Each organization requires different strategic planning, as there is no single strategic planning model that suits all organizations. Every organization has to develop model of strategic planning according to its own development, its nature of business and as per their own planning process. These models provide an extent of options on the basis of which different organizations might be able to select an approach and initiate to grow their own strategic planning process.
Any organization might select to combine the models suitable to their planning process, for example, they can use a Basic model to recognize strategic issues and aims, and then they can select an issues-based model to develop approach to initiate the issues and grasp the aims. Few prominent models are explained as under. i. Basic Strategic Planning/Model According to O’Regan and Ghobadian, (2002) basic strategic planning process is commonly adopted by the organizations which are very small, engaged, and those who have not executed basic planning earlier.
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The process is suitable to equip the company in initial years to get a reason of how planning is organized, and then geared up in subsequent period with increased planning stages and activities to secure selective direction. Top-level management usually carries out planning. The basic strategic planning process includes: a. Ascertain the identity of purpose (mission statement) – First of all the purpose of existence of organisation is to be found out i. e. the basic purpose of an organisation.
It should be specified what types of customers are needed to be contacted and with what type of services are to be rendered. The higher management should grow and accede to the identification of purpose. Over the years, however, the statements can be changed. (O’Regan and Ghobadian, 2002). b. Selecting the targets an organization should compete if they have to achieve the mission – Targets are those goals that an organisation needs to achieve to complete the purpose, or mission, and point out major issues, which an organisation faces. . Identifying particular approaches and schemes that should be implemented to complete the targets – The strategies are described as the schemes which change the most in the organization to be conducted the more robust strategic planning, specially by way of closely analyzing the internal and external surroundings of the organization. d. Make out action plans to execute each strategy – These are the necessary activities to be performed by each major function (section, department) so as to execute each strategy successfully.
The objective should be clearly defined to enable the people whether they have achieved it or not. The Top Management should form specific committees having a separate work plan and objectives. (O’Regan and Ghobadian, 2002). e. Regular Monitoring and updating – Planners should regularly and continuously monitor and see to what extent the goals are being met and whether action plans are being implemented. The feedback from the organization’s customers is the most reliable source for this. (O’Regan and Ghobadian, 2002). Company Background
Marks and Spencer Marks and spencers a very well know business organisation all over the world and especially very famous in the European union made its mark in the 20th century Marks and Spencer, sometimes is also referred to as or “M and S”, made its reputation in the 20th century on a policy of only selling British-made goods. The organisation entered intoa long term business process with the British clothing manufacturing sector “St Michael” brand (trademark registered in 1928), a name which honours its co-founder Michael Marks.
It also accepted the return of unwanted items, giving full cash refund if the receipt was shown, no matter how long ago the product was purchased. It has now adopted a 90-day returns policy (M&S, 2009). Marks & Spencer Group plc (also M&S; nicknamed “Marks and Sparks” and “Marks”) is a retail store with more than 843 stores in over 30 countries all over the globe with nearly 600 in the local market and the rest in the international arena’s & S is the largest clothing retailer in the UK business market. (M&S report 2009) The Strategic Management Process
According to (Robbins and Coulter, 2005) The strategic management is a process of 5 stages which starts from planning the strategy , implementing the strategy and then evaluating it. Strategic planning clearly defines organisations’ objectives and assesses both the internal and external situation to formulate strategy, implement the strategy, evaluate the progress, and make adjustments as necessary to stay on track (Bradford et al, 2008). According to Robbins and Coulter (2005), the strategic management process model is given below:
Figure 1: Strategic Management Process (Adapted from Robbins and Coulter, 2005) Step 1: Define and Review Mission Every organisation requires a mission. The mission is reason for an organization for being in the business. By defining the organization’s mission, forces managers to carefully identify the scope of its products or services (Robbins and Coulter, 2005). M&S has defined their mission as, “To make aspirational quality accessible to all” (M&S, 2009). Marks and Spencer’s have been known for their quality value, service, innovation and trust to all their customers who as a company they have stuck to very well.
They are continuing to attract new customers as well as keeping their old ones, offering them new and improved products all the time. Identify Goals and Objectives Mullins (2002) defines an organisational goal as a future expectation; it is something the organisation is striving to accomplish. The goals of organisation will determine the nature of its inputs and outputs, the series of activities through which the outputs are achieved, and interactions with its external environment (p. 126).
Every year M&S had many objectives, which were to be met, they were not really split into long term and short term but just objectives as a whole for each coming year. For example, In 2001, they had many objectives but their main ones were attracting new customers, developing stronger relationships with their suppliers, aim for market leadership and also to restore the heart of M&S, stop non-core and profit losing activities and also to keep an effective balance sheet calling these three sectors their fundamental strengths (M&S Annual Report, 2009). External Environment of M&S
External analysis involves an examination of the relevant elements external to an organisation. One output of external analysis is an identification and understanding of opportunities and threats, both present and potential, facing the organisation. Another output is the identification of strategic uncertainties regarding a business or its environment that have the potential to affect business and its strategy (Aaker; 2005; pp 21). Various writers have illustrated various statements and opinions regarding environment uncertainty. Waldem et al. , (2001, p. 36) stated that environments perceived as highly uncertain will likely be viewed as very risky, as contexts in which a few erroneous decisions could result in severe trouble and possibly put the survival of organisations at risk (Cited in Beugre et. al, 2006; pg-54). Figure: 1 External Environment Figure 2: Environmental analysis The macro environmental factors can be divided into six broadly categories, which are political, environment, social, technology, environment and legal (Johnson and Scholes, 2002). The critical analysis of the M&S’s macro environmental factors are given below:
Political and Legal In recent years, gene technologies have increased substantially. Some of these technologies have used to produce food. However, some of these technologies may cause natural environment pollution and endanger human’s health. “Some European supermarkets are moving towards selling only meat from animals produced fed on non-GM feeds. This is building on moves by many retailers in the UK to go non-GM” (Meat & Livestock Australia, 2001). M&S also announced that it supplied all non-GM foods on its shelves (BBC News, 1999).
On the other hand, with the increase in market concentration in recent years the UK’s leading grocery retailers have come increasingly under the scrutiny of the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) for allegedly exerting monophony powers in agricultural markets. Economic Economic factors have affected companies to extend their business or retrench its business, such as close loss-making operations and sale their non-core business. For example, the 11th September 2001 accident in USA has caused many companies to face the recessions in North America and European countries.
The 11th September accident in USA caused economical crisis in North America and other countries. It caused consumers to change their purchasing habits, and retailers were seeing sales decreases (BBC News, 2001). The UK market has been affected by negative inflation in the food sector. This negative inflation has been driven by the so-called ‘Wal-Mart effect’ i. e. downward pressure on prices from Asda / Wal-Mart’s aggressive ‘Every Day Low Price (EDLP)’ strategy, It was not just the Wal-Mart effect that pressurised retailers into a price war but. These factors are also influencing the M&S externally.
Social and legal issues The requirements of consumers are changeable. People want to feel special, modern, and convenient. Hence, people purchase fashionable clothing and use credit cards to satisfy their needs. M&S keeps with the latest style and colour, although it has high quality goods. M&S does not consider with customer needs, especially in clothing market, it may cause M&S to lose its sale to competitors (Jobber, 1999). Another social factor is that credit card acceptance has increased more than 10% of all trade (BBC News, 2000). Technological
At the present time, information technology changes fast, and most companies has built their own websites, online shops, and databases to help them to increase their sales from online customers. They collect information and analyse their customers to know their customers’ needs and wants. Therefore, M&S has invested its information technology, such as online shop in 1999. In addition, most stores in the UK and Western Europe were running a trial of the EPOS (Electronic Point Of Sale) systems. M&S has also used this system to drive sales, increase customer service, and improve its efficiency (Yorwerth, 2001 Cited in Fahad, 2009).
However, M&S did not control its online shop and EPOS system effectively. Actually, its website could not show its stocks immediately. Customers, who use its online shop, still feel inconvenient. In contrast, almost every major food retailer in the UK has experimented with home shopping, home delivery and/or e tailing. Order fulfilment has proved to be very costly whether centrally based or store based. Opportunities and Threats of M&S Opportunities Internet technology has developed fast, it offers an opportunity to increase the demand for the online products (Zakon, 1999).
In terms of this circumstance, buying products online became a new trend. Customers are getting used to accept the model and adapt it to their daily lives, and the demand for this kind of products would be increased in the future. Healthy eating offers an opportunity that the demand of specific food will be increased (Leyshon, 2002). People pay attention to the life quality; they request companies to offer varied products to satisfy their needs. For example, in the food market, M&S does good segmentation in providing the vegetarian, low fat or organic food.
This is the advantage that the competitors have not aware of it. On the other hand, online consumer spending worldwide is forecast to rise from $137 billion in 2004 to $228 billion in 2007. Significant growth in online sales is forecast for all categories of consumer goods. The online market is the fastest growing sector of the UK retail at present, accounting for almost half the cash growth in retail spending in 2005. In line with this trend, Threats Although M&S has its own strengths, opportunities and weaknesses, it still occurs some threats from itself and other competitors.
Strong competitors are the most threat to M&S. For example, in the food market, there are four main supermarkets, such as Tesco, Asda, Safeway and Sainsbury (Ocr, 2006). They provide not only high quality but also value-added products to build customers’ loyalty. In the clothing market, Gap, Next, Topshop and other fashionable brands may compete with M&S (M&S Annual Report, 2008/09). Intense competition in the retail industry would affect the group’s profitability. Labor costs are rising in the UK. The UK government announced that the adult minimum wage rate would rise from GBP5. 05 to GBP5. 5 per hour in October 2005. The rate for those aged 18 to 21 years will be increased from GBP4. 25 to GBP4. 45 per hour and the rate for workers aged 16-17 years would increase from GBP3 to GBP3. 30 per hour. The full year effect of this increase would be evident in fiscal year 2008. An increase in labor costs would adversely impact the group’s margins. These things also threat for the Sainsbury’s (Datamonitor, 2009). Internal Environment The internal analysis leads to a clear assessment of the organization’s resources and capabilities in performing the different functional activities.
Positive activities and unique resources are organization’s strength. The opposite is the weakness. This step forces managers to recognize the resources and capabilities it has available (Robbins and Coulter, 2005). Internal Environmental Factors of M&S Strengths High quality is the major strength that makes M&S successful. Customers always find high quality goods such as fresh fruits, vegetables, and other superior goods in M&S’s food hall (Ciao, 2002). With many people turnning to eat vegetarian meals, M&S grasps the consumers’ need.
M&S has high quality of products that are the food and other products, such as baby products and women’s underwear. M&S has high reputation for focusing on customer service (Christie, 2002). This is one of the most important methods to make a good relationship between customers and M&S. Weaknesses The clothing market of M&S has many segments. In fact, the merchanclise, especially ladies outerwear, is outmoded design and cut. In addition, affluent younger consumers prefer purchasing brand-labels, such as Gap, Next and Topshop (Jobber, 2001: 149). The non-performance of the home delivery/shopping service even sometimes involves wedding lists. Customers were told that items were out of stock” (Jobber, 2001: 149). Customers complain the defect of e-shopping and delivery services. To some extent, M&S suffers from the unbalance between the stock and Information Technology System. Another problem is that M&S has many store spaces. In fact, it has added 75 percent of square footage since the early Eighties, but its market share in clothing has not increased (Stewart, 2000). M&S needs to find some new products to stuff its extra spaces.
Porter’s five forces analysis Porter’s premise is that some industries are intrinsically more attractive than others and attractiveness is determined by the five forces (MacMillan, & Tampoe; 2000; pg-102). The most influential analytical mode for assessing the nature of the competition in an industry is five forces of Michael Porter and his theory of competitive advantage where he discusses the following 1. The threat of new competitors. 2. Threat from the substitutes 3. The bargaining strength of the buyers 4. The bargaining strength of the suppliers. 5. The rivalry that exists between the competitors.
Figure 3: Porter’s Five Forces Model (Adapted from MacMillan & Tampoe; 2000; pg-103). All the eight forces shown in the figure below are capable of threatening the survival and growth of the enterprise and therefore need to be considered as part of the process of external assessment (MacMillan & Tampoe ; 2000; pg-104,105). Figure 4: Corporate Survival Model (Adapted from Macmillan & Tampoe; 2000; Pg-105). The analysis for M&S The bargaining power of buyers M&S gained the customer loyalty over a long history, high-quality products, good services and its value price.
However, nowadays, customers expect ‘value for money’ and want to get either brand name or discounted products. M&S have become stuck in the middle; therefore, M&S’s strategy became ineffective. It is obvious that the bargaining powers of buyers are increasing dramatically from the previous days. Therefore, M&S has to be more customer-orientated instead of product-oriented. Buyer power is particularly strong in the U. K grocery retailing industry where there is an extremely high concentration of buyers. Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda dominate the market (Datamonitor, 2009). The bargaining power of suppliers
The reputation of the M&S brand gained a lot from its long-term relationships with its suppliers. In 1998, some companies had supplied to M&S for more than 100 years (e. g. Dewhirsts). M&S could buy cheaply and efficiently from the way of buying directly from supplier, while competitors buy from intermediary. The heavy dependence of suppliers on the company means that the company could try to lower their costs through offsetting falling profits by putting competitive pressure on suppliers. The reliance on a limited range of mainly UK-based suppliers has, over the long term, contributed to the dependability of the M&S brand.
However, it has also made costs more difficult to control (www. statsed. co. uk, 19/03/09). After sales declined rapidly, M&S attempted to cut cost and began to extend to its suppliers. The threat of new Entrants Any new entrant into this market would have technical problems like finding capital to set up and competing directly with the likes of M&S’s who has already operated on a large scale. Other barriers are advertising and branding. As M&S has already gained the loyalty in the market, it is extremely difficult for new entrants to break into the market and the threat rom entrants is low (M&S Annual report 2010). The threat of substitutes In case of M&S, the threats from substitutes are high as customers can go for similar products with lower prices. Like , Sainsbury’s has successfully improved its margins by increasing the ratio of non-food to food in its superstores it has moved into other competitive arenas e. g. its foray into furniture and household appliances has put it on a collision course with household appliance retailers. The competitors Respond more quickly to market changes and encourage innovation.
For the main sectors of M&S, in the food sector, Tesco have developed their range of ready cooked meals; In the clothing sector, Boots have improved brightly coloured children’s clothes and gifts. In addition, the competitors such as Gap and Next have targeted different segment and also have impacted on the company operation (Jobber, 2001). Four major firms dominate the UK market at present but concentration has increased markedly in the 1993-1996 period with major multiples pursuing active policies of new store development. The Value Chain
The value chain model is used to analyse the target activities of M & S which is the main purpose of this model and this model is very useful for a firm in a way to value –creating activities which was identified by Micheal Porter. Primary Value Chain Activities Adapted from (Department of Management Science and Technology, 2009) The Strategic Agenda Once the environmental analysis is complete managers need to develop and evaluate strategic alternatives and then select strategies that capitalize on the organization’s strengths and exploit environmental opportunities or that correct organization’s weaknesses and buffer against threats.
Strategies need to be established for the corporate, business, functional and global levels of the organization (Robbins and Coulter, 2005). Adopted from Robbins and Coulter, 2005 Corporate Level Strategy Robbins and Coulter (2005) defined corporate level strategy as the set of strategic alternatives from which an organization chooses as it manages its operations simultaneously across several industries and several markets. Corporate level strategy concentrates on the firm’s ability to focus on particular businesses that maximize the long run profitability of the organization.
M&S is able to maintain its long run profitability and even continue to grow within its industry because it produces what it knows best, as well as, improves its products. (Datamonitor, 2009). Business Level Strategy M&S using focus market strategy in business level strategy that the firm to compete in the selected product market arena. This segment is the piece of the total market that the M&S can claim and defend because of its competitive advantages. Customers are the foundation or essence of an organization’s business-level strategies.
For this reason, M&S using product differentiation strategies according to the constant changes of consumers need and want. M&S also using broad differentiation to different itself from other competitors by offering high quality, good designed and unique products with affordable price and high level of services to customers as well as a strong brand name in the broad markets place Functional Level M&S has introduced a designer collection with the aim of entering different segments of the younger. M&S has upgraded its product lines through innovation. E. g.
Buying in new fabrics and colours, increasing product offerings. M&S has tried to enter into the young segment by offering more fashionable clothing and introducing some designer brand. Moreover, M&S is now offering a mail order for busy people and those living in remote areas. Mean while M&S continued to established markets in Western Europe, Canada, USA, and the Far East, this was now being done via a franchise method by diversification strategy. In the BCG model, Sainsbury’s is in cash cow segment that means Sainsbury’s operates in mature market with a high market share.
In contrast, M&S is in the problem children segment in the BCG model that suggests that M&S operates in high-growth market but have low relative market shares in the UK retail industry (Datamonitor, 2009). The Strategic Map The Objective of M&S: Serving the mass market with innovative, high quality goods and competitive prices The purposes of M&S: ?To sell merchandise of the highest quality and outstanding value ? To offer the highest standard of customer care in an attraction shopping environment ? To improve the quality standards continually throughout our operations by investment in modern technology ?
To pursue mutually rewarding long-term partnerships with suppliers ? To ensure staff and shareholders share in our success ?To nurture good human relations with staff, customers and the community ? To minimize the environmental impact of our operations and merchandise (M&S Press Release, June, 2009) The process of stakeholder analysis starts with mapping out the stakeholders’ expectations. Suppliers – get the money on time Customers – consistent quality Shareholders – long-term profit, keeps the business moving smoothly Lenders – long- term stability
Management – maximising the profit, staff motivation (loyalty) Labour – long- term employment Government – present as a British image: M&S has seen as the good example for more entrepreneurial and innovative than other companies in Western Europe. The changes would affect both British Economy and society (Thompson, 2001). The following diagram is given to identify who are the key stakeholders. According to the chart, shareholder has both high criteria power and operational power within the organisation, so identified as the key stakeholders.
The success of a company depends on maximizing the key stakeholder’s expectation; therefore, the key success factors are as following: •Increasing share price •Sustainable competitive advantage •Enhancing brand •Increasing customer perception of quality Development Strategies: The Basis of Strategy Map M&S is using broad differentiation to different itself from other competitors by offering high quality, good designed and unique products with affordable price and high level of services to customers as well as a strong brand name in the broad markets place. Do nothing”: Regarding to the success of M&S in terms of high quality of products, strong brand, good relations with employees, customers, suppliers and other stakeholders, therefore, no further development has been done. Withdraw: M&S have withdrawed form some unprofitable markets such as America and Canada and pay more attention to the operations in Hong Kong and Fast East. Market Penetration: i. e. existing products in existing markets. Additional product lines have been offered in the food and clothing categories to gain more market share.
M&S has introduced a designer collection with the aim of entering different segments of the younger (Thompson, 2001). Also, different product ranges such as cosmetics, furniture, books and CD, financial services etc have been introduced. Some marketing activities has been introduced by M&S such as increasing advertising, appointing an outside agency for public relations and establishing the marketing department to take a more customer focused orientation. M&S has upgraded its product lines through innovation. E. g.
Buying in new fabrics and colours, increasing product offerings (M&S 2009 annual report). Market penetration is the name given to a growth strategy where the business focuses on selling existing products into existing markets. Market penetration seeks to achieve four main objectives. The first one is to maintain or increase the market share of current products – this can be achieved by a combination of competitive pricing strategies, advertising, sales promotion and perhaps more resources dedicated to personal selling. Second one is to secure dominance of growth markets.
The third objective is to restructure a mature market by driving out competitors. Final goal is to Increase usage by existing customers (Tutor2u Limited, n. d. ). Product Development: i. e. new products in existing markets. M&S offers customers a more extensive choice based by the highest quality and safety standards. M&S introduced in-store bakeries, rear-service delicatessen, hot food counters and so on into stores to differentiate itself from competitors for providing new selling opportunities for unique product ranges (M&S 2009 annual report).
Product development is the name given to a growth strategy where a business aims to introduce new products into existing markets. This strategy may require the development of new competencies and requires the business to develop modified products which can appeal to existing markets (Tutor2u Limited, n. d Some innovative products are added such as washable silk, jumpers and etc. (M&S 1998 annual report). Furthermore, M&S introduces sub brand designer in order to supply a collection of women’s clothing for the fashion conscious woman (http://marksandspencer. com,) Market Development: i. . existing products in new markets. M&S increased selling space by 410,000 sq ft opening 4 new stores, extending 16 stores and purchasing 19 selected stores from Littlewoods (M&S 2009 annual report) in order to upgrade and make the stores more pleasure experience for the customer. Also, M&S has opened a number of stores at UK railway station and airports. M&S has tried to enter into the young segment by offering more fashionable clothing and introducing some designer brand. Moreover, M&S is now offering a mail order for busy people and those living in remote areas.
Mean while the company continued to established markets in Western Europe, Canada, USA, and the Far East, this was now being done via a franchise method. Market development is the name given to a growth strategy where the business seeks to sell its existing products into new markets. There are many possible ways of approaching this strategy, including new geographical markets, new product dimensions or packaging and different pricing policies to attract different customers or create new market segments (Tutor2u Limited, n. d. ). Diversification: i. e. new products in new markets.
Apart from its core products: food and clothing, M&S developed a new strategic direction within the UK through its diversification into financial services, home furnishings etc. (Maureen Whitehead, 1992). M&S also diversified into US retail food market by purchasing Kings Supermarkets M&S also diversified into the world market. They were following-up on their worldwide reputation that they had gained since the 50’s by only selling quality items at value pricing. M&S has bought 19 stores from Littlewoods as part of the expansion programme; this allows the company to double the number of locations.
The store purchased will then be transformed into M&S corporate style, with particular departments of the M&S business (Welwyn Garden City). Recommendations 1. Business organisations need to ensure that they perform well in every aspect to make sure that they overcome their competitors and survive in the long run and make sure that they are running a profitable business. 2. M &S main aim should be to focus on delivering goods to its customers in economical way with the best available quality so that the customer is satisfied from his purchase because sometimes the cost of M&S product is oo high that everybody cannot afford to buy these items. 3. M& S also needs to ensure that they improve their current logistics strategies, suppliers and other supply related operations to and can also work on the layout of their stores 4. The warehouse of M& S is always filled with old stocks which should be disclosed at the earliest. 5. Everybody is aware that M& S is an international brand but still many people have been complaining about the rates of M&S and due to which various outlets in other countries sometime face an issue and M&S should certainly work on this strategy. Conclusion
M& S has been performing really well and has achieved a brand name for itself especially in the European union and has been taking all the steps to ensure that it still remains at the top in the UK industry when it comes to clothing but still there are certain recommendations that M&S can work on their Pricing strategy so that the goods can be afforded by many people in the country and the world. M&S faces the toughest test of its ability to survive in the war of the High Street. It must not only defend its market share, but must also find ways of gaining back customer’s perception in terms of quality, brand loyalty and so on.
M&S required new ideas to add excitement to its product lines and therefore enhance the shopping experience of their customers (Dennis Adcock, 2000). M&S is changing itself such as outsourcing and recruit more new and young employees. New strategies are in Place: an upmarket clothing line has been introduced, returning to selling only own-brand products, stores have been revamped, top management appointments made, the utilization of Microsoft BizTalk serve and Window 2000 serve and opening out-of-town stores to shift surplus stock.
In the past, M&S’s strategy based on broad differentiation (image of good quality and wide range of products at affordable price). At the moment, its strategy was unclear because they were trying to do everything to maintain its competitive advantage. They are using unrelated strategies such as cutting costs (cost leadership) as well as trying to use differentiation focus by entering different niche markets (financial services and so on) as well as differentiating its brand through the range of products on offer. Consequently, leads to the company positioning in ‘stuck in the middle’.
All in all, M&S failed the sustainable competitive advantage hurdle. With fickle customers, changing fashions and intense competition, a sustainable competitive advantage is difficult to maintain in this particular sector. Although M&S has plenty of attractive retail space and George Davies brought a magician, however, M&S need to have some dramatic change in order to survive and revive. References Byars Lloyd L, Rue Lesie W and Zahra Shaker A. (1996), Strategic Management, IRWIN. Richard D. Irwin, a Times Mirror Higher Education Group, Inc. company: London Griffin R. W. 2002), Management, 7th Edition, Houghton Mifflin Company: U. S. A Pearce, J. and Robinson, R. (2005). Strategic Management: Formulation, Implementation, and Control, 9th edition. McGraw-Hill: New York Porter, M. E. (1980) Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors’, The Free Press: New York Taylor, Lumpkin and Dress. (2005), Strategic Management, 2nd Edition, McGraw-Hill: New York Thompson and Strickland, (2001), Crafting and Executing Strategy, 12th edition,. McGrew-Hill: New York, Thompson A. and Strickland (2003), Strategic Management: Concept and Cases, McGraw-Hill: NY
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