Annual Reports

Diamond mines. Competitive advantage can also come from different functional areas within the company. Biotechnology pioneer Genentech’s advantage comes primarily from research and development that has produced several blockbuster drugs; Toyota’s advantage in automo- biles comes primarily from its operations (known as the Toyota Production System); Procter & Gamble’s advantage in household products comes largely from its sales and marketing, and Nordstrom’s advantage as a retailer comes largely from its merchandising and service.

The Strategic Management Process The processes that firms use to develop a strategy can differ dramatically across firms. In some cases, executives do not spend significant time on strategy formulation, and strategies are often based only on recent experience and limited information. However, we propose that a better approach to the formulation of strategy is the strategic management process outlined in Figure  1.1. The strategic management process for formulating and implementing strategy involves thorough external analysis and internal analysis. Only after conducting an analysis of the company’s external environment and its internal resources and capabilities are a firm’s strategic management process The process by which organizations formulate a plan and allocate resources to achieve competitive advantage that involves making four strategic choices: (1) markets to compete in; (2) unique value the firm will offer in those markets; (3) the resources and capabilities required to offer that unique value better than competitors; and (4) ways to sustain the advantage by preventing imitation.

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