Sample Management Research Paper on Business Policy and Strategic Management: Concepts and Applications

  1. INTRODUCTION

This report focuses its attention on an American based company known as General Electric Company (GE). The company was formed in 1890s and its headquarters are in Connecticut (McKee, Kemp and Spence 159). The purpose of the report will be to evaluate the company’s core competencies with an aim of establishing the way the company utilizes it.

2. CONCEPTS

2.1 SWOT analysis

The term opportunity refers to any event, condition or situation that can be used to favor a company in the process of achieving its strategic goals. Threat, on the other hand, refers to the market conditions that challenge a company in the process of achieving its strategic goals. Strength is an internal capability of a company or an organization and it refers to the positive characteristic of a company that can be used to impact a company positively. Lastly, the term weakness refers to the negative characteristics within a company that can impact its strategic goals negatively (McKee, Kemp and Spence 158).

The purpose of the SWOT analysis is to help managers to understand the factors that can either be helpful or harmful in the process of attaining strategic goals. It provides a quick overview of the company’s strategic situation in the market. The analysis involves evaluating both internal and external factors that impact a company or an organization.

2.2 Value chain analysis

The different types of value chains include balanced, directed, supplier-dominated and buyer-dominated ones. Value chain includes the number of activities that an organization performs in its industry so that it can deliver valuable products to its customers. Core competency is a combination of technical expertise and knowledge that enable a company to be competitive in its industry. Distinctive competency, on the other hand, is a set of activities that a company is able to do better than its competitors.   

The purpose of the value chain analysis is to help companies to formulate as well as implement competitive strategies that can be used in business practices to create the utmost value for customers. While conducting this analysis, companies try to find areas they can improve in their business practices. The aim of conducting this analysis is to remain competitive (Webber and Labaste 10).    

2.3 Competitive advantage analysis

Basically, competitive advantage is a condition that puts a company into a superior business position than its competitors in the industry. It can be achieved through strategic leadership by selecting and implementing the right strategies. It can also be achieved through business practices such as product diversification or differentiation among other practices.        

3. ANALYSIS

3.1 SWOT analysis

Table 1: General Electric’s external analysis

OpportunitiesThreats
Industry environment The company can invest in aerospace industry and develop infrastructure in other industries Industry environment The company faces stiff competition from its competitors and its is likely that new companies might join the industry   
General environment The company can expand to different geographical regions and invest in other businesses.General environment It is highly likely that government policies in different parts of the world are likely to change and economic forces will change as well thereby affect the company.    

Table 2: General Electric’s internal analysis

StrengthsWeaknesses
In terms of intangible resources, the company has both capable and experienced workforce and in terms of tangible resources, it has good manufacturing equipments.  In terms of tangible resources, the company has a high debt burden and weak revenue growth in some industrial segments.

SWOT analysis discussion

The above SWOT analysis indicates that even if the company faces stiff competition from its competitors and that it is likely that new companies might join the industry, the company can expand its businesses in different industries. Furthermore, although the company has high debt burden and weak revenue growth in some industrial segments, the company has both experienced and capable workforce and good manufacturing equipments. Based on this fact, the company can build on its strengths to counter its weaknesses (McKee, Kemp and Spence 158). In particular, the company can utilize its good manufacturing equipments and experienced workforce to invest in its opportunities and improve its weak revenue growth.     

3.2 Value chain analysis

Although the company engages in different businesses, its main business is in electrical gargets. The company focuses its attention on adding value to its electric products and other products. Its core competency is in its good manufacturing equipments. Its distinctive competency comes from its ability to diversify its products and perform exemplary good in those areas (Gupta, Gollakota and Srinivasan 7).   

This analysis focuses its attention on the company’s refrigerator. The company seeks to differentiate this product from those of its competitors through product differentiation. In so doing, the company produces different types of refrigerators with different features. Some of these products include French door refrigerators, side-by-side refrigerators as well as bottom freezer refrigerators. Each of these products targets different customers.

3.3 Competitive advantage analysis

Based on the product that I have chosen (refrigerator), the company has achieved competitive advantage over its competitors. The company has achieved competitive advantage by ensuring that the product is unique in its own ways and that each product is different from each other. This helps the company to serve the interests of different customers thereby attracts and retains them.  

EVALUATION

4.1 Problem

Currently, the major problem facing the company is that of growing its weak revenues in some business segments. This problem emanates from the diversity of its products. 

4.2 Solution

To resolve this problem, the company should utilize its strengths to counter its weaknesses. In particular, it should empower its experienced and capable workforce to utilize its resources to improve performance. In this case, competitive strategies should be formulated and utilized in the affected business segments. This means that the workforce should select strategies that can help the company to improve its financial performance and utilize those strategies on daily basis.

CONCLUSION

The report has established that the company has core competency in its good manufacturing equipments. This competency enables the company to diversify its products. In so doing, the company remains competitive in its various industries.

Work cited

Gupta, Vipin, Gollakota, Kamala, and Srinivasan R. Business policy and strategic management: concepts and applications. New Delhi: PHI learning PVT Ltd., 2007. Print.

McKee, Annie, Kemp, Travis, and Spence Gordon. Management: a focus on leaders. Australia: Pearson higher education, 2012. Print.

Webber, C M, and Patrick Labaste. Building Competitiveness in Africa’s Agriculture: A Guide to Value Chain Concepts and Applications. Washington, DC: World Bank, 2010. Print.