What has been successful in these attempts? • What has not been successful in these attempts? What do you think/believe that the UAL top management has intended to accomplish with the strategic decisions/actions they have made across the last decade?

Business Evaluation Memo #4This week we move away from the very narrow ‘deep dives’ we have taken in the weeks past, into the specific segments of the organization, and work to look across what we have found and look for recurring themes, key factors that can cause issues – good and bad – for United Airliines, and determine in a systemic context what all that means!Remember that systems theory, and systems thinking, is at the heart of our whole view of organizations. We view organizations as socio-technical systems, and as such where the individual elements of the organization are important it is the interdependence between these elements – and their connections (or not) to each other – that really make up the organization.To that end, what we’re doing now is working to look at the individual elements of UAL as that system – and then assess the system in its entirety.Consider these questions – and prepare a memo to top management providing the answers – and your supporting analysis.In MGT 670, we explored the elements necessary for an effective strategic plan … not just one that looked good on paper, but one that could be executed well. In that exploration process, there we re two key questions we worked to answer for the organizations we evaluated – because we knew that bounding the strategic decision environment (to avoid being ‘trapped in the middle’ as Porter noted) was critical – not just for creating an effective plan … but importantly to execute any plan created.Based on your research to date – currently – Who IS United Airlines?•• Who are they NOT?What have the attempted to do – strategically – to get themselves where we find them today?•• What has been successful in these attempts?• What has not been successful in these attempts?What do you think/believe that the UAL top management has intended to accomplish with the strategic decisions/actions they have made across the last decade?•• What might have been their motivation for taking the actions they have taken?• What might have been the competitive advantage they were attempting to achieve?Based on your research thus far, and using Teti, Yang Bloom, Rivkin &Sadun’s (2017) four approaches to decision making, which approach do you think UAL’s top management team has used thus far?•• Which might be a better/the best approach as they think to move the organization and its strategy forward into the future?Martin (2017) noted that strategic choices often – or should – cascade from one another. Using his framework, and your research on UAL to date, identify:•• first how United has failed in the use/application of these stages• and then how they might positively and proactively use these failures/lessons learned to make better decisions and provide some potential answers to these questions as possible strategic recommendations•• Use the table below to help structure your thoughts/answers to these questions.Martin (2017)’s Framework Stage How United has Applied – or Failed to Apply – that Stage Possible Strategic Answers/Applications of the Stage
The questions posed by Trevor &Varcoe (2016) on the need for strategy/structure connections and Leinwand&Mainardi (2016) on the connections between strategy and execution may provide some guidance. (Note – you do not need to prepare answers to these questions specifically – they should help to provide some guidance in your thinking)Trevor &Varcoe (2016) note the need to answer the following questions on the strategy/structure connections in an organization.1.1.1.1. How well does your business strategy support the fulfillment of your company’s purpose?2. How well does your organization support the achievement of your business strategy?Leinwand&Mainardi (2016) identify four steps in the Strategy and Execution1.1.1.1. Commit to a clear identity that is defined by how you create value for customers, by the differentiating capabilities that enable you to do so2. Translate the strategic into the everyday by designing and building your own bespoke capabilities that set you apart from competitors.3. Put your culture to work, instead of trying to change it or reorganizing it, in order to change employees’ behaviors.4. Cut costs to reinvest in what makes you distinctive.5. Instead of reacting to change, create the change you want to see by continuously advancing what you’re already great at and gaining privileged access to your customers.
 

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