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Literature review summaries the finding of a search of literature that demonstrates that the literature has been read, located and evaluated as Collis and Hussey (2003) stated in their book 'Business Research'. The literature review also focused on the various knowledge, views and ideas expressed by different authors whether for or and against a topic in the field of studies, its strengths and weakness that has become strategic and critical to this review in the following areas: Competitive Advantage, Corporate Strategy, Marketing Strategies, Corporate Responsibilities, Reward Strategy, Competition, Change Management, Leadership/ Leadership Style, Customer Relation/Satisfaction and Pricing Strategy.
2.1 Competitive Advantage:
Competitive advantage is the value a firm gives to a product as Porter (1985) says. Dess, et al (2003) also Goldman and Nieuwenhuizen (n.d.) stated, that it is an innovation issue in finding a new and improved way of doing things ensuring long term survival of the organisation.
Barney, (2001) gives four empirical indicators for the firm to generate sustained competitive advantage, value, rareness, imitability, and substitutability, while Porter further stated that there are two basic types of competitive advantage: cost leadership and differentiation. This can be achieved essentially by differentiating ones products and services from those of competitors and through low costs or by customising the product. However, Porter advised firms to avoid being 'stuck in the middle'; Knights (1992) found it difficult to follow in practice, while Pitelis and Taylor (1996) argued and understood the concept as being stuck in the middle between the two, Ansoff (1965) used it but more so to identify what a firm needed to compete effectively, therefore Porter's recommendations for achieving competitive advantage leaves one to conclude it as deficient.
Downes' article "Beyond Porter" stated that five forces are no longer viable, but identified three new forces as a strategic business design tool, which has become powerful forces recently, since the markets are highly sophisticated with information technology making digitalisation, globalisation and deregulation viable options.
NGC's competitive advantage can be seen in their location which is strategically situated in the 'education centre' of the country. Its leadership style involves an all encompassing approach and their methods of communications have all contributed significantly to their attaining competitive advantage. Additionally, their exposure to wider global initiatives has had the resultant effect of providing an expanding world view and stakeholders input.
2.2 Corporate Strategy
Corporate strategy can be seen as a management control system in organisation. Johnson and Scholes (2004) define strategy as 'the direction and scope of an organisation over the long termâ€¦.' Thompson, (2004, p.24) stated, corporate strategy consists of the initiatives the company usesâ€¦â€¦the approaches corporate executives pursue â€¦and the means of capturing and turning cross-businesses synergies into competitive advantage.
Some authors criticisms of Porter's is that his concepts need further clarification, his premature dismissal of the portfolio approach, Goold (1987) argue that there are few circumstances under which a financial control style can be preferable his lack of attention for organisational issues, difficulty in operationalizing the better-off test, and the unclearly defined concept of corporate theme. While no longer at the forefront of corporate strategy his ideas are still accepted and applicable in the business world.
Porter stated:"It is a pattern of major objectives, purposes or goals and essential policies or plans for achieving those goals". In other words, it defines what business the company is in or is to be in and the kind of company it is or is to be. The objectives and policy are a framework of a corporate strategy, and describe an organisation's purpose, plans and actions for implementation as written by Andrews.
Mullins, (2007) puts another spin on strategy when he stated, "competitiveness and the external environment have placed important emphasis on corporate strategy and the competencies of managers". Hence, it seems that the strategy at NGC places deliberate and systematic emphasis on leadership development and to consciously seek to identify potential leaders and providing avenues for expression. This strategy seems to be excellent for NGC, in a world where leadership is lacking and ethical issues are at the forefront of corporate governance.
Strategy effectiveness is about first asking questions, then improving the quality of those questions through listening to the answers and acting on the new knowledge. Any effective strategy requires the successful integration of thoughts about tomorrow's new business opportunities with both past experience and the pattern of today's behaviours as seen in Lloyd's, (2001).
2.3 Marketing Strategies:
The marketing mix termed by Borden, (1964) refers to the primary elements of product, price, place and promotion known as the 4ps of marketing. The environment has evolved becoming more competitive with emphasis on customer satisfaction and what benefit is it to the customer. Belch, (2004) referred to a product as a bundle of benefits or value that satisfies the needs of consumers. In the case of NGC, it would appear that the potential value-added benefit and product have incrementally developed into a brand worth promoting.
Kotler, (2006) defines marketing mix as satisfying needs and wants through an exchange process. It would seem that many organisations are culpable of an inconsiderate approach to their marketing strategy, with the resultant effect of diminishing return in customer satisfaction. (agree or disagree)
Levitt's (YEAR), states that companies should view marketing from the customer's perspective, while sustaining growth depends on how broadly you define the business, and how you gauge the needs of the customer.
Most business is seen as producing goods or services as in the private institution, and not as buying customers, they are product oriented instead of customer oriented.
Marketing is wide as it is specific and based on the findings in this review it suggests that in order for a marketing plan to be successful the appropriate strategy for the organisation must be applied, in its attempt to achieve the company's objectives.
The marketing approach has been observed to be consistent and effective in their methodology towards achieving higher market share and sustainable growth.
(show relevance to Research Question) Whether NGC institution present a superior model in light of deteriorating standards and unrealised goals within the education system?" (Subject to change)
2.4 Corporate Responsibilities:
Corporate responsibilities (CR) refer to the value system and ethical responsibilities of an organisation which serves as an important signal to employees, investors and consumers. (Source?)
Kotler and Lee (2005) states that corporations are expected to give back to the communities in the form of charitable projects which is good public relation providing best practices and cutting-edge ideas for today's good corporate citizen.
Jones in (Hopkins, 2007) cites, it is not about investing in communities to resolve social problems, but about the company's integrity in governing itself, fulfils its mission, living by its values, engages with its stakeholders, measures its impact and reports on its activities.
Blowfield and Murray (2008), In contrast, sees it as creating programmes to tackle specific ideas, then put in place systems to enforce and sustain what is considered to be ethical practices where a report is produced after which it is seen as law and becomes a business driver.
Merck's philosophy of CR is that medicine is important for the people but the profits follow and if we never forget that, increased profitability will follow. Corporate responsibility is critical to any organisation and a main part of human resource management.
NGC should revisit their corporate responsibilities to meet or consider the standard outlined in the theories discussed here, so that it may add value to the organisation and thus, further strengthened it competitiveness.
The term "Leadership" connotes the image of powerful, dynamic individuals who commands victorious armies and leads and direct corporate empires or shape the courses of nations (Yuki, 2010). An observation by Bennis, (1959) states:
Always, it seems, the concept of leadership eludes us or turns up in another form to taunt us again with its slipperiness and complexity. So we have invented an endless proliferation of terms to deal with itâ€¦ and still the concept is not sufficiently defined.
There are many definitions for the word leadership and most assumptions are that it is to exert authority, control, traits, behaviours, influence and interaction of patterns and roles over people to guide them in facilitating activities in a group or organisation.
Numerous definitions appear to have little in common, such as who exerts influence, the intended purpose, the manner and outcome of that influence.
Yuki (2010): Leadership is the process of influencing others to understand and agree about what is done and how to do it, and the process of facilitating individual and collective efforts to accomplish shared objectives.
Leadership according to Katz & Kahn, (1978): is the influential increment over and above mechanical compliance with the routine directives of the organisation. Hemphill & Coons (1957): the behaviour of an individualâ€¦.directing the activities of a group towards a shared goal. Burns (1978): is when personsâ€¦.mobiliseâ€¦ institutional, political, psychological, and other resources so as to arouse, engage and satisfy the motives of followers. House et al, (1999), leadership is the ability of an individual to influence, motivate, and enable others to contribute toward the effectiveness and success of the organisation. Richards & Engle (1986); leadership is about articulating visions, embodying values, and creating the environment within which things ca be accomplished.
The issue of leadership can be seen as a specialised role or shared influence process which can jeopardise its effect if shared. Another view is an influence process that occurs naturally within a social system and diffused among members.
Some theorists define leadership as an exercise of influence resulting in a commitment by followers, as opposed to indifferent compliance or reluctant obedience.
Bennis &Nanus, (1985), Zalenik, (1977) contend that leadership and management are qualitatively different and mutually exclusive, while Bennis & Nanus (1985) proposed managers are people who do things right and leaders are people who do the right thing. Bass (1990), Hickman (1990), Kotter (1988), Mintzberg (1973) and Rost (1991) view leading and managing as distinct processes or roles, but do not assume that leaders and managers are different types of people. Mintzberg (1973) describes leadership as one of 10 managerial roles. Kotter (1990) proposed that managing seeks to produce predictability and order whereas leading seeks to produce organisational change. The importance of leading and managing depends in part on the situation. Rost (1991) defined management as an authority relationship that exists between a manager and subordinates to produce and sell goods and services.
Leadership or management controversy continues while a person can be a leader without being a manager, and a person can be a manager without leading. Managers are concerned with how things are done and try to get people to perform better, while leaders are concerned with what things mean to people, and try to get them to agree about the important things to be done. (can this be happening @NGC)
2.6 Leadership styles
There are many dimensions to leadership and many ways to describe the styles of leaders. Basically, it is the operations and functions of the manager's leadership style that continues to have a great effect on the organisation.
The leader, a follower, and the situation theories have been classified into:
which are further conceptualised as intra-individual, dyadic, group and organisational processes.
Equally, today's managers seems to be more equipped for every situation where various leadership skills and styles are incorporated into their everyday function to suit the situation and taking on the role as required.
Integrative Leadership is a holistic, reflective and responsive approach to leading oneself, leading others, and leading in the organization and involves developing multiple perspectives, utilizing intelligences and educating on levels of awareness.(Hatala &Hatala, 2005), this leadership model can be seen in NGC, where Fielder's favourability of leadership situation, Vroom et al (0000) revised, quality and acceptance of leader's decision, Hersey and Blanchard, readiness level of followers are defined and incorporated along with the path-goal theory by House and later House and Dessler.
The integrated contingency models together with the autocratic, laissez-faire, dictatorial, unitary, bureaucratic, benevolent, charismatic, consultative, participative or abdicatorial styles make the function of management even more complex in its application. (This can be eliminated, if too much wordsâ€¦not important)
2.7 Reward Strategy:
Armstrong (2009) writes reward strategies deal with pay structures and can come in different shape and sizes. It can be a form of motivation, whether non-financial as well as financial rewards. Manas and Graham (2003) writes salary, bonuses, benefits and perks are the most visible element of a reward program. Adams' suggests that people are only motivated when treated equitably.
Latham and Locke states it is both performance and motivation, while Vroom's is based on the more effort, the higher the reward. Rewards can be tangible and intangible, however most employees sees it as pay. Berger and Berger states rewards are the policies and practices that provide you with something of value in return for contributions.
Herzberg's factors are seen as motivating people because of the value of the work, the recognition received, along with responsibility and the potential for growth as a reward. Recognition, too many is not seen as a reward because it is not monetary, how be it in many cases, a simple thank you or an acknowledgement by someone in authority would boost ones morale, increase productivity and motivate the employee.
Commendations are given on a monthly basis to the students of NGC, as a means of motivation and rewards by the institution. Although succession planning has been initiated, it may be or may not be safe to assume that promotion and remuneration packages are yet to be fully formalised to meet industry standards. This leaves us to believe that the teachers are dedicated and willing to make sacrifices for the students.
(are there suggestions to remedy this / increase function by even rewarding teacher based on evaluation by student etc)
Competition is a business relation, in which two or more parties compete to gain customers, it is also rivalry between companies to achieve greater market share. Competition between companies for customers will lead to product innovation and improvement; it also builds team spirit and ultimately, lower prices .
Porters Five Forces:
Diagram of Porters five forces
Porter's five forces capture the idea of the theory on competition with the suppliers, buyers, substitutes, new entrant and the competitors and has been criticised by Neill. Although Coyne and Subramaniam criticized Porter stating three dubious assumptions underlies the five forces: that buyers, competitors, and suppliers are unrelated and do not interact and collude; that the source of value is structural advantage (creating barriers to entry); and that uncertainty is low, allowing participants in a market to plan for others behaviour.
Additionally, Brandenburger and Nalebuff(0000) further criticised Porter's five forces and added a 6th force called the complementors, this refers to organisations producing products and services which support those of another industry and add value using game theory which explains strategic alliances. Other references say the 6th force is the government or the public. This may seem to imply that competition drives innovative ideas, increase productivity and also gives way for team spirit.
NGC richness of ideas and originality of thinking creatively is indicatives of the adaptability and adaptation of the requirements of the education act, but reserving the right to embrace a multifaceted approach in pursuit of a holistic and all-round learning environment. To quote Helsel: 'The teacher is capable of exerting considerable control over the destiny of an innovation'. This should be continued as it offers opportunities for creativity by students.
The exploration of multiple Intelligences can be considered a portal with the potential to inextricably link creativity and innovative ideas. According to Gardner,(0000) every form of intelligence has a unique biological basis, a distinct course of development, and different expert, or 'end-state', performances; with particular emphasis on the requirement for a lengthy process of education to transform any raw potential into a mature social role. (Basic, 1993)
Without competition, the possibility exist that there could be freedom for un-ethical practices to be pursued and organisations could use any means necessary to succeed or compete in the market arena.
Although the environment is highly competitive, an awareness and understanding of NGC operations should be achieved for the present strategy to be effective. Therefore, monitoring the situation and being at the cutting edge is a matter for NGC to consider with its values for continuum.
2.9 Change Management
Change is a pervasive influence. It is an inescapable part of both social and organisational life and we are all subject to continual change of one form or another.(Mullins, 2007)
Change can be simplistic and based on observation and not investigation and research, like Grundy (1993) three types are: bumpy incremental change, discontinuous change and smooth incremental change, Senior and Flemming (2006, p. 42-46)
Balogun and Hope Hailey's (2004) agrees with Grundy but takes it further, while Tushman et al (1988) suggest that change should be developed to be a fit between organisation strategy, structure and processes; thus it is a reactive change made to fit the dynamics of the environment and would have elements of fine-tuning and incremental adjustment.
Stacy and Dunphy (2001) argue that corporate transformations can take various forms and should be undertaken in a directive or coercive fashion. Similarly, Kotter (1996) ignores the continuum of change, but argues that organisations need to be continuously transforming through a series of large and small interlinked change projects at different levels, functions and timescale (Burnes, 2009).
Step change which is a sudden change in the value of some variable while Planned change is change consciously embarked upon by an organisation and associated with organisational development, as Lewin in Burnes (2009, p.328) where the organisation identifies and undertakes the process to bring about change.
Out of Storey (1992) two key dimensions, were constructed a four-fold typology of change and top-down systemic change aimed at transforming the organisation. Also 'kaizen' or continuous improvement is a method of change that introduces total quality management (TQM) which is a way of managing that gives everyone in the organisation responsibility for delivering quality to the final customer.
NGC's motto 'Impact through education' is a transformational phrase and is connected to the governing body, whose focus is upon personal and individual transformation to that of systemic impact through societal and institutional transformation. NGC's emergent change process morphed over a ten year period, as they learnt and were occupied in the various change methods incrementally.
2.10 Customer Relation:
Customer relationship management (CRM) is the influence of effective communication skills that manipulates customer's happiness and job satisfaction, giving them the tools the business needs to maximize opportunities and keep customers delighted.
CRM according to Genghis Khan is that 'you cannot be everything to everyone' but knowing and understanding your customer and their expectation, knowing what you represent is a key component to any successful organisation.(zen-moments.com)
CRM processes helps to identify and target their best customers, generate quality sales leads, and plan and implement marketing campaigns with clear goals and objectives; it also forms individualized relationships with customers (to improve customer satisfaction) and provide the highest level of customer service to the most profitable customers; which provides employees with the information they need to know their customers' wants and needs, and build relationships between the company and its customers.(About.com/marketing)
The term 'the customer is always right' was used over the years where it was profitable to keep a good customer happy and lose a little profit, rather than argue with the customer. This developed the complaint department and CRM became important to the organisation (referenceforbusiness.com) which opened the door for customer satisfaction.
Your headings and arguments need to be integrated to the research questionâ€¦
[They argue that use of control to manipulate or coerce is not leading, but an unethical use of power. (show how there can be used to support the research ques or its objectives)
An opposing view is that it is too restrictive and excludes the processes for understanding why managers are effective or ineffective. Depending on the situation the outcome can be different, but commitment to the cause and discovering the best option for individual or the organisation would result in the influential process of leadership. (tell if you agree or disagree with this)]
[However, Wilson (1992) and Quinn (1980) criticised that for change to take place an environmental analysis must be done and Quinn states that strategic decisions are made in spite of formal planning, Senior and Fleming, (2006, p.53). ]
Innovation is the introduction of something new, a new idea, method, or device: novelty (merriam-webster.com); while creativity is the ability to produce something new through imaginative skill, whether a new solution to a problem, a new method or device, or a new artistic object or form (answers.com).
who showed personnel enhancement and aptitude in various skills sets, development. However, by observation it may seems to suggest that only the students are commended for their efforts, while the staff go unnoticed and are bypass where commendations are concerned.