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Strategic Management Assignment: A Case Study of Zara in Leicester


Task: Produce an extended research proposal on strategic management assignmentoutlining a piece of research you plan to conduct.
A research proposal is an "action plan" for your proposed piece of research. It is a concise and coherent summary of your proposed research. It sets out the central issues or questions that you SSSintend to address in a study, and demonstrates the originality of your proposed research. It outlines the research topic you are interested in, referring to the current state of knowledge and any recent debates on the topic, and describes how you intend to carry out your research. This proposal is most likely to be a preparatory document for your dissertation module.


This case study of Zara in Leicester prepared in the strategic management assignment is an extended research paper and discusses the significance of strategic management regarding Zara Leicester. It further discusses the methods used for research and the business and managerial implications of the research. Though there are limitations of the research, the research helps understand the usefulness of strategic management in developing policies and plans to achieve business goals and allocate resources in implementing policies and plans. The analysis of the management team of Zara in Leicester, comprehend how to have a competitive edge over the business's competitors. There are certain ethical issues and considerations in strategic management concerning the business in context. These may include the participation of stakeholders, individual and organizational values. The case study discusses the various ethical considerations that may arise with the proposal concerning the individual, stakeholders, and others. This case study helps in better managing the business and thus is useful for the management of Zara in Leicester.

Zara is a fast-fashion business that was established in 1974, and it is based in Spain. The company has over 3000 stores and operates across 96 countries. Zara's products include fashion items, clothes, and accessories for women, men, and kids. The objective of the case study is to understand the importance of strategic management at Zara in Leicester. The research aims to study the varied challenges related to strategic management at Zara in Leicester. Besides, the research paper aims to understand the different uses and dimensions of the strategic management of Zara in Leicester. Besides, the significance of strategic management at Zara in Leicester. The research paper helps in the growth of efficiency of the organization and enhances business market share and profitability. Further assists in strategizing and planning effectively, thus staying ahead of the competitors and dominating the market.

Zara in Leicester is committed to the sustainable development of the environment and society. The business mission statement is to provide the customers what they want and that too promptly. Aim:To highlight the significance of strategic management in Zara Leicester

Research Question:What is the significance of strategic management in Zara Leicester
The research paper in context (a case study of Zara in Leicester-2) has the following research aims and objectives.
Research Objective 1: To study the various difficulties, obstacles, and hurdles that are related to the strategic management of Zara in Leicester
Research Objective 2: To detect the different uses and dimensions of strategic management of Zara in Leicester
Research Objective 3: To comprehend the functionality and significance of strategic management of Zara in Leicester

Literature Review
The current literature review identifies the strategic challenges along with ways in which strategic management can benefit the company. Strategic management guides the business in developing policies and plans to achieve business objectives. As rightly pointed out by Ketchen et al., (2020) strategic management provides innovation and opportunities for competitive advantages. Strategic management also allocates resources to set up plans. Strategic management, therefore, helps organizations like Zara to stay ahead of their competitors.Staying competitive and relevant in the market amidst so many similar types of businesses is surely a challenge that Zara faces. The business's strategy is to offer an enhanced number of products (clothing, apparel) than its competitors. Zara utilizes the scientific management model. The business's marketing strategy is cost leadership, and all these help the business stay relevant and competitive in the market.

Veselovskyet al., (2019) identifies that strategic goals allow for innovative development within industries. Strategic tools also serve as effective approach for resolving complex tasks by means of strengthening leadership, radical innovation, competitive advantages. Zara is a multi-million-dollar fashion brand, and the challenges it faces include competition, sustainability, and e-commerce. The common hurdles that the business confronts while doing strategic management include lack of alignment, poor goal setting, incompetence in tracking progress, lack of leading indicators or measurements to understand the growth and performance of the business (Dzwigol, 2020). Further, the lack of human resources connected to strategic management is also a difficulty in the execution of strategic planning and management. There are several strategic management models that needs to be specifically identified for the company such that it can overcome its hurdles.

Theoretical Model Framework for the Research

Figure 1: Theoretical Model Framework for the Research
Source: Author

For appropriate strategic analysis one has to evaluate and conduct internal and external environments, to align with theshort-term objectives, strategic control, and organizational structures (Ansoffet al., 2018). These parts are often related to one another, and hence an alteration in one part can affect other parts as well. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, Zara is facing a crisis in its retail and manufacturing industries. In times of the pandemic scenario, the e-commerce segment remained profitable. There has been a steady rise in e-commerce sales as more and more customers prefer to purchase Zara's products online. According to reports, the owners of the Zara fashion and retail stores are planning the closure of almost 1200 stores globally and encouraging online sales. The business is considering using modern technologies like virtual and augmented reality, artificial intelligence in boosting online sales. Though the business is facing stiff challenges from its competitors yet as per reports, the company is also planning to boost online sales by almost 22% by 2022.

Strategic management is a laborious process, and it requires much time to complete. The managers who remain involved in the strategic management process expend enormous time resources for researching, preparing, and communicating the various strategic management processes (Agwu, 2018). Because strategic management is time-consuming, it can adversely affect day-to-day business operations and adversely affect a business.Therefore, the present business of Zara can be said to have considerable challenges. Diminished offline sales because of the Covid-19 pandemic.Boosting online sales by utilizing modern technologies like A.I. and V.R. & A.R. technologies, machine learning. The business is facing stiff competition from companies like Fast Retailing, H&M. The business depends on an effective and efficient supply chain model to stay competitive.The business is increasingly focusing on sustainable business practices and business operations by utilizing cellulosic fibers that are cent percent sustainable. The business is also using renewable energy sources, and hence it is helping in diminishing impact on the environment.

Mere planning is not useful in strategic management as it requires effective implementation. The planning for strategic management needs to be implemented so that there is complete attention and there is active participation. Also, there has to be accountability on the part of the Zara management team members and the employees associated with the business. The duty of the managers of the company management at Zara is to make sure that the employees associated with the company provide support for Zara’s mission and objectives. Strategic planning diminishes the uncertainties that are associated with long-term objectives. There can be several missteps in the planning process. Organizations like Zara require you to engage in future anticipation. It requires comprehending the various risks and changes that are associated with the company in context. To avoid the hurdles or pitfalls, the company management at Zara must hire managers who have the required skillsets for strategy planning and mitigating various risk factors.

Strategic planning involves finding out the most effective way of planning. Often this involves the creation of a task force that can engage in plan development, submit the same to the company managing board for reviewing or approval. Stakeholder participation in the planning process allows various perspectives and boosts support. All these help in the development of the organizational strategy, and it also facilitates making important decisions by the members of the company management. Other strategic uses and objectives of the business includesgetting rid of chemical hazards from Zara’s supply chain ecosystems.Provide training to the designers on concepts of a circular economy. Disposing of its apparels properly and effectively.Utilizing cellulosic fibers in the garments.Zero wastage from facilities for transportation to landfills.Zero use of plastic packaging. Utilization of renewable energy resources at its stores.

There has to be a set of values for the organization in context, and this regard the Zara in Leicester. The organization's values help the Zara management in pursuing organizational objectives, delivering on the organization's missions (Darling et al., 2019). The organization needs to have a set of organizational values, and the Zara management team needs to develop a set of such corporate values. While engaging in strategic planning, it is essential to stick to the various organizational values that are set. In this regard, the company Zara in Leicester should have organizational strategies that are consistent and support the organization's values.

It is essential to consider changes in the strategies and make corresponding changes in the organizational structures. Change management can be conducted in several ways. It is essential to ensure that the management of change is undertaken consistently with the organization's and the business owner's values.The senior managers that are part of the company in context (Zara in Leicester) require personal values. Strategic management should be such that it is relevant to individual values.

Approach (Research Methodology)
This section of the case study discusses the research approach and methodology used at Zara for strategic management.

The business at Zara in Leicester will be using a deductive research approach.

Research Design And Strategy
The case study in context utilizes the positivism research philosophy. According to this philosophy, factual findings are used to carry out the research (Hittet al., 2020). Since the research is related to strategic management at Zara, it becomes simpler for the researcher to collect data and then interpret them. Besides, the researcher also utilizes qualitative research studies to quantify statistical data, thereby using a generalization of studies (Bindraet al., 2019). The researcher also conducts experimental research studies during strategic management.

Data Collection Approach/Analysis Of Findings
The researcher researching strategic management at Zara will utilize the survey method for data collection. The mixed approach is utilized to collect cross-sectional data. Systematic research uses both primary and secondary data (Barbosa et al., 2020). The management officials of Zara do primary data collection. The secondary data is collected from the websites of Zara. Besides, the survey questionnaire is utilized to collect information required for research concerning strategic management. While engaging in the survey questionnaire, it is recommended to connect with at least 30 higher management officials as also the management team of Zara (Konovalovaet al., 2018). It helps the researchers know the business's strategic management aspects (Zara in Leicester). The 30 higher management officials participate in non-probability sampling. It is also important for the researcher to consider the ethical aspects while engaging in strategic management at Zara in Leicester.

Business/Managerial Implications Of Research
The research on strategic management helps the researchers know about importance of strategic management in the business (Wang et al., 2021). It will enable identify specific models of strategic management, apply them and then arrive at suitable outcomes for competitiveness in the industry. The research helps the business management deal with its competitors in a competitive market. It also helps the business enhance its efficiency, productivity, and profitability(Anatolievna and Anatolievna, 2018). The managers at Zara can use the data collected from research to expand the business, understand shopper's behaviors at stores, engage in marketing of the company products using various social media websites.

Besides, effective strategic management can enhance motivation at the workplace for the employees(Januchowski-Hartley et al., 2019). Set objectives for the employees, enhance the performance of the employees at the workplace.

Limitations Of The Study
Strategic management requires planning, helps set objectives, and allows the business in context (Zara in Leicester) to leverage abilities, enhance opportunities, and attain competitive advantages(Kools and George, 2020). There are many benefits of strategic management, but simultaneously there are some disadvantages as well, and they are as;

The study focuses on literature review and not actual data collection and analysis; hence the outcome of the study will remain limited to theoretical considerations only. For further consideration, real-time data will need to be collected and analyzed.
Another major limitation of this study is that it is not transferable. Meaning the outcomes of this research cannot be directly be applied to any other case.
Lastly, the scope of this research remains constrained in the Covid period only, outcomes may be varied during other situations. Hence, the findings of this research is not

Ethical Issues And Considerations
The case study of Zara in Leceister also requires dealing with ethical issues and considerations. The essential ethical considerations while planning for strategic planning are as;
All data collected needs to be cross-checked with their sources for verifying authenticity of the research.
Data analyzed to arrive at findings will need to be verified with actual situation prevalent at Zara.
All secondary sources of data used for the research will be cross-checked to verify authenticity of research.

Thus, it is evident that strategic management is functional concerning Zara in Leicester. Research on strategic management helps to understand the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats associated with the business in context (Zara in Leicester).

Research Time Table/Schedule

Table 2: Gantt Chart

Theoretical Model Framework for the Research

Agwu, M.E., 2018. Analysis of the impact of strategic management on the business performance of SMEs in Nigeria. Academy of Strategic Management Journal, 17(1), pp.1-20.
Anatolievna, A.L. and Anatolievna, S.I., 2018. Strategic management of competitive agribusiness organizations model. International Journal of Advanced Studies, 8(2), pp.9-21. Ansoff, H.I., Kipley, D., Lewis, A.O., Helm-Stevens, R. and Ansoff, R., 2018. Implanting strategic management. Springer.
Barbosa, M., Castañeda-Ayarza, J.A. and Ferreira, D.H.L., 2020. Sustainable strategic management (GES): Sustainability in small business. Journal of cleaner production, 258, p.120880. Bindra, S., Parameswar, N. and Dhir, S., 2019. Strategic management: The evolution of the field. Strategic Change, 28(6), pp.469-478.

Darling, E.S., McClanahan, T.R., Maina, J., Gurney, G.G., Graham, N.A., Januchowski-Hartley, F., Cinner, J.E., Mora, C., Hicks, C.C., Maire, E. and Puotinen, M., 2019. Social–environmental drivers inform strategic management of coral reefs in the Anthropocene. Nature Ecology & evolution, 3(9), pp.1341-1350.

Dzwigol, H., 2020. Methodological and empirical platform of triangulation in strategic management. Academy of Strategic Management Journal, 19(4), pp.1-8. Hitt, M.A., Arregle, J.L. and Holmes Jr, R.M., 2020. Strategic management theory in a post pandemic and non ergodic world.Strategic management assignment Journal of Management Studies. KetchenJr, D.J. and Craighead, C.W., 2020. Research at the intersection of entrepreneurship, supply chain management, and strategic management: opportunities highlighted by COVID-19. Journal of Management, 46(8), pp.1330-1341.

Konovalova, E.E., Yudina, E.V., Bushueva, I.V., Uhina, T.V. and Lebedev, K.A.E., 2018. Forming approaches to strategic management and development of tourism and hospitality industry in the regions. Journal of Environmental Management & Tourism, 9(2 (26)), pp.241-247.
Kools, M. and George, B., 2020. Debate: The learning organization—a key construct linking strategic planning and strategic management. Public Money & Management, 40(4), pp.262-264.
Machado, R., Burton, R. and Barney, J., 2018. A practical guide for making theory contributions in strategic management. Strategic Management Journal, 39(6), pp.1530-1545.
Veselovsky, M.Y., Izmailova, M.A., Lobacheva, E.N., Pilipenko, P.P. and Rybina, G.A., 2019.
Strategic management of innovation development: insights into a role of economic policy. Entrepreneurship and Sustainability Issues, 7(2), p.1296.
Wang, Z., Wang, Y., Liu, Z., Cheng, J. and Chen, X., 2021. Strategic management of product recovery and its environmental impact. International Journal of Production Research, 59(20), pp.6104-6124.


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