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Carrefour Management Strategies Research Paper

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Introduction

Carrefour is a French retailer operating in several countries in the world. Its biggest markets are situated in Asia and South America. However, the country operates outlets in Europe, particularly France. The retailer has also been a case of success since it is the second biggest retail company in the world.

Several strategies have made Carrefour’s success possible. On the other hand, the company also suffers some problems that threaten its dominance in the retail business. In general, Carrefour has been one of the most successful retailers in the twentieth and the twenty-first centuries.

How is a strategic plan defined and what examples can you provide the board from your chosen company?

A Strategic plan is a detailed outline of the future intentions of an organization. This outline analyzes the position of the business entity in question. In addition, it defines the measures that are to be applied by the business entity in order to move in the desired direction (Grünig & Kühn 54).

Thus, the strategic plan is the company’s definition of the activities to be undertaken in order to achieve the goals of the organization. It includes the policies that the company intends to use in order to attain its goals. The policies are related to management of finance, human resources, suppliers, and the relationships between the organization and its customers (Grünig & Kühn 49).

Strategic plan defines the general direction of the business. Furthermore, the strategic plan must take into account the current progress and the reasons for the particular progress. This way, the business is able to model its activities to suit its intended direction.

Recently, Carrefour Group has been experiencing problems with the state of its publicity. The company has been doing well in terms of profit, and the latest survey shows that it is the third biggest profit maker in the retail business (Staertzel 119). However, the business enterprise needs to improve its human resource management.

In addition, the retailer needs to monitor its outlets regarding many unethical practices causing negative publicity. Some of the complaints from the public are false advertisements and unfair competition by the retailer. Improvement of the image of the company should be the top agenda in the company’s business. In turn, this will ensure that the company maintains high volume of sales.

How is strategic management defined and what examples can you provide the board from your chosen company?

Strategic management involves assessment of the ability of an organization’s management to perform its basic functions to the satisfaction of the stakeholders of the company (Lynch 9). The utilization of the organization’s resources is evaluated to determine the level of conformity of the management to the organization’s values and goals.

Strategic management is important since it determines whether the organization is going to achieve its objectives or not. For the management to accomplish its mission, it must satisfy the planned objectives regarding all stakeholders such as customers, employees, and even shareholders. Strategic management is the second step after strategic planning. It involves organization of the implementation processes (Lynch 30).

When Carrefour established its outlets in South America and Asia, it had a strategy of involving the people of the particular localities in the stocking of their stores and provision of other services. This was a fruitful strategy for the retailer. However, in consideration of the recent negative publicity, it is important for the organization to monitor the handling of human resource affairs by its subsidiaries and outlet managements (Staertzel 115).

Some of the locally hired workers were reported to be underpaid while others worked in poor conditions. The management can adopt a more attentive kind of management to ensure that its various outlets do not engage in pervasive practices such as misleading advertisements and the sale of expired products.

Thus, the management must dissolve the hierarchal barriers in order to closely monitor its subsidiaries and avoid events that cause negative publicity for the retailer (Staertzel 122). In addition, the retailer can establish a system with which to monitor the human resource welfare globally. This is because the human resources are some of the most important inputs in retail business.

How is strategic formulation defined and what examples can you provide the board from your chosen company?

Strategic formulation involves creation of an outline of the policies that the management should adopt in order to effect the desired change in the organization. For a strategy to be formulated, the inadequacy being targeted should be known. The problem is identified by evaluation of the overall performance of the company in the light of the existing policies (Pearce & Robinson 19).

For the current Carrefour’s problems, strategy formulation can begin with investigation of the methods used to keep track of the stock on the shelves of the outlets.

An investigation of the standards of the working environment and remuneration of employees, particularly the casual and temporary workers will also aid in making the proper decisions over the direction of the company in future. Depending on the location of each outlet, a strategic management plan can be created for each store while putting into consideration all the problems reported at the specific store.

What role should ethical considerations have in your company’s strategic management plan? Provide examples from your chosen transnational company

For any business entity, ethics are important to ensure that the business environment stays in balance. This means that good ethical practices will ensure the support of the community within which the company operates (Gavai, 105).

It is important to ensure that the operations of the company benefit the majority of the people concerned. This conforms to the philosophy of utilitarianism (Mill & Crisp 42). Carrefour has to ensure that their customers, who are the local community, buy genuine products, which are within the allowed shelf life.

The employees of the company are a part of the community that must benefit from the operations of the company. It would be unethical for the company to make high profit while the welfare of its human resources is in a bad state (Staertzel 121). According to contemporary ethical philosophy, an organization is not supposed to reap benefits at the expense of a majority.

The majority could be the local community, suppliers, or even employees of the company. For example, Carrefour spends a lot of money on its environmental responsibilities. The company ensures that no waste from its stores id disposed of in an inappropriate method (Staertzel 124).

How is social responsibility defined? What role should social responsibility considerations have in your company’s strategic management plan? Please provide examples from your chosen company

For any business enterprise, social responsibility is one of the most important aspects of business. The concept of responsibility can be viewed in two perspectives. One of the common interpretations is that the business must make profit for it to be considered socially responsible (Hunnicutt 22). Since the business has many stakeholders who are members of the community in which it operates, making profit for the stakeholders is a responsibility for the business. On the other hand, the contemporary view is that the profit belongs to the business alone. For this reason, the business must sacrifice some strategies that would have otherwise assured it more profits for the sake of the community. For example, a business entity is obligated to pay its employees their due wages even if it means that the business will incur a gross loss. Furthermore, a business is obligated to keep the environment clean even if it means that the business will have to spend much of its profits to do so.

Corporate social responsibility means that a business is regarded an individual in the society. Like everyone else, the business has a responsibility towards the larger community. Thus, the business operations should aim at making profit while at the same time being responsible to the host community (Hunnicutt 25). In the case of Carrefour, the retailer is obligated to ensure that the human resource welfare has the best policies. Moreover, the business is obligated to provide the community with the best products for the fairest price. In general, for the retailer to claim genuine success, it must benefit the society in its quest for making profit.

How is competitive advantage defined? What competitive strategies has your transnational company implemented?

There is competition in the business environment at all times. For a business to outdo rivals in marketing a certain product, it can enhance the quality of its commodities. This means that the business maintains its customers due to the quality of its commodities. The products sold by the business entity should be of higher quality that those sold by rivals in the business (Nayal 66).

For example, an electronic company manufacturing cell phones can acquire and maintain customers by manufacturing cell phones using the most advanced technology. The concept of competitive advantage assumes that the high quality product will sell at a high price. Thus, for a business adhering to the principles of competitive advantage, profit is associated with high prices and customer loyalty. Competitive advantage can arise from the ability of the business to reduce the cost of producing a certain product.

Always, Carrefour had the ability to establish in new markets. Its ability to adapt to diverse cultures helped the company open stores in Asia and South America with success. In addition, since the company is the second largest retailer in the world, it is in a position to establish reliable tracking system for its products (Staertzel 113).

Human resource affairs should also not be a problem for the company since it already makes more than average amount of profit. Moreover, the company can engage in research for more innovative strategies, a trend it had perfected in its beginning. Carrefour developed the concept of the hypermarket, a common strategy for retailers around the world.

What measurement guidelines are available to verify strategies effectiveness from your transnational company?

One of the methods that can be used to establish the competitive advantage of a business is evaluation of the level of profit. If the profit made by a business organization is more that the normal amount, it indicates effectiveness of competitive strategies advantage for the particular company (Nayal 53).

If the strategy to be implemented is aimed at realizing a high level of customer satisfaction, then, studying the market to establish the level of customer satisfaction is be the best criterion for measurement of effectiveness of a strategy. Thus, the criterion of measurement of effectiveness of a strategy depends on the targets of the particular strategic plan and implementation procedures (Sin Lin 116).

Carrefour Group opened outlets in the Republic of China and other parts of Asia with the aim of tapping into the large retail market. Actually, the expansion into the Asian and the South American markets is the reason for the high profits the company has been making (Staertzel 102). However, with the use of a balanced scorecard, one can establish that the retailer has to redraw its strategies again in order to establish a good public opinion and human resource welfare record. The business requires a revision of its application of ethics and corporate social responsibility.

What is the definition of environmental scanning? What examples from your chosen company might you offer?

When a business is formulating a strategy, it is important to evaluate the effect of the implementation of the strategies to the business environment. This concerns evaluation of the state of macroeconomic factors. These are economic that influence the business, but are outside the business entity itself (Lynch 84).

They may include the customers, rivals operating in the same line of business, or even suppliers. When performing environmental scanning, the current state of the business is evaluated and trends are established. In addition, the expected reaction of the environment to new strategies is established through deterministic procedures.

In the particular case of Carrefour, the current state of public opinion regarding the company can be assessed. It is also necessary for the retailer to evaluate the expected reaction of the market to its changes in the marketing strategy. Furthermore, it is evident that the current success of the company in foreign markets is a result of the environmental scanning done to establish the culture and the expected reaction of the customers in new business environments.

How is structural leadership defined? What examples from your chosen company might you offer?

Structural leadership involves evaluation of the effectiveness of various segments of an organization and designing the best structure for their success. A structural leader focuses more on the effectiveness of various departments in an organization. In addition, the leadership style focuses more on achievement of objectives rather than formulation of targets that might be otherwise unrealistic (Pearce & Robinson 8).

Thus, an effective structural leader does not create a standard structure for operating business, but allows for modification of the structure to suit business objectives and the prevailing environment. A structural leader takes into account the expected reaction from the society when implementing strategies.

The Carrefour group has adopted this kind of leadership. Every outlet is designed to adapt to its own environment (Staertzel 92). This increases the effectiveness of the organization. Structural leadership appreciates the importance of considering the effect of diversity of the environment. A structural leader sees the business perspective from a social dimension.

How is business continuity defined? What examples from your chosen company might you offer?

In any business organization, there are those activities that are critically important for the survival of the business. These activities have to be functional for the business to run its daily affairs effectively. It is important for the business to ensure that the customers and other stakeholders in a business entity access the particular functions at the appropriate time (Lynch 53).

The Carrefour group has tried to be innovative in order to ensure that the company operations are sustainable. This organization created the idea of the hypermarket and continued to implement the concept in every country it operated (Staertzel, 86). Although the company has suffered several store closures, the idea of opening more stores was implemented with the aim of compensating for the competition in localities where the business has been established for a long time.

How is strategy implementation defined? What examples from your chosen company might you offer?

Strategy implementation is the method that an organization uses to achieve actuation of the recommendations of a strategy. It also defines the way in which the organization controls resources to achieve the desired outcome.

In an effort to customize products for the localities of different outlets, Carrefour group has adopted the initiative of packaging products such as food. This way, they are able to brand their products according to the locality in which they are sold. In addition, Carrefour has adapted to the culture of the specific localities such that the people of the particular region can identify with the supermarkets chain (Dawson & Lee 85). Carrefour group has even adopted slogans associated with the social dimension of the particular markets.

What examples of evaluation and control can you offer regarding your chosen company?

When a firm is in the process of implementing a policy, it is important to assess the performance of the particular strategy. Marketing strategies have a tendency of failing to conform to the expected performance. For this reason, it is necessary to evaluate the level of fidelity of the strategy outcome to the expected results.

Carrefour group has constantly evaluated its market to adjust to the prevailing trends. The company has changed its marketing strategies to suit consumer preference continuously. Carrefour’s first major revolution was the invention of the hypermarket and discount stores. The hypermarket offered virtually everything under one roof while discount stores offered goods at the lowest prices possible (Staertzel 89).

Summary

In general, Carrefour has proved to be an innovative company. Since the retailer started operating, it has invented one marketing strategy after another. However, competition has necessitated opening of new outlets and stores in many countries. The overall success of the supermarket is due to the appropriate strategies, innovation and proper management.

However, the retailer has suffered some setbacks due to ethical issues. In addition, stiff competition and cultural inadequacies have made the company to exit several countries after selling all their stores. However, with changes in the strategies of the company, it can continue to be one of the biggest retailers in the world.

Works Cited

Dawson, John A., and Jung Lee. International retailing plans and strategies in Asia. Binghamton, NY: International Business Press, 2004. Print.

Gavai, A. K.. Business ethics. Rev. ed. Mumbai [India: Himalaya Pub. House, 2010. Print.

Grünig, Rudolf, and Richard Kühn. Process-based strategic planning. 3rd ed. Berlin: Springer, 2005. Print.

Hunnicutt, Susan. Corporate social responsibility. Detroit, MI: Greenhaven Press, 2009. Print.

Lynch, Richard L.. Strategic management. 5th ed. Harlow: Financial Times Prentice Hall, 2008. Print.

Mill, John Stuart, and Roger Crisp. Utilitarianism. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998. Print.

Nayal, Praveen. “Measurement of competitive strategy.” Academy of Management Journal Vol.12.Iss. 3 (2001): pp. 52-85. Print.

Pearce, John A., and Richard B. Robinson. Strategic management: formulation, implementation, and control. 7th ed. Boston: Irwin/McGraw-Hill, 2000. Print.

Sin Lin, Chiun. “Measuring competitive advantage with an asset-light valuation model.” African Journal of Business Management Vol. 5.iss. 13 (2011): 101- 110. Print.

Staertzel, Lene. “Carrefour in china: A crossroad between east and west.” Carrefour Journal Vol. 6.iss.4 (2011): 85-156. Print.

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