MBA YEAR 1
Examination VenueJOHANNESBURG, GAUTENG
First submission Re-submission
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MANCOSA – MBA YEAR 2
TABLE OF CONTENTS
NUMBERTITLE PAGE NO
1.2 Critically discuss whether MSI cellular should take a prescriptive of emergent approach to strategy
Johnson and Scholes (Exploring Corporate Strategy) define strategy as ‘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". In my understanding the nature of business will determine either of the two types of strategies.
1.2Discuss the implication for corporate strategy of having well placed political contacts in order to gain telecoms licenses.
It is a fact, one way or the other political contact can overwhelm the corporate strategy in both beneficial and negative ways. Political connections can break or make the corporate strategy of a company. As early as 1969, Epstein argued that "political competition follows in the wake of economic competition" and that the government may be viewed as a competitive tool to create the environment most favorable to a firm's competitive efforts (1969: 142). For example, MCI's initial strategy was political. The company successfully created a market opportunity by influencing regulators to deregulate the U.S. long-distance telephone market (Yoffie & Bergenstein, 1985). Firms also use political strategies to ensure competitive advantage, or possibly even survival. In the ‘90s, PepsiCo. Inc., lost in a fierce competitive battle for international soft drink market share to rival Coca-Cola, turned to the governments of Venezuela, France, India, and the United States for help in regaining market share (Light, 1998). In a study of the U.S. steel industry, Schuler (1996) found that domestic steel producers used the government's control over access to the U.S. market as a political tool to enjoy stabilized prices and profits in a declining market and to gain temporary relief from downsizing by lobbying for trade protection. Similarly, as the tobacco industry faces serious threats in the U.S. market, tobacco firms are using political strategies to ward off similar threats in the European and Asian markets (Financial Times, 1997).
The telecommunications industry is also controversial for issuing of operating licenses based on political links. In Africa, for decades, the telecoms sector was highly regulated and even more inadequate. It was usually run as an inefficient state-owned monopoly. In starting up one’s network, one had to ask for permission for a private individual to operate in the space that had usually been the preserve of the government - it was unheard of. In my argument, I’m going to focus on two African telecommunications giants of note i.e. Sudanese Mr. Mo Ibrahim and Zimbabwean Mr. Strive Masiya. It was an uphill battle for Mo Ibrahim to acquire a telecommunications license to make inroads into this industry. According to Moky Makura, 2008 …. It was after he completed his Masters degree in electronics and electrical engineering at Bradford University in the UK, and a PhD in mobile communications that he entered the mobile network industry. Subsequent to...