Assessment Task According to an article in a recent Harvard Business Review (HBR September 2012) c

Assessment Task:
According to an article in a recent Harvard Business Review (HBR September
2012), companies could adopt one of ‘four broad strategic styles each one
particularly suited to a distinctive environment’. These styles have been
researched by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and are named as classical,
adaptive, shaping and visionary. A survey carried out by BCG showed that most
companies consistently overestimated both their ability to predict and to change
their business environments. For example, the now bankrupt Eastman Kodak
Corporation adopted a classical style when it should have been a shaper.
During the last 20 years, Tesco has successfully developed a visionary strategy
while computer companies which are not adaptive – like Osborne, which crashed
in 1983 – will die.
Please answer the following questions:
(a) You are a strategic planning manager in a large international oil company.
Explain what strategic style you would adopt and why. Cite relevant
examples from any relevant sector. Refer to models learned on the
course such as SWOT analysis, Porter’s Five Forces etc. (50 marks)
(b) Johnson, Scholes and Whittington (Exploring Strategy, the key module
text) have developed the “lenses” model of strategic analysis, Compare
and contrast their research with the BCG findings as outlined in the HBR.
Refer to value chain analysis and the development of distinctive core
competences in an organization (50 marks)
(Students are recommended to read the relevant HBR article and the
extensive discussions on the lense model in the course text – recent
editions).
Total 100 marks
Page 2 of 3
INDICATIVE ANSWERS
(a) The HBR approach suggests templates which organisations could adopt in
order to meld in with their environments. The industry structure analyses
advocated by Porter, Rumelt and Baden-Fuller suggest that strategic
plans should be based on an external scanning technique to identify the
more attractive environments.
(b) The lenses approach typifies a resource-based strategy innate in the
adopted positioning of each company based on their culture of experience
modeling, of their innovative characteristics. This internalised process of
audit contrasts strongly with the environmental scanning approach of the
BCG model (see Pratialad and Hamel). More adventurous (nondescriptive)
students are likely to suggest some possibilities of
According to an article in a recent Harvard Business Review (HBR September
2012), companies could adopt one of ‘four broad strategic styles each one
particularly suited to a distinctive environment’. These styles have been
researched by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and are named as classical,
adaptive, shaping and visionary. A survey carried out by BCG showed that most
companies consistently overestimated both their ability to predict and to change
their business environments. For example, the now bankrupt Eastman Kodak
Corporation adopted a classical style when it should have been a shaper.
During the last 20 years, Tesco has successfully developed a visionary strategy
while computer companies which are not adaptive – like Osborne, which crashed
in 1983 – will die.
Please answer the following questions:
(a) You are a strategic planning manager in a large international oil company.
Explain what strategic style you would adopt and why. Cite relevant
examples from any relevant sector. Refer to models learned on the
course such as SWOT analysis, Porter’s Five Forces etc. (50 marks)
(b) Johnson, Scholes and Whittington (Exploring Strategy, the key module
text) have developed the “lenses” model of strategic analysis, Compare
and contrast their research with the BCG findings as outlined in the HBR.
Refer to value chain analysis and the development of distinctive core
competences in an organization (50 marks)
(Students are recommended to read the relevant HBR article and the
extensive discussions on the lense model in the course text – recent
editions).
Total 100 marks
Page 2 of 3
INDICATIVE ANSWERS
(a) The HBR approach suggests templates which organisations could adopt in
order to meld in with their environments. The industry structure analyses
advocated by Porter, Rumelt and Baden-Fuller suggest that strategic
plans should be based on an external scanning technique to identify the
more attractive environments.
(b) The lenses approach typifies a resource-based strategy innate in the
adopted positioning of each company based on their culture of experience
modeling, of their innovative characteristics. This internalised process of
audit contrasts strongly with the environmental scanning approach of the
BCG model (see Pratialad and Hamel). More adventurous (nondescriptive)
students are likely to suggest some possibilities of
complementarity between the two approaches and they are likely to score
in the A/B grade categories.

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