Purpose of Assignment

Purpose of Assignment

The Week 4 individual assignment is the second part of a three part strategic management plan for the company selected by the student in Week 3. The purpose of the assignment is for students to establish long-term goals and objectives; indicate, specify and discuss strategies; and investigate, consider and describe specific business strategies including vertical integration and strategic alliances, to achieve competitive advantage in the industry. The student also generates an appropriate organizational chart in alignment with the stated strategies.

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Weeks 3, 4, and 5 Individual Assignments are integrated to generate a Strategic Management Plan. This is Part 2 of the three part Strategic Management Plan.

Assignment Steps

Write a 1,050-word report on the company you selected in Week 3, following up on the Individual Assignment of Week 3 (Environmental Scanning), and address the following:

Establish Long-term Goals and Objectives
Strategy Formulation.
Indicate the markets that the company will pursue.
Specify the unique value the company will offer in the selected markets.
Discuss the resources and capabilities that are required.
Analyze how the company will capture value and sustain competitive advantage over time.

Business Management Strategy
Consider Cost and Differentiation Advantages.
Describe the Corporate Strategy.
Investigate Vertical Integration.
Describe Strategic Alliances.
Detail the Company Competitive Advantage.
Generate an Organizational Chart of the company you selected.

Cite at least 3 scholarly references.

Format your paper consistent with APA guidelines.

Click the Assignment Files tab to submit your assignment.
Materials

Strategy Formulation Grading Guide
Strategic Management: Concepts and Cases, Ch. 4: Cost Advantage
Strategic Management: Concepts and Cases, Ch. 11: Competitive Strategy
Strategic Management: Concepts and Cases, Ch. 7: Vertical Integration and Outsourcing
Strategic Management: Concepts and Cases, Ch. 5: Differentiation Advantage

Copyright ©2018 by University of Phoenix. All rights reserved.

All trademarks are property of their respective owners. See the list of trademarks used in this course.

Introduction

Environmental scanning refers to the process that systematically assesses and shed light on key information to pinpoint external business threats and opportunities. A business gathers relevant information on its rivals, external environment as well as itself. It then pursues the necessary actions and changes its plans and strategies when needed (Schaltegger, & Wagner, 2017). The coverage of this paper will discuss Google Company a US based Technology firm. Google Inc. specializes in the making of internet-based products and services which includes but not limited software, hardware, online search engines, online marketing technologies, and cloud computing. The firm is among the big 4 firms of technology alongside Apple, Facebook, and Amazon (Steiber, & Alänge, 2013).

The discussion will cover the external and internal environments of the global firm, its market competitive advantage and the strategies the firm has applied over the years to create and maintain a competitive advantage in the market. An overview of the effectiveness of measure guidelines adopted by the firm will also be discussed extensively and an evaluation of the effectiveness of the measurement guidelines would be discovered.

The External Environment of Google Inc.

The external environment of the firm is made up of the economic, political, technological and social-cultural environment.

Economic Environment. The major economic factors pertinent to Google in recent years have been the sustained growth in the GDP for global economies such as the United Kingdom, South Africa, China, and India. The continued and stable growth translates to an increased user search which means increased revenue for Google Inc.

Political Environment. Government stability forms part of the firm’s strategy. The notion is the existence of a stable market means that the government is actively supporting the businesses and thus these firms advertise more at Google thus benefiting the business. Also, Google Inc. stands to benefit more with the non-existence of rules and regulations for online sharing of information giving Google a rare opportunity to manipulate the laws. Countries such as China has intensified and added rules that forbid the firms from operating efficiently within the country (Edelman, & Eisenmann, 2010).

Technological Environment. The success and sustained growth of Google Inc. over the years have been increasingly attributed to its innovative background and technologies created such as Adword for advertising, Pagerank for user search, Google Map, Google Docs and Spreadsheets, Google Analytics, Google groups, Google Earth and many more. All these technological tools and services have been proposed to foster the lives of users by making it easier, entertaining, efficient and practical while generating revenue for Google Inc. (Steiber, & Alänge, 2013).

Socio-Cultural Environment. Information and knowledge sharing forms a major part of the development of human being. Goolge Inc. over the years has position itself as a global leader of a society that is more informed as enshrined from its mission of organizing the global information and making it globally useful and accessible to everyone. The social-cultural factors of the global firm are depicted in its values, culture, traditions as well as the societal expectations and trends of the business categorized into income distribution, population demographics, education level, and lifestyle change.

The Internal Environment of Google Inc.

The internal environment/factors are made up of the trends and events within the firm which affects the employees, the culture of the business as well as the management.

The mission of Google Inc. is to organize global information in such a way that it is universally useful and accessible. This mission statement depicts important information of Google Inc. as not interested in profit optimization but rather pursues to fulfill the needs of its global consumers with the provision of quality and useful products and services (Edelman, & Eisenmann, 2010).

In recruitment and hiring, Google Inc. hires individuals who are who are determined and smart and favors employee’s ability over his/her experience. The organizational culture is open and often related with startups; one in which every staff is a hands-on contributor and is at peace in sharing opinions and ideas. The workstations of the firms are designed in such a manner to promote interaction between staffs across and within the team and to spark cross and within the conversation about work and play (Steiber, & Alänge, 2013).

Competitive Advantage of Google Inc.

The huge size, market position, and innovations of Google make it enjoy numerous competitive advantages. The major competitive advantages of the firm can be narrowed into three major categories. These are innovative services, market share, and infrastructures.

Technology Infrastructures

Google owns an incredibly huge and powerful technology infrastructure that is not easily simulated. The infrastructure is one that has over the years fostered the efficiency and working of the firm. The working of the infrastructures is very hard to simulate and even try by rival firms due to the complexity and cost involved. This makes the infrastructure a sustainable source of competitive edge for the firm (Edelman, & Eisenmann, 2010).

Innovative Services

The innovative services of the firm also form the source of its competitive advantage. The firms offer at least forty services at a zero cost to almost all web users. Some of these include but not limited to Adword for advertising, Pagerank for user search, Google Map, Google Docs and Spreadsheets, Google Analytics, Google groups, Google Earth e.t.c. The number of users and services ensures the firm is able to provide an appealing advertising and marketing model and generate billions every year (Steiber, & Alänge, 2013).

Global Market Share

Google Inc. maintains the largest market share of approximately 66% in the search market share followed by Microsoft with a market share of roughly 15%. These statistics were collected and analyzed by Comscore which is a leading firm in technology monitoring. The firm has maintained the position over the years courtesy of the continued innovation pursued by the firm over the years (Edelman, & Eisenmann, 2010).

Strategies Used to Create Value and Establish Competitive Advantage

Over the years, Google has invested hugely in human resources and it’s from it that the competitive advantage of the firm increasingly comes from. Google Inc. hires individuals who are who are determined and smart and favors employee’s ability over his/her experience. The organizational culture is an open one in which every staff is a hands-on contributor and is at peace in sharing opinions and ideas. These have favored innovation through synergy and teamwork (Steiber, & Alänge, 2013).

Strategy Effectiveness

As stated earlier the culture of the firm encourages openness and sharing of ideas thus verification of a strategy yet to be implemented is subjected to brainstorming and idea sharing and thus every employee is a hands-on contributor is strategy formulation and conclusion (Edelman, & Eisenmann, 2010). In my opinion, I find this approach of verifying the effectiveness of business strategy the best as it involves staff participation and thus a representation of idea and opinion of all staffs. This promotes teamwork and synergy. 

References

Edelman, B., & Eisenmann, T. R. (2010). Google Inc.

Schaltegger, S., & Wagner, M. (2017). Managing the business case for sustainability: The integration of social, environmental and economic performance. Routledge.

Steiber, A., & Alänge, S. (2013). A corporate system for continuous innovation: the case of          Google Inc. European Journal of Innovation Management, 16(2), 243-264.

Expert Answer

Introduction

The success and good performance of any organization would not be possible without the use of strategic planning in a process referred to as strategic management. Strategic planning provides a company with an opportunity to identify the necessary actions and the correct direction that should be taken in order for the company to achieve its targets or goals (Bryson, 2018). Strategic planning can be defined as the process through which a company sets its priorities, strengthens its operations, focuses its resources and energy, assesses and adjusts the direction of the company in relation to changes in the environment, and ensures that various stakeholders are working towards the achievement of organizational goals (Wolf & Floyd, 2017). In this paper, the strategic plan of Google Inc., an American-based technology company that specializes in the production of internet-based services and products including software, internet search engines, online marketing technologies, and cloud computing (Google, 2005b), is provided.

The company is one of the best-performing and largest technology companies, competing with companies such as Apple, Amazon, and Facebook. In this paper, the long-term goals and objectives of the company will be identified. The paper will also discuss the various strategies used by the company in its business operations, the various markets targeted by the company, the value and resources required for the accomplishment of the long-term goals, and the competitive advantage and how it is sustained by the company. The various strategic alliances and the organizational structure that the company uses will be discussed and evaluated. 

Google Inc.’s Long-term Goals and Objectives

The company’s mission statement reveals the objectives and long-term goals. Google Inc.’s mission statement is to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” (Google, 2005b). Google’s long-term goals and objectives include delivering new technology for advertising, development of technology and mechanisms for tracking, and increasing and improving the ability of users to search a larger information base. These goals align with the mission of the company to enable accessibility and usefulness of information. The company also has a number of short-term objectives, which include expanding its workforce in anticipation of organizational growth, expanding operations into more international markets, and continuing with the innovation and development of new products. The accomplishment of these short-term goals and objectives will help the company get closer to achieving the long-term goals and objectives. For instance, the expansion of the company’s workforce will be important in the achievement of the long-term goal of expanding into new markets.

Google’s Strategy and Competitive Advantage

The search engine business is Google Inc.’s dominant business. As such, the company can be viewed as a single-product-line business that deals with the provision of search engine services to the public, even though the company has diversified its operations through the introduction of new technologies and acquisition of other businesses in recent years (Vise, 2007). In order for Google Inc. to effectively compete with its competitors and meet its targets, the company utilizes the differentiation strategy, which involves a broad market scope. The company offers products to people all over the world. The differentiation strategy involves the development of unique capabilities which sets the company’s products apart from those provided by competitors. Through the application of the differentiation strategy, the company is able to acquire a competitive advantage over competitors such as Yahoo! and Microsoft. The business strategies of Google Inc. are focused on improving the company’s search engine to become better than those provided by the competitors so as to differentiate it on the basis of the quality of service and relevance of the search results.

The company aims to ensure that the search engine clearly understands what the user means and provides results that are relevant to the query. Through the application of concentric diversification, placing focus on the main product of an online search engine, the company has been able to achieve a competitive advantage in the provision of quicker response times, lower costs, and greater scalability. The company has been able to achieve an edge over the competitors through increased search speed and offering services at a low cost. The future of the company depends on the sustainability of the competitive advantage. A key element in the sustenance of the competitive edge is the provision of searches that are more accurate and relevant to the users. The company also needs to focus on increasing its user base. Google Inc. also utilizes intensive growth strategies in its operations. Google Inc. depends on the market penetration strategy to expand its operations outside the United States. Market development strategy is utilized by the company to ensure continued growth and expansion of user base.

Through this strategy, services such as Google Fiber Internet and Google cable television service have been introduced in the U.S. market. Product development is another intensive growth strategy used by the company to realize growth and sustain its operations. Google continues to innovate and introduce new products in the market, including recent products such as Google Glass and the Nexus line of smart devices. Through this strategy, the company is able to increase its income generations lines.

Value Creation and Target Markets

The customers of the company range from individual users to small and large companies. Google provides its customers with a search engine that provides them with access to information (Google, 2005c). It also provides its clients with advertising services, ranking client sites depending on keywords. Google Inc. ensures the retention of customer trust and loyalty through the provision of exceptional search service in terms of speed and relevance of results. The company wishes to create value for clients and customers by providing access to information, an intangible value but one that changes how people interact and live their lives. The company’s primary target markets are the end users, partner websites, and advertisers. The company continues to serve these three market segments and expand its operations to increase its user base in the future.

Google Inc.’s Organizational Structure

Google Inc. utilizes a cross-functional team-based organizational structure (Google, 2005c). Instead of having employees at the bottom of the structure and supervisors and managers above them, the company utilizes an approach that ensures that employees are part of any decision-making. This structure maintains the feel of a small organization and promotes the feeling of equal importance in the employees. The structure of the company places importance on ideas and intelligence, as opposed to focusing on job titles and rank. In 2015, the company became a conglomerate, known as Alphabet, composed of various units, Google being one of them. The search engine, Android operating system, Gmail email service, and YouTube service are now units under the Alphabet conglomerate.

 

Conclusion

The future of Google Inc. looks bright. However, the company needs to set time frames and identify milestones for the journey towards the fulfillment of the long-term goals. By identifying proper timelines and milestones, and setting up appropriate monitoring systems to monitor growth and achievement of goals, the company will be able to guarantee its future success and achieve continuous growth. With increased competition and technological changes, the company should review its strategies and increase marketing activities.

References

Bryson, J. M. (2018). Strategic planning for public and nonprofit organizations: A guide to strengthening and sustaining organizational achievement. John Wiley & Sons.

Google, (2005b). Google corporate information: Company overview. Retrieved January 15, 2019, from http://www.google.com/intl/en/corporate/index.html

Google, (2005c). Google corporate information: Our philosophy. Retrieved January 15, 2019, from http://www.google.com/intl/en/corporate/tenthings.html

Wolf, C., & Floyd, S. W. (2017). Strategic planning research: Toward a theory-driven agenda. Journal of Management, 43(6), 1754-1788.

Vise, D. (2007). The google story. Strategic Direction, 23(10).

 

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