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Strategic management is the process of analysing the current situation of any company and develop effective strategies that match to company’s current situation. Strategic management is based on three major functions such as strategic formation, implementation of strategies and evaluation. This essay is going to present a critical discussion of different strategic management theories. It will discuss how well-constructed strategic management practices are used by the selected company, WM Morrison, the famous UK based supermarket chain. Here the essay is also going to present a critical analysis of the usefulness of strategies used by this company. As mentioned by Velikorossov et al. (2020), strategic management is one of the most important aspects of the modern business world to develop realistic business strategies. Effective strategic management is associated with improving the annual profit and decision making of a company. The selected UK based supermarket chain, WM Morrison, has a well-constructed strategic management framework that assists its managers and organisational leaders to analyse the current business environment of this company and develop effective strategies that are relevant to the environment. As mentioned by Makadok et al. (2018), through maintaining effective strategic management any company can develop effective market strategies that that marketers can apply into their practices to achieve the strong competitive edge. Although the company has an effective strategic management framework, due to the changing market trend and ever-changing behaviour of customers, Morrison faces difficulties in managing the proper balance between internal and external environmental strategies. On the other hand, due to rising competition in the UK supermarket, it becomes also necessary for this company to develop highly modern strategic management framework that will assist it manager to a strong competitive position in the external market. In this context, the market leaders and mangers of Morrison can use relevant strategic management theories to implement the concept of these theories into practice to improve the overall strategic management framework. Strategy Map Model is one of the most preferred theories in the modern business world. This theory assists the modern managers and business leaders to communicate with the long terms goals of their organisation. As mentioned by Makadok et al. (2018.), Strategy Map Model is preferred by most of the modern business managers as this process is associated with systematic strategic mapping and strategic alignment. The strategy mapping is the process through which managers can analyse the internal and extern environment of any organisation thereby setting the right strategies for dealing with sudden changes in these environments. Managers of Morrison can use this model to make the effective strategic mapping. As mentioned by Hitt and Duane Ireland, (2017), through carrying out the systematic strategic mapping, organisational managers can evaluate the financial condition of the company, its internal environment and its customer's retention ability. In this context, as Morrison experiences high-level marker competition by the potential supermarket chains in the UK market in recent years, this strategy will assist this company to improve its overall organisational strategies. On the contrary Altukhova and Semko (2018), are that although the Strategy Map Model is widely used by marketers in the recent year this model cannot provide the opportunity to the marketers to determines the risk factors that are presented in the external market. Additionally, this model only focuses on evaluating the usefulness of developed strategies in terms of meetings long term goals of organisation but not assist marketers to evaluate the positives of status of their internal resources. As mentioned by Durand et al. (2017), the strategic map model is highly effective in terms of developing the realistic strategies that can assist the marketers of an organisation to meet the customer-demand thereby achieving the highly competitive edge in the external market. critics have argued that although this model is highly useful in achieving competitive edge in the external market, it fails to consider different external and internal market factors while developing the market strategies (Bindra et al. 2019). The external market factors that influence the brand reputation and the competitive advantage of an organisation are physical, social, technological, legal and environmental factors in the external market the internal factors that are associated with empowering an organisation to achieve the long-term goals are stakeholder, manpower, employee, financial condition and fund management system. The other important strategic management theory that the managers of Morrison can use is Value Chain Analysis Model. As mentioned by Durand et al. (2017), value Chain analysis model is a good strategic management theory that enables the organisational managers and leaders to execute and analyse the primary and the supporting activities. Through using the concept of this strategic model, organisational managers of Morrison can make the perfect balance between the outbound and the inbound logistics. Additionally, through applying this model, the mangers of this company will be able to execute the overall business operation, services, marketing and the firm's overall infrastructure. According to Ketchen and Craighead (2020), the supporting activities of a company includes HR management system, procurement of inventory, finance and resources, technical management and infrastructural development of the firm. There are also many criticisms regarding the usefulness of the application of this theory. According to Bindra et al. (2019), although this theory is considered as the strategic management theory by many theorists, in the modern business era, analysis and execution of only inbound and outbound logistics of a company cannot direct business leaders to take the effective business strategies. Many factors impact on the inbound and outbound logistics of any company, but the theory does not cover these factors. As mentioned by Barbosa et al. (2020), with ever-changing market trend and changing customer’s buying behaviour the pattern of inbound and outwind logistics of a company changes. Therefore, the managing perfect balance between the inbound and outbound logits operation of the company cannot be based on a particular strategic model like Value Chain analysis, rather the organisational mangers of Morrison need to use defence strategic models that can be relevant to the different situations. The managers and organisational leaders of Morrison need to emphasize on different other factors along with the inbound and outbound logistics such as organisational resources management, communication management, leadership management and operation management. Additionally, while using this model into practice, organisational managers need to make sure that they execute all the associated internal and external environmental factors of this company to develop highly realistic and relevant strategies. Balance Scorecard theory is one of the most preferred strategic management theory that assists organisational mangers to emphasize three important organisational aspects such as initiatives, measures and objectives. In the highly competitive market in the UK, Morrison needs some effective strategic management theory like a balanced scorecard model that will enable the manager to follow a systematic strategic management process. This theory is highly applicable in case of Morrison, which will assist its managers and organisational leaders to set realistic objectives for developing realistic strategies and measure the usefulness of these strategies, as mentioned by Altukhova and Semko (2018), this model is highly useful in crisis management in an organisation. This is because this theory enables the managers and leaders of an organisation to execute and analyse the current business condition of the company thereby setting realistic objectives and then measuring the overall usefulness of the strategies. Many theorists believe that this theory is highly useful in the modern business organisation, in which managers must predict the associated risks of different strategies before them into practices. On the contrary, Bryson and George (2020) argued that balanced scorecard theory lacks the realistic point of view as it enables managers to make pre-planned strategies by setting the measure which may be irrelevant to the sudden changes in the market trend. Additionally, many theorists criticised that, this theory has a high implementation cost. On the other hand, the proper implementation of this theory is time-consuming and sometimes is not fully effective as it deals with a complete evaluation of the financial performances of any company which is not all time possible. Therefore, while using this theory, the manages of Morrison need to consider some factors such as they make sure that the company can afford the additional cost for implementation this theory into practices and there are highly skilled financial staffs in this company why can carry out the error-free perfect financial evaluation of the company. Another important strategic management theory is the talent management theory, that can be used by the organisational leaders of Morrison. Through applying this theory into practices organisational managers of Morrison can evaluate the needs of critical talent management in the company that will assist the company to deal with sudden changes. As mentioned by Zhao et al. (2017), this theory is highly effective in the modern business world, which enables organisational managers to reduce recruitment cost and develop a highly systematic and well-organised recruitment system. Morrison desperately needs to implement this theory into practices to improve its overall selection and recruitment process to select highly skilled and eligible candidates. Through using this theory, managers of Morrison can make a highly productive and efficient workforces that can deal with any challenges in the organisation and can adapt to any market environment. The major disadvantage of this theory is that it focuses mainly on the talent management and ignore the organisational factors that are associated with strategic management such as resources management, financial management and operation management, therefore while implementing this theory into practices the managers of Morrison need to consider these additional organisation aspects to make a perfect and highly realistic strategic management framework.
Reflection on the module learning process
Throughout the online study module, I have learned many skills and gathered strong professional knowledge that will assist me in my future workplace. As mentioned by Thudt et al. (2018), while reflecting on learning process, one needs to analyse the drawback and the benefits of the learning process that assists the person to take effective action plan for improving his or her skill. During the first week of the online module, an introductory online class was conducted in which the basic concept behind strategic management was discussed. Through attending this class, I had faced some difficulties in understanding some concepts such as the risk associated with strategic management and the relationship between strategic management and leadership. As stated by Chun et al. (2018), through analysing the challenges or the risk that are encountered by the learner, the learner can identify the areas of improvement and strength that are important for promoting effective professional and personal development of learner. Although the online study module was helpful and time-saving, I realised that the face-to-face interaction with teachers in the classroom is more effective and informative than the online conversation, cause during the online conversation there is lack of understanding between the teachers and students. As mentioned by Thudt et al. (2018), effective communication is the most important aspects of a class which enables both teachers and student to understand each other’s viewpoint. On the other hand, I faced severe difficulties in having clear and continuous interaction with teachers and my peers due to the network issues which interrupt the video frequency. According to Franklin (2020), in a reflective practice the person needs to analyse what is good and bad of the past events and experiences and how these events impact on the learning processes decision making, communication skill and professional development of the learner. This is why I was unable to have a clear solution to my queries about the strategic management topic. Throughout the entire module, I took part in many online activities such as project management and group chat (academic). In online classes, the teachers discussed the strategic management and the way we can link this concept to a real example. I faced severe difficulties while working with a team project. While working on the above-mentioned project on strategic management I was unable to contribute my best effort in this group project. This is because I did not communicate my issues on having an in-depth concept on the topic with my teachers due to poor network connection and limited times of the online classes. That time I realised the importance of effective face to face communication in a class to communicate my needs with my mentors and teachers. Despite all these drawbacks of the online study, it is acknowledged that throughout the module there was no time restriction in communicating with teachers therefore I could call them when I need it. Additionally, through online study, I was able to connect to different people at a single time, such as my teachers, tutors, lecturer’s and peers, which make a collaborative education system. In this collaborative education process, I was able to learn new things such as how to intext, how to reference, what types of references are there and what types of academic writings are there. During the second week of the online module, there were classes on the entire strategic management process, its goals and usefulness. These online classes assisted me to learn what is strategic management and why it is used by modern business organisations. Although the entire module was highly informative to me, I faced issues in understanding some concepts related to strategic management such as critical analysis of theories of strategic management. In the online classes, the teachers were unable to answer the individual questions asked by me and my peers as they had to complete the lectures within the pre-set time. On the other hand, due to the poor network coverage in my areas in most of the times my PC get hanged, thereby making it difficult to have a clear and continuous discussion on the topic in the online class. As stated by Franklin (2020), throughout the self-reflection process, people can reflect on their issues and bad experiences the face during the past event. I felt that the lecturers got irritated while I asked any question in the ongoing online class. Many times, during online class, I get scolded by teachers while trying to communicate my queries with them. Every time they told me that we will discuss the queries on the free time over the phone, but for me, it was difficult to discuss the topic in detail via phone because in that case, I could not see the expression of the teachers which is also important to conceptualise a topic. During the online module, I worked on a group project on strategic management. During working on this project, I had experienced both positive and negative experiences. The positive facts of this project that it assisted me to develop an in-depth concept on the process of strategic management, its importance in the modern business world and its limitations. The major limitations of the online module that I experienced were its lack of punctuality and poor systematic communication. I was unable to make clear online discussion with all my team members and team leaders regarding the accomplishment of the project because of could not match our time for the meeting. On the other hand, unlike face-to-face communication, in online communication with teachers, it was difficult for me to make the in-depth conception of strategic management. As mentioned by Takayama et al. (2017), select reflection is something that assists people to analyse the experiences that they gathered during the past event. In this module, I had attended free-time online classes conducted by the teachers of my university to solve all my queries regarding strategic management. Therefore, this online study module-assisted me to develop a strong knowledge of how strategic management can be used in a realistic case study example. Throughout the module, I have developed clear knowledge of different strategic management process that a company can use to deal with the different internal and external environment. As stated by Chun et al. (2018) self-reflection is not only about discussing their own experiences but also analyse the strength and weakness of the experiences. Here I could say that throughout the online study I had developed a good understanding with my team leaders and the teammates and also developed my skills such as writing skill, grammatical knowledge and in-depth knowledge on essay writing. Throughout the online study module, I was involved in many activities such as a making softcopy of the report, essay and dissertation which developed my strong knowledge in academic writing. While working on this essay on strategic management I was able to improve my knowledge on case study analysis. Here I was able to develop my knowledge on how to link a case study with the generic information of strategic management. On the other hand, through attending the online I got enough time at home to get good preparation for the exam and university project. As stated by Slepcevic-Zach and Stock (2018), in the case of self-reflection a module, students can easily reflect on the personal and professional skill that she or he develops throughout the module. Through working on the essay of strategic management I searched for valid ad relevant resources. In this way, I was able to develop my knowledge of in-texting and reference. Apart from developing my knowledge on strategic management and academic writing skill, this online study assisted me to reinforce the positive attitude, good behaviours and teamworking ability in me. As state by Reljić et al. (2019), self-reflection is associated with analysing the limitation of people it assists them to shape their personal and professional skill. Throughout the module, I had worked on many projects on strategic management with a different team, which enhanced my adaptability skill. In addition to this, I had gathered in-depth concept on different aspects of academic writing such as the formation of a valid reference list, the formation of the table of contents, page border and page number. Also, I developed strong knowledge on how to write the introduction, main body and conclusion of any report. While I worked in the essay on strategic management, I had done several mistaken in reference list formation, in-texting, page set up and the structure of the say. My teachers pointed out all these mistakes and guided me on how to overcome these mistakes. Overall, I can say the entire online study module was full of positive and negative experiences for me. Through positive experiences, I had been encouraged to develop my professional knowledge of strategic management. On the other hand, negative experiences assisted me to identify my limitations and knowledge gaps thereby shaping my skill to convert these limitations not strengths. The module assisted me to developed in-dept knowledge on strategic management. Moreover, the module assisted me to develop my skill and professional skill. I had been provided with the opportunity to shape my writing skill, my knowledge of academic writing and spoken English skill. Overall, the module was highly effective and informative to me.
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