An organization that wants to succeed in a competitive business environment needs a sound strategy. A strategy is a broad, long-term plan, conceived in order to achieve business objectives. Strategies are developed at three levels; the corporate level, the business level and the functional level. Many operations decisions are developed in the compliance with business objectives, and with the functional objectives of the marketing, finance and human resources departments. Operations strategies such as the choice of operating structure are influenced by the nature of the goods or services to be produced and the markets to be served.
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The fundamental objective of any business is to make money. While this could be the end the major means to reach this end is to achieve optimized productivity. Making money may be translated to increased net profits in synchronization with increasing returns on investment and cash flows.
No business or enterprise activity can begin unless there is a purpose, aim or objective to be reached. It is like a distant navigational aid that helps to keep the direction and re-navigate in case the course changes. The activity of planning starts when the objectives are defined. Objectives are a vital prerequisite to successful operation of an organization. Objectives are a must in any organization if it has to utilize the resources relative to its opportunities and if the organization is to be well managed strategically. Once the organization’s mission has been determined, the next step is to establish how that mission is to be accomplished. This can be done by formulating objectives. Objectives are the concrete, specific aim that management seeks to achieve for the organization, often within a stated time period. The formulation of appropriate objectives is crucial to an organization’s success in accomplishing its mission, since these objectives form the basis for planning, policymaking and setting performance standards.
Organizations come into being for some purpose or purposes. The purpose/purposes of an organization’s existence should be clarified, articulated and defined by the management. This is done through the establishment of objectives, which pervades the managerial process. An organization not guided objectives is an organizations with no purpose and no direction. Without objectives, an organization may continue to exist, but it cannot be considered to be under the control of management. The objectives are necessary for an organization because they provide the right direction, they serve as standards and they also serve as motivators.
Long-term objectives are assertion of the results an organization tries to achieve over a definite period. In order to achieve prosperity in the long term, tactical planners usually set up long-term objectives in several areas like profitability etc. The capability of any organization to function in the long run is dependent on it attaining an adequate level of profits. The profit goal is usually articulated in earning per share or return on equity. In the long run, organizations distinguish their tasks to their customers and to the community largely. Such organizations strive to set up themselves as conscientious corporate populace ((ICMR), 2003).
One of the key objectives of any business organization is to reach a position where it is able to attract more customers than its competitors. In order to gain such a competitive advantage, organizations try to identify their distinct competencies. The characteristics of a company’s operations function are important in determining its choice of products and markets, and the elements of its competitive strength. Various operational and strategic decisions are taken in this process.
Strategy is a good starting point for debating the concept of Corporate Entrepreneurship. Corporations can effectively leverage their core competencies for creating new business ventures if a clear strategic intent is in place. Contemporary rational management philosophy is focused on offering the workforce, especially the people in the lower management, the needed empowerment in terms of strategic decision making and also guiding their energies into self-directed quests that are diligently associated with overarching plans and directions of the long-term organizational strategy.
The objective of this kind of management philosophy is consistently high levels of performance in the entire organization by carefully fostering the organization’s human resources, while capitalizing on intrinsic wants pertaining to self-involvement in the business functions and also participating in the decision making process, specifically the ones that have an impact on the human resources of the organization. These efforts positively influence the attitudes of the personnel like satisfaction and organizational loyalty, while affecting the bottom-line gains in the productivity by way of a variety of aspects like job enrichment, self-managed groups, democratic or transformational leadership, employee empowerment, and participative management programs etc. (Herbert).
The successes of such organizations have been subjective, for the most part. The business media is abounding with success stories of old-line companies, specifically; those have implemented innovative employee-centred management development programs and have developed into a much more efficacious and more satiating places to work. The strategy adopted by such successful organizations can be précised as under:
Optimization of the performance organization-wide within the constraints of the existing structure and organizational strategy.
Eventual spin-off of the above is employee resourcefulness and flexibility safeguards the internal effects of a swift-changing external environment.
Establishing a loyal and dedicate human resource base which is highly organized into formal semi-autonomous teams which are typically characterized by high levels of flexibility and compliance.
Corporate entrepreneurship is essentially a strategic and discretionary initiative; the enabling, instigating, and sustaining roles of the top management is of high importance. Moreover, another element to the future of the corporation is guaranteed in identifying that organizations determined to grow into more entrepreneurial through increasing the potential of learning and development may regard considering strong compliant relations at many levels of the organizational infrastructure, though with vigilant consideration to the role of the entire team at the top management.
Initiatives like outsourcing and subcontracting have resulted in the emergence of a new workforce, and this newly emerged workforce encompasses human resources whose employment is non-permanent in nature. They may be contract workers, external consultants, or entrepreneurs. This kind of short-term, willful association would allow the organization to have control over the flexible and dynamic operations which is deemed to change according to the needs of the external environment.
The most important advantage of Corporate entrepreneurship is the potentially untapped innovation and creativity skills of the employees which may be added eventually to the complete organization which otherwise might have been bureaucratic. Program initiatives of Corporate Entrepreneurship are generally created around bottom-up processes of the organization and these eventually cater to the employee loyalty and the innovative initiatives. All these efforts essentially arise from the collective, collaborative efforts of employees out of their creative minds. However, what is very crucial for such initiatives to be successful is “the synergistic assembling of individuals with complementary functional expertise and personalities, all fully committed to the goals of the group and, with the inspiration of a formal leader, to organizational goals. (Herbert).” Instead of focusing on individual growth and self-enhancement, if the focus is on team-centred coordination amidst the various work groups with inclination to function and think beyond organizational boundaries would yield surprising results.
“Corporate Entrepreneurship encompasses innovation, creativity, change and regeneration within the corporate climate or entire organization. (Dr.R.Gopal, 2007)” Corporate Entrepreneurship enables employees, organization-wide, to identify and create a unique business model which has positive spin-offs of significant growth opportunities for the organization.
The basic premise of entrepreneurship is normally associated with creating a new business venture or a new product or service by organizations/individuals. With the inception of rising global competition there is an increasing need for contemporary business enterprises to become more entrepreneurial not just for mere survival but also to succeed and flourish in the highly competitive marketplace. Therefore corporate entrepreneurship has become a vital paradigm in modern day business scenario (Romanelli, 2003).
As stated earlier, the most important driver of Corporate Entrepreneurship is none other than the organizational strategy. Renowned examples that justify this statement Honda foraying into a plethora of new businesses that are centred around the organization’s competence in high-performance engines, consumer durable giant Sharp making its entry into numerous new geographies globally with new products like flat screen televisions and computers, and various other viewing applications which were again centred around Sharp’s core competency of liquid crystal displays (Baylis, 2007).
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The essences of Corporate Entrepreneurship activity lies in it offering the necessary diversity. While strategic order through Corporate Entrepreneurship can be achieved through proper planning and organizing, diversity in strategy is highly dependent on the experimentation and selection (M.Coulter, 2008). The fundamental purpose of strategic management is to retain a suitable equilibrium between these profoundly different processes of the organization. These perceptions have implications for design of organisational activities and also for developing strategic skills by managers. According to Miller and Friesen, entrepreneurial strategy is typically the recurrent and determined effort to institute competitive advantage with the help of innovation, while corporate entrepreneurship is all or any attempt, irrespective of how occasional it may be, to bring about innovation (Friesen, 1999).
However, the above stated insights might not automatically lead the new business enterprise that is created to succeed, as the proper organizational context needs to be formed and the appropriate processes are to be put in place, monitored on a timely manner, and appropriately influenced in order for the newly created enterprise to succeed and flourish. The responsibility of this task rests in the top management and is occasionally flawed in its basic formation itself (Sathe, 2003).
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