Strategic Planning: Shaping the Future (2015/6)
The online resource list for this module is in the modules Blackboard site in the Learning Materials section or through the Library Gateway link to reading lists https://shu.rl.talis.com/ (search by name of the module or module code).
The following three books are recommended reading for this module:
Twiss A and Ellis M (2015): Strategic Management, Pearson Education Ltd.- this is
adapted from: Exploring strategy, Tenth Edition, 2014, Johnson G, Whittington R,
Scholes K, Angwin D and Regner, P
This text has been compiled by two SHU lecturers: Amanda Twiss and Mark Ellis and can be purchased from Blackwells Bookshop (on Level 2 of the Atrium). This adaptation is available at a reduced price of £30.00, to ensure you are not purchasing what you do not need.
Please note that the Tenth edition of Exploring Strategy by the above authors can also be bought in Blackwells or found in the learning centre. This textbook has all of the content of the custom book plus additional chapters and cases (if you were to purchase it, the cost would be significantly more).
Kew J and Stredwick J (2009):Business Environment: Managing in a Strategic Context, 2nd edition, CIPD
Lynch R L (2012): Strategic Management, 6th Edition, Prentice Hall
The following articles are included at the back of the Module Guide. These will be used during topic nine: Different Strategic Approaches.
Appendix 1 : Bodwell W, Chermack TJ (2010) Organizational Ambidexterity: Integrating deliberate and emergent strategy with scenario planning, Technological Forecasting and Change 77 pages 193-202.
Appendix 2: ORegan N and Ghobadin A (2007) Formal strategic planning: annual raindance or wheel of success? Strategic Change 16, pages 11-22.
Appendix 3: Neugebauer F, Figge F and Hahn T (2015) Planned or Emergent Strategy Making? Exploring the Formation of Corporate Sustainability Strategies Business Strategy and the Environment Published online in Wiley Online Library DO/ 10.1002/bse.1875
Additional reading will be recommended during the module. These are selected to provide you with a framework of study from which you can develop your learning. but you should also seek out further reading including Journals such as;
Business Strategy Review
Harvard Business Review
European Management Journal
Journal of Business Strategy
Long Range Planning Journal (Strategic Planning Society)
Strategy + Business Magazine
Strategy Magazine (Strategic Planning Society)
Strategic Management Journal
These all contain useful and accessible material and most are available via the Adsetts Centre. You should also pay attention to newspapers such as The Times and The Guardian that have a regular supply of excellent articles on strategic issues.
We recommend that you make use of the databases available through the Learning Centre for additional materials, e.g. Emerald and Business Source Premier.
The module is formally assessed in two parts via group project and an individual assignment.
Task 1: Individual Assignment
Module Title: Strategic Planning: Shaping the Future
Assessment Title: Individual assignment
Submission Date: See assessment scheduler for the hand-in date and time.
Individual assignment task: Select one of the five organisations listed below and undertake a strategic review which demonstrates understanding of the internal and external environment in which organisations exist. You should undertake effective analysis using the strategic frameworks, theories and concepts discussed throughout the module to evaluate the key external and internal factors that impact on the organisations strategic options. Additionally, you should identify potential strategic options the organisation could utilise in response to their strategic position.
Sheffield Hallam University
Apple or (I choose this organisation)
The theoretical models which could assist your analysis include PEST/PESTEL/LoNGPEST, Porters Five Forces, Competences and Resource analysis, Value Chain, Porters Generic Groups, Strategy Clock, Strategic Groups, SWOT, TOWS and Ansoffs Strategic Directions. (Choose 2-3 theories)
Remember too that presentation is important. Your essay should be written in correct English. Please check for errors in grammar, spelling and punctuation. Referencing must be in line with the Harvard system, details of which are available on Blackboard and from the Adsetts Resource Centre.
Strategic Planning: Shaping the Future
Assessment Criteria Task 1: Individual assignment (60%)
% Grade 0 39 40-49 50-59 60-69 70+
The critical selection and use of relevant and appropriate sources of information.
You have demonstrated no research or poor research drawn from a very limited set of source materials, some or all of which are irrelevant to the task set. You demonstrate only basic research which has been drawn from a limited range of source materials. You demonstrate a good standard of research drawing on a range of relevant source materials. You demonstrate a satisfactory standard of research with effective use of a good range relevant source materials, some indication of evaluation of sources. You demonstrate an excellent standard of research drawing on a wide range of relevant source materials with clear evaluation of the sources sselected.
Application of appropriate strategic frameworks, concepts and theories discussed throughout the module. Appropriate theoretical models were not used, misunderstood, or applied incorrectly to your chosen organisation. Although you demonstrate understanding of some elements of the theoretical models used in your report, confusion remained in places, and you have not really applied them effectively at all times. You demonstrate satisfactory ubderstanding of the theoretical models used in your report, and have applied them reasonably effectively to your chosen orgnisation. Overall, you demonstrated good understanding of the theoretical models used in the report, though there were some areas of weakness. You applied them effectively to your chosen organisation. You demonstrated excellent, in depth, understanding of all theoretical models used in your report, and have applied them most skilfully to your chosen organisation.
Evaluation and analysis of the key external and internal factors which impact on the organisation, Descriptive coverage of issues, not all of which are relevant to the task set. Little or no attempt at evaluation. Few or no comparisons of theory with practice. No demonstration of understanding of the internal and external environment in which organisations exist Limited analysis of relevant issues. Little attempts at evaluation. Few comparisons of theory with practice. A basic knowledge of relevant theory and concepts. Limited demonstration of understanding the internal and external environment in which organisations exist. A satisfactory standard of analysis and evaluation of most issues with good general comparisons of theory with practice. Overall, you demonstrate a good understanding of the internal and external environment in which organisations exist.
A good standard of analysis and evaluation of relevant issues with well integrated comparisons of theory and practice. You demonstrate a clear and well explained understanding of the internal and external environment in which organisations exist.
Thorough analysis of relevant issues with excellent synthesis of theory and practice with well-chosen examples. You demonstrate a thorough and detailed understanding of the internal and external environment in which organisations exist.
Identification of a range of potential strategic options to the organisations stratgic position. No potential strategic options which the organisation could utilise in response to their strategic position have been provided. Any conclusions made are largely unsubstantiated.
Limited strategic options which the organisation could utilise in response to their strategic position have been provided. Conclusions are weak and only partially supported by the arguments made. You demonstrate satisfactory identification of potential strategic options which the organisation could utilise in response to their strategic position and have provided a cohesive case. You demonstrate good identification of potential strategic options which the organisation could utilise in response to their strategic position and have provided a well-argued and cohesive case. You demonstrate an excellent identification of potential strategic options which the organisation could utilise in response to their strategic position and have provided a rigorously argued and convincing case.
Assignment presentation and academic rigour. Poorly written with errors in grammar and/or vocabulary. Meaning often obscured. Little structure and no attempt to reference. Clearly written. Has
structure but arguments
are not fully developed.
Referencing is incomplete. A satisfactory standard of written English. Well-structured and cohesive. Well argued. Referencing is usually thorough and complete with all sources acknowledged. A good standard of written English. Well-structured and cohesive. Well argued. Referencing is thorough and complete with all sources acknowledged. A very high standard of written English. Excellent structure and cohesive, critical analysis demonstrated. Referencing is thorough and complete
with all sources
Topic 1: Internal Environment: Strategic Capability and Value Chain
Johnson, Whittington, Scholes Angwin & Regnér (pg 71, 2011)
Johnson, Whittington & Scholes (pg 87, 2011)
Topic 2: Internal Environment: Stakeholders and Organisational Culture
Seminar activity 1
The class will be split into 4 groups, each allocated with one of the four cultural types. Each group should undertake the following for their allocated types be prepared to feedback to the class.
1.1 Draw a pictorial diagram of the culture in the appropriate section below.
1.2 List the key attributes related to the culture
1.3 Does the organisation benefit from this structure?
During the feedback session, add appropriate diagrams to each cultural type below.
Power culture Task Culture
Role Culture Person Culture
Whilst watching Can Gerry Robinson fix the NHS: One year on try to identify indications which organisational cultures are indicated. Also make a note of any stakeholders you spot.
2.1 What cultures are visible at Rotherham hospital?
2.2 Name 3 positions and 3 cultures?
2.3 Whos was in charge of the hospital and who is in charge of the hospital?
2.4 What is meant by hierarchical? And which culture, according to Handy, operates within a hierarchy?
2.5 In what areas do the cultures still clash?
In small groups either complete a stakeholder analysis or a cultural web for the NHS using the models below. Be prepared to feedback to the class; complete the alternative model during the class discussions.
NHS Cultural Web
NHS Stakeholder Analysis
1) List stakeholders
2) Mark positions on the matrix
Reading related to this seminar
Read Johnson G, Whittington R, Scholes K, Angwin D & Regner P (2014) Exploring Strategy, Harlow, Pearson (Chapter 5) or
Custom text: Strategic Management (2015) compiled by Twiss, A. and Ellis, M.
Activities to undertake following the seminar
Review your chosen organisation for the assessment task 1, the individual assignment what stakeholders and culture(s) are present?
Topic 3 External Environment: PEST Analysis
Seminar activity 1: PEST review
In pairs consider the following questions:
1. Define the term external environment?
2. List the elements of PEST, LoNGPEST, PESTEL and STEEPLE.
3. Explain the difference between international and global?
4. Name 3 sociocultural factors which could impact on organisations?
5. Name 3 technological factors which could impact on organisations?
6. Where can organisations find the information which will allow them to analyse their external environment?
7. State 3 key benefits to organisations of undertaking external environmental analysis?
8. Name 3 influences from the political external environment
9. Name 3 influences from the economic external environment
10. Name 3 influences from the socio-cultural external environment
11. Name one of the roles of the Bank of England in the economy of the UK?
12. Explain the role of the London stock market in the economy of the UK?
Seminar activity 2: Iceland- Life in the Freezer Cabinet (BBC2, 2013)
Selected excerpts from this video will be played. Consider the following questions and make notes for discussion later.
1. Which sector of the economy does Iceland operate in?
2. What type of legal organisation is Iceland Foods?
3. What type of structure does Iceland operate under? Draw a diagram of such a structure.
4. Which industrial sector would you place Iceland in?
Seminar activity 3: Sources of information
List 5 potential good sources of information which could assist with a PEST analysis
What makes these sources acceptable as good quality sources?
Why are the following sources not acceptable?
Topic 4 External Environment: Porters Five Forces
Activity 1; Q/A review and class discussion
1. List Porters five forces of competition?
2. State 3 factors making an industry attractive to new entrants?
3. List three factors making substitute products or services a threat?
4. State three factors strengthening a buyers power?
5. List 3 factors strengthening a suppliers power?
Watch: Coffee Shop Hot Shot: Business Boomers (BBC2, 2014) .
Whilst watching the video make notes in the grid on the next page of anything you see or hear which helps you to consider the five forces of competition. Remember Porters 5 Force analysis can be used to review the competitive position of an industry or a specific sector. For this activity you will be analysing the coffee shop sector.
Issue / questions to consider are:
Who are the rivals, how many are there, how similar are they?
What sort of buyers are there? Can they be grouped in any way?
What sort of suppliers are there? Can they be grouped in any way?
What is the primary product / service/customer benefit? What would be a substitute for these?
What would you need to enter this sector? How easy/difficult would it be?
Activity 3 Porters 5 forces analysis
Coffee Shop Sector
Power of Suppliers
Threat of Substitutes
Threat of Entrants
Activity 4: Assessment Task 1 individual assignment
Consider P5F in relation to your chosen organisation.
Q) How much do you know about the organisations sector already? From what source?
Q) Where could you find out more?
Chosen organisation for Task 1: ..
Competitive rivalry (High / med / low dont know yet)
Power of suppliers (High / med / low dont know yet)
Power of buyers (High / med / low dont know yet)
Threat of new entrants (High / med / low dont know yet)
Threat of substitutes (High / med / low dont know yet)
Topic 5 Strategy frameworks: Generic Strategies and the Strategy Clock.
Activity 1: Split into 4 groups. You will be given one industry out of the 4 listed below.
UK Coffee and Sandwich Shops
UK Youth Fashion wear
Once in your groups, identify 4 organisations operating in that industry. Try to think of different types or organisation within your allocated industry: different perceived quality or service, cost or market share.
Identify the competitive strategies the 4 chosen organisations in your industry are following.
Q) Why are the organisations in your industry following these strategies?
Q) Have these strategies changed over time? If so, why?
Be prepared to present your findings to the class 5/10 minutes per group.
Industry sector ..
(Add notes here)
(Add notes here)
Organisation 3) .
(Add notes here)
Organisation 4) .
(Add notes here)
Position each organisation on the two frameworks.
Porters Competitive Strategies
Bowmans Strategy Clock
Activity 3: Assessment Task 1 individual assignment: consider the two frameworks in relation to your chosen organisation.
TOPIC 6 What does all this add up to? Organisational SWOT
Activity 1: Hawick Textiles
You will view the video of Hawick Textiles in three parts. The aim is to undertake a review of their strategic position using the concepts and models discussed during the module to date arising at a SWOT analysis.
In groups you will need to decide the following:
Q) Which models and frameworks discussed in the module to date could provide information and analysis useful for a SWOT analysis? Make notes below.
Activity 2) Following a class discussion each group will be asked to undertake the appropriate analysis for one or two of the models and feedback to the class. Create a separate flipchart summary of each model.
Make notes below of your groups and other groups analysis.
Activity 3) When all analysis models are discussed each group should attempt a SWOT analysis for Hawick using the template on the following page. Dont worry if this is not completed during this seminar as the activity will be reviewed and developed next week. Make sure one of your group retains the flipcharts and brings them to the next seminar.
Company: Hawick Textiles
You will be using this SWOT during next weeks seminar.
Topic 7 Where does all this lead to? Organisational TOWS
Activity 1: Review your SWOT of Hawick Textile undertaken during the previous seminar.
Activity 2: In groups, using the SWOT and the guidance below, undertake a TOWS analysis on the next page for Hawick Textiles. Be prepared to feedback to the class.
TOWS TEMPLATE Company: Hawick Textiles
Strengths (S) Weaknesses (W)
External Factors Opportunities (O) S/O W/O
Threats (T) ST WT
Activity 3: Further sections of the Troubleshooter: Hawick video will be played. You should review your TOWS in light of the additional information.
Activity 4: Assessment Task 1- individual assignment. Consider a SWOT and TOWS analysis in relation to your chosen organisation.
Which models and frameworks discussed in the module to date could provide information and analysis useful for a SWOT analysis?
Have you undertaken sufficient research?
What additional information do you need?
Make notes below.
Topic 8 Assignment Preparation
This seminar will be devoted to Assessment Task 1, the individual assignment. See pages 1- to 13 for full details. This assignment is to be handed in shortly (check your assessment schedule for the precise date and time) and you should use this seminar to ensure you fully understand the task set and the criteria used for marking.
The workshop will be relatively informal with a review discussion of the task set and how this relates to the module to date. There will be an opportunity to ask any questions you may have so it is important that you have so come prepared.
There will be time to work on your assignment during the seminar.
Topic 9: Different strategic approaches
During this seminar you will be considering the two case studies: Virgin Group and Starbucks and answering the linked questions.
Case study Emergent strategy at Virgin Group
Taken from Richard Lynch: Strategic Management, 7th Edition, Pearson Education
Under the strong and populist leadership of its chief executive, Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Group has pursued an opportunistic strategy to build a company with estimated annual sales of over US$10 billion by 2007.
Starting from nothing in 1968, Virgin Group tried a series of strategies over the next 30 years. Its aim was to find opportunities to grow the business on the basis of what became the Virgin brand name and on the strong reputation of its founder and chief executive. The strategic trial-and-error process was essentially emergent, rather than prescriptive. This case outlines some of the main strategies with Virgins successes, failures and continuing business developments.
Background to the early years
After an experimental launch of a student magazine, the young Richard Branson developed a small record mail-order business in 1969 to take advantage of the end of resale price maintenance in the UK. He opened his first record shop two years later and subsequently developed it into the Virgin Megastore chain. At the same time, he was attempting to develop a record label by signing up various pop artists of the time. None of these businesses possessed any clear competitive advantage, though arguably contractual rights to popular musicians and the Virgin brand itself had some real value. He continued to seek business opportunities using the Virgin brand and, by chance, met up with an entrepreneur wishing to develop an airline business. This eventually led to the Virgin airline business with its first route to New York in 1984.
In later years, the company moved into a variety of business ventures from Virgin Bride and Virgin Cola to Virgin Trains and Virgin Mobile telephones see Table 1.
In terms of its strategy, Virgin Group claims to examine business opportunities carefully, seeking an opportunity for restructuring the market and creating competitive advantage. Virgin Groups underlying business strategy The company has developed its strategy over a number of years. Essentially, Virgin takes the view that there are always opportunities available for the hungry business executive. The underlying business logic has been summarised by Branson thus: Business opportunities are like buses . . . Theres always another coming along.
In practice, what this means is that Virgin examines new opportunities to see if the group can offer something better, fresher and more valuable than existing companies. It looks particularly at markets where the existing customers are not always receiving value for money and where the existing companies have in some cases become complacent trains, insurance and banking for example and where the new internet might deliver a business opportunity. This means that the main thrust of the strategy has been to find new market opportunities where the company believes its brand name can create competitive advantage. Contrary to what people may think, our constantly expanding and eclectic empire is neither random nor reckless. Each new business demonstrates our skill at picking the right market and the right opportunity, says the Virgin website.
Outcome of emergent strategies: Virgin focuses on geographical expansion
In the last few years, Virgin has focused its strategy on geographical expansion of its existing product portfolio rather than adding products. For example, it has taken its highly successful concept of Virgin Mobile telephones to other countries beyond its UK base. However, it remains opportunistic in its main product areas for example, its bid to rescue the failed UK bank Northern Rock in 2007. The strategy continues to emerge both into new countries and into new product areas.
Table 1 Selected business opportunities developed by the Virgin Group
Year Business opportunity
1968 First issue of Student magazine Bransons first business venture, which was subsequently closed
1970 Start of Virgin Mail Order operation records sent by mail at cheaper prices than those of record stores
1971 First Virgin Record Store opens in Oxford Street, London, UK 1972 First Virgin Recording Studio
1973 Launch of Virgin Records label plus Virgin Music Publishing the Sex Pistols were signed in 1977
1984 Virgin Atlantic Airways launched with limited flights between the UK and USA 1985 Virgin Holidays founded (travel agency chain in the UK) Virgin Hotels then followed in 1988
1988 Virgin Megastores opened in UK Japan followed in 1990
1991 Virgin Publishing (book publishing) begins
1992 Virgin Records sold to the major record company, EMI
1994 Virgin Vodka and Virgin Cola launched with great publicity
1995 Virgin Direct Personal Services founded sells financial services within the UK
1996 Virgin Trains launched to provide long-distance train services in parts of the UK
1999 Virgin Mobile begins sells mobile telephone services in the UK by renting space on the network of a competitor; Virgin Bride a bridal emporium begins with Sir Richard seeking publicity by being photographed in a white bridal gown
2000 Virgin Cars a car purchasing website;
Virgin Wines a wine purchasing website;
Virgin Cosmetics 500 products for men and women in the UK;
Virgin Active acquisition of chain of fitness centres in UK
Virgin Blue low cost airline launched in Australia becomes major success with Initial Public Offering (IPO) in 2003
2001 Virgin Mobile extends into Singapore
2002 Virgin Mobile extends into the USA and into South Africa
2000 Virgin Group decides to grow its businesses by a geographic expansion strategy of existing products and services, while also identifying new products and services in its home country
2003 Virgin acquires stake in the British cable television company NTL, which is re-branded as Virgin Cable
Virgin case study questions
1. The Virgin emergent approach to strategy development has not always proved successful Virgin Bride and Virgin Cola, for example, remain relatively small businesses. Does this matter? Do all emergent strategies have to be successful?
2. Critically evaluate Virgin Groups strategies over the period of the case study. Was the company wise to spend so much time investing in so many new product areas? What would you have done?
Make notes here
Case study Starbucks sacrificing dividends for global growth
Taken from Richard Lynch: Strategic Management, 7th Edition, Pearson Education
Most companies with annual sales over $9 billion would wish to pay an annual dividend to their shareholders. But not the coffee restaurant chain Starbucks. Its purpose is to grow the company and it retained all its profits for many years to achieve this. The case explains the background and explores the implications
Originally a coffee roasting company, Starbucks opened its first coffee bar in Seattle, USA, in 1985. The young Howard Schulz, who had joined the company in 1982 as marketing executive, persuaded the original owners to use the companys roasted beans to experiment with an Italian coffee bar concept. The early bars were successful, so Schulz persuaded some local backers to help him buy the company in 1987. Starbucks then expanded into new cafes in Chicago and Vancouver, Canada. It was not long before there were some 17 bars. The numbers then expanded and numbered 165 at the time the company made a public offering of its shares in 1992.
Essentially, Starbucks sells fresh coffee, tea and other beverages, along with a range of snacks and light refreshments. It operates mainly in high-traffic, high-visibility locations and, in North America, it usually owns the shops. The companys American stores dominated the total worldwide business in 2007, with just over 7,000 coffee shops (up from 4,300 in 2004). There were also another 4,000 (up from 1,800 in 2004) Starbucks in the USA that were licensed to other operators to sell Starbucks coffee products in areas where the company was not otherwise represented, such as smaller neighbourhoods, off highways and in rural locations. Starbucks strategy was to seek out innovative new flavours, products and even music to enhance its stores: The Starbucks Experience has a rich emotional connection for people everywhere and we are creating a third place [in addition to home and work] for an ever broadening audience around the world.
Internationally, the company opened its first Starbucks outside North America in 1997. By the end of 2007, there were almost 1,800 (up from 1,000 in 2004) company-owned stores and another 2,800 (up from 1,500 in 2004) licensed stores in over 40 countries. For example, there were 748 stores in Japan, 591 in China, 231 in South Korea and 50 in Singapore; there were over 614 stores in the UK, 113 in Germany but only 41 in France; there were also substantial licensing operations in the Middle East and South America but none in Africa. The company was continuing to expand rapidly and estimated that it was serving 40 million customers every week. The company commented in 2004: Given our sustained success to date, we believe that we previously underestimated the scope of the long-term opportunity for Starbucks. Accordingly, we recently increased our ultimate projected growth from 25,000 to at least 30,000 stores worldwide, with at least 15,000 locations outside the United States. This statement with regard to purpose was arguably over-optimistic since there were still only 11,000 stores in the USA and nearly 6,000 stores internationally in 2010. Part of the reason was that Starbucks was about to hit a rough patch with regard to its sales and profitability.
Starbucks financial results and green strategy
The rapid increase in stores wa