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Karl Marx And Adam Smith Essay Help 123


Essay title: Economics


Definition of Topic: Economics is the study of supply and demand. It defines the ways that human beings allocate resources and how resources are distributed amongst a market. It allows you to see trends in current market places and predict what may happen in the future. Many different subjects were once regarded as a part of economics. Political science and even sociology were once considered part of the field. These subjects still play a major role in understanding economics but are also completely separate disciplines today.

History: Since ancient times, humans have contemplated basic economic problems. Many great minds have tried to master the subject. Aristotle and Plato were probably the first to document such studies. Both agreed that living by trade was ill fated. Influenced by Greek economic ideals the Romans built their wealth. After the fall of Rome, the Catholic Church would become the power behind most economic laws. They would condemn usury and regarded commerce as inferior to agriculture.

It wasn’t until 1776 that economics became a study of its own. Adam Smith is considered the father of economics. Through his work Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, he used mercantilism and physiocracy to develop classical economics. Smith emphasized consumption, rather than production to broaden the scope of economics. Modern thought still follows his examples for permitting self-interest in order to promote national prosperity. This is most evident when looking at today’s smaller business market.

Twenty years later, Malthus would write a discouraging, but very influential book, An Essay on the Principle of Population. Malthus believed that the human race would eventually be doomed by overpopulation. His theory was that food would increase in arithmetic ratio but population would double every generation. This theory is faulty because it does not account for disease, famine, war, etc. Malthus’ view of supply and demand left a permanent impression on generations to come. It would hence be know as “the dismal science.”

Next to revolutionize economics would be the Communist Manifesto in 1848. Karl Marx had the classical vision of capitalism, Marxism was in large measure a sharp rebuttal, but to some extent it embodied variations of classical themes. For Marx, the labor

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Strategic Design at Dynacorp

Strategic Design at Dynacorp

vCase Analysis:

“Strategic Design at Dynacorp”

I. Dynacorp at a Glance

The Dyna Corporation is one of the leading global information systems and communications (ITC) companies. Dynacorp has its roots as an office equipment company and moved into high technology applications.

In the 1980s it became industry leader, being famous for technological innovations and high quality products.

The 1990s were a challenging period for the company. The former rapid growth decelerated and earnings were reduced as well.

Eventually, both inside and outside critics, identified that Dynacorp had problems in bringing new products to market, that costs were too high, and that it reacted too slow and unresponsive to changes in the market. Furthermore, ITC consulting firms entered the market and have become a serious competitor for the simple reason that they offer a higher value to their costumer through additional services and solutions.

II. Identification of Dynacorp´s status quo

Like many new companies, Dynacorp has adopted since their first days the functional grouping structure, as shown in figure 1. The strategic design consisted of three line divisions, namely engineering, manufacturing, and marketing. These were supported by corporate center units, for instance finance and human resource management.

Figure 1: Outline of Dynacorp´s Functional Organization

The engineering division was divided into ten groups of technical areas. In the beginning its personnel was based in one location. But over the time the engineering division was spread across three regions of the USA.

The manufacturing division was organized by location and controlled as a cost center. Like engineering, Dynacorp`s manufacturing division has started in one location, but afterwards it expanded to 12 plants in the USA and in Europe. In the beginning some factories had begun to produce one specific product line, but nowadays, due to a broader product range, most factories produce various product lines.

Like the manufacturing division, the marketing division was organized geographically as well. However, the geographic units differed from those of manufacturing.

III. Analysis of Dynacorp´s status quo

Subsequently to the general description of Dynacorp`s organizational design, it is time to understand its structure and its inherent problems. It is worth using the strategic design lens for this analysis. From this perspective the functional group structure has some strengths and weaknesses, which can be identified within Dynacorp.

First of all, it is valuable to know the fundamental tenor of a functional structure. Basically it brings individuals together who share similar functions, disciplines, and skills. This point helps to identify Dynacorp´s major problems, the time to market and the unresponsiveness to market needs. These problems are caused by the separation of the three functions. For example one assumption of the functional design is the existence of a sequential interdependence. This means that a process is divided into distinct stages. However the case shows that the Dynacorp´s product development process is actually a reciprocal process with dense interactions and is not a step-by-step process. For example every customer wish or proposal of the manufacturing division leads to a redesign of a product, delaying time to market, and/or eventually leading to higher costs. Dynacorp tried to solve this problem with two strategic linking techniques: cross-functional teams and product managers. However, the cross-functional teams failed and were insufficient because of the team members who persisted in wearing its functional hats. In addition, Dynacorp´s product managers have the typical characteristics of functional organization members. They have a deep functional expertise, but due to a career within a specific function the product manager have a narrow perspective and are not capable of merging the perspectives of the divisions. That is indeed why they failed.

Furthermore, this attempt reveals an additional point which has to be addressed. Namely the need of a functional structure to have a separate incentive and control system. This is confirmed by Dynacorp´s evaluation problem, especially the ”two bosses problem”.

The case also says that employees complaint about the tall hierarchy. This is also a disadvantage of functional organizations. The high number of layers is responsible for the slow information flow. Moreover, it is likely that each organizational

Soviet Union And Strategic Decision college essay help nyc

Strategic Decision Making in the Cuban Missile Crisis

Strategic Decision Making in the Cuban Missile Crisis

Strategic decision success is heavily reliant on the attitudes that managers take toward the decision-making process and toward the decision itself. The Cuban missile crisis is the most well known case of strategic decision making at the level of the nation-state. The nature of the case was such that the use of evaluative frameworks and concepts along with the right managerial attitudes eventuated in a successful strategic outcome. The Cuban Missile Crisis was a confrontation between the United States, the Soviet Union and Cuba. In April 1962 the Soviets began supplying Cuba with military arms in the form of surface-to-air missiles and surface-to-surface cruiser missiles, and later, sometime during the spring of 1962, the Soviets began to install nuclear missiles in Cuba. In order to implement the best strategic decision, the United States, under the command of John F Kennedy, formed the Executive Committee, whose role was to manage the crisis.

The introduction of strategic missiles into Cuba was motivated mainly by the Soviet leaders’ desire to overcome the existing margin of U.S. strategic superiority (Harrison, 1999). At the time, the U.S. had a huge nuclear advantage over the Soviets, they had more than eight times as many bombs and missile warheads and they also had 15 strategically placed Jupiter ballistic missiles at Izmir, Turkey (NRDC). At the time, Soviet missiles were only powerful enough to be launched against Europe but the U.S. missiles located in Turkey were capable of striking the entire Soviet Union. Krushchev, the Soviet prime minister, thought a deployment in Cuba would double the Soviet strategic arsenal and provide a real deterrent to a potential U.S. attack against the Soviet Union or Cuba.

The Soviet decision to install missiles in Cuba was strategic in many areas, but one area that is often overlooked was the political advantages that the Soviets would gain. This is because a general improvement in the Soviet military position offered enticing prospects for specific gains in the foreign policy (Harrison, 1999). If the nuclear complexes were to be completed, Soviet leverage over other international matters, such as Berlin, would be improved. On top of this is the fact that other Latin American countries might see the benefit of having Soviet arms in their country to deter invasions and the Soviets would gain even more strategic military superiority over the United States (Harrison, 1999).

In terms of the reasoning behind the Soviets Premier, Nikita Khrushchev, he has been quoted as saying “I had the idea of installing missiles with nuclear warheads in Cuba without letting the United States find out they were there until it was too late to do anything about them. Everyone agreed that America would not leave Cuba alone unless we did something. We had an obligation to do everything in our power to protect Cubas existence as a Socialist country and as a working example to the other countries in Latin America The Americans had surrounded our country with military bases and threatened us with nuclear weapons and now they would learn just what it feels like to have enemy missiles pointing at you; wed be doing nothing more than giving them a little of their own medicine” ( So it is clear that not only did the Soviets want to level the playing field in terms of strategic military location, but also to protect the ideals of a Socialist country.

The United States could not allow this situation to come about under any circumstances, so their main objective was to have the Soviet missiles removed from Cuba. The elimination of the missiles would have to be done in such a way so that other nations were not alienated and be inclined to move into the Communist camp. Furthermore, the United States had to respond in a way to remain in favour of public opinion and they also had to base their decision in order to prevent strengthening the relationship between the Soviets and the Communist Chinese (Harrison, 1999).

In making the decision, the Executive Committee was limited to very few sources of information; these sources were general shipping reports, doubtful information obtained from Cuban refugees, unverified reports from agents of the council of the Central Intelligence Agency, and most important U-2 aerial reconnaissance flights that required reasonably good weather (Harrison, 1999). It was a tricky situation, made all the more complex by the most important constraint: time. For every day that the United States did not act, the Soviets became closer to completing the missile sites with nuclear capability and in turn closer to obtaining a strategic military advantage over the United States.

When these constraints were reviewed by the Executive Committee it was clear that they would have to remove the missiles from Cuba

Meaning Of Strategic Human Resource Management And Consistent Theme online essay help: online essay help

Strategic Human Resource Management

Essay title: Strategic Human Resource Management

Q. Critically analyse the article for the meaning of strategic human resource management and identify the factors impacting on strategic human resource management in contemporary organisations.

Before an argument can be put in place about whether human resource management (HRM) can be strategic, we need to be aware that human resources (HR) is more then maintaining personal functions. Corporate and economic developments since the 1950Ў¦s have dictated that businesses, to remain competitive, need to view HRM as an evolutionary process which combines the HR functions with the HR policies and strategies, with the business strategies and management teams, with all stakeholders (Unions and Governments) and with the organisation and understanding of the actual employees themselves. Strategic HRM is about aligning the abilities and desires of the employee with the needs of the business so that the corporate objectives can be met. HRM can no longer afford to be viewed as simply an administrative task. Corporations need to have ЎҐproactiveЎ¦ policies to attract and retain the right type of people to their business and in this ever changing and uncertain economic climate the management of employees takes on an even greater role.

Using the VIRO (value, rareness, imitability, and organisation) human resources can be proven to be strategic and therefore, provide firms with a competitive advantage through its people. The article by Barney and Wright (On becoming a strategic partner: The role of human resource management in gaining competitive advantage ЎV page 32) states that companies can achieve this competitive advantage on three levels, those being through the use of physical capital resources, the organisational structure and the human capital resources. The article by Schuler and Jackson titled ЎҐLinking Competitive Strategies with Human Resource Management PracticesЎ¦ states on page 208 that competitive advantage can be achieved through innovation, quality enhancement and cost reduction strategies all of which require certain specific employee behaviors to be achieved. The consistent theme with the articles is that the actions and conduct of the employees directly affects whether these forms of competitive advantage can be achieved. Strategic HRM focuses on influencing the behaviors of the employee so that their activities are aligned to achieving the corporate goals. The key is to identify the policies needed to influence and guide employees so that this, working towards a similar goal, can be achieved.

Value, first area covered by the VIRO model, focuses on minimising costs and differentiating products offered. If your product is a service then you can differentiate it by having well trained, competent and qualified staff that the clientele will like dealing with. To achieve this you may need to implement HR policies such as certified training programs. If your corporate strategy is to create value then the role of HR is to implement strategies that will achieve adding value. These may be to cut costs and improve production efficiency. HR may also add value to a firm by increasing revenues through increased employee satisfaction and responsibility ЎV linking an employees remuneration to their individual and over all company performance is one method to building an incentive for employees to generate revenues. The Barney and Wright article provided an example of where a strategic HR choice (paying aircraft on-time bonuses to employees) leads to both increased revenue (better service lead to more passengers deciding to use that airline) and decreased costs (passenger accommodation expenses due to late aircraft was reduced). If HR policies can add value to a corporation it clearly has a need to be included in the corporate strategies.

Rareness, the fact that a resource is limited, can also provide firms with a competitive advantage. The role of HR is to ensure that the characteristics of their human capital can not be found elsewhere (such as with a competitor). In other words HR needs to Ў§exploitЎЁ the rare characteristics of its workforce. For example, William M Mercer Pty Limited emphasises the fact that it is one of the greatest employers of qualifies Actuaries in the world meaning that if the rare mathematical skills of an Actuary are required then the client would contact Mercer and not a competitor who would not have the required skills. HR policies to achieve rareness include graduate recruitment programs and ensuring that the skill of these sort of people (those with the rare skills) are being used appropriately and not in a role that could be completed by some one less qualified and less rare.

Strategic HR should also focus on ensuring that the characteristics of a firm are not easily imitated or copied by others (imitability in the VIRO model). Creating a niche market for your firm can be achieved

Strategic Change And Organizational Change my assignment essay help

Strategic Change in Government Based on Organization Hierarchy

Strategic Change in Government Based on Organization Hierarchy

Strategic Change in Government Based on Organization Hierarchy

Will Price

University of Texas at Permian Basin

March 22, 2005

The literature supports the position that there should be a relationship between the structure and organization change. This study was undertaken to determine how different organization roles, hierarchy, and sizes affect planned strategic change. A survey instrument was administered to top federal government agency leadership to assess change in their organization. The intention is to draw common relationships between organization change and specific categories or sizes of organizations.

Role of Change

Business strategy and structure have always been related. Organizational change involves innovation, process improvement, and organizational redesign (Galbraith and Lawler, 1993). They also noted that the hierarchical structure is related to changes in speed, quality and productivity. In recent years, the pace of change has accelerated so drastically that most organizational structures and management principles have no hope of adjusting or adapting (Hammer and Champy, 1993). Today’s changes are discontinuous and happening at a geometric rate. Organizations must be sufficiently agile to be instantly reconfigurable to meet new demands (Tetenbaum, 1998).

Change efforts involve attempting to reduce discrepancies between the real and the ideal (Hersey and Blanchard, 1993). The change could be a first order change that occurs in a stable system that itself remains unchanged. It could be a second order change when fundamental properties of the system are changed such as the fall of communism (Hersey and Blanchard, 1993). Evolutionary changes are gradual and tend to be first order while revolutionary changes are second order. Both of these events could be driving the changes described in this study.

Some changes are limited and incremental in nature. Strategic, system wide changes implemented under crisis conditions are highly risky. Nadler and Tushman (1990) found that all strategic organizational changes initiated under crisis conditions with short time constraints were by far the riskiest. Such changes usually require a change in core values. Some recent trends that have generally lead to significant changes in corporate culture are reengineering, shift to horizontal forms of organizing, total quality management (Daft, 1998). These should not negate the importance of the vision statement as these are tools to assist in bringing about the change.

Some organizations are more able to change than others. Nutt and Backoff, (1992, p. 112) explain that some types of public organizations that can control change and other types that cannot easily control change. Professional agencies such as the IRS and FBI have considerable prerogative to act in a prescribed arena and have a protected budget. Political agencies, such as the State Department, have high control over their actions and may have legislation to protect it. Thus, change may be in the hands of parties outside of the agency.

In examining change, Lewin identified three phases of the change process – unfreezing, changing, and refreezing. This involves getting people ready for the change, providing new patterns of behavior, integrating the behavior into the individual permanently.

Tushman and Romanelli (1985) noted that “only executive leadership has the position and potential to initiate and implement strategic change”. There are four levels of change in people: knowledge, attitude, behavioral, organizational change (Hersey and Blancherd, 1993). This research focuses on the organizational or group performance changes.

Change in Organizations

Organizational change is considered to be the adoption of a new idea or behavior by an organization (Pierce and Delbecq, 1977). The Amburgey and Dacin (1994) study found that strategic and structural changes occurring throughout the history of a firm affect the rates of change in strategy. Strategic change is a change in the firm’s strategy, mission, and vision. This change should influence other organizational changes in technology, structure, and culture (Nadler and Tushman, 1990). The vision is inclined to drive important organizational changes (Belasco, 1990). Strategic organizational changes are usually triggered by factors outside the organization. External challenges, such as dramatic technological innovations, may cause strategic changes. “Strategic organizational changes affect the entire organization and usually change the strategy and the structure, culture, people, and processes” (Nadler and Tushman, 1990).

Burns and Stalker

Essay Strategic Human Resource Implications And Strategic Value history essay help

Strategic Human Resource Implications of the Resource Based Vew

Join now to read essay Strategic Human Resource Implications of the Resource Based Vew


Effective human resource management is undoubtedly critical to the success of virtually all firms. Thus its importance is huge in the study of business strategy; which is the system of the firm’s important choices that are critical to the firm’s survival and relative success (Boxall and Purcell 2003). Getting more specific, strategic human resource management as a field of study is concerned with the strategic choices associated with the use of labour in firms and with explaining why some firms manage them more effectively than others (Boxall and Purcell 2003). Traditionally there has been much debate in the field of strategic HRM over two main schools of thought; “best fit” (contingency theory), and “best practice” (universalism).

The “best fit” school of thought argues that HR strategy will be more effective when it is appropriately integrated with its specific organizational and broader environmental context (Boxall and Purcell 2003). This proposes questions about which are the most critical contingencies in this context and how they are best connected. The ‘best practice’ school of thought argues that all firms will see performance improvements if only they identify and implement best practice. This perspective requires top management to commit themselves to key HR practices. Basically, the idea is that a particular bundle of HR practices has the potential to contribute improved employee attitudes and behaviours, lower levels of absenteeism and labour turnover, and higher levels of productivity, quality and customer service. This has the ultimate effect of generating higher levels of profitability (Boxall and Purcell 2003).

Both of the aforementioned “best theory” approaches to strategic HRM place emphasis on critical choices associated with competitive strategy; such as which industry to enter and what competitive position to seek in it (Boxall and Purcell 2003). However, these models make some serious assumptions of the firms HRM. They assume that the firm already has a clever leadership team that makes the competitive strategy choices effectively. They also assume that human resource issues such as hiring and training a capable workforce are straightforward and basic. The resource-based view (RBV) of strategy, a modern school of thought in the field of strategic HRM, sees these issues as strategic rather than straightforward.


In the last two decades, one of the most fundamental questions emerging in strategic management is how firms achieve and sustain competitive advantage. The resource based view has its origins in the new business strategy literature and has very quickly become influential, giving rise to developments in pay systems and training as well as overall models or approaches (Sisson and Storey 2000). It is the variety of different resources that makes each organization unique which leads to differences in competitive performance across an industry (Marchington and Wilkinson 2002). The RBV states that companies can “sustain competitive advantage by implementing strategies that exploit their internal strengths, through responding to environmental opportunities, while neutralizing external threats and avoiding internal weaknesses” (Marchington and Wilkinson 2002). The central argument in RBV is that while tangible resources have often declined in their strategic value, intangible and human resources have increased as a source of value.

Looking at internal sources of viability and advantage, emphasis is placed on resources which are critical to organizational success yet are rare, or not commonly available, are not substitutable and are combined together to form organizational capabilities or processes which are imperfectly imitable, or hard for others to copy; namely value, rarity, imperfect imitability, and a lack of substitutes (Boxall and Purcell, 2003) It is the combination of these resources that will allow companies to gain sustained competitive advantage.

Value means that the resource must be able to make a difference to the organization in the sense that it adds value somehow. Rarity means that there must be a lack of these particular resources within the industry so that they are not plentiful for competitors to use. Imperfect imitability refers to the idea that it is very difficult for other employers to copy (or imitate) the firms processes. Also, these resources must not be easily substitutable by other factors so that they are rendered obsolete or unnecessary.

A study was conducted in the highly competitive ‘hire and reward’ sector of the British road haulage industry (Marchington and Wilkinson 2002). Most firms within this industry were small businesses employing on average 50 drivers. In RBV terms the drivers were valuable in that they allowed for more

Strategic Human Resources Research And Ideal Merger common app essay help: common app essay help

Strategic Human Resources Research

Essay title: Strategic Human Resources Research


Strategic Human Resources Research

Terri Butler

Todd Goldsworthy

Robert E. Goss

Benjamin Johnson

Carol Stampley

University of Phoenix


This document provides an analysis of key course concepts as they apply to organizations that have faced situations similar to those currently facing InterClean. The paper examines various situations within these organizations that required specific changes in human resource practices. The paper also presents specific human resource management concepts and the processes the various organizations used to attempt to implement these practices. The effects of these efforts are represented. Appropriate references are detailed following the synopses.

Strategic Human Resources Research

In the ideal merger or acquisition, the newly created entity synthesizes the best qualities of the two merging organizations. A well planned and executed process built on a foundation of open, honest and effective communication can foster success. The human resources perspective, which focuses on the integration of the workforce and key operational processes involved with a merger or acquisition, is often neglected with the focus being on financial outcomes. Studies have shown that mergers and acquisitions often fail to achieve desired outcomes due to people related issues. The uncertainty created by poorly managed human resource related strategies in these mergers and acquisitions have been found to be the catalyst for failure.

Research shows how, in different organizations, human resource departments have a substantial influence on organizational success or failure. Mergers, acquisitions, and organizational changes pose significant challenges for the human resource departments of both acquiring and acquired organizations. When human resource professionals work with the leadership team during the restructuring process, integrating staffing practices with the new business strategy, developing effective performance measurement and training systems, or leading the formulation of new strategies, a company is more likely to achieve its long-term goals.

Managing the Restructuring Process

The reality of business today is that increased competition is driving the need for companies to identify ways to reduce cost, increase productivity, and grow the business to meet the demands of customers and investors. Companies may try to increase productivity and profit margins by leaning out their organizational structure or through a series of mergers and acquisitions. Organizational scholars today, such as Jeffrey Pfefffer, would argue that a firm’s performance, regardless of the restructuring method a company may select, will hinge “not on technology, patents, or strategic position, but how they manage their workforce” (Dreher & Doughterty, 2001, p. 3). Different companies have taken different approaches to managing the restructuring process, but each approach contains a human resource focus.

At Shaw Supermarkets, the vice president of human resources decided that seven key human resource initiatives must be undertaken to ensure the successful merger between Shaw and the Star market chain. When HP merged with Compaq, a human-resources executive was hired and charged with managing the restructuring processes, to merge the work forces and cultures of the two companies. The inability of human resources personnel to institute both organizational change and cultural change effectively during the merger of Moore Corporation and Wallace Business Forms is believed to be a primary cause for Moore’s ultimate failure. In planning for a merger with CMG, Logica developed a restructuring approach containing six key elements, similar to the approach used at Shaw. Logica has continued its strategy of growing through merger and acquisition and has continued to refine its processes to support its goal. The success or failure of the human resource initiatives in managing the restructuring process had a direct and significant impact on the success or failure of these organizations.

Performance Measurement System Attributes

The Hanke Group, a local accounting firm in Texas, needed to respond to the critical issue of talent retention. “The issue was addressed

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Strategic Human Resource Management in World Airline Industry

Essay title: Strategic Human Resource Management in World Airline Industry

For over 15 years, there has been an ongoing research on HR strategies and competencies differentiating the business performance. Besides this, HR practitioners have focussed their attention on other important questions as well. Bratton and Gold (2007), for example, tries to question what policies and practices make up HR strategies. Is it possible to identify cluster of bundle of HR practices with different strategic competitive models? What is relationship between different clusters of HR practices and organizational performance? For companies looking for ways to gain a competitive advantage, the implication of HR strategic choices for company’s performance is certainly the key factor. Recently business strategy researchers turned their attention to internal attributes of top firms looking at growth and utilization of human resources. This essay will aim to demonstrate how Strategic Human Resource Management (SHRM) practices are getting implemented in world airline industry. It will establish a clear link between industry trends and strategic response.

According to Baney and Hesterly (2006), SHRM theories are based on a set of assumptions, and hypothesis about the way competition in any industry is likely to evolve; and how that evolution can be exploited to earn a profit. The greater the extent to which these assumptions and hypothesis accurately reflect, more likely is that an organisation will gain a competitive advantage from implementing those strategies. On contrary, if these assumptions and hypothesis turn to fail, then organisational strategies are not likely to be source of competitive advantage. Huang (1999) agrees stating that there is a close link between business strategy and HRM methods. He moreover assumes that companies that closely coordinate their business strategy and HRM activities achieve better performance than companies that do not. The international airline industry is currently following similar trends.

Practice of SHRM has outpaced academic work on human capital management. Yet data on how firms actually manage people to provide a source of competitive advantage are scarce (Becker and Huselid, 1999). HRM system that develops and maintains a firm’s strategic infrastructure must be considered an investment. HR system in high performance airline industries like British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Air France, Delta, etc. are characterised by employee security, selective hiring, decentralized decision making, extensive development, reduced status differentiation and information sharing. Ulrich and Brockbank (2005) have further classified the key HR practices into people; management, information and organisation (see Appendix 1 for further information). The company builds a line of sight from investors and customers to its management and employees through HR practices. Most of the airlines follow such type of practices.

In world airline industry, leading international carriers adopt different business level strategies to face competitive challenges. These broadly classify into two: Growth strategies and Generic competitive strategies (Harrison and Carron, 2001). Growth strategies mainly deal with internal and external growth of an organization with stability whereas; competitive strategies are concerned with cost leadership, differentiation and focus (Bratton and Gold, 2007). Miles and Snow (nd) classified business strategies as defender, prospector, and analyzer and proposed corresponded strategic human resource systems. Business-level strategy deals with decisions and actions pertaining to each business unit, the main objective of a business-level strategy being to make the unit more competitive in its marketplace (Bratton and Gold, 2007)

The competitive challenges in airline industry are arising from the various trends such as recession, privatisation, congestion, overcapacity, technology, etc. In response to these, major international airlines have adopted a range of strategies to maintain and create competitive advantage. These strategies (Botten and MacManus, 1999) fall into three main categories covering: competitive positioning strategies; marketing/customer orientated (HR) strategies, and cost control.

The competitiveness in world airlines is increasingly dependent on size, market share and geographical coverage. As per Botten and McManus (1999) report, British Airways gain most from globalisation and extended geographical route coverage. A considerable emphasis was been put on developing a strong global brand image, quality and customer service, with cost control measures being introduced to improve efficiency. A radically changed market policy covers its different market segments. British Airways implemented a range of new working practices and strategies (see appendix 2) in response to the challenges of market forces, growing competition, and the increased freedom for

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Strategic Importance of Knowledge Management

Essay title: Strategic Importance of Knowledge Management


Today the world has more and more of free flow of information leading to transfer of knowledge from a person or an organization to others. Whereas this invariably leads to faster development, it also impacts the competitive advantage held by the innovators of processes or technology. It has therefore become strategically important for one and all in business to understand the knowledge, processes and controls to effectively manage the

system of sharing and transferring the information in the most beneficial fashion.

This paper dwells upon definition, types, scope, technology and modeling of knowledge and Knowledge Management while examining its strategic importance for retaining the competitive advantage by the organizations.

What is knowledge?

Plato first defined the concept of knowledge as ‘‘justified true belief’’ in his Meno, Phaedo and Theaetetus. Although not very accurate in terms of logic, this definition has been predominant in Western philosophy (Nonaka and Takeuchi, 1995). Davenport et al. (1998) define knowledge as information combined with experience, context, interpretation and reflection.

The terms ‘‘knowledge’’ and ‘‘information’’ are often used inter-changeably in the literature and praxis but a distinction is helpful. The chain of knowledge flow is data-information-knowledge. Information is data to which meaning has been added by being categorized, classified, corrected, and condensed. Information and experience, key components of definitions of knowledge, are put into categories through the process of labeling with abstract symbols. This allows the process of synthesis to occur more efficiently than when dealing with masses of individual bits of information. Information coded into symbols to make it “knowledge” may be stored both inside and outside the individuals. Thus, knowledge may be stored within a person in his mind or outside the person in books, manuscripts, pictures, and audio and videotapes or discs. However, while only the individual himself may retrieve knowledge stored within his mind, knowledge stored outside can be retrieved by anybody familiar with the storage systems.

In organizations, knowledge is often embedded not only in documents and presentations but also in “organizational routines, processes, practices, and norms,” and through person-to-person contacts. Even the simplest information about the environment requires the use of rules for interpreting it. This means that for information to become knowledge, people make interpretations, apply rules, and create knowledge. “People with different values ‘see’ different things in the same

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Strategic Challenges Faced by Starbucks – Research Paper – tare Arigbodi



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Strategic Challenges Faced by Starbucks

The assignment focuses on the case of Starbucks Corporation and analyses the strategic challenges that the company encounters. Using knowledge gained from the MN3100 module and relevant academic literature and research done in order understand the organisation, along with relevant concepts and theories the aim is to identify the issues and apply the appropriate theories and models to give suggestions on how Starbucks can tackle these challenges. The analysis will include assessment of the external and internal factors and competitive forces that affect Starbucks, identified using the SWOT analysis model and PORTER’S 5 FORCES model. Then strategic recommendations will be made using the Outside-in and value approaches. In doing so, I have structured my work in the following way. First the essay will start with a brief introduction and company overview of the Starbucks corporation, followed by SWOT analysis and PORTER’S 5 FORCES table of the challenges that I have identified and summarised into bullet points. Then there will be the discussion of the current and recent strategic challenges that Starbucks faces. Then recommendations on how Starbucks can to solve these problems using relevant theories. Finally, I will conclude with a summary key points discussed and possible recommendations.Company OverviewStarbucks Corporation is an American company and coffeehouse chain, it is a premium roaster, marketer, retailer of specialty coffee around the world (Geereddy, N, 2012). It was founded by three partners Jerry Baldwin, Zev Siegl, Gordon Bowker with a vision to educate American consumers about the fine coffee drinking experience. Then in 1987 the chain was sold to the current CEO, Howard Schultz, to be rebranded. The company operates in 68 countries across North America, Europe, Asia, Middle East and Africa and has about 182,000 employees across over 24,000 stores located worldwide. Their products range from premium teas, coffees, fine pastries and a wide selection of treats. Starbucks also sell a selection of tea and coffee products and license their trademarks through other channels that include licensed stores, grocery stores and national food service accounts. Starbucks also markets its products mix with other brand names within its portfolio of companies, which include Teavana, Tazo, Seattle’s Best Coffee, Starbucks VIA, Starbucks Refreshers, Evolution Fresh, La Boulange and Verismo.

The company’s structure is very customer-oriented and its mission statement from the company profile is as follows: “Our mission is to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time.” Starbucks’ core competencies can be described by their premium product mix of high quality beverages and snacks at accessible locations and affordable prices, along with providing each customer a “Starbucks Experience” through its supreme customer service and a community to share in the coffee drinking experience. Starbucks had total revenue of $19.16 billion (as of 2015) and has maintained a share of 36.7% in the US market with a very strong global market position (Geereddy, N, 2012). Some of Starbucks competitors are COSTA coffee, PRET-A-MANGER, Dunkin Donuts and also independent local coffee shops.StrengthsStarbucks holds a Strong Market Position with a significant geographical presence and 36.7% market share in the United states. Also one of the most recognized brands in the premium coffee segment, (Geereddy, N, 2012).Starbucks has good human resource management; the company has been listed as Fortune Top 100 companies to work for in 2005.Starbucks has achieved customer brand loyalty through the use of loyalty based programs.  Starbucks has also taken advantage of technology efficiently by using Starbucks App which supports their growth every year. (Geereddy, N, 2012).WeaknessesProduct recallsStarbuck although unique have expensive products, especially with economy being sluggish can affect the company.Starbucks has been involved in a number of legal proceedings.Starbucks has an overdependence in the United States market, generates a high percentage of total revenue from the US, which makes it sensitive to prospects of US economy and growth.OpportunitiesWith already successful innovative strategies such as the mobile app, there is opportunity for more technological advancement.Starbucks entry into developing and emerging markets such as Asia, Africa as there is saturation in developed markets.Starbucks can expand their product mix especially recently venturing into tea and fresh juice through the smart acquisition strategy, (Geereddy, N, 2012).ThreatsThe specialty coffee market has become intensively competitive.Starbucks may suffer from significant fluctuations in the market prices of high quality coffee beans. Increased Market SaturationHealth and Wellness trends within the beverage industryForceStrengthBargaining Power of SuppliersWeakLarge variety of coffee suppliersCoffee is not a rare resource/ resources are not rareLow switching costs for StarbucksThreat of Substitute ProductsStrongLow switching costsCustomer brand loyaltyLarge variety of substitute productsBargaining Power of Customers/BuyersStrongLow switching costsLarge variety of substitute productsSmall size of individual buyersCompetitive RivalryStrongStarbucks has a large number of competitors such as McDonalds and also local specialty coffee shops.It’s also easy for a customer to switch from Starbucks to other brands. (Greenspan, R, 2015).Starbucks has a large diversity of rivalsThreat of New EntrantsModerateThe barriers entry into coffee market are not highNew entrants find it difficult to compete against Starbucks due to moderate costs of doing business and supply chain development. (Greenspan, R, 2015).Saturated Coffee IndustryLow switching costs for consumersAccording to a Starbucks website on a post dated December 4th, 2014, published after investor day, Starbucks revealed details of its five-year plan to accelerate profitable growth. The CEO Howard Schultz said “Over the next five years, Starbucks will continue to lean into this new era by innovating in transformational ways across coffee, tea and retail, elevating our customer and partner experiences, continuing to extend our leadership position in digital and mobile technologies, and unlocking new markets, channels and formats around the world. Investing in our coffee, our people and the communities we serve will remain at our core as we continue to redefine the role and responsibility of a public company in today’s disruptive global consumer, economic and retail environments.”

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