Quality Management Research Paper Guidelines
While developing your papers, attempt to identifyDeming’s14 Points for Quality Management. Not all the pointswill relate to all businessesorcorporations.
- Aconvenientwayto investigate howa company’s paststrategyand structure affect it in the presentis to chartthe criticalincidentsinits history – thatis, the events thatwerethemost unusualor themost essential forits development into thecompany it is today
- Some oftheeventshave to dowith itsfounding, itsinitialproducts, howitmakesnew-productmarket decisions, and howitdeveloped andchose functionalcompetencies to Its entryintonewbusinesses and shiftsin its main linesof business are also importantmilestones to consider
- Identifythecompany’sinternalstrengthsandweaknesses–(Strength,Weaknesses, OpportunityandThreats)SWOTanalysis
- Use allofthe incidentsyouhave chartedinthe historical profiletodevelopanaccountofthecompany’s strengths andweaknesses as they have emergedhistorically
- Examine eachofthe value creationfunctionsofthe company,and identifythe functions inwhichthe company iscurrentlystrong andcurrentlyweak
- Some companiesmightbeweakinmarketing;somemight be stronginresearchanddevelopment
- Make listsofthese strengthsandweaknesses
- Analyzethe external environment– identify environmental opportunities and threats
- Hereyoushould applyallinformationyouhave learnedto analyzetheenvironmentthe company isconfronting. Which factorsinthe macroenvironmentwill appear salient dependson the specificcompanybeinganalyzed. However, use eachfactorinturn (for instance, demographic factors)toseewhetherit is relevantfor thecompany in question
- Havingdonethis analysis,youwillhavegenerated bothan analysisof thecompany’senvironmentand a list ofopportunities andthreats
- The SWOTchecklist listssome common environmentalopportunitiesand threatsthatyoumay lookfor, butthe listyougenerate will be specific toyour company
- EvaluatetheSWOTanalysis– whatdo your findingsmean?
- Balance strengthsandweaknessesagainst opportunitiesandthreats
- Is thecompany inanoverallstrongcompetitiveposition?
- Can it continueto pursueits currentbusiness-orcorporate-level strategy profitably?
- What canthe company doto turnweaknesses intostrengthsand threats intoopportunities?
- Can itdevelop newfunctional,business,orcorporatestrategiesto accomplishthischange?
- Balance strengthsandweaknessesagainst opportunitiesandthreats
- First, define the company’s missionandgoals. Sometimes the mission andgoals are stated; atother times,youwill have to inferthem from available information
- The informationyou needtocollecttofindout thecompany’scorporate strategy includessuchfactorsas
- Its line(s)of businessand thenature ofitssubsidiaries andacquisitions
- An analysisof the relationshipamong the company’sbusinesses
- Dothey tradeorexchange resources?
- Are there gainstobe achievedfrom synergy?
- Alternatively, isthecompany justrunning a portfolio ofinvestments?
- This analysisshould enableyou todefine thecorporate strategy that thecompanyispursuing (forexample, relatedorunrelateddiversification,or a combinationof both) andtoconcludewhetherthecompany operatesinjustonecorebusiness
- Other issues should be consideredaswell
- Howandwhy has thecompany’sstrategychangedover time?
- What is the claimed rationaleforanychanges?
- Often it is a good ideato analyzethe company’s businessesor productsto assess itssituation and identifywhich divisionscontribute the most to or detract from itscompetitiveadvantage
- It isalso usefultoexplore howthecompanyhas built itsportfolio over time.Did itacquirenewbusinesses,ordiditinternallyventure its own?
- All thesefactorsprovide cluesabout the company andindicatewaysof improvingits futureperformance
- Can thecompanydealwith thesethreats?
- Howshould itchange its business-levelstrategyto counter them?
- Toevaluate thepotential of acompany’s business-level strategy,you must firstperform a thoroughSWOTanalysis that captures theessence of its problems
- Onceyou knowthe company’scorporate-level strategyandhave donetheSWOT analysis,thenextstep is to identify the company’s business-levelstrategy
- If thecompanyis a single-businesscompany, itsbusiness-levelstrategy isidenticaltoitscorporate-levelstrategy
- If thecompanyisinmanybusinesses,eachbusinesswillhaveits ownbusiness-levelstrategy
- Youwill need toidentifythe company’sgeneric competitivestrategy– differentiation, lowcost, orfocus – andits investmentstrategy,giventhe company’srelativecompetitive positionandthe stageof thelife cycle
- The companyalso may market different productsusing different business-level strategies
- For example, it mayoffer a low-costproduct range and a line ofdifferentiated products
- Be sureto givea fullaccountof a company’sbusiness-level strategytoshowhowit competes
- Identifyingthe functional strategies that a company pursues to buildcompetitive advantagethroughsuperior efficiency, quality,innovation, andcustomer responsivenessandtoachieve itsbusiness-levelstrategyisThe SWOTanalysiswill have provided you withinformationon thecompany’s functionalcompetencies
- You should further investigate itsproduction,marketing, orresearch anddevelopment strategy togain a pictureofwherethecompany isgoing
- For example, pursuing a low-cost or a differentiation strategysuccessfullyrequires a verydifferentset of competencies
- Has thecompany developed the rightones?
- If ithas,howcan itexploitthemfurther?
- Can itpursue both a low-costand a differentiationstrategy simultaneously?
- The SWOTanalysis is especially important at thispointif theindustryanalysis, particularlyPorter’smodel, hasrevealedthethreatstothecompanyfrom theenvironment
- Onceyoucompletethisanalysis,youwillhave a full pictureof thewaythecompany isoperatingand be in a positionto evaluatethepotentialofits strategy.Thus,youwill beable tomakerecommendations concerningthe pattern of its However, first you need to considerstrategyimplementation,orthewaythe companytries toachieveitsstrategy
- The aim of thisanalysis is to identifywhat structure and control systems the companyis using toimplement itsstrategy and toevaluatewhether thatstructureisthe appropriateonefor thecompany
- For example,does the companyhave the rightlevel ofverticaldifferentiation(forinstance,does ithavethe appropriatenumberof levelsinthe hierarchyordecentralized control?)orhorizontal differentiation(doesituse a functional structurewhen itshouldbeusing aproductstructure?)?
- Similarly, isthecompanyusing the rightintegration orcontrol systemstomanage itsoperations? Are managersbeingappropriatelyrewarded?
- Are therightrewards inplaceforencouraging cooperationamongdivisions?
- These areall issuesthatshouldbeconsidered. Insomecases therewillbelittleinformationontheseissues,whereas inothers therewill bea Obviously,inanalyzing eachcaseyoushouldgear the analysis towarditsmost salient issues.For example, organizational conflict,power, andpoliticswillbeimportant issuesfor somecompanies. Tryto analyzewhyproblemsin theseareasare occurring.Dotheyoccurbecauseof badstrategyformulation orbecauseof badstrategyimplementation?
- Organizationalchangeis an issueinmanycases becausethecompaniesare attempting to altertheir strategiesor structuresto solve strategicproblems. Thus, as a part ofthe analysis,youmightsuggest an action planthat the company in questioncould use to achieve its Forexample,you mightlistin a logicalsequence the stepsthe companywouldneedto followto alter itsbusiness-levelstrategyfrom differentiation to focus
- The lastpartofthecase analysisprocessinvolvesmakingrecommendations based onyouranalysis. Obviously,the qualityofyourrecommendations is a directresultofthe thoroughnesswithwhichyoupreparedthe caseanalysis. Theworkyouputinto the case analysiswill be obvious fromthe natureofyourrecommendations
- Recommendations aredirected atsolvingwhateverstrategicproblemthe company isfacing andatincreasingitsfutureprofitability
- Your recommendationsshould bein linewithyour analysis;that is,theyshould followlogicallyfromthepreviousdiscussion
- For example,your recommendationgenerallywill centeronthe specificwaysof changingfunctional, business,andcorporatestrategyandorganizational structureandcontroltoimprovebusinessperformance
The setof recommendationswill be specific to each case,and soit isdifficult todiscuss theserecommendations here.Suchrecommendationsmightinclude anincreaseinspendingonspecificresearchanddevelopmentprojects,thedivestingof certainbusinesses, achangefrom astrategyof unrelatedtorelated diversification,anincreaseinthelevelofintegrationamong divisions byusingtask forcesand teams, or a move to a differentkindof structure to implement a newbusiness-levelstrate