Business stategy and organisational performance: an analysis of the Portuguese mould industry
AbstractThere is a vast literature on business strategy and organisational performance particularly within an American context. However, little attention has been given to the development of a more complete, integrated and holistic view of the inter-relationships between business strategy, the dynamics of strategy and organisational performance: this is the key aim of this thesis. The current research, attempts, based on Miles and Snow's (1978) strategic typology, to understand the process of business strategy development and the overall implications on organisational performance in the context of the Portuguese mould industry. The purpose is to: " Test the applicability of Miles and Snow's strategic typology to the Portuguese mould manufacturing industry, using a series of cross-sectional studies covering the period from 1980 to 1997 in five tranches. " Test the dynamics of Miles and Snow's strategy types, using longitudinal analysis specifically to explore how business strategy has evolved over the years in response to environmental changes (from 1980 until 1997). " Test the overall implications of the static and the dynamic viewpoint of Miles and Snow's strategy types on organisational performance. Data was collected using a variety of methods including in-depth, face-to-face interviews with top managers, and the development of a highly detailed questionnaire survey instrument conducted in 63 Portuguese mould manufacturing fines. The firms contacted represented 70% of all firms in the sector. The current research reveals that the typology is applicable to the Portuguese mould manufacturing sector. All the four strategy types were reported by top managers with Defenders, Prospectors, Analysers far outnumbering the Reactor strategic type. While many findings were consistent with the typology, some inconsistencies were found and these are suggested to be related to the organisational size of the strategy types in this industry, and its development. The current research findings have also shown that, contrary to the theory expectations, organisations do change their strategy over time. Firms have changed their strategy from Defenders to primarily Analysers. The research also reveals that there are significant differences in organisational performance between types of firms from a cross-sectional perspective, as well as from a dynamic viewpoint. In a constantly changing environment, Prospectors have outperformed Defenders. The conceptual framework - and resultant operational model developed - have proved to be an effective tool in improving our understanding of the complex inter-relationships between business strategy, generic strategy and organisational performance, that will assist managers and economic developers to improve the quality of their decision-making.
PublisherUniversity of Wolverhampton
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionA thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the University of Wolverhampton for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy
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