This unit covers the field of strategic thinking and design. You will consider the issues and challenges facing directors, senior managers and entrepreneurs in guiding the long-term development of their organisations and this requires the ability to distinguish strategic thinking from operational issues.
The focus of this unit is on developing competitive strategies to meet the aims and objectives of the organisation and to meet the challenges and opportunities presented by its competitive environment. The ability to select and use appropriate tools and frameworks to generate meaningful analysis and from this critically evaluate a range of strategic options is crucial to the development of strategy, including the impact of digital technology amongst other disruptive technologies that are reshaping traditional business models at great speed. The development of this skill is central to the unit.
The unit aims to enable you to:
1. Conduct appropriate analysis of the strategic condition and position of an organisation;
2. Use appropriate tools and frameworks to identify the potential strategic options available to an organisation;
3. Conduct appropriate evaluation procedures to establish the suitability, feasibility and acceptability of potential options;
4. Formulate strategies that ensure a fit between internal resources and external conditions for the achievement of long-term viability and competitive advantage.
The ability of companies to differentiate themselves from their competitors has become increasingly important as industries become more dynamic and markets become more connected and transparent to consumers. The argument that this renders strategy redundant is a poor one as, if anything, the ability of firms to craft appropriate strategies to maximise value to both the consumers and to the company itself becomes more important. Thus the importance of strategy has not changed but the process has become one that requires more flexibility. This unit aims to provide you with the tools and insights to help you to be able to work with complex and often unstructured problems in order to make strategic choices that can deliver value.
The unit focuses on four key themes that are outlined below:
1. What is Strategy?
Develop an understanding of the concept of competitive Strategy
Critically evaluate the importance of choice in Strategy
Apply a framework to the development of choice
Develop a realistic strategy for a fictional company based on positioning frameworks
2. External trends and analysis.
Develop an understanding of the competitive structure of industries and their impact on current and future profitability.
Critically evaluate the impact of industry forces on profitability
Develop realistic scenarios for industry development
3. Resources and capabilities
Develop an understanding of the effect of resources and capabilities upon a firm’s competitive advantage
Critically evaluate a firm’s resources and capabilities relative to competitors, including the impact of digital technology
Critically assess the suitability of resources and capabilities in the light of industry change
4. Strategic Options and Choice
Develop an ability to create strategic options and make choice based on analysis and evaluation.
Use analysis to develop potential strategic options for a firm
Critically evaluate the options available to a firm based upon analysis