Prescriptive and Emergent Strategy: South West Airlines

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University of huddersfield|
How A Company/Organisation Attempts To Achieve Sustainable Competitive Advantage| The Application of Relevant Theory to the Eddie Stobart Group| |
Author: Andrew Yelland
Student Number: U0970411Course: Transport & Logistics ManagementModule: Strategic ManagementModule Tutor: Dr. Andrew JenkinsModule Code: SHT 4002Date: December 2011| |

Executive Summary
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This report consults literature from a range of academic resources in order to provide an understanding of strategy, strategic management and how firms achieve and sustain a competitive advantage. The paper will focus on Generic strategies implemented by firms in industry, low cost and differentiation. Moreover, emphasis is also placed on the importance for a company to understand and develop its core competencies, as this forms the fundamental basis of a firm’s success. An industrial example is explored in the multi-modal logistics sector, the organisation being the Stobart Group. The report will analyse, despite widespread academic opinion that perhaps only one strategy should be applied, how a company has implemented a hybrid of low cost and differentiation strategies and indeed with excellent success.

Table of Contents

Executive Summary1
1.Introduction3
2.What is Strategy and Strategic Management: An Overview4
3.An Academic Discussion of Competitive Advantage and how Competitive Advantage may be Achieved and Sustained5
3.1What is Competitive Advantage5
3.2Sustaining a Competitive Advantage5
3.3Understanding Core Competence to Achieve Competitive Advantage9
4.CA Strategies Implemented at the Eddie Stobart Group11
5.Conclusion14
6.Bibliography15
7.Appendices17
Appendix A: A Strategic Management Process Model17
Appendix B: Sustaining Competitive Advantage Model17
Appendix C: The Porters Five Forces Model18
Appendix D: The Resources Model That Deliver Sustainable Competitive Advantage18

Introduction

The introduction of this Report intends to set the scene of the piece of work endorsed and will place the question into context. It will also suggest key points or problems the question raises and will give an indication of how the author intends to answer and approach it.

The content of this paper will discuss in detail in the first section of the Report, the theory of Strategy and Strategic Management, as well as provide an academic discussion of competitive advantage and how competitive advantage can be achieved and sustained. The author will in the second part of the Report, using a transport and logistics company, namely The Stobart Group, explore the companies approach to strategic management and how the company achieves and sustains a competitive advantage.

In order for this to be accomplished, the author will use an equal balance of theory and application, taking into account the debate in the strategic management literature. The author will be aided by an extensive range of academic literature, internet resources and industry reports. The piece of work endorsed is properly referenced using the Harvard style system.

1. What is Strategy and Strategic Management: An Overview Strategy can be defined as the process by which a company or organisation achieves direction and scope over the long term, achieved through its configuration of resources and competences with the aim of fulfilling stakeholder expectations (Johnson et.al 2008). McGee et.al (2005) argues the point that perhaps the definition of strategy that is most common in literature is that of Chandler (1963) who defines strategy as: “ the determination of the basic long term- goals and objective of an enterprise and the adoption of the courses of action and the allocation of resources necessary for carrying out those goals ” (McGee et.al 2005 pg7). Strategic Management builds upon this concept and therefore...
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