Institute of Commercial Management | Qualification Subject

Corporate Policy

Main Topics of Study

Corporate Strategy

  • The characteristics of strategic decisions
  • Levels of strategy
  • Strategic analyses
  • Strategic choice
  • Strategic implementation
  • A summary of the strategic management process
  • Developing a strategic perspective
  • Coping with change
  • Strategy in the public sector and not-for-profit organisations

Strategic Decision Making in Practice

  • Incremental strategic management
  • Planning and strategic management
  • Problem awareness
  • Problem diagnosis
  • The development of solutions
  • The selection of a solution
  • Cure and strategy
  • The recipe and the cultural web
  • Cultural view of patterns of strategic change
  • The implications for exploring corporate strategy

Analysing the Environment

  • Auditing environmental influences on organisations
  • Understanding simple / static conditions
  • Understanding dynamic conditions
  • Understanding complex conditions
  • The nature of the environment (the use of the prospective)
  • The threat of entry
  • The power of buyers and suppliers
  • The threat of substitutes
  • The extent of competitive rivalry
  • Life cycle models and the nature of markets
  • Strategic group analysis
  • Market structures and market power
  • SWOT analysis

Analysing Resources

  • The value system
  • Value chain activities
  • The resource audit
  • Resource utilisation
  • Control of resources
  • Financial analysis
  • Historical analysis
  • Comparison with industry norms
  • The experience curve
  • Portfolio analysis
  • Skills analysis
  • Flexibility analysis
  • Identification of key issues

Expectations, Objectives and Power

  • External influences
  • Nature of business
  • Organisational culture
  • Conflicts of expectations
  • Identifying coalitions
  • Sources of power within organisations
  • Sources of power for external stockholders
  • Methods of assessing power
  • Mission
  • Corporate objectives
  • Unit objectives
  • The precision of objectives
  • Social responsibility

Strategic Options

  • Cost leadership
  • Differentiation
  • Focus
  • ‘Do nothing’
  • Withdrawal
  • Consolidation
  • Market penetration
  • Product development
  • Market development
  • Diversification
  • Related diversification
  • Unrelated diversification
  • Internal development
  • Acquisition
  • Joint development

Strategy Evaluation (Criteria and Approaches)

  • Suitability
  • Feasibility
  • Acceptability
  • Strategic logic
  • Strategy and performance
  • Cultural fit

Strategy Evaluation (Techniques)

  • Bases for comparison
  • Scoring methods
  • Decision trees
  • Scenarios
  • Profitability analysis
  • Cost/benefit analysis
  • Financial ratio projections
  • Sensitivity analysis
  • Decision matrices
  • Simulation modelling
  • Heuristic models
  • Stockholder reactions
  • Funds flow analysis
  • Break-even analysis
  • Other assessments of feasibility
  • Selection against objectives
  • Referral to a higher authority
  • Outside agencies

Planning and Allocating Resources

  • Few resource changes
  • Allocating business growth
  • Allocating resources in static or declining situations
  • Resource sharing/overlap
  • Central questions in resource planning
  • Inbound logistics
  • Operations
  • Outbound logistics
  • Marketing and sales services
  • Key resources in implementing generic strategies
  • Priorities and key tasks
  • The plan of action
  • The recognition and testing of key assumptions
  • Financial planning and budgeting
  • Network analysis

Example Candidate Response Booklet

Example Candidate Response (ECR) Booklets are a source of crucial information for Centres and Candidates as they use real candidate responses. We ask Senior Examiners to comment on five or more responses in terms of why the mark was awarded with commentary about how to improve the answer (if necessary).

Recommended Reading

Main Text:

<iframe style="width:120px;height:240px;" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" src="//ws-eu.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=GB&source=ss&ref=as_ss_li_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=icm0bb-21&marketplace=amazon&region=GB&placement=0273737023&asins=0273737023&linkId=2504504f1386ab99fc7120b3d3a60b5f&show_border=false&link_opens_in_new_window=true"></iframe>

Johnson, G. & Scholes, K. Exploring Strategy: Texts and Cases, 9th Ed.

Indicative Text:

Alternative Text and Further Reading:

Readings in Business Policy from Business Week – Glueck (McGraw Hill)

Cases in Strategic Management – Stopford, Channon and Constable (Wiley)

Management Problem Solving – Margerison (McGraw Hill)