication technology is an important element that should be implemented by the General Electricals Company as one of the driving force for the business. GE can consider adopting technologies such as accounting management systems, Enterprise Resource Planning System, and any other management information systems deemed necessary. When appropriately and effectively implemented, all the above strategies are likely to bear the best outcomes as far as company performance is concerned. For instance, accounting information system will simplify the entire accounting process of the company and it will ensure rectification of some minor issues in the accounting system. The system will be streamlined and the minor errors encountered within the accounting system will be minimized.

It is evident that technology is dramatically taking a new angle of revolution in the modern business community. Technology is definitely the most basic tool that is used in modern times by many businesses in order to facilitate and improve their performance. Technology is changing the whole business world on a daily basis through the creation of different platforms where business operations can be conducted in a simplified manner. For instance, there is the existence of social networks such as Facebook, tweeter, and linked in among others where business partners can interact with other business colleagues. Marketing has been simplified through the use of social networks as well as creation of personalized websites where customers can access information regarding a particular product.

As such it will be possible and easy to reach as many customers as possible thereby increasing the general performance of the business both nationally and internationally. It then implies that adaptation of the emerging technologies will have a positive impact on the external operations of any given business. Reaching an increased number of customers implies that there is general expansion of a business entity. However, technology will not only impact the external factors but equally internal factors will also be boosted positively, as above mentioned. It would thus be wise for GE to consider adopting and embracing the new emerging technologies. As above discussed, it is evident that such a recommendation is worthwhile embracing since it is comprehensive thereby covering many areas of the business world.

The implementation of the decision will require the consideration of both internal as well as external factors. GE should ensure that the projected decision does not constrain the company’s internal as well as the external resources. For instance, the decision should be much capital intensive and also the maintenance costs should be maintained as low as possible. Additionally, the decision should favor the external business’s environment and should positively contribute to GE’s operations. In a simplified language, the decision should give positive results as far as cost benefit analysis is considered. As such, prior to the implementation of the plan, it will be important for GE to conduct a cost benefit analysis in order to establish the profitability of the projected decision. The company will be required to have a well versed IT team in order to facilitate the implementation as well as the maintenance of the strategy. Technology is a dynamic field and as such General Electricals should make sure that there is a continuous training for the IT team.

Some projects/decisions are capital intensive as far as implementation is considered. To some companies, this may not pose huge burden depending on the financial ability of the individual business. On the other hand, some businesses may not feel much effect even during the implementation process of a business project/decision. However, most are the times when many business entities will feel the impact of implementing any decisions. As such it is always wise to implement a given project over a spread time, for instance, through different phases. This will ensure that the financial as well as any other related burdens are spread out. Implementing a technological decision may be capital intensive and at times may prove difficult. It will thus be wise for GE to consider implementing this decision over a spread period of time.

Reference

Case Study

 

 

Strategic Human Resource Management

Literature Review
The integration of the ideas of strategic management and human resource management are the principal basis of strategic human resource management. According to Boxall and Purcell (as cited in Armstrong & Armstrong, 2011), Human Resource Management refers to all the activities that are involved in the management of the relationships of employees within an organization. SHRM focuses on helping organizations in better meeting the employees’ needs as well promoting the goals of the organizations. In this paper, review literature will focus on how SHRM creates initiatives in order to meet employee satisfaction and organizational goals and objectives.
Over the last twenty years, there have been several contributions in the literature focusing on the management of employees. The main focus has been directed towards the human resource management and over the last 10 years, studies have mainly dealt on how human resource management influences organizational performance and it is on this basis that there has been a rising interest in the area of Strategic Human Resource Management. The concept of Strategic Human Resource Management has been defined as the proactive management of employees and involves the aspect of strategizing on how organizations can better meet the needs of their employees as well as how the employees can help maximize the needs of the organizations. In recent years, there has been globalization, rapid changes in the environment, innovations and inventions that have led to the emergence of new competitive products and services. This has in turn led to a new outlook in the market whereby there have been new demands by the investors and customers.
For effective completion, firms and organizations have to operate on reduced costs, quality enhancement, and product differentiation. In order to realize such goals and objectives, and then firms have to focus more on business and strategic oriented priorities and initiatives that include; employee empowerment, total reward programs, engagement studies, incentive compensation, and team-based job programs among others. The idea behind strategic human resource management is the diagnosis the organizational strategic requirement and predetermined talent development that is considered vital in the implementation of the competitive strategies and the realization of operational goals.
Pundits have continuously criticized the theoretical framework linked with the development of the concept of the Strategic Human Resource Management. Two key factors have contributed to this criticism; firstly, scholars researching on the field of Strategic Human Resource Management have approached the topic from a wide range of perspectives, and there has been no single thread that can bring a convergence thread in the perspectives. Secondly, the theoretical framework of Human Resource Management, on which Strategic Human Resource Management was founded, has been considered to be poor (Delery & Doty, 1996).
Under the human resource plan, it is considered appropriate that organizations should take into consideration the requirements of the workforce and the ability of the organization in providing such needs to the employees. Compared to smaller companies, larger companies have the potential to provide initiatives such as benefits programs and training programs. However, it does not imply that smaller companies and organizations are not exempted from engaging in SHRM. The main objective of strategic human resource policies is to put in place initiatives that will help in realizing optimal employee satisfaction while maximizing the organizational output. The initiative programs can be offered on-site in the case of smaller companies unlike in the case of larger companies where the initiative can be provided off-site.
Strategies in SHRM assist in strong training alongside mentoring programs of the existing employees together with any new absorbed employees and can help in speeding up on the organizational policies. This will be important as it can also help the organization, small and large, in offering high quality and consistent products. From past studies, it has been verified that strategic human resource management is essential to both small and larger companies (Mathis & Jackson, 2012). Under the SHRM, smaller companies, the manager may undertake even reviews by regularly observing, assessing, and assisting the workforces. On the other hand, the human resource department in larger companies should put in place policies that help in meeting employee needs while benefiting the company/organization (Phillips & Gully, 2013).
There is a strong correlation between SHRM and the level of employee performance and the level of organizational output. This is in relation to the aforementioned initiatives but as earlier mentioned, there have been continued criticisms over the strategic human resource management. In that case, there is a need to undertake further research for better understanding of strategic human resource management. Such studies should focus on the initiatives of strategic human resource management, and this implies a need to undertake further studies on theoretical development and empirical evidence (Jing & Huang, 2005).
In conclusion, this research focuses into looking at the strategic human resource management approach. The research looks into the initiatives of strategic human resource management and will mainly focus on adding to the existing literature of SHRM and how such initiatives may impact on the employee satisfaction alongside optimization of the firms’ total output.

References
Armstrong, M., & Armstrong, M. (2011). Armstrong’s handbook of strategic human resource management. London: Kogan Page.
Delery, J. E., & Doty, H. D. (1996). Models of theorizing in strategic human resource management: Tests of universalistic, contingency, and configurational performance predictions. Academy of Management Journal, 39(4), 802-835.
Jing, W., & Huang, T. (2005). Relationship between strategic human resource management and firm performance. International Journal of Manpower, 434-449.
Mathis, R. L., & Jackson, J. H. (2012). Human resource management: Essential perspectives. Mason, Ohio: South-Western.
Phillips, J. M., & Gully, S. M. (2013). Human resource management. Mason, Ohio: South-Western Centage Learning.

Strategic change management

Introduction

Strategic management is a concept in business that leads to successful operation of the business.  Strategic management in a company has different components. It ensures that the mission of the company is clear and achievable. The company also defines its policies that will guide successful operation of the company (Ansoff, 2005). Strategic management also comprise of setting goals and objectives that are achievable. A company also ensures that it has competences that make it survive in the competitive advantage. Strategic management involves adapting the best technology that will ensure efficient production. Strategic management is a core element for every company that wants to run a successful business.

Abstract

The purpose of this project is to discuss strategic management that is employed in four companies. The idea is to analyze strategic change management of these companies that has led them become premium companies in the market. In this project, different case studies will be analyzed and apply the information in the four companies.  The first company that will be discussed in this paper is Audi.  Audi is a company that has led a successful business in auto mobile industry. The company has embrace innovation and does its best to delights its customers. California University will also be discussed in this project. The company aims at becoming the best in offering quality education through strategic change in IT systems. The Washington Department of General Administration is an organization that engages in maintaining Capital Lake in Olympia. The company aims at restoring Deschutes Estuary for Net benefit analysis. This paper will also study Flower and Samois Company in Sydney. Strategic management based on computer systems will be discussed about Flower and Samois Company.  Technology is an essential element in strategic planning and management (Sadler, 2003).

Audi

Audi has been engaged in change management that has led the company to become effective in its production Audi has adapted different models of strategic change. Tactical and incremental adoption is a strategic change management model used in companies. Technology is appreciated in most organization and societies. People want products that are technologically advance for efficiency purposes. Audi has adopted this model in its company (Kezar, 2011). Audi offers quality vehicles to customers. It aims at adopting effective technology that will be beneficial in future. For instance, the company is considering technologies such as electric drive systems and lightweight construction and connectivity. The company has invested in activities involved in electric mobility and is being developed under Audi e-tron name. Light weight technology is also been given priority. It aims at manufacturing light vehicles under the name Audi Ultra. It is reducing vehicle weights using materials such as aluminum, carbon fiber-reinforced polymers, modern steel alloys and magnesium. Audi has manufactures A3 sport that is 90 kilograms lighter than previous models. Audi Company also keeps up to date with internet connectivity. The car manufactured connects the driver to internet and the world around him or her.

Another model of strategic change management is developing a company’s vision. Audi has a vision 2020 that was first unveiled in 2010. Strategic change management involves having a vision and working towards accomplishing it. Audi has a mission of delighting its customers worldwide. This is strategic plan that ensure production of vehicles that meets customers’ needs.

Corporate responsibility is another aspect of strategic change management. This attracts customers as well as marketing Company’s products. Audi Company has engaged corporate projects since 2012. The company interacts effectively with the society and uses this model to give back to society as well as increasing customer loyalty.

Strategic change models are relevant in most companies in the current economy. Through using corporate responsibility AUDI AG was awarded the distinction of corporate responsibility Prime status. This was a strategy to become a premium company and the company has been recognized worldwide. Implementing in technology has also led to Audi becoming a premium company. The company has been involved in lightweight technology since 1994 after introduction of Audi Space Frame. Companies such as Coca-Cola have used strategic models to facilitate growth. Technology is valued in coca-cola company. Innovation in terms of bottling, and diversity of brands has enhanced its growth. The company has also implemented a vision as a model of strategic management. The vision acts as a guideline of achieving sustainable and quality growth.

Strategic intervention techniques are essential in all organizations. These intervention techniques ensure business growth and competitive advantage. Transformation change intervention leads to organization development. This involves changing organization’s ways of doing things with the aim of ensuring growth and satisfying customers. Audi has invested in strategic intervention techniques that have seen the company grow (Kezar, 2011). The same cases take place in Coca-Cola Company. Audi has become outstanding in the challenging market environment through using different strategies. The company has received awards that has confirmed positive image to the public.  The company ensures technological innovations, interpersonal relationships and competence in manufacturing its product. Coca-Cola on the other hand has received tremendous growth through use of strategic intervention techniques. The company ensures competence in production of drinks. It has also diversified its drinks winning more and more customers.

Assignment part 2

California State University aims at offering quality education to all its students. This is a large institution that has 23 campuses and eight off campuses centers. The campuses hold approximately 437,000 students and 44,000 faculty and staff. The company aims at adapting IT systems for all its campuses. This is a strategic change management that is essential for the university.  California State University needs to implement strategic change in IT systems due to different reasons. In the current world, the concept of Information Communication Technology has been embraced. This has contributed to growth of different institutions. Efficiency and research had been enhanced through Information Technology systems.  In higher education, IT is essential in improving operations by making them manageable and more transparent (Tabatoni, Davis, & Barblan, 2000).  California State University has a large population of students and staff. Managing these people manually can be hectic. It is therefore essential to adapt Information systems that make work easier. Strategic change management in Information technology will help reduce cost due to improved efficiency. Another need of strategic change in Information systems is to ensure improved services for faculty, students and employees. There will be easier communication within the institution. Students can access academic information at any given time. California State University will also deal with resistance to change through this change in IT system. Through implantation of an automated change management system, it will be easy to ensure effective change.

There are internal and external factors driving the need for Strategic Change in California State University IT system. The current generation has access to internet services tools. They have wireless telephones that have integrated features. An institution that has not embraced information technology cannot attract students and even employees. One internal factor for need of strategic change in IT system in this institution is to ensure effective communication. Since the institution has large population it will be easier to communicate with all people using IT systems. It is also important to adapt strategic change in information technology to ensure efficiency. Efficiency will satisfy students and employees therefore ensure institutional growth.  Competition on the other hand is an external factor leading to need for strategic change in California State University. There are many institutions that have Information Technology System. These institutions aim at becoming the best in providing quality education that makes their students marketable in the labor market. Investing in information technology will add a competitive advantage to the university. In another instance, the world is changing in terms of technology. This is an external force that will make the university adapt effective information management system (Tabatoni, Davis, & Barblan, 2000).

Resistance to change is a challenge that most companies go through in their strategic management. Stakeholders may resist change and want to maintain their traditional ways of doing this. This may have different resource implications. The organization may fail to respond to strategic change and this affects human resources, physical and financial resources (Cummings & Vorley, 2010). California State University may lose employees as a result of ineffective services. It may also lose students as well as finances because students will not be willing to pay fees to a university that is not technologically advanced. British Airways is an example of a company that has suffered resource implication due to resistance to change. The chairperson that was employed in 1981 realized this and implemented a change methodology management plan. Since then the company has experienced growth and minimized resource problems.

Assignment part 3

Stakeholders are essential in strategic change management. Deschutes Estuary Lake is a dam that was created in 1951. The management of the dam ensures provision of quality water. Restoring Deschutes estuary involves process such inundation, which eliminates problems associated to the lake. This will help manage problems such as sedimentation, invasive species and compromised quality water. This requires a strategic planning that would involve stakeholders. The system that will be used in this restoration is the workshop method. His will ensure consensus, creativity and responsibility of all stakeholders. Stakeholders will be involved in decision making. They will be involved in discussions where different strategies towards change management will be raised.  Stakeholders will brainstorm a list of ideas and choose the best idea to be implemented in order to restore Deschutes Estuary. Dialogue will make the strategic planning effective and efficient.  In this system, consulting will be emphasized. This will be done through workshops, stakeholder analysis, intranet forums, and interviews to ensure the team is working towards the same goal. All stake holders will be briefed of the progress of the restoration process. Fliers and emails will be used to ensure maximum participation of stakeholders. Involving stakeholders will help identify problems and changes needed for restoration of Deschutes Estuary (Haines, 2002).

The change management strategy to be used in this restoration will be Normative- Reeducative.  This is a strategy where people will adhere to what they believe is best for the society. It involves redefining the existing norms and adapting new ones.  In this strategy, focus on what people believe about their world will be useful. When people are working in unison, they have a common goal. Stake holder’s involvement in Deschutes Estuary has led to a common goal. They have identified objectives and need for change. This strategy will ensure quick and effective restoration of the dam (Haines, 2002).

Deschutes estuary Net Benefit Analysis helps identify changes needed in a project. These potential changes add value to social and economic benefits of a project. Some of the systems used in the Net Benefit analysis are workshop methods. This is important in strategic planning as it helps participant brainstorm and come up with ideas to be implemented (Ansoff, 2005).  Another system used was public meetings where participants were invited through advertisements, fliers, and email distribution. Communication is a key aspect when managing public projects. This ensures people are updated and all stakeholders are giving feedback on the project. Since the participants are involved, it will ensure effective strategic planning and implementation. These systems can be used on public projects such as roads, schools, and hospitals among others.

Resistance to change can hinder development in any organization. The key to managing resistance to change is considering human factor. Change affects people where project is based. If people are not aware of this change, they will resist. Involving community is a strategy for managing resistance to change. It is important to involve people in every aspect of change to be put in place. Involve the community in decision making and they will help in identify problems and problem solving. They will also quicken change management as they feel part of the project (Cummings & Vorley, 2010).

 

 

Assignment part 4

Change is essential for organization to achieve a desired future. Flower and Samios company  is an architectural firm in Sydney.  When the company begun, computers were not used. The artchitects used pencils and drawing boards. Thereafter, the company transformed its operation by adapting the use of computers. This has helped the company achieve a competitive advantage.  There are different models that this company can adapt.

Conventional and rational models are applicable in Flower and Samios Company and other companies.  These models entail different steps. A company can begin by identifying the problem or opportunity. Once the problem is identified, the company will father information, analyze the situation, develop options, evaluate them, select the best alternative and then act on the decision.   This is the case with Flower and Samios. The company never used computers but saw the need of using it. The senior designer examined the need to use computer systems. He did research and found that it was expensive and system was complex. When the company lost a design competition, it sought to implement computer generated architectural designs (Kezar, 2011).  After making the decision to use computers in design, the company has enjoyed tremendous growth.  Rational decision model can be applicable to much organization that wants to experience change.  This involves requires time to gather information as well as involve employees and other stakeholders.  For instance, a company needs to train employees in order to adapt to changes made.

Implementing model of change is essential for ensuring business growth. Kotter’s 8-step change model will be used to implement change.  In implementing change, there is need to create urgency. Change will help the entire company and a sense of urgency for need to change is necessary.  This will help convince the stakeholders about what is happening in the market. For instance the senior designer in Flower and Samios has created urgency for change as a result of losing a design competition. Then, form a powerful coalition.  This will involve teamwork to work in implementation process. The other step is to create a vision for change. This will help the team understand the need for change. Flower Company can use this to convince leadership team of what is happening with competitors who won the design competition.  This is where communication of vision comes in (Kezar, 2011). once the vision is communicated, the leader can remove obstacles. This will educate workers who are resisting change. Another step is to create short term wins. This involves giving the company a taste of victory.  By creating computer designs to attract customers, this will convince the company the need for change.  Building on change is another step in this model. This involves improving on what already existed. In this case Flower and Samios Company have computers but have not emphasized on using them for design. The company will build on using the computer to making architectural designs. The last step in implementing change is to anchor changes in corporate culture.  Make the changes part of the company. Flower and Samios Company will make computer use an integral part of the company (Sabri, Gupter & Beitler, 2006).

Once the company implements strategic change, it will require measures to monitor the progress of this change.  Flower and Samios Company can use Performance indicator to measure the progress of strategic change process (Haines, 2002).  This will be done by comparing the performance of the company after implementing the use of computers in architectural design.

Conclusion

Strategic management is an essential aspect in an organization it involves implement strategies that will lead to the growth of the organization. In strategic management conventional and rational models are key to ensuring change. They help organization’s identify problems and make decisions that will benefit all stakeholders. Strategic change is a complex process that requires integration among stakeholders. This will facilitate change and avoid resistance to change. In most cases, stakeholders resist change for fear of risks involved. Others like community members will resist if they are not informed. It is necessary to inform all stakeholders of the change that will take place this will allow their participation and quicken the change process.  For successful implementation of strategic management, it is essential to consider systems that are effective. Stakeholders involvement in the process is an effective strategies used by managers of organizations and project.  Companies such as Audi, Flower and Samios, California State University and Deschutes Estuary project have used these systems to ensure successful change management.  These companies ensure they have a vision that that will guide them in strategic management and planning.  Information technology systems are adapted by these companies to ensure efficiency in services. Audi has embraced technology to manufactures the best vehicles in the world. This integrates internet services that are valued in the current generation. California also has invested in information management system in its large organization. The same case happens with Flower and Samios Company. Information technology creates a competitive advantage and enhances growth and development.

eferences

Ansoff H. (2005). Strategic Management. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Cumming, T., & Vorley, C. (2010). Organizational Development and Change. New York:

Cengage Learning.

Haines, S. (2002). Systems Thinking: Approach to Strategic Planning and Management. New

York: CRC Press

Kezar (2011). Understanding and Facilitating Organizational Change in the 21st Century. New

York: Wiley Publishers

Sabri, E., Gupta, A., & Beitler, M. (2006). Purchase Order Management Best Practices:

Process, Technology, and Change  Management. New York:  RossPublishing

Sadler, P. (2003). Strategic Management. New York: Kogan Page Limited

Tabatoni P, Davis, J., & Barblan A. (2000). Strategic Management and Universities’

Institutional Development. EUA Geneve

 

 

 

 

 

 

Store Review

Any store has its own environment within which it operates. The environment is composed of both the customers, workers and the building itself where the enterprise is located. Narrowing down to the structure of the business enterprise, both the interior and the exterior of the shop play a role in customer attraction and self satisfaction of the business. A shop has to develop different strategies to make appealing and pleasing to both the customers and the clients of the business. This goes a long way in creating confidence and loyalty. This paper will look at a particular shop and discuss the various aspects of its environment that make up to its operation among other shops and give a detailed report about the same.

Exterior environment

The Bradwell convenient store is strategically located to attract many shoppers. The location of the store allows it to attract both day and evening shoppers. The store attracts both male and female shoppers. It is easily visible because it was easy to access at any time.

In terms of the outside looks, the store has a blend of colors on its outside painting which means that it attracts all classes of people from the young to the old. The exterior design of the store also impacted on the strategy of its marketing because this is one of the criteria used in marketing a store (David, 2010). This is because many people are always attracted to the external architecture. The architecture was of middle level which brought together shoppers of both the higher social class and that of the low class. This allows the store to attract customers from all the social classes.

The signage and style of the store is more of realistic and displayed all the services and products offered by the store. The signage of a store is simply the graphic design either in emblem, symbol or in words that s used for the purposes of identification or giving directions to customers (David, 2011). The signage acts as a form of advertising as it lets the customers know of the different shops that are available in the store. The signage is simple but exclusive and has names of the brands and their manufacturers. Through the simplicity of the signage, many customers can identify with the store. Having a unique style and signage is one of the strategies that comes about because of innovation and so is used in advertising the enterprise since it creates consumer confidence in terms of creativity and the range of products available in the store (Levy & Weitz, 2012).

The store has sufficient entry and exit points. This ensures that the store is more accessible depending on where one is approaching the store from. Furthermore, the entrance and exit points help in boosting the safety and security of the store. This is especially when there is a safety scare like fire outbreak. The exits are labeled well just in case of any disaster. The entrance and exit points are made in such a ways that they allow even the disabled to easily visit the mall. Behind the store there is an entrance that is specifically meant for offloading goods that are arriving at the store for use within the store or for dispatch to clients and customers. The entrance of the store is placed in a way that was visible to the customers from the road since the business enterprise was located just across the road. The design of the store is in such a way that the shops within the store are easily accessible once one gets into the store. The safety and security measures implemented have created customer confidence (Lieb, 2012). The display of the store begins from outside the store to the inside. The exterior display shows the major selling brands in the store and was appealing and attractive to customers and passersby. This is the main aim of display in a business enterprise, to attract more and more customers and have a wide base of clientele (Vassil, 2014).

 

The interior design

The interior comprises of the products in the stalls, the inside modes of advertising, the customer care and the kind of service one gets both at the shelves and at the counters. In terms of its design, as a customer comes in, the flooring is attractive. The flooring is made of string material to reduce tear and wear of customer’s shoes. The flooring is made in such a manner that customers cannot easily fall on the floor even if the floor is wet.

The store is decorated with ceiling with LED lights hanging from above with different colors. This is an attraction feature to the kids (Paul & Dorron, 2011). The fitting rooms are not permanent in nature. Staff in the different shops is expected to help customers with their shopping. The rooms are well separated in such a manner that babies and older people have different sections. The upper floor is open though permanently created to carry heavy goods like seats and furniture. There partition of stalls and shelves was semi-permanent and this means that goods could be shifted at any time according to customer needs. The counters and cabinets are also semi–permanently placed with the plinth and dais areas stalled also semi–permanently. The rails and hangers are movable together with the mannequins. The creation of semi–permanent structures is considered as a strategy to put customer preferences first to satisfy their needs and wants (Marinus, 2007). The other interior features are bright coloring on the interior, soft music on the background and beautiful scent that fills the atmosphere. Furthermore, the store is well ventilated to allow for free circulation of air within the store. There are also air conditioners to help in regulation of temperature within the store. This creates a good and convenient environment for both the staff and customers in the store.

Shopping in a convenient store or shop is made attractive by the features of its environment and how the shop presents its exterior and interior display (Babin et al., 2012). These aspects help create a comfortable atmosphere where the customers feel at home and secure to shop. The aspects also help in creating a good customer base within which the store or shop operates. The environment of any business enterprises like a shop or store includes customers and the paper has given a clear analysis on the environment of store.

 

Stimulating Industrial Development in UAE through Open Innovation Business Incubation

Stimulating Industrial Development in UAE through Open Innovation Business Incubation

Abstract

Due to the shrinking oil production UAE needs to expand the non-oil related industry to enable it generates more revenue. These industries include the manufacturing, service and tourism industry. This expansion could be possible through open innovation business incubation, which is focused in this dissertation proposal. The study will focus on industries based in the Dubai emirate. The sample size will be 31 companies which will be selected using a multisampling design. The data will be analyzed using Spearman’s correlation coefficient to determine the strength of relationship in the objectives.  

1.0 Introduction

Over the years most states have used the open innovation business incubation to stimulate industrial development in their economies. This research will seek to look into how open innovation business incubation could be used to spur industrial growth in the Middle East. The research will take place in the capital of UAE, Dubai. Formally the concept of business incubation started with Joseph Mancuso in 1959 in a Batavia warehouse in New York.  The concept then expanded through United States and the extensive Europe during the last quarter of 20th century. However during its expansion the business incubation took many different but related forms. The concept is moreover not limited to the first world countries but is taking root in the second world countries and the third world economies. According to Chesbrough (2003, p.13), the concept of business incubation has raised interest and recognition from international financing bodies such as World Bank and International Monetary Fund. The research will also look into its development over time and how the concept has evolved as well as its trends.

  • Research questions
  1. Could open innovation business incubation be used to stimulate industrial development?
  2. How efficient is it in jump starting the industrial development?
  3. Can this development tool be used to stimulate industrial development in all types of industries?
    • Research objectives
  4. To investigate whether open innovation business incubation could be used to stimulate industrial development.
  5. To determine how efficient open innovation business incubation is in accelerating industrial growth.
  6. To establish whether this developmental tool can be applicable to stimulate industrial development in all types of industries.
    • Research hypothesis
  7. Open innovation business incubation could be used to spur industrial development.
  8. Open innovation business incubation is efficient in accelerating industrial development.
  9. Open innovation business incubation could be used to stimulate industrial development in any type of industry.

2.0 Literature review

Over the years, business incubation has been defined as the idea of nurturing small business or early stage companies into mature and successive investments that can compete at a macroeconomic level. The idea of incubation does not however apply to all types of investment but to those who have applied for admission in the incubation program. How a company qualifies for admission in a certain incubation program differs from one program to another. However a general acceptance criterion is that incubation process is effected only on companies with feasible business ideas and practical business plans so as to distinguish them from survival business activities (Sekora 2010, p. 19).

Open innovation as discussed by Chesbrough (2010, p.11), is a paradigm that assumes that firms can and should use external ideas as well as internal ideas, and internal and external paths to market, as the firms look to advance their technology; the entity jointly innovates with partners through risk sharing and also share the rewards. According to this concept innovation ideas should not always crop up from internal environment but also from the external environment which is inclusive of rival companies (Chesbrough, Vanhaverbeke & West 2008, p.103).

With time business incubation has taken many new and it is estimated that over 7000 business incubators exist worldwide with most of them spread across Europe and North America (Linda 2006, p.75). The concept of business incubation has been applied in companies that have embraced open innovation.

These two concepts when merged together would be an investment success. If early stages companies agree to be incubatees and use the idea of open innovation that is allowing ideas from all over the business environments they could make major progressive steps in the investment success. It is evident that business incubation is very vital for expansion of a company with growth possibility.

Merging of the two ideas has seen companies expand their infrastructure, market and easily solve production problems. While incubation allows an early stage company expands in terms of entrepreneurial infrastructure some of its indirect benefits such as job creation have not been identified.  Business incubation also allows peers of the incubating company and the incubatee company to network and share ideas.

Open innovations could be the well placed to benefit from the incubation process. Since they have already accepted the concept of integrating external ideas in their company the incubation process will allow them to be well nurtured by the incubating company in all dimensions. An open innovation remains the best placed company to benefit greatly from the incubation process.

3.0 Research methodology

Dubai is one of the seven emirates of the UAE and is located on the southern coast of the Persian Gulf at an altitude of 16 meters above the sea level and covers an area of 4110 km2. It has a population of 1.771 million people and has over time changed from an oil-reliant economy to a service industry oriented economy.

During the research both primary and secondary data will be collected to enable the research achieve the study objectives (Rocco, Hatcher & Creswell 2011, p. 21). Primary data will be collected through observing the characteristics of the early stage and already established companies and interviewing the management of the companies located in Dubai. Secondary data will be collected from publications, internet sources and government statistics (Creswell 2008, p. 33).

Multisampling design will be used. The sample frame will be obtained by dividing the emirate according to its towns. One company per town will be picked regardless of size. Later random sampling will be used to identify the sample size needed in the study. A sample size of 31 companies will be a good sample for this study as recommended by Hoffman (2003, p.5).

Data (primary) will be collected through interviewing management of the company face-to-face or through telephone calls where possible. Secondary data will be collected from relevant sources. All the data collected will be analyzed using the Spearman’s correlation coefficient analysis so as to analyze all the objectives of study. Other factors to be considered will be the general characteristics of the different companies (Gauch 2003, p.36).

References

Chesbrough, H. W (2003), Open Innovation: The new imperative for creating and profiting from technology, Boston: Harvard Business School Press.

Chesbrough, H & Vanhaverbeke, W & West, J. (2008). Open Innovation: Researching a New Paradigm. Oxford University Press: London.

Creswell, J. W. (2008). Educational Research: Planning, Conducting, and Evaluating Quantitative and Qualitative Research. Upper Saddle River, NJ. Pearson Education, Inc.

Gauch, Jr., H. G. (2003). Scientific method in practice. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Hoffman, A. (2003). Research for Writers. London: A&C Black Publishers Limited.

Linda, K. (2006). State of the Business Incubation Industry. Athens, Ohio: National Business Incubation Association

Rocco, T. S., Hatcher, T & Creswell, J.W. (2011). The handbook of scholarly writing and publishing. San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons.

Sekora, M (2010). Mastering the Art of Competition. New York, New York: Jossey Bass.