Learning Objectives

Know the 5 aspects of strategy through the strategy diamond. Understand the interpartnership among the facets in the strategy diamond. Recognize exactly how the strategy diamond helps you develop and articulate global strategy.

Good strategy formulation suggests refining the elements of the strategy. First of all, don’t confusage component of a strategy for a strategy itself. Being a low-cost provider or initially mover in a industry might be component of a strategy or the underlying logic of a details strategy, but it’s not a finish strategy. It’s also important not to confusage your mission or vision via a strategy, also though the previous are vital to the advance and also execution of great methods.

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As listed previously, a strategy is an integrated and also externally oriented concept of just how a firm will certainly accomplish its objectives—just how it will certainly contend versus its rivals. A strategy consists of an integrated collection of options. These selections relate to five aspects supervisors have to take into consideration once making decisions: (1) arenas, (2) differentiators, (3) vehicles, (4) staging and also pacing, and also (5) economic logic. This group of facets, which are main to the strategic monitoring process outlined in Figure 10.6 "The Strategy Diamond", renders up the strategy diamondThe constellation of business, corpoprice, and worldwide strategy elements in regards to arenas, differentiators, vehicles, staging and pacing, and financial logic.. Many strategic plans focus on one or 2 such facets, often leaving huge gaps in the all at once strategy. Only as soon as you have actually answers to questions around each of these five aspects deserve to you identify whether your strategy is an integrated whole; you’ll also have a better concept of the areas in which your strategy needs to be revised or overhauled. As the strategy diamond figure shows, an excellent strategy considers the 5 crucial elements in order to arrive at specific answers to 5 questions:

Arenas. Where will we be active? Differentiators. How will we acquire there? Vehicles. How will we win in the marketplace? Staging. What will be our rate and sequence of moves? Economic logic. How will we achieve our returns?

Let’s take a closer look at each of these elements.

Figure 10.6 The Strategy Diamond


Source: Adapted from Donald C. Hambrick and James W. Fredrickkid, “Are You Sure You Have a Strategy?,” Academy of Management Executive 19, no. 4 (2005): 51–62.


ArenasThe facet of the strategy diamond that identifies the areas in which a firm will be energetic, such as market segments, geographic markets, and also channels segments. are areas in which a firm will certainly be energetic. Decisions about a firm’s arenas might include its commodities, services, circulation networks, industry segments, geographic areas, innovations, and also stperiods of the value-production procedure. Unprefer vision statements, which tfinish to be reasonably basic, the identification of arenas must be incredibly certain. It clearly tells supervisors what the firm must and need to not do. In addition, bereason firms can contract through external parties for everything from employees to production solutions, the choice of arenas can be fairly directly characterized for some firms.

For example, as the biggest US bicycle distributor, Pacific Cycle owns the Schwinn, Mongoose, and GT brands and sells its bikes through big-box retail outallows and independent dealers, and through independent agents in international markets. In addition to these arena selections, Pacific Cycle has totally outsourced the production of its assets to Asian manufacturers. This is crucial in the sense that the strategy diamond likewise helps the firm be precise in regard to which activities it will interact itself and which ones it will outresource and also wright here. As you recognize, Asia happens to be a low-price source of high-top quality produced products. In outsourcing shoes and also apparel lines, Nike complies with a similar strategy in terms of arenas. One crucial difference, yet, is that Nike, with its Nike Town retail outallows, has actually additionally chosen a straight retail visibility in enhancement to its usage of traditional retail-circulation channels.

The arenas facet of the strategy diamond helps you answer concerns about company strategy—that is, it helps you recognize which specific market or geographical segments are the firm’s prime competitive arenas. The arenas facet additionally enables you to summarize corpoprice strategy—that is, it enables you to summarize which team of industry and geographical segments the firm competes in.


DifferentiatorsThe facet of the strategy diamond that comprises attributes and also qualities of a company’s product or service that help it beat its competitors in the marketplace. are functions and characteristics of a company’s product or business that assist it beat its rivals in the marketplace. Firms deserve to be effective in the marketlocation along a variety of widespread dimensions, including image, customization, technological superiority, price, top quality, and relicapability. Japanese autoequipments Toyota and Honda have actually done very well by giving efficient combinations of differentiators. They market both inexpensive cars and high-end cars through high-quality attributes, and also many type of consumers uncover the worth that they carry out difficult to enhance. However, also though the ideal tactics often incorporate differentiators, history has actually presented that firms frequently perform poorly as soon as they attempt to be all things to all consumers. It’s difficult to imagine, for circumstances, a single product that boasts both state-of-the-art modern technology and the lowest price on the industry. Part of the trouble is perceptual—consumers frequently associate low top quality with low prices. Part of it is practical—leading-edge modern technologies cost money to build and also command also greater prices because of their uniqueness or high quality.

Tbelow are 2 crucial factors in picking differentiators:

Decisions should be made early on. Key differentiators rarely materialize without substantial up-front decisions, and without valuable differentiators firms tend to shed marketplace battles. Identifying and executing successful differentiators mean making challenging choices—trade-offs. Managers who can’t make tough decisions around trade-offs regularly end up trying to satisfy too wide a spectrum of customer needs; as a result, they execute poorly on many dimensions.

Audi is an example of a agency that has aligned these two factors efficiently. Several years ago, Audi administration realized that its cars were perceived as low-high quality yet high-priced Gerguy automobiles—obviously a poor competitive place. The firm made a decision that it had to relocate one method or another—up industry or down market. It had to carry out among two things: (1) lower its prices so that its pricing was continuous through customers’ perceptions of product quality or (2) enhance high quality sufficiently to justify premium pricing. Given limited resources, the firm couldn’t go in both directions; that is, it couldn’t develop cars in both the low-price and high-top quality strata. Audi chose to invest heavily in quality programs and in refining its marketing initiatives. Ten years later on, the quality of Audi cars has actually raised significantly, and also customer perception has relocated them a lot closer to the level of BMW and also Mercedes-Benz. Audi has reaped the benefits of premium pricing and improved profitability, however the decisions behind the strategic up-sector move entailed significant trade-offs.

Differentiators are what drive potential customers to select one firm’s offerings over those of rivals. The previously and more regular the firm is at driving these differentiators, the greater the likelihood that customers will certainly identify them.


VehiclesThe facet of the strategy diamond that relates to the implies for participating in targeted arenas, such as partnerships, organic expansion, or acquisition. are the suggests for participating in targeted arenas. For instance, a firm that desires to go international have the right to execute so in various methods. In a current drive to enter certain international markets (e.g., Argentina), Walmart has opened up new stores and also grown organically—interpretation that it occurred all the stores internally as opposed to gaining stores already based in the nations it wanted to enter. Elsewbelow (namely, in England and also Germany), Walmart has purchased existing retailers and also is in the process of carrying its distinctive way of doing company to the obtained carriers. Likewise, a firm that needs a new modern technology might construct it via investments in research study and also advancement (R&D). Or it could opt to create an alliance via a contender or a supplier that already possesses the modern technology, speeding up the integration of the missing piece right into its collection of sources and capabilities. Finally, it could sindicate buy one more firm that owns the technology. In this case, the feasible vehicles for entering a new arena include acquisitions, partnerships, and organic investment and also expansion.

Staging and Pacing

Staging and also pacingThe facet of the strategy diamond that describes the timing and speed of strategic moves. describe the timing and speed, or pace, of strategic moves. Staging options frequently reflect easily accessible resources, including cash, human funding, and also expertise. At what point, for instance, need to Walmart have actually included worldwide sectors to its strategy? Perhaps if the agency had actually pursued international avenues previously, it would certainly have actually been able to build a far better feeling of foreign sector conditions and also spread the price of enattempt over a longer duration of time. However, by delaying its international moves, the company was able to emphasis on dominating the US sector, which is—after all—the largest retail market in the civilization. In spite of mixed outcomes overseas, Walmart is the undisputed leader in international retailing and also has actually recently raised its emphasis on international sectors as the basis for future development.

Staging decisions have to be pushed by a number of factors—sources, urgency, credibility, and the need for early wins. Because few firms have the resources to perform everything they’d prefer to perform instantly, they usually need to match avenues through obtainable sources. In addition, not all methods to enter brand-new arenas are permanent; some have only brief windows. In such instances, at an early stage wins and also the credibility of particular vital stakeholders might be essential to implement a strategy.

Economic Logic

Economic logicThe facet of the strategy diamond that refers to how a firm will certainly earn a profit; that is, exactly how a firm will certainly generate positive retransforms over and also above its cost of capital. describes exactly how the firm will earn a profit—that is, exactly how the firm will geneprice positive returns over and above its price of funding. Economic logic is the “fulcrum” for profit production. Earning normal profits, of course, requires a firm to fulfill all fixed, variable, and financing prices. Achieving preferred returns over the firm’s cost of capital is a tall order for any type of organization. In analyzing a firm’s financial logic, think of both costs and earnings. Sometimes financial logic resides generally on the cost side of the equation. Irish airline Ryanair, for instance, can fly passengers for significantly reduced prices per passenger mile than any kind of major challenger. At various other times, economic logic might remainder on the firm’s ability to rise the customer’s willingness to pay premium prices for assets (in various other words, prices that substantially exceed the expenses of providing amplified products).

When the five aspects of strategy are aligned and mutually reinforcing, the firm is mostly in a place to perform well. High performance levels, yet, eventually expect that a strategy is also being executed well. This leads to strategy implementation.

The Five Elements and International Strategy

As you learn to apply the strategy diamond to issues around global service, you will certainly more than likely job-related via 3 connected questions:

Do we must expand also exterior our house country? If so, where should we expand? Finally, exactly how must we execute that?

Answering the initially question calls for an understanding of the global strategy’s economic logic and exactly how the strategy is supported by the present differentiators. Answering the second question includes identifying certain areas and also nations and also the criteria that can be supplied to prioritize potential sectors. Finally, the answer to the third question requires whether the organization need to enter the brand-new international industry on its own, with a partner, or through acquisition.

Considering the responses to these concerns, you’ll then have a new strategy diamond that addresses the following:

Arenas. The specific geographic markets and the channels and also value-chain activities in those markets. Differentiators. How being international differentiates the organization from competitors, provides commodities or services even more attractive to future customers, and also strengthens the performance of the differentiators in the preferred arenas. Vehicles. The choice to use organic investment and also development, alliances, or acquisitions as expansion vehicles. Staging and pacing.

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When you begin expanding, exactly how conveniently you expand and the sequence of your expansion initiatives. Economic logic. How your international strategy contributes to the in its entirety economic logic of your company and also corporate tactics.

Key Takeaways

The strategy diamond allows you summarize the features of a firm’s organization and corporate strategy in regards to five facets—arenas, differentiators, vehicles, staging and also pacing, and economic logic. All 5 facets are interrelated. When the five elements of strategy are aligned and also mutually reinforcing, the firm is primarily in a place to perform well.

The strategy diamond helps you develop global strategy, making use of 3 associated questions:

Do we have to expand exterior our house country? If so, wbelow should we expand? How have to we expand?


(AACSB: Reflective Thinking, Analytical Skills)

What are the 5 facets of the strategy diamond? How does the strategy diamond capture a firm’s service strategy? How does the strategy diamond capture a firm’s corporate strategy? What are some of the strategy-diamond concerns an excellent international strategy must address?