Strategic Management Assignment: Analysis On Business Strategy Of Unilever
Your task is to carry out a critical analysis and evaluation of the strategies adopted by Multinational Corporations (MNCs) operating in an industry and country of your choice, using the information available to the public, e.g., company annual reports in pdf and other materials researched. You will be expected to select and apply appropriate theories, techniques and models studied during the module while having regard to the practical aspects of strategy development.
Your strategic management assignment should be presented in a business report format and should be 2,000 words maximum (excluding executive summary/abstract, references and relevant appendices). The report should include a title page and abstract and be fully and consistently referenced, using the Harvard Referencing style. You must submit an electronic version of the report Online via the University’s Assignment Space - this should be clearly labelled with your name, your course and the name of the case study. It is recommended that you research information to support your arguments. This may be obtained from a diverse range of sources, and you are encouraged to research the issues in whichever way you deem appropriate. Multinational Corporations: Strategy in Covid-19 Environment As nations move towards recovery from COVID-19, the success or competitiveness of multinational corporations (MNCs) will depend upon efficient and effective management of complexity in uncertain times - developing core competences and dynamic capabilities relating to strategic use of capital, reducing overhead costs, and upgrading facility infrastructure are obvious first step towards a sustainable recovery.
Read the Annual Reports of an MNC operating in an industry and country of your choice; and carry out appropriate analyses of the global corporate strategies adopted by the MNC and its closest competitors, in response to the questions below. You are encouraged to use relevant data/information from company websites.
Question One: Managing Complexity in Covid-19 Environment
Briefly distinguish between ‘a simple business problem’ and ‘a complex business problem’ in the context of the global coronavirus outbreak. Using information from the most recent Annual Report of the MNC of your choice, critically evaluate the potential impact of Covid-19 on the MNC’s approach to sustaining competitive advantage in both domestic and international markets. You are expected to include a discussion on how your MNC manages complexity in response to the ‘demand for localization and demand for globalization’.
Question Two: Management Control versus Organisational Chaos
What is ‘organisational context’ in terms of ‘organisational development’ Critically assess the merits and demerits of the ‘organisational leadership perspective’ and the ‘organisational dynamics perspective’, using appropriate examples from your chosen MNC. Discuss how the MNC can explore and exploit the demand for top management control and the demand for organisational chaos to maximise its corporate profitability through low-cost leadership and/or product differentiation.
Question Three: Managing the Paradox of Profitability and Social Responsibility
Using your understanding of the paradox of ‘corporate profitability’ and ‘corporate social responsibility’, critically evaluate the ability of the CEO and Senior management team in your chosen MNC’s to simultaneously achieve corporate profitability and corporate social responsibility objectives crucial for the MNC’s survival and growth in domestic and international markets.
You are expected to demonstrate critical understanding of the challenges of reconciling the conflicting demands for profitability and social responsibility simultaneously in an international context.
Question Four: Personal reflections and reflexions on learning
In 150-200 words reflect on the impact of this assessment on your understanding of the Multinational corporations (MNCs) operating in the industry and country of your choice, highlighting the MNC’s approaches to ‘managing complexity’, managing the ‘paradox of control and chaos’, and the paradox of ‘corporate profitability and social responsibility’, with a view to sustaining its long-term competitiveness in domestic and international markets.
Unilever, selected for the present discussion on strategic management assignment, isknownas theworld's strongest and healthiest organizations for producing productswith a group of well-known businesses, it was clear that its offerings are utilised by people all over the world. Unilever initiallyvisited to the foreign market to compete internationally by entering only a few foreign markets. Unileverhave the power of its eight brands that exists globally, like: Sun silk for shampoo, Dove for soap, Clear, Pond's for skin creams, Vaseline jelly, Magnum ice-cream, Rexona the soap, and Lux. Within a week of successfully releasing its product in several markets, Unilever expands its recognizable business to many more marketplace and begins to compete globally. For entering and participating in international markets, Unilever's strategic approach is favoured to customized strategies since it allows the business to unify its processes and focus on establishing a consistent appearance from region to region. In this paper the several strategies along with the PESTLE analysis have been discussed. It's a nod to Unilever's prowess in creating strong personality branding.This research looks at Unilever's marketing strategy, which has managed it become a global superstar synonymous with high-quality goods.
Unilever was chosen to conduct a critical analysis of the organization's strategy. It is a multi-national organization established by the colonial parent firm that owns and operates several consumer merchandises brands globally in the categories of cleaning products, beverages, groceries, and other various products (Unilever, 2017). Unilever also owns more than 410 several brands that are sold in 190 countries. The organization, which is situated in the United Kingdom, was founded in 1898. Unilever UK Ltd. the company, as a consequence, is a subordinate of Unilever. The fact that Unilever has an international reach of activities is the key reason for choosing it to emphasize its plans. Furthermore, the company has one of the major consumer populations for its consumer electronics items and maintains a strong market position among its opponents, such as P&G and Reckitt Benckiser. The strategy of the company will be of interest since it can provide insight into Unilever's strategic direction for its operational processes, thanks to its large network of operations and 1.2 billion customers. As a result, the focus of this research is on examining business-level strategies, such as how Unilever positions itself against competitors and how it keeps up with technical advances and market trends. The business-level strategy focuses on how a company satisfies and retains consumers, as well as how it produces goods and services to suit those demands while increasing profit margins. The report justifies Unilever's diversification strategy as a small-scale business strategy as little more than a result, as well as the product and service development program to efficiently satisfy and accommodate consumers' wants by offering a diverse variety of consumer goods to attract global consumers.
The volume and patterns in domestic product and foreign flows to emerging countries were already considered insufficient to support Sustainable Development at the time of the COVID-19 crisis. Low- and middle-income countries, on the other hand, may struggle to pay for their health outcomes, ecology, and macroeconomic solutions to COVID-19 because of high levels of public debt and increased demands imposed by the outbreak on all significant sources of financial advancement. The rising standard of living and economic concerns have already led to massive debt and equity withdrawals from developing countries, as well as rippling repercussions on domestic finances. The CEO of Unilever has described the Pandemic for the whole MNCs. There is a simple bottleneck in the form of CEOs not being able to address some problems on their own due to a lack of ability. Plastics in the oceans, climate change, inequity, and human rights in the value chain are all concerns that no single CEO can tackle. They can do it collectively, but there are bottlenecks. If one CEO does something, the other does not. There are several viable options for getting there. The first is the advancement of technology, which many people are generally unaware of. Green energy, for example, is already 60% less expensive than fossil-fuel alternatives. However, because of the rapid advancement of technology, many individuals are still unaware of these possibilities. The second is that people see the great cost of not acting in comparison to the opportunities that acting provides. The third is being driven by the younger population, which is increasingly seeking more environmentally friendly company strategies. However, half of the world's population is under the age of 30, they are driving megatrends, with sustainability being one of them, and COVID-19 has accelerated that. It's becoming difficult for firms.
Universities in the United Kingdom are now up against highly promoted foreign competitors as well as an expanding number of online opponents (De Wit, 2020). In the United Kingdom, the response to this international competition takes two forms: Initially, a redoubling of efforts to attract payment students from around the world, who are often seen as critical to the providing funding of HEIs in the UK and elsewhere, and second, a focus on trying to enhance university reputations by establishing international research and indeed the university's leadership role in league tables that measure research output. As a result, many in higher education believe that UK universities' globalization is solely driven by market pressures, with a near-universal concentration on attracting overseas students. However, not all universities with international marketing strategies must be centered on commercial products; for example, Norway's institutions appear to focus their internationalization efforts on meeting the demands of their UK higher education institutions.
Over the last decade, a variety of pressures and forces of change have impacted businesses, including changes in organizational frameworks, rapidly changing markets, advances in technology, a focus on core strengths to achieve excellence, growth, and purchaser, globalization, exporting jobs, and network management. Whenever the organization's present society does not align with its current business strategies, culture change actions are necessary. Culture change, on the other hand, is a time-consuming and complex process that involves engagement at all levels. Consumers have become more conscious of brands and less loyal to them, as well as short product life cycles durations and more powerful merchants, all of which are increasing competitiveness in the global FMCG sector (Global Organizational websites of Unilever). This means that, despite the importance of the product grouping process, most FMCG products are pushed to the margins. When these cultural transformation programs fail, they harm organizations and have unintended psychological consequences for the people who engage there. They have a spiralling effect since they harm employees' psychological well-being and demoralize them. Employees react by behaving badly, which has a detrimental influence on the organization. Staff turnover, development, and retraining costs are on the rise. Key employees are laid off, contract labor is employed, and critical services are outsourced. Customer behaviors and requirements are evolving, according to Angelson and Benderson (2015), Consumer goods companies can no longer make the same assumptions about how people shop in the mainstream market. Businesses can rely on a large pool of undifferentiated middle-class clients who can buy both luxury and needs from mid-priced merchants as a result of this. The main focus of this qualitative report is to analyze and demonstrate the several stages involved in a strategic leader's deliberate strategic orientation of a large established company from a low-cost leadership approach to a marketing technique. A creative strategic leader who sees and champions the corporation's corporate plan from the highest possible level is required for a low-cost strategy-driven firm to convert into an innovative design enterprise (Lieu, 2019). Unilever may effectively employ a product differentiation strategy to boost sales and profits while attaining corporate growth by introducing innovative new ideas for items to current markets that can better answer the needs of those customers who want those products. This might be accomplished by producing a new version or an altogether new product line, for example, under the soap categories, which the corporation could release over time and aid to increase its market share. A market planning process, as opposed to a differentiation strategy, could help Unilever achieve its strategic goal of increased profitability through continuous product innovation. Furthermore, this strategy would increase Unilever's product offers as part of its marketing mix.
The inventive strategic leader must be both a front-end creative artist and a back-end motivator. Strategic inventive leaders must be able to spot ephemeral new chances and seize them efficiently and decisively.
Implications Of The Pestle On The Market
Because they think that the business, they engage in must be conducted with honesty, integrity, and openness, Unilever, a global fast-moving general merchandise (FMNG) corporation, does not support any opposition parties for whom the activities are aimed at promoting party interests. However, political developments continue to have an impact on Unilever in the United Kingdom.
Unilever was hit by a rise in taxation by the UK government in early February 2010. Initially, the organization is experiencing financial difficulties due to consumers' unwillingness to spend additional money.
The economic situation
Unilever makes money in the economy by increasing value to raw materials and manufacturing consumer goods. Employees, the government, investors, and a variety of other communities that profit from the company's actions is all involved in the business conditions.As a result, the new product development strategy will align with Unilever's product differentiation strategy to gain a competitive advantage in the global consumer products sector.
Unilever's main goal is to make a difference in society because they want to produce the best and give back to the society that has supported their success. Unilever will concentrate on providing consumers with nutrition information and enhancing the nutritional quality of its goods. To improve the nutritional content of the product while retaining the taste, decreasing salt intake by grams can reduce the incidence of stroke by 5percent of total and heart problem by 3%, according to studies. Unilever has also increased its effect by collaborating with the International Fund For agricultural development (WFP) to help underdeveloped countries improve their health and nutrition (Widyastuti, 2019).
Nature of Technology
Unilever has been developing in e-business to improve relationships between the company and marketing through the online, along with simplifying supply chain transactions. Unilever Technology and Unilever R&D have worked to meet the demands of consumers. In 2004, Unilever introduced Pitto Storage System Ltd's innovative "pallet live storage system." This technology's function is to maintain frozen foods safe (Tien, 2019). Unilever is making plans to modernize its IT architecture. Moreover, for example, increasing data center energy efficiency and implementing power management measures. To lessen the burden of business travel, the telepresence communication channel is also used. Unilever gives its customers product uniqueness through the use of a product differentiation strategy, which might be utilized in the company's product development projects.
Unilever is taking on the task of reducing total environmental impact; the main focus is on reducing greenhouse gas emissions released by their commodity makers. Unilever has done an outstanding job of reducing CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. They've cut CO2 emissions per tonne of manufactured goods by 41% since 1995. Today, their primary goal is to reduce CO2 emissions by 25percent of the overall in their manufacturing operations by the end of 2012.
Environmental of legislation
The European Commission protects Unilever's registered trademark and products, ensuring that they are not infringed upon. Unilever's company is also governed by laws and regulations to guarantee that its products are safe for customers to use and that its marketing and labeling are not misleading. Unilever also has Sustainability Practices that they must follow to ensure product safety and reduce their brand's ecological impact. Every stage of the process should be evaluated, from the production of raw materials through the creation of products to the disposal of the consumer as the end-user. Even though Unilever is a global fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) company, its position in the market is influenced by its competitors. Nestle is also one of the largest food manufacturers in the world, with operations in 200 countries and headquarters in Vevey, Germany. Food, beverages, pet care, and medications are all part of their business (Kotler, 2019). They employ 253,000 people all across the world.
The summary discussed how or why the corporation has reportedly positioned itself for its current offering and how the implementation of this new product strategy could cause the business to further establish itself among the target market and provide the best support for the company considering the above-mentioned competitive environments. When comparing Unilever's real strategy, which is a product differentiation plan, to the product development plan model. Market segmentation is identified to allow a company to maximize internal capabilities while acquiring competitive advantage in the market. According to Bremmer's (2014) research, as customer expectations rise, globalization increases the competitiveness among consumer goods companies. As a result, FMCG companies are looking for ways to gain develop products with more attractive traits, such as business adaptability, customer satisfaction, or fast delivery, to gain a competitive advantage. Based on these assumptions, it is proposed that Unilever's adoption of the product differentiation strategy has given the company more flexibility in producing differentiated products with more desirable characteristics and more value to meet consumer needs (Wald, D, 2019).
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