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Many managers wrongly think of business process reengineering only in terms of automating paperwork to cut costs and headcount. But the methodology can also be used to create sets of superior business processes that together produce unique goods and services their customers value highly. In the following cases the companies have achieved important competitive advantage because their customer‐serving processes—and all the business processes sub‐routines—are seen as the means
In early 2004, residents of Inglewood, California, a working-class community just outside Los Angeles composed primarily of African- and Hispanic-Americans, were preparing to vote on a referendum that would change the city charter to allow Wal-Mart to build a supercenter on a huge, undeveloped lot in the city. Walmart had put forward the measure after the city council refused to change the zoning of a sixty-acre plot on which it held an option to build. Numerous community and religious groups opposed Wal-Mart's entry and campaigned against the referendum. Walmart promised low-priced merchandise and jobs, but these groups were skeptical about the kinds of jobs and compensation that would be offered, the healthcare that would be provided to employees, and the broader impact Walmart would have on the community. Inglewood was a pro-union community, so there was also opposition based on Walmart's anti-union position. On April 6 Inglewood residents voted to reject the referendum by a margin of 60.6 percent to 39.9 percent. Though smaller, less organized, and with fewer resources than Walmart, this coalition of community and religious leaders had defeated the global retailing behemoth.
After students have analyzed the case they will be able to (a) appreciate the importance of nonmarket factors to execute growth and market entry strategies, (b) understand how the decisions of political institutions depend on the issue context and the alignments of coalitions of interest, (c) formulate and assess strategies to overcome nonmarket barriers to entry.
This paper provides a perspective on the field of nonmarket strategy. It does not attempt to survey the literature but instead focuses on the substantive content of…
This paper provides a perspective on the field of nonmarket strategy. It does not attempt to survey the literature but instead focuses on the substantive content of research in the field. The paper discusses the origins of the field and the roles of nonmarket strategy. The political economy framework is used and contrasted with the current form of the resource-based theory. The paper argues that research should focus on the firm level and argues that the strategy of self-regulation can be useful in reducing the likelihood of challenges from private and public politics. The political economy perspective is illustrated using three examples: (1) public politics: Uber, (2) private politics: Rainforest Action Network and Citigroup, and (3) integrated strategy and private and public politics: The Fast Food Campaign. The paper concludes with a discussion of research issues in theory, empirics, and normative assessment.
A family business founded by Chinese immigrants grew into a $133 million toy and costume maker by exploiting seasonal niche segments in the highly competitive, global toy…
A family business founded by Chinese immigrants grew into a $133 million toy and costume maker by exploiting seasonal niche segments in the highly competitive, global toy industry. Sales of traditional toys stagnated when replaced by game consoles and electronic toys. Unable to compete in high tech toys, MegaToys moved instead toward seasonal products. In 2007, brothers Peter and Charlie Woo were about to pitch what they hoped would be $63 million in Easter basket sales to Wal-Mart. If Wal-Mart took the full order, it would come to represent over half of MegaToys' revenue.
The company was faced with the dilemma of how to grow, and at what pace. Charlie Woo knew that MegaToys could continue to grow as long as it was able to satisfy Wal-Mart's demands. Peter Woo wondered if this was the smartest way to grow the business. “Growth is a good thing as long as you don't sell your shirt to get it,” he noted. Should MegaToys continue to increase its sales to Wal-Mart, or would dependence on Wal-Mart eventually threaten the firm's success? Were there other, untapped opportunities for MegaToys that were well aligned with its strengths, resources, and capabilities?
In the past more than three years, Wal-Mart has been embroiled in incidents of public scandals. In part, they pertain to Wal-Mart’s global strategy of growth and…
In the past more than three years, Wal-Mart has been embroiled in incidents of public scandals. In part, they pertain to Wal-Mart’s global strategy of growth and expansion, where the company’s senior managers have been implicated in using illegal bribery and corruption to secure business and to conceal this information from regulatory authorities. Another issue, albeit longer running, has been the incidents of fire and resulting deaths and injuries of hundreds of people, most notably in Bangladesh, but also in other countries where low-skill, low-wage manufacturing predominates, and where foreign multinationals have been accused of condoning and profiting from sweatshop-like exploitation of workers.
The authors use Wal-Mart as a microcosm of corporate conduct which provides a prism through which to examine the exploitation of negative externalities, i.e. engaging in illegal and unethical behavior by using their bargaining power and market control these companies, pressure host countries to condone environmental degradation, violation of country laws in terms of wages, working conditions and operating in sweatshop-like conditions to maximize their profits at the expense of other factors of production, i.e. labor and resources.
The authors contend that Wal-Mart’s unique business model, which focuses on everyday low price, absolute growth and market share expansion by any means possible and everyday low cost, has led to the company’s enormous success since its founding and has made it one of the world’s largest corporations by revenue. At the same time, this model seriously impedes the company’s ability to improve unit-based profit margins and thus forces it to take short cuts in achieving lateral growth and low-cost production.
The authors also examine in some detail the large gap that exists between Wal-Mart’s pronouncements of the company’s commitment to ethical and socially responsible conduct and its actual business practices. They demonstrate that the company’s communications and claims for ethical conduct are mostly aspirational and fail the test of accuracy, specificity, materiality and verifiability through independent, externally provided integrity assurance.
Finally, the authors outline a number of measures that would need to be taken by Wal-Mart, industry groups that depend heavily on outsourcing from low-skill, low-wage countries for their products and host country governments and the governments of Western industrialized nations whose corporations and consumers are the primary beneficiaries of the exploitative sweatshops that fatten their companies’ bottom lines and enrich their denizens with ample amounts of inexpensive goods.
Sam Walton opened his first Wal‐Mart discount store in 1962. Today, Wal‐Mart is not only the world’s largest corporation but also the world’s most admired company…
Sam Walton opened his first Wal‐Mart discount store in 1962. Today, Wal‐Mart is not only the world’s largest corporation but also the world’s most admired company, according to a 2003 Fortune magazine poll. Wal‐Mart is competitive and successful because it has been doing many things right. This article helps shed light on the rise of Wal‐Mart and the roots of its competitiveness. Business practitioners aspiring to succeed can learn a great deal from studying the Wal‐Mart way of doing business.
The digital economy has significantly altered the way business is conducted and financial information is communicated. A rapidly growing number of organizations are…
The digital economy has significantly altered the way business is conducted and financial information is communicated. A rapidly growing number of organizations are conducting business and publishing business and financial reports online and in real-time. Real-time financial reporting is likely to necessitate continuous auditing to provide continuous assurance about the quality and credibility of the information presented. The audit process has, by necessity, evolved from a conventional manual audit to computer-based auditing and is now confronted with creating continuous electronic audits. Rapidly emerging information technology and demands for more timely communication of information to business stakeholders requires auditors to invent new ways to continuously monitor, gather, and analyze audit evidence. Continuous auditing is defined here as “a comprehensive electronic audit process that enables auditors to provide some degree of assurance on continuous information simultaneously with, or shortly after, the disclosure of the information.” This paper is based on a review of related literature, innovative continuous auditing applications, and the experiences of the authors. An approach for building continuous audit capacity is presented and audit data warehouses and data marts are described. Ever improving technology suggests that the real-time exchange of sensitive financial data will place constant pressure on auditors to update audit techniques. Most of the new techniques that will be required will involve creation of new software and audit models. Future research should focus on how continuous auditing could be constantly improved in various auditing domains including assurance, attestation, and audit services.
Develops an original 12‐step management of technology protocol and applies it to 51 applications which range from Du Pont’s failure in Nylon to the Single Online Trade…
Develops an original 12‐step management of technology protocol and applies it to 51 applications which range from Du Pont’s failure in Nylon to the Single Online Trade Exchange for Auto Parts procurement by GM, Ford, Daimler‐Chrysler and Renault‐Nissan. Provides many case studies with regards to the adoption of technology and describes seven chief technology officer characteristics. Discusses common errors when companies invest in technology and considers the probabilities of success. Provides 175 questions and answers to reinforce the concepts introduced. States that this substantial journal is aimed primarily at the present and potential chief technology officer to assist their survival and success in national and international markets.
Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) were a signature piece in Wal-Mart's sustainability effort, and although by October 2007, Wal-Mart's goal of selling 100 million…
Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) were a signature piece in Wal-Mart's sustainability effort, and although by October 2007, Wal-Mart's goal of selling 100 million CFLs had been achieved, the accomplishment actually highlighted how little CFLs had penetrated the market. With over 100 million households in the United States, this impressive-sounding result actually meant less than one CFL per residence on average. Wal-Mart had much more work ahead in positioning and pricing CFLs to make them a viable presence in the lighting category. Was the issue a matter of product, price, promotion, or positioning?