5.0 Introduction

Learning Objectives

After reading this chapter, you should be able to:

  1. Describe the strategic analysis process and why firms need to analyze their competitive environment.
  2. Discuss the importance of SWOT analysis when looking at global competitors.
  3. Outline a PESTEL analysis.
  4. Identify what makes up a firm’s external macro environment.
  5. Identify what makes up a firm’s external micro environment.
  6. Explain Porter’s Five Forces.
  7. Discuss the strategy in building a firm’s competitive advantage.
  8. Explain the elements that go into determining a firm’s strategic position.

Exploring Managerial Careers

Lauri Goodman Lampson, Planning Design Research Corporation

Lauri Goodman Lampson is president and CEO of Planning Design Research Corporation, a firm that analyzes work environments to understand how employees work and what kind of spaces and facilities they need to do their best, most productive work (PDR, 2016). Lampson was hired by Accenture, a consulting firm, to evaluate and improve its location in Houston. Accenture’s Houston office was a three-story, 66,000-square-foot building that served 800 employees (Steelcase, n.d.). Accenture employees are consultants themselves, and they typically spend up to two-thirds of their working time away from the office serving clients.

Lampson worked with Accenture director of workplaces Dan Johnson and Steelcase, an office furniture manufacturer, to study how Accenture was using its Houston space. To achieve this outcome, Lampson and Steelcase analyzed employee demographics and expectations and studied how employees actually interacted with each other and performed tasks in the workplace. Accenture wanted to have a workspace that fostered its corporate goals of: worker innovation, collaboration, and flexibility (Steelcase, 2011).

Understanding a firm’s strengths is an important step in strategic analysis, and Lampson’s focus on supporting those strengths in the workplace environment led to Workplace 2.0, Accenture’s reimagined facility. Not only does the new workspace provide better physical and technological support for collaboration among Accenture employees, but Lampson and Steelcase were able to identify opportunities for Accenture to significantly reduce the size of its offices. Accenture saves money by using less space (it was able to downsize to a single floor of 25,000 square feet to serve the same number of workers) and supports worker interaction and engagement by providing a more effective workspace. You can watch a video of this transformation here: Accenture Case Study [YouTube]

Principles of Management – Chapter 8.1  by Open Stax is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, unless otherwise noted.


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5.0 Introduction Copyright © 2022 by Lina Manuel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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