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.