Organizational Strategy

Training Objectives

This seminar introduces the basic concepts of organizational strategy, to enable understanding of the formulation and implementation of strategy in an organization, as well as when, why and how an organization’s strategy might change.


Graduates of this seminar should be able to:

  • Participate and contribute to strategy discussions and decision making meetings
  • The different levels of strategy
  • Key considerations when formulating and deciding to change strategy
  • How an organization implements strategy once it is formulated.
  • How an organization implements strategic change
  • How an organization creates and sustains competitive advantage
  • How to analyze an organization’s external environment
  • How to analyze an organization’s internal environment, including value chain activities, resources, capabilities, strengths and weaknesses
  • How to diagnosis strategic issues in terms of absence of “fit”
  • How to development and logically defend recommendations

Key Concepts

Introduction to strategy and strategic analysis

  • Frameworks for strategy analysis
  • Characteristics of strategic decisions
  • Competitive advantage and disadvantage; strategy in action
  • Strategy lenses; intended v emergent strategy
  • Strategy evaluation in terms of suitability

Strategic vision and purpose

  • Stakeholders; corporate governance; shareholder v. stakeholder models of governance
  • Corporate social responsibility; role of power in determining vision and purpose; organizational mission, vision and values.

External strategic analysis of organizations

  • PESTEL framework for analysis of an organization’s macro-environment
  • Porter’s five forces framework for analysis of an industry
  • Industry life cycle; strategic groups; strategic gaps and associated opportunities.

Internal strategic analysis of organizations

  • Resource-based view of strategy
  • VRIN framework for determining competitive potential of capabilities
  • Dynamic capabilities; value chain; value network
  • Benchmarking; SWOT analysis; strategic drift; path dependency; organizational culture; strategic business unit (SBU)
  • Generic competitive strategies
  • Collaborative strategies.

Strategic decisions related to firm scope and growth

  • Generic strategic directions for growth
  • Value-adding and value-destroying activities of corporate parents
  • Portfolio matrices; internationalization and its drivers
  • Porter’s diamond and generic international strategies; market entry modes; organic development vs. mergers and acquisitions vs. strategic alliances as market entry methods
  • Innovation dilemmas; diffusion of innovation; first mover advantages and disadvantages

Implementing strategy: organizing and managing strategic change

  • Roles of structure, processes and relationships in implementing strategy
  • Different types of control processes
  • Different possible centre-SBU relationships (strategic planning vs. financial control vs. strategic control styles)
  • Different possible external relationships (outsourcing vs. alliances v. networks vs. virtual organization)
  • Mapping the political landscape; managing people, information, technology and finance as resources
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