A Framework for Comprehensive Strategic Analysis

11385 Words Oct 7th, 2012 46 Pages
A FRAMEWORK FOR COMPREHENSIVE STRATEGIC ANALYSIS

ANTHONY E. BOARDMAN
Van Dusen Professor of Strategy
Faculty of Commerce
University of British Columbia

and

AIDAN R. VINING
CNABS Professor of Business & Government Relations
Faculty of Business Administration
Simon Fraser University

June 10, 2003

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INTRODUCTION: THE STRATEGIC ANALYSIS FRAMEWORK
This paper presents the basic framework for comprehensive strategic analysis. The basic purpose of strategic analysis is to help analyze how the firm can generate returns in excess of the firm’s opportunity costs (these are rents) by engaging in a more effective corporate strategy and, at the business level, more effective competitive strategy (Porter, 1996).
The
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The important questions here are:

What are the potentially superior

strategic alternatives? What should the firm’s strategic goals be? Are there goals apart from profit maximization that should be used to evaluate the strategic alternatives?

How are the strategic

alternatives projected to do in terms of firm goals? Which alternative is preferred? How sensitive is the choice between the alternatives to different scenarios or “states of the world”?
Rationale for the Three-Part Strategic Analysis Framework
Why three parts? Doing the major parts of strategic analysis is somewhat like trying to walk along a see-saw. Walking up one side of the see-saw is current situation analysis. Tipping the see-saw is assessment analysis (the fulcrum: this is usually the point where one is most likely to fall off!).
Walking down the other side is solution analysis. (We do not mean to imply that it is easy because it’s downhill.) This metaphor conveys the idea that fulcrum assessment analysis is often the most difficult, and critical, part of strategic analysis. In practice, many analysts are often unwilling to pull

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everything together and succinctly tell clients what the real problem is. Student-analysts especially, because they are not firm
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