Essay Example on Strategic Management and Rational Planning Model

Published: 2022-06-17
Essay Example on Strategic Management and Rational Planning Model
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Strategic management
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1437 words
12 min read

Reflection on YouTube video - What is Strategy?

One of the main takeaways from the video, What is Strategy? is the general gross misconception of what strategy is and its role in the success of an enterprise. For instance, companies will often categorize objectives, goals, descriptions, and even tactics as their strategy, which is, arguably, erroneous. Fundamentally, these factors are just small components of an overall strategy.

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To grasp the idea of strategy and its impact, it is imperative to view modern business as a war. This means that the executive takes the role of a General in a typical war, to steer his team to victory through a set of activities and complex tactics. This is an interesting analogy which already creates a mental idea of what efficient strategies results too. However, in a business context, I have learnt that there are four set of aspects that will clearly guide in establishing a victorious strategy. First, the primary task is to establish the points of competition, which define the active areas or the industry the business will be involved in. The sell-out of the products in that market helps in the second aspect of strategy establishment that can be framed in form of the question, what is the unique value of our product? The answer to this question highlights the strong points that attract customers to choose the business' products over others in the industry. Having established a unique strong value, the third aspect is to identify the resources required to achieve that value. The final aspect of strategy establishment is to determine the sustainability of the identified unique value to sustain the victory or successful business. This aspect is particularly crucial in ensuring that competitors do not replicate this unique value.

From the above elucidation, it can be seen that a strategy simply comprises of both internal and external environments, vis a vis the business' goals to help it continue achieving them over a long-term and sustainably.

Activity 1.2 Question #2

Evaluation of McDonald's Mission Statement

McDonald's brand mission is, "To be our customers' favorite place and way to eat and drink. Our worldwide operations are aligned around a global strategy called the Plan to Win, which center on an exceptional customer experience - People, Products, Place, Price and Promotion. We are committed to continuously improving our operations and enhancing our customers' experience." ("McDonald's Mission and Corporate Values: McDonald's", 2018)

Just from a glance, McDonald's mission is customer-oriented. However, if this mission was the sole customer-swaying factor to buying a meal or a drink from the franchise, I would personally not have been convinced. It lacks precision, motivation and persuasion in its framework. While a critical evaluation shows that the outlet's decision and actions are aimed at maximum customer experience, this value has been poorly communicated. The second sentence in the mission is particularly technical and a layman customer will barely understand the meaning. Considering it is customer-oriented, the mission should at least explore how it intends to make the McDonald's a favourite joint as stated in the first statement.

From the theoretical framework, an effective mission, regardless of the orientation, it should primarily motivate staff and inspire them to achieve the organization's goals (Weiss & Piderit, 1999). Conversely, McDonald's mission focuses on satisfying customer needs but forgets to address the employees. If the mission could have incorporated the values that motivate the staff, it would not only help in maximizing employees' output but also boost customers' attitudes towards the franchise.

Response to student #1

While my peer's argument that McDonald's mission statement " not condensed into one a single framework statement" is not clear, I concur that the mission lacks precision. Additionally, he or she also shares the same sentiments that the state scores poorly on the captivating factor to all the stakeholders due to its generic nature. The statement should be concise with a clear link to McDonald's values and strategies to improve its effectiveness to both customers and employees.

Response to student #2

In my opinion, contrary to terming the phrase "...being the customer's favorite place to eat and drink" as being clearly defined, it is pretty generic and unpersuasive. "Favorite" is relative and the fact that the mission does not further show how it plans to make it favorite is a vague statement which negatively affects the mission's efficacy. Additionally, I do not see any simplicity with the phrase "Plan to Win". A layman, who accounts for the largest percentage of clients and probably lacks knowledge of the business strategy, would get the wrong meaning hence distortion of the message. The company should consider revising the statement to address the above mentions limitations.

Activity 1.3 Question #3

Large organizations using the Rational Planning Model

Examples of three globally-known organisations that are likely to be adopting the rational planning model include Ford Motors, General Motors, and Coca-Cola. One common attribute about these companies is that their products are generally stable and they have a relatively longer life before an overhaul change or update. For instance, apart from the enhancement of vehicle performance, Ford and General Motors only have to deal with the different market dynamics in the regions they operate. These very bureaucratic nature and stable products allow them to utilize the rational planning model to realize their long-term goals over an extended period of time.

Whilst logical instrumentalism, the emergent approach and freewheeling are great strategy approaches, they are less likely to be adopted by the mentioned organizations. First, the three organizations are very conservative and the organizational structure comprises of distinct levels of management which include, the top-level, middle-level and the frontline, which is mainly made up of the operational managers. One factor that makes an approach such as emergent planning model unsuitable is that the strategic planning is done by the top-level management, thereby discouraging the incorporation of the anticipated emergent outcomes into the overall strategic planning. Another aspect that favors the adoption of rational planning model to other approaches is the nature of the long-term goals of these companies. Due to the dynamic nature of tastes and preference within a different market region, the companies are forced to take a comprehensive approach using market data to ensure that they meet the diverse needs of their clients.

As seen, the efficacy of rational planning model highly depends on the nature of products and organizational structure of the company and it is imperative to consider these factors before adopting this approach.

Activity 1.4 Question #4

Strategic Management in Trader Joe's

Trader Joe's is a perfect example of how strategic management can propel and sustain a business' success in an industry characterized by fierce competition. This business entity falls under the category of the supermarket industry which has experienced a major overhaul over the last ten decades. The main factors that have enabled Trader Joe's to continue opening stores throughout the country and sell a whopping $1734 per square foot are its competitive strategy and sustainability plan ("How Trader Joe's Sells Twice as Much as Whole Foods", 2018).

Trader Joe's has utilized several unique competitive advantages but the most outstanding one has been the ability to offer quality goods at relatively lower prices. Much of their products are made in-house through efficient internal processes that enable the reduced production costs (Ager, 2013). This strategy not only allows passing of savings to the customer but also saves the suppliers the premium shelf fee and marketing cost hence making the business's operations even more sustainable. The unique strategy has enabled the chain store to gain a niche market to continue with its financial viability amidst strong market turbulence especially those caused by e-commerce.

The consistency in living up to their mission statement has successfully gained them customer trust and loyalty. This has shielded them from competition from other stores such as Wal-Mart and Tesco who have in the recent post tried to copy their strategic model ("Tesco makes US discount chain foray", 2018). This goes further to show how identifying and developing a business' competitive advantage through strategic management can increase and sustain the profitability of an enterprise.


Ager, D. L., & Roberto, M. A. (2013). Trader Joe's. Harvard Business School Publishing.

How Trader Joe's Sells Twice as Much as Whole Foods. (2018). Retrieved from

McDonald's Mission and Corporate Values :: McDonald's. (2018). Retrieved from

Tesco makes US discount chain foray. (2018). Retrieved from

Weiss, J. A., & Piderit, S. K. (1999). The value of mission statements in public agencies. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 9(2), 193-224.

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