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MMPC-017: Advanced Strategic Management

MMPC-017: Advanced Strategic Management

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2023

If you are looking for MMPC-017 IGNOU Solved Assignment solution for the subject Advanced Strategic Management, you have come to the right place. MMPC-017 solution on this page applies to 2023 session students studying in MBA, MBF, MBAHM, MBAMM courses of IGNOU.

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Assignment Code; MMPC-017 / TMA / JAN / 2023

Course Code: MMPC-017

Assignment Name: Advanced Strategic Management

Year: 2023

Verification Status: Verified by Professor


Note: Attempt all the questions.


Q 1. Briefly discuss the nature of stability strategy.

Ans) Stability strategy is a type of corporate-level strategy that focuses on maintaining the current business operations and keeping them stable. It is also known as a steady-state strategy or status quo strategy. The main aim of the stability strategy is to maintain the current level of profitability by avoiding any significant changes in the existing business operations.


A firm following stability strategy maintains its current business and product portfolios; maintains the existing level of effort; and is satisfied with incremental growth. It focuses on fine-tuning its business operations and improving functional efficiencies through better deployment of resources.


A firm is said to follow stability/ consolidation strategy if:

  1. It decides to serve the same markets with the same products.

  2. It continues to pursue the same objectives with a strategic thrust on incremental improvement of functional performances; and

  3. It concentrates its resources in a narrow product-market sphere for developing a meaningful competitive advantage.


When a company goes for stability, it doesn't mean that it doesn't care about growing its business. It just means that their growth goals are small and they want to keep things the same. Stability strategy is mostly a defensive strategy because products, markets, and functions don't change. A stability strategy works best in stable business environments where an organisation can focus on making itself more efficient without worrying about change from the outside. In some cases, rules or the needs of key stakeholders make it impossible for an organisation to do anything but follow the stability strategy.


Large companies with a large number of businesses don't usually use the stability strategy as their main way to make money, but they may do so in some special situations. They usually use it along with the other generic strategies, with some businesses going for stability and others going for growth. But this is a great strategy for small businesses because it helps them reduce risk and protect their positions. This strategy is also liked by niche players for the same reasons.


Conditions Favouring Stability Strategy

Stability strategy does mean changing how the business is run, but the products and markets it serves stay the same or are narrowed down. So, the stability strategy is seen as a strategy that doesn't lead to growth. In fact, the stability strategy does allow for some growth, but only in a limited way, in the current product-market area. This helps businesses reach their current goals. Implementing a stability strategy does not mean that things will stay the same, since the main goal is to keep performing at the same level while making small improvements over time.


An organization’s strategists might choose stability when:

  1. The industry or the economy is in turmoil, or the environment is volatile. Uncertain conditions might convince strategists to be conservative until they became more certain.

  2. Environmental turbulence is minimal, and the firm does not foresee any major threat to itself, and the industry concerned as a whole.

  3. The organization just finished a period of rapid growth and needs to consolidate its gains before pursuing more growth.

  4. The firm’s growth ambitions are very modest, and it is content with incremental growth.

  5. The industry is in a mature stage with few, or no growth prospects and the firm is currently in a comfortable position in the industry.


Rationale for Using Stability Strategy

Stability is sometimes the best growth approach. Stability approach is utilised briefly to consolidate expansion advantages. A brief respite is needed before the following expansion. After fast expansion, organisations need to "cool off" and stabilise to avoid inefficiency and poor management. India Cements acquired other cement firms to grow swiftly before stabilising and merging. Videocon and BPL started new enterprises first. When competition increased, they merged their firms.


When the business is performing well, managers utilise a stability strategy. They prefer not changing their product-market position. Management is sometimes content since the company has a competitive edge and no immediate risks.


Leaders of certain companies prefer stability above risk. As long as their business operations yield results, they do not consider alternatives. Conservative managers avoid hazardous moves like establishing new goods, markets, or business models. Managers must also consolidate. They do not react to environmental changes or adjust their plan unless something extraordinary happens.


Sometimes, outside forces force an organisation to stick with the status quo strategy. This is especially true for bigger companies that have a large share of the market. The government usually does not let these kinds of groups grow because it could lead to monopolistic and restrictive business practises that hurt the public interest.


Q 2. Discuss the benefits of strategic alliances.

Ans) Strategic alliances are agreements between two or more companies to work together to achieve a common goal or objective. These agreements can take many forms, including joint ventures, partnerships, licensing agreements, and other collaborative arrangements. Strategic alliances have become increasingly popular in recent years as companies seek to leverage their strengths and capabilities to achieve competitive advantage.


The benefits of strategic alliances are:


Access to new markets: One of the primary benefits of strategic alliances is access to new markets. By forming an alliance with a company that has a strong presence in a particular market, a company can gain access to that market without having to invest the time and resources to establish a presence on its own. This can be especially valuable for companies that are looking to expand globally.


Access to new technology: Strategic alliances can also provide companies with access to new technology. By partnering with a company that has developed a new technology or has expertise in a particular area, a company can gain access to that technology or expertise without having to develop it internally. This can be especially valuable for companies that are looking to stay on the cutting edge of their industry.


Sharing of resources: Strategic alliances can also allow companies to share resources, such as manufacturing facilities, distribution networks, and marketing expertise. By pooling their resources, companies can achieve economies of scale and reduce costs. This can be especially valuable for small companies that may not have the resources to compete with larger competitors.


Risk sharing: Strategic alliances can also allow companies to share risks. By partnering with another company, a company can reduce its exposure to risks such as market fluctuations, changes in regulations, and shifts in consumer preferences. This can be especially valuable for companies that are operating in highly volatile industries.


Increased bargaining power: Strategic alliances can also increase a company's bargaining power. By forming an alliance with a larger company or a company that has a strong presence in a particular market, a company can negotiate better terms with suppliers, customers, and other stakeholders. This can be especially valuable for companies that are looking to reduce their costs or increase their profitability.


Increased innovation: Strategic alliances can also increase innovation. By partnering with a company that has expertise in a particular area, a company can develop new products or services that it may not have been able to develop on its own. This can be especially valuable for companies that are looking to stay ahead of their competitors.


Improved competitive position: Finally, strategic alliances can improve a company's competitive position. By partnering with a company that has complementary strengths and capabilities, a company can create a more comprehensive offering for its customers. This can be especially valuable for companies that are looking to differentiate themselves from their competitors.


In conclusion, strategic alliances can provide a range of benefits for companies that are looking to achieve competitive advantage. By gaining access to new markets, new technology, and new resources, companies can reduce costs, increase innovation, and improve their competitive position. However, it is important to note that strategic alliances can also have their challenges, such as managing conflicts of interest and coordinating activities between partners. Therefore, companies should carefully evaluate the benefits and risks of strategic alliances before entering into them.


Q 3. Discuss the methods used by governments to protect their domestic business environment.

Ans) The methods used by governments to protect their domestic business environment are:

  1. Tariffs: Governments can impose tariffs, or taxes, on imported goods. This makes imported goods more expensive, which makes domestic products more competitive. Tariffs can be used to protect domestic industries from foreign competition.

  2. Quotas: Governments can limit the amount of foreign goods that can be imported into their country. This can protect domestic industries from foreign competition and help maintain a balance of trade.

  3. Subsidies: Governments can provide financial assistance to domestic industries to help them compete with foreign companies. This can come in the form of grants, loans, tax breaks, or other forms of support.

  4. Regulations: Governments can impose regulations on foreign companies operating within their country. These regulations can make it more difficult for foreign companies to compete with domestic businesses.

  5. Trade Agreements: Governments can negotiate trade agreements with other countries that promote the interests of their domestic businesses. These agreements can reduce trade barriers and make it easier for domestic businesses to export their goods and services.

  6. Intellectual Property Protection: Governments can provide legal protection for patents, copyrights, and trademarks. This can help domestic businesses protect their intellectual property from foreign competitors.


It's important to note that while these methods can be effective in protecting domestic businesses, they can also have negative effects. For example, tariffs and quotas can lead to higher prices for consumers, while subsidies can create market distortions and inefficiencies. It's up to governments to carefully weigh the costs and benefits of each method and determine which ones are appropriate for their particular situation.


Q 4. Explain in detail the use of IT in strategy implementation.

Ans) Information technology (IT) has revolutionized the way businesses operate, including the implementation of strategic plans. The use of IT in strategy implementation has become increasingly important in the digital age due to its ability to support decision-making, improve communication and collaboration, and enhance overall organizational performance. Competitive strategy is an organization’s approach to achieving sustainable competitive advantage over, or reducing the competitive advantage of, its competitors.


Support Decision-making

The first and foremost use of IT in strategy implementation is to support decision-making. With the advent of big data, analytics, and artificial intelligence (AI), businesses can now collect, analyze, and interpret vast amounts of data in real-time. This enables decision-makers to make informed decisions based on accurate and up-to-date information. Furthermore, IT tools like dashboards and scorecards provide visual representations of data, making it easier for decision-makers to understand complex information quickly. For example, a company can use data analytics to analyze customer behavior and preferences to make more informed decisions about product development, pricing, and marketing strategies.


Enhance Communication and Collaboration

The use of IT can also enhance communication and collaboration, both of which are crucial for effective strategy implementation. IT tools like project management software, video conferencing, and collaborative platforms allow team members to communicate and collaborate in real-time, irrespective of their location. This enables them to share information, ideas, and feedback seamlessly, thereby improving the quality and speed of decision-making. For example, a company can use collaborative software like Microsoft Teams or Slack to facilitate virtual meetings and communication among team members.


Automate Processes

Another way in which IT can support strategy implementation is by automating processes. By automating routine and repetitive tasks, businesses can free up resources to focus on more strategic activities. This can lead to significant cost savings, improved efficiency, and better customer service. For example, a company can use customer relationship management (CRM) software to automate its sales and marketing processes, thereby reducing the time and effort required to manage customer interactions.


Improve Customer Experience

IT can also be used to improve the overall customer experience, which is essential for business success. By leveraging technologies like chatbots, self-service portals, and mobile apps, businesses can provide customers with convenient and personalized experiences. This can lead to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty, which, in turn, can drive growth and profitability. For example, a company can use a chatbot to provide 24/7 customer support, enabling customers to resolve their queries quickly and efficiently.


Monitor and Measure Progress

Finally, IT can be used to monitor and measure progress towards strategic goals. By tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics in real-time, businesses can identify potential issues and take corrective action quickly. This can help them stay on track towards their strategic objectives and make adjustments as necessary. For example, a company can use a performance management system to monitor KPIs like sales growth, customer retention, and profitability, enabling it to track progress and identify areas for improvement.


Sometimes, a lot of people in a sector or industry work together on IT. This is usually about infrastructure, like networking and messaging, but it can also be used for transaction-based IT. This kind of cooperation could be good for everyone if it leads to lower costs or better service. EDI is an example of a shared technology that allows people to share information and save money. Few companies have looked into the issue of shared IT, but using pre-made software is an obvious example of this. All of the above strategies need the organisation to change. IT can help change happen by giving organisations more options and making it easier for them to make good decisions.


Q 5. Discuss in detail the sources and types of knowledge.

Ans) One definition of knowledge is "the consciousness or comprehension of facts, information, skills, or values obtained via experience, education, or research." Knowledge can be described as the awareness or understanding of facts, information, skills, or values. Knowledge is rapidly being acknowledged as a crucial asset that can give firms a competitive advantage in today's economy, which is driven to a large extent by information and knowledge. The two sources of knowledge are:


Internal Sources

Internal sources are those that originate from the activities of the company; examples of organisational operations that count as internal sources include design, development, engineering, sales, marketing, production, and customer contact, amongst others. This is the most fundamental source of organisational information, and because it is controlled and easily canalizable to KR, it is extremely valuable. Because there is no formal system in place, this information is kept in the heads of organisation members, and in most cases, it is lost when those people leave the organisation.


External Sources

External sources such as industry and professional associations, commercial websites, etc. - there are many different types of professional bodies, including academic bodies like universities and research institutions, commercial organisations, industry associations like NEMA, and professional bodies like IEEE. The information obtained from these sources is typically made available to the public through websites and occasionally through publications. There's a possibility that some of the services won't cost you anything, while others would. A knowledge management system that is properly-designed should be able to make use of both sources in order to establish and maintain a KR, as well as make it possible for members to readily access the knowledge that is stored inside it.

The two kinds of knowledge are:

  1. Explicit Knowledge can be expressed in words and numbers and shared Knowledge Management (KM) in the form of data, scientific formulae, specifications, manuals and the like. This kind of knowledge can be readily transmitted across individuals formally and systematically.

  2. Tacit Knowledge, on the other hand, is highly personal and hard to formalize, making it difficult to communicate or share with others. Subjective insights, intuitions, and hunches fall into this category of knowledge. Difficult to verbalize, such tacit knowledge is deeply rooted in an individual’s actions and experience, as well as in the ideals, values, or emotions he or she embraces.


These two different kinds of knowledge complement one another very well and are both necessary for the creation of new knowledge. In the creative work that humans produce, they engage in conversation with one another and transform into one another. To fully grasp the process of how new information is acquired, it is essential to first comprehend how explicit and tacit forms of knowledge interact with one another. The interaction between the two distinct types of knowledge is also referred to under the term "knowledge conversion." When people with varying types of knowledge and levels of expertise have conversations with one another, new knowledge is created.


The vast majority of an organization's information is acquired through a dynamic process that involves four distinct ways of switching between the two different kinds of knowledge.

  1. Socialization: Tacit knowledge to conversion takes place when tacit knowledge within one individual is shared by another through training.

  2. Combination: Explicit knowledge to explicit knowledge conversion takes place when an individual combines discrete pieces of explicit knowledge into a whole new concept.

  3. Externalization: Tacit knowledge to explicit knowledge conversion can be said to take place when an individual is able to articulate the foundations of his and her tacit knowledge.

  4. Internalization: Explicit knowledge to tacit knowledge conversion takes place when new explicit knowledge is shared throughout the firm and other members begin to use it to broaden, extend and reframe their own tacit knowledge.


In conclusion, knowledge is a critical asset for organizations that can help them to achieve their strategic objectives and gain a competitive advantage. Organizations need to identify and leverage the various sources and types of knowledge available to them and create a culture that encourages the sharing and application of knowledge. By doing so, organizations can enhance their innovation, decision-making, efficiency, and employee development, leading to improved performance and success.

Q 6. Write short notes on the following:


a) Benefits of corporate planning

Ans) Corporate planning is the process of defining a company's objectives, strategies, and policies in order to achieve long-term success. The benefits of corporate planning are numerous and can have a significant impact on a company's success. The purpose of corporate planning process is to formulate the organization’s purpose, mission, objectives, goals, policies, programme strategies and major action plans to achieve its objectives.


The corporate planning process involves the following steps:

  1. Formulation of strategic intent.

  2. Environmental appraisal

  3. Generation of strategic alternatives.

  4. Evaluation of alternatives.

  5. Decisions in terms of strategy, policies, and programmes.


The following are the benefits of corporate planning:

  1. It enhances the ability to coordinate between different units or divisions and ensures that resources are distributed in a logical manner.

  2. The performance of the company as a whole reflects a significant improvement thanks to corporate planning. The United States saw a performance improvement of between 30 and 40 percent as a percentage.

  3. The management of a strategically complex organisation with limited resources can be assisted in responding to a dynamic environment and in managing the organisation more effectively by utilising a formal planning system.

  4. The ability to conduct an organised and objective analysis of a company's operations is established through the process of corporate planning.

  5. This contributes to the development of a visionary approach. The practise of thinking ahead is rewarded and promoted in advance planning.


Overall, the benefits of corporate planning are clear. It provides a clear direction for the company, improves decision-making, allocates resources more effectively, improves communication, encourages innovation, manages risk more effectively, and increases flexibility. By implementing corporate planning, companies can achieve long-term success and maintain a competitive edge in the marketplace.


b) Scope of corporate policy

Ans) Policies of a company are declarations that serve as guides for the thinking and behaviour of the company. They present the strategy that they want to take to the management in order to deal with the issues posed by the environment.


They cover the following broad areas that affect the decisions of the organization:

  1. The corporate policy encompasses a wide range of topics, each of which has the potential to influence distinct interest groups both inside and outside the company.

  2. The different functional aspects of a company, such as production, human resources, marketing, and finances, are all part of the purview of corporate policy.

  3. We are able to grasp different aspects of business policy by dividing them into two main categories: major policies and minor policies.


The key policies address the overarching goals, operational procedures, and control mechanisms. These policies are concerned with each and every part of the organisation, including its structure, its financial position, its production stature, its human resources, and all of those matters that demand care, such as mergers, research, expansion, etc. To a large extent, the top management is involved in the process of formulating such significant policies. In addition, executives are the ones in charge of carrying out the day-to-day operations and activities to ensure that the organization's goals are realised.


The minor policies focus on the specifics and processes of the organisation rather than the big picture, and they apply to every part of the company. These policies are included in the more significant policies. The successful execution of the minor policies is the precondition for the possibility of achieving operational control. Minor policies are those that pertain to day-to-day operations and are decided upon at the departmental level. Relations with dealers, discount rates, loan conditions, and other such topics could be covered under the minor policies. Therefore, corporate policies include a broad spectrum of topics, ranging from policies at the operational level all the way up to policies at the top level.


c) Innovation

Ans) Innovation refers to the process of creating new ideas, products, services, or processes that are novel and valuable. It involves applying creativity, knowledge, and resources to develop something that solves a problem, meets a need, or provides a better way of doing things. Innovation is an essential driver of economic growth and social progress, as it enables individuals, organizations, and societies to adapt and thrive in a constantly changing environment.


Innovation can occur in various forms, such as incremental improvements to existing products or services, radical breakthroughs that disrupt entire industries, or social innovations that address complex societal challenges. It requires a combination of technical expertise, market insights, entrepreneurial mindset, and collaborative efforts across different disciplines and sectors.


Innovation can be driven by various factors, including technological advancements, changing customer needs, global competition, regulatory requirements, and societal trends. Successful innovation requires a supportive ecosystem that fosters experimentation, risk-taking, and learning from failure. It also requires a culture of openness, diversity, and inclusivity that encourages the exchange of ideas and perspectives.

Culture is one of the main things that affects innovation. When an organisation has positive cultural traits, it has the tools it needs to come up with new ideas. There are many parts of culture that can make people more likely to innovate or less likely to do so. Also, the organisational context needs to match up with the culture of innovation. It's a mistake to look at culture in a vacuum, and it's an even bigger mistake to point to one type of culture as the solution to an organization's lack of innovation.


In summary, innovation is a critical driver of progress, competitiveness, and sustainability. It is essential for individuals, organizations, and societies to continuously innovate and adapt to changing circumstances to realize their full potential.


d) Competitive advantage and R & D

Ans) Competitive advantage refers to the unique edge that a company has over its rivals in the marketplace. It can be achieved through various means, such as cost leadership, differentiation, or focus strategies. One key driver of competitive advantage is research and development (R&D).


R&D is the process of creating new knowledge, products, or services through systematic investigation and experimentation. It involves a range of activities, such as basic research, applied research, and development, aimed at generating new ideas and improving existing ones. R&D can help companies achieve competitive advantage in several ways.

  1. First, R&D can lead to the development of new products or services that meet the unmet needs of customers or create new markets. This can give companies a first-mover advantage, allowing them to establish a dominant market position and earn higher profits.

  2. Second, R&D can help companies improve the quality, performance, and reliability of their existing products or services, making them more attractive to customers and enhancing their competitive position.

  3. Third, R&D can enable companies to reduce their costs through process innovation or the adoption of new technologies. This can lead to lower prices, higher margins, and a stronger competitive position in the marketplace.

  4. Finally, R&D can help companies anticipate and respond to changes in the marketplace, such as shifting customer needs, emerging technologies, or regulatory requirements. This can help companies stay ahead of their competitors and maintain their competitive advantage over time.


The competitor who wins must have both the lowest price and the highest reliability, or they must have one of the other advantages that customers value. All of these things can be changed in a good way by a company with a strong R&D programme, which can give the company a competitive advantage. Competitive advantage sees R&D as a way to improve a process, which can lower costs or give customers the best benefits in their class.

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