How to Improve the University's Strategy for an Improved National Image of its MBA Programme in the UK?
"Strategy is the direction and scope of an organisation over the long-term: which achieves advantage for the organisation through its configuration of resources within a challenging environment, to meet the needs of markets and to fulfil stakeholder expectations". (Johnson and Scholes 2009)
Strategic planning determines where an organization is going over the next year or more and how it's going to get there. Typically, the process is organization-wide, or focused on a major function such as a division, department or other major function.
In this research, the researcher will develop a strategy for MBA programme for a university which should be very competitive in the UK market, based on the quality of the education, state of the art facilities, best market value of the programme and its impact on the student's personal and professional development.
OBJECTIVES OF THE PROPOSED STUDY:
• Improved way of delivering the MBA Programme
To create a high-quality business education programme, which can produce substantial long-term benefits and professionalism for participating youth, their families, and society as a whole? This research will clear the widespread benefits of business education for the people.
· Impact of the MBA Programme on students to improve their Personal and Professional Development
· Market value of the MBA programme more demanding in the UK
To meet the changing need of society by building on its traditions of innovation, problem solving and interdisciplinarity actions. To create external partnerships and capacity to create new fields of inquiry. To develop an effective understanding within the business partners. To open and exchange of ideas where discovery, creativity and personal and professional development can flourish.
· Image of the MBA Programme in National Level
The university is offering high quality business academic programs with the state-of-the-art facilities that answer the needs of London's economy. To welcome talented minds students from diverse backgrounds of society and prepare them individually and collectively for challenges to achieve their best.
The overall goal of strategic planning is to produce a workable plan in terms of environmental issues and trends, needs survey, mission statement, general objectives, strategies - specific, measurable actions and directions designed to reach the objectives established.
Now a day higher education institutions operate in an environment characterised by greater complexity than at any time in the past. In response to this, some higher education organisations are attempting to develop strategic and scenario planning techniques to shape visions as far into the future.
This is becoming increasingly evident through the development of higher education organisations such as forum for the Future. It is also seen through the change in emphasis and content of institutions' visions, missions and objectives that now so readily appear on their web sites, in their marketing campaigns and in their strategic plans submitted to the Funding Councils. However, the practice of strategic management in higher education institutions is highly revealing about the special characteristics of these institutions.
There are two incentives which the university has to fallow for achievable goals which are;
* Balance Score Card
A company can create a balanced scorecard by translating their company's strategy and mission statements into specific goals and measures. The strategic plan using balanced scorecard approach provides a clear prescription as to what companies should measure in order to 'balance' the financial perspective (Drs. Kaplan, Norton, 1996). It is argued that the appropriateness of an organization's strategy can be defined in terms of its fit or match, or congruence with the environmental or organizational contingencies facing the organization (Hofer and Schendel, 1978). This environment can be understood and studied at different levels such as the task environment (Dill, 1958), the sub-environment (Lawrence and Lorch, 1967) or through different perspectives such as adaptive (Hannan and Freeman, 1977), resource dependent and cognitive (Child, 1972; Daft and Weick, 1984).
Benchmarking (Johnson Scholes, 1997) is the process of identifying "best practice" in relation to both products (including) and the processes by which those products are created and delivered. The search for "best practice" can take place both inside a particular industry, and also in other industries (for example - are there lessons to be learned from other industries). The objective of benchmarking is tounderstand and evaluate the current positionof a business Middlesex University in relation to "best practice" and to identify areas and means of performance improvement.
In this research the researcher will try to reflect all above mentioned strategies, models and techniques which are essential part of an organisational strategic plan and will apply these techniques in real time situation and propose slightly alternative strategic plan for Middlesex University.
In this research the researcher will be using these planning and controlling tools for the best strategic implementation of the process, which make the things easier to understand and help them to manage it properly.
• CORPORATE STRATEGY:
Integration of mission, vision, values, goals or policies create a vector for company's performance and future development as part of its growth. In order to fulfil these goals company must have specific current and short term goals and ways to perform and do things at routine level. The successfully integration of these factors is a corporate strategy. This will help the University to manage the shared values and vision of the company. The direct effect of this strategy will help th researcher to btter develop the system for strategic planning.
• ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS:
Environment is made of different elements. Such elements directly and indirectly influence the ability to achieve goals. These elements can be classified in two groups: internal environmental elements and external environmental elements.
The will define the stakeholders clearly so that the policy can be planned according to the needs, wants and demands of the stakeholder.
· INTERNAL ENVIRONMENT
In this class those elements which effects within the organisation are called internal environment e.g. Board of governors, Employee, Culture, Intangible resources etc.
· EXTERNAL ENVIRONMENT
In this class those elements which effects outside the organisation are called external environment e.g. Social, economical, political-legal, technological etc.
• STRATEGIC ANALYSIS:
This is all about the analysing the strength of businesses position and understanding the important external factors that may influence that position. The process of Strategic Analysis can be assisted by a number of tools, including: Five Forces Analysis, SWOT Analysis etc.
• STAKEHOLDERS ANALYSIS:
To identify impact of each specific group of people within the organisation and their interests the best tool is to use stakeholder analysis. The stakeholders are board of directors, employee, community, government etc.
RESEARCH DESIGN OR CRITICAL APPROACH:
Creswell (1994) stated that methodologies are outlooks on research; they make an image for it that what is research and how it can be carried out.
The questionnaire survey will be conducted in a three weeks period. The target group for this research will be the board of directors, strategy makers, managers and students. In the following connection, the qualitative approach will be applied to generate a best theoretical framework towards the research. It will be used to developing simple process and its implementation to gain in depth data and information for the research.
A questionnaire allows the use of multi-methods approach to collect information. The use of closed question will not present the whole picture therefore it is necessary to include auditorial open questions. The research allocates two different approaches: positivistic and phenomenological paradigm. The random sampling was chosen as method to gather information.
The questionnaire based on nature of information mostly using opinion questions, however to extract history data was used factual question. The main response will be gathered by Likert-type 5-point scale from ‘strongly agree” (5) to “strongly disagree” (1). The questionnaire will be designed to guide answering person through number of question from the easiest to the more complex.
In-depth, interviews are excellent tools to use in planning and evaluating Extension programs. An in-depth interview is an open-ended, discovery-oriented method that is well suited for describing both program processes and outcomes from the perspective of the target audience or key stakeholder.
The goal of the interview is to deeply explore the respondent's point of view, feelings and perspectives. In this sense, in-depth interviews yield information.
There are key characteristics that differentiate an in-depth research interview from a regular interview. Some key characteristics of in-depth interviews include:
* Open-ended Questions.Questions would be worded so that respondents cannot simply answer yes or no, but must expound on the topic.
* Semi-structured Format.Although you should have some pre-planned questions to ask during the interview, you must also allow questions to flow naturally, based on information provided by the respondent. You should not insist upon asking specific questions in a specific order. In fact, the flow of the conversation dictates the questions asked and those omitted, as well as the order of the questions.
The research philosophy used for this will be deductive, as the researcher is using hypothesis and the observation been done through questionnaire and in-depth interviews.
Ethical considerations will be applied on the respondents of the study. Most of them would be hesitant to share their views because of certain factors they are afraid of. As an ethical stance, confidentiality of the respondent's identity and participation will be ensured throughout the research. Furthermore, important but confidential information that respondents do not want to leak will also be respected. On the other hand, plagiarism of literatures will be avoided at all times and information will not be manipulated to acquire the result.
SPECIAL RESOURCES REQUIRED:
All the hardware and software are available in my Laptop computer and broadband system at home. Resources include the following; Microsoft Office - Word and Excel, the internet, intranet related literature from the University library and other libraries, books, online journals, case studies and questionnaires.
TIMETABLE OF MAIN STAGES OF THE STUDY:
Coding Statistical Data
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