Strategic Direction

Published by Emerald
Online ISSN: 0258-0543
Publications
Article
This paper analyzes case studies in the context of industrial business networks, and in particular from the IMP (Industrial Marketing and Purchasing Group) perspective. Two features have been prominent in this research tradition: collaboration in international research teams and interest in business between international customers and their suppliers. Still, researchers seldom discuss the challenges with the international aspects of the research team (as the subject of study) or of the business relations (as the object of study). This paper shows the complications of analyzing international business relations, namely, relations that cross national boundaries, and investigates how an international research team can tackle the challenges of international business network studies. The key contributions are, firstly, to indicate the lack of attention on the methodological requirements and opportunities that the international features create for the analysis of business networks and, secondly, to investigate how collaboration in an international research team may advance the analysis of both international industrial marketing relations and broader business networks.
 
Article
Dynamic changes in the global marketplace have increased opportunities for marketing strategy standardization due to the convergence of cross-national market segments. An oversimplified understanding of the complexities of this convergence could lead to ineffective global marketing strategy execution. This study develops a multi-level institutional approach to address level-based convergence effects necessary to understanding market segment convergence and its influence on global marketing strategy. A model of influential level effects on global marketing strategy is developed having implications for global marketing academics and practitioners.
 
Article
In an interdependent and complex world, only few public policy challenges can be confined to one particular policy area anymore. Many governments have realized that a single-issue focus is often insufficient in dealing with emerging threats and opportunities. They have therefore started to experiment with strategic foresight that deliberately cuts across the traditional boundaries of policy areas and government departments. This article reviews the foresight activities of three countries that have been at the forefront of this trend: the United Kingdom, Singapore, and the Netherlands. To this end, the article discusses the concept of strategic foresight and explains the two distinct ways in which it contributes to public policy-making: on the one hand, it informs policy by providing more systematic knowledge about relevant trends and developments in an organization's environments; on the other hand, it acts as a driver of reflexive mutual social learning processes among policy-makers that stimulate the generation of common public policy visions. The article concludes by drawing lessons with regard to the key success factors allowing strategic foresight to make an effective contribution to public policy-making.
 
Article
Purpose – The purpose of the paper is to present preparation as a key to successful negotiation. Design/methodology/approach – The paper presents the key factors in preparing for a negotiation. Findings – Fail to prepare as a negotiator and you prepare to fail. Practical implications – Preparation is an investment of time.Originality/valuePlanning your deal‐making can add as big a return for your company as effective business planning or effective marketing plans. Most people do not prepare properly when they negotiate, so this is an unusual perspective
 
Article
Purpose ? The purpose of this article is to spotlight mutuality as a relevant, modern business model. Design/methodology/approach ? Discusses desk research plus gathered industry experience. Findings ? Mutuality fulfils archetypical societal needs, with values that have wider business implications, for strategic direction, organic growth and employee engagement. Practical implications ? Some form of employee ownership (mutuality) could help address current-day organizational issues. Explore underpinning values when considering future strategic direction and organic growth. Fulfill the needs mutuality meets to ensure better employee engagement and motivation. Originality/value ? Unquantified, but expect higher motivation, satisfaction, retention, sales and loyalty.
 
Article
Purpose – This paper examines the role of teamwork in organizations. Design/methodology/approach – This is a viewpoint paper. Findings – Provides three simple steps you can take to simplify and speed up the way that people cooperate in your organization. Originality/value – The paper will be of interest to those involved with team‐working within companies.
 
Article
Purpose – HR and people management have become increasingly important in the current economic climate. This paper examines how these key issues are approached. Design/methodology/approach – This briefing is prepared by an independent writer who adds their own impartial comments and places the article in context Findings – The study confirmed that well‐managed talent is crucial for success in the highly competitive global drugs market. Originality/value – Assessing leadership potential, retaining talent and evaluating the cost of recruiting senior executives were all identified as key issues for today's life sciences executives.
 
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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate the importance of leadership in an innovative organization. Design/methodology/approach – The paper looks at how leaders can support innovation with the organization. Findings – The paper suggests that there are three phases of the innovation process. Originality/value – The paper provides useful suggestions for the leadership of innovation in organizations.
 
Article
Purpose - Reviews the latest management developments across the globe and pinpoints practical implications from cutting-edge research and case studies. Design/methodology/approach - This briefing is prepared by an independent writer who adds their own impartial comments and places the articles in context. Findings - The managing partner of a consultancy gives a personal overview of the current backlash against questionable ethics employed by some consultancies Practical implications - Provides strategic insights and practical thinking that have influenced some of the world's leading organizations. Originality/value - The briefing saves busy executives and researchers hours of reading time by selecting only the very best, most pertinent information and presenting it in a condensed and easy-to-digest format.
 
Article
Purpose ? Examines how various collaborative partnerships have broken down. Design/methodology/approach ? Studies the particular alliance between Morrison's and Safeway. Findings ? Companies need to establish the right team - get the right high caliber people, with collaborative skills and reward the behavior that will allow the partnership to flourish. Originality/value ? Offers advice on how to achieve successful partnerships in business.
 
Article
Purpose - The purpose of the article is to share insights, based on recent management research, into how organizations can learn from their own failure and the failure of others. Design/methodology/approach - The article draws on recent management research and derives key messages and insights into how organizations can learn from failure. Findings - There are five key findings to effectively learn from failure: share information, engage in "problemistic search", learn vicariously, facilitate team learning, and establish a learning process. Research limitations/implications - CEOs and strategy teams will gain insights into how organizations can learn from their own failures and the failures of others. Practical implications - Provides guidance on how to establish a deliberate process to derive insights from internal and external failures. Originality/value - Based on a review of recent leading management research on the theme of organization learning. The BP example, use of the CAIB report, the analysis and generation of key implications, and the guidance points to "How to avoid failing to learn" are original.
 
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to offer learning from NetFlix's open innovation strategy to other firms considering implementing open innovation. Design/methodology/approach – This viewpoint looks at the case study of NetFlix. Findings – The paper finds four generalizeable aspects of NetFlix’ open innovation strategy that may be useful to other firms considering implementing open innovation. Originality/value – This is a strategy implementation piece and is an original work based on a current case study.
 
Article
Purpose - An interview with Kate Sweetman. Design/methodology/approach - This briefing is prepared by an independent interviewer. Findings - Kate Sweetman is a leading authority on leadership and human resources and principal consultant with the RBL Group. Originality/value - Here Kate discusses leadership and in the next issue of Strategic Direction .
 
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to share the views of award‐winning business consultant, Phil Young, on how to survive a recession and come out on top. Design/methodology/approach – The views of Phil Young on how to survive a recession are given in the form of a list of basic principles to follow. Findings – The paper presents a list of basic principles to follow, which it suggests might help save businesses. Originality/value – The paper providers some pointers form an award‐winning business consultant on how to survive a recession.
 
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to highlight the business growth opportunities available from franchising in the UK and abroad. Design/methodology/approach – The paper presents the value of franchising for strategic business development. Findings – The paper finds that franchising is becoming one of the most popular methods for growing a business, particularly where international growth is an objective. It should be seriously considered by any business which operates through a network of outlets. Practical implications – Just about any business that operates through a branch network could benefit from considering franchising as a development option. In simple terms, the advantages include quicker growth through more highly motivated operators, using someone else's money and effort, to open and run the outlets. Originality/value – The paper highlights franchising as a development option for businesses that operate through a branch network.
 
Article
Purpose – This article discuses the challenge of organizations achieving a collaborative advantage. Design/methodology/approach – Gives a brief synopsis of collaborative advantage. Findings – Leadership must involve being both gentle and tough at the same time – being prepared to nurture relationships on the one hand and taking a directive clear line on the other. Originality/value – Gives guidance in terms of how to understand the complexity of collaboration.
 
Article
Based on case study research that analysed nine projects in seven market leaders across industries, this study addresses the ways of achieving various organisational competitive advantages through the use of project management for senior executives and top managers. In particular, the research findings identified two common themes that formed the linkages of the alignment between project management and business strategy. It was found that the competitive advantages drive the focus and content of project management as part of an intended strategy. At the same time, the detected changing business and project conditions help improve the execution of business strategy and/or the management of projects as part of an emergent strategy. The key for success is to develop appropriate project management styles that support the business strategy's competitive advantages and identify general guidelines regarding how to adapt their project management based on the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) concept. This should be done through a creative, artful and adaptive process in which organisational strategy and organisation as a whole are taken into account. Note: The full paper can be viewed at the Journal of General Management database.
 
Article
Purpose – The paper aims to look at the need for businesses become energy efficient in order to face the challenges posed by climate change in the light of a government White Paper advocating the reduction of carbon emmisssions. Design/methodology/approach – The paper looks at research carried out by npower business. Findings – The paper finds that the benefits of a progressive, long‐term energy management program come not only in cost savings, by reducing consumption and avoiding levies associated with carbon emissions, but in being able to demonstrate an on‐going commitment to carbon reduction and the reputational benefits this brings. Originality/value – The paper provides interesting information on the need for corporate energy management.
 
Article
It is increasingly recognized that many multinationals face dual global and local pressures. Foreign subsidiaries are thus expected to exhibit different needs in terms of their internal integration or responsiveness to local needs. This study examines the internal alignment of strategy and structure in multinationals when such dual pressures are recognized. The findings show a lower than expected level of internal strategy–structure alignment. A number of post hoc interviews suggest that contrary to the discussion of differences across foreign subsidiaries’ external environments, dual global and local pressures are frequently experienced within the same foreign subsidiary. The balancing act of aligning strategy and structure in MNCs is thus more complex than existing theoretical frameworks predict. Multinationals may choose to prioritize selective structural characteristics to achieve sufficient levels of both integration and responsiveness.
 
Article
Although alliances often create valuable learning opportunities, the exploitation of the opportunities is a difficult, frustrating, and often misunderstood process. More often than not, firms learn little from their alliance partners. This article examines General Motors (GM) and its exploitation of the learning opportunity created by NUMMI, its California-based alliance with Toyota. Over the past few decades, GM has steadily and significantly improved its quality and productivity relative to its main rivals. A key factor in this improvement has been knowledge transferred from Toyota to NUMMI and NUMMI to GM. This article describes how GM transferred the "sticky" knowledge of NUMMI to the initially skeptical GM manufacturing community. The learning mechanisms employed included managerial assignments to NUMMI, visits and tours to NUMMI, a technical liaison office for managing learning activities, leadership commitment and involvement in the learning process, and a learning network to articulate and spread the knowledge.
 
Article
Purpose – This paper examines application lifecycle management (ALM) and how it can benefit the outsourcing of application development. Design/methodology/approach – This is a viewpoint paper. Findings – ALM products address the critical development needs of developers, IT managers, and CIOs by allowing all to function in a cohesive distributed environment with outsourced components. Originality/value – The paper will be of interest to managers involved in the outsourcing of application development.
 
Article
Mr. Khalifa has responsibility for all financial functions, as well as purchasing, contract services and investor relations. He joined Apria on October 1, 2003, and was most recently the vice president, finance and chief financial officer of Beckman Coulter, Inc., a manufacturer of diagnostic laboratory equipment and instruments. Previously, Amin served as the chief financial officer of Monsanto’s agricultural division (1996 to 1999) and as the senior vice president, chief financial officer and head of investor relations of Aetna Health Plans (1994 to 1996). From 1979 to 1994, he held a succession of senior financial management and operating positions at PepsiCo, Inc. Amin graduated from Lehigh University with both a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering and a Master of Business Administration in Finance.
 
Article
Purpose – To share the key findings of continuing research programs into successful and unsuccessful approaches to managing change, business development, competing and winning. Design/methodology/approach – The underpinning research compares approaches adopted with outcomes achieved to identify critical success factors for key corporate activities such as winning business, building relationships, managing change and creating and exploiting know-how. Findings – The directors and boards of successful and unsuccessful companies behave in very different ways. Corporate performance depends primarily upon what boards actually do and how their members behave. Winning boards are distinguished by the attitudes and conduct of their members and the approaches they adopt. Corporate governance arrangements are often a symptom and consequence rather than a cause of board effectiveness. Practical implications – The focus, priorities and preoccupations of many directors and boards need to change if they are to add more value to creating the future. Originality/value – Provides an overview of the main differences between the behaviors of directors and boards of successful and unsuccessful companies.
 
Article
Purpose – Discusses the importance of a balanced approach to risk management. Design/methodology/approach – Draws on the author's consulting experience to offer an insightful perspective. Findings – Opines that a combination of formalized tools and techniques, alongside more qualitative ‘right-brain’ thinking is the most effective means of developing a risk management strategy. Originality/value – Draws on the author's consulting experience to offer an insightful perspective.
 
Article
The relationship between the CFO and the audit committee has changed from oftentimes one of minimal contact to almost daily interaction as a result of the Sarbanes-Oxley legislation. This is probably for the best, as the remoteness of audit committees in the past likely contributed to at least some of the corporate dysfunction we have seen in recent years.
 
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to discuss how the recession has affected UK businesses. Design/methodology/approach – A viewpoint is expressed exploring the reasons for the current recession and its effect on the UK economy. Findings – In order for the British economy to bounce back consumer confidence needs to return, the Bank of England needs to cut interest rates to stimulate consumer demand. Lower interest rates reduce the cost of borrowing and therefore people should be more willing to spend and invest. Originality/value – Lessons have been learnt from this economic challenge and the UK's business leaders are ready to move on.
 
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to help HSBC IT add greater value to the businesses that they support, create greater consistency throughout IT, and improve communications with business stakeholders. Design/methodology/approach – The paper is based on research conducted by LFGSM on the needs of IT professionals, finalized by HSBC Advisory Committee. Findings – The increase in the HTS organization's consulting expertise was identified as an added value to business partner relationships, and allowed the full institutionalization of the shared services model to be completed. Practical implications – The paper provides a nice step up from other consulting courses offered. It is subject matter relevant – especially with the focus on relationship management. Social implications – The paper provides strategic insights and practical thinking that can have a broader social impact. Originality/value – Nearly 70 percent continue to utilize most of the skills taught months after attending the Advanced Consulting Skills program.
 
Article
Being the chairman of a company is the top job. Forget the hyperbole and hero-worship surrounding CEOs, it is the world's chairmen who call the real corporate shots. It is chairmen who hire and fire CEOs. Little wonder that some CEOs choose to neuter the chairman by combining the two roles. "Leading the Board" provides unique and powerful insights into what it takes to succeed as a chairman leading a modern organization. Based on global research, the leading business academics and consultants Andrew and Nada Kakabadse unveil the six disciplines of world class chairmen. As the chairman's role becomes increasingly recognized as the pre-eminent leadership role within organizations, "Leading the Board" will become the standard work of reference and inspiration for the world's chairmen and would-be chairmen, as well as those seeking to better understand boardroom dynamics.
 
Article
Commercial strategy, new markets, the right personnel, perhaps even cutting one's losses and getting out of a market that does not prove as successful as hoped. Certainly in today's increasingly competitive marketplace, directors need every means at their disposal to give their business an edge over the opposition. That edge could be, depending on how you look at it, planning to either mitigate your VAT position or simply to avoid paying more than necessary.
 
Article
Purpose – To leverage the science of momentum and apply it to art of brand management. Design/methodology/approach – Researches the brand literature. Revisits our understanding of Newtonian physics. Studies the history of brands that have experienced the power of momentum. Shares early drafts with fellow brand strategist for feedback and guidance. Findings – Discovers that the resonance of momentum is real and memorable experience for the authors and for their readers. The authors had underestimated the number of brands that could leverage the concept of momentum to better manage and grow their brands. Research limitations/implications – The authors believe it would be of value for the brand managers of those brands that are experiencing momentum to analyze the specific activities that are driving their brands. Practical implications – It is the authors’ hope that brand managers will have a new lens through which to select, engage and measure brand-building activities. Originality/value – The authors do not believe that this information is new. They do believe that they have placed it in a context that promotes understanding and action.
 
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to discuss the future of business education, and in particular the MBA programs, in the current economic recession. Design/methodology/approach – This viewpoint looks at MBA programs and the role they play in today's turbulent economic climate. Findings – The paper discusses the many different MBA programs at Manchester Business School, and the importance of business schools and their research. Originality/value – Business schools can play an important role in terms of developing the models and the knowledge that can help executives better understand how the new economy evolves, how one can build up more sustainable financial structures and leadership styles, and be part of it. When the world changes dramatically as it does at the moment, innovative thinking may be needed, either to create new models or reaffirm forgotten ones. That is when businesses perceive the greatest benefits of academic advice. Business schools will be part of this equation, through teaching on their MBA courses and through their research.
 
Article
Purpose – Provides an expert opinion on the role of technology in revolutionising the business world. Design/methodology/approach – Draws on the authors vast experience to provide an informed viewpoint. Findings – Describes the huge impact that technological advancements, in particular cloud computing, will have on the workplace. Originality/value – Describes the huge impact that technological advancements, in particular cloud computing, will have on the workplace.
 
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Cal Massmann has served as Senior Vice President-Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer since January 2000. Mr. Massmann previously served as an independent business consultant providing interim CFO services during 1998 and 1999. In this interview Massmann discusses how the role of the CFO has changed over recent years and what the future hold for finance functions throughout the USA.
 
Article
Purpose – Magnus Lindkvist draws on his experiences as a trendspotter to highlight some of the ways that those suffering from information-overload can tackle the relentless stream of information that needs to be processed on a day-to-day basis, in order to work and communicate more effectively. Design/methodology/approach – Outlines five ways that every executive can improve his or her information diet in order to filter out nuggets of insight from the ocean of information. Findings – Strategy is built by insights. If you want those building blocks to differ from those of your competitors, you need to design a unique information diet for yourself and as we all know, the mind once widened by a new perspective never regains its original proportions. Practical implications – Provides tangible strategies that busy executives can adopt to enhance their effectiveness in the workplace. Originality/value – The big challenge every executive faces today is how to navigate this steady stream of noise and weak signals not only to find new business opportunities but also to create a portrait of the future that they can lead others toward.
 
Article
Contenido: I. Modelos fundacionales: 1. La economía de la innovación; 2. La innovación y la madurez de la categoría; 3. Innovación y arquitectura del negocio; II. Administración de la innovación: 4. Tipos de innovación; 5. Administración de la innovación en mercados de crecimiento; 6. Administración de la innovación en mercados maduros; 7. Administración de la innovación en mercados que van en declive; 8. Administración de la innovación en su empresa; III. Inercia en la administración: 9. Extracción de los recursos del contexto; 10. Reestablecimiento de los recursos como fundamento; 11. Administración de la inercia en su empresa.
 
Article
Purpose – Reviews the latest management developments across the globe and pinpoints practical implications from cutting-edge research and case studies. Design/methodology/approach – This briefing is prepared by an independent writer who adds their own impartial comments and places the articles in context. Findings – In the business world, imitation gets a bad rap. We see imitating firms as “me too” players, forced to play catchup because they have nothing original to offer. In Copycats, Oded Shenkar challenges this viewpoint. He reveals how imitation is as critical to prosperity as innovation and how savvy imitators generate huge profits. They save not only on R&D costs but also on marketing and advertising investments made by first movers, and avoid costly errors by observing and learning from others' trials. Practical implications – Provides strategic insights and practical thinking that have influenced some of the world's leading organizations. Social implications – Provides strategic insights and practical thinking that can have a broader social impact. Originality/value – Copycats presents suggestions for making imitation a core element in your competitive strategy and pairing it powerfully with innovation.
 
Article
Purpose – Reviews the latest management developments across the globe and pinpoints practical implications from cutting-edge research and case studies. Design/methodology/approach – We scan the top 400 management publications in the world to identify the most topical issues and latest concepts. These are presented in an easy-to-digest briefing of no more than 1,500 words. Findings – We have all heard of personal ID theft, carried out by individuals getting hold of personal details and using them to profit at your expense. But can you imagine this on a larger scale, having the entire identity of an organization stolen? The impact can be catastrophic, both on the victim's reputation and their bottom line. Practical implications – Provides strategic insights and practical thinking that have influenced some of the world's leading organizations. Originality/value – The briefing saves busy executives and researchers hours of reading time by selecting only the very best, most pertinent information and presenting it in a condensed and easy-to digest format.
 
Article
Purpose – Reviews the latest management developments across the globe and pinpoints practical implications from cutting-edge research and case studies. Design/methodology/approach – This briefing is prepared by an independent writer who adds their own impartial comments and places the articles in context. Findings – Springboard stories will motivate to embrace change in away that other approaches will not. However, narrative and story forms have many other applications in organizational and indeed personal development. The form can help people through the change process, create “followership”, communicate values in a compelling way, and nurture cross-team working. In essence, they address the psychology of change more effectively than any other medium. Practical implications – Provides strategic insights and practical thinking that have influenced some of the world's leading organizations. Originality/value – The briefing saves busy executives and researchers hours of reading time by selecting only the very best, most pertinent information and presenting it in a condensed and easy-to-digest format.
 
Article
Purpose – To share key thoughts about creating the perfect tagline. Design/methodology/approach – Gives a brief synopsis of taglines using examples. Findings – Taglines (also known as slogans, catchphrases and positioning lines) are the first step and an integral part of brand building. Their value builds for years, and over time, a good tagline can be your best and least expensive form of advertising. If your company name, logo and tagline are all working together as they should, they become an advertisement in and of themselves. Practical implications – Advises how to create the perfect tagline. Provides useful insights from other companies and industries. Originality/value – Gives guidance in terms of what to do to create a tagline, using some case studies.
 
Article
Full-text of this article is not available in this e-prints service. This article was originally published following peer-review in International Journal of Information Management, published by and copyright Pergamon. Whilst our knowledge of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems continues to evolve, there is still much to learn. This paper offers some relatively rare insights on the use of CRM systems and the strategic impact on the processes of intermediation and disintermediation in order to improve customer service. This research was conducted from April 2007 to 2008 using an interpretative case study approach. The case involved working with a leading international insurance company (given the pseudonym of INSG) and some of their intermediary customer service agents. The research highlights some design characteristics and philosophical insights regarding CRM system approaches and also offers some useful practical insights on the impact of CRM in changes to the deployment of some intermediaries, leading to a process of disintermediation, in order to improve customer service. In summary, some theoretical and practical implications are highlighted and discussed.
 
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