BUS 475 Week 1 Discussion Question Worksheet
Reference: David, Fred R. & David, Forest R. (2017). Strategic Management: A Competitive Advantage Approach, Concepts and Cases (16th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.
Instructions: Minimum of 125 words for each question with in-text citation and reference
Strategic Management, Ch. 1: The Nature of Strategic Management
How important do you think an effective strategic plan is to the success of a company?
In your opinion, what is the single major benefit of using a strategic-management approach to decision making? Justify your answer.
Strategic management refers to “the analyses, decisions, and actions an organization undertakes in order to create and sustain competitive advantages” (Dess, Lumpkin, Einser, & McNamara, 2014). The first step, analysis, is how an organization assesses their goals and the internal/external environment. The second step, decisions, is when leaders of that organization must make decisions based on those analyses. The third step, action, is the action that leaders take based upon these decisions. Do you leverage strategic management in your current role?
The idea of strategic management is to make the decisions that help a firm keep its competitive edge. Our readings do a great job of providing examples of how a company can go from the bottom to the top or sink based on their strategic management policies. The chapter discusses what strategy is, as well as analysis and decision making and talks about the other side of strategic planning which is checking up on the competition.
What are the best ways to be sure your firm doesn’t make drastic mistakes in strategic management?
Strategic Management, Ch. 2: The Business Vision and Mission
What is the importance of the mission and vision statements as it pertains to employees, managers, customers, and stakeholders?
Defining the mission statement for a company is often one of the most slighted tasks in strategic management. It is much easier for many executives to emphasize operational aspects of long-term management activities rather than making sure short-term activities are in sync with the long-term goals.
The principal value of the mission statement is its specification of the firm’s ultimate aims. A firm gains a heightened sense of purpose when its board of directors and its top executives address these issues: “What business are we in?” “What customers do we serve?” and “Why does this organization exist?” Ambiguous generalizations are not enough to address these questions. A firm must clearly articulate its long-term intentions if it expects its goals to serve as a basis for shared expectations, planning, and performance evaluation.
A mission statement that is clearly articulated can promote a sense of shared expectations among all levels and generations of employees. It consolidates values over time and across individuals and interest groups. The firm’s sense of worth and intent can be clearly identified by outside stakeholders. Lastly, it asserts the firm’s commitment to responsible action in symbiosis with the preservation and protection of the essential claims of insider stakeholders’ survival, growth, and profitability.
Credo is a Latin word that means “a set of fundamental beliefs or a guiding principle.” For a company, a credo is like a mission statement. For example, Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart, established the “Three Basic Beliefs” as his company’s credo. These beliefs are Respect for the Individual, Service to our Customers and Strive for Excellence.
Another famous corporate credo comes from Johnson & Johnson. The household products company’s credo was created by former chairman Robert Wood Johnson in 1943. The first two sentences of the credo refer to how the company serves the needs of doctors, nurses and patients by making high-quality products. Beyond that, Johnson & Johnson’s credo strives to instill values of fair pricing, paying employees a decent wage and creating an atmosphere of innovation by listening to the ideas of workers. The company also believes management should be ethical and responsible citizens.
Companies have a credo to help define the brand, purpose and values of the business. Many corporations focus on putting customers first when it comes to creating a credo. This lets consumers know they are important to the company ahead of profits and making money. The idea is customers come first, and when a firm takes care of customers, the profits flow. Credos that focus on customer service are especially important for the hospitality industry and restaurants. A credo assists employees by giving them something to believe in by focusing on the company’s purpose. Without a defined purpose, corporations falter by losing sight of what matters the most to workers.
Strategic Management, Ch. 4: The Internal Assessment
Which of the four functions of management do you believe to be most important?
Many firms neglect industry analysis. When does this hurt them? When does it not?