Global Corporate Strategy: Tata Steel Case Study
The true mettle of an organisation is tested when it is able to respond to the challenges the environment throws up and turn them into an advantage. At Tata Steel, it’s been a turbulent year. For the first time in its history, it encountered closure of critical mines. During the same period global steel demand stagnated while imports surged. As a result, margins were under severe pressure. Staying alert to the dynamics of the steel industry and remaining responsive to it, has enabled us to manage the impact of these challenges and come out stronger. We have seeded several initiatives and projects that will bear fruit in the coming year. A tightening of processes has enabled us to become leaner and more agile than ever before. And an ongoing focus on continuous improvement is helping us innovate to achieve even greater efficiencies. Read the 2017/18 Annual Reports of the Tata Group and Tata Steel available online:
Refer further to the Group Financials:
And carry out appropriate analyses of the global corporate strategies adopted by the Tata Group and
other leading steel manufacturers, in response to the questions below.
Your task is to carry out a critical analysis and evaluation of the strategies adopted by global steel manufacturers, using the case study provided and other materials researched. You will be expected to select and apply appropriate theories, techniques and models studied during the module whilst having regard to the practical aspects of strategy development.
Your assignment should be presented in a business report format and should be 3,000 words (+/- 10%). The report should include a title page and abstract and be fully and consistently referenced, using Harvard Referencing style. The title page should be clearly labelled with your name, your course and the name of the case study. It is recommended that you research information additional to the case study to support your arguments. This may be obtained from a diverse range of sources and you are encouraged to research the issues in whichever way you deem appropriate.
The assessment will focus on the level of ANALYSIS carried out. That is, the application of THEORETICAL CONCEPTS studied in the module to the ‘practical’ case study presented. In other words, you should proceed beyond a DESCRIPTION of the company and its actions. You should be analysing ‘why’ rather than describing ‘what’. The assignment will be assessed and moderated by two members of staff in accordance with the marks allocated to each of the questions detailed below. 10% of the marks are set aside for the ‘presentation’ criteria. In the event of failing this individual assignment, normal referral / deferral procedures will apply. This assignment carries a weighting of 100%.
Question One: Portfolio, Integrated Organisation Perspectives and Competitiveness
Using relevant literature and examples from the 2017-18 Annual Report of the Tata Group available online, critically evaluate the merits and demerits, of adopting the ‘portfolio organisation perspective’ or the ‘integrated organisation perspective’ in the management of Tata’s range of products – in today’s fast-changing dynamic global business environment. Based on your evaluation, is it possible for Tata to adopt both perspectives simultaneously, and why?
[20 % marks]
Business Model Innovation and Technological Innovation through Strategic alliances, M&As
The focus on innovation has helped the company (Tata Group) improve its products, services and solutions to satisfy customer needs. For example, the ‘Innovent’ programme has enabled the company to enter new market segments, for example the steel doors segment. Steel doors have been introduced under the brand name ‘Pravesh’ and have
received a positive response from customers, thereby creating a new market for the company (http://www.tatasteel.com/investors/annual-report-2014-15/annual-report 2014-15.pdf, 2016) Using relevant literature and examples from the Tata Group, carry out a critical assessment of the company’s ability to acquire and deploy intelligent innovations and technologies through ‘strategic alliances’ (SAs) and ‘mergers and acquisitions’ (M&As). In your opinion does Tata have the mix of resources and capabilities to bring the ‘digital and mobile’
technologies together in order to achieve its aims and intentions? Lastly, how would you assess the above mentioned addition of ‘Pravesh’ to the product portfolio (you should refer
to Blue Ocean Strategy and Business Model Innovation)?
[30 % marks]
Question Three: Corporate governance, CSR, Sustainability and Leadership
The company’s vision to be a global benchmark in value creation and corporate citizenship and the company’s long-term corporate social responsibility (CSR) objective, is to improve the quality of life of the communities through long-term value creation for all stakeholders. This objective is in alignment with the Tata Group core purpose. Towards achieving this, the company has been a pioneer in various CSR initiatives. We continue to remain focused on improving the quality of life and engaging communities through health, education, sports and infrastructure development. (http://www.tatasteel.com/investors/annual-report-2014-15/annual-report-2014-15.pdf, 2016)
Using your understanding of Corporate governance, Corporate social responsibility (CSR), Sustainability and relevant management and leadership concepts, critique the above extract and evaluate the ability of Tata’s senior management team to ensure that the company’s CSR activities contribute to increasing the company’s value in a strategic and sustainable way.
[30 % marks]
Personal reflections on learning
In 350-400 words reflect on the impact of this assessment on your understanding of the Global Steel Manufacturing Industry competition, highlighting the key role of strategic alliances, M&As, and Corporate leadership, in sustaining growth through responsible policies and practices.
[10 % marks]