Our first learning outcome for this session was that you should be able to explain the difference between a ‘markets approach’ and a ‘resource-based approach’ to strategy, and how they complement each other . We first looked at how analysis of the near environment forms a basis for planning a strategy to achieve an organisation’s purposes. As part of this, we discussed Porter’s five forces framework for competitive analysis, and how it may need to be adapted for some organisations and sectors. Activity 2 asked you to think about the near environment faced by your own organisation. We then turned to the resource-based view of strategy, and considered how analysis and development of an organisation’s resources and capabilities form another basis for strategic planning.We looked at four prerequisites for the capability to deliver competitive advantage: inimitability, durability, relevance, and appropriability. We discussed three main categories of capability: innovation, architecture and reputation. Activity 3 asked you to apply these ideas to the example of Marks and Spencer. Activity 4 asked you to analyse the distinctive capabilities of Li & Fung.
Our second learning outcome was that you should be able to explain what is meant by ‘the value chain’, and how it applies to your organisation. We looked at how a careful analysis of the value chain could reveal opportunities for performance improvement both within the organisation and by managing the value chain outside the organisation. We looked at Li & Fung as an example of effective management across a value chain involving multiple organisations
Our third learning outcome was that you should be able to explain what is meant by ‘emergent strategy’ and why intended and actual strategy may differ . We first looked at a formal rational process of strategic planning, and then observed that unexpected crises and opportunities and quickly changing environments may produce a significant gap between intended and realised strategy. Consequently the quality of an organisation’s strategy is as much determined by its systems and routines for responding to crises and opportunities as it is by the quality of its formal strategic planning process.
Our final learning outcome was that you should be equipped to contribute more effectively to developing and implementing strategy in your organisation. We noted that strategy is increasingly seen as not only the province of a top team, but involving a wide range of managers throughout the organisation. The Floyd and Wooldridge framework will help you to look at your role in developing and implementing strategy. This session should leave you better prepared to play that role.