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Strategic Modeling Research Paper

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Introduction

In modern stormy environment of organizations, change is becoming a core issue of business practices because the long term goals of the organization have to be redesigned every now and then. As a leader in this organization, I have a role to play in the process of driving transformation.

As an organization, we do not necessarily have to possess all of the positive attributes but we can use the little positive attributes and resources that we have to steer UN into great heights. This organization must be willing to adapt its structures if it is to meet its objectives in service delivery.

The Need for Transformation in the UN

The UN’s mission, vision, and goals are not adequately articulated. An organization should be in position to understand its internal capabilities in a proper way so as to communicate vision and mission to its workers (Wilson 12). There has been laxity in adoption to change in many aspects of UN’s leadership skills, training programs, and capacity building which has in turn affected the organization’s goals and strategies.

It is the role of the top management within UN to set goals and strategies to effect change. This can easily be done through the successful historical goal setting process.

The UN has unrealized past goals and poor communication within the lower ranks management, and a demonstrated lack of commitment from the top management all of which are hindering the change process. In many organizations in the recent past, goal setting has become an important part of agenda-building process in the walk towards organizational change.

Thinking about change, UN should lay emphasis on decisions about formal structures, processes, systems, roles and relationships. In transforming the organization’s mission and strategy, the organization’s form, charters, hierarchical ranks, specialization of jobs, training and other educational programs, centralization degree, delegation, and participation (Wilson 13).

The success of UN transformation will depend on the extent of the aspects of its system – its formal structure, information flows, reward and the recruitment process help in defining the new face of the organization.

To support new organization design, it will be necessary that appropriate technology is invested in (Appelbaum, St-pierre, and Glavas 1998). To arrive at this point, I carried out a readiness assessment to reflect those factors that affect the daily operations of the organization and how workers use technology in their job. The change readiness assessment revealed that UN workers are ready and willing to adopt and use new technology.

The assessment further highlighted the amount of effort needed in this worthy course. The assessment showed those workers who would require retraining in order to evolve in the new organization. Technology in this context is used to refer to; hardware such as machinery and equipment and software which is applied in transformation of materials; and arrangement of both hardware and software.

The degree to which this new technology will promote the change we want will rely on the way top managers at the UN optimizes the relationship between people and the technical aspect of this great organization (Hansen 2007). Special interest should be directed towards synchronizing the knowledge of work processes with the mode of operation.

There are several strategic models that UN could court in its quest for organizational change. However, it is Barney VRINE model that looks promising as it touches on improving key competencies by developing human capital and capabilities to improve on performance.

The VRINE model

VRINE model, developed by Barney in 1991, is an internal focus on strategy. It singles out organizations internal resources as the main source of achieving its objectives. The VRINE model’s basic assumptions are that organizations are heterogeneous in regard to their resources and that these resources are more or less static. Characteristics that make UN a successful organization are not similar to those that make it a failure.

The reason that I chose the VRINE model is to demonstrate the gain the organization will get through the implementation of a value creating strategy that may not be implemented by others. This is because other organizations in this field may find it hard to duplicate it. The strategy is important as it will help the organization to exploit and develop its heterogeneous resources.

Organizations should strategize on the basis of the resources and capabilities they are endowed with. A given organization’s resources and capabilities may not be as effective as that of another in the same field. UN has the ability to make use of its resources and capabilities so as to achieve its mission and meet its objectives.

The VRINE/VRIO strategic model summarizes the five basic features that UNEP may have to use in order to determine whether our resources and capabilities may indeed help us achieve our objectives. These characteristics are; value, rarity, inimitability, nonsubstitutability, and exploitability (Kirsch 2007).

Value -A resource or a capability is said to be valuable if it is in a position to help an organization take advantage of opportunities. The UN employs thousands of workers across the world. All UN employees are a bundle of resources or competencies. The value in these people can take any form, either IT expertise, financial services, interpersonal and team building skills.

The organization enjoys an advantage because of this human resource which is necessary for meeting its objectives. This resource is valuable as it enables the organization to take advantage in championing its mission. The optimal of this resource arises only when it is identified and utilized to the advantage of the organization.

If the UN does not make use of its worldwide presence and its human resource, then it won’t be making use of these resources to its advantage. Because the resources possessed by UN meets the VRINE criteria for value, the organization is at an advantage.

Rarity– this is the scarcity of a commodity relative to demand. Very few other organizations are endowed with high performing human capital and valuable resources like does the UN.

These resources are vital in ensuring that the objectives of an organization are met. If UN controls its valuable and rare human capital, it’s going to gain substantially in the accomplishment of its objectives. Sometimes, the geographic location of UN’s human capital can be used to its advantage.

Inimitability and non-substitutability-A valuable and rare resource is said to be inimitable and non-substitutable when it is impossible to replace or substitute it with other resources and capabilities and still accomplish similar benefits.

The UN has the top cream when it comes to the quality of its employees. These workers possess a wide range of knowledge and skills such that their exit would cripple the organization. Most of UN’s employees have no strategic substitutes

Exploitability-this is the last feature in the VRINE model. This criterion stresses that merely possessing these resources does not benefit the organization. UN must be willing to make maximum use of its resources. It must nurture and take advantage of both the capabilities, human and physical resources it possesses.

To exploit these resources, the UN must endeavor to implement strategies that will utilize these resources. This it could do by expanding its mandate in other areas of interest. It is also important that the UN recruit from countries in which the offices are located if it is to maximally utilize its resources.

By applying the VRINE strategy, the organization will narrow down on enhancing efficiency and value creation by focusing on human capital and capability to enhance performance (Hansen 2007).

Graphical representation of UN’s VRINE model.

Fig. 1 Graphical representation of UN’s VRINE model

Implementation: Human Capital

The human capital resource should be utilized to the maximum. UN has a large human capital in terms of education, experience, and skills. In each given skill, the organization has a variety of proficiency in its employees that would greatly improve outcomes.

The UN’s capabilities arise from the skills of its employees derived from long periods of practice that enable it perform its tasks. The UN has always provided its employees with opportunities for learning. This can be demonstrated by its present stock of skilled manpower.

According to Pathak, (2011), VRINE is an internal resource of the firm. This resource is intangible and invaluable and has the ability to use its experience and skills to the advantage of the organization.

I am proposing that in order for the UN to produce high performance human capital, it should educate and train its work force further. This move will give the workers a sense that they are valuable resource within this organization (Auw 2009).

Capabilities

Higher level of human capital will make UN more efficient in its mission. The organization should try cross-border skills to build international human capital. This cross border skills are important in expanding the service range. The cross border skills have proved in other organizations to be useful in creating a successful international-oriented team.

The UN will benefit from a global workforce by taking advantage of these labor pools and by exploiting cultural synergies of a diverse workforce. Research has shown that a high degree of UN’s human capital could be improved through its international capabilities.

The cross border skills could be used to fill positions for top managers as they could be possessing knowledge and skills necessary for tapping into UN’s resources and capabilities. Making use of the global labor pool will potentially increase UN’s decision making capacity.

Managers from diverse back grounds will bring different perspective to decision making than when they were sourced from just one country. However, the organization should foresee the difficulty that arises when integrating human resources at global level while at the same time striving to maintain uniqueness and heterogeneity (Morris, Snell and Wright 2005).

UN must strive to adapt its structure in order to achieve its mission. It has come to my notice that at the departmental levels, our controls are loose. Most of the departmental managers are not strict.

Sequential Process of Change

We all understand that these changes being proposed in this transformation will be implemented in phases. This strategy will go through a number of sequential steps before they are fully adopted. The reason for putting the matter in stages is because people, and not the innovation, will go through these steps.

In order to avoid uninformed, insensitive and indifferent implementation, these steps should be understood by all UN employees (Karsch 2007). These employees should be involved in planning and evaluation. Good communication among all key players is also important if misunderstanding is to be averted.

The answer to UN’s transformation is seen to lie in technology and training. Training and technology are essential in building efficiency. The advantage of VRINE model comes from organizing internally to gain advantage. This is achievable through internal restructuring, image management, and positioning.

Technology

Technological change needs a combination of technological and human relations aspects. On this path, top managers will be tasked with translating the vision of the organization through working out skills of direction, sorting out problems that may arise, and introducing the technological change through implementation.

Leaders will have the role of changing people system and this will depend on the ability and the attitude of managers in the middle level (Warner 2010).

Learning and Training

This will encompass learning to change, understanding the new visions and goals of the organization, its new design and technology and culture.

To be able to improve on performance, the UN must focus on its work force and other human resource functions i.e. structures, policies, and practices. It must build a culture of people with different and better skills than it has at the current.

When we build on the assumptions of resources being heterogeneous, stress should be laid on the contribution made by the workforce through skills and knowledge to enhance performance (Wilson 1992).

Building on VRINE model, we can argue that human capital – the whole pool of employees – is an exceptional source of advantage to an organization. This can be in form of rarity, value, inimitability, and nonsubstitutability.

The UN should also consider employing a balanced scorecard in order to align its activities to its vision, internal and external communication, strategy, and performance against its strategic goals. The balanced scorecard, developed by Drs. Kaplan and Norton, should assist the UN transform its strategic plan from merely attractive but passive to “marching orders” for the UN on a daily basis.

Strategy development processing using the balanced scorecard

Just like any other organization, the UN should follow a systemic strategy development framework by first reaffirming its mission, vision and values. Second, the organization should then determine which goals and outcomes that the vision will be represent.

Finally, the organization’s key issues such as external and internal forces that affect it will flow from these goals and outcomes. The UN should then formulate a new transformational strategy that will drive change in all its charters.

Our new transformational strategic change will address why we are there-our mission and vision. It will also give us the direction to which we are headed as an organization. This transformational strategy will finally address key issues and define how best we can achieve our goals-strategy formulation.

Step1: Crafting the UN’s mission, vision and value system

The UN’s mission should be crafted in such a way that it defines its fundamental purpose. It must portray what we give to the general public and what we as organization pursue. Majority of UN’s divisional mission statement do not elaborate on their purposes.

Many of these mission statements were crafted without proper consideration and have also lost their sense of purpose for the divisions they represent. There is a need to review overall UN mission to reflect on our true purpose and goals as an organization.

The organization’s value system should be revised. The new value system must reflect our character, culture and behavior. Our vision should be in line with our long-term goals. I am proposing that UN adopt an external and universally oriented vision; a vision that portrays how the world should perceive the UN.

Because the vision statements are a guide to strategy development, I am proposing that ours remain inspirational and aspirational. Most of the vision statements within UN are lengthy and too vague.

They provide no guidance for strategy development and lack measurable outcome and targeted value for our strategies. In summary, our vision statement should be crafted to depict the UN’s quantified success indicator, a definition of niche, and a time line for execution of strategy. Our mission statement should be our success measure (Kaplan, Norton & Barrows jr. 2008).

Step 2: The UN’s strategic goals

By quantifying UN’s vision statements, its vision’s quantified success factor becomes the reference point with which we can judge the applicability of our strategies. The UN will be able achieve a stretch of target objectives if it encompasses strong leadership.

This is a key ingredient for the UN to become better. After we have developed a stretch target for success, we can then define a value gap. This is the difference between what the UN would have achieved by maintaining its status quo and with the desired outcome. It is the difference between what UN aspires and the reality.

Step 3: Strategic analysis

Performing an external and an internal analysis come immediately after we have a clear picture of what we need to achieve. In this stage, I assessed the UN’s performance with the aim of understanding how it presently delivers value.

External analysis revealed that organizations performance in relation to other key player in the same field. Internally, the assessment revealed our own performance and capabilities using value chain analysis. These analyses showed that UN the organization needs to perform better in a number of sectors in order to achieve its vision statements.

Step 4: Formulating and launching the change strategy

The balanced scorecard indicates that if this process is fully followed, our organization will be ready to launch the change strategy

Process modeling: BPMN

To achieve the effects the above proposed changes, it will be crucial that the organization adopts a business process modeling notation that will capture the sequence of these changes and supporting information.

There are different levels of process models that the UN can adopt, these includes; process maps that feature simple flow charts of the proposed activities; process descriptions that contain flow charts combined with additional information; and process models characterized by extended flow charts with enough information to enable the whole process be analyzed, simulated and executed. A business processing model notation supports all the three levels of process modeling.

By applying BPMN, the UN will have a mechanism to generate an executable business process from its organizational level notation. The organization will engage business analysts to directly apply our developed change process into BPM engine. This will enable the UN avoid going through human interpretation and translations into all its languages.

Activities

Activities are performed within an organizational process. It can either be atomic or non-atomic. Within BPMN, an activity is presented as a rounded rectangle

Tasks

A task is an atomic activity included within a process. Several types of tasks exists within BPMN; sending, receiving or user based tasks

Sub-processes

Sub-processes enable hierarchical process development. BPMN exists in three basic types; private organizational models, abstract processes and collaboration processes.

Sample private (internal) organization process.

Fig. 2 sample private (internal) organization process

Sample abstract organizational process (public).

Fig. 3 Sample abstract organizational process (public)

Sample BPMN collaboration process.

Fig. 4 Sample BPMN collaboration process

Conclusion

Changing environment is forcing organizations to adopt a continuous, and an interactive process to keep them abreast. There is a need for change in the UN in terms of its mission and strategy, form, structure, and information flows. Several strategic models are applicable in designing organizational transformation. Organizational analysis and direction are necessary before a strategy is formulated and implemented.

Strategic control is important in aiding for an effective application of change. VRINE strategic model invented by Barney in 1991 focuses on an organizations capability and resources. It lays emphasis on human capital as the sole avenue in enhancing performance within an organization like UN. The model applies value, rarity inimitability, nonsubstitutability, and exploitability to characterize resources.

By applying VRINE model, it is possible to show how the UN is endowed with valuable human capital. Its greatest asset lies in the skilled, experienced and knowledgeable workers that are spread across the globe. The UN can use the global labor pool to tap on cross border skills and tap on cultural synergies of its workforce.

The process of transformation should be implemented in a sequential process, which should be focused on technology and training. The usefulness of any strategy will be applicable only if an organization has a high degree of autonomy.

The process of UN transformation can be complimented by careful application of a balanced scorecard. The scorecard successful enables strategy development by use of properly crafted organizational vision statement. By reviewing the UN Vision statements, it will be possible to develop the strategic goals.

An analysis of internal and external factors helps an organization map its weaknesses and competencies and therefore plan adequately. The use of BPMN is an essential stage that captures an organization’s sequence of change and supporting information. All these are essential in UN’s transformational process

Reference List

Appelbaum, H. S., St-Pierre, N., and Glavas, W., 1998. Strategic Organizational Change: The Role of Leadership, Learning, Motivation and Productivity. New York, Prentice Hall.

Auw, E., 2009. Human Capital, Capabilities & Competitive Advantage. International Review of Business Research Papers, 5 (5), pp. 25-36.

Hansen, J. R., 2007. Strategic Management when Profit isn’t the End: Differences between Public Organizations, Preliminary version presented at 9th National Public Management Research Conference. Eller College of Management, University of Arizona, Tucson.

Kaplan, R., Norton, D. & Barrows, E.,2008. Developing strategy: Vision, value gaps, and analysis. Harvard business school publishing.

Kirsch, K., 2007. Critically Review how the Resource-based View Has Developed Our Understanding of Strategy. Munich, GRIN verlag.

Morris, S. S., Snell, S. A., and Wright, P. M., 2005. A Resource-Based View of International Human Resources: Toward A Framework of Integrative and Creative Capabilities [pdf] Available at: <>

Pathak, H., 2011. Organizational Change. New Delhi, Pearson Education.

Warner, A., 2010. Strategic Analysis and Choice: A Structured Approach. New York: Momentum press.

White, S. 2008. Introduction to BPMN, IBM software group.

Wilson, D., 1992. A Strategy of Change: Concepts and Controversies in the Management of Change. New York: Routledge.

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