Approaches that corporate managers are employing to foster growth for the business



Thompson et al, (2010), define business strategy as consist of the competitive moves and business approaches that corporate managers are employing to foster growth for the business, attract and retain customers, compete successfully, conduct operations, and achieve the targeted level of organisational performance. Business strategy is an all-encompassing, holistic approach to attaining certain organisational goals and objectives.

Business strategy, although many types, remains the core of successfully businesses and should steer the course between the inevitable internal business continuity pressures and the external demands of rapidly changing and revolutionary world of business strategies.

In today's business climate riddled with enormous challenges and issues of financial downturn, low profitability, technological and political changes to mention a few, global enterprises are now continually and rapidly modifying their strategy in response to changing markets. Business type could be diversified as well as focussed on particular field

Strategy can be said to be a plan of action for carrying out certain goal. It is also concerned with the ways in which various engagements are connected. Strategy is the art and science of making use of all the forces of a nation so as to carry out approved plans as much as possible. It is made up of components such as, the preparation of resources and a long-range view strategy which has been adopted by most organisations in present day business world. Strategy is different from objectives, goals or purposes because it defines how they are to be achieved, that is, it is not made up of mission, but of plan on how this mission can be achieved. Just like other business process, business strategy cannot only be formed, but carried out, managed and controlled. Strategy is the greatest and most effective winning instrument employed by most organisations to acquire success. Although the concept of strategy is a military term, but it has been generally adopted for business use.

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According to G. Johnson, K. Scholes, R. Whittington,"strategy is the direction and scope of an organisation over the long term, which achieves advantage in a changing environment through its configuration of resources and competencies with the aim of fulfilling stakeholder expectations".

According to Thompson et al., 2010, a firm overall strategy is a collection of strategic initiatives and actions devise by management and key employees up and down the organisation hierarchy. For an organisation like Honda, with large operational base, diverse and geographically scattered, managers and key employees at all levels of the organisational hierarchy tends to take more active roles in the formulation and crafting of strategic initiatives and actions. The hierarchy of planning in a firm is usually categorised along the lines of corporate strategic level, functional level and functional or departmental operational level strategy. At the corporate strategic level of the business hierarchy, firm planning are usually long-termed and are decided by board of directors acting upon the wills of the shareholders. Corporate level strategy has to do with the choice of various businesses which organisations compete with. It is concerned with the overall purpose and scope of an organisation and how value will be added to the different parts (business units) of the organisation. Stating the general goals of the organisation, the kind of business which should be operated and the way these businesses can be controlled. As the name implies, corporate strategy aims at developing synergies and deciding how the unit of business are managed. This level of strategy also defines where competition is to be localised and controls activities and business connection.

The Honda case study, sees the business chairman, led board of directors decides on the future of the business using both internal and external knowledge to formulate the direction of the organisation in years ahead. Strategic planning at this stage plans are formulated for a 3 years scope with business profitability and capabilities nurtured with core-competence to develop a resourced-based strategy.

Business level strategy is about how a business competes successfully in particular markets. It places the business against rivals and brings about changes in demand and recent technologies. It also influences the kind of competition with the use of strategic actions. The business level strategy of any business organisation is composed of senior managements of departments such as human resources, finance; manufacturing, sales and marketing etc, the strategies formulated at this level have a short time span with tactical orientation.

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At the functional or departmental operational strategy level, junior managers and key employees are responsible for crafting strategic initiatives ranging from developing and maintaining operational and budget excellence, daily planning and control in manufacturing, distribution and service provisions. For Honda, junior managers such as store managers, team mangers and other key employees are responsible for these roles and actions.

However, a good strategy formulation and execution requires diligent pursuit of operational excellence and it's the job of the firm`s whole management team. In most instances, managing corporate strategy follows critical and principal steps which includes, strengthening and building strategy-supportive competence, competitive capabilities and organising work team by recruiting and maintaining skills and requisite expertise. In addition, allocation of resources (human and materials) critical to the firm success and ensuring policies and procedures facilitates rather than inhibit effective executions. Pushing for continuous improvements and support for compliance with tailored organisations best practices.

Also, installing and updating information and operating systems that enables employees to perform their job efficiently, and introducing the right motivations to support the pursuance of target objects and creating a favourable organisational culture of performance and exerting internal leadership drives to performance.

Merger and Acquisitions (M&A) can also be regarded as a part of corporate strategy which involves buying, selling and combining of various organisations that are capable of aiding; financing and helping a growing firm develop rapidly without forming another business entity. While acquisition which is also referred to as takeover is the act of a larger organisation obtaining ownership of a smaller organisation. Merger on the other hand has to do with two companies combining together to form a new company. The major idea behind buying a company is to form shareholder value among organisations.

Brief History of Honda Motors

Honda motor company is one of the world largest automobile makers and suppliers all over the world. As one of the world largest producer of motorcycles as well as the largest producer of internal combustion engines which is judged by its volume and manufacturing around 14million internal combustion engines yearly, Honda motors rose above one of its close rival Nissan in year 2001 to be the second largest Japanese automobile producer.

As at August 2008, Honda was adjudged to have overthrown Chrysler to the position of the fourth largest automobile manufacturer in the US. Up until now, Honda motors still maintained the sixth largest automobile producer in the globe.

Strategies employed by Honda motors

Honda Motors as one of the world automobile manufacturers has been able to stand itself clear from other automobile manufacturers as a result of the various strategies that it has maintained for so long a time amongst which are:

Individual-group dichotomy

Honda Motors places great emphasis on the individuality of its employee's success through encouraging the very sense of competition amongst its employees. The sense of individual innovation and inventiveness was openly preached and encouraged among its employees. This same strategy was not only encouraged among the individual but it was also carried on amongst the individual managers such that each individual manager was closely associated with the projects and product or service that they were responsible for at all times.

Organisational structure in Honda Motors

Organisational structure in any organisation has to do with the way(s) in which an organisation matches its people (employees) with the jobs or tasks that is to be performed in order for the set goal to be achieved. .Honda employs face-to-face communication in cases when the work to be carried out is very small as formal structure may be unnecessary, but in other cases and especially when a larger organization decisions have to be made about the delegation of various tasks. Thus, procedures are established that assign responsibilities for various functions. It is these decisions that determine Honda Motors organizational structure.

In an organization of any size or complexity just like Honda Motors, employees' responsibilities typically are defined by what they do, who they report to, and for managers, who reports to them. Over time these definitions are assigned to positions in the organization rather than to specific individuals. The best organizational structure for any organization depends on many factors including the work it does; its size in terms of employees, revenue, and the geographic dispersion of its facilities; and the range of its businesses (the degree to which it is diversified across markets).

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There are multiple structural variations that organizations can take on, but there are a few basic principles that apply and a small number of common patterns. With Honda, it believes that once an organization becomes larger and still pursues rigid vertical structures of organization control just like most organizations still do till today, such organization loses the very small firm vigor and the very horizontal linkages and communication which are very necessary to the organization's innovation and dynamism. . Pushing for continuous improvements and support for compliance with tailored organisations best practices.

Also, installing and updating information and operating systems that enables employees to perform their job efficiently, and introducing the right motivations to support the pursuance of target objects and creating a favourable organisational culture of performance and exerting internal leadership drives to performance.