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Johnson et al. confer additional dimensions to strategy in their definition: i) long-term perspective, ii) meeting competition and iii) stakeholder value. According to them a strategy is ” the direction and scope of an organisation over the long term which achieves advantage for the organisation through its configuration of resources within changing environment and to fulfil stakeholder expectations. (2004)
After understanding what ‘strategy’ means the next logical step is to design the ‘strategy’ and work it. Of the four elements that make ‘strategy’, according to Mintzberg’s definition, internal competencies and shortcomings are internal and therefore within the organisation’s control. The other two, viz. changes in the environment and contingent moves by intelligent opponents are external and therefore need to be carefully monitored to be turned into an advantage or counter-acted. The external elements, according to Porter evolve into five forces that impact business success as i) industry competitors, ii) potential new entrants, iii) substitutes, iv) suppliers and v) buyers. (2004 4). In order to meet the challenges of the five forces and out-perform competitors, according to him there are three generic (meaning they are applicable across industries) strategies. They are i) cost leadership, ii) differentiation and iii) focus. (2004 35)
Ireland et al. describe six components of strategic leadership that help organisations navigate the choppy waters of the twenty-first century businesses: they are i) determining the firm’s purpose or vision, ii) exploiting and maintaining core competencies, iii) developing human capital, iv) sustaining an effective organisational culture, v) emphasizing ethical practices and vi) establishing balanced organisational controls. (2005)
In order to devise a strategy for Accor, it is necessary to review the company’s current status and activities and make a SWOT analysis.
1.1 Accor Group – Current status and activities: The hotel, tourism and leisure services company is one of the world’s largest hotel groups running 4065 hotels offering 475,433 rooms in 140 countries and employs 168,500 employees. The company manages hotels across market segments – from luxury hotels to economy hotels under various brand names. They are Sofitel (upscale segment), Novotel, Mercure, Suitehotel and Parthenon, (mid range segment) Libertel, Orbis, All Seasons, Ibis, Etap, Formule1, Red Roof Inn, Motel 6 and Studio 6 (economy hotels), Accor Vacances (resorts) and Accor Thalassa (health resorts).
The company’s leisure and tourism businesses include travel agencies, restaurants and casinos. The company is the world leader in the food/luncheon voucher market with its flagship product Ticket Restaurant (Luncheon Vouchers), with over 300,000 corporate clients and 19 million users in 34 countries. In addition to food vouchers, the company offers transport vouchers, eye care vouchers, services that help corporates and government agencies manage social policies, uniform cleaning services, vehicle fleet management services and facility maintenance services.