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    Business Policy and Strategy - Competitive Advantage

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    1. Is it possible to achieve competitive advantage without the implementation of strategic management? If yes, describe how and explain your rationale. If no, then explain why and provide at least one example.

    2. Which stage in the strategic-management process is most difficult? Explain why.

    3. According to James Van Horne, what are the three decisions that comprise the functions of finance? Describe each function, and identify the role of each function in strategic management.

    4. Define what strategists are. Describe what they do in an organization

    5. Identify and briefly explain the steps that are involved in the controlling function of management. Which, in your view, is most important? Why?

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    Solution Preview

    1. It is possible to achieve competitive advantage without implementation of strategic management. Strategic management means conscious study of and analysis of the external and internal environment. To gain competitive advantage, the implementation of strategic management is not necessary. Competitive advantage can be achieved by a firm through its cost structure, product offerings, distribution networks, or customer support. These can be achieved without strategic management implementation. For example, a company gets a monopoly in mining from the government; it can gain competitive advantage without strategic management implementation. The rationale is that a firm does not require strategic management implementation to get an edge over rivals.

    2. The strategy implementation is the most difficult stage of the strategic management process. This stage is critical for the success of the business. This stage is most difficult because the goals that have been set have to be achieved; the tasks that have been assigned have to be completed. The objectives have to be achieved within the assigned budget and the time set for achieving the objectives. The success of the strategic management process depends to a great extent on the success of this stage. This stage is difficult because the tasks ...

    Solution Summary

    The answer to this problem explains important aspects of strategic mangement. The references related to the answer are also included.