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UofP - MBA580 - Sikes Portion - Week Two Learning Team Assignment - 09-09-06

UofP - MBA580 - Sikes Portion - Week Two Learning Team Assignment - 09-09-06

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Strategic Adaptability 1 Strategic Adaptability to Forces and Trends: Apple Computers, Inc., Dell Computer Corporation, and Gateway Inc. Candace Frawley, Albert Garcia, Phillip Hinkle, Thadeaus Jones, Robert Sikes, MBA580 University of Phoenix September 9, 2006
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Strategic Adaptability 2 Abstract In a fast-paced globalized world, it is important for corporations to be competitively agile and strategically adapt to an ever changing environment. This paper will (1) diagram three industry leaders, Apple Computers, Inc., Dell Computer Corporation, and Gateway Inc., (2) perform an environmental scan detailing forces and/or trends from the remote or industry environments, and (3) analyze the forces and/or trends’ strategic adaptability to issues and opportunities.
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Strategic Adaptability 3 Strategic Adaptability to Forces and Trends: Apple Computers, Inc., Dell Computer Corporation, and Gateway Inc. External Environment The external environment consists of external factors that impact an organization. The remote and industry environment are two interrelated subcategories of the external environment (Pearce et al., 2005, p. 78). The five factors within the remote environment are: (1) economic, (2) social, (3) political, (4) technological, and (5) ecological factors. The industry environment is described by Harvard professor, Michael E. Porter, in Strategic Management Porter’s analytic framework and consists of five forces that shape competition in an industry: the threat of new entrants, the bargaining power of customers, the bargaining power of suppliers, the threat of substitute products or services (where applicable), and the jockeying among current contestants (Pearce et al., 2005, p. 89). Strategic Adaptability Strategic flexibility (or adaptability) is closely linked to environmental uncertainty. As the external environment becomes more volatile, organizations need to develop greater flexibility in order to respond to the emerging conditions. According to Evans (1991) flexibility is composed of a number of “senses” including “adaptability, agility, corrigibility, elasticity, hedging, liquidity, malleability, plasticity, resilience, robustness, and versatility.” He argued that each of these organizational flexibilities would be in response to some form of external environmental uncertainties or pressures. The type of reaction could be “offensive” or “defensive” and he categorized these senses into those categories. While flexibility is normally considered solely as an adaptive response to environmental uncertainty (Gupta and Goyal, 1989), it is important to realize that a firm may use its strategic
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Strategic Adaptability 4 flexibility to proactively redefine market uncertainties and make it the cornerstone of its ability to compete. Strategic flexibility implies that the entity as the ability to change according to its needs.
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