This chapter addresses the concept of a “competitive advantage” and how, through planning and strategic decisions, a competitive advantage can be obtained. The authors explain planning levels, types, and time frames, along with their correlation to levels of management and perspectives of the company’s operations and environment. The concept of “strategy” is discussed at length, along with various approaches to formulating a strategy with examples provided to help the reader understand the complexity and variety of strategic planning.
Focus on the definitions and concepts provided throughout this chapter. Consider the differences between adopting a domestic strategy and a global strategy, as well as a low-cost strategy and a differentiation strategy. Ask yourself, what companies that you know of have a competitive advantage in some area over their competitors? How do they use their competitive advantage to secure, build, or expand their business? Can you identify a clear strategy they have implemented to take advantage of their competitive advantage? Would you select the same strategy, or would you implement a different strategy? Does your employer have a competitive advantage? Does your employer appear to have a business strategy? Why or why not?