Page 1: Introduction
If you looked at some of the largest and most successful organisations twenty years ago and then compared them with those of today, you would probably be surprised. Closer examination of these organisations would show numerous examples of success, failure or transition over this relatively short time period. Some of the largest business organisations today might not even have been around 20 years ago! There are many reasons why organisations excel, die or simply survive from year to year. Management theory shows that organisations go through periods of evolution followed by periods of revolution. Many changes occur because of pressures from the business environment to which organisations have to react. Other changes occur because employees and managers want to move an organisation forward in pursuit of far-reaching aims and are prepared to make key decisions which enable it to do so.
This case study focuses upon how the Dixons Group developed a business strategy which enabled it to achieve its corporate aim ‘to be number one in the electrical and electronic market-place’. In a changing world it is important for an organisation to have a clear idea of its strategic direction. By developing a goal identifying where it wanted to be, Dixons was defining a future state of affairs it wanted to achieve which helped everyone within the company to focus on the process of change.
The process of strategic management means setting a pathway for an organisation to change and then putting in place plans and policies which enable it to achieve its corporate aim. Strategic decisions are means to achieve ends. These decisions encompass the definition of the business, products and markets to be served, functions to be performed and the major policies needed for the organisation to execute these decisions. Within this case study we look at the nature of key decisions made by Dixons within the process of change as it built a chain designed to meet the requirements of different groups of customers.