Organization’s strategy analysis
The method emphasizes the gathering of information about the strategy of a specific organization. It implies access to information and access to managers or to organizational members aware of the current strategy and able to explain it. The strategy can be studied globally and as a whole, using the levels of strategy learned in class (corporate, business, functional, etc.). The study of strategy can focus on a specific aspect of the strategic cocktail; for example, marketing strategy; people management; corporate social responsibility; corporate governance; leadership; etc.
Both primary research (information collected specifically for this research and directly from the sources close to the phenomenon) and secondary research (information collected from repositories of knowledge that pre-existed the study, and were not designed specifically for this study) must be used. Secondary research is easier to implement than primary research. Primary research requires an effort of design of the collection plan and an action to collect this information (typically interview of informants into an organization or interview of actors who have specific knowledge about the organization).
The individual report describes and present an organization’s strategy characteristics and nature based on the whole strategy or on a component of this strategy. You are acting as if you were a consultant hired by a company in this industry to describe the chosen strategic topic in order to clarify and conceptualize it to top decision makers of the organization. These people know well the organization; in fact better than you. But they need your insight on the conceptualization of their strategy or a portion of it.
The topic that you must study should have the following attributes:
1. Not being so large that you cannot collect information about it.
2. Enables student to access enough information (primary and secondary research).
3. Be the right combination between the access to information, the size of the organization, and its public visibility.
Examples of topics include: strategic process inside the organization; the strategic leadership; organizational structure; organizational culture; the organization’s resources and core capabilities; ethics and corporate social responsibility; competitive level strategy; corporate level strategy; functional strategy; corporate governance; etc..
The report provides as much information as possible on the topic to describe it to top managers of the company.
For industry analysis, the set of relevant tools varies with the topic. If you study a specific strategy component or topic, you will have to extract the relevant tools from the literature.
Some tools might are relevant if you study the whole strategy:
1. Capabilities analysis and VRIO model.
2. Key Strategic Issues.
3. McKinsey 7S model (representation of a system of strategic variables).
4. Strategic map (description of strategy of the organization via several variables that offer a grid of analysis).
5. SWOT analysis
6. TOWS analysis.
7. Value chain of the organization.
If you do not study the whole strategy, but a component of it, you have to select the tools that are relevant for your specific topic. In that case, you may not use the tools just described above.
The indicative format of the report is suggested (but not imposed):
3,500 words (around 10-12 pages) of text (cover page and attachments do not count as text)
Organization’s strategy analysis