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Article
Publication date: 18 April 2016

Murali Kailasam and Winai Wongsurawat

This paper aims to identify strategies used by companies during the recent global recession and to investigate the effectiveness of offensive and defensive strategies. It…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to identify strategies used by companies during the recent global recession and to investigate the effectiveness of offensive and defensive strategies. It also investigates how these different types of strategies are sequenced.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on cases from seven publicly listed Indian information technology (IT) and information technology-enabled services (ITESs) companies. This longitudinal study draws on 32 semi-structured interviews with top management. The data were triangulated using annual and quarterly reports, emails, organization profiles and customer satisfaction reports.

Findings

Offensive and defensive strategic responses were deployed concurrently, not sequentially. Offensive responses were crucial in turning around a firm. Identical strategies can yield different results in product and service companies.

Research limitations/implications

The findings of this paper should be generalized with care because of the sampling scope. Future studies should include quantitative research over different recession periods.

Practical implications

The paper provides insights for practitioners on how to respond to economic recession and prepare for recovery.

Originality/value

The paper enriches the corporate turnaround and business cycle management literature by analyzing the behavior of firms from India and from the high-tech industry.

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Article
Publication date: 11 January 2013

Murali Kailasam, Lalit M. Johri and Winai Wongsurawat

The aim of this paper is to highlight successful strategies leaders can use to sustain and grow business during the economic business cycle variation.

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to highlight successful strategies leaders can use to sustain and grow business during the economic business cycle variation.

Design/methodology/approach

Opinions were based on 32 interviews conducted during December‐2010 to November‐2011 with CXO's, Business/Functional Heads from seven leading Indian IT/ITES public listed companies that partnered and delivered solutions to global corporations including Fortune‐500 companies. One of the interview queries was to share experience, views and opinions on what works during recession and how should one tackle recovery.

Findings

This paper offers 11 handy strategies for practitioners like executives, leaders and managers to manage the economic cycles better. These common findings from several cases are summarized supported with specific examples. They are: cost management need not go overboard; incessantly monitor, control and sustain; communication, culture and empathy helps; quality bolsters empathy; stay invested to be relevant; innovation needs to be disruptive; diversification leverages law of averages; people are imperative; customers need to be venerated; change and risk management is inevitable; coherence and prudence needed.

Practical implications

The paper provides strategic insights and practical solutions that can protect organizations world‐wide from failing during economic recessions.

Social implications

The paper provides strategic insights and practical solutions that can have a broader social impact.

Originality/value

The paper presents the arguments in a condensed and easy‐to‐digest format supported with live organization examples for easy comprehension.

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Article
Publication date: 16 November 2015

Murali Kailasam and Winai Wongsurawat

The purpose of this article is to find out if a focus on promoting customer loyalty is a supplier’s best strategy for gaining significant immunity against customer…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to find out if a focus on promoting customer loyalty is a supplier’s best strategy for gaining significant immunity against customer desertions and business losses during recessions? And if not, what are the alternatives?

Design/methodology/approach

The authors investigated how loyalty strategies played out in practice in the Indian IT-ITES industry (Information Technology – Information Technology Enabled Services) during the recent global downturn.

Findings

Field interviews with executives of many of the major players in the industry revealed the weakness of their customer loyalty strategy and discovered some useful alternative tactics.

Practical implications

Service providers that successfully navigated the rough recessionary waters relied not on loyalty but their superior information advantage.

Originality/value

Field interviews suggest that hanging on to clients in a recession have less to do with investment in a loyalty strategy and more with the vendor’s superior capabilities – such as an information advantage, agile use of diverse competencies and scale–that enable it to offer the client a superior deal even in a painful business downturn.

Details

Strategy & Leadership, vol. 43 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1087-8572

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 16 November 2015

Robert Randall

Abstract

Details

Strategy & Leadership, vol. 43 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1087-8572

Content available
Article
Publication date: 16 November 2015

Catherine Gorrell

Abstract

Details

Strategy & Leadership, vol. 43 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1087-8572

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