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Competitive Strategy

Week 7: Cisco

Cisco Systems Inc. is a multinational technology conglomerate from the USA that has its headquarters in San Jose, California, and is valued at over $70 billion (CISCO n.d.). Cisco Systems Inc. produces, develops, and sells software, networking hardware range, telecommunications equipment, and other technologically sound products and solutions. Cisco's popular subsidiaries are Webex, OpenDNS, Jabber, and Jasper. The company also holds a specialization in energy management and domain security.

An organizational capability in a company refers to its ability to manage material resources as well as human resources in such a manner that provides it an edge over competitors. The organizational capabilities that translate to core competencies that give Cisco a sustainable competitive advantage in their industry are explained as follows:

  1. Maximizing customer satisfaction: Cisco provides a broad array of IT solutions to a plethora of industries and today Cisco is an indispensable part of the modern business climate. Cisco is highly customer-oriented as it does not provide just break-fixes to daily IT challenges, but develop robust solutions that ensure maximized and prolonged customer satisfaction (Paddon 2009).
  2. Development of groundbreaking IT solutions: Cisco develops business-centric IT solutions that offer convenience and competent networking in all spheres of modern business. Their products are known to be architected from the business-centric reference model and their product portfolio consists of requestable and customizable solutions that fit the varying needs of the businesses (Lakenan et al. 2001).
  3. Acquisition of innovative companies: Cisco is renowned for acquiring innovation-driven young companies that enable it to stay at the forefront of the IT industry. It is reflected in the autonomy that it offers to the acquired companies to provide the space to operate like startups and explore new possibilities to maximize business while contributing to Cisco's overall corporate goals (Onyeiwu 2003).
  4. Combining industry-leadership with ethical practices: Cisco is a kind of company that has always incorporated honest business practices, work ethics, and professionalism in their business. It does so by ensuring the satisfaction of customers, engaging in corporate social responsibility, providing superior services, and having a strict adherence to tackling digital security (Lakenan 2001).
  5. Emphasis on top talent recruitment: Cisco is one of the major companies from Silicon Valley that strives to recruit only top talent from top universities around the globe. It employs only top talent to incorporate leading professional outlook in their products and services and have an edge over competitors. The company understands that human resources are the most precious resources of an organization and procurement of top human resources provides Cisco an edge over competitors (Lakenan 2001).
  6. Adoption of change management: The Company has a substantial focus on chain management that keeps it at the forefront in its industry. The organizational functioning works in a manner that aligns senior leadership, organizational changes, dynamism, and sustainability of new cultures towards the attainment of overall organizational goals of Cisco that provides it to stay ahead of entities belonging to the IT nomenclature (Onyeiwu 2003).

Week 8: Walmart China

The following are the challenges that Walmart faces in effecting its international plans in China:

  1. Economic challenges- the economic environment of the Chinese people has remained relatively low, even though the country has made very significant steps in economic growth and development. Many Chinese are poor and this is a huge challenge for Walmart since the purchasing power of customers is low and therefore, sales and profitability are greatly hindered (Chuang et al. 2011).
  2. Cultural challenges-The Chinese market is very diverse in taste and preferences and as such Walmart has to customize each of its stores to suit the needs of each Chinese market. This is very difficult, too involving and expensive (Chuang et al. 2011).
  3. Political challenges-The Chinese system of governance is very different from that one in the West. The political agencies are very bureaucratic in China. Walmart has had a hard time operating here and it has had issues with the political system which had led to its temporary closure. Understanding and overcoming these challenges will be a huge milestone for the global retailer (Chuang et al. 2011).
  4. Infrastructural problems that make it difficult to transport goods and people from one location to another in this vast country. Infrastructure especially in the non-major cities is wanting and Walmart must formulate its operations to overcome this huge challenge in its operations in China (Chuang et al. 2011).

Week 9: QANTAS

Acclording to Morrish and Hamilton (2002), the advantages and disadvantages of Qantas international cooperative alliances are as follows:

Advantages

Due to the alliance of Quanta and British Airline, there is already a cooperation between rivals therefore it brings synergy. Instead of competing with rivals, Quanta can already cooperate with them to be stronger. In terms of economic advantage, Quanta can spread risk with its alliance, therefore, reducing the possibility of loss or risk. In terms of the marketing strategy, the alliance with both parties enables them to reduce costs since one promotion can already advertise both companies. Another advantage of alliance is boosting its cross-cultural scale, therefore, helping in establishing its business in different regions

Disadvantage

Because of the alliance quanta's independence in making decisions is no longer possible. Since there is an alliance both parties should be the ones to make decisions with regards to the company. Also since there is alliance both parties have to compensate for the changes, they both have to meet in a common ground. Therefore, it might create conflict and resistance on their employees since some policies and cultures need to be changed. Since changes will be done, there is training that needs to be done that might be a bit costly for both parties.

Week 10: Proctor and Gamble

Corporate governance promotes ethical decision making by developing a code of ethics that managers the behaviors and actions of the managers.

Corporate governance is the mixture of rules , procedures or laws under which businesses function, manage or regulate.

In this context, a code of ethics includes the ethical standards and values that have to be upheld by people in their activities and how they have, and as a result, the board of directors may develop this code of ethics in a way to control the actions and principles of the managers (Halinen and Jokela 2016).

Policies and rules are also communicated to the top-level managers, and decision making and approval of projects and other activities have to be made by the board, and as a result, it ensures that there are no risks or uncertainties taken by the managers in their work activities .

The actions by the managers also should be of creating value to the shareholders of the business, and therefore, monitoring them too would be imperative.

Week 11: Coca Cola Amatil

CSR needs people who are competent enough who can be able to utter appropriate language so that clients can continue purchasing the commodity. The Corporate Social Responsibility efforts of Coca Cola Amatil is completely following the economic, ethical, and discretionary framework (Breliastiti and Josephine 2017). The below listed are the key stakeholder groups in the CSR model of Coca Cola Amatil, which is also known as the CCA Sustainability:

  1. Our People - CCA launched People Pact in 2017, which was a statement of how they will work together to achieve organizational growth. It also encompasses the leadership capabilities and vision and values of the organization. In 2019, they launched Amatil Leadership Development Programs to support and develop inspiring leaders within the organization who would empower and encourage their teams to strive for better. This resulted in enhanced capability and increased engagement within the teams. CCA also has a Women in Leadership program that is named after David Gonski and ensures that at least 30 percent of the positions in the board and senior management are held by women.
  2. Wellbeing - Wellbeing of their customers has always been the primary focus for CCA. In recent years, they have made good progress towards reducing sugar in the non-alcoholic beverage portfolio. They have reformulated various products in different countries to reduce the levels of sugar in their products. They have also developed smaller packaging for all their markets. For alcoholic beverages, they have developed an Alcohol Advertising and Marketing framework to follow ethical practices.
  3. Environment - CCA has been dedicated to meet its commitments on the packaging, water, energy, and carbon reduction to ensure minimal impact on the environment. In the same regard, they have committed to replenish 100% water used in production to share the vision of the World without Waste in partnership with The Coca Cola company. They have also started with making efforts towards reducing carbon emissions by 25 percent for the final product that reaches the customer. They have also pledged to ensure that 60 percent of all their energy requirements are fulfilled through renewable energy and 50 percent of their packaging material comes from recycled plastic.
  4. Our Community- CCA operates in 6 countries across diverse communities. They work across a range of community activities which include philanthropic grants and dedicated funds contributed from marketing activities to support grassroots sports and community development initiatives. They also provide aid to people impacted by natural disasters. In 2019 the combined contribution made towards philanthropic activities by Coca Coca Amantis was a total of $5.2 million. This included causes like community development, health, education, infrastructure, and sports.

With the use of the following steps, the CCA can improve its stakeholder’s social impact:

  • Coca Cola Company awards scholarships to well-performing students in countries that it is located.
  • CCA also launches projects to improve the well-being of communities especially after the occurrence of a disaster.
  • CCA also builds kiosks to under-served communities to help them earn a living.
  • CCA has put measures in place for conserving the environment such as recycling of products and waste reduction.

References for Competitive Strategy

Breliastiti, R. and Josephine, K., 2017. Creating shared value (CSV) as a development of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in Indonesia. Advanced Science Letters, 23(8), pp.7039-7041.

Chuang, M., Donegan, J.J., Ganon, M.W. and Wei, K. (2011), "Walmart and Carrefour experiences in China: resolving the structural paradox", Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal, Vol. 18 No. 4, pp. 443-463.

CISCO. n.d. About CISCO. [online]. Avialable at https://www.cisco.com/c/en_in/about.html [Accessed on 19th June 2020].

Halinen, A. and Jokela, P., 2016. Exploring ethics in business networks: Propositions for future research. In Extending the Business Network Approach (pp. 333-356). Palgrave Macmillan, London.

Lakenan, B., Boyd, D. and Frey, E., 2001. Why Cisco fell: outsourcing and its perils. Strategy and Business, pp.54-65.

Morrish, S.C. and Hamilton, R.T., 2002. Airline alliances—who benefits?. Journal of air transport management, 8(6), pp.401-407.

Onyeiwu, S., 2003. Some determinants of core competencies: Evidence from a binary-logit analysis. Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, 15(1), pp.43-63.

Paddon, P.D., 2009. Benefits arising from the impact of the introduction of Cisco's connected office work and accommodation style on the Audit and Risk Management Unit (ARMU) of Salford City Council (Doctoral dissertation, University of Bolton).

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