chapter  10
32 Pages

Corporate strategy

This chapter picks up the theme that we began to develop in Chapter 9 by asking the question: how can organizations achieve sustainable competitive advantage? As Michael Porter1 argues, ‘The essence of strategy formulation is coping with competition’ and the focus will be on how organizations can achieve competitive advantage through their people. The chapter itself is divided into five sections. The first attempts to define both corporate and HR strategy and examines the relationship between them and provides an overview of the strategy process and examines how organizations define their purpose. The second section sets the scene for the following chapters, in that it considers environmental analysis as a key aspect of strategy formulation and implementation. It is here that a number of important analytical management techniques, such as PESTLE and SWOT analyses, are introduced. The third section deals with choice of strategy; it is here that we revisit the ideas of Michael Porter and consider how competitive advantage through people might be achieved. We then consider strategy implementation and how organizations can be ‘shaped’ to deliver business strategy. The fifth section considers alternative views of how strategy is formulated, focusing on the idea of ‘emergent’ strategy.