Fitzgerald and Moon’s Building Block Model

Fitzgerald and Moon’s Building Block Model suggests the solution of performance measurement problems in service industries. But it can be applied to other manufacturing and retail businesses to evaluate business performance.

Fitzgerald and Moon has provided a framework for performance management in service organization using three criteria, called as building blocks, they include, standards of performance (against these dimensions are measured to review performance), rewards for performance (rewards are necessary for achieving standards of performance) and dimensions of performance (these are measures of performance).

1. Standards: You can think of standards as rules that employees of a company must follow in order to achieve the long term objective of the organization. For the standards to be motivating enough, it must have three important ingredients. These ingredients are;

  • Equity: Performance measures should be equally challenging for all parts of business. Relaxation given to one part of the business leads to perception of unfair treatment which hinders productivity.
  • Ownership: Performance measure should be acceptable to everyone. Employees should be got involved in the identification of measures rather than being imposed on them. Ownership means here is responsibility for the results.
  • Achievable: Performance measure should be realistic. Eg. Using actual results for the competitors to set as target. Employee will not be motivated to achieve targets if consider them impossible.

2. Rewards: In line with Vroom’s valence theory, managers expect to be rewarded not just for doing their job but for doing it right. To be effective, the components of rewards must be clear, concise, motivating and controllable by the employees.… Read the rest

Bowman’s Strategy Clock

In many open markets, most goods and services can be purchased from any number of companies, and customers have a tremendous amount of choice. It’s the job of companies in the market to find their competitive edge and meet customers needs better than the next company. So, how, given the high degree of competitiveness among companies in a marketplace, does one company gain competitive advantage over the others? When there are only a finite number of unique products and services out there, how do different organizations sell basically the same things at different prices and with different degrees of success?

This is a classic question that has been asked for generations of business professionals. In 1980, Michael Porter published his seminal book, “Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors”, where he reduced competition down to three classic strategies: Cost leadership, Product differentiation and Market segmentation. These three generic strategies represented the three ways in which an organization could provide its customers with what they wanted at a better price, or more effectively than others. Essentially Porter maintained that companies compete either on price (cost), on perceived value (differentiation), or by focusing on a very specific customer (market segmentation).

Bowman’s Strategy Clock is a model used in marketing to analyse the competitive position of a company in comparison to the offerings of competitors. It was developed by Cliff Bowman and David Faulkner as an elaboration of the three Porter generic strategies. As with Porter’s Generic Strategies, Bowman considers competitive advantage in relation to cost advantage or differentiation advantage.

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Ashridge Portfolio Matrix

Corporate Parenting is a strategy employed by highly centralized and diversified firms with large resource pools. It views the corporation in terms of resources and capabilities that can be used to build business units value as well as generate synergies across business units. Corporate parenting generates corporate strategy by focusing on the core competencies of the parent corporation and on the value create from the relationship between the parent and its businesses.

There are basically three styles of corporate parenting as follows; financial control, strategic planning and strategic control.

  1. Financial Control: Under this style the role of the corporate parent is to monitor and evaluate the financial performance of investment portfolio of the respective business units. The corporate managers act as agents on behalf of share holders and financial markets to identify and acquire viable assets and businesses. The business unimanagers are given the autonomy to carry out business activities and make decisions at their level. However the corporate parent sets performance standards for control purposes.
  2. Strategic Planning: Under this style the role of the corporate parent is to enhance synergies across the business units. This may be achieved through envisioning to build a common purpose, facilitating cooperation across businesses and providing central services and resources.
  3. Strategic Control: Under this style the corporate parent leverages its resources and competences to build value for its businesses.
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Strategic Lenses

Organisations strategic issues are commonly analysed from different strategy lenses. Strategic lenses are a concept of strategic management. The lenses are different ways of viewing strategy development. It examines the flow of tasks and information, or how you get things done. Each lens reveals many different traits and qualities. Using the strategic lens, one looks to optimize workflow to meet the goals and objectives of the company. This article a will cover four angles from which strategy can be viewed and implemented on a corporate level; they are strategy as design, strategy as experience, strategy as ideas and strategy as discourse.

1. Strategy as a Design

This takes the view that strategy development can be a local process in which the forces and constraints on the organisation are weighted carefully through analytic and evaluative techniques to establish clear strategy direction. This creates conditions in which carefully planned strategy implementation should occur. They are rationally, thoroughly researched, analytically considered strategies made by experts.

It is top-down approach to strategic decision making. It takes no input from manager involved in day to day operations. Strategic decisions are imposed on them, they may resent this approach. It is suitable in fast and rapidly changing environment where decision making is separate from implementation.

It is suitable where major cultural change required and where employees input is of less important or they are not able to give their inputs may be because of lack of knowledge and willingness. It can be used where close-control is necessary and where employee turn-over is higher.… Read the rest

Michael Porter’s Four Corners Model

Profiling a specific competitor is often important to management. However, many competitive profiles will fail to give management insights into how competitors will respond to your own strategy. Understanding this inter-relationship is important for knowing how to position your company in relation to the competition. One of the most popular models for this type of competitor analysis is the so-called Four Corners Analysis.

The Four Corners Analysis developed by Harvard Business School professor and strategy guru Michael Porter is a model well designed to help company strategists assess a competitor’s intent and objectives, and the strengths it is using to achieve them. By examining a competitor’s current strategy, future goals, assumptions about the market, and core capabilities, the Four Corners Model helps analysts address four core questions: 

  1. What drives the competitor? Look for drivers at various levels and dimensions so you can gain insights into future goals.
  2. What is the competitor doing and what is the competitor capable of doing?
  3. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the competitor?
  4. What assumptions are made by the competitor’s management team?

From there, you can identify a competitive strategy that maneuvers around the rival’s objectives and strengths, and that plays to your company’s capabilities.

Michael Porter’s Four Corners Model can be used to develop a profile of the likely strategy changes a competitor might make and how successful they may be and determine each competitor’s probable response to the range of feasible strategic moves other competitors might make. It is also used to determine each competitor’s probable reaction to the range of industry shifts and environmental changes that may occur.… Read the rest

TOWS Matrix – Threats Opportunities Weaknesses Strengths Matrix

SWOT Analysis is a commonly used strategic management framework which scans internal strengths and internal weaknesses of a product or service industry and highlights the opportunities and threats of the external environment. This will help to focus on the strengths, minimize weaknesses and take the greatest possible advantage of opportunities available by overcoming threats. SWOT Analysis becomes a useless exercise if it is not extended to TOWS Analysis where the strengths are used to capitalize on opportunities and to counter threats and, the weaknesses are minimized using opportunities and both weaknesses and threats are avoided.

Read More: SWOT Analysis – A Strategic Planning Tool

Weihrich developed TOWS Matrix in 1982, as the next step of SWOT Analysis in developing alternative strategies. TOWS Matrix is a conceptual framework for identifying and analyzing the threats (T) and opportunities (O) in the external environment and assessing the organization’s weaknesses (W) and strengths (S). TOWS Matrix is an effective way of combining a) internal strengths with external opportunities and threats, and b) internal weaknesses with external opportunities and threats to develop a strategy.

  1. The TOWS analysis starts with the external environment. Specifically, the listing of external threats (T) may be of immediate importance to the firm as some of these threats may seriously threaten the operation of the firm. These threats should be listed in quadrant T. Similarly, opportunities should be shown in quadrant O. Threats and opportunities may be found in different areas, but it is advisable to carefully look for the more common ones which may be categorized as economic, social, political and demographic factors, products and services, technology, markets and, of course, competition.
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