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The aims of the dissertation are to:
• conduct an independent investigation of an issue relevant to the content of the MSc programme of which it forms a component, under the supervision of an academic member of staff;
• put into practice theories and concepts learned on the programme;
• provide an opportunity to study a particular topic in depth;
• combine relevant theories and suggest alternatives; and
• enable the student to show evidence of their ability to plan and manage a project within a given deadline.

Organization Profile

This study has focused on evaluating the impact of firm objectives on strategic management and ASDA has been taken as the choice of organization. Strategic management is a key aspect for improving the performance of any organization and various literature has critically evaluated the importance of strategic management in organizational performance. However, the influence of firm objectives on strategic management has not been addressed in majority of the cases. The influence of the firm’s objective on the strategic management has been the focus in the study which has presented relevant findings. The study has considered the retail industry in the United Kingdom as it is highly saturated in nature and there is immense competition in the market due to the existence of several big players. Therefore, identifying the impact of objectives on strategic management in respect to one of the biggest player in the market will provide significant results.

Asda Stores Ltd. is one of the major supermarkets in United Kingdom and has its headquarters in Leeds.  The organization has made rapid expansion of their business during the 70s and 80s (Asda.com 2018).  However, it was taken over by Walmart in the year of 1999 and has been among the top three supermarkets in United Kingdom in the past decade (Asda.com 2018). The organization provides other services such as mobile phone provider and financial services. The organization has been using pricing as the value proposition for marketing their products. However, the organization has been in the news for a probable merger with Sainsbury’s in the year of the 2018 which is one of their prime competitors in the retail industry in United Kingdom (Leyland and Quinn 2018). The organization has seen a lot of ups and downs in the market and almost went bankrupt. However, after the takeover by Walmart, the organization has regained back their existing position in the market. The merger between Asda and Sainsbury’s is under immense scrutiny as majority of the experts are trying to identify the possible impacts of the merger on the retail industry. The organization is not only a retailer of the food products and grocery items but they are also providing non-food items under the banner of Asda living.  This shows that the organization has diversified products and services but this study will only focus on the retail industry in order to narrow down the topic.

The top three companies in the retail industry in United Kingdom are Tesco Plc., Sainsbury’s and Asda. Tesco is the market leader and has been maintaining their strong position in the market but there has been immense competition between Asda and Sainsbury’s for the second spot. Asda had been the second best till the year of 2014 where they had the second highest share in the market (Felsted 2015). However, in the year of the 2015, Asda were forced to make changes to their management strategies due to their change in their objectives (Felsted 2015). Sainsbury’s had taken over their spot and were the second best in the market which made them change the initial strategic policies of expanding their click and clock services and focused on their hypermarket estates. This is one of the brightest example of the fact that the organization had to make alterations to their strategic management practices for the sake of change in company objectives. Moreover, Asda is making a merger with Sainsbury’s which another instance of their strategic intent depending upon the change in their objectives.

Retail Industry in the UK

The research will aim to evaluate and identify the interdependence between firm objective and strategic management. There are different elements to developing an effective objective for the firm depending upon the vision and mission of the organization and similarly the strategic management objectives change based on the objective of the firm. The study will focus on evaluating this relationship in respect to ASDA and evaluate how the company has adapted different strategies based on the change in their goals and objectives.

The objective of the study are as follows:

  • To identify the different elements of firm objectives in ASDA
  • To examine the different aspects of strategic management in ASDA
  • To investigate the impact of firm objectives on the strategic management in ASDA
  • To recommend suitable strategies to develop effective objectives and strategies for managing performance in ASDA
  • What are the different elements of firm objectives in ASDA?
  • What are the different aspects of strategic management in ASDA?
  • What is the impact of firm objectives on the strategic management in ASDA?

H0: There is no impact of firm objectives on the strategic management in ASDA

H1:There is impact of firm objectives on the strategic management in ASDA

This chapter of the study has depicted the purpose of conducting the research and has introduced the topic.  Introduction shows that the influence of firm objectives on the strategic management in the United Kingdom retail industry will be identified where Asda has been taken as the organization of choice. In this chapter, the importance of firm objective on developing strategic management practices has been shown in few instances in respect to ASDA which showed that the organization had made changes to their strategic management policies depending upon the change in the objective of the firm.  There are various reasons for making changes to the strategic management practices for any organization and importance of firm’s objective has been evaluated in the study. The impact of firm’s objectives on the strategic management practices have not been taken into account in majority of the research papers and this study has focused on identifying this impact. However, the study has also evaluated the nature of impact of the independent variable on the dependent variable as nature of impact is more important to define the relationship between objective of the company and their strategic management practices. 

Ayers and Odegaard (2017) revealed that strategic management acts as a new discipline in the organizations that is followed for over thirty years for business enhancement resulting from inconsistency in the business world. Strategic management is focused on developing innovative ways of thinking which is required by the concerns faced by the businesses of retail organizations. Chatterji, Durand, Levine and Touboul (2016) added that the retail company’s deal with several challenges within different societies at the time they expand their business globally that increases the need for implementing effective strategic management techniques. These researchers also stated that in order to ensure better sustainable management within the companies, the management requires making a constant effort on developing their strategies. Engert, Rauter and Baumgartner (2016) stated that this can further facilitate the retail companies to adapt within the changing business environment along with ensuring increased competitive advantages among business rivals. Such strategies are also deemed to be effective in the long run in determining the success and failure of strategy implementation within businesses (Qrunfleh and Tarafdar 2014).

Objectives and Strategic Management

Frynas and Mellahi (2015) defined strategic goals of the organizations to be explained by the owner or the top management those are responsible for attaining them. Strategic objectives set by the companies explain the vision and facilitate the managers to deal with and motivate all its employees within the company (Chatterji, Durand, Levine and Touboul 2016). These researchers also added that effective strategic management can be ensured through development of strategic objectives that facilitates in attaining highest goals within the company as an individual. Hill, Jones and Schilling (2014) explained strategic objective as a part of strategic management of companies those if properly set are not that focused on the operation metric of the companies. It was also evidenced that the strategic objectives set by the retail companies are associated with their mission and vision. Strategic objective might not necessarily address the principles and conditions of SMART in case they are further incorporated within the specific objectives. In contrast, Jarzabkowski and Kaplan (2015) elaborated that strategies are developed in order to set the company direction, objectives, focus effort, defining the organization that can facilitate in providing guidance in response to business environment. These researchers also explained that strategic management also includes concepts related with strategic planning and strategic thinking goals developed by retail organizations (Wolf 2014). Strategic management within the retail companies all about setting effective direction, vision, mission and goals for attaining excellence and strategic leadership. This is order to make sure that the results of success are attained by the companies.

According to the views presented by Morden (2016) it is evidenced that strategic management is focussed on identifying and explaining the strategies and organizational objectives those managers can follow to attain better performance and competitive advantages. A company is said to attain competitive advantage in case it has increased profitability in comparison to all its rivals within the industry. Nagle and Muller (2017) researched that strategic management can also be explained as a bindle off effective decisions and organizational goals undertaken by the managers resulting in enhanced company performance. These researchers also evidenced that strategic management also serves as a planning for predictable and unfeasible contingencies. It is deemed to be applicable to both small and the large retail companies through developing and implementing suitable strategies. Paredes et al. (2018) revealed that for attaining competitive advantages, the strategists within the companies set the objectives and focus greatly on attaining them. It also deals with developing and implementing strategic objectives and decisions explaining the future direction of the companies. This also directs the future direction of the retail organizations. Strategic management acts as a continuous process which analyses and controls the businesses and sectors in which a company is associated with. Pearlson, Saunders and Galletta (2016) clarified that the strategic management is enhanced by organizational goals that makes sure al the functional areas of the company harmonizes to attain exceptional business performance.

Literature Review

Peppers and Rogers (2016) evidenced that strategic management serves as most vital tool that is employed by the organizations in managing their business along with their scare resources to attain common business goals. The success factors within the retail organizations include a profound understanding of long term goals, objective resource appraisals and competitive environment in the retail organizations. Rothaermel (2015) clarified that with the strategies implemented by the organizations four distinct viewpoints will be evaluated that includes classical, systematic, evolutionary and progress strategies by companies. These researchers explained one of the major strategic management there is core competency strategy theory. Wheelen, Hunger, Hoffman and Bamford (2017) stated that this strategy theory employed within the retail companies prescribes certain actions to be undertaken by the companies in order to attain competitive advantages within the marketplace. The core competency theory concept indicates that the organization requires implementing their strengths or the areas within which they have increased competencies. Moreover, this theory also defines the aspects that form better core competencies that will not be easy for the competitors to imitate. According to Wild (2017) core competency strategy theory can be used by the retail organizations that can be reused by them in the global markets covered by the organization. Moreover, the products developed by the company add value to all its target consumers those attains benefit from such strategy implementation. In contrast, Wheelen, Hunger, Hoffman and Bam ford (2017) evidenced that the retail organizations are required to develop their strategies to tap within their core competencies and this acts as a fundamental basis for value added by the organization.  

Hill, Jones and Schilling (2014) explained that survival based theory is another effective strategic management theory employed by the retail organizations that is employed to analyse the ways in which companies thrive and compete within industries and for explaining economic changes. The concept of this strategy might also be addressed as “survival of the fittest” theory. These researchers also revealed that this concept was arrived from the finder of the Darvin’s evolution theory. Hill, Jones and Schilling (2014) revealed that the basis of this theory is focussed on the notion of following the principal of nature. This considers that only the fittest and best of the competitors is deemed to win that at the end might result in the improvement of the overall social community. These researchers also indicated the ruthless business competition along with the unprincipled politics that is acceptable within this assumption explained within the survival based theory. In contrast, Wheelen, Hunger, Hoffman and Bamford (2017) explained that there is another effective strategic management theory employed by the retail companies that is profit maximization theory in which the major objective of the business organization is maximization of profits. Under perfect competition, the company is one of the large numbers of producers in which market price of a product cannot be impacted. Hill, Jones and Schilling (2014) gathered that the theory of strategic profit maximization assumes that companies are certain about the maximum profits level. However, the profits are observed to be highly uncertain as they accrued from the variation among the revenue receipts and cost experienced in future. This theory believes that it is not possible for the companies to maximise their profits under certain uncertain conditions.

Purpose and Objectives of the Study

According to the research conducted by Wheelen, Hunger, Hoffman and Bamford (2017) it is clarified that there is a positive relationship between the strategic planning use and organizational performance in the retail industry. It has also been gathered from the research that there is increased importance of top management in the strategic planning process. Moreover, profitability is positively correlated with strategic planning while average sales growth is not relied on the practice of effective strategic management. Hill, Jones and Schilling (2014) indicated in a survey that there are numerous studies on strategic management and its impact of real organization performance that have been inconclusive in a since. While there are several other researches that believe there is a string positive relationship among these variables. These researchers explained that strategic management is an approach of implementing and analysing cross-functional decisions that can facilitate an organization in attaining performance objectives. Engert, Rauter and Baumgartner (2016) revealed that generic strategies enhance performance of retail organizations as it offers two ways of developing competitive advantages within a changing business surrounding. This is conducted either by means of developing competitive advantage by offering value added benefits to consumers those pay a premium to cover high cost based leadership offering services and products at decreased expenses.

Wheelen, Hunger, Hoffman and Bamford (2017) provided a viewpoint that corporate strategies is concerned with the type of business to operate and the ways in which resources might be focussed in attaining completive edge and better company performance. This research also focused on the requirement for the retail organizations to fit its resources and internal capabilities to the external business environment. It is asserted that a well-developed strategy facilitate organizations in allocating exceptional posture relied on its relative integral capabilities and limitations along with contingent moves by intelligent competitors. Engert, Rauter and Baumgartner (2016) added that corporate strategies developed by retail organizations are concerned with being linked with all the business units that includes the overall organization. Operational strategies are also associated with managing several functional areas in the individual business units for enhancing performance of the companies internationally. These researchers focussed on explaining that strategic management objectives are perceived as bottom-up or collaborative process that involved following capital budgeting process in enhancing organizational performance. Engert, Rauter and Baumgartner (2016) revealed that effective strategy implementation is necessary in ensuring better performance as implementation includes processes of transforming a plan into action that will make sure intended profitable outcomes will be attained by the retail companies.

ASDA is renowned as a supermarket which is owned by an American company known as Wall-Mart. Observing the same it can be said that the companies operates within the retail sector. Chatterji, Durand, Levine and Touboul (2016) stated in their research that strategic plan determines where the companies are developing performance goals in maintaining its sustainable position within the marketplace. Focussed on this concept Board of Trustees of ASDA has implemented certain strategic objectives in attaining exceptional global performance. Moreover, the strategic management practices of this retail organization include:

  • Developing standardized training on leadership along with transition program for the leaders of the company
  • Developing a better plan that can promote the value of ASDA for increasing support of student involvement
  • Analyzing the current business model of the company along with developing performance management strategies in attaining financial organizational sustainability

Chatterji, Durand, Levine and Touboul (2016) presented a view that ASDA has also implemented dual brand strategy in attaining the business objective of becoming a new supermarket leader. This strategy implemented by this retail joint has facilitated the business in merging with Sainsbury for being better able to invest in quality, price, range and technology that can generate more flexible ways for shopping of consumers. These researchers also revealed that this strategy has facilitated the company in ensuring better consumer propositions and attracting huge consumer base. Chatterji, Durand, Levine and Touboul (2016) also evidenced that implementation of dual brand strategy has facilitated this retail company in developing an international business that is more adaptable, resilient and dynamic. The business strategy of ASDA is focussed on following growth strategy that is focussed on attaining objective of expanding its online and physical reach with decreased overall operation expenses. Additionally, technological advancement strategies are also implemented by ASDA to develop consumer friendly click and collect e-commerce services that can facilitate consumers to attain access to all the resources of the organization.

From analysing the previous researches on the effect of company objectives on the strategic management practices it has been gathered that very limited research exists on analysing the strategic management theories in the retail management sector (Booth 2015). Moreover, previous researches also have a limitation in explaining the ways in which organizational goals and profound competitive environment understanding facilitates in developing a successful strategy (Aguinis, Edwards and Bradley 2017). Considering such limitations, the current research will address this gap through explaining the case study of ASDA the ways in which setting simple and consistent goals helps in effective implementation of successful strategy in retail companies (Epstein 2018). The research will also address the gap through focussing on the objectives that can be set b the retail companies in developing profit maximizing strategies. The major focus will be on explaining better organizational performance in ASDA through following classical, evolutionary, systematic and process strategies.

For explaining the relationship between impact of company objectives and better performance management in retail organizations on its effective strategic management 

From observing the conceptual model relationship between the company objectives, performance management and effective strategic management can be evidenced. It can be stated that performed management is aligned with business strategies (Grant 2016). The performance management process facilitates the managers in planning and setting work goals that monitors and measures employee efficiency. The best manner to run process of performance management is to manage employee development objectives and business result goals. This can make sure of the retail organizations strategic objectives being addressed through aligning the employee performance management with organization strategies (Hill 2017). The relationship depicted in the conceptual framework also indicates that the performance objective must be realistic and attainable. It also must be made sure by the retail organizations that agreement is attained on the objectives set by the companies (Jackson, Schuler, and Jiang 2014). The employees of the organization must early accept their responsibility and realise that the organizational goals are set to support the departmental and corporate strategies (Lasserre 2017). Moreover, a quality and effective performance management review will ensure what organizational objectives are addressed after implementation of effective strategies.

The literature review conducted on impact of company objectives and better performance management in retail organizations on its effective strategic management explained that strategic management is a key aspect for improving the performance of any organization and various literatures has critically evaluated the importance of strategic management in organizational performance. From observing the conceptual model it is gathered that the performance management process facilitates the managers in planning and setting work goals that monitors and measures employee efficiency. From analysing the previous researches on the effect of company objectives on the strategic management practices it has been gathered that very limited research exists on analysing the strategic management theories in the retail management sector. Considering such limitations, the current research will address this gap through explaining the case study of ASDA the ways in which setting simple and consistent goals helps in effective implementation of successful strategy in retail companies.

Research methodology is the systematic way of identifying the unknown and hidden facts in the study. The research methodology will unveil the research philosophy, method and design based on the research onion model developed by Saunders.  This chapter will examine each layer of the research onion in respect to the current study and develop research philosophy, research approach, data collection method, data analysis method, research design, validity, reliability, ethical consideration and sampling(Saunders et al.2015). The research methods has been chosen based on the goals and objectives of the study. The study will usecase study method, observational method and survey method when the goal is description of diverse behaviors (Flick 2015). The research will use correlational method and quasi-experimental method if the goal of the study is behavioral description and prediction from one variable to another variable.  However, in this current study, the major goal of the study is explanation of cause and effect along with prediction and description of behaviors so experimental method will used.  A research can also be divided into fundamental and applied research based on the nature of the study (Lewis 2015). The current study is an applied research as it deals with practical issues faced by Asda and the findings of the research can be used by the managers of the organization to make improvement to the firm objective and strategic management policies in the organization. 

The general belief developed regarding the data interpretation and collection process is defined by the research philosophy.  General awareness will be used to create beliefs and assumptions in the study.  The different types of research philosophies used in research studies areinterpretivism, realism,pragmatism and positivism(Saunders et al. 2015).  The current study will use pragmatism philosophy for conducting mixed method analysis and developing practical implications for Asda.  Pragmatism philosophy accepts all concepts if their relevancy is proved by supporting actions (Hughes and Sharrock 2016).  Pragmatism believes in multiple point of research where there are multiple ways of interpreting the same phenomenon by different individuals.  The majority of the dissertations fall within the category of positivism and interpretivism but these are mutually exclusive models and in some cases there is a need of making amendments to the philosophical assumption of the research.  This facilitates in placing the research factors in a new position on the philosophical range. 

Pragmatism philosophy has been selected as it facilitates in conducting mixed method analysis. This philosophy will conducting both qualitative and quantitative analysis of data. Therefore, hypothesis testing can be used to test the existing theories and qualitative analysis can be used to conduct content analysis by using coding. The conclusion from the study has been defined so the premises can be developed effectively by using pragmatism. Moreover, conducting a mixed method enables better results than a single design research.

 The different types of research approach are deductive, inductive and abductiveapproach (Heinrich and Riedl2016). Theabductive approach makes a statement that would be shocking and the remaining study will be focused on proving the mentioned statement. The indicative approach is used to explore data and develop tentative hypothesis based on it, which means that inductive approach is used for developing new paradigms and theories. However, proving those theories to be true is tough and success is not guaranteed in such studies. Moreover, the study can also change in direction based on the available data. On the contrary, deductive approach is used to validate the existing theories by conducting hypothesis testing. This is the reason that deductive approach has been chosen as the research approach (Sekaran and Bougie 2016). The causal relationship between firm’s objective and strategic management practices has been established using the deductive approach. The comparison between the observed and the expected outcome has been analysed using this approach. 

Deductive approach is the most appropriate approach is this scenario as there will be improvement in observational scope. The deductive approach has facilitated in conducting both quantitative and qualitative analysis of data.  The deductive approach is less time consuming, less expensive and less risky and there is guarantee of developing a fruitful result from the study.

Research design can be defined as the process of selecting between the qualitative and quantitative method. However, some consider it as the method of collecting and analysing it effectively. The plan of executing the research is also explained as research design.  The two types of research design are conclusive and exploratory design(Mertens 2014).  Exploratory design explores the data to conduct in depth data analysis. In this study, conclusive research design has been selected as the design as facilitates in conducting primary data analysis (McCusker and Gunaydin 2015).  The conclusive research design can be further divided into descriptive and causal research design where describes a phenomenon and the other establishes the causal relationship (Mertens 2014). However, in this study, sequential explanatoryis the research design that has been used for conducting the analysis as mixed method has been adopted in the study (Leavy 2017). The mix method established the relationship between firm objective and strategic management practices and provided a different about the importance of setting up objectives within the organization.

This study has used mixed method which means that both quantitative and qualitative data analysis will be conducted (Parnell 2019). The data collected in this study is primary in nature which will consist of conducting survey and interview at the same time. The survey will consist of developing a quantitative questionnaire where the questions will be close ended. This is done to ensure that significant answers are obtained from the survey as the lower level employees will have minimum knowledge in this topic (Palinkaset al. 2015). The qualitative data will be collected through open ended questionnaires where in depth answers will be derived from the managers in Asda.  The quantitative data analysis will consist of conducting statistical data analysis by using statistical package such as MS Excel (Lu and Wang 2017). The raw data will be formulated in tables and Graphs along with the respondent frequencies. The study will also conduct regression analysis to establish the degree of association and nature of relationship between firm’s objective and strategic management practices (Lu and Wang 2017). The qualitative analysis will consist of conducting content analysis by identifying the patterns in the answers of the questions. This has been done by conducting open coding and axial coding(St. Pierre and Jackson 2014).  The comparison of the data between the quantitative and qualitative data will help in streamlining the collected data. The data from the qualitative analysis will validate the results developed in the quantitative analysis.

Sampling is the statistical method of reducing the sample size when chosen population is huge. This is done to ease the complexity of calculating huge chunks of data and reducing the overall cost of the research. There is definitive process of conducting sampling in primary data collection method. The first step is selecting the target population which will consist of population that is relevant to the study and in this current study, the employees of Asda are the target population (Etikan Musa and Alkassim 2016). The next step is determination of the sample frame which will identify the employees that can contribute effectively to the research. In this case, the lower level employees lying at the bottom of the hierarchy has been considered for the quantitative analysis and managers have been considered for the qualitative analysis. Then the sample size for the study will have to be determined and in this current study, 100 employees and 5 managers have been taken as the sample size (Gentles et al. 2015).  The final step is selecting the sampling method for selecting the respondents and in this current study, probabilistic sampling has been chosen for the quantitative analysis and non-probabilistic sampling have been chosen for the qualitative analysis. Probabilistic and non-probabilistic sampling are two types of sampling methods (Etikan, Musa and Alkassim 2016). Simple probabilistic sampling has been used as the method to select samples for the quantitative analysis whereas Convenience sampling is the method chosen for selecting samples for the qualitative analysis (Medlock et al. 2018.).  Simple random sampling has used randomization to select 100 respondents from 200 respondents. On the other hand, 5 managers have been chosen for the qualitative data analysis.

The capability of the study to replicate results obtained by using different data sets is known as reliability. Reliability is essential for both quantitative analysis and qualitative analysis but it is difficult to obtain reliability in subjective studies. In order to check the validity of both the qualitative and quantitative data, test retest reliability was used to check whether similar results are obtained or not (Jenkins et al. 2017). Validity is more important that reliability as even if the data is reliable if it is not valid, the result will deviate from the original result. Validity checks the appropriateness of the methods used in the research paper and in this study construct validity has been used to check the validity of the instruments (Heale and Twycross 2015). The validity and reliability of the study is high and good results have been obtained.  In order to check the reliability and validity of the questionnaire, the study has initially conducted pilot study to examine the appropriateness of the questionnaire. It has aimed to identify whether the questions are leading or not and whether it is relevant to the study.

The study has maintained the privacy of the respondents by maintaining the anonymity of the respondent. The data used in the study has been not been used for any other purpose. The respondents have been made aware of the objective of the study and consent has been taken from the personnel (Sikes 2018). The participants have not been forced to take part in the survey and the results obtained are not biased. Therefore, the guidelines of the data privacy act of 1998 have followed in this study. The study has also prioritise the dignity and respect of the participants. The study has avoided any form of exaggeration and deception of the objectives and aims of the study.  The sources of funding, affiliation of forms and any form statements that may lead to conflict of interest has been mentioned (Menzel 2015).  This has been done in light of addressing the informed consent as it is essential to inform the participants with sufficient information before taking part in the survey. This will assist the participants in understanding the implications of taking part in the survey so that any form coercion can be avoided.  Moreover, the questionnaire has not used any form of discriminatory, offensive or languages that are unacceptable.  

  1. Age

Row Labels

Count of No of respondents

(%) percentage of respondents

Less than 24

27

27

25-30

14

14

31-45

24

24

46 and above

35

35

Grand Total

100

100

Table 1: Age

Source: (As created by author)

Graph 1: Age

Source: (As created by author)

Findings

The aim of the question is to identify the age of the participants in the survey. According to the collected it has been seen that 35% respondents belong to the age group of 46 and above and 27% respondents are below the age of 24.  The respondents belonging to the age group of 25-30 are the least in number and consist of 14% of the total survey population. Lastly, 24% of the respondents lie within the age group of 31-45 years.

  1. Your Gender?

Row Labels

Count of No of respondents

(%) percentage of respondents

Male

46

46

Female

54

54

Grand Total

100

100

Table 2: Gender

Source: (As created by author)

Graph 2: Gender

Source: (As created by author)

Findings

In this question, gender of the participants are being evaluated. The results show that majority of the respondents are female comprising of 54% of the total population and the remaining participants are male.

  1. How far do you agree that ASDA has been able to develop effective strategies in accordance to the business goals?

Row Labels

Count of No of respondents

(%) percentage of respondents

Strongly agree     

25

25

Agree       

23

23

Disagree

27

27

Strongly disagree

25

25

Grand Total

100

100

Table 3: Development of effective strategies

Source: (As created by author)

Graph 3: Development of effective strategies

Source: (As created by author)

Findings

The objective of this question is to evaluate whether effective strategies have been developed in ASDA while taking business goals into consideration. The results have divided the respondents into almost two parts where 52% of the respondents are not agreeing to the question and remaining 48% have agreed to the question.  However, this is a concern for the organization as majority of the employees are not agreeing to the fact that the managers have been able to develop strategies that are effectively in alignment with the business goals.

  1. How far do you agree that objectives of ASDA are focused and well-defined?

Row Labels

Count of No of respondents

(%) percentage of respondents

Strongly agree     

38

38

Agree

35

35

Indifferent  

11

11

Disagree

8

8

Strongly disagree

8

8

Grand Total

100

100

Table 4:Objectives of ASDA are focused and well-defined

Source: (As created by author) 

The question has attempted to examine whether the objective of ASDA are focused and well defined.  The respondent frequency shows that 38% of the respondents strongly agree to the question and 35% participants have agreed to the majority. On the other hand, 11% of the respondents are indifferent to the question and this means that they have less idea about the business goals of ASDA and 16% of the respondents have disagreed to the question. It can be said that ASDA has developed business objectives based on the market trends and situational analysis.

  1.  How far do you agree that fulfilment of ASDA’s objectives can be measured using tools?

Row Labels

Count of No of respondents

(%) percentage of respondents

Strongly agree     

35

35

Agree

38

38

Indifferent

11

11

Disagree

7

7

Strongly disagree

9

9

Grand Total

100

100

Table 5: Fulfilment of ASDA’s objectives can be measured using tools

Source: (As created by author)  

The question has endeavoured to investigate whether the objective of ASDA are measurable or not.  The participant frequency shows that 35% of the respondents strongly agree to the question and 38% participants have agreed to the majority. On the other hand, 11% of the respondents are indifferent to the question and this means that they have less idea about Smart objectives and business goals of the organization, and 16% of the respondents have disagreed to the question.

6.How far do you agree that goals set by ASDA are feasible and can be achieved?

Row Labels

Count of No of respondents

(%) percentage of respondents

Strongly agree     

40

40

Agree  

33

33

Indifferent

11

11

Disagree

7

7

Strongly disagree

9

9

Grand Total

100

100

Table 6: Goals set by ASDA are feasible and can be achieved

Source: (As created by author)  

Findings

The question has evaluated whether the goals set by ASDA are feasible and achievable.  The respondent frequency shows that 40% of the respondents strongly agree to the question and 33% participants have agreed to the majority. On the other hand, 11% of the respondents are indifferent to the question and 16% of the respondents have disagreed to the question. The findings of the study has identified the fact that 11% are not well versed with the objective of the organization and have minimal knowledge regarding developing SMART organizational goals. Similarly, there are few that have doubt regarding the feasibility and achievability of the objectives set by the organization.

7.How far do you agree that ASDA has set relevant and time based goals?

Row Labels

Count of No of respondents

(%) percentage of respondents

Strongly agree     

35

35

Agree

38

38

Indifferent

11

11

Disagree

11

11

Strongly disagree

5

5

Grand Total

100

100

Table 7: ASDA has set relevant and time based goals

Source: (As created by author) 

Findings

The question has evaluated whether ASDA has set time based and relevant goals or not.  The respondent frequency shows that 35% of the respondents strongly agree to the question and 38% participants have agreed to the majority. On the other hand, 11% of the respondents are indifferent to the question and this means that they have less idea about the business goals of ASDA and 16% of the respondents have disagreed to the question. This shows that ASDA’s business goals are set with a particular timeframe attached to it which means that they try to fulfil their goals with a particular deadline.

  1. How far do you agree that ASDA has developed understanding of their competitive environment only due to the development of effective objectives?

Row Labels

Count of No of respondents

(%) percentage of respondents

Strongly agree     

25

25

Agree

48

48

Indifferent

11

11

Disagree     

6

6

Strongly disagree

10

10

Grand Total

100

100

Table 8: ASDA has developed understanding of their competitive environment only due to the development of effective objectives

Source: (As created by author)

Findings

The question has analysed whether ASDA has developed understanding of their competitive environment only due to the development of effective objectives or not. The participants have responded positively towards the research question where 25% have strongly agreed and 48% have agreed to the research. On the contrary, 11% of the respondents have very less knowledge regarding this topic and have preferred remaining neutral to the study. However, there are 16% of the respondents that have responded negatively to the research question.

  1.  How far do you agree that ASDA has formulated effective strategies only because of their set goals?

Row Labels

Count of No of respondents

(%) percentage of respondents

Strongly agree     

34

34

Agree

39

39

Indifferent

11

11

Disagree

12

12

Strongly disagree

4

4

Grand Total

100

100

Table 9: ASDA has formulated effective strategies only because of their set goals

Source: (As created by author) 

Findings

The question has evaluated whether ASDA has formulated effective strategies only because of their set goals or not. The participants have responded positively towards the research question where 34% have strongly agreed and 39% have agreed to the research. On the contrary, 11% of the respondents have very less knowledge regarding this topic and have preferred remaining neutral to the study. However, there are 16% of the respondents that have responded negatively to the research question.

  1. How far do you agree that implementation of the strategies has been possible due to the feasibility of the firm’s objectives?

Row Labels

Count of No of respondents

(%) percentage of respondents

Strongly agree     

34

34

Agree  

39

39

Indifferent  

11

11

Disagree

6

6

Strongly disagree

10

10

Grand Total

100

100

Table 10: Implementation of the strategies has been possible due to the feasibility of the firm’s objectives

Source: (As created by author)

Graph 10: Implementation of the strategies has been possible due to the feasibility of the firm’s objectives

Source: (As created by author)

Findings

The question has assessed whether implementation of ASDA’s strategies has been possible due to the feasibility of the firm’s objectives or not. The participants have responded positively towards the research question where 34% have strongly agreed and 39% have agreed to the research. On the contrary, 11% of the respondents have very less knowledge regarding this topic and have preferred remaining neutral to the study. However, there are 16% of the respondents that have responded negatively to the research question.

  1. How far do you agree that strategies can be evaluated more efficiently if the objectives are measureable?

Row Labels

Count of No of respondents

(%) percentage of respondents

Strongly agree     

40

40

 Agree       

33

33

Indifferent

11

11

Disagree

6

6

Strongly disagree

10

10

Grand Total

100

100

Table 11: Strategies can be evaluated more efficiently if the objectives are measureable

Source: (As created by author) 

Findings

The question has evaluated whether strategies can be evaluated more efficiently if the objectives are measureable or not. The participants have responded both positively and negatively towards the research question where 40% have strongly agreed and 33% have agreed to the research. On the contrary, 11% of the respondents have very less knowledge regarding this topic and have preferred remaining neutral to the study. However, there are 16% of the respondents that have responded negatively to the research question.

  1. How far do you agree that effective strategic management has assisted in gaining competitive advantage?

Row Labels

Count of No of respondents

Strongly agree     

43

Agree

30

Indifferent

11

Disagree

9

Strongly disagree

7

Grand Total

100

Table 12: Effective strategic management has assisted in gaining competitive advantage

Source: (As created by author)  

Findings

The question has identified whether effective strategic management has assisted in gaining competitive advantage or not in ASDA. The participants have responded both positively and negatively towards the research question where 43% have strongly agreed and 30% have agreed to the research. On the contrary, 11% of the respondents have very less knowledge regarding this topic and have preferred remaining neutral to the study. However, there are 16% of the respondents that have responded negatively to the research question. This shows that more than 80% of the respondents are agreeing to the act that effective strategic management is a reason that the organization has been able to gain competitive in a saturated market like United Kingdom.

SUMMARY OUTPUT

Regression Statistics

Multiple R

0.966812647

R Square

0.934726694

Adjusted R Square

0.93406064

Standard Error

0.295580057

Observations

100

ANOVA

df

SS

MS

F

Significance F

Regression

1

122.6098531

122.6098531

1403.379456

6.94415E-60

Residual

98

8.562021879

0.08736757

Total

99

131.171875

Coefficients

Standard Error

t Stat

P-value

Lower 95%

Upper 95%

Lower 95.0%

Upper 95.0%

Intercept

0.045578335

0.06318196

0.721382104

0.472392002

-0.079804208

0.170960879

-0.079804208

0.170960879

X Variable 1

0.968482252

0.025852593

37.46170653

6.94415E-60

0.917178623

1.019785882

0.917178623

1.019785882

RESIDUAL OUTPUT

Observation

Predicted Y

Residuals

1

1.788846389

-0.288846389

2

1.401453488

0.348546512

3

1.595149939

0.154850061

4

4.500596695

-0.000596695

5

1.98254284

-0.48254284

6

1.595149939

-0.095149939

7

2.951025092

0.048974908

8

1.014060588

0.735939412

9

1.401453488

-0.151453488

10

1.788846389

-0.038846389

11

1.595149939

0.154850061

12

1.401453488

0.098546512

13

1.98254284

-0.23254284

14

4.500596695

-0.000596695

15

1.595149939

-0.095149939

16

2.951025092

0.048974908

17

1.595149939

0.154850061

18

1.595149939

-0.345149939

19

1.207757038

-0.207757038

20

1.595149939

0.154850061

21

1.595149939

-0.095149939

22

4.500596695

-0.000596695

23

1.788846389

-0.288846389

24

1.207757038

0.042242962

25

1.788846389

-0.538846389

26

1.595149939

-0.095149939

27

2.951025092

0.048974908

28

1.207757038

0.292242962

29

1.595149939

-0.095149939

30

4.306900245

0.193099755

31

1.595149939

-0.095149939

32

2.951025092

0.048974908

33

1.595149939

0.154850061

34

1.207757038

0.042242962

35

4.500596695

-0.000596695

36

1.401453488

-0.151453488

37

1.595149939

-0.345149939

38

1.595149939

-0.345149939

39

2.951025092

0.048974908

40

1.595149939

0.154850061

41

4.306900245

0.193099755

42

1.401453488

-0.401453488

43

1.401453488

-0.151453488

44

1.595149939

0.154850061

45

2.951025092

0.048974908

46

1.207757038

0.542242962

47

1.98254284

-0.48254284

48

4.306900245

0.193099755

49

1.595149939

-0.345149939

50

1.595149939

-0.095149939

51

1.207757038

0.542242962

52

2.951025092

0.048974908

53

1.595149939

-0.345149939

54

4.500596695

-0.250596695

55

1.401453488

0.098546512

56

1.207757038

0.292242962

57

2.951025092

0.048974908

58

1.207757038

0.542242962

59

4.500596695

-0.000596695

60

1.401453488

-0.151453488

61

1.401453488

-0.151453488

62

1.401453488

-0.151453488

63

2.951025092

0.048974908

64

1.788846389

-0.288846389

65

1.401453488

0.598546512

66

1.595149939

0.154850061

67

1.595149939

-0.095149939

68

1.207757038

0.292242962

69

4.306900245

0.193099755

70

1.98254284

-0.23254284

71

1.401453488

-0.401453488

72

1.595149939

-0.345149939

73

4.500596695

-0.000596695

74

1.401453488

0.348546512

75

2.951025092

0.048974908

76

1.401453488

0.348546512

77

1.98254284

-0.48254284

78

1.401453488

-0.151453488

79

1.401453488

0.348546512

80

4.306900245

0.193099755

81

1.401453488

0.348546512

82

2.951025092

0.048974908

83

1.014060588

0.985939412

84

4.500596695

-0.000596695

85

1.207757038

0.042242962

86

1.788846389

-0.288846389

87

1.788846389

-0.288846389

88

1.595149939

-0.345149939

89

4.306900245

0.193099755

90

1.788846389

-0.288846389

91

1.401453488

-0.401453488

92

1.401453488

0.598546512

93

1.595149939

-0.595149939

94

4.306900245

0.193099755

95

1.595149939

0.154850061

96

1.788846389

-0.288846389

97

1.401453488

0.098546512

98

4.500596695

-0.000596695

99

1.595149939

-0.345149939

100

1.014060588

0.485939412

Graph 13: Regression Equation

Source: (As created by author)

The regression analysis has provided valuable insight regarding the relationship between firm’s objectives and strategic management.  The regression analysis has been used to test the developed hypothesis in the first chapter of the study and prove the theories discussed in the literature review section.  The degree of association between the variables is determined by the value of multiple R in the auto generated regression table. The value of multiple R is 0.966812647. This value can be considered to be almost equal to one which signifies that there is perfectly positive relationship between firm’s objectives and strategic management strategies.  This implies that improvement in effectiveness of organization’s objectives will also make the strategic management practices. However, this is still not confirmed unless the significance of the F-value is checked to evaluate whether the null hypothesis can be rejected or not.

The value of R² is used to check the good ness of fit of the regression model that has been developed. R² determines that whether majority of the data points lie within the regression line or not. The value of R² also determines the capability of the independent variable to explain the characteristics of the dependent variable.  According to the theory of regression model, if the value of R² is greater than 0.8 then it means that the goodness of fit is high. The value of R² = 0.9347 which is greater than 0.8 and this implies that the goodness of fit of the model is high. Moreover, it can also be deduced that firm’s objective than explain 93.47% characteristics of strategic management practices. However, there is random variability of 6.53% which is common is research where human perspective is taken into consideration.

However, in order to prove the hypothesis F statistics will have to be evaluated. In this current study, the F value is 6.94415E-60. The value of F should be less than 0.05 to be significant and null hypothesis can be rejected. The F-value in the given study is less than 0.05 which means that alternative hypothesis has been accepted.  Therefore, it can be deduced that there is impact of firm objectives on strategic management practices in ASDA.  The regression line in the study is y = 0.9651x + 0.097, which shows straight linear positive line. By putting the value of x as 1 in the regression equation, it can be seen that the value of y is 1.0621. This signifies that with 1 unit in increase in the value of x there is 1.0621 increase in the value of y. This shows the positive relationship between firm objectives and strategic management practices in ASDA.

The qualitative data analysis is conducted to support the results in the quantitative data section. The findings of the qualitative analysis will be compared with the quantitative data analysis section to check whether the same finding is obtained or not from both the type of data analysis.

Questions

Remarks

Count

1. Do you think that developing effective firm objectives are essential for organizational growth?

“Effective firm objective development is one of the key aspect of sustainability in the modern society. The half of the companies do not follow or understand strategy so organizational goals and objectives provide guidance, direction, motivation and inspiration for employees, assists in planning and at the same time facilitates in evaluating performance evaluation and control.”

“Organizational growth depends on the path we take in the long run and the process we follow. The objective of our firm defines what we want to achieve and how we want to achieve it. So effectiveness in business goals or objectives are necessary for business growth.”

“Our employees should have an idea of what we want to achieve in the next five years.  In order to do so we always make sure that we develop effective organizational objectives that will provide knowledge about where we want to be so that the employees can align their goals to the business goals. This is highlight important for business growth for any organization.”

2

2

1

2. What are the criteria you follow while developing the company objectives?

“We generally follow the SMART objectives. These factors highly crucial as objectives that are not feasible and vague will hamper the growth of the organization. This is because of the fact that it is difficult to formulate strategic management practices based on ineffective company objectives. We have always focused on developing objectives that are feasible, measurable and has a time frame to it otherwise attaining the objective is impossible.”

5

3. Does the company objective affect the strategic management strategy? Please elaborate

“Yes, It does and majority of the companies develop their strategic management practices based on what they want to achieve in the market. It’s necessary to have a clearly idea of what we want to achieve and when it has ti be achieved. The strategic management practices shows that path and guides the organization to reach the path.”

5

4. What are the different aspect of strategic management in ASDA? How is it made effective?

“We are focused on maintaining our sustainability in the market by continuous analysis of the market and recent trends. Retail industry in the United kingdom is highly competitive in nature and majority of the organizations are trying to have an edge which is quite difficult in saturated and developed countries like United Kingdom. This is the reason we use different strategic management tools of macro and micro environment analysis in order to evaluate the current situation and continuously innovate the products developed.

We are more focused on new product development strategy in order to increase our sales volumes rapidly for a certain period of time. We also use loyalty programs as a part of our strategy. Effectiveness of a strategy is dependent on the execution and feasibility so we always try to develop strategies that can attained easily.”

5

The comparison of the quantitative and qualitative data clearly shows that employees and managers have similar views on the relationship between firm’s objectives and strategic management practices. The respondents for both qualitative and quantitative analysis have said that SMART objectives are essential for developing effective organizational goals. According to one of the managers, SMART goals are being used the organizations all the time to gain competitive advantage in the market.  ASDA has been able to maintain their competitive in the market because they use effective strategies which is possible because of their strategic intent based on the goals of the organization. The regression analysis has tested and proved the hypothesis which is similar to the opinion of the managers in ASDA. This shows that majority of the employees in ASDA are aware of the importance of organizational objectives and how it should be used to gain strategic management. ASDA has to be credited as they have been communicating with their employees about their goals and objectives and how they wish to achieve it. Smart goal is form of a strategic planning which means that developing effective objectives are essential for improving the strategic management plans. The survey has also threw a light on the fact that the objectives of the organization has to be focused and well defined at all times. This enables the organization to develop strategies that will directly address the developed goals.

The measurability of the objectives is one of the most important factors in identifying the effectiveness of the strategic objectives. This facilitates in identifying the progress of the objectives and status reports can be developed.  The objectives has to be measureable in order to effectively implement the strategies. “We have always focused on developing objectives that are feasible, measurable and has a time frame to it otherwise attaining the objective is impossible.”- This shows that time frame and feasibility of the objectives is also an important factor. Feasibility of the objectives is significant for companies as it is essential for sustainability.  This can be understood by taking an instance where suppose the organization has developed a marketing plan to attract a particular consumer segment but if the overall cost of acquiring the consumers is higher than the lifetime revenue of the consumers then the strategy is not feasible which means that the objective of acquiring that particular segment of consumers was also wrong. This shows that each of the smart criteria is essential for the long term sustainability and gaining competitive advantage.

As stated by one of the managers,”The half of the companies do not follow or understand strategy so organizational goals and objectives provide guidance, direction, motivation and inspiration for employees, assists in planning and at the same time facilitates in evaluating performance evaluation and control.”, it shows that managers think that understanding strategy may be difficult for the employees so breaking it down into small elements results in better implementation of the strategy. The survey has highlighted the fact that there are plenty of employees that are still unaware about the different elements of strategic goals and way it should be defined. This confirms the remarks made by the manager that employees have difficulty in understanding the strategy so making them understand the objectives and what role they have to play in achieving the objectives of the organization.

The regression analysis conducted shows that there is significant relationship between firm’s objectives and strategic management. Strategic management practices are enhanced by developing objectives that are feasible, measurable and effective. The regression line developed depicts the linear relationship between strategic management practices and firm’s objectives. According to all the managers, “It does and majority of the companies develop their strategic management practices based on what they want to achieve in the market. It’s necessary to have a clearly idea of what we want to achieve and when it has ti be achieved. The strategic management practices shows that path and guides the organization to reach the path.’, this shows that the result obtained from the quantitative data analysis is similar to the qualitative data analysis. This has validated the fact that the existing theories discussed in the literature review is true and even though there are statements that are negatively opinionated regarding this research topic. It has been deduced using the mixed research design that there is positive relationship between the objectives of an organization and their strategic management practices where the strategic management practices are based on the developed objectives developed by the organization.   

Conclusion

This chapter has provided valid conclusion regarding all the evidences developed in the study. The objectives of the research paper has been linked with the results obtained from the quantitative and qualitative analysis of data. The opinion of the manager and the employees have been considered to develop findings. The findings that have been obtained are quite positive in nature and majority of the employees have agreed to the fact that firm objectives have been essential for developing effective strategic management practices.

Objective 1: To identify the different elements of firm objectives in ASDA

The findings of the study has shown that SMART objectives are used by the company to develop effective objectives and managers have agreed to the fact. The objective of the organization has to be specific which means it has to be sensible, simple and significant. Similarly, the next element is measurability where the objective has to be motivating and meaning for the organization at the current scenario.  The objectives will also have to be achievable which means that it has to be attainable and different management level can easily agree on that particular point.  The relevancy of the objective is the next important element which has to be taken into consideration while developing the objective for the firm and finally, it has to be bound by time.  The above mentioned factors have to be fulfilled in order to consider a particular objective to be effective. However, even though various author considered incorporating other factors into the smart framework as identified from the literature review, it can be said that the above mentioned are the most important element and are not dependents on the corresponding environment.

Objective 2: To examine the different aspects of strategic management in ASDA

According to the manager in ASDA, they are more focused on maintaining their sustainability in the market by continuous analysis of the market and recent trends. Retail industry in the United Kingdom is highly competitive in nature and majority of the organizations are trying to have an edge which is quite difficult in saturated and developed countries like United Kingdom. That why they have been using different strategic management tools of macro and micro environment analysis such as Pestle analysis, porter’s five forces, value chain analysis and SWOT analysis  to evaluate the current situation in the market and continuously innovate the product developed and produce products to address the current gap in the market. ASDA is more focused on new product development strategy in order to increase their sales volumes rapidly for a short period of time. They also use loyalty programs as a part of their strategy. Effectiveness of a strategy is dependent on the execution and feasibility so they always try to develop strategies that can attained easily and does not have any negative impact on the sustainability of the organization.

Objective 3: To investigate the impact of firm objectives on the strategic management in ASDA

The degree of association between the variables is determined by the value of multiple R in the auto generated regression table. The value of multiple R is 0.966812647. This value can be considered to be almost equal to one which signifies that there is perfectly positive relationship between firm’s objectives and strategic management strategies.This implies that improvement in effectiveness of organization’s objectives will also make the strategic management practices.According to the theory of regression model, if the value of R² is greater than 0.8 then it means that the goodness of fit is high. The value of R² = 0.9347 which is greater than 0.8 and this implies that the goodness of fit of the model is high. Moreover, it can also be deduced that firm’s objective than explain 93.47% characteristics of strategic management practices. However, there is random variability of 6.53% which is common is research where human perspective is taken into consideration.The F value is 6.94415E-60 which is less than 0.05 and this means that null hypothesis can be rejected. Therefore, it can be deduced that there is impact of firm objectives on strategic management practices in ASDA.  This shows effective firm objective development is the base on developing effective strategic management practices and ASDA has been able to sustain and keep a huge share in the market due to this factor.

Objective 4: To recommend suitable strategies to develop effective objectives and strategies for managing performance in ASDA

The findings and analysis of the research has shown that in order to obtain effective objectives, the organization has to use SMART objectives. However, in the modern market evaluation and review of the developed objectives is also a very crucial point that is not being currently considered by the managers in the organization.  This reflect upon the fact that there is great deal of necessity of efficacy and feedback while making a choice so these factors should be considered by the managers in ASDA. Similarly, while talking about the strategic management practices and performance improvement, different strategic management tools are already being used by the organization but effectiveness can be increased by identifying the suitability of the tool used and continuous innovative processes to address the new patterns and issues identified. This reflects flexibility is another factor that should be taken into consideration all the time as ASDA has to change their strategies on a frequent basis to maintain their competitive advantage. This means that ASDA will have to be aware of their surrounding environment at all times and this is necessary in saturated markets like United Kingdom where competitive advantage lasts for a short period of time. However, the organization should provide management training to their employees so that they can improve their strategic implementation.

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