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    Strategic Management and Profit Oriented Organizations

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    Read an article in the business press about a major action taken by a corporation. Briefly describe this action and name key strategic management terms that the author used in the article.

    Locate a mission statement of a company. Where did you find it? Was it presented as a consolidated statement?

    In what ways do you believe the strategic planning approach of not for profit organizations would differ from that of profit oriented organizations?

    Do you agree that mission statement provides substantive guidance while a vision statement provides inspirational guidance? Explain.

    Name five potentially valuable indicators of a firms social responsibility and describe how company performance in each could be measured.

    Do you think an organization should adhere to different philosophies of corporate responsibility when confronted with different issues, or should its philosophy always remain the same? Explain.

    Briefly describe two important recent changes in the remote environment of U.S. Business in each of the following:
    - Economic
    - Social
    - Political
    - Technological
    - Ecological

    Assume the invention of a competitively priced synergic fuel that could apply 25 percent of us energy needs within 20 years. In what major ways might that change the external environment of us business?

    What factors complicate environmental analysis at the global level? Which factors are making such analysis easier?

    Explain when and why it's important for a company to globalize.

    Describe SWOT analysis as a way to guide internal analysis . How does this approach reflect the basic strategic management process?

    Distinguish between the the following pairs of grand strategies:
    - Horizontal and vertical acquisitions
    - Conglomerate and concentric diversification
    - Product development and innovation
    - Joint venture and strategic alliance

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    Solution Preview

    Strategic management

    An article that featured a large business that made significant strategic changes is Darden Restaurants, owners of Olive Garden.

    Olive Garden, a nationwide restaurant chain, suffered less than satisfactory reviews in September 2014 from Starboard Value, a privately owned investor.

    An article published by CNN Money reported that Starboard accused Olive Garden owner Darden (DRI) of wasteful practices, bad management and raising prices to make up for declining sales at Olive Garden. There was even criticism of the food that was served, saying that there were too many preservatives and artificial ingredients. In 2014, Darden stock also slipped 5%, and lagged behind its competitors in other valuation markers.1 (Alesci, 2014)

    In response, Darden made many changes in the operations of the restaurant chain. There is a new management team in place, and Starboard Value also took a stake in the company. Starboard outlined several improvements, and Darden used some of them. The company brought back its "Buy One Take One" program, which allowed customers to take a free entree home along with dinner, and it added variety to its well known breadsticks line by offering them in sandwiches. Also the company's real estate assets were put into a separate company, which really helped the bottom line.

    With these strategies: taking advantage of past successful programs, expanding on familiar products, and removing excess asset baggage, Darden turned the negative performance of previous year to a positive 4% valuation. 2 (LaMonica, 2015)

    Darden Restaurants Mission Statement is in its Annual Report, which also contains the 5 year Consolidated Financial Statement. (Darden Annual Report, 2014)

    The strategic planning approach of not for profit organizations would differ from that of profit oriented organizations in that Not for profit organizations will also contain information about its other sources of income which do not come from sales. NPO's also have to comply with the regulations that those sources require, while for profit ...

    Solution Summary

    This is a discussion of an article in the news about an business that made major strategic activity recently. It also discusses locations of important components in the annual report and website of a business. Strategic planning terms are discussed and the terms used in these actions, including indications of social responsibility and company performance.