Meaning Of Corporate Appraisal

Broadly, corporate appraisal refers to an examination of the entire organization from different angles. It is a measurement of the readiness of the internal culture of the corporation to interact with the external environment. Marketing strategists are concerned with those aspects of the corporation that have a direct bearing on corporate-wide strategy because that must be referred in defining the business unit mission, the level at which marketing strategy is formulated. As shown in Exhibit 3-1, corporate strategy is affected by such factors as value orientation to top management, corporate publics, corporate resources, past performance of the business units, and the external environment. Of these, the first four factors are examined in this chapter.

Two important characteristics of strategic marketing are its concern with issues having far-reaching effects on the entire organization and change as an essential ingredient in its conduct. These characteristics make the process of

Know your enemy and know yourself, and in a hundred battles you will never be in peril.

Sun-T zu

Know your enemy and know yourself, and in a hundred battles you will never be in peril.

Sun-T zu

marketing strategy formulation a difficult job and demand creativity and adaptability on the part of the organization. Creativity, however, is not common among all organizations. By the same token, adaptation to changing conditions is not easy. As has been said:

Success in the past always becomes enshrined in the present by the over-valuation of the policies and attitudes which accompanied that success. . . . With time these attitudes become embedded in a system of beliefs, traditions, taboos, habits, customs, and inhibitions which constitute the distinctive culture of that firm. Such cultures are as distinctive as the cultural differences between nationalities or the personality differences between individuals. They do not adapt to change very easily.1

Human history is full of instances of communities and cultures being wiped out over time for the apparent reason of failing to change with the times. In the context of business, why is it that organizations such as Xerox, Wal-Mart, Hewlett-Packard, and Microsoft, comparative newcomers among large organizations, are considered blue-chip companies? Why should United States Rubber, American Tobacco, and General Motors lag behind? Why are General Electric, Walt Disney, Citicorp, Du Pont, and 3M continually ranked as "successful" companies? The outstanding common denominator in the success of companies is the element of change. When time demands that the perspective of an organization change, and the company makes an appropriate response, success is the outcome.

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