Marketing/need answers


1.   “Training function in an industry is a gimmick.” Discuss in this connection whether there is any need of a training department in an organization.
2.   Analysis the need for executive development programmes. Do you think the executive development programmes now followed in Indian industry are adequate?
3.   “A well established company manufacturing readymade garment plans to introduce new machines and new methods of production. The workers in the factory numbering five hundred are fearful of the change resisting it in many ways.” Device the appropriate strategy and advice the management to solve the problem.  
4.   “Sensitivity training is the most controversial technique for behavioural change. On the one hand it paves the way for improving psychological make-up, on the other hand, it creates psychological problems.” Critically analyse this statement in the light of contributions of sensitivity training.  
1.   As a Trainer, what are the steps you would undertake to make the long training session not boring to the employees?
2.   Compare and analyse the differences in the approaches in designing the training programmes for organizations from the manufacturing and service sectors.
3.   “Assessing training and development needs is one of the vital aspects in effective training and development system”. Discuss this statement and suggest steps for assessing training and development needs.
4.   Device a mechanism of evaluating training and development effectiveness to assess whether training and development investment gives commensurate return. Justify your answer.
1.   What are the eligibility criteria for maternity benefit? In foreign countries, men also get paternity benefit. Should India follow this? Discuss.
2.   Why worker’s education is important? How do workers educations improve the productivity? Discuss.  
3.   Give an account of labour welfare measures and legislations adopted in India.
4.   Describe the features of provisions on industrial health according to the Labour Welfare Act - 1942.
1.   What are the eligibility criteria for maternity benefit? In foreign countries, men also get paternity benefit. Should India follow this? Discuss.
2.   Why worker’s education is important? How do workers educations improve the productivity? Discuss.  
3.   Give an account of labour welfare measures and legislations adopted in India.
4.   Describe the features of provisions on industrial health according to the Labour Welfare Act - 1942.
1.   “Collective bargaining should move from a ‘Win- lose Strategy’ to a ‘win-win Strategy’ ” - Explain how this can be feasible. Also analyse the patterns and problems of collective bargaining in India and suggest suitable measures to overcome it.
2.   “Success of any industry in India is possible only by the effective union-management relationship” – Comment on this statement with appropriate example.  
3.   a) Write your observations about recent trends of trade unionism in an
   unorganized sector.
b) ‘Globalisation is marginalizing the role of Trade Unions in India’ –examine.
  c) Prepare a report on the influence of politics and politicians on trade unions.
4.   “Enlightened Trade Unions are highly useful both to the working class and the management’. – Examine the recent issues happened in Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC) as an example for the above statement.  
1.   Critically examine the measures provided in the Payment of Wages Act, Minimum Wages Act, Payment of Bonus Act and Equal Remuneration Act.
2.   Discuss with valid reasons why there are wage disparities between the same jobs of Central Government and State Government. Give suggestions to remove such disparities.
3.   “If selection and placement decisions are done effectively, individual performance should not vary a great deal, therefore, an incentive system is not necessary” – Discuss.
4.   Discuss the ethical and social issues connected with managerial remuneration. Write a theoretical paper justifying that compensation is a motivator and not just a satisfying factor.  
1.   “Assessment of the strategic capability of an organization centre on the appraisal of its performance in different functional areas”. Critically examine the statement.    
2.   Take an organization with which you are familiar, and show how its organizational structure helps in implementation of its strategy.
3.   Differentiate between competitive advantage of a country and a corporate. Discuss how this can help a firm to win over competition and grab more market share.  
4.   How do corporate strategies relate to the other organizational strategies (i.e., competitive and functional). What is the difference between single and Multi-business organisastions? Provide examples.


I  will send  the balance  asap.

1. “Assessment of the strategic capability of an organization centre on the appraisal of its performance in different functional areas”. Critically examine the statement.    
2. Take an organization with which you are familiar, and show how its organizational structure helps in implementation of its strategy.
3. Differentiate between competitive advantage of a country and a corporate. Discuss how this can help a firm to win over competition and grab more market share.  
4. How do corporate strategies relate to the other organizational strategies (i.e., competitive and functional). What is the difference between single and Multi-business organisastions? Provide examples.

1.''Assessment of the strategic capability of an organization centre on the appraisal of its performance in different functional areas.''critically examine the statement.

Strategic capabilities refer to the capabilities of the members of the organization that enable the formation and deployment of strategy in pursuit of a sustainable advantage. Working within the strategic management framework, capable people are woven into effective processes, inspired by the business design construct, and compelled by purpose to create the competencies of the business organization that produces advantage.
Tiers of capabilities --
There are three tiers of capabilities, from the basics to the advanced capabilities needed to sustain advantage --
1.   Leadership & Management
   leadership
   discipline
   communicativeness
   concern
   courage
   creativity
   analytical thinking
   systems thinking
   perspective skills - judgment & flexibility to have the right reaction for the situation
   pattern recognition
   strategic thinking
   intuition
   business savvy
   entrepreneurship
   learning
   development
•  Innovation
   creativity
   learning -- for self-development and an adaptive learning organization
   development
   uniqueness
   strategic focus
   strategic intent
   innovation
   continual innovation
   democratic principles  
   strategic management as a self-improving learning process
   dynamic capabilities  
   synergistic process integration -- business model synergy and harmony
•  Business Architecture
   capability creation - harness imagination to produce distinctive competencies and value
   synergy creation - Innovative designs with uniquely synergistic networks of business model elements
   modularity in design - Optimization of structure, complexity, and economies
   adaptability - design in adaptive learning and continuous innovation
   business model types - e.g. complex, volume, value disciplines

As businesses compete with one another for customers, market share and revenue, they employ tactics according to deliberate strategies. The process of shaping strategies and putting them into action is the responsibility of a business' leadership. However, not all businesses have the same advantages when it comes to developing and employing strategy.
Strategic capability refers to a business' ability to successfully employ competitive strategies that allow it to survive and increase its value over time. While strategic capability does take into account the strategies a business uses, it focuses on the organization's assets, resources and market position, projecting how well it will be able to employ strategies in the future. There is no single method or universal metric for measuring or noting strategic capability.
A business' strategic capability is a major component in remaining financially viable and growing despite the presence of competitors in a free market. Many groups of interested parties attempt to measure and track strategic capability. They include investors, who want to put their money into businesses with reasonable chances of future success and growth. Employees also care about strategic capability since it identifies businesses that are stable and unlikely to go under or those that need to cut costs through layoffs. Business leaders track strategic capability, not only for their own companies but also for competitors to better understand the markets in which they operate. Finally, financial analysts and government regulatory agencies have interests in strategic capability since it plays a role in how they value and monitor businesses.

Many elements can potentially contribute to a business' strategic capability. Assets such as cash, property and patents all contribute to a business' ability to formulate and employ strategies. Other elements of strategic capability include human resources and organizational structure, since employee skills and leadership mechanisms all contribute to a business' competitiveness. Pricing can also be a part of strategic capability, with businesses that understand how to manipulate prices to maximize profits likely to enjoy strategic advantages over competitors that have trouble arriving at profitable price points for their products.
Strategic Value Analysis
Assessing strategic capability is a complex process, in part because of the number of factors it must address. The process of evaluating a business' strategic capability is known as a strategic value analysis. It relies on data from annual reports, public surveys and market trends to determine which businesses in a given industry have strategic capabilities that others lack. As businesses change and acquire additional resources, analysts must continually perform new strategic value analyses.

Position audit is examination of an organization’s strategic capability Strategic capability is defined by the adequacy and suitability of resources and competencies. Organization’s resources: men, money, materials, markets, management, methods Unique resource is better than that of competitor and difficult to imitate. Limiting factor: shortage or difficulty of supply Resource based strategy: distinctive resource can be a source of sustained competitive advantage.
Cost Efficiency Economies of scale: reducing cost per unit by increasing sales volume. Supply costs: transport costs; quantity of purchase Design of products and processes: reducing wastage, efficient designs. Experience: learning curve, experience curve
Sustainable Competitive Advantage Value to buyers: satisfying customer needs Rarity: De Beers Robustness: Apple Non-substitutability: not easily substituted Dynamic capabilities: change, innovate and learn
Knowledge Organizational knowledge is the collective and shared experience accumulated through systems, routines and activities of sharing across the organization Tangible knowledge and Intangible Knowledge Data, information and knowledge Knowledge Management: is the process by which organizations generate value from their intellectual and knowledge-based assets.
Knowledge Knowledge management systems Office automation Groupware Intranet Extranet Internet Expert system Database
Value Chain The value chain describes those activities of the organization that add value to purchase inputs. Value activities are the means by which a firm creates value in its products. Value Chain Diagram Value Network Diagram
The Product Portfolio New Products and innovation Must develop new products Consumer needs Source of growth for the company Response to environment and technology Every product is born, has its stages and then dies New Product Development strategies: 1. acquisition 2. new product development (original products, product improvements, product modifications, new brands)
New Product Odds Up to 90 % of new products meet failure New Coke, Eagle Snacks, Zap Mail, Premier “Smokeless” cigarettes, Arch Deluxe Reasons: Market overestimation Actual product poorly designed Incorrectly positioned Wrong timing for launch Price too high Poor advertisement
Process Idea generation Idea screening Concept development and testing Marketing strategy development Business analysis Product development Test marketing Commercialization
Product Life Cycle Product launch – happy life Cover costs Earn profits Length not know in advance Coca-Cola, Gillette, Budweiser, American Express, Wells-Fargo, and Tabasco
PLC – S Curve
Introduction Stage Product launch Takes time Slow growth Negative profits High promotion and distribution cost
Growth Stage Product, if satisfies market, enters growth stage Sales climb quickly Early adopters continue, new join through favorable word of mouth New competitors enter market Competition – increase in sale points Spread of sales, unit cost reduces Sustain rapid growth New market segments Prices may be lowered to attract more customers (iPod)
Maturity At some point sale slows down, product enters maturity stage Lasts longer Marketing management most of the time deals with mature products More producers selling the same product Greater competition Prices down, increase in sales promotion Drop in profit Well established competitors stay
Maturity Product manager should modify market, product and marketing mix Market: increase consumption of product, new users, present users Product: quality, features, style (milk pak, Honda City) Four Ps
Decline Stage Eventually dip Oat meal, VHS tapes, VCR, Tape recorders Reasons: technology, consumer tastes, increased competition, profits decline, withdrawal from market Furthermore: Weak product costly to firm Management time Price adjustments Advertising/sales efforts Reputation of other co products affected Old Spice/ co can sell brands
Benchmarking Benchmarking is the process of gauging the internal practices and activities within a firm to an external reference or standard. It is a continuous process of measuring one’s own products, services, systems, and practices against the world’s toughest competitors to identify areas for improvement. Managers while benchmarking their practices should set realistic goals and gradually increase the level of difficulty to encourage employees. This technique is also known as shaping. For example, if an organization wants to meet the 1 % defects benchmark from its existing 20 %. It would be appropriate to set 15 % goals in the first place. Once this goal is achieved the manager can set a new target of 10 % and gradually meet the benchmark of 1 %. To use shaping effectively in benchmarking practices, the following tips can be considered:
Benchmarking Identify a benchmark (product, service or process) Identify comparables. Collect data to accurately define goals. Collect data to determine the current performance of the organization against the benchmark. Make the target specific. Train the staff to meet set goals. Provide feedback and reinforce set goals. Review progress periodically.
Managing Strategic Capability Competencies can be extended Things that do not create value should cease Best practices to be extended Activities that add value should be extended New and improved way of working should be introduced Weakness should be remedied External links should be improved
SWOT analysis Environmental analysis Internal appraisal TOWS Matrix

2.Take an organization with which you are familiar,and show how its organizational structure helps in implementation of its strategy.

The  organization, I am  familiar  with  is  a
-a  large  manufacturer/ marketer of  safety products
-the products  are  used  as  [personal  protection safety] [ industrial  safety]
-the products  are  distributed through  the distributors as well as  sold directly
-the  products  are  sold  to various  industries like  mining/fireservices/defence/
as  well  as  to  various  manufacturing  companies.
-the  company employs  about  235  people.
-the  company  has  the following  functional   departments
*finance/ administration
*human resource
*customer  service
*warehousing/  transportation
in   Decision Making
1. Define the problem
This is often where people struggle. They react to what they think the problem is. Instead, seek to understand more about why you think there's a problem.
Defining the problem: (with input from yourself and others)
Ask yourself and others, the following questions:
a. What can you see that causes you to think there's a problem?
b. Where is it happening?
c. How is it happening?
d. When is it happening?
e. With whom is it happening? (HINT: Don't jump to "Who is causing the problem?" When we're stressed, blaming is often one of our first reactions. To be an effective manager, you need to address issues more than people.)
f. Why is it happening?
g. Write down a five-sentence description of the problem in terms of "The following should be happening, but isn't ..." or "The following is happening and should be: ..." As much as possible, be specific in your description, including what is happening, where, how, with whom and why. (It may be helpful at this point to use a variety of research methods.
Defining complex problems:
a. If the problem still seems overwhelming, break it down by repeating steps a-f until you have descriptions of several related problems.
Verifying your understanding of the problems:
a. It helps a great deal to verify your problem analysis for conferring with a peer or someone else.
Prioritize the problems:
a. If you discover that you are looking at several related problems, then prioritize which ones you should address first.
b. Note the difference between "important" and "urgent" problems. Often, what we consider to be important problems to consider are really just urgent problems. Important problems deserve more attention. For example, if you're continually answering "urgent" phone calls, then you've probably got a more "important" problem and that's to design a system that screens and prioritizes your phone calls.
Understand your role in the problem:
a. Your role in the problem can greatly influence how you perceive the role of others. For example, if you're very stressed out, it'll probably look like others are, too, or, you may resort too quickly to blaming and reprimanding others. Or, you are feel very guilty about your role in the problem, you may ignore the accountabilities of others.
2. Look at potential causes for the problem
a. It's amazing how much you don't know about what you don't know. Therefore, in this phase, it's critical to get input from other people who notice the problem and who are effected by it.
b. It's often useful to collect input from other individuals one at a time (at least at first). Otherwise, people tend to be inhibited about offering their impressions of the real causes of problems.
c. Write down what your opinions and what you've heard from others.
d. Regarding what you think might be performance problems associated with an employee, it's often useful to seek advice from a peer or your supervisor in order to verify your impression of the problem.
e.Write down a description of the cause of the problem and in terms of what is happening, where, when, how, with whom and why.
3.Define the Goal or Objective

In a sense, every problem is a situation that prevents us from achieving previously determined goals. If a personal goal is to lead a pleasant and meaningful life, then any situation that would prevent it is viewed as a problem. Similarly, in a business situation, if a company objective is to operate profitably, then problems are those occurrences which prevent the company from achieving its previously defined profit objective. But an objective need not be a grand, overall goal of a business or an individual. It may be quite narrow and specific. "I want to pay off the loan on my car by May," or "The plant must produce 300 golf carts in the next two weeks," are more limited objectives. Thus, defining the objective is the act of exactly describing the task or goal.
4. Identify alternatives for approaches to resolve the problem
a. At this point, it's useful to keep others involved (unless you're facing a personal and/or employee performance problem). Brainstorm for solutions to the problem. Very simply put, brainstorming is collecting as many ideas as possible, then screening them to find the best idea. It's critical when collecting the ideas to not pass any judgment on the ideas -- just write them down as you hear them.
5. Select an approach to resolve the problem
When selecting the best approach, consider:
a. Which approach is the most likely to solve the problem for the long term?
b. Which approach is the most realistic to accomplish for now? Do you have the resources? Are they affordable? Do you have enough time to implement the approach?
c. What is the extent of risk associated with each alternative?
6. Plan the implementation of the best alternative (this is your action plan)
a. Carefully consider "What will the situation look like when the problem is solved?"
b. What steps should be taken to implement the best alternative to solving the problem? What systems or processes should be changed in your organization, for example, a new policy or procedure? Don't resort to solutions where someone is "just going to try harder".
c. How will you know if the steps are being followed or not? (these are your indicators of the success of your plan)
d. What resources will you need in terms of people, money and facilities?
e. How much time will you need to implement the solution? Write a schedule that includes the start and stop times, and when you expect to see certain indicators of success.
f. Who will primarily be responsible for ensuring implementation of the plan?
g. Write down the answers to the above questions and consider this as your action plan.
h. Communicate the plan to those who will involved in implementing it and, at least, to your immediate supervisor.
(An important aspect of this step in the problem-solving process is continually observation and feedback.)
7. Monitor implementation of the plan
Monitor the indicators of success:
a. Are you seeing what you would expect from the indicators?
b. Will the plan be done according to schedule?
c. If the plan is not being followed as expected, then consider: Was the plan realistic? Are there sufficient resources to accomplish the plan on schedule? Should more priority be placed on various aspects of the plan? Should the plan be changed?
8. Verify if the problem has been resolved or not
One of the best ways to verify if a problem has been solved or not is to resume normal operations in the organization. Still, you should consider:
a. What changes should be made to avoid this type of problem in the future? Consider changes to policies and procedures, training, etc.
b. Lastly, consider "What did you learn from this problem solving?" Consider new knowledge, understanding and/or skills.
c. Consider writing a brief memo that highlights the success of the problem solving effort, and what you learned as a result. Share it with your supervisor, peers and subordinates


-apply  the  pestel  analysis with  respect  TO ITS BUSINESS

1.Political (incl. Legal)   

-Environmental regulations and protection
[what  are  the  government regualtions/ protection laws  that  must be  observed ]

-Tax policies
what tax  hinder the business and what  taxes  incentives  are available]

-International trade regulations and restrictions
[ does  the  government    encourage  exports / with  high tariffs  on  imports]

-Contract enforcement law/Consumer protection
[does  the  government  enforce  on  consumer  protection ]

-Employment laws]
[ is the  government    encouraging  skilled  immigrants  with  temp. permits]

-Government organization / attitude
[ does  the  government  have  a   very  positive  attitude  towards  this   industry]

-Competition regulation
[ are  there   regulation  for  limiting  competition]

-Political Stability
[ politically ,  does the   government    have   a  very   stable  government ]

-Safety regulations
[ has  the  government      adopted  some  of  the  modern  safety regulations]

-Economic growth
[  what  is  the economic growth rate  /  what  are  the  reasons ]

-Interest rates & monetary policies
[ are  the  interest  rates    under control /  is there   a  sound  monetary  policies]

-Government spending
[is  government  spending  is  significant   and  is it   under control ]

-Unemployment policy
[what  is  the  employment / unemployment  policies  of the government ]

[  has  the  taxation    encouraged  the  industry ]

-Exchange rates
[ is   there  well  managed   exchange  controls  and  is it  helping  the  industry]

-Inflation rates
[ is  the  inflation  well   under  control ]

-Stage of the business cycle
[ is  your    industry  is  on  the   growth  pattern]

-Consumer confidence
[ is  the  consumer  confidence   is   high/ strong and  if  not, why ]


-Income distribution
[is there   balanced   income  distribution   policy ]

-Demographics, Population growth rates, Age distribution
[ what  is   population   growth  and  why ]

-Labor / social mobility
[ what   are the  labor  policies  and  is  there  labor  mobility]

-Lifestyle changes
[ are  there  significant  lifestyle   changes     taking  place--more  modernization/ why  ]

-Work/career and leisure attitudes
[ are  the  population      career  minded  and  are  seeking  better  lifestyle]

[ what  are  the  education  policies /  is  it  successful ]

-Fashion, hypes
[are  the   people    becoming  fashion  conscious ]

-Health consciousness & welfare, feelings on safety
[ are  the  people     becoming  health  consciousness]

-Living conditions
[ is the  living  conditions   improving  fast  and  spreading  rapidly]


Government research spending
[is  the  government    spending  on research  and  development]

Industry focus on technological effort
[are  the   industries    focused  on  using  improved  technology]

New inventions and development
[ are  new  inventions     being   encouraged  for  developments]

Rate of technology transfer
[ is  the  rate  of  technology  transfer  is  speeding  up ]

(Changes in) Information Technology
[ is  the   information  technology    rapidly  moving  and  is  there  government  support]

(Changes in) Internet
[ is the   internet  usage    rapidly  increasing   and  why]

(Changes in) Mobile Technology
[is  the   Mobile   technology    rapidly developing  and  is there  government  support]
5.External Assessment---

Areas for opportunities and threats

* Markets [ what  is  the market  situation, which is forcing the change requirements
*Customers [ how can service the customer -internal / external -better .          
* Industry  [ is  the  industry  trend ]
* Competition [ is  it the  competitive situation      
*Factors of  business [ causing  the change]
* Technology [ is  it  technology  change ]

Internal Assessment

Areas  for strengths, weaknesses, and barriers to success

*Culture  [ is the  working  culture  change ]
* Organization [  is the  organization  demanding  change ]
* Systems  [ is it  the  systems change ]
* Management practices  [ change in  managemement process]


*Cost efficiency[  is it for  cost efficiency ]
* Financial  performance  [ is  it for  financial  performance improvement ]
* Quality [ is  it for  quality  performance improvement
*Service [ is  it for  service   performance improvement
*Technology[ is  it for  technology   performance improvement
* Market segments [ is  it for  sales  performance improvement
* Innovation[ is  it for    performance improvement
*new products[ is  it for new product   performance improvement
*Asset condition[ is  it for  financial  performance improvement
*productivity[ is  it for  financial  performance improvement





-change  the organization  structure  to  a  matrix  format,
to  enable  the product managers  to concentrate  on
product development/ planning/ product marketing.

-change  the distribution systems  to introduce
more channels  to  widen  the  market  coverage.

[ to  stay close to  the  customers and  provide  extended service]

[ to  bring  maximum  satisfaction  to  the customers]

[to extend  the  market  coverage  and gain  sales ]

   Your   Core markets;
[defence -major customers like  mines-medium  industries]

  Your  CORE  strategic thrusts.
[ productline  extension - extended market coverage-channel  exploitation]


The arena of products, services, customers, technologies, distribution methods, and geography in which you'll compete to get results.



[280 million  dollars--maintain a  growth  rate of  20% over  3  successive years.]

[ aim  for  35%  of   sales]

[aim  for  10%  of  sales ]


[22%  constant for  next   3  years ]

[13 % constant  for  next   3 years]

[over   the  next  3  years---3%  annually]

[over   the  next  3  years -----5%]

[constant  6%  over  the  next  3  years]




-quarterly  audit  of  the  programs/ plans/targets.

-monthly  reviews  of  the  plans/ targets.


         SALES  DIRECTOR          





3.Differentiate between competitive advantage of a country and a corporate. Discuss how this can help a firm to win over competition and grab more market share.

competitive advantage of a country
A business environment that fosters national competitiveness pays dividends across the board. Whatever its stage of development, export strategies that support innovation and use of technology will help a country move forward.Recent studies of national competitiveness have two messages for strategy-makers:Competitive advantage can be created or, at the very least, raised significantly.The improvement of competitiveness within an economy should be a key element of national export strategy.This means strategic initiatives should address competitiveness issues not only at the level of the individual product and service sector but at the national level as well.Why national rather than simply sectoral? First, what makes a nation more competitive on the international scene are factors that are cross-sectoral rather than simply industry-specific. Second, the measures needed to increase competitiveness will vary with the stage of a country's economic development and the opportunities for exporters.As Michael Porter, Director of the Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness at the Harvard Business School, noted, regarding the concept of the competitive advantage of nations: "National prosperity is created, not inherited." The lesson for the strategy-maker, as agreed by participants in the Executive Forum 2002, is that in a world of increasingly liberalized trade, strategy must concentrate on generating and maintaining competitive advantage.Competitiveness 'diamond'In looking at national competitiveness, Porter defined the competitive advantage of a nation as its capacity to entice firms (both local and foreign) to use the country as a platform from which to conduct business. He introduced what has become known as the 'diamond of national competitiveness' with four 'facets' determining the competitive strengths and weaknesses of countries and their major sectors.They are:the existence of resources (e.g. human resources and research and information infrastructures);a business environment that invests in innovation;a demanding local market; andthe presence of supporting industries.In many developing countries, resources may be the only part of the 'diamond' where strategy-makers see an opportunity to raise competitiveness, and thereby improve performance, in the short term. This should not deter the strategy-maker from taking action in a concerted manner to improve the overall business environment.Different challenges at different stagesThere are three broad stages of economic development. The national competitiveness strategy should have a different orientation at each stage.Resource-driven stageAt the most basic level of economic development, competitive advantage is determined by resources, such as low-cost labour and access to natural resources.Many developing countries, and most least developed countries, are mired in this stage. The export mix is extremely narrow and typically limited to low value-added products. Dependence on international business intermediaries is high, and margins are low and susceptible to swings in prices and terms of trade. Technology is assimilated through imports, imitation and foreign direct investment (FDI).In this stage, strategy-makers should design strategies to attract capital investment and to invest the proceeds of economic growth into the wider determinants of national competitiveness, specifically health, education and infrastructure.Investment-driven stageOne level up is the investment-driven stage, where countries begin to develop competitive advantage by improving their efficiencies and developing increasingly sophisticated products. Improvements are made to imported technologies; there is extensive joint venturing and heavy investment in trade-related infrastructure (roads, telecommunications and ports).The focus of the national export strategy at this second stage should be on further improving the business environment through revisions in regulatory arrangements (customs, taxation and company law). Strategy should assist prospective exporting firms to extend their capabilities within the international value chain. As production shifts from commodities towards manufacturing, sector-level strategy should seek to support greater value-addition nationally within the value chain. While promotion of FDI should, of course, continue to be a strategic priority, strategy-makers should focus increasingly on encouraging in-country business alliances (see article on pages 11-13).Innovation-driven stageAt the final stage in the competitiveness process, the innovation-driven stage, the country's competitive advantage lies in its ability to innovate and produce products and services at the frontier of global technology.Strategy should focus on technological diffusion and on establishing an increasingly efficient national environment for innovation. The emphasis should be on supporting institutions and extending incentives that reinforce innovation within the business sector. Companies should be encouraged to compete on the basis of unique strategies. The development of service export capacities should be a priority objective.However, strategy-makers should not take progress from one stage to the next for granted. As Peter Cornelius of the World Economic Forum pointed out at the Executive Forum 2002: "The transition through the different stages is not necessarily linear or gradual. Nor does it happen automatically."Technology boosts progressNo matter at which stage of development a country is situated, sustained improvement in export performance depends on technology and innovation. Ganeshan Wignaraja, Managing Economist at Maxwell Stamp PLC, presented his recent study of the Mauritius garment industry to the Executive Forum 2002 in Montreux. Looking at technical/innovation aspects such as product engineering, quality management, linkages, investment in human capital and information-seeking, he found that these have a positive and statistically significant effect on the export performance of individual firms. He recommended that strategy-makers promote technology diffusion and innovation through:a national partnership involving complementary actions by the govern-ment and the private sector;a 'liberalization-plus' approach involving a mixture of incentive and supply-side policy measures; andwhere appropriate on economic grounds, policies to promote the competitiveness of particular industrial clusters.Priority sectors shape strategyThe message from the Executive Forum debates is that specialization matters. Countries need to focus on sectors with high value-added growth potential. Hence, creating competitive advantage in growth sectors should be one of the overriding concerns not only of companies but also of governments. It requires a strong public-private partnership.Strategies should focus on cross-cutting or 'horizontal' initiatives in areas such as trade finance, customs, logistics and  priorities (e.g. small and medium-sized enterprises and foreign direct investors) and target markets should determine the priorities among these initiatives. - =====================
competitive advantage of  a corporate
An advantage that a firm has over its competitors, allowing it to generate greater sales or margins and/or retain more customers than its competition. There can be many types of competitive advantages including the firm's cost structure, product offerings, distribution network and customer support.
Competitive advantages give a company an edge over its rivals and an ability to generate greater value for the firm and its shareholders. The more sustainable the competitive advantage, the more difficult it is for competitors to neutralize the advantage.

There are two main types of competitive advantages: comparative advantage and differential advantage. Comparative advantage, or cost advantage, is a firm's ability to produce a good or service at a lower cost than its competitors, which gives the firm the ability sell its goods or services at a lower price than its competition or to generate a larger margin on sales. A differential advantage is created when a firm's products or services differ from its competitors and are seen as better than a competitor's products by customers.
The concept of competitive advantage lies at the heart of understanding a firm's performance in competitive markets; above average performance in the long-run can only be generated by creating a sustainable competitive advantage. Porter's ideas about competitive advantage can be used to examine how Information Systems affect the performance of a business organization by changing the relationships within the five forces that shape its competitive environment.

The Concept of Value and Competitive Advantage
Porter's analysis of the competitive advantage stems from two fundamental questions. These are firstly, how attractive, from the viewpoint of long-term profitability, are different types of industry, and secondly what is an enterprises relative position in that industry? He bases his analysis on the twin concepts of value and competitive advantage. He argues that:
"Competitive advantage grows fundamentally from the value a firm is able to create ... Value is what buyers are willing to pay, and superior value stems from offering lower prices than competitors for equivalent benefits or providing unique benefits that more than offset higher prices." ( Porter, 1985, p 3)
He continues:
"A firm is profitable if the value it commands exceeds the costs involved in creating the product. Creating value for buyers that exceeds the cost of doing so is the goal of any generic strategy. Value, instead of cost, must be used in analyzing competitive position ..." ( Porter, 1985, p 38)

Three generic competitive strategies
Porter argues that the fundamental basis for above average performance in the long run is a sustainable competitive advantage; without a sustainable competitive advantage, all a company can do is "harvest" the windfall i.e. skim off the largest profits it can for as long as it is able to do so. Porter postulates two basic types of competitive advantage: cost leadership and product differentiation. These two basic types of competitive advantage, combined with the scope of the activities open to a particular firm, lead to three basic strategies for pursuing competitive advantage: cost leadership, differentiation and focus.
Cost leadership
Cost leadership is intuitively the easiest strategy to understand. The firm sets out to become the lowest cost producer in its particular industry rather than one of several firms vying for that position. To be a cost leader the company must do more than simply move down the learning curve. It must seek out and exploit every source of potential cost advantage. Typically, cost leaders sell a basic product or commodity and are concerned with pursing economies of scale and absolute cost advantages. While the product may be relatively unsophisticated, the company must comply with the industry norms i.e. the product and/or service must be perceived as acceptable and comparable to its competitor's. A cost leader must therefore maintain some degree of parity with its competitor's performance in other areas while out performing them based on price.
The second generic strategy is differentiation. Here a firm seeks to be the best performer in its industry grouping along some dimension or dimensions of the product or service other than cost. This attribute of its product / service must be something that a majority of its customers perceive as important, and the company must position its self uniquely to meet those needs. Its singular position will then be rewarded by a premium for its distinctive product or service. The premium is paid for the company's uniqueness, although the company must also maintain some degree of parity with its competitors cost levels in order that the cost of "uniqueness" does not begin to exceed the premium that the customer is prepared to pay. Unlike cost leadership, several different firms can simultaneously pursue successful differentiation strategies in the same industrial sector - if sufficient scope exists.
This strategy is not based on the selection of desirable attributes for a product or service across the whole of an industry grouping but upon the selection of a particular segment or group, within the industry as a whole, which is to be targeted, i.e. the company looks to exploit a niche market. A company whose strategic advantage lies in focus will select its niche and, having found it, will tailor its strategy specifically to serve the needs of that particular client group. The focuser seeks competitive advantage in its own segment, although it need not possess an overall competitive advantage. To be successful the focuser must exploit the under-performance of its more broadly based competitors in that niche based either on cost or of differentiation.
The following steps may help a business in fully exploiting certain attributes and practices that are deemed competitive advantages:
1. Define the competitive advantage you have in your business, specifically and precisely.
Recognize certain attributes in your current product and services offers and determine if they can fully gain the enterprise. You can recognize not just one but many competitive advantages. Certain practices can also become competitive advantages.
I believe, many enterprises fail to account that they have certain advantages over their competitors and they just slip them away by closing the business down or seeking for another venture that they think would provide better outcome than their previous enterprises.
2. If you recognize certain attributes in your business that can gain you certain advantages over a competitive market, determine if those attributes have also been being perceived by your market the same way you do.
This process can be attained by conducting:
• Research
• Customer feedback and surveys
• Observed behaviour in actual shopping
By conducting certain steps to know your market, you can identify, classify and clarify your key competitive advantages.
3. Fully understand your key competitive advantages after identifying and verifying them.
Make sure that you have fully understood what your market has seen in you and your offers. By determining it, you can make strategic decisions to utilize certain attributes that are deemed advantages on your part over other businesses.
4) Don’t take risks without further calculating the impacts on your competitive advantages in making strategic decisions. Never make strategic decisions unless you fully determine certain possible impacts on recognized competitive advantages.
Collect and collate possible scenarios in applying the competitive advantages of your business or enterprise before setting up the strategic and implementing strategic decisions.
5) Analyze and scrutinize your competitive advantages and make it certain if they can drive the development of a strategy set on your business.
After determining your competitive advantages, the question this time is: How to fully exploit them?
There is no better way to exploiting your competitive advantages than by integrating them in your strategic planning and implementations. By taking those steps mentioned above, you could gain full advantage to certain attributes that can bring positive growth to your enterprise and make other businesses envious when those advantages bring more customers and profitable impact and growth on your business.
Recognizing competitive advantages and exploiting them can be applied in blogging, too. If you are an expert to a certain niche and have extensive knowledge to a subject worth sharing through blogging, then your expertise and know-how to a certain subject or subjects can be your competitive advantage. Providing readers with quality information and even though-provoking opinions could attract readership as well as traffic on your blog site.
develop competitive advantage and build barriers to entry.

1.    Exercise Strategic Leadership: The top management team leading your company must develop a vision for the organization; obtain employee commitment to achieving that vision; and build effective relationships with key stakeholders (e.g., partners, customers and suppliers). At the same time, management must be a catalyst for change.

A good top management team has varied expertise and knowledge. Most importantly, top managers must learn to think in a nonlinear manner, in order to develop successful strategies when faced with new – and possibly contradictory – information

2.    Leverage Core Competencies:  One key to sustaining a competitive advantage is to develop a core set of competencies that customers want and that are difficult for others to imitate. These competencies can be exploited and leveraged to develop new products or to go after new markets. The ability to leverage core competencies across geographic and product business units helps firms to achieve economies of scale and scope.
3.    Know Your Marketplace: Provide employees with strong information and decision-support systems that enable them to develop strategies in response to market conditions. Your organization must have superior knowledge and understanding of your competitors, your customers and your customers’ perceptions of your products and/or services. Defining and measuring criteria, and then interpreting and communicating results, is crucial to the process.
4.    Develop Customer Loyalty: Every business seeks satisfied customers who return again and again because they trust a company’s product or service. Their repeat business comes at a much lower cost to you than that of a customer who must be constantly enticed to continue buying.

In addition to working on core product and service attributes to build customer loyalty (such as treating each customer as a valued individual), businesses must work on such issues as instilling a helpful staff attitude, delivering on advertising promises, developing a favorable return policy and providing accurate product information.
5.    Innovate Strategically: Whether you are a first or late mover, innovation creates sustainable advantage. The pioneering company plays a central role in defining both the concept and buyer preferences for a category. But if the originator doesn’t understand the market, a late mover can identify a superior but overlooked product position and undercut the pioneer. The key is innovation based on the market’s needs.
6.    Engage in Growth Strategies: Identify opportunities such as geographic expansion or new target markets that will enable your company to grow. Enter those markets using the most effective method (e.g., strategic alliance, outsourcing, direct). Where risks are high and/or adequate internal resources are unavailable, search for a partner who can join in developing a cooperative venture. Select partners with complementary resources and appropriate strategic intent.
7.    Attract and Retain Human Capital: Companies must start by investing appropriately to recruit and select top-quality employees. Then they must invest in training and development to continuously build employee skills and develop a corporate culture that promotes loyalty, commitment and cohesion. Finally, employees must be rewarded for skill development.
8.    Make Effective Use of New Technology: Identify the newest and most effective technology relevant to your business (e.g., information technology, manufacturing technology). Make a commitment and allocate the resources to have the newest and best technology – and employees with the skills to use it.   
9.    Protect Intellectual Property: Products, technologies, business methods, patents, trademarks, copyrights and other forms of intellectual property can significantly enhance a company's ability to secure and defend sources of marketplace advantage, even in times of rapid technological change. Intellectual property is a means of creating a proprietary, defensible market advantage.
10.    Stay Flexible: Sustaining competitive advantage requires a continuous rethinking of current strategic actions, organization structure, communication systems, corporate culture, asset deployment and investment strategies. In short, every aspect of a firm's operations must be examined frequently in order to maximize their long-term health. Strategic flexibility gives any firm the ability to respond quickly to changing conditions and thereby develop and/or maintain a significant competitive advantage


4.How do corporate strategies relate to the other organizational strategies(i.e.,competitive and functional).what is the difference between single and multi-business organisations?provide examples.


Corporate Strategy
Developing a strategic direction, supported by the necessary reallocation of resources and coordinated business unit plans, and designing a sustainable strategy development process
organizational strategy
An expression of how an organization needs to evolve over time to meet its CORPORATE objectives along with a detailed assessment of what needs to be done. Developing an organizational strategy for a CORPORATE  involves first comparing its present state to its targeted state to define differences, and then stating what is required for the desired changes to take place

       There are four key aspects of corporate strategy. The first has to do with the strategic management of the current set of businesses in the company’s portfolio and the allocation of resources among them. The second related aspect is the creation of shareholder value through corporate strategy. These first two aspects—portfolio techniques and value-based planning—will be covered in this part. The third aspect has to do with the realization of synergies across businesses and the identification and management of direct linkages between businesses. The fourth aspect is the strategy of diversification, whether through acquisition or internal development.

       For a company that has not diversified beyond its core business, corporate and business     strategies are inseparable. For example, the Bacardi Corporation has been in the rum business since its founding, and, with the exception of a local beer in one small market, it manufactured no other spirits besides rum. Bacardi’s corporate strategy was to be in the "light spirits" business. Its business strategy focused on becoming the number-one-selling spirits brand in the world. It manufactured no vodka, scotch, or bourbon (keeping its focus on a differentiated, premium rum). Its corporate strategy was simply to locate its production facilities in a few strategic locations (close to sugar cane or close to markets) and to allocate its rum distillate and marketing talent to the most promising markets around the world. In this setting, notice how corporate and business strategies intermingle.
       In 1993, however, Bacardi acquired Martini and Rossi, the Italian ver-mouth maker who had more than 100 brands and products in almost as many markets. Now Bacardi had a portfolio of liqueurs, scotches, cordials, and wines, as well as a hotel and a foods distribution business. The attention of senior management turned from the selling of rum to rationalizing a very diverse portfolio of products, brands, and operating companies (corporate strategy). Meanwhile operating management around the world focused on the specifics of competing in their various markets and businesses (business strategy).
       The Bacardi-Martini example highlights some of the differences between corporate and business strategic management. As further illustration, listen to the different words used in conversation by managers engaged in each. At corporate headquarters of a diversified firm, you might hear executives speaking of major acquisitions in the works that are (or are not) synergistic with current business, how this might affect EPS and the tax picture, and what the cash-flow implications are. Finally, they might discuss whether or not the proposed acquisition will help move them more solidly into the "energy business" or "technology business." These corporate strategy discussions tend to be somewhat abstract in nature.
       Now, at the division level you might hear discussions about working more closely with supplier X, meeting customer Y at a particular trade show, or planning a negotiating strategy for the next labor contract. This discussion might be coupled with speculation about how particular competitors are going to be handling the same issues. These are business strategy discussions.
       Note how they reflect a world of tangible events, people, and things, whereas the corporate-level discussion dealt with more abstract concepts.
       The classic argument that the railroads might have prospered in the wake of the growth of our highway system if they had defined their business as "transportation" rather than "railroads" was simply a suggestion to think of one’s business in more abstract (corporate) terms. Saying that your business is "transportation" does not tell you how to compete; that is, it does not define your business strategy—it merely helps to define your scope of activities. Although recognizing a business’s scope is important to survival in a changing world, it is clearly not enough. All three—corporate, business, and functional—are necessary strategic management activities.
       When firms expand into a variety of businesses, they frequently transfer successes in the initial business to the subsequent businesses. For example, when Bic Pen Corporation expanded beyond ballpoint pen production into disposable cigarette lighters, it used the same plastic-injection molding technology and similar distribution channels to sell what was essentially another mass-marketed, disposable consumer item. The additional learning required to design and produce this new product was relatively low, given that the same technology was employed in the factory: plastic was injected into a mold to form a casing, into which dispensable liquid was poured, and metal parts were attached to dispense the fluid.
       When firms adopt similar business strategies in different lines of business, they have adopted what we might term a generic business strategy across all their businesses. Hewlett-Packard and Texas Instruments are two firms that compete in various segments of the electronics industry, that employ generic strategies in many of their product lines, and whose generic strategies are quite distinct (see Table 6-1).
       Using generic strategies to build a corporation from a variety of businesses implies the cloning of an original strategy onto new businesses. This, of course, is only one means of extending the boundaries of the corporation into new domains. To the extent that a corporation expands by building upon a core business and the set of skills embodied in that business, we can say that it is realizing synergies across its businesses.
       At the other extreme are pure conglomerates, which are built through the acquisition of unrelated business. It was not unusual during the 1960s and the early 1980s for corporations to build conglomerates based on the theory that the acquisition of unrelated businesses in countercyclical industries would smooth out the cash flows for the whole corporation. This led to the development of a variety of portfolio planning techniques for managing corporate strategy by such firms as the Boston Consulting Group and McKinsey and Company. These techniques typically plotted the variety of businesses on a two-dimensional grid, with market position or market share on one dimension and industry growth or attractiveness on the other. The theory was that high-market-share businesses were likely to be lower-cost manufacturers than smaller-share businesses, simply as a result of volume or scale economies, which allowed those businesses to realize higher profit margins and greater cash throw-off per dollar of sales. With a portfolio of businesses, the cash throw-off from the better-positioned firms could be used to fund the growth of more promising—perhaps smaller-market-share—businesses in the portfolio.
       Essentially, these portfolio techniques were cash management methods for diversified corporations. The details of this approach are outlined in the next chapter, "Note on Portfolio Techniques for Corporate Strategic Planning."

Examples of Generic Business ORGANIZATION Strategies

         Hewlett-Packard          Texas Instruments
         Industrial and some          Consumer and industrial
         consumer markets          markets
         High-tech, custom          High-volume, low-cost
         products          standard products
         Premium price, lag          Low price,push
         experience curve          experience curve
         Promote quality/          Promote availability/
         realiability/service          price
         Small plants          Large plants for large volume
         Small-batch/job-shop          Mass-production technology
         technology          with automation and robotics
         Build capacity with          Build capacity ahead of
         demand          demand
         Self-funding ("pay as          Allocate cash among
         you go") within divisions          divisions according to need
         Make profits early on          Fund ahead of experence
         through high margins          curve
         First to market with          Improve existing products
         new products          in proven markets
         Primarily product R&D          Both product and process R&D
         Features and quality          Cost driven
         Design for product          Design for cost reduction


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