|Below is guidance that should prove useful.
1. Begin your research process by clarifying your organization’s current corporate/enterprise-wide and business-level strategies. As you will recall, these are the prevailing shared assumptions (or theories) about how the organization will be able to achieve or maintain competitive advantage. This is something you began thinking about in week one. You may find this resource provides some useful reminders and additional guidance:
2. Recall from Barney and Hesterly’s Chapter 2 that you can apply the Resource-Based View (RBV) to help you identify both the tangible and intangible assets your organization may be able to use to accomplish its intended strategies. Here is a video of Jay Barney, our primary textbook author, explaining RBV:
3. Identify internal resources that are or may be critical for implementing the organization’s strategy and analyze the extent to which they are recognized as such. Preform a preliminary analysis of the extent to which the resources you identify qualify as valuable, rare, costly to imitate, and whether your organization has the capability to leverage them for competitive advantage. Note that, while there will be important differences, the criteria apply equally to organizations in the public, private, and non-profit sector. Your analysis will be preliminary because you will have an opportunity later to conduct a more comprehensive evaluation of your organization’s situation compared with its competitors, which will be part of your task in week 7. You will also think more about value creating options as you read additional chapters in our textbook.
4. Consider and discuss the things that may make your organization’s potentially valuable and rare resources and capabilities difficult for others to imitate. Use Value Chain Analysis to help you deepen your understanding of the relative value of the resources and capabilities you have identified. Seek objective and independently verifiable evidence of potential rarity of the resources and capabilities.
5. Analyze the extent to which your enterprise is organized and managed to fully exploit its key resources for competitive advantage. Consider, for example, whether the organization’s structure, size, operations, and key systems align with and are therefore likely to support successful accomplishment of the strategy.
6. Present a preliminary summary of your organization’s strengths and potential (or currently verifiable) competitive capabilities. Also summarize the organization’s weaknesses. (Note: You will have an opportunity to revisit and complete a full SWOT analysis, including threats and opportunities, as part of your week 7 paper.) Put your summary in a table and include a brief narrative explanation of your supporting rationale. You might find this resource helpful:
7. Extend your analysis to include a preliminary discussion and analysis of your organization’s business-level strategies. Consider whether you organization currently uses or might use a cost leadership strategy (gains an advantage by reducing or keeping costs lower than others). If you believe this is an intended strategy in your organization, look at how this is being achieved, whether it appears to be successful, and whether there are or may be associated risks/concerns. When analyzing your organization’s business-level strategies, look also at the extent to which product/services differentiation may be applicable and evaluate associated benefits and risks.
8. When analyzing business-level strategies, be sure to include an evaluation of the extent to which the organization has the resources and capabilities required for sustainable competitive advantage.
9. In your conclusion, include things you might suggest for your manager’s “worry list” based upon your analysis. Also include your preliminary assessment of whether your organization’s strategy qualifies as effective. This resource might be helpful in thinking about this:
Finally, include and appropriately support a set of preliminary recommendations for action. These should be shared only with your professor. You will have an opportunity to revisit these recommendations
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