The Strategy and Organization Department focuses on two inter-related topics. One is strategy, which covers all research related to how firms seek to compete in the marketplace. More specific topics include operations strategy, competitive advantage, market positioning, barriers to entry, and other topics that link directly to how firms compete with their operations.
The second topic is organization, which in this context means the internal organization of the firm. Research within this topic includes classic themes of organization design, organizational differentiation and integration, organization and management of geographically dispersed operations, as well as general organizing principles such as coordination and control.
An organizational strategy is the sum of the actions a company intends to take to achieve long-term goals. Together, these actions make up a company’s strategic plan. Strategic plans take at least a year to complete, requiring involvement from all company levels. Top management creates the larger organizational strategy, while middle and lower management adopt goals and plans to fulfill the overall strategy step by step. This unified effort to can be likened to a journey. Daily challenges such as road conditions must be overcome to complete sequential legs of the journey, which eventually lead to the ultimate destination.
For a strategy to work, it must be converted into smaller, shorter-term goals and plans. Middle management adopts goals and creates plans to compete in the marketplace. These tactical objectives take less than a year to complete, becoming the building blocks of a successful organizational strategy. At the lower levels of an organization, functional managers concern themselves with the day-to-day operations of the company, their objectives and plans taking days, weeks or months to complete.
As businesses continue to compete with each other and define themselves in their industries, project alignment can be used to ensure that everything a business does is for a specific purpose.
Facing the near-constant scrutiny enabled by digital technology, businesses wishing to be seen as having a clear mission should analyze the extent to which their various departments are aligned with that strategy. EPMOs are one way of pursuing alignment and, therefore, improving both financial performance and company image.