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Strategic Management can be defined as the science, art or practice of critically analyzing the needs of a business organization in through conducting a SWOT analysis and coming up with the most appropriate ways of planning for future growth and development of the said business. The main purpose for Strategic Management is the determination of where a business ought to be in the long term basing on the short term.
Strategic Planning has a number of benefits ranging from an improved management chain that involves better communication practices to improvement of quality service delivery to the targeted clients. Strategic planning can further help an organization raise its competitiveness since there is a long term goal that ought to be achieved. In hyper competitive environments, it will help an organization in setting the standards for a business environment which will further mean a higher competitive advantage.
Primarily, personal bias is a major inhibitor in the practice of strategic management in a corporation. More often than not, there are external and internal factors innate in an individual that would determine how effective a strategic would be. It is very evident that sometimes being a very confident leader in an organization may lead to hubris which means that one may come up with a strategy that may not work for the organization. A business leader may have a different opinion about the real importance of corporate social responsibility and as such, he or she may dictate the way the company operates in terms of giving back to the society. In the case of Texas A&M University-Commerce, my strategy would be based on corporate responsibility since it is a major contributor to the university’s success.
Texas A&M-University Commerce has been in existence since 1889, it has been appreciated as a major provider of excellent university education to the larger populations who want to pursue higher learning. Its basic principle is in providing quality care to its students and visitors alike so as to maintain good relationships which are important for growth and development of the university.
Major Stakeholders in order of importance
Student fraternity – 0.5
Staff (both teaching and non teaching) – 0.2
Community – 0.2
Alumni – 0.1
When coming up with a strategic plan for this university, it must be appreciated that there must be a lot of focus on students since they are the primary reason why the university exists. Focus should be on coming up with better strategies that will increase the student population while at the same time providing them with quality services. Staff is the 2nd most important factor for any organization since they are charged with the duty of pushing the organization’s strategic goals to fruition. In this case therefore, there must be a strategy for training and retention of the staff in order to enhance quality in service delivery.
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Finally, community and alumni follow in descending order of importance since their roles are somewhat external to the development of the institution. However, focus must be put on corporate social responsibility so as to involve these two shareholders.
Environmental scan refers to a search for information on the systems outside a business setting. An environment scan is normally set to analyze and create clear strategies on business activities in a foreseeable future (Hunger & Wheelen, p.45). Basing on the previous business practices, this process is sought to set trends and is often divided into different areas handling issues on demographics, economics, and socio-cultural changes, political and technological issues. Any kind of planning initiative involves thinking or simply setting strategies about the future. Since, the future can not be known by way of certainty, business managers have no option but to make certain assumptions predicting what the future will hold. For a success, business firm’s top management has to find a fit between business environmental demands and what the business provides.
The scan is important considering this information provides the insight values which will later initiate development and evaluation of alternatives. For instance, change in technology has a valuable impact on both environment and the firm practices. Evaluation and adoption of production technologies is one aspect that is embraced by many managers. However, there are other technological changes in particular informational technologies that initiate change that is important for the business. After gathering information on both communal and industrial environment, several external issues that are essential to the business are identified. These are part of information used in refining these external factors by identifying business opportunities and actual threats, business managers responsibly use it in indicating its importance to the business.
To approach the communal demands, we first have to start by defining the demand identified within Texas A&M University. This helps us handle the concept of demand from a different level. It is important that we get to know why individuals need the community college while on the other side we give a discussion as to why the state needs this community college. At individual level, it is believed the institution provides certain benefits that often meet the needs of this individual. This may include initiating student’s ability to fully satisfy current or future potential employer, achievements made in a certain level of learning may permit transfer of knowledge acquired to a different educational institution and increased functionality which is important for personal living.
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For this institution, its primary inputs are:
People shifting from secondary schools
The adult learners
Viewing this from a market strategist perspective, by analyzing the data given in the environmental scan, the administrator is able to formulate a long term plan. This prepares the institution to achieve its most desired outcomes. For instance, if change in the student flow can be predicted, it creates the possibility of the institution preparing for this contingency by fully adjusting their future budgets.
An industrial analysis is conducted most importantly to identify societal and industrial issues that are required in top management strategic planning process. The business managers get to refine the analysis results identifying the potential opportunities within these factors while they prepare to control the risks the firm faces as identified in the scan analysis. For instance, in a case where the firm plays part in an imperfect competitive market, the marketing strategy is focused on informative advertising as each firm is involved in the bottle increase of its market share. It is this information that will help the firm management to understand customers’ needs as well as identify the right way to win over customers.
The industrial analysis creates a possibility for the firm to equally identify its main competitor within the industrial market. In a case where new product or service provider gets into this market, the existing firms plan to bring improved capacity as the new entrants mean increased competition for both resources and customers. This is a typical threat to the existing firms in the industry. However, the threat posed by new service or product provider depends upon presence of entry barriers; there are cases where these barriers hinder other business entry to the industry.
Texas A & M University offers a number of student services ranging from non-remedial tutoring, women’s center, placement service, day care, health service and health insurance services among others. According to the institution’s records, 72.5% of Undergraduate full time students are funded by need-based financial providers. On average, the need-based scholarship is estimated to be about $ 7, 946. In developing an environmental scan for the Texas A & M University community, basing on the literature found we sought trends focusing on five major areas, the demographics, socio-cultural change, political and technological elements.
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Since the scan focuses on the long term trends in this environment, it is important to identify the long term trends in the environment where the institution is located and further define why the community needs this institution. Contrary to the traditional corporate firms, this distinguishes the non-profit institution represented by Texas A & M University that has a marketing strategy that has to account for public interest. The institution is established to create public interest benefits such as generating economic opportunities, raising the living standards, social justice and initiating an overall local economic development.
In meeting these demands the Texas A & M University strategic leadership has to develop a well structured program to address these issues providing the community identified benefits that ultimately meet their needs. These can be viewed as follows:
a)Developing student’s ability with an objective of satisfying potential employer.
b)Achieving certain levels of education in a manner that will permit students to move to a more challenging environment.
c)Enhance functionality of graduates among other individuals for a better personal living.
Capability can be referred to the ability in doing something. For instance, it is logical that artists will be less capable to work as accountants or mathematicians. This can be due to the different types of personality and talents. In our case, this is viewed to be business operational processes that are developed to control interaction of resources in a process that involves turning inputs into better refined outputs. Capability is functional based and rests in the duties assigned to different organizational teams. On the other hand, competence is all about efficiency and effectiveness. A typical example can be explained in a situation where an identified production manager finds a problem in the system operation in 10 minutes and he or she is able to solve that problem within 10 to 15 minutes.
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Developing new products can be viewed to be a core competency if it succeeds to go through a single division. Competence is developed by creating a cross-functional combination of capabilities. For example, the human resource unit and the production unit link to have a single defined function within an identified organization practice. It is through valuing capability and competence that the firm’s involve managers who are able to measure a firm’s past performance, potential rivals and in identifying needs of their customers. This is crucial for developing a strategic decision as it establishes concepts needed in formulating businesses that will survive in a competitive market.
Advances achieved in the information technology and introduction of new products that have a shorter life cycle creates an increased competition within completion business across the globe. Traditional practices encouraged situation whereby raw material where acquired and end products shipped to different retailers. The cost involved is revealed to massive. Introduction of value-chain analysis is designed to obtain consumer response while generating cost effective solutions. This is aimed to eliminate the traditional practices in the supply chain, creating a closer collaboration among the retailers and manufacturers in combating these challenges. The concept breads an integrated approach, introducing a partnership strategy to link tactical management with the strategic leadership.
Considering that all this is driven by improved situation of the global IT infrastructure and reduced communication costs, more firms attempt to explore different outsourcing mechanisms rather than in-house sourcing for their business processes. However, the outsourcing mechanisms have their own risks and benefits and this can not be suitable for each of these firms. For example, sourcing from different countries may achieve lower costs and increase access of the product or service to a new and bigger market. However, it creates risks that can be linked to lack of intellectual property protection.