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    Strategic Management, Communication, and Culture

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    Your business is an international consulting firm that provides consulting services organized into three consulting groups, each focused specifically on their group's area of expertise.

    The first group focuses on corporate strategy. Consultants in this group provide market segmentation and strategy advice in consumer services. A large national plumbing supply company recently solicited this group's services to discover how they can best become an international company. The group assisted them by analyzing the best markets to enter and prioritizing them, so as to capture the low-hanging fruit and provide the funds for the company to continue its expansion into different countries.

    The second consulting group works on product roll-out campaigns for consumer product goods and provides specific market direction in a wide variety of countries and cultures. A leading soft drink company recently requested advice from this group on introducing a new watermelon-flavored soft drink called Happy Melon®. The group provided culture-by-culture product names and developed marketing campaigns.

    The third consulting group helps international companies manage pension and benefit plans across multiple countries. A recent client was a large aircraft manufacturing company with multiple international operations. This client wanted to use pension and benefits as a strategy to gain airline orders from their many host countries. This strategy is very complex, because each country has its own laws concerning pension and benefits, especially health care. Demand for these services is increasing sharply and this third consulting group is the most profitable of the three.

    Your consulting firm has offices throughout the world, including Berlin, London, Tokyo, Buenos Aires, and Capetown. You are considering adding offices in secondary markets, such as Bern, Hanoi, and Dublin. Each office consists of a managing partner, who reports directly to the New York headquarters, and directors for each of the three consulting groups. Each director reports to his or her office's managing partner and to the head of the consulting group in New York. The directors each have a staff of various sizes and a group of local consultants who help interpret local conditions and regulations. Each staff operates as a project management team for each assignment.

    Needless to say, having a culture that binds these very disparate personnel together is critical, as is the company's communications networks. The organizational structure is a mixed one, and decision-making has been pushed down to the local level so that the company can react quickly and sensitively to the local markets. So while the organization is relatively flat and organic, there must still be a strong central authority to coordinate these services for the many multinational clients.

    Based on the above scenario:

    1. Describe the strategic position for the pension and benfits group. This portion requires some analysis of the competitive landscape and other companies that provide your chosen group's services. The analysis should uncover potential opportunities and threats for the group, in order to distinguish the group from the competition and minimize the barrier to success. Important note: Your focus on the pension and benefits group is important, in that there are many sources available for your research and analysis in this area. There is less research readily available for the other two groups. However, they are described in the scenario to give you a more comprehensive look at the firm itself.

    2. Describe the group's products and target markets.

    3. Describe how the group will adapt to the surrounding ethnic cultures and economic environments in which it operates.

    4. Analyze how the firm, as a whole, will apply the economic strategies and practices for domestic and global environments.

    5. Describe a recommended culture for the entire firm and how that culture fits the firm's needs (an integration of its products, mission, and organizational structure) and the strategic position of the group.

    *Please provide references to support your position. Thank you.

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    Solution Preview


    Strategic Management, Communication, and Culture
    The consulting industry includes different types of expertise and services for the improvement of organizations. Presently, businesses and individuals like to hire consultants to improve their performance concerning corporate strategy, segmentation, targeting, positioning, new product development, pension & benefits plan, HRM, marketing, operation management etc (Caywood, 2004). With increasing benefits of consulting, now clients demand practical results at each and every stage of a project.

    With increasing demand of consultation in every aspect of business, the consulting industry has reached at significant growth. Along with an immense growth of the industry, it has also attributed with fierce competition. Similar is the case with the business firm given in scenario, which is an international consulting firm (Costa & António, 2011). This firm provides consulting services through three key groups, but its third group that provide international firms with pension and benefits plan need to be evaluated here as demand for these services are increasing aggressively and this group is the most profitable from all three.

    Strategic Position of the Pension and Benefits Group
    For describing the strategic position of a unit or group, it is essential to analyze its competitive landscape and it is also applied to consulting industry. Global consulting industry is becoming quite competitive with the introduction of new and more effective consulting firms throughout the world. In accordance to a Kennedy Information study titled, The Global Consulting Marketplace 2007-2010, the market environment regarding consulting services is developing continuously (Costa & António, 2011). The worldwide economic landscape of the industry is quite positive, which in turn have directed towards an increase in the use of consulting services.

    The four largest consulting firms (McKinsey & Company, The Boston Consulting Group, Bain & Company and, Booz & Company) operating from last several years are maturing quickly, and this in turn is presenting opportunities for other firms to take advantage from the industry positive growth with innovative solutions (Caywood, 2004). Although, there are several other global consulting firms operating in present (Monitor group, Towers Watson, Accenture etc), but still there are several opportunities available for selected company's Pension and benefits group along with some specific threats that are:

    - Demand for pension and benefits plans from consulting firms is increasing all over the world.
    - This ...

    Solution Summary

    Strategic management, communications and cultures are examined.