Big Data: A Toll for all Strategic Decisions : A Study of Three Large Food and Beverage Processing Organizations

University essay from Högskolan i Jönköping/IHH, Informatik


I will look at what impact big data have had on the managerial strategic decisions in the food and beverage industry. This in order to understand the complexity and theory of organizational strategic management, an effort to define the contemporary strategic theory into a holistic conceptual model is done through a literature review on organizational strategy. This literature explicitly proposes four distinctly different types of strategies that management need to consider in the organizational context. Namely, long-term strategy, internal business strategy, external corporate strategy, and competitive strategy.

The study analyzed the food and beverage industry over a decade (2005-2014), where the three of the largest actors in the industry were selected, Nestlé S.A, PepsiCo Inc, and Unilever. The choice of method was content analysis, where three structured categorization matrixes were developed which each analyzed parts of the annual reports.

The study propose the role of big data as a strategic tool for managerial decision from a theoretical standpoint. The content analysis show that hypothesis 1, could be confirmed, big data have an impact on all the proposed four managerial strategic decisions. Second hypothesis could not be confirmed, since decentralization does only occur for one of the organizations, but increased external environment turbulence could be concluded for the industry in general. The third hypothesis could be confirmed, which show that there is an increase in individualization due to increased customer involvement and demand.

The analysis discovered three distinct time periods during the last decade, namely pre- economic instability period (2005-2007), economic instability period (2008-2011) and finally the post-paradigm period (2012-2014). Where the year 2011 was the most turbulent in terms of economy and technology for the industry. The study clearly show that customers are now involved in the production process, customers are co-creators of the products. There is now a two-way communication and increased social responsibility awareness. This study shows that the old traditional approach of looking at markets in order to position yourself to stay competitive are obsolete as this study predicted. customers demand to be a part of the organizational culture. This conclude that big data is an important tool for all strategic managerial decisions. 

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