Organisational Culture of businesses

SEMESTER 2 – WEEK 4 SEMINAR

Instructions to students:

a>>Lecture Slides <<

WE HAVE PROVIDED A FEW CHOSEN EXTRACTS FROM THE WORKS OF AMERICAN STUDENTS (GIVEN TO US WITH PERMISSION)

Please read all extracts and prepare to discuss the following questions in your seminars:

1)    By being an organisational ‘detective’ please find the differences and/or similarities between some aspects of organisational culture in these organisations.  Which organisational culture suits you the best and why?

2)    By using the relevant extract below, outline what organisational reputation and branding really mean and how they are interlinked with strategy.

3)    What is your view on the cultural differences between UK and USA and do you agree with the author’s views or not and why?


 

 

International student No. 1 – Black Dog Publishing 

The size, scope and speed of 21st century media shatter traditional boundaries, making information and communication more accessible across frontiers.  Today, journalists are forced to confront continual change, as technologies allow for new concentrations of global media power to form.  Furthermore, reporters are required to question and frame the world around them for the public to gain increased insight.  In an effort to live up to this task most effectively, I wished to view, explore and experience a global market.  In witnessing and contributing to an organisation in my field on an international level, I am confident this could greatly enhance my future role as a professional communicator.  Hence, on of my primary motivations in pursuing a term abroad in London at the University of Westminster was the option to undertake an international internship.  Now, in hindsight, I believe that this chance to gain practical, hands-on experience in my field of interest in an entirely new environment has pushed me out of my comfort zone, expanded my skills and personal attributes that are high priorities for potential employers including: adaptability, commitment, confidence, independence and networking.

After learning of my acceptance into the Study Abroad internship program, I eagerly awaited my placement into a British organisation.  The academic term prior, at my home University back in the States, I had taken an introductory publishing course.  This prompted my interest in the field, taking my focus away from the journalistic training and work experience I had consistently concentrated on.  Therefore, I expressed to the internship coordinators at the University of Westminster my desire to pursue work experience in the publishing field.  When I arrived in the UK, I interviewed with two potential employers and selected Black Dog Publishing as my professional home for my three-month stay.

What first attracted me to Black Dog was its mission statement: the company aspires to: ‘…take a daring, innovative approach to (its) titles, to maintain high production values and authoritative content and to produce books that challenge, provoke and entertain.’  I firmly feel that with any published content, regardless of its mode, medium or intended audience should maintain comparable values and I aspire to communicate through the written word in a similar fashion.

According to well-known social scientists, Huczynski and Buchanan (2010, P:100),’…organisations have ‘something (personality, philosophy, ideology or climate) which goes beyond economic rationality, and which gives each of them a unique identity’. A company’s shared understandings or meanings influence its overall functioning in a number of ways.  Other Americans interning in London tended to agree that their professional settings were exceedingly more laid back than those found back home.  At Black Dog specifically, the organisational culture is primarily informal (Mullins, 2010).  This is displayed in the casual attire, friendly conversational communication and overall freedom employees maintain.  I quickly learned that several staff members are social with one another, in and out of the office.  I deemed this a positive aspect of the intimate, 20-something person office.  Also, Black Dog individuals and teams rely on one another in order to ensure a completed product or project that best represents the whole.  Many of my co-workers maintain a similar creativity, light-heartedness and natural curiosity.  Because of the shared personality traits, including sociability, a Black Dog value system seemed to cohesively hold the members of company together.  I regularly witnessed the good social and working relationships resulting in professional success.  However, there were apparent downsides to this as well.  I learned that entering an existing organisational monoculture, as a newcomer can be both challenging and daunting (Morgan, 1986).  Also, observing, engaging and bearing in mind cultural differences such as: education, language, economics, values, politics, religion and philosophy, allowed me to gradually grow more comfortable with the established culture at Black Dog.

Without a single individual in the office to complete or manage the press and publicity Black Dog received and desired, many of the duties fell on shoulders of the entire staff; an example of the collectivist culture posing complications.  Something I detected from the get-go at Black Dog was their inherent task rather than role-based work style.  Based on my work experiences in America, an individual’s job title often dictates how they spend their days and ultimately contribute to the greater purpose of the organisation.  Individuals with the same role may collaborate on similar projects.  However, the small Black Dog ‘family’ works on the assumption that tasks will be completed, regardless of who specifically delivers the finished job.  Often, a member of the editorial team is responsible for new business transactions or a designer must assist with office management.  For me, the social media project I was assigned to tackle had, for the last two years been worked on by each individual in the company.  When a book was published or event in the works or interesting news to be reported, any given member of the Black Dog team could post it online.  This led to chaos and no unified scheme or strategy.  It certainly took some time for me to understand and integrate into the environment where everyone tends to pick up the slack for one another.  I found that to have a single point person to consolidate the work allowed the process of putting information online to me more efficient, effective and successful.  I received positive feedback from few team members for politely suggesting this and providing a comprehensive plan for how to proceed with the strategy.

International student No. 2 – Asia House

My experience of interning in Asia House for the Fall 2011 semester provided a unique opportunity for growth and development.  An organisation is composed of two parts: the formal and informal (Mullins, 2010).  I will explore both aspects of Asia House.  The formal organisation includes aspects such as the policies and procedures of the company and job definitions and descriptions.  The informal aspects include group norms and sentiments, emotional feelings, needs and desires; and the informal leadership and power play that arise between members of a group.

Britain and Asia are two highly influential regions of the world that must work together to uphold the world as we know it.  This requires overcoming cultural stereotypes and ignorance of the difference between the two.  Both regions are home to some of the largest, and most influential, organisations in the world.

Founded in 1996, Asia House is a non-political organisation that strives to form, maintain, and enhance relationships between Britain and Asia.  This aim is mainly achieved through events, whether they are of a cultural of corporate nature.  Asia House seeks to reach a market consisting mainly of businessmen and women and politically influential people, including diplomats and politicians.  While Asia House is relatively unique in its services, competition arises with other art galleries, universities offering discussions and debates, and various societies and clubs.  However, as a promoter of partnerships, Asia House tends to form partnerships with competition to offer guests and ever-widening ranch of events.  The goal is to provide guests the knowledge they need to learn about, form relations and partnerships with, and investigate Asian culture and issues.  Guests want events that shed light on Asian politics and issues, divulge how Britain is responding to Asia, and become more acquainted with the culture of countries all over Asia, from the Middle East to Russia, India, China, the Pacific, and beyond.

Asia house strives to have the reputation of being a formal, organised, authoritative and professional organisation and this reputation must be built through the perceptions of the customers.

Asia House was a dynamic organisation to intern at.   Through this internship, I gained deeper understanding of British culture as I observed the workings of a British organisation. As this was my first experience in a professional business setting, I gained valuable insight to the internal workings of a corporate organisation, including company hierarchy, professional ‘lingo’ of the corporate culture (Trice & Beyer, 1984)

I interacted with people from diverse cultural backgrounds every day and learned about the influence of culture on communication, business and social life.  The exposure to a wide array of cultures during my time at Asia House has deepened my curiosity of different cultures and widened my worldview.

International student No. 3 –  Riva PR

As I’m just months from graduating from my home university, I came to London in the hopes of challenging myself both academically and professionally and getting some international work experience to take into the workforce with me.  I pursued an internship at Riva Public Relations in London in the hopes of diversifying my experience and learning how a small PR agency functions, one that is specialising in luxury travel and tourism brands.

Riva PR was founded in 2004 and it offers the promise of helping clients launch their brand, position themselves in the marketplace, raise brand awareness, and create a sustainable reputation.  Riva’s main goal is to continue to provide exceptional results for their clients and establish themselves as the go-to PR agency for luxury brands.  They value their reputation in the industry and developing personal relationships with media representatives so they can continue to offer the best service possible.  To create innovative and successful PR campaigns, it is crucial to have a creative and cooperative team working in the office, so a significant amount of value is placed on team collaboration and open discussion so that the office becomes a centre for pioneering ideas.

PR is a results driven industry, and often around press deadlines can get very stressful.  Their impressive clientele is proof of their success in positioning brands and establishing sustainable reputation for continued growth.  Despite the current economic state, PR is one field that continues to grow.  As Bill Gates states, ‘If I had a dollar left in the world, I’d spend it on PR’, referring to the importance of positive relationships between company and its specific target audiences.  Due to the continued presentation of results, Riva continues to sign new clients for representation and grow a leading agency in their niche of travel and tourism.  This considered, it is likely that the company will continue to develop and grow.

Being such a small office, there is a high level of collaboration with other departments.  While the office is democratic in nature and each employee is responsible for determining their own responsibilities and making decisions, there are often occasions when advice is needed on how to deal with a particular issue or to brainstorm the best possible way to get coverage for a client.  I would argue that they have a task culture and a project orientation.  They place value on Work Hard/Play Hard mentality (Deal & Kennedy, 1982).

The experience I have gained from this internship has been invaluable.  The welcoming and supportive environment at Riva has allowed me to grow and mature within the field and become more confident in my skills, while learning how to assimilate into the structure of a PR agency.  Working in an unfamiliar cultural environment has taught me how to be more introspective and I have found my self-awareness has improved dramatically as I learned to quickly adapt to different expectations and cultural norms.

International student No. 4 – Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren Corporation is a leader in the fashion industry.  Drive by four categories: apparel, accessories, fragrances, and home, Ralph Lauren is a leader in ‘design, marketing and distribution of premium lifestyle products’.  Nine brands make up the Ralph Lauren family, giving way for more consumers to be reached on multiple levels and price points:

  • Men’s Purple and Black Label
  • Ralph Lauren Collection and Women’s Black Label
  • Blue Label (Men’s and Women’s)
  • Polo by Ralph Lauren
  • Lauren by Ralph Lauren
  • RLX
  • Polo Golf & Polo Tennis
  • Rugby
  • Club Monaco

The three segments of Ralph Lauren are Wholesale, Retail, and Licensing.  Teams of merchandisers, sales and production all work closely with each other in order to gain full market and beneficial input.   In addressing the wholesale segment of the business, Ralph Lauren has taken careful consideration for his business.  The economic downturn has influenced the Lauren brand to the point where department stores carry more Ralph Lauren designs.  This means that the larger chains have the ability to influence lower pricing from wholesalers like Ralph Lauren.  The result is lower wholesale demand and lower margins for the Lauren organisation.

Ralph Lauren is an international brand that is well respected in all markets.  Though not all markets can be reached at a full scale, Ralph Lauren has several strategies as to how they can expand their international presence.

In the recent Annual Reports of 2011, the company expressed their growth strategies for the future.  One is to ‘Continue to Build and Extend the Brand’, which showcases how Ralph Lauren will continue to specialize in their specialty branding in expanding markets.  Through their retail stores, they are able to keep the Ralph Lauren Lifestyle as an important extension of their physical branding.

The second strategy is ’Focus on Specialty Retail’ which encourages the inclusivity of products within the Ralph Lauren retail stores.  In developing a strong retail real estate portfolio, Lauren is able to introduce new stores in the United States, Europe, and several parts of Asia.

Lastly, ‘Expand International Presence’ through structure of each region based on business climate and structure.  The opportunities in e-commerce initiatives and the capitalization on global business is the ultimate goal of Ralph Lauren. As Mr Lauren said of his vision, ‘I am not designing clothing, I’m creating a world’.  Ralph Lauren has always stood for ‘providing quality products, creating worlds, and inviting people to take part in (their) dream’.

Having risen from an American tie company forty years ago, Ralph Lauren has become a leader in American fashion.  As one of the leaders in marketing, the business has its own term for marketing, ‘Merchantainment’, which is a blending of commerce and culture.  Ultimately, they are having the philosophy that ‘the luxury shopping experience is not just about the transaction, but the immersion as well’.  When put against Louis Vuitton and Burberry, they won the Marketing of the Year award in 2010.

As the company continues to grow throughout the world, Ralph Lauren feels that he must maintain his brand management.  Within the last ten years, Lauren has bought back an estimated 350 licenses of which his products were manufactured.  He did this to ensure that the brand was being represented as well as it could be.  Being a publically traded company limits the amount of control Lauren has over his business, so this gesture ensures his stockholders and investors of his confidence within the company and its future.  ‘Everything I do, everything I’ve ever done, is about what I love and the taste level I believe in.  There’s a lot of emotion behind the brand’.

Being sold throughout the world, with flagship stores in all major fashion markets, it is only expected that the brand will continue to grow and inspire.

International student No. 5 – OperaUpClose

OperaCloseUp is the resident company at the King’s Head Theatre in Islington.  In 2010 this company took over the King’s Head Theatre which opened in 1970 and had a brilliant history in sending talented people into the world, such as Joanna Lumley and Hugh Grant, and sending 37 shows to West End.  This organisation is producing various productions from Opera to comedy plays and has been rebranding the theatre as ‘London Little Opera House’.  Its history is very short but outstanding.

Their field is classified as the theatre production industry.  They have to pay for the set, props and labour costs in advance but they do not know how much income they can gain before show starts because income mainly relies on tickets sales.  Therefore, their culture can be referred to as ‘Tough-Guy Macho’ (Deal & Kennedy, 1982) which has high risk and quick return.  The result can be easily found out by the media review, the reaction and number of audience and total income.

Employees share the artistic value, passion, love of the theatre and target of income, so there is a strong togetherness and strong intensity (Luthans, 1995).

American student’s view on the differences between UK and USA

For many years, theorists have tried to define culture; a complex term that is used in our daily life.  Hofstede (2007), a well-known theorist defines culture as a collective programming of the mind, which distinguishes the members of one group of people from another.  As each culture differentiates their group members through values and meanings, it brings awareness to its community members about their beliefs, values, language and environment.

Entering a new culture it is easier to identify the difference rather then the similarities.  Due to each culture having different customs and gestures, it may make the individual face culture shock.  It is important to understand cultural difference, because culture is a significant factor of not only how people interact, but also how a corporation fits into the community.

There are vast differences between UK and the States when conducting business.  For example, the British can be formal and at times prefer to work with people and companies they know.  Due to globalization, in today’s societies the younger generation is different; they do not need long-standing personal relationships before they conduct business with people.  Also, they do not require an intermediary to make business introductions.  Nonetheless, networking and relationship building is often the key to long-term business success.  Most British look for long-term relationship with people they conduct business with and will be cautious if the other appears to be going after a quick deal.

The British have an interesting mix of communication styles encompassing both understatement and direct communication.  Many older businesspeople rely heavily upon formal use of established protocol.  When communicating with people they see as equal to themselves in rank or class, the British are direct, but modest.  If communicating with someone they know well, their style may be more informal, although they will still be reserved.  Written communication follows strict rules of protocol.

Contrasting with the UK, the States tends to be informal, it is crucial to smile and simply say hello while maintaining eye contact during the greeting.  Most people will insist that you call them by their nickname, if they have one.  Americans are direct; they expect people to speak clearly and in a straightforward manner.  It is important to ‘tell it how it is’ because if you do not then it is considered wasting time, and time is money.

Contrasting with the British, Americas will use the telephone to conduct business that would require a face-to-face meeting in most other countries.  They do not insist upon seeing or getting to know the people with whom they do business.

US

  • Power culture
  • ‘Be Perfect’ working style
  • Extrinsic rewards
  • Working overtime is necessary
  • ‘American English’ is spoken
  • Longer working hours
  • Less vacation time
  • More strict and hierarchical structure (Up tight)

UK

  • More laid back when it comes to work schedules (quote: First day I was told to ‘take my tie off and relax’ – working for the international film magazine)
  • Non-defined breaks (most people eat at their desk)
  • ‘British English’ and British slang is used
  • More time off for holidays


Cultural differences between UK and USA

SEMESTER 2 – WEEK 4 SEMINAR

Instructions to students:

a>>Lecture Slides <<

Please read all extracts and prepare to discuss the following questions in your seminars:

1)    By being an organisational ‘detective’ please find the differences and/or similarities between some aspects of organisational culture in these organisations.  Which organisational culture suits you the best and why?

2)    By using the relevant extract below, outline what organisational reputation and branding really mean and how they are interlinked with strategy.

3)    What is your view on the cultural differences between UK and USA and do you agree with the author’s views or not and why?

International student No. 1 – Black Dog Publishing 

The size, scope and speed of 21st century media shatter traditional boundaries, making information and communication more accessible across frontiers.  Today, journalists are forced to confront continual change, as technologies allow for new concentrations of global media power to form.  Furthermore, reporters are required to question and frame the world around them for the public to gain increased insight.  In an effort to live up to this task most effectively, I wished to view, explore and experience a global market.  In witnessing and contributing to an organisation in my field on an international level, I am confident this could greatly enhance my future role as a professional communicator.  Hence, on of my primary motivations in pursuing a term abroad in London at the University of Westminster was the option to undertake an international internship.  Now, in hindsight, I believe that this chance to gain practical, hands-on experience in my field of interest in an entirely new environment has pushed me out of my comfort zone, expanded my skills and personal attributes that are high priorities for potential employers including: adaptability, commitment, confidence, independence and networking.

After learning of my acceptance into the Study Abroad internship program, I eagerly awaited my placement into a British organisation.  The academic term prior, at my home University back in the States, I had taken an introductory publishing course.  This prompted my interest in the field, taking my focus away from the journalistic training and work experience I had consistently concentrated on.  Therefore, I expressed to the internship coordinators at the University of Westminster my desire to pursue work experience in the publishing field.  When I arrived in the UK, I interviewed with two potential employers and selected Black Dog Publishing as my professional home for my three-month stay.

What first attracted me to Black Dog was its mission statement: the company aspires to: ‘…take a daring, innovative approach to (its) titles, to maintain high production values and authoritative content and to produce books that challenge, provoke and entertain.’  I firmly feel that with any published content, regardless of its mode, medium or intended audience should maintain comparable values and I aspire to communicate through the written word in a similar fashion.

According to well-known social scientists, Huczynski and Buchanan (2010, P:100),’…organisations have ‘something (personality, philosophy, ideology or climate) which goes beyond economic rationality, and which gives each of them a unique identity’. A company’s shared understandings or meanings influence its overall functioning in a number of ways.  Other Americans interning in London tended to agree that their professional settings were exceedingly more laid back than those found back home.  At Black Dog specifically, the organisational culture is primarily informal (Mullins, 2010).  This is displayed in the casual attire, friendly conversational communication and overall freedom employees maintain.  I quickly learned that several staff members are social with one another, in and out of the office.  I deemed this a positive aspect of the intimate, 20-something person office.  Also, Black Dog individuals and teams rely on one another in order to ensure a completed product or project that best represents the whole.  Many of my co-workers maintain a similar creativity, light-heartedness and natural curiosity.  Because of the shared personality traits, including sociability, a Black Dog value system seemed to cohesively hold the members of company together.  I regularly witnessed the good social and working relationships resulting in professional success.  However, there were apparent downsides to this as well.  I learned that entering an existing organisational monoculture, as a newcomer can be both challenging and daunting (Morgan, 1986).  Also, observing, engaging and bearing in mind cultural differences such as: education, language, economics, values, politics, religion and philosophy, allowed me to gradually grow more comfortable with the established culture at Black Dog.

Without a single individual in the office to complete or manage the press and publicity Black Dog received and desired, many of the duties fell on shoulders of the entire staff; an example of the collectivist culture posing complications.  Something I detected from the get-go at Black Dog was their inherent task rather than role-based work style.  Based on my work experiences in America, an individual’s job title often dictates how they spend their days and ultimately contribute to the greater purpose of the organisation.  Individuals with the same role may collaborate on similar projects.  However, the small Black Dog ‘family’ works on the assumption that tasks will be completed, regardless of who specifically delivers the finished job.  Often, a member of the editorial team is responsible for new business transactions or a designer must assist with office management.  For me, the social media project I was assigned to tackle had, for the last two years been worked on by each individual in the company.  When a book was published or event in the works or interesting news to be reported, any given member of the Black Dog team could post it online.  This led to chaos and no unified scheme or strategy.  It certainly took some time for me to understand and integrate into the environment where everyone tends to pick up the slack for one another.  I found that to have a single point person to consolidate the work allowed the process of putting information online to me more efficient, effective and successful.  I received positive feedback from few team members for politely suggesting this and providing a comprehensive plan for how to proceed with the strategy.

International student No. 2 – Asia House

My experience of interning in Asia House for the Fall 2011 semester provided a unique opportunity for growth and development.  An organisation is composed of two parts: the formal and informal (Mullins, 2010).  I will explore both aspects of Asia House.  The formal organisation includes aspects such as the policies and procedures of the company and job definitions and descriptions.  The informal aspects include group norms and sentiments, emotional feelings, needs and desires; and the informal leadership and power play that arise between members of a group.

Britain and Asia are two highly influential regions of the world that must work together to uphold the world as we know it.  This requires overcoming cultural stereotypes and ignorance of the difference between the two.  Both regions are home to some of the largest, and most influential, organisations in the world.

Founded in 1996, Asia House is a non-political organisation that strives to form, maintain, and enhance relationships between Britain and Asia.  This aim is mainly achieved through events, whether they are of a cultural of corporate nature.  Asia House seeks to reach a market consisting mainly of businessmen and women and politically influential people, including diplomats and politicians.  While Asia House is relatively unique in its services, competition arises with other art galleries, universities offering discussions and debates, and various societies and clubs.  However, as a promoter of partnerships, Asia House tends to form partnerships with competition to offer guests and ever-widening ranch of events.  The goal is to provide guests the knowledge they need to learn about, form relations and partnerships with, and investigate Asian culture and issues.  Guests want events that shed light on Asian politics and issues, divulge how Britain is responding to Asia, and become more acquainted with the culture of countries all over Asia, from the Middle East to Russia, India, China, the Pacific, and beyond.

Asia house strives to have the reputation of being a formal, organised, authoritative and professional organisation and this reputation must be built through the perceptions of the customers.

Asia House was a dynamic organisation to intern at.   Through this internship, I gained deeper understanding of British culture as I observed the workings of a British organisation. As this was my first experience in a professional business setting, I gained valuable insight to the internal workings of a corporate organisation, including company hierarchy, professional ‘lingo’ of the corporate culture (Trice & Beyer, 1984)

I interacted with people from diverse cultural backgrounds every day and learned about the influence of culture on communication, business and social life.  The exposure to a wide array of cultures during my time at Asia House has deepened my curiosity of different cultures and widened my worldview.

International student No. 3 –  Riva PR

As I’m just months from graduating from my home university, I came to London in the hopes of challenging myself both academically and professionally and getting some international work experience to take into the workforce with me.  I pursued an internship at Riva Public Relations in London in the hopes of diversifying my experience and learning how a small PR agency functions, one that is specialising in luxury travel and tourism brands.

Riva PR was founded in 2004 and it offers the promise of helping clients launch their brand, position themselves in the marketplace, raise brand awareness, and create a sustainable reputation.  Riva’s main goal is to continue to provide exceptional results for their clients and establish themselves as the go-to PR agency for luxury brands.  They value their reputation in the industry and developing personal relationships with media representatives so they can continue to offer the best service possible.  To create innovative and successful PR campaigns, it is crucial to have a creative and cooperative team working in the office, so a significant amount of value is placed on team collaboration and open discussion so that the office becomes a centre for pioneering ideas.

PR is a results driven industry, and often around press deadlines can get very stressful.  Their impressive clientele is proof of their success in positioning brands and establishing sustainable reputation for continued growth.  Despite the current economic state, PR is one field that continues to grow.  As Bill Gates states, ‘If I had a dollar left in the world, I’d spend it on PR’, referring to the importance of positive relationships between company and its specific target audiences.  Due to the continued presentation of results, Riva continues to sign new clients for representation and grow a leading agency in their niche of travel and tourism.  This considered, it is likely that the company will continue to develop and grow.

Being such a small office, there is a high level of collaboration with other departments.  While the office is democratic in nature and each employee is responsible for determining their own responsibilities and making decisions, there are often occasions when advice is needed on how to deal with a particular issue or to brainstorm the best possible way to get coverage for a client.  I would argue that they have a task culture and a project orientation.  They place value on Work Hard/Play Hard mentality (Deal & Kennedy, 1982).

The experience I have gained from this internship has been invaluable.  The welcoming and supportive environment at Riva has allowed me to grow and mature within the field and become more confident in my skills, while learning how to assimilate into the structure of a PR agency.  Working in an unfamiliar cultural environment has taught me how to be more introspective and I have found my self-awareness has improved dramatically as I learned to quickly adapt to different expectations and cultural norms.

International student No. 4 – Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren Corporation is a leader in the fashion industry.  Drive by four categories: apparel, accessories, fragrances, and home, Ralph Lauren is a leader in ‘design, marketing and distribution of premium lifestyle products’.  Nine brands make up the Ralph Lauren family, giving way for more consumers to be reached on multiple levels and price points:

  • Men’s Purple and Black Label
  • Ralph Lauren Collection and Women’s Black Label
  • Blue Label (Men’s and Women’s)
  • Polo by Ralph Lauren
  • Lauren by Ralph Lauren
  • RLX
  • Polo Golf & Polo Tennis
  • Rugby
  • Club Monaco

The three segments of Ralph Lauren are Wholesale, Retail, and Licensing.  Teams of merchandisers, sales and production all work closely with each other in order to gain full market and beneficial input.   In addressing the wholesale segment of the business, Ralph Lauren has taken careful consideration for his business.  The economic downturn has influenced the Lauren brand to the point where department stores carry more Ralph Lauren designs.  This means that the larger chains have the ability to influence lower pricing from wholesalers like Ralph Lauren.  The result is lower wholesale demand and lower margins for the Lauren organisation.

Ralph Lauren is an international brand that is well respected in all markets.  Though not all markets can be reached at a full scale, Ralph Lauren has several strategies as to how they can expand their international presence.

In the recent Annual Reports of 2011, the company expressed their growth strategies for the future.  One is to ‘Continue to Build and Extend the Brand’, which showcases how Ralph Lauren will continue to specialize in their specialty branding in expanding markets.  Through their retail stores, they are able to keep the Ralph Lauren Lifestyle as an important extension of their physical branding.

The second strategy is ’Focus on Specialty Retail’ which encourages the inclusivity of products within the Ralph Lauren retail stores.  In developing a strong retail real estate portfolio, Lauren is able to introduce new stores in the United States, Europe, and several parts of Asia.

Lastly, ‘Expand International Presence’ through structure of each region based on business climate and structure.  The opportunities in e-commerce initiatives and the capitalization on global business is the ultimate goal of Ralph Lauren. As Mr Lauren said of his vision, ‘I am not designing clothing, I’m creating a world’.  Ralph Lauren has always stood for ‘providing quality products, creating worlds, and inviting people to take part in (their) dream’.

Having risen from an American tie company forty years ago, Ralph Lauren has become a leader in American fashion.  As one of the leaders in marketing, the business has its own term for marketing, ‘Merchantainment’, which is a blending of commerce and culture.  Ultimately, they are having the philosophy that ‘the luxury shopping experience is not just about the transaction, but the immersion as well’.  When put against Louis Vuitton and Burberry, they won the Marketing of the Year award in 2010.

As the company continues to grow throughout the world, Ralph Lauren feels that he must maintain his brand management.  Within the last ten years, Lauren has bought back an estimated 350 licenses of which his products were manufactured.  He did this to ensure that the brand was being represented as well as it could be.  Being a publically traded company limits the amount of control Lauren has over his business, so this gesture ensures his stockholders and investors of his confidence within the company and its future.  ‘Everything I do, everything I’ve ever done, is about what I love and the taste level I believe in.  There’s a lot of emotion behind the brand’.

Being sold throughout the world, with flagship stores in all major fashion markets, it is only expected that the brand will continue to grow and inspire.

International student No. 5 – OperaUpClose

OperaCloseUp is the resident company at the King’s Head Theatre in Islington.  In 2010 this company took over the King’s Head Theatre which opened in 1970 and had a brilliant history in sending talented people into the world, such as Joanna Lumley and Hugh Grant, and sending 37 shows to West End.  This organisation is producing various productions from Opera to comedy plays and has been rebranding the theatre as ‘London Little Opera House’.  Its history is very short but outstanding.

Their field is classified as the theatre production industry.  They have to pay for the set, props and labour costs in advance but they do not know how much income they can gain before show starts because income mainly relies on tickets sales.  Therefore, their culture can be referred to as ‘Tough-Guy Macho’ (Deal & Kennedy, 1982) which has high risk and quick return.  The result can be easily found out by the media review, the reaction and number of audience and total income.

Employees share the artistic value, passion, love of the theatre and target of income, so there is a strong togetherness and strong intensity (Luthans, 1995).

American student’s view on the differences between UK and USA

For many years, theorists have tried to define culture; a complex term that is used in our daily life.  Hofstede (2007), a well-known theorist defines culture as a collective programming of the mind, which distinguishes the members of one group of people from another.  As each culture differentiates their group members through values and meanings, it brings awareness to its community members about their beliefs, values, language and environment.

Entering a new culture it is easier to identify the difference rather then the similarities.  Due to each culture having different customs and gestures, it may make the individual face culture shock.  It is important to understand cultural difference, because culture is a significant factor of not only how people interact, but also how a corporation fits into the community.

There are vast differences between UK and the States when conducting business.  For example, the British can be formal and at times prefer to work with people and companies they know.  Due to globalization, in today’s societies the younger generation is different; they do not need long-standing personal relationships before they conduct business with people.  Also, they do not require an intermediary to make business introductions.  Nonetheless, networking and relationship building is often the key to long-term business success.  Most British look for long-term relationship with people they conduct business with and will be cautious if the other appears to be going after a quick deal.

The British have an interesting mix of communication styles encompassing both understatement and direct communication.  Many older businesspeople rely heavily upon formal use of established protocol.  When communicating with people they see as equal to themselves in rank or class, the British are direct, but modest.  If communicating with someone they know well, their style may be more informal, although they will still be reserved.  Written communication follows strict rules of protocol.

Contrasting with the UK, the States tends to be informal, it is crucial to smile and simply say hello while maintaining eye contact during the greeting.  Most people will insist that you call them by their nickname, if they have one.  Americans are direct; they expect people to speak clearly and in a straightforward manner.  It is important to ‘tell it how it is’ because if you do not then it is considered wasting time, and time is money.

Contrasting with the British, Americas will use the telephone to conduct business that would require a face-to-face meeting in most other countries.  They do not insist upon seeing or getting to know the people with whom they do business.

US

  • Power culture
  • ‘Be Perfect’ working style
  • Extrinsic rewards
  • Working overtime is necessary
  • ‘American English’ is spoken
  • Longer working hours
  • Less vacation time
  • More strict and hierarchical structure (Up tight)

UK

  • More laid back when it comes to work schedules (quote: First day I was told to ‘take my tie off and relax’ – working for the international film magazine)
  • Non-defined breaks (most people eat at their desk)
  • ‘British English’ and British slang is used
  • More time off for holidays

Strategic Perspective Essay

19th of January – Week 1 Lecture

Reflective essay Due Thursday 1st March 2012 by 18:00

  • Use 6 individual unique References (6-20 Ref)
  • 2,000 words
  • Use ‘I’ and ‘We’ in this report
  • Use Reference Lists and Bibliography
  • Reference the work on blackboard
  • Critical incident
  • Critical incident theory

Final Coursework about Apple

  • Two case studies (portfolio) back of module book
  • Secondary research
  • Leadership, Communication, Reputation
  • Organizational Theory
  • Leadership Theory
  • Ethics and CSR
  • 1999 rebirth of Apple

Ethics and CSR

  • Assessment of intangible assets
  • Definition: Intangible is harder to manage as not a physical object.
  • Intangible resources can have a deep impact on tangible resources.
  • Tangible failure of Marks and Spencer’s
  • Weak marketing communication strategy which resulted in profits cut 1/3

ú  Intangible issues

  • Organizational Culture
  • Lack of diversity in the group
  • Non-adaptive culture
  • Static
  • Not out looking
  • Stopped
  • Disney
  • Lacked intangible

ú  Cultural Experience

ú  International Experience

  • Loss of 3 billion in 36 months

Reputation management

Business Ethics & CSR

  • Ethics
  • Brand equity – KPI of Brand Equity tables (past profitability, market share / awareness)
  • CSR application of Business Ethics & Stakeholder engagement
  • Metrics
  • Brand Equity
  • Corporate Reputation / Management Reputation
  • Apple spends 70% of all marketing costs on PR
  • PR
  • Crisis management (Protect your current reputation)
  • Reputation managements (future reputation
  • Poor reputational management
  • Sony
  • Lookup Wikipedia

ú  Sony Rootkit scandal

  • RootKit – Back OS Sony
  • Battery burnup

ú  Banking Industry

  • Trust economics
  • Strategic practices and Rep metrics
  • CSI

Apple

  • Apple litigation against Samsung
  • Intangible impacts as bad PR
  • Future impact on Apple because of bullying of other companies.

Corporate CSR

Negotiation

Examination:

50% – Exam 9th of May
read threw the documents posted on intranet:

-Final Examination

question about experiments:
The problems and issues where decision making in the negotiation process and how we measured winning,

-what are stakes in a negotion?
-what were the important aspects in your participation?
-Negotiation = Communication + Strakes + Decision making
-Fundamentals and gains from winning, this could be simply ego

-link you participation and the course content the higher the grade,

five main problems

– Fixing objectives
-Trust
-x
-x
-x

50% – Class activity / participation

 

Todays group:

 

 

Glo-bus results for Year 6 (practice) results

  -----------------------------------------------------------------------
                   SUMMARY OF YEAR 6 (practice) RESULTS
  -----------------------------------------------------------------------
                          Revenue*  EPS**  ROE***  Stock   Credit  Image
   Company Name           ($000s)   ($)     (%)    Price   Rating  Rating
  ---------------------   -------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------
   A Company               282619   1.75    13.3    27.96    A-      82
   B Company               206531   1.63    14.9    25.24    B+      70
   C Company               166873   0.52     5.0    22.68    B-      67
 >>D Flash                  218975   2.11    20.1    32.57    B+      75
   E Company               193240   1.38    13.3    23.42    B-      68
   F Company               176956   2.24    17.5    34.72    A+      55
   G Company               225001   1.85    18.3    29.57    B+      76
   H Company               203234   1.94    17.7    28.13    A-      70
   I Company               202648   1.92    17.6    27.46    A-      70
   J Company               201120   1.89    17.4    27.32    A-      69
   K Company               202967   1.93    17.7    27.99    A-      70
   L Company               203234   1.94    17.7    28.13    A-      70
  -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    * Represent total Year 6 sales revenues.
   ** Represent total Year 6 earnings per share.
  *** Represents the overall ROE for Year 6.
>> our team, we are currently the best performing team at our business department :)

Business Strategy Value chain

  • Identifying Strengths and Weaknesses  – Analysing the Value Chain

Module Leader: Dr Jane Chang

The Components of a Single-Business Company’s Strategy

Are  the  Company’s
Prices  and  Costs  Competitive?

Assessing whether a firm’s costs are competitive with those of rivals is a crucial part of company situation analysis

Key analytical tools

Value chain analysis

Benchmarking

Concept:  Company  Value  Chain

A company’s business consists of all activities undertaken in designing, producing, marketing, delivering, and supporting its product or service

All these activities that a company performs internally combine to form a value chain—so-called because the underlying intent of a company’s activities is to do things that ultimately create value for buyers

The value chain contains two types of activities

Primary activities (where most of
the value for customers is created)

Support activities that facilitate
performance of the primary activities

Porter’s Value Chain

Value chain analysis

Identifies precisely how firm adds value through distinctiveness in:

  • Resources deployed in an activity
  • Physical, financial, human, intellectual, reputational
  • Degree of an activity’s vertical integration
  • Scale and scope of an activity
  • Location of an activity
  • Linkages between activities

Intention of value chain analysis is to develop a value chain that is 

  • more efficient than your competitors – so you gain a cost advantage
  • is configured differently to competitors (so they cannot easily copy it) – so you have a sustainable competitive advantage

Value Chain Analysis

  • Use model as template to cover all areas
  • Need to address these questions
  • What important skills, knowledge, people, physical resources do we have (or don’t have )in this area?
Comments:
a company needs to determine what bring most value to its organisation and can use it to differentiate from their competitors and thus have a competitive advantage
  • Can we use that activity to differentiate the organisation?
  • Can we enhance value added by that activity?
  • Is there an opportunity to reduce the cost of that activity or eliminate that activity?

Is applicable to the processes / operations within the company and to the specific interactions which that company has with others (suppliers, customers) in its environment.

Comments:

Representative Value Chain for an Entire Industry

How Do We Measure  a  Company’s  Cost  Competitiveness?

After identifying key value chain activities, the next step involves determining costs of performing specific value chain activities using activity-based costing

Appropriate degree of disaggregation depends on

Economics of activities

Value of comparing narrowly defined
versus broadly defined activities

Guideline – Develop separate cost
estimates for activities

Having different economics

Representing a significant or growing proportion of costs

Activity-Based  Costing:  A  Key
Tool  in  Analyzing  Costs

Determining whether a company’s costs are in line with those of rivals requires

Measuring how a company’s costs compare with those of rivals activity-by-activity

Requires having accounting data to measure cost
of each value chain activity

Activity-based costing entails

Defining expense categories according
to specific activities performed and

Assigning costs to the activity
responsible for creating the cost

Benchmarking  Costs  of
Key  Value  Chain  Activities

Focuses on cross-company comparisons of how certain activities are performed and costs associated with these activities

Purchase of materials

Payment of suppliers

Management of inventories

Getting new products to market

Performance of quality control

Filling and shipping of customer orders

Training of employees

Processing of payrolls

Translating Company Performance of
Value Chain Activities into Competitive Advantage

VC & Benchmarking are very powerful

Remedying an Internal Cost Disadvantage

 

Remedying a Supplier-Related Cost Disadvantage

 

Remedying a Cost Disadvantage associated with Activities performed by Forward Channel Allies

Is  the  Company  Stronger
or  Weaker  than  Key  Rivals?

Overall competitive position involves
answering two questions

How does a company rank relative
to competitors
on each important
factor that determines market success?

Does a company have a net
competitive advantage or disadvantage
vis-à-vis major competitors?

Assessing  a  Company’s
Competitive  Strength  vs.  Key  Rivals

1.  List industry key success factors and other relevant measures of competitive strength

2.  Rate firm and key rivals on each factor using rating scale of 1 to 10 (1 = very weak; 5 = average; 10 = very strong)

3.  Decide whether to use a weighted or unweighted rating system (a weighted system is superior because chosen strength measures are unlikely to be equally important)

4.  Sum individual ratings to get an overall measure of competitive strength for each rival

5.  Based on overall strength ratings, determine overall competitive position of firm

Good value chain analysis

Looks at where in the chain a firm adds value by being distinctive

Not a catalogue of everything firm does

new firm/new industry may be distinctive in many ways

established firm in mature industry likely to have few distinctive elements

Knowing where to look (beyond the obvious)

Making sure you think of everything

Culture

Google case study

Google case 1 (Harvard Business Review) Pages 863-883
Google case 2: (Gamble) Pages 884-903
Questions to prepare for:

For Week 4 (Week beginning Monday 17/10)

  1. What companies would you consider to be Google’s main competitors?
  2. Critically assess Google’s key performance indicators (KPI’s) and resources from 2006-2010.
  3. How do Google’s KPI’s and financial resources compare to their main competitors?

Strategic resources

Strategy

  • Resource based view (RBV) based on Penrose (1959) & Prahalad & Hamel (1990)
  • Build resources & capabilities
  • Sustainable CA
  • Short-term Vs. Long-term trade-offs
Comments:
banks have gone for high risk strategies and sort turn returns,
social capitalism such as the Scandinavian system should be the way. the lack of regulations from the government to protect.Agency problem: conflict between self interest in managers and overall organisational goals.

issues with bank at this time could be under lending, even with gov. help they are rejecting and thus could create an economic depression.

  • LTSV
Comments:
RBV Coach (fashion brand) with around 600% increase in their profit in the case study,
Does a company have the culture to increase their resources based view.
also determine how resource (money) can be acquire and the liquidity, a company has to determine if they have high cash reserves or invest their cash towards project.

“Shareholder value is a result not a strategy…..Your main constituencies are your customers, employees and products”

Jack Welch CEO GE Corp. 1981-2001 FT March (2009) 

Strategic Positioning

  • All Strategy involves differentiation from competitors. (Not the same as a ‘Differentiation Strategy’)
  • The quest for competitive advantage is to be better than most and possess core competencies
  • Strategic focus at the beginning when building a business model
  • Scaleability

Porter’s Generic Strategies
 Start focusing more on cost so to increase market share by creating more Marketing promotions and not touching the actual market price, then over time start removing promotions thus creating an illusion that we are not messing with the prices

Bowman’s Strategy Clock
 

Porter’s 6 Principles 

1. Stand for something

2. Focus on profitability

3. Offer consumers a unique set of benefits

4. Perform core activities differently

5. Specialise

6. Ensure that all activities reinforce the company’s strategy 

Stages of SP (strategic perspective)

  1. Internal business model and external position in market
  2. Competitor monitoring & analysis: Improvisation (Incremental approach). Repositioning (Radical approach)
  3. Diversification

KPI’s

 

EPS:

profit attributable to shareholders (after interest, tax, minority interests and everything else) divided by the number of shares in issue.

 

It is important because it tracks profit growth (or lack thereof) and share issue growth

Also used to calculate the P/E ratio which relates EPS to equity price trends

Return on Equity (ROE)

  • PBIT or Net Income/Total Shareholder Equity
  • Measure of relative profitability
  • A good comparator between companies in the same industry (Direct competitors)
  • Not a measure of Shareholder value like EPS but very useful for examining potential growth rates

Debt assessment

  • Acid test Ratio (Current Assets/Current Liabilities) is an important test of immediate liquidity
  • Gearing Ratio (Long Term Interest bearing debt/Total shareholder equity) is an important measure of sustainable debt & resource mobility
  • Important industry comparators

Conclusions

  • Strategic focus and building a business model to support this
  • Importance of the incremental approach to strategy
  • Monitoring KPI’s and aiming for LTSV
  • Year on year performance trends plus industry comparators
  • The importance of metrics to measure strategic success & failure

 

Ethics and Professional Standards

Code of Ethics

  •  Act with integrity
  • Place the integrity of the investments and client above own personal interests.
  • Use care and exercise independent prof. judge.
  • practice and encourage others to practice in a prof. and ethical manner
  • promote the inegrity of, and uphold the rules governing the capital markets
  • Maintain and improve their prof. competence and strive to maintain.
The Standards of Professional Conduct:
1. Professionalism.

  • Knowledge of Law
  • Independence and Objectivity
  • Misrepresentation
  • Misconduct

2. Integrity of Capital Markets.

  • Material nonpublic information
  • Markets Manipulation
3. Duties to Clientes.
  • Loyalty, Prudence and Care
  • Fair Dealing
  • Suitability
  • Performance Presentation
  • Preservation of Confidentiality
4. Investment analysis, recommendations and actions.
  • Loyalty
  • Additional Compensation Arrangement
  • Additional Compensation Arrangements
  • Responsibilities of Supervisors

5. Conflicts of interest.

  1. Disclosure of Conflicts
  2. Priority of Transactions
  3. Referral fees
6. Responsibilities as a CFA institute member or CFA
  • Conduct as Members and Candidates in the CFA program
  • References to CFA Institute, the CFA Designation and the CFA Program.
Guidance – Issuer-paid research
  • Remember that this type of research is fraught with potential conflicts, analysts compensation for preparing such research should be limited, and the preference is for flat fee, without regard to conclusions or the report’s recommendations.
Recommended procedures for compliance
  • Protect the integrity of opinions
  • create a restricted list and distribute only factual info. act comp on list.
  • restrict special cost arrangements
  • limit gifts
  • Restrict employee
  • review procedures
  • Firms should have formal written policies on independence and objectivity of research.

Global Strategy Business Game

A book must be purchased for next weeks seminar to gain access to the business game.

Strategic Perspective by Frances Mulleady

Exams are open book
Every week there will be a case study in the seminar which must be done and they are in the module book.

Group:

  • Julia Kravchuk – juliakravchu@gmail.com
  • Kyle Fraser-Allen – k.fraser-allen@my.westminster.ac.uk
  • Marco Tringali – marco_tringali@hotmail.com
  • Yingyu Chen – susancyy@hotmail.co.uk <<need to confirm
  • Flavio Longato – lon.flavio@gmail.com
Glo-bus Business Simulation
  • Strategy focused
  • Each team is an executive management group that takes over the running of a company that has been trading for 5 years.
  • All companies are in an identical position
  • Differentiate through strategic decisions made
  • One week of trading = 1 trading year
  • Submit decisions by end of each week (Sunday)
Gui-bus Breakdow
  • Group decisions 80%
  • – 10 years of trading (60%)
  • – 3 year strategic plan (20%)
Individual elements (20%)
  • Quiz 1 (5%)
  • Quiz 2 (10%)
  • Peer assessment ratings (5%)
Week 2
  • Go to www.glo-bus.com and ‘net students’ and begin ‘account registration process’.
  • Input the group code given to you by your tutor & then your individual code from your voucher.
  • Please input your details asa per SRS enrolment including student ID no. Don’t use nicknames.