Synopsis Of An Essay On Criticism

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Synopsis Of An Essay On Criticism



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#An Essay on Criticism by Alexander Pope

Wal-Mart international is one of the biggest retail chain stores in the world. The company has been growing from strength to strength and now boasts of global leadership among retail chains. Strategic management implies long term planning and doing everything in an organization with a long-term picture or vision. As defined by Mitzberg et al , strategic planning consists in making long or midterm decisions with the aim of delivering a competitive edge to an organization.

Strategic planning is not possible without strategic analysis. From the market analysis anchored on the five forces model, it is clear that competition is the biggest headache for Wal-Mart International. The company operates in an environment characterized by high competition. Due to stiff competition, it has had to withdraw from some international markets like South Korea and Germany.

The strategies employed by an organization can be based on models and plans or on internal capacity of the organization. Models notwithstanding, the resource based view of strategy holds that organizational resources are the most critical factor in determining a competitive edge Wernerfelt, This implies that organizational competencies and capabilities matter a lot when it comes to defining a competitive edge.

The company has an international presence, a strong work force and employs modern information technology platforms to remain ahead of competition. In terms of revenue, the organization is one of the highest revenue earners in the world. In the last year alone, the organization had a The SWOT matrix on Wal-Mart reveals that it has enough strengths as well as opportunities that put it is a strong competitive position.

The opportunities further offer a huge potential for growth. Based on identified characteristics of the organization and the business environment within which it operates, managers adopt given strategies. Tools like the BCG matrix, the GE matrix or the grand strategy matrix are helpful when identifying the kind of strategies to adopt for a company Ulwick, The grand strategy matrix was used in identifying the kind of strategies Wal-Mart can employ going into the future. On the grand strategies matrix, the organization falls in the high market growth and strong competitive position quadrant. This implies that the organization can adopt both market consolidation strategies and market growth strategies.

The market consolidation strategies will help it keep and retain its traditional market while the growth strategies will enable it to tap into promising markets; especially the international market. Choice of strategies is an important step; however, there should be policies and mechanism that support adopted strategies. Considering suggested strategies for Wal-Mart, this paper recommends that the management ensure internal consistency of strategies adopted. Internal consistency ensures that the strategies are not in conflict and can thus be harmoniously implemented Ulwick, Furthermore, there is need to ensure that the strategies are organizationally fit and an environmentally fit.

Organizationally fit strategies are those that respond to organizational characteristics. Environmentally fit strategies are those that respond to business environment characteristics. This paper explores benefits and limitations to strategic management. To appraise the benefits of strategic management, this paper discusses in depth how the different aspects of strategic management are applied. Wal-Mart International has grown steadily to have its presence felt all over the world. Wal-Mart has experienced phenomenal growth since inception due to embracing strategic management practices.

The main aim of working on a strategic plan or business plan is to identify ways and means through which an organization can guarantee good results, a competitive edge or a competitive advantage in the long term Ulwick, , p. A strategic process should be able to help a company or an organization to understand its current situation, identify a desirable future status and ways of ensuring it arrives at its desired status or end Wernerfelt, , p. Wal-Mart already has a vision, mission and overriding objectives. This is critical because the strategic process begins by identifying or framing the desired future. The future of an organization is captured in its vision, mission and strategic objectives. The process of analyzing a business environment requires looking at different facets.

These tools help in analysis of both the internal and external environment to establish how factors in either environment are affecting or are likely to affect the organization. From the internal environment, the strengths and weakness of the organization are identified for the purposes of defining how best to restructure the organization. From factors in the external environment, the key success factors for the company are adequately mapped out. According to Porter, an organization or products performance is dependent on five distinct forces. Wal-Mart does not deal in much differentiated products. Therefore, the threat of new entrants is very high. Moreover, given the entrance and exit barriers in the retail industry, the threat of new entrants is present.

Given the stores provide an array of products, the threat of substitutes is not a big issue in the retail chain industry. However, in individual products, some stores tend towards selling exclusive brands. This creates a challenge in terms of customers going for substitute brands in exclusive stores. Considering supplier power in the retail industry, there are many suppliers thus minimizing supplier power. However, the fact that there are many institutions also targeting the produces gives suppliers relative power. For instance, in the grocery business, there are so many competing grocery stores.

Despite suppliers being numerous as well, the competition for supplies among supermarkets and retail chains gives suppliers some relative power. Buyers, in the retail business, have enormous power due to many retailers and a variety of substitutes. Consequently, it is the stockers like Wal-Mart that have to work on value addition and proper market propositions to attract customers.

Wal-mart has quite a wide range of competition. Moreover, there is quite a number of supermarket chains especially in Eastern parts of the United States. Numerous smaller supermarkets in each locality provide substitute services as well. Examples of small stores that provide immense competition to Wal-Mart include Dollar stores and grocery stores especially in the US. In the foreign markets, Wal-Mart faces stiff competition from local firms.

In Germany, the competition was so stiff that Wal-Mart had to withdraw from the German market in The same happened in South Korea, due to fierce competition, the company had to withdraw by selling its stores to a local firm. In the US, Wal-Mart has had no problems due to political interests. The company has to be alive to political issues in each particular company and align its operations to host country policies. Wal-Mart thrives on free market systems in the countries in which it operates. Additionally, the fact that it enjoys huge economies of scale due its huge operations places it in an economically advantaged position.

The company through using proper strategies especially in the international market has been able to align itself to the social-cultural realities in its area of operation. For example, the company has registered relative success in China because of aligning its operations with the preferences of the locals. This is very critical because social perceptions matter a lot in determining organizational success. Wal-Mart is better placed than all other retail stores in the new markets having adopted IT in its logistical processes Bianco, Therefore, using its economic advantage and awesome business strategy, Wal-Mart enters other international markets as is able to outwit competition in those markets; consequently, it became a dominant global player.

Wal-Mart is a company that is a live to green strategies. To appeal to customers that are eco-conscious, Wal-Mart strives to store green goods. Moreover, through investing in efficient technology, Wal-Mart has been able to reduce all forms of bad environmental impacts it may have resulting from its operations. Through having clean and properly tailored operations, Wal-Mart has been able to steer away from any legal issues in the recent past. The organization has a professional legal department that analyses and responds to legal challenges. The aim of having such a department is to ensure the company complies to legal requirements in area of operation.

Wal-mart is one of the leading global retail chains. It has a formidable capital base and boasts of a well-established tradition that gives it an edge over competition. Given its wide capital base, Wal-Mart is also one of the biggest earners in the world. Forbes ranks it among the 20 biggest and most profitable organizations on planet earth. In the last financial year, Wal-Mart netted Despite registered gains, Wal-Mart can only continue extraordinary growth when it identifies and manages strengths, opportunities, weakness and threats creatively Mintzberg et al, , p.

To consolidate its market share while still growing, Wal-mart needs to capitalize on its strengths, tapping into opportunities in the market, addressing weaknesses and eliminating or minimizing threats. It is one of the largest retail store chains in the world. It has largely diversified by going into areas like grocery stores. It has an international presence and boasts of a huge employee base. Externally, social and cultural perceptions are likely to shape and limit Wal-Marts expansion. Wal-Mart employs very many people. As it continues on the path of extraordinary growth, it means more people being employed to work in the branches and subsidiaries or joint ventures. Managing all the people and the multifaceted conglomerate will not be ease. In actual sense, unless the organization is fragmented such that given regions or lines become completely independent, managing the organization becomes a nightmare.

Therefore, the extraordinary growth of Wal-Mart is likely to be checked by management complexities or challenges. On the external front, there is likely to grow a sort of disenchantment about Wal-Mart and its conglomerate size. For many individuals out there, although Wal-Mart is growing based on honest and best business practices, as it continues to whoop in billions in profits; inevitably, seeds of discontent will sprout among people of different nations. Wal-Marts growth will be interpreted as the reason why small businesses can no longer develop or grow. A percentage of the world population does not like identifying with Mega things Dess et al, , p. Therefore, they will continue to seek small specialty brands rather than a mega brand that promises everything.

Such like sentiments are likely to make competition buoyant. Other people will just desert Wal-Mart in search of difference or something new. The products may not be new but given they buy from a new brand, the shopping experience is different. There are a number of strategic tools that can be used in determining the strategic direction for a company. To discern the strategic direction for Wal-mart, the grand strategy matrix comes in handy. The grand strategy matrix above provides a number of possible strategic choices for an organization. The first quadrant applies to an organization that has a weak competitive position and a high market growth.

Such a company has opportunities and thus efforts have to be geared towards penetrating the market. Market penetration can be achieved when products are developed, markets are activated and the organization diversifies its product portfolio. The second quadrant signifies an organization that is not competitive and has no growth prospects. Such an organization does not offer much hope and it is only prudent to either diversify, seek out strategic alliances to breathe life into the company or to liquidate the company.

The third quadrant signifies an ideal company that is both strong competitively and in terms of market growth. Such a company utilizes the opportunities available for growth e. The final quadrant signifies an organization that has a strong competitive position but low market growth. Such an organization needs use either rejuvenation strategies or market consolidation strategies. Rejuvenation or consolidation is possible through diversification, integration or through strategic alliances. As an organization, it has a very strong competitive position. The organization has a high growth rate and there are enough opportunities for growth in the international market.

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