Business Strategy in the Corporate World
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Business Strategy in the Corporate World

Business Strategy in the Corporate World

During your study of Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) at Mantissa College, you will be exposed to a subject called Business Strategy. One of the learning outcome of DBA is for you to gain a deeper understanding on topics related to the study. Before you can dive into Business Strategy during your DBA study, let’s have a sneak peek of what Business Strategy is all about.

What is Business Strategy?

Business strategy or strategic management is a sub-division of business associated with the material and human resource of an organisation. According to Henry Mintzberg, a Canadian academic and author of business and management, “strategy is a pattern in a stream of decisions”. In other words, strategizing involves a great number of decision makings. Decision making is needed at every step towards achieving long-term goals of the organisation. Before the goals can be met, they need to be created and evaluated on the means to achieve them. A part of it being constructing plans and applying them. Often times the knowledge of other business related disciplines including business administration, finance and marketing, risk management, negotiation, statistics and human resource, are applied in the decision making. 

Types of strategies

There are two different types of strategies, which are general and competitive. General strategies include growth, globalisation and even retrenchment. When strategizing for growth, one needs to come up with ways to develop the business by acquiring more assets and creating new products. One also needs to gather thoughts on how to move the business to an international level and even cut down, which involves letting go of people for the benefit of the business. Competitive strategies are all about outdoing the rivals by selling goods at lower prices and having different products and services than the rivals.    

Key factors of Business Strategy

According to Jeroen de Flander, an influential thinker and speaker of strategy execution, “strategy is thinking about a choice and choose to stick with your thinking”. Before one can start strategizing for an organisation, one needs to take into account several principles of business strategizing. He came up with seven business strategy principles that every business leader should know.

1. Be unique

Business leaders often have the misconception that their business needs to be the best. Instead, the business needs to be unique. Within the same industry, there can be several businesses that are best at what they do, each with their own unique strategy. To become one of the best, one needs to come up with a distinctive idea, instead of copying that of one of the best companies.   

2. Make profit

When thinking of growth strategy, one always needs to think of how the business can make money. After all, business is all about making money.

3. Know the industry

Each industry is different, in terms of characteristics and structure, which determines the profitability. By learning about the industry beforehand, one can determine the component to stand out in the industry, be unique and yield a greater return. Different industries have higher returns than others. Knowing the industry inside out will also determine one’s competitiveness within the industry.  

4. Making choices

While coming up with the business strategy, one needs to clearly determine the clients and the ways to serve them. One needs to find ways to link the organisation to the outside world or the clients. The supply and demand relationship needs to be established. Choices will give an organisation limits in a way that it needs to limit the number of clients with the same necessity, to focus on providing those clients with what they require. In a more sophisticated term, one should fit value chain, being the organisation’s activities, to value proposition, being the consumers. An organisation cannot be an all-rounder for everyone.

5. Dare to say “No”

When one has made clear choices regarding the value proposition and the distinct and unique activities in the value chain, one will notice the things that the organisation does not want to do. Those things can include customers that the organisation does not want to serve, activities that are not going to be performed and products that are not going to be offered. Each organisation needs to have a clear guideline on what or where to say no to. Quoting the founding father of modern strategy thinking, Prof. Michael Porter, “the essence of strategy is choosing what not to do”. 

6. Keep on moving

When developing the strategy of a business, one needs to take into account the possible future changes, which include the move of competitors, the change in client’s needs and behaviours, and the evolution of technology. It is best to include the possible changes into the strategy to avoid from being missed out, left behind and getting into troubles later on.

7. Scenario thinking

Scenario thinking is a standard and structured way to deal with assumptions that go beyond facts and figures. It helps the organisation to identify possible future routes during the reflection process.

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