Week1Guidance

Week 1 GuidancePreparing for new world Businesses are increasingly applying strategic management tools to incorporate considerations of sustainability into decision-making and operations. While some businesses incorporate sustainable practices because of an ethical conviction to do well for society and the environment, most are motivated to address pressures from stakeholders such as regulators, shareholders, customers and neighbors and to exploit knowledge and experience for long term competitive advantage. This class will examine how businesses develop and implement strategies to promote sustainability. We will examine roles and responsibilities of sustainable strategic managers and learn how to apply the tools of strategic business management to problems of sustainability. In this class, we will consider how managers apply leadership practices to promote sustainable practices in their organizations.According to Dess, et al (2005) management’s strategies consist of the analysis, decision and action an organization undertakes in order to create and sustain competitive advantages. The management strategy of an organization entails three (3) processes: Analysis, decision and actions. This is management strategy that is concern with the analysis of strategy goals (vision, mission, and strategic objective) along with the analysis of the internal and external environment of the organization. Strategy could be further defined as the means to achieve the ends, (objective). Strategic management is also about assessing why some organization are doing fine and why some are doing otherwise in the same environment with opportunities and threats. Managers need to determine, how a firm is to compete so that it can obtain advantages that are sustainable over a length period of time. That means focusing on two fundamental questions. How should we compete in order to create competitive advantages in the market place? Managers must also ask how to make such advantages sustainable, instead of highly temporarily in the market place. The business world and the natural world are inextricably linked. The environment provides critical support to our economic system-not financial capital, but natural capital (Esty and Winston, 2009, p. 3).Environmental management has changed dramatically over the last 20 years, evolving from a purely reactive, regulatory-driven activity that focused on permitting and compliance, to a more proactive management responsibility. At most large firms, environmental management has begun to include active efforts to manage environmental and legal risks, to measure waste generation and emissions, to review and audit environmental performance, and to identify and implement pollution prevention efforts. Similarly, environmental goals have evolved from minimizing compliance or remediation cost towards achieving broader goals of cost and risk management while improving environmental performance.Companies implement environmental strategies primarily as a reflection of the commitment of their top management, followed by public concern, regulatory forces and expected competitive advantage. They report a relatively high level of implementation of the corporate environmental strategy while, among functional strategies, environmental issues are most commonly included in the production and marketing strategies, followed by purchasing and personnel strategies. Large companies develop and execute environmental strategies to a greater extent than small companies. There is a positive but very weak relationship between environmental strategies and company performance. The customer still values attributes like price and quality. Corporate environmentalism has two dimensions: environmental orientation, which is defined as ‘the recognition by managers of the importance of environmental issues facing their firms’, and environmental strategy, which can be understood as ‘the extent to which environmental issues are integrated with a firm’s strategic plans. The argument why a company with a more developed environmental strategy would outperform a company with a less developed environmental strategy refers to Porter (1991) who argued that ‘… properly constructed regulatory standards, which aim at outcomes and not methods, will encourage companies to re-engineer their technology. The result in many cases is a process that not only pollutes less, but also lowers costs or improves quality. The factors which could lead to higher profitability because of corporate sustainability: (1) the corporate image increases customer satisfaction and loyalty; (2) synergies between lean manufacturing and green manufacturing raise plant-level productivity as well as revenues and market share; (3) reverse logistics, remanufacturing and supply chain design are challenges increasingly met and turned into profitable outcomes; (4) because regulatory scrutiny is costly, many companies commit themselves to go ‘beyond compliance; (5) the risk of being held liable, or found negligent, for accidents or environmental damage; and (6) improved tools and management systems for better product and process design which all promote more sustainable products and supply chains. Results of environmental strategies can be financial or non-financial. Financial results include improved profitability or the superior position of a company vis-à-vis its competitors in terms of other financial indicators. On the other hand, nonfinancial results are linked with the stakeholder theory, according to which every measure taken by a company has both financial and non-financial implications for one or more stakeholder groups. The non-financial performance of a company is indicated by indicators such as acquired environmental standards, improved customer loyalty, greater satisfaction of employees etc, and can only be achieved by implementing a systematic approach to setting environmental objectives and targets.Some of the environmental issues that a business need to watch for are 1) climate changes; 2) energy; 3) water; 4) biodiversity and land use; 5) chemicals, toxics, and heavy metals; 6) air pollution; 7) waste management; 8) ozone layer depletion; 9) ocean and fisheries; and 10) deforestation. On page 97, the text book identified the “Eco – Advantage Players” 1) Investors & Risk Assessors; 2) Rulemakers & Watchdogs; 3) idea Generation & Opinion Leaders; 4) Business Partners & Competitors; and 5) Consumers & Community.Additional Resources Please note that there are fantastic resources of assistance on this subject. See the resources provided in the Week 1 tab. These are the Ashford Writing Center and the Writing Reviser. Both are free and can be found under the Learning Resource Tab. Ashford online library is another resource to use. Written assignments must be submitted in APA format, and should reflect proper collegiate writing.Please be sure to always refer to your weekly overviews for due dates and descriptions of your assignments.REFERENCES:Dess, C. (2005) Strategic Management Formulation, India, McGraw Hill International Book Company.Esty, D.C., & Winston, A.S. (2009).Green to gold: How smart companies use environmental strategy to innovate, create value, and build competitive advantage.Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. ISBN: 9780470393741Porter, Michael E. (1991), America’s Green Strategy, Scientific American, 264 (4), 96.