June 24, 2013
Strategic Management Process
Today, many companies find themselves struggling to stay abreast of the myriad of issues that impact them every day. From environmental constraints, innovative competitors, rising cost and tighter budgets, to the ever-demanding customers, and globalization, maintaining a presence in the market place it is becoming more difficult for business who do not incorporate a strategic management process. This paper will briefly cover the components of the strategic management process and why it is important for companies to implement this process to remain competitive. It will also examine the strategic management process utilized by Wal-Mart and demonstrate why this process has assured Wal-Mart’s continued success in the market place.
Components of the Strategic Management Process The four components of the strategic management process are fairly straight forward; first is environmental scanning. This means monitoring and evaluating information from both and internal and external environments and communicating this information to key people within the organization. The easiest way to accomplish this is with a SWOT analysis; SWOT an acronym meaning Strengths (internal), Weaknesses (Internal), Opportunities (external), and Threats (external). The second component is strategy formation. This component is the development of long-range plans to manage the opportunities and threats identified in the SWOT analysis. This takes into consideration the companies strengths and weaknesses and includes defining the corporate mission, identifying objectives, developing a strategy and setting policies. Third is strategy implementation; this component is the process of action whereby strategies and policies are put into action. This includes the development of programs, budgets and procedures to accomplish the strategies proposed. The fourth and last component is evaluation and control. This component is necessary to evaluate whether the strategy is effective before too many resources are expanded and implementing controls to ensure the strategy remains on-track. Essentially the purpose of this component is to compare the actual results to the desired outcome. By implementing these components a business will remain focused on its objectives and mission and maintain its place in the market (Wheelen & Hunger, 2010).
Wal-Mart’s Strategic Management Process
Founded in 1962 by Sam Walton, Wal-Mart has become one of the most successful businesses on the globe. With worldwide operations, Wal-Mart continues to grow in size and revenue despite falling economies both here in the United States and abroad. The success of