Desk Based Research As Strategy Plans Business Essay


Through desk based research a strategy plan of a sports organisation known as Cricket Board of Wales (CBW) will be undertaken to critically reflect much strength and weaknesses the organisation has, but also ways in which they can strive for success by improving and implementing a new strategy plan. The Cricket Board of Wales is a national governing body for the sport of cricket within Wales and works alongside the England Cricket Board (ECB).

When looking into the organisation of CBW a PEST analysis was undertaken to establish each area and where the organisation is currently at within the economic climate. Kotler (1998) claims that PEST analysis is a useful strategic tool for understanding market growth or decline, business position, potential and direction for operations. The use of PEST analysis can be seen as an effective tool for business and strategic planning. On the other hand Huczynski and Buchanan (2007) says PEST analysis is 'One approach to understanding context influences is through 'PEST analysis' which explores Political, Economical, Social and Technological issues affecting the organization and its members.'


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CBW head office is based in Cardiff meaning that areas such as North Wales and Mid Wales receive less attention at times.

CBW has to report to the Sports council for Wales when wanting to open a new programme or objective to receive their approval to carry out the project.

CBW receives funding from the government thus meaning they have to wait to establish how much funding they receive.

CBW has a strict legal framework whereby they have to abide to ensuring employee's are CRB checked, are aware of organisations regulations and are qualified within the area they have been employed.

CBW also has to ensure that each employee's wages are paid on time but also that they are paid the correct salary.


Current economic climate is resulting in the recession, affecting participation, funding and facilities being used by the CBW.

Distribution of funding has been limited within the last year.

The funding from the government itself has an affect on funding given from the Welsh Assembly Government and ECB which is then passed onto CBW.

Inflation rates also can affect the CBW as they receive funding from the government therefore the higher the interest the less funding received.


CBW acts as a role model to the young generation who are getting involved with the sport.

Demographics within teams entering leagues and even the communities which are not receiving any form of coaching.

Disability cricket for the CBW is also targeted with having a Welsh Disability team.

With the Swalec stadium hosting the Ashes it has increased the sport for mass participation in Wales and future internationals being held there next year.

Schemes such as Chance to shine (C2S) introduced to bring introduce cricket within state schools, and further educate children.

Numerous tournaments are set to progress grassroots from u11's right up to u17's of both girls and boys cricket.

Culturally the CBW is encouraging female participation from both regionally and nationally.


Each cricket development officer (CDO) contacts each other via email or phone. There is no internal network to communicate with each other, thus meaning a breakdown in communication at times.

The Database has to be deleted every so often for child protection, resulting in time taken to gather information.

The CBW website is slightly outdated with limited information given on aims or objectives.

The CBW also has to block book training, matches and hotels when playing cricket, this is done through email, telephones and text messaging.


(Situation Analysis)






CBW acts more as a national governing body (NGB) within Wales, therefore receives more money from Sports council for Wales.

CBW works well with Glamorgan County Cricket Club, forming a link between both organisations.

CBW also has a reputation of providing of working relationship alongside the ECB and providing good coaching and services.

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CBW also has the use of the resources such as facilities and administration.

CBW employ's experienced and knowledgeable employees allowing data to be used sufficiently.


The head office is based in Cardiff to cover the whole of Wales.

As CBW covers all of Wales the geographical element is a weakness.

A journey takes 4 hours from North Wales to Cardiff.

CBW has to cover 9 regions in Wales.

CBW management cover is a weakness due to the geographical locations employee's cannot always cover meetings.

CBW also has gap capabilities whereby they concentrate on certain areas and therefore gaps are created where attention can be given.


There has been an increase within the facilities for the CBW, for example new cricket stadium called Swalec stadium.

Links with Glamorgan Cricket Club, creating opportunities for further cohesiveness.

Acts as NGB therefore creates opportunities to create more objectives.

Technologies can be developed to engage all employee's throughout Wales with the use of internet or a new database.

Creating partnerships with other sports and creating new relationships.

Development of new schemes could create more opportunities.


Limited funding for each objective.

Current economic climate, travelling and training is affected.

Economic and political developments, meaning less funding given to the sport of cricket.

Technological factors in that software is outdated.

Political threats as the CBW has to go through the government when proposing new schemes.

Legislation could affect potential schemes therefore not able to progress the ideas.

'A SWOT analysis of the organisation- its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats- is a useful way of summarising the current status of the organisation'. Lynch (2003). Each analysis is unique in that it relates only to the CBW. The SWOT analysis will distinguish where the CBW is now, and where it would like to be.

Overall the PEST and SWOT analysis shows how the CBW has many positives and negatives aspects within the organisation whereby each

Strategic Choices

'A strategy is the pattern or plan that integrates an organization's major goals, policies and action sequences into a cohesive whole.' Mintzberg et al (1999). Strategy is down to making decisions Daft (2001) also agrees with Mintzberg by describing 'A strategy is a plan for interacting with the competitive environment to achieve organisational goals.'

Expanding club cricket.

Expanding state school cricket and exiting to clubs.

Expanding girl's cricket.

Increasing participation of cricket.

Providing coaching to progress elite talent.

Retaining opportunities for young cricketers.

Efficient administration right from junior cricket and elite cricket.

Providing facilities and coaching for cricket.

Vision Statement 2008-2011

A vision statement is in place to set an objective and aim for an organisation such as the CBW to head towards a certain direction but also plan for long term objectives in which the organisation wishes to achieve. 'The basic purpose for and driving force behind an organisation's existence.' Bovee et al (1993).


'Creating opportunities for young people to participate within cricket, through the concepts of school, club and elite level of cricket.'

Aims for CBW 2008-2011

'Increase participation within the sport of cricket from state school right through to national level, in particular female participation.'

Expanding state school cricket.

Expanding youth cricket within club teams.

Increase the opportunity of girl's participation.

These are three main aims in which the CBW has to focus on between the years of 2008-2011 whereby each aim has to be looked upon closely ensuring the target is met.

Aim 1: Creating opportunities of playing cricket within state schools.

1.1 Raise awareness of potential opportunities of cricket within state schools can achieve.

1.2 To plan cricket

activities for state schools.

1.3 To implement the activities within the state schools.

1.4 To review and implement a progression of the scheme.

To promote and meet with numerous schools throughout Wales.

Hold meetings in which the best action to take is discussed in detail.

To implement physical activity of cricket which will take place within schools.

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Evaluate the data of attendances and schools which have used the cricket scheme.

75% of the state schools are aware of the scheme to increase opportunities for cricket.

20 schools to participate in the programme, including indoor and outdoor facilities.

Each school to be performing cricket 5 hours per week.

Increase participation of children playing cricket and introduce lunchtime and after school club.





Venue for meetings

Cricket staff required




Evaluation forms

Coaches meeting

Schools review meeting.

January 2008

March 2008

April 2008

July 2008

Aim 2: With the expansion of cricket in state schools, this should also feed into the clubs increasing and starting up youth teams throughout Wales.

Operational Objective





2.1 Raise awareness of potential expansion of youth teams within clubs.

2.2 To plan cricket activities which encourage children to join clubs.

2.3 To implement the activities to increase participation.

2.4 To implement children joining existing clubs and creating new youth sections

2.5 To review and implement further progression of youth cricket.

To promote and meet with numerous clubs throughout Wales.

Hold meetings in which the best action to take is discussed in detail.

To implement physical activity of cricket to increase awareness and introduce cricket.

Give information and help so children join clubs, but also create new youth sections within clubs.

Evaluate data of attendances to activities and then those that have joined clubs.

60% of clubs are aware of the scheme to increase participation within youth sections.

Plan cricket days and encouragement of club's helping during the sessions.

Create fun days to introduce cricket, based throughout Wales.

Children feed out to clubs in which they receive coaching and play competitive matches.

Increase participation of children playing cricket with clubs.




Local communities.


Club directors

Venues for meetings/coaching









Evaluation forms

Coaches meeting

Club review meeting

September 2008

December 2008

February 2009

April 2009

September 2009

Aim 3: Increase the opportunity of girl's participation in cricket throughout Wales.

Operational Objective





3.1 Raise awareness of girl's potential opportunities within cricket.

3.2 To plan cricket activities which encourage girl's to participate.

3.3 To implement the activities to increase participation.

3.4 To review and implement a progression of the scheme.

To promote and meet with numerous clubs, schools and sports organisations throughout Wales.

Hold meetings in which the best action to take is discussed in detail.

To implement physical activity of cricket to increase the participation of girl's cricket. For example introductory lessons throughout Wales.

Evaluate data of attendances to activities and the schemes used to increase participation.

50% of girl's are aware of the scheme to increase participation.

Plan initiatives in order to increase participation such as cricket facilities and areas to target.

25% rise in participation of girl's cricket within Wales, also resulting in more progressing to representative level.

Ensuring participation has increased with more girl's playing cricket.





Local communities.



Club directors

Venues for meetings/coaching





Evaluation forms

Coaches meeting

Schools review meeting.

January 2010

March 2010

September 2010

April 2011

Stakeholders Analysis


UK Government

Prime Minister

Welsh Assembly Government


Local Authorities

ECB and International Sporting Bodies

Director of Cricket



Board of Directors


Heads of Departments

Regional Area Officers



Other government agencies



Sports Industry











Critical Reflection

Originally the influence of the military aspects concepts in which it was used within the military where by the Greeks used to describe strategy. Mintzberg used this finding of Quinn (1980) as 'The art of the general' however through the years the meaning has been adapted and modified 'to mean managerial skill (administration, leadership oration, power).' Strategy was then modified to represent 'the skill of employing forces to overcome opposition and to create a unified system of global governance.' If strategy has been adapted from military use, how does this relate to organisations within modern times as in the military is based with certain styles and rules to follow.

Strategy is considered important to many organisations today. But why is this so? Why do organisations use and follow their actions in accordance to a strategy. Daft (2001) 'A strategy is a plan for interacting with the competitive environment to achieve organisational goals'. Daft (2001) theory on strategy is vague in that the description states a strategy is a plan, however does not show how to implement a strategy. In comparison Johnson and Scholes (1998) describes strategy as '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'. From both Daft (2001) and Johnson and Scholes (1998) they both believe in that strategy is a key concept in the phrase of achieving goals and expectations, without a strategy in place the organisation are not likely to achieve success through planning.

When talking about strategy many authors discuss and base their strategies on numerous ideologies for example Pettigrew et al (2002) explains how questions are used to compile a strategic plan 'The classic questions of the strategist have been about the purposes, directions, choices, changes, governance, organisation and performance of organisations in their industry, market and social, economic and political contexts.' Pettigrew et al (2002) emphases each category in order to make a successful strategy plan if The Cricket Board of Wales was to carry out this specific theory and ask the questions in order to plan and make the right strategic choices for the organisation .

In order to have a strategic plan there are many other key factors which influence the strategy in which an organisation abides to. For example leadership, culture and decision making is also important when using a strategy as if this is not in place the strategic plan would not be as effective. Thus for CBW to use a strategic plan which is relevant and long term based for the current environment and used within market is important for success.

When critically writing, reflection is a key process into learning and thinking, but establishing strengths and weaknesses of the process of the work undertaken and gathering whether the course of action was beneficial to the study. Proctor (1993) 'emphases criticality in reflective practice. On this view, reflective practice is the process looking back in a critical way at what has occurred and using the results of this process, together with professional knowledge (with technical and ethical aspects), to tackle new situations.' This was the case when carrying out the research for finding an organisation which was appropriate but also needed advice and help to their current strategic plan. Armstrong, (2000). 'Strategy is a statement on what the organization wants to become, where it wants to go and, broadly, how it means to get there'. When researching the CBW and gathering the relevant information, their action plan was very broad in that their goals were broad in wanting to achieve elite success. I feel as if the aims in which I have set for the CBW are for the needs and wants of the community and the environment. The process was carried out significantly as the time taken to establish the correct decisions were utilised significantly. However a considerable amount time was taken to find out the SWOT and PEST analysis of the CBW therefore an in depth taking on the organisation was gathered. Throughout the study questioning and reasons for making certain decisions were asked by reflecting and ensuring that the each decision was beneficial for the organisation. Smyth (1989) provides an example whereby there are a set of guiding questions as a basis for reflection to empower and politicise professionals in teaching. I felt that during the assignment I neglected to take into account the stakeholders thoughts, but also those that are important within making change for the organisation, such as parents and the community. The stakeholder's part within the organisation is very important as they have the right and make decisions to hold and start up new schemes and initiatives. I believe if further study was to take place more attention would have be paid closely to the stakeholders and also use their knowledge on the matter. But also the time taken within each section divided equally amongst each section, for example more time was utilised to identifying the issues and less emphasis on actioning the solutions and strategy. Therefore the solution could have been more specific or justified as to why this was they way forward.


Overall the assignment has revealed many strengths and weaknesses in which I contain, whereby the enjoyment of researching and trying to help progress an organisation into sporting and national success is very rewarding. However an area in which I believe needs to be improved significantly is time management and the ability to manage my time with each section and detail needs to be addressed. The strategy learning is helpful as each organisation and most day to day running's involves a process in which problems and areas need to be sought out and then a solution needs to be made to help. The assignment has also showed me that there is no right or wrong answer when doing work as most people interpret their own understanding to an environment and overcome in their own way.