Corporate Strategy by W. Stewart Howe (auth.)

By W. Stewart Howe (auth.)

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I The next step in the strategic decision-making process thus involves the business in conducting an assessment of the environment in which it operates together with an audit of its own resources. The former process is referred to as the assessment of the external environment of the business leading to the identification of opportunities and threats for the organisation, while the latter involves an internal assessment of the business itself in terms of its particular strengths and weaknesses. This next step in the strategy-making process is necessary in order to carry the business forward from its broad objectives to the selection of a particular strategy; and providing that the external and internal business assessments discussed in this chapter do not contribute to a significant revision of corporate goals, these assessments should lead directly to a more refined choice of strategy in respect of individual product-market areas.

This advantage was supplemented by a US government attitude which encouraged American airlines to adopt a 'buy American' policy in this market, and also by massive support from the US government to aero-engine firms related to defence contracts. In addition Rolls significantly underestimated development costs, which were initially put at £60 million but which eventually totalled more than £200 million. We would argue that the events that led Rolls Royce to receivership early in 1971 stemmed from a poor initial strategic decision.

F Competitive success in a market involves identifying customers, understanding the basis upon which they buy the product, and attempting to provide buyers with the product in a better way than competitors. In some markets the basis of competition is price . But in others service to the customer, technological expertise or marketing skills play very significant competitive roles, and will therefore figure largely in strategic decision-making. In particular the results of the key factors for success analysis will strongly influence the way in which a business assesses its own strengths and weaknesses.

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