Use "The Seven-S Framework" (listed below) to examine a firm with which you are familiar and address how the firm stacks up in respect to the "qualities of excellence" (listed below). Does alignment with this list help explain why the firm is currently successful or unsuccessful (use any metric you think is appropriate to judge success)?
1. Strategy - The extent to which an organization has a logical sense of the actions it must take to gain sustainable competitive advantage over the competition, improve its position in relation to customers, and allocate resources to high-return activities.
2. Structure - The extent to which an organization has a coherent form for dividing labor, allocating responsibilities, coordinating tasks, and ensuring accountability.
3. Systems - The extent to which an organization has explicit descriptions in place to show how processes work and tasks are accomplished in critical areas such as capital budgeting, manufacturing, customer and supplier relations, accounting and performance measurement, and carrying out mergers and acquisitions.
4. Style - The degree to which there is tangible evidence that the time, attention, and behavior of management and employees actually are devoted to, and aligned with, the organization's real strategic needs.
5. Staffing - The degree to which management and employee expertise and experience match the jobs that have to be carried out, the extent to which the personalities in place are capable of working together, and the degree to which there is sufficient diversity among staff to allow opposing and dissenting voices to be heard.
6. Skills - The extent to which an organization as a whole, as opposed to its employees, has the capabilities not only to compete in existing businesses but also to develop new businesses and generate corporate growth.
7. Shared values - The extent to which there is unity of purpose behind a common vision and culture that is taking the organization to where it should be going.
Qualities of Excellence:
1. A bias for action
2. Closeness to the customer
3. Autonomy and entrepreneurship
4. Productivity through people
5. Hands on and value driven operations
6. A willingness to stick to the knitting
7. A simple form and lean staff
8. Simultaneous loose-tight properties.
The organization with which I am familiar with is my employer. It is a firm that makes plastic molded toys. Its main selling strategy is to keep good relationships with distributors of toys.
Applying the Seven-S Framework to the organization:
Strategy: The organization has the strategy of making toys in anticipation of demand, selling the toys to the distributors who distribute them to retailers. The steps are logical provided the forecast of demand is correct. An unexpected change in the tastes of customers can lead to high unsold inventories.
Structure: The company has a well defined structure. Production, marketing, and finance responsibilities are allocated in a clear manner. There is good coordination within the organization. There is allocation of responsibilities and accountability is well defined. For example, the production teams know exactly how many toys they are supposed to produce within a period of time.
Systems: Are moderately defined. Capital budgeting is done in consultation with the owner of the company. Explicit descriptions relating to manufacturing, accounting, and performance measurement are present. The company does not have ...
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