Business-Level and Corporate-Level Strategies



International Business Machines Corporation, often known as IBM and nicknamed Big Blue, is an international company whose core business interests lie in designing, creating, as well as marketing a wide variety of computing devices like laptops, mobile phones, software, as well as desktop personal computers. The company also deals with other technological gadgets that facilitate the use of computers, such as servers, software, and a variety of other hardware. Although it was incorporated by Charles Ranlett Flint more than 104 years ago in the year 1911, the company was listed at the Dow Jones Industrial Average in the year 1973. This paper seeks to look at the impact of both globalization and technologies have had on the organization’s business. It will look at how the organizational, business, and corporate level strategies should be applied in the case of IBM so that they can reap benefits.


Business Level Strategies

Changes in technology, as well as in globalization, have together made some great contribution towards the strategies and course of operations of the company. Striving to globalization, the company has been faced with intense competition, making it strenuous to retain and attract a sustainable number of customers, something that has made it necessary for them to alter their business strategies. It is important to admit that to reduce the level of competition, it has been necessary for the company to grow its operations to global markets. With operations in global markets, the company has been faced with several challenges, such as different economic, political, legislative, social, and cultural conditions, making it necessary for the company to make significant changes to their structure as well as business policies.

The factors mentioned above have also been a source of opportunities for IBM, by facilitating their presence in international markets. It has substantially increased the market share of the company in international markets, especially in the emerging markets like India, China, and several third world countries in Africa. With changes in technology and increased globalization, the demand for technological gadgets has been on the increase. It has also led to increased opportunities for the company that has also integrated high levels of innovation to keep up with the changing dynamics in the market. Another technological and globalization concept that has impacted on IBM is e-commerce includes online selling. It has made it necessary for the company to alter their policies, to facilitate direct sales, their interaction with suppliers, consumers, as well as employees (Bradley, 2004).

The product market, which includes the primary customers, their host customers, suppliers, as well as unions that have an effective influence on the performance of IBM With effective supply chains, IBM is in a position to meet the expectations of all their stakeholders and leads to sustainable success in the global market. Thus, IBM can integrate technology as means of facilitating communication with their suppliers, an aspect that has enhanced transparency and reduced conflicts while improving their relationship with the company. These relationships have also made sure that the company gets customized supplies at very competitive prices (Brooks & Dunn, 2010).

Corporate Level Strategies

The Industrial Organization Model for the above average returns makes an explanation of the strategic choices for a firm whose greatest influence is the external environment. The model entails the analysis of the external environment of the company, which has an impact on the strategic business choices as well as operations. These business choices include the demographics, economy, politics, socio-cultural, as well as legislative factors that would give IBM an insight on how to create opportunities as well as threats to their competitors. Through making an analysis of the environment in the industry, IBM would increase its level of awareness of new companies that enter the market, alternative products, level of rivalry, as well as the bargaining power of both suppliers and customers. It is worth noting that during the process of analyzing their competitors, IBM will look at its objectives, strategies, assumptions, as well as abilities of other companies in the business, such as Samsung, Dell, Hp, and Microsoft among others. Therefore, these investigations will offer significant and vital information on the opportunities and threats, which would be helpful to the company as it seeks to make informed decisions as well as strategizing. For example, the I/O model will offer adequate grounds for IBM to tap into the immense opportunities as well as the threats that limit their efficiency compared to their competitors – which would facilitate an increase of returns (Hitt, Ireland, & Hoskisson, 2015).

Capital Market Stakeholders, who are the major suppliers of capital into the company, play a very important role in the company. Their main contribution is availing resources to the company so it can be run effectively. The company pays back to them by paying dividends after it has made a profit. Through the support from these stakeholders, the company can finance its major projects, and to enhance their operations. Thus, IBM can minimize their capital costs while maximizing their level of efficiency.

The corporate stakeholders, who consist of the managers as well as the employees who are involved in the day to day operations of the company and make crucial decisions related to the company. These make sure that the quality and quantity of products produced by IBM are to the optimum levels. They are also involved in innovation, which has been a key feature of IMB, products that are very innovative to meet the demands of the consumers (Brooks & Dunn, 2010).

Comparison with Apple Inc

Although Apple has no published mission and vision statements, it is widely believed that it relies on some philosophies that inspire it. Among these philosophies there is one which main point is to make Mac products preferable personal computers in the entire world while making their different brands of software the most ideal for businesses and personal users. The company seeks to be a leading company in music revolution, through the use of their hardware and online music store. Lastly, they have strategized their mobile phones to lead a revolution and to redefine the path that media and computer devices take into the future.

Similarly, IBM does not have an elaborate mission and vision statements, but their values offer guidance to their operations. They are dedicated to making sure that all their clients succeed, to come up with innovations that change the company and the entire world and to earn trust and be personally responsible in all their relationships.

These philosophies have provided a strong basis for direction to the company, which is important in making decisions and to select strategies relevant for their growth. To achieve these targets, the companies have employed and established strong networks of employees. These able workforces are a leading aspect, which have facilitated the companies to offer a unique experience to their customers, increase their presence in the world, as well as increasing their sales. These philosophies have also facilitated the companies to maintain a high level of accountability in the organization, something that has enabled them to be market leaders in the industry and to develop leaders. With the help of it, the companies can explore as many opportunities as possible from the business platforms that are available and have been able to grab a big market share alongside competitors like Dell, Samsung, and Hp. The philosophies are also able to maximize their quality during the process of minimizing their costs of production. They are also able to meet the demands of their customers, which include offering quality products at fair prices.

However, among the two companies, Apple seems to be in a much better position to succeed in the long term, than IBM. Although they have similar approaches, Apple has more innovative products that suit the lifestyles of the consumers, with others changing these lifestyles. It is the main reason there would be no difference in either fast or slow cycle markets since Apple has a higher level of innovativeness that would succeed in the two markets. When the demands in the markets are changing rapidly, Apple has the personnel, level of innovativeness, and strategies that would come up with both hardware and software to suit the market. Moreover, in rigid markets, Apple can meet the demands of the customers.