Mapping the Business Strategy: A Strategic Management Analysis -Case Study Of Gekås Ullared
Abstract: Background: Business strategy today is often an intangible and ambiguous term. Even though most companies often mention their strategy, few understand what strategy is, how it can be identified and used as a management control instrument. Therefore many corporations lack a clearly stated business strategy and do not coordinate their activities accordingly to their strategy. In today’s competitive markets, a company’s success can easily be copied. However a company with a distinct business strategy is enabled to achieve a differentiated market position. This differentiated position both protects companies from rival imitations and at the same time facilitates deepening within the processes that constitutes the company’s core competencies, thereby delivering a unique mix of value to its customers. Previous works within the field of strategy highlights the importance of a strategy but there are few studies that show how to identify the business strategy and how strategy can be used as a management control instrument.Purpose: Therefore our study focuses on identifying the business strategy and analyzing how the strategy can used as a management control instrument. Our two research questions are:1.“Through the use of current strategy frameworks, how can we practically identify the business strategy within a company?”2. “After identifying the business strategy, how can a company use its strategy as a management control instrument?”Method: To answers our research questions we first covered a number of previous theoretic frameworks within the discourse of strategy and strategic management control systems. After composing a relevant theoretic framework we applied these frameworks in a case study of the company Gekås Ullared. We examined whether the theoretic frameworks can be used to identify strategy and if strategy can be used as a starting point for the company’s management control systems. This study is based on a descriptive qualitative research approach in which we interviewed four members of Gekås’ management team.Results: The results of our research show that a business strategy can be identified by applying the frameworks of Porter and Chan Kim & Mauborgne. The strategy of a company is its proposed value proposition that is supported by a distinctive value chain. After identifying the business strategy, the strategy can be inserted into Kaplan & Norton strategic map framework. The Strategy map visualizes the strategy and puts a company’s critical activities and goals into one coherent context. This strategy map shows which value factors a company prioritizes, how the value chain supports each value factor and shows the critical factors to achieve the value chain. Therefore the strategy map can be used as a management control instrument and make business strategy the starting point for business development.
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