Competitive analysis : a tool to enhance the process of strategy formulation

Mostert, Daniel Gerhardus (2006-03)

Thesis (MPhil (Information Science))--University of Stellenbosch, 2006.


It is well understood that the modern business environment has become a very complex and uncertain arena. The only way that the modern organization can survive under these circumstances, is by “crafting” a strategy that will differentiate itself from its competitors. The process of strategy formulation has been the victim of widespread criticism, from practitioners and academics, alike. Competitive analysis has been identified as a tool that can assist and facilitate strategy formulation. The objective of this assignment was to investigate the dynamic relationship that exists between competitive analysis and strategy formulation and to determine how competitive analysis can assist practitioners during the process of strategy formulation. The first part of the assignment consisted of a literature review that focused on the many facets of strategy and strategy formulation. This involved identifying and defining all the pertinent concepts. In order to understand the process of strategy formulation better, an analysis on the concepts of strategy, strategic planning, strategic management and competitive analysis was done. To enhance understanding of the process further, an analysis was done of the business environment that the organization is active in and that could influence strategy formulation. The assignment also focused on the different objectives of competitive analysis and an analysis was made of the different techniques that are available, because it could influence the technique chosen for the process of competitive analysis. Certain pitfalls and blind spots were also identified that could affect the process negatively and that have to be kept in mind when conducting a competitive analysis Finally, certain recommendations are proposed in order to enhance the understanding of competitive analysis and the process of strategy formulation, as it is applied in the modern business environment.

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