Aligning management Theory & business Practice
Managerial theorists and social scientists can be aloof in defence of their theories and are often contemptuous of anything learned by management practitioners in the illustrious ‘university of life’, i.e., ‘on-the-job’. Consider, for example, the following quotation from the philosopher Roland Barthes (1915-1980): “The war against intelligence is always waged in the name of common sense”. We beg to differ, arguing throughout the BiteSized Series Volumes and the ‘Parent Book’ Outside Fortress Europe: Strategies for the Global Market, that theory and practice go hand-in-hand: ‘… a way of thinking, a way of working’ representing our fundamental outlook on the foundations of success in global business strategy.
Aligning theory and practice from this perspective enables us to present in simple graphical form what we describe as The Dimensions of Global Strategic Management, illustrated in the figure below.
The double-headed arrows which link the three key dimensions in the figure above, along with the word ‘Fit’ on the three axes between them, demonstrate two fundamentals relating to the principles and practice of global strategic management:
- Each element of the ‘triangle’ impacts on the others;
- The three elements of the triangle must be in alignment, for example, the strategy should be appropriate for the external market conditions and the organization should be designed to effectively and efficiently implement the strategy.
Despite this, strategic planning requires a starting point. The more turbulent the market environment the more important it is that an external focus is adopted by companies, the logical conclusion being that the correct sequence in the framework above is:
This is reflected in the logical sequencing of the BiteSized Series Volumes, as is demonstrated in the sections of this global strategic management page which follow.
Strategic Management events
The 5-Volume BiteSized Fortress Europe Series is based upon extended Chapter extracts from Outside Fortress Europe: Strategies for the Global Market, by Colin Edward Egan. They are displayed in the table below.
Titles in the BiteSized Fortress Europe Series
|Volume One||Ten Years That Shook the (Capitalist) World: A Brexit Antidote|
|Volume Two||Analysing Global Markets and the Intelligent Company|
|Volume Three||Strategic Marketing and Global Brand Management|
|Volume Four||A Practical Framework for Global Business Strategy Success|
|Volume Five||Implementing Global Business Strategy|
Volume One of the Series is broader in scope than the others and is written for a wide audience who are keen to understand the complexities which frame the ‘free trade’ discussion and also to examine its recent historical context. It concludes with a general discussion of the implications of turbulent business environments for companies managing or designing global business strategies.
Volumes Two to Five of the Series cover specific dimensions of global business strategy, thus allowing the reader to focus on a topic or theme which most closely matches their interests and/or business speciality. They have been adapted for a practitioner/functional-specialist readership and are ideal for an SME or SBU management audience which this website page and its links are designed for. Please click/tap the book cover icons if you would like more detailed information and a Table of Contents for each Volume.
Each BiteSized Fortress Europe Volume is a ‘stand-alone’ book but the progression from Volume One to Volume Five has a linear narrative and full cross-referencing between them and to the Parent Book is provided throughout the Series.
All of the Outside Fortress Europe publications provide evidence-based principles, frameworks, processes and methodologies to guide the inquisitive SME/SBU manager to develop and lead the intelligent company, regardless of its relative size, business sector or country-of-origin. The overriding objective of this project is to guide smart managers to build and lead intelligent companies towards global business strategy success.
To complement the five Bitesized Fortress Europe Volumes, eight broadly related ‘events‘ have been designed, all of which can be delivered in a range of formats, including courses, seminars, masterclasses, workshops, , think-tanks, webinars, speaking engagements etc. In all cases, the level of expertise is set to the standards met in the Masters’ curriculum outlines presented in the Graduate Education tab of the Main Menu, both from academic and business experience criteria.
These global strategic management events can either be ‘open’ for a general audience or customised for a specific client’s requirements. The table below presents the title and descriptive subtitle for each event.
Customised or Open Strategic Management Events
|Scanning & Sensing the Business Environment||Undertaking a Strategic Audit|
|Analysing Global Markets||Profiling Developed and Emerging Markets|
|Innovation and Entrepreneurship||Strategies for Profitable Growth|
|Strategic Marketing||Market Analysis and Marketing Management|
|Strategic Brand Management||Building Sustainable Competitive Advantage|
|Integrated Marketing Communications||Managing Customer Relationships|
|A Practical Framework for Global Business Strategy Success||Designing Competitively Differentiated, International ‘Go-to-Market’ Plans|
|Implementing Global Business Strategy||Building a Customer-Focused Organization|
Taken as a whole, the sequence of events presented above follows a linear agenda in terms of the subject domains presented; however, five key themes permeate all subject headings:
- Delivered Stakeholder Value
- Strategic Clarity: Effectiveness
- Operational Excellence: Efficiency
- Organizational Design: Structure & Culture
- Innovation & Entrepreneurship
In addition to these themes, we discuss contemporary global strategic management issues and topics in the context of unprecedented and turbulent business environments, including a raft of disruptive technologies and business processes.
In the sections which follow, the five BiteSized Series Volumes are combined with the event titles and generic themes presented in the table above. Please click/tap any of the event ‘presentation front cover slides’ below for detailed information presented in three categories for each subject/topic/theme arena:
- Indicative content
- Learning outcomes
Strategic Management Events
This Volume opens in 1987 and progresses with markets in turmoil, greed in the ascendency (a sign of things to come), walls falling, curtains opening, Germany reunifying, China emerging, the USSR collapsing, George Soros rupturing the UK’s monetary policy, the fractious 1992 process limping towards a European Single Market and all of this within four years. As the decade progressed the Chinese dragon fiercely roared and its economy soared. Japan wilted while Asian tigers South Korea and Taiwan flourished. The US quietly blossomed. The much-maligned and misunderstood WTO didn’t exist in anything like its current ‘independent guardian’ of multi-lateral rules-based free trade until 1st January 1995. This book chronicles these cataclysmic events and draws lessons for companies developing global business strategies in turbulent market environments. In the current frenzied and polarised political context businesses should have their strategies, plans and contingencies in place for a post-Brexit free trade competitive landscape regardless of which deal is negotiated: hard, soft or fudgy.
Please click/tap the ‘Ten Years…’ book cover icon above/left for further details of the Volume and its Table of Contents.
This Volume opens with a contemporary classification of global markets which reflects the dramatic developments in international business and trade in the first two decades of the twenty-first century. We explore market dynamics, comparing the characteristics of established and emerging markets and outlining the implications of these for companies developing long-term, competitive global business strategies. We also examine how companies might address the challenges of disruptive technologies and business processes by exploring the principles of innovation and entrepreneurship. We present A Framework for Profitable Growth and provide insights into how this can be used for risk assessment, risk mitigation and long-term profitable growth.
Please click/tap the ‘Analysing Global Markets…’ book cover icon above/left for further details of the Volume and its Table of Contents.
In recent years the rise of global competition, the emergence of new technologies and the prevalence of continuous innovation have combined to redefine the external business environment for most companies. These market dynamics have given customers unprecedented value and choice. In such conditions of consumer sovereignty (the customer is king!) companies must develop a sharp strategic focus and bring marketing to the fore in their organizations. In this Volume, we demonstrate that an approach built upon the creation and implementation of effective marketing strategies can considerably improve business performance and profitability. We also explore the nature and meaning of brands and examine the role of brand management in driving profitable growth and contributing towards stakeholder value, i.e., consumers, channel partners, employees, suppliers etc. Creating effective Value Propositions which, along with effective Marketing Communications, provides the foundations of global brand management.
Please click/tap the ‘Strategic Marketing…’ book cover icon above/left for further details of the Volume and its Table of Contents.
The Practical Framework for Global Business Strategy Success we present in this Volume is a logical, structured and systematic approach to designing and implementing successful global business strategies. We discuss the conceptual backdrop, academic debates and prescriptive insights of the international business discipline with reference to the information requirements essential to maximise the inherent value which the Practical Framework offers for savvy strategic managers. This knowledge can be deployed to translate the strategic objectives of the intelligent company into operational, customer-focused, competitively differentiated international marketing plans. Students of global strategy and international marketing managers will benefit from understanding and applying: (i) a practical framework which has a logical process flow of key stages and, within this, (ii), a ‘go-to-market’ planning process backed up by proven methodologies, frameworks and tools for successful global business strategy implementation.
Please click/tap the ‘A Practical Framework…’ book cover icon above/left for further details of the Volume and its Table of Contents.
This Volume opens with a critical assessment of the ‘excuses’ that many companies put forward to ‘explain’ poor business performance rather than making an honest evaluation of their own organizational maladies and/or lack of competitiveness. Theories of strategy, competition and organization are then presented, these followed by an exclusive practical framework and management process for measuring the turbulence of markets and the identification of strategic priorities, including those threats or opportunities which may not be imminent but loom large on the radar screen for the next cycle of the strategic audit. The global business strategy literature is rich in research which demonstrates that the successful management of internal organizational capabilities and competencies explains superior and sustainable external market competitiveness. The key question relates to whether such organizational capability can be configured by management to deliver success in global business strategy. A strategy which cannot be executed is not a strategy at all and we provide an exclusive practical framework for undertaking a comprehensive internal implementation audit.
Please click/tap the ‘Implementing Global Business Strategy’ book cover icon above/left for further details of the Volume and its Table of Contents.
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