While learning the strategic management process, we focused on five major chapters: setting strategic direction, industry and external analysis, company and internal analysis, corporate level and business level strategy, and strategy implementation. Although the experience was interesting and educative, it was somehow challenging. Some of the strategic management aspects and theories were difficult to understand, particularly their applications in day-to-day business organizations. Despite the challenges, I completed the chapters and gained comprehensive knowledge on the criticality of strategic management in providing business managers and leaders with efficient solutions to solve organization’s problems through dynamic, holistic and contingent principles. Thus, my experience while undertaking the strategic management course can be described as both overwhelming and fulfilling.
Besides the lesson-based knowledge, I also gained significant knowledge from weekly posts and discussion questions. In particular, the discussion exposed me to various sources of strategic management aspects, which consequently provided me with adequate knowledge on various strategic management concepts. The discussion questions and posts also enhanced my communication, interpersonal, strategic thinking and problem-solving skills, which are necessary and sufficient for every organization’s success.
Before undertaking the strategic management process, I was not well-versed with the meaning of a strategy in management. However, on completion of the chapter, I understood that a strategy is an organization’s theory that help organizations to successfully compete with rivals. More importantly, I learned that a strategy is always a work in progress and every manager are not always sure where any business strategy will be successful. As such, I learned that a manager’s strategy is a prediction regarding the actions and procedure that need to be undertaken for organizational success in the future. This further helped me understand that a successful manager cannot know the nature of a successful strategy in the future until it is acted upon. Thus, a manager’s strategy needs to be revised frequently, especially when new knowledge is discovered.
The completion of the five chapters in the strategic management process contributed three significant impressions to me. These included; value chain analysis, VRIO analysis, and SWOT analysis. Specifically, I learned that the SWOT analysis is essential in the alignment of the internal and external business environment of an organization. Through further research, I understood that SWOT analysis helps organization’s managers and leaders to monitor the organization’s progress and identify areas that need significant improvement (Phadermrod, Crowder & Wills, 2019). Simply, I understood that SWOT analysis is a methodology that allows managers to develop a strategic plan to meet the set goals, improve operations and keep an organization relevant.
Furthermore, I learned that value chain analysis is a vital strategy that is used to analyze the internal activities of an organizations that are used during the production of goods and services. Through further research, I understood that value chain analysis help managers to increase production efficiency and ensure the organization offer maximum value for the least possible cost (Simatupang, Piboonrungroj & Williams, 2017). Moreover, I learned that the improved version of the SWOT analysis is the VRIO analysis, which takes into account how strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threat can be identified. In addition, I learned that VRIO analysis is important in enhancing the decision-making process, thus providing necessary information that can give the organization a competitive advantage in the market (Pesic, Milic & Stankovic, 2013).
On reflection, what are the most critical analysis that can significantly contribute to organizational success and sustainable competitive advantage? For an effective strategic management process, business managers need to perform a SWOT analysis, VRIO analysis, and value chain analysis to increase the organization’s productivity and reduce the cost. This can consequently contribute to improvement in the quality of products and services produced, which can further give the firm a sustainable competitive advantage.
Pesic, M. A., Milic, V. J., & Stankovic, J. (2013). Application of vrio framework for analyzing human resources’role in providing a competitive advantage. Tourism & Management Studies, 575-586.
Phadermrod, B., Crowder, R. M., & Wills, G. B. (2019). Importance-performance analysis based SWOT analysis. International Journal of Information Management, 44, 194-203.
Simatupang, T. M., Piboonrungroj, P., & Williams, S. J. (2017). The emergence of value chain thinking. International Journal of value chain management, 8(1), 40-57.