Assessing strategic business management and planning


As per, 2006 - Coca Cola is a soft drink enjoyed by millions of people around the world. It was found in 1886 in Atlanta, at the soda fountain at Jacob's fountain and it was priced at 5 cents for 1 glass. It was discovered due to the curiosity of a pharmacist named John Pemberton, who accidently discovered this drink, and initially sold only 9 glasses a day. But after a hundred years later, they produced more than 10 billion gallons of the syrup. The first president was Asa Griggs Candler, and he was the one who had the true vision to this organisation.

Candler was a born salesman, and hence he always thought of different ways and ideas to promote this drink. He did this by distributing coupons. Within about 10 years, they had their plants in Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles. (, 2006)

This company is publicly listed on the stock exchange. It still has its headquarters based in Atlanta. They are the largest beverage company in the world. They function in around 200 countries, and they stylishly advertise and brand about 3,000 drinks (sparkling and still). (, 2006)

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The Coca-Cola Company hires around 92,400 people and they operate in six different groups - Eurasia and Africa, Europe, Latin America, North America, and Pacific. (, 2006)

They manufacture beverages, concentrates and syrups in a unique manner. They are then sold to the operations team who deal with the bottling. They either own their brand or they license it. They imply on connecting their brand to the customers, and to do this they employ various methods, i. e. advertising through the print medium and television, online programs, visual display in various retail outlets, designing and also different competitions and promotions. (, 2006)

They, as a company focus on creating their beverage as unique as possible, and then market it in full fledge. This allows them to understand what the customer wants or expects, as each person has different choices, thus enabling them to understand the diverse needs of each customer. (The, 2006)

Most of their syrups are either "manufactured, sold or distributed" (The, 2006) by partners who either own them independently or partner with the company.

Financially, the company has done quite well. If the results of the year 2009 are studied, then the system sold about 24.4 billion unit cases of their products.

Also, the selected financial data, as adapted from (The, 2006), can be seen below:

If the data from the last 3 years are compared, then we can conclude that it has been making profits, in terms of their net income, their earnings per share and their total assets.

Their gross profit margin went down from 64.2 % in 2009, as compared to 64.4 % in 2008. The main reason that the company gave for this was due to fluctuations in the foreign currency.

All in all, the Coca-Cola Company is a profit - making organisation.

Information about 'Cancer Research UK':

(All information from, 2010):

Cancer Research UK is the largest organisation in the UK, which raises funds for cancer research, and in the world, it is the largest charity organisation, devoted to cancer research. They organize world - class research to help people better understand cancer, the different ways to prevent it, how it can be diagnosed and the various treatments for different kinds of cancer.

Cancer Research UK was found in 2002, when 2 companies merged - The Cancer Research campaign and The Imperial Cancer Research fund (which was launched in 1902).

This organisation provides support across the UK to approximately 4,800 scientists, doctors and nurses. They also support more than 100 clinical trials, where there are studies of cancer being carried out, all over UK.

In the year 1970, they won a Nobel Prize, which was won by "Dr Renato Dulbecco, Deputy Research Director of our London Research Institute."

Another milestone for this organisation was to start their website - CancerHelp UK, in the year 1995, with the aim to offer all kinds of information on the different types of cancer to the patients themselves or to their families and friends. Through this website, they have a special dedicated team, who also provide confidential telephone service to people having questions or doubts about cancer. They also publish a journal: the British Journal of Cancer, which is published twice a month, and it is a professional medical journal.

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The most pivotal year in their history was 2002, when Cancer Research UK, was found - and that was exactly 100 years after the foundation of the original cancer charity.

In the year 2008 / 2009, they spent almost £303 million, which was 61% of their budget on their research. The remaining amount of money was spent on fund - raising and trading, and also on campaigning, advertising, administration etc.

The entire funding of Cancer Research UK is done by the public. They do this through donations, fundraising, organizing events and donating the amount to the organisation. There are about 47,500 people who volunteer for Cancer Research UK.

The spending of their money is also decided. For every £1.00 that they receive, they spend 80 pence on their research work - this is except the retail sales. There is no funding by the government for this research work. The diagram below shows how the donations are spent:

In the year 2009 / 2010, they spent £334 million on their research on different types of cancer. They also spent about £15 million, on their information about cancer.

From the chairman's report, the total income for Cancer Research UK, for the year ending 31st March 2010, was £515 million, which was £17 million more than 2009. Also their fund raising income was recorded at £446 million, which was again £13 million more than 2009.

Also, we can compare their total expenditure and their total income (£m), as per the diagram below:

With this foresight, Cancer Research UK wants to fight cancer in every possible way, by paying detailed attention to costs and by improving their efficiency.


Organisational Structure of 'The Coca-Cola Company':

As per, 2006:

The company prefers centralizing the structure. They have 2 operating groups, which are:

Bottling Investments


They have also divided their operating groups, by the regions they operate in. They are:



European Union

Latin America

North America


The company very well maintains a balance on 'standardization' and 'mutual adjustment.' They also have a code of conduct, which states how each employee should behave and act. The company's organisational structure is a mixture of organic and mechanistic models.

Mechanistic Model:

The manufacturing organisation uses this structure in which they use mass production, and the end result expected is an efficient production.

Organic Model:

The structure is basically unique, as it has many features based on the organic structure. The reason for this is marketing and local appeal.

This mismatch in the structure might lead to the fact that the production may not be as efficient as expected, but the advantages of the company's structure overshadow the end results.

They employ about 92,400 employees, and they have about 5 levels of hierarchy. Below mentioned is the chart which shows that:

Technology of the Organisation:

They are again divided into 2 parts:

Small - batch and Unit Production: Low to Medium

Large - batch and Mass Production: Medium to High

Organisational Structure of 'Cancer Research UK':

Cancer Research UK has designed their organisational structure with customer service in mind. (, 2010) Their various departments are:

HR Advisory Team

Internal Communications & Engagements


Learning and Development

Resources and Rewards

Resourcing Operations

Resources and Rewards

Reward & Recognition

They operate in special functional teams. They tend to amalgamate 2 departments, for example, Internal Communications and Learning & Development. They then join together, to provide support to specific customer - oriented areas. For example: Science, Fund raising etc.

The detailed structure is as mentioned below: (, 2010)


Key Stakeholders for 'The Coca-Cola Company' and their influence on the strategic level decision making:

According to the corporate responsibility (, 2010) - the stakeholders of the company can be seen from the diagram below:

The current stakeholders are:



NGO's (Non - governmental organisations)

Local Communities

Special Interest Groups

Government Agencies



The most influential stakeholders would be the management team of the company, specifically the divisional managers. There are 2 functions which are most important in helping the company gain a competitive advantage. They are marketing and innovation / research and development. The latter must come up with the products that the marketing demands, and thus they can stay true to their brand name. (, 2010)

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No stakeholder can be considered as less important, as all of them are important up to a certain extent. But there are two stakeholders, whom the company must take care off the most - they are the employees, as they should be able to trust their own company, because if there is no trust, then they tend to be less loyal, less productive and less motivated. The others are customers, who have to be made sure of the company's products, because if they are not able to trust the company, then they would switch to a competitor.

Key Stakeholders for 'Cancer Research UK' and their influence on the strategic level decision making:

As per, 2010 - the main stakeholders for this organisation are as below:


Members of the organisation


Investors / Lenders

Customers / Service Users / Families

The local community

The local authority



Many charity organisations consider having stakeholders. In fact, even the charity commission support this idea, as they provide more benefits to the organisation.

The most influential stakeholder would be the local community and investors and lenders, because without their donations, the organisations would not be able to run the charity. Again, there is no stakeholder who is less important, as all of them are equally important, as without even one of them, the goals of the organisation can not be met.

The matrix below can help an organisation decide how influential one particular group is in the decision making process of the company.

Sally Markwell, Adapted from:


Mission, Values and Goals of the Coca - Cola organisation: (, 2010)

Mission Statement: (, 2010):

The mission statement of the company is based on endurance. It basically informs about the reason why the company exists, and it also serves as the standard by which the company can measure if it is meeting everyone's expectations, actions and decisions.

They are as follows:

"To refresh the world

To inspire moments of optimism and happiness

To create value and make a difference."

Vision: (, 2010):

The vision of the company helps the organisation decide the way the organisation performs, and acts as a guideline to help them decide what they need to do to make sure that they maintain their sustainability and make sure that the company grows and also maintains their quality as well.

They have different visions for all:

"People": They want the company to be a place where people would want to work and that they get the inspiration to bring out the best in themselves.

"Portfolio": They want to make sure that they provide their beverages with unmatched quality, and be a brand name, that meet the people's expectations and satisfy their needs and desires.

"Partners": They want to partner with the customers and suppliers with whom they would want to create a value which would be mutual.

"Planet": It motivates the people to be responsible individuals by helping to build and sustain communities.

"Profit": It helps to make sure that the company is able to make sure that the shareholders are able to reap maximum profits, along with being responsible for their actions.

"Productivity": They want to be very effective in what they do, and also want to move ahead and make progress.

Values: (, 2010):

Organizational values are very important for any organisation, as they define who they are and what they believe in. Their values are:

"Leadership": It gives the bravery to make sure that they can give the future a definite dimension

"Collaboration": It influences "collective genius'

"Accountability": It helps to be responsible for our own actions and make sure that if something needs to be done, it is up to oneself to do it.

"Passion": It helps to be committed in both heart and mind.

"Diversity": It should not be exclusive only to the brand.

"Quality": It is based that whatever one does, it should be done to the best of one's abilities.

Mission, Values and Goals of Cancer Research UK:

This is a non - profit charity organisation. S, their mission, values and goals would be quite different as compared to Coca-Cola.

Their UK vision is - "Together we will beat cancer." (, 2010)

To meet this vision, they have set the full goals:

They carry out research which is of world - class quality, which enables them to understand cancer from a different and a deeper perspective. This in turn enables them to find out new and innovative ways to prevent, diagnose and make sure that there is a treatment for all kinds of cancer.

To ensure that all the research findings help the people suffering with cancer to improvise on their lives.

To enable people to develop a better understanding of cancer.

To work in an equal partnership with different people to make sure that they are able to achieve what they want and help to fight cancer on a global level.

Critical analysis of the process of developing these references to the conflicting needs of different stakeholders of each organization

Coca - Cola:

There are conflicts amongst these stakeholders as they all have different goals. Some of them are:

The shareholders are most focused on the profit the company earns

The local communities are more focused on the environmental factors and how it can benefit their local community.

The suppliers charge more in order to gain more revenue

The company itself would want to pay the lowest prices to the suppliers in order to decrease their costs.

The management would be focusing on keeping the labour costs down.

The employees would be more focused on a rise in their incomes and more increased benefits.

Cancer Research UK:

Here also, there are conflicts amongst stakeholders, but they would normally arise when any stakeholders considers their own personal interest before the interest of the organisation.


Current Strategic plan of the company to support the mission and vision, with reference to the influence of globalization in strategic planning:

Strategic Management can be defined as -

"….. All that is necessary to position the firm a way that will assure its long-term survival in a competitive environment" (Finlay, 2000, pg 10)

There are different reasons why strategic management is important for any organisation. One of the most important one would be Globalization. In today's world, if any organisation needs to survive, then it needs to globalize. All strategic decisions need to be taken considering globalisation in mind, because it does have a huge impact. The world has changed now and no boundaries or borders can put limitations on what one imagines or thinks. Every organisation must realize that they need to visualize the world from the other people's perspectives as well, if they would like to continue surviving in today's world. The foundations of strategic management make the management turn their views and understand the competitors, market segments, prices of various items, suppliers, distributors, government, creditors / lenders, shareholders and last but not the least, their customers. The organisation must realize that their products and services must be competitive not just on the local level but also throughout the world. (Finlay, 2000, pg 10)

The different business sectors are experiencing the distance between them lessening. This is basically because of the availability of specific facilities, which are readily and easily available. Though there are legal and political boundaries, which still might prove a hindrance, but as long as an organisation focuses on globalisation, it is sure to gain a competitive advantage, and will be able to survive in the long run. (Finlay, 2000, pg 10)

Current Strategic Plans of Coca - Cola:

The organisation uses its core competencies as part of their strategic planning. Their two main core competencies are: the powerful brand name, and their network of bottlers and distributors.

Because of this big and impactful brand name, they are able to bargain to a higher level.

The contracts they set up with their distributors and bottlers makes sure that there is a symbolic interdependence between them.

The basic strategy they use is DIFFERENTIATION.

They are widely known for marketing in an innovative way, which helps them to promote their hugely successful brand name, and helps them to protect their domains from competition.

They continue doing their market research on a large scale. Due to this reason, they open more offices locally, and they are constantly on the search for innovative ways to appeal to the customers.

Their local marketing strategy also takes various feedbacks from their customers, as to what their tastes and preferences are. As per the research done by, 2006, they found that people associated themselves with beverages as a reflection of themselves. No matter who the consumer is, they made sure to make their consumers know that their company was there for them. They not only want to make great beverages, but also want to make contributions to different communities around the world.

Current Strategic Plans of Cancer Research UK:

Cancer Research UK is a non - profit charity organisation. Their strategic plans supports their long term objectives, gives them a measure by which they can judge how successful they are, and also helps them keep a check on their achievements.

The plan is developed on 2 main strategic goals, which shows their priority on the research of cancer. With the implementation of these strategic plans, they have designed to fulfill their goals. They are:

They are currently one of the best research centers for cancer in the world. Their plan is to continue doing so.

Their second plan is to make a huge difference and contribution in educating and training the coming generations to become the leaders of cancer research.


Appreciate the uniqueness of the profit and not for profit in strategic planning referring to the case studies of selected organization

It is very important for an organisation to decide whether it is going to be make profits or just be a charitable organisation. Based on this, the strategic planning needs to be done; The main differences between profit and non-profit organisations should be in the different steps they carry out to achieve their goals in order to achieve their strategic plans, rather than they should for their profit or not - profit status. It also depends on the size of the company. The organisations which are small, non - profits normally carry out their tasks or activities in a different manner as compared to the activities in the large organisations. On the contrary, large profit - oriented organisations and their activities are different.

A non - profit organisation like Cancer Research UK focuses more on matters related to the development of the board, in raising the fund, and also in managing volunteers. They have to respond to changes which might be dynamic or even hostile. (, 2010)

A profit - oriented organisation like Coca-Cola focuses on different activities to get as much profit as possible. (, 2006)

This process is considered strategic because it prepares an organisation to accept the changes occurring in the environment of the organisation. It does not matter whether they know about it in advance or not. (Finlay, 2000, pg 27-33)


Briefly analyze if you have found any similarities between on or more strategic business planning model theories (including emerging ones) and the practice the organizations mentioned in this assignment.

A very good strategic model given below has been adapted from

(Schmidt and Laycock, 2009, pg 3-4)

The similarity that can be seen is that both the organisations are focusing on the A, B and C mentioned above.

Coca-Cola has already done lots of market research and they know exactly who their threats are or what opportunities they have. Cancer research UK is also at one of the top most positions when it comes to research about cancer.

They have their background information deeply rooted, which helps them analyze their past situations from the present ones, and ultimately helps them in achieving their goals and objectives. (, 2009)