Discussion Post

Discussion 1: Reflect on your experience in this course. What do you consider as, potentially, the most important elements when working to improve an organization’s competitive advantage and create value for all stakeholders? (200 word count)

Discussion 2: GCU’s Statement on the Integration of Faith and Work states that “Our work within the world matters to God and our neighbors, and that we honor God by serving others in ways that promote human flourishing.” Select a company that demonstrates ethical behavior, social responsibility, and environmental sustainment. How does the selected organization promote human flourishing? What role does innovation and leadership play in strategic management? How does this contribute to an organization’s ability to achieve and sustain competitive advantage? Provide an example and rationale. (200 word count)

Respond to the following posts (min. 150 word for each of the responses)

1. Competitive advantage is the way an organization can create enough lead way from its competition through the goods and services offered. This is provided through the needs and wants of the customer and generates value for all stakeholders (David, David, & David, 2020). There are many components that provide value and information to an organization to gain that competitive edge. A strategic plan is important for an organization; however, it must have elements to create it and then be implemented. So, it’s important to evaluate the market and always be a step ahead of the industry. Thus, a SWOT analysis is extremely valuable. Each element has its benefits to the company, but the financial information is important not only for strategic planning, but capital is also important for future actions. Finances are the key to the success for all companies. The top executives could work at a company with the best ideas, but if there are not any finances to implement then the firm will not succeed. Capital is important for providing the necessary means to the company for expansion, entering new markets, or implementing a new idea or item. Therefore, financial statement analysis are important for a full understanding of current and projected financial standings as well as if the company could meet obligations if debt where to be needed. Additionally, to be effective and gain or maintain a competitive advantage, wise business decisions must made using a vast analysis of external and internal threats and opportunities and capital. Reference: David, F. R., David, F. R., & David, M. E. (2020). Strategic management concepts and cases: A competitive advantage approach (17th ed.). New York, NY: Pearson Education. ISBN-13: 9780135203699

2. I would consider the most important element of creating a competitive advantage being to understand the industry and looking for where value can be created. Too often companies will fail to understand what their brand truly represents for the consumer. Companies must be able to recognize where the consumer sees the value in the product. A good example of this is Starbucks does not just sell coffee, they sell a successful, independent working feel. When you walk around with a Starbucks coffee cup you feel differently than say Dunkin Donuts. This is because Dunkin Donuts has marketed themselves for a different audience, who value pure energy for their hard-working day. Companies can do this either through a balanced scorecard approach or even a SWOT analysis (David, David, & David, 2020). The goal is finding where their company solves a problem or creates value where others in the industry have ignored or failed to do so. Every company needs to decide what it is that they truly sell. References David, F.R., David, F.R., and David, M.E. (2020). Strategic management concepts and cases: A competitive advantage approach (17th ed.). New York, NY: Pearson Education.

3. Whole Foods Market is a company that operates on the principals of conscious capitalism. Whole Foods slogan says its purpose is to nourish people and the planet. The company prides itself on having experienced employees who help drive and promote their mission. Whole Foods also values their customers by making sure all their stores are inviting and welcoming and also provide a level of educational information. The company believes in treating everyone right, including the people they partner with for products. If it’s not the best products and will cause harm to the environment Whole Foods will not do business with those suppliers. There are six items that are considered the backbone of the company’s everyday business: to sell the highest quality natural and organic foods, to satisfy and delight its customers, to promote team member growth and happiness, practice win-win partnerships with its suppliers, create profits and prosperity, and care about the community and the environment. Whole Foods is committed to the environment by diligently working to reduce one million pounds of plastic every year. The company is also continuously looking for ways to make all its stores more energy efficient. The company also has a couple foundations that help to expand and promote nutritious food to the community. I think with all the different avenues the company uses to run their business it promotes goodwill. And by promoting goodwill their customer base continues to increase which helps them sustain a competitive advantage. When people feel as though where they shop and purchase items from is making a difference in the world, they will continue to purchase from that business. Not only will those customers continue to purchase but they will encourage their loved ones and friends to purchase as well. Whole Foods UK. (n.d.). Retrieved October 9, 2022, from https://eu.wholefoodsmarket.com/?destination=www.wholefoodsmarket.com%2Fmission-values%2Fcore-values

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