The purpose of this paper is to report the strategic management tools and techniques that can be utilized to set direction and give a vision to the University of Northern British Columbia keeping in mind the university’s objectives and the scope of its strategic management tools. The report begins a summary of the tools and techniques of the Power School’s Macro division, the mission, aspirations and priorities of the University and the description of current alliances and goes on to recommend two approaches that the University should follow with a view to formulating its competitive edge strategy.
Tools and Techniques Applied
A variety of tools and techniques for strategic management analysis and identification of the mission and vision of an entity were applied by the Power Consulting Group Inc. to the environmental and organizational situation of University of Northern British Columbia. Amongst the tools and techniques used, the stakeholder analysis and the macro power techniques yielded the strongest recommendations as to the strategy that the University should adopt in order to align its mission, vision and objectives with a corresponding strategy.
It is possible for us to use the tools and techniques to propose a suitable recommendation – this is possible because of the nature of the analysis. The methodologies applied have been developed over the years by strategists and analysts having great experience in strategic management and the designing of strategic solutions for a wider variety of organizations than the average manager. Thus, keeping into view the factors in the University and its alliances, the Macro branch of the power school can be used as the primary analysis factor in proposing two broad strategies that the University can adopt. The current alliances of the University with governments, alumni endowments and exchange programs with international universities leads to the proposition that the University could work its strategy in two directions:
- A gradual expansion strategy that would see the University housing 15,000 students by the year 2020.
- A consolidation strategy aimed at no expansion, but improvement of the quality of the students.
These approaches have their own advantages, and demerits. The first strategy warrants newer alliances with local high schools, downtown restaurants, cellular phone companies and even to the extent of replacing Aramack by Starbucks at the campus. This strategy is entirely focused on growth and extension of the name of the University in all four directions – there is also the possibility of an MBA program institutionalized.
The second strategy is geared towards improving the quality of the student life and ensuring that the alliances made for this strategy are purely helping the operational strategy of the University. By this it means that having scholarship alliances, environmental friendly food campaigns and clubs apart from alliances with local farmers and Canadian universities, the UNBC will be aiming to consolidate its existing position in order to trade its expansion strategies with a better exchange program for its students.
Students would be benefiting from the University’s alliances in many ways. The expansion strategy would mean that strategic alliances and partnerships would yields benefits for students in the form of discounted meals from restaurants, discounted computers and new packages and offers from cellular companies aimed specifically at University students. The goal here would be to recruit as many students as possible at the university so that the participants in the partnership will benefit from the number of students sales and revenues.
On the other hand, the consolidation strategy would mean that students would be open to more exchange programs in more countries and that there will be newer horizons for students to explore with investment funds and newer clubs at the University. The benefit to students would be in the form of the quality of their life at the University and though the University of Northern British Columbia would be seeking higher enrolment, that would not be its primary objective.
The focus of the University would be to instill a sense of innovation and environmental friendliness in its students – a very important characteristic considering the global environmental and energy crisis.
Students would be able to use grants and funds from the University’s own pools to innovate an explore newer ways of growth and development without costing the environment its integrity. The key here is to have strategic alliances with farmers and other companies promoting environmental friendly and “green” avenues.
In either of the strategies, the students would be the beneficiaries in the form of greater opportunities for them at home and abroad and the added availability of scholarships, grants and alliances to enable them to interact with people and develop solutions that could affect mankind. This would definitely enhance the name of the University of Northern British Columbia in academic circles leading to a stronger demand for admissions in the University in the long-run.
The Macro Branch of Power School
The suitability of the Macro branch of the Power School, as described in the book, focuses on the broader concepts of strategy and power that enables an organization to achieve the number one position by concentrating on its strategy in the macro-perspective.
The power school is well suited to set up a strategy boutique since it has the broader focus on the strategic alliances and networking of a business. The macros branch of power school constitutes the necessary ingredients that will be ideal for setting up a strategy boutique. Since the main function of the strategy boutique is consultancy and strategy formulation, the power school is well equipped in providing consultancy and addressing the needs of a strategy.
Further the task of strategy consultancy and formulation requires a great deal of experience and autonomous research. These two elements are clearly incorporated in the macro branch of the power school. This makes this branch of the power school an ideal one to go on and set up a strategy boutique.
A comparison of the micro and macro branches of the power schools reveals that since the focus of the macro school is on the identification of strategic objectives and opportunities in the market, it is thus more suited to the formulation of a strategic boutique. Since the main functions of such a boutique would be to provide consultancy to organizations regarding their strategic objectives, mission and vision statements, this branch will be able to cater to the requirements of the boutique. It is also an important point to observe that there are other schools that could be selected in place of the power school for the strategic boutique. However, they lack the political and alliance-centric approach that this school is inherently an expert on. Thus, it would be highly suitable for the macro branch of the power school to be considered over any other school or branch for the strategy boutique.
The above strategies are both in different strategic zones and thus have little overlapping missions and objectives. The University of Northern British Columbia should distinctly select one of the above strategies and adopt the strategy proposals in order to align its mission and objectives with the strategy.
It would be advisable for the University to pursue the consolidation strategy considering the global focus on green investment and environmental development. It would be the major strategic differentiator between the University of Northern Columbia and other universities. The adoption of the consolidation strategy would pave the way for an expansion in the near future meaning that the University’s students could be reaping the benefits of both – added scholarships, grants and research possibilities along with greater opportunities to explore exchange programs and utilize discounted offers from companies partnering with the University of British Columbia.