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INTRODUCTION

Mankind has entered the 21st century; the century began with many significant
changes in the global business environment, such as the constantly appear of the new
technologies and the close control of the regulations on the quality management. The activity
of the organizations must be linked to the global economy in order to win in the fierce and
intense competition. In this context, every organization has new opportunities to exploit as
well as facing with multiple risks, which need to prevent and limit. Therefore, in order to
adapt to the business environment and attain long-term success, the organizations must have
strategic thinking (Bonn, 2001). It means that all the business, in general, should have a longterm vision towards flexibility which is very necessary to ensure the survival and the
development of enterprises in future business environment. In addition, according to Fiol and
Lyles (1985) the business must pay particular attention to the strategic management. In
practice, the strategic management has been implemented by many organizations for a long
time. This is an important tool that helps many organizations succeed and achieve long-term
efficiency in the development process. There are three processes related to the strategic
management; namely strategic planning, strategic implementation and strategy evaluation
(Mintzberg, 1990). This tool is used to ensure that the businesses take advantages of every
opportunity and restrict or eliminate every threat. It is believed that implementing the plan is
the most difficult part of strategic management. The aim of this essay is to analyze the
implementation process of the strategic management at Asia Commercial Joint Stock Bank.
From that point, it mentions what kinds of difficult and how the organizations could
overcome it.
STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT OVERVIEW
There are many different concepts of strategic management; however, the most
general acceptance definition is the process of studying the inside and outside environmental
situation, implements and supervises the implementation of strategic decisions in order to
achieve the objectives which set forth by businesses (Bracker, 1980). The basic content of
strategic management is divided into 3 phases; namely: strategic planning, strategic

implementation and strategy evaluation. However, in actual operation of the organizations,


the level of emphasis on each stage of strategic management is different (Smith, Mitchell, &
Summer, 1985). It is the relative differences between companies in the same industry, the
operating companies in different sectors, and the companies of different countries. For
example, strategic management was applied in American corporate earlier than in the
Japanese company. While giant enterprises in America are mainly focused on the long-term
strategies, Japanese companies usually attach special importance to the short-term and
medium-term plans. There are numerous differences in the actual use of strategic
management in business. The reason is strategic management which is a scientific approach
to help businesses achieve a future goal by setting a direction. And there are many directions
for organizations to attain a goal; consequently, there are many differences in the actual use
of strategic management.
The first part of strategic management is strategic planning. Strategic planning
process is aim to proposed necessary tasks of organization (Below, Morrisey, & Acomb,
1987). It also studies the main factors of the external and the internal business environment
and assists organizations to build long-term goals. In terms of the external environment, this
is a system of complex factors. The variations of these factors are beyond the control of the
business, but strongly influence to the corporate strategy. Therefore, when analyzing the
elements of the environment, the businesses need to consider the nature of each factors and
the interaction between the factors in order to deal with the situations in a flexible manner. At
the same time, the organizations need to advance effective solutions to maximize
opportunities and limit or prevent the risks, in order to improve efficiency and reduce the loss
of the strategic management process.
The external environment includes two factors: there are macro environment and
micro environment. Regarding to the macro environment, this environment involves many
indicators such as political and legislation environment, economic environment, social and
cultural environment, and the natural environment (Osborn & Hunt, 1974). The political and
legislation environment encompasses the strategies and policies of government and the
current legal system. The states create of a business environment based on the law and state
management of the economy. The enactment of the quality legal system is the first condition

to ensure a fair business environment for organizations. Consequently, a small change in the
legal system, such as tax, investment, and so on will affect production and business activities
of the enterprise. The problem for businesses is to understand the law and put forward timely
solutions to deal with the unexpected event relate to the law. To turn to the effects of political
environment, the government has a great role in the economy through economic policy,
fiscal, and monetary programs (Ring, Lenway, & Govekar, 1990). The government role is
not only the customers, but also could be the providers for the organizations.
As regards to the economic environment, this is a very important factor to attract the
attention of all administrators. The impacts of this factor are directly affecting the
organizations. The environment developments always contain potential opportunities and
threats. It also influences the strategy of every business. Clarida, Gal and Gertler (1998)
noted that here are several elements of economic environment that the managers should
consider, such as the growth rate of the economy, the interest rate and the interest rate trends
in the economy, the monetary policy and the exchange rate, the tax system and tax rates, and
inflation.
About the social and cultural environment, it includes norms and values standards,
which are generally accepted and respected by society or a particular culture (Johnson,
Lenartowicz & Apud, 2006). The change of the socio-cultural factors partly a consequence of
the long-term impact of other factors. Thus it usually occurs slower than other factors. One of
the features that administrators should be noted, the impact of socio-cultural factors is often
difficult to identify compares to other factors. Moreover, the sphere of influence of the sociocultural factors is often extensive. Correspondingly, understanding about cultural - social will
be very important for decision makers in the process of strategic management in the
enterprise. There are some socio-cultural factors has strong influence to the business. For
instance, that could be the concept of ethics, aesthetics, lifestyle, and career; the customs,
practices and traditions or the interests and priorities of the society, and the level of
awareness and education of society. Noticeably, population is an important factor that affects
the cultural environment. The changes in the population will impact the cultural environment
as well as the business strategy of the organizations. The information about population will
provides important data for managers in planning product strategy, market strategy, and

distribution and advertising strategy. Some important aspects of population factor that the
managers should care about are: the total population of the society, the growth rate of
population, the structure and trends of population changes, the life expectancy and fertility
rates, and the shift of population between regions.
With regard to the natural environment, it include geographical location, climate,
natural scenery; land, rivers and sea, the nature resources, water, and air. It is believed that
natural environment has vital role on human life. It is also an input of many economic
sectors, such as agriculture, mining industry tourism, and transportation. In many cases, the
natural environment becomes a very important factor to form the competitive advantage of
products and services. However, in recent decades, humanity is witnessing the severe
degradation of the natural condition. For example, the growth of the environmental pollution,
the depletion and scarcity of natural resources, and the devastation of the ecological balance
(Pearce & Turner, 1990). In this context, the business strategy of the organizations should
save and use the natural resources efficiently. In addition, the organizations, in a way,
prioritize the development of production which ensures the maintenance, regeneration, and
helps to strengthen the natural conditions. Finally, it should promote the research and the
development of technologies in order to protect the ecological environment as well as
minimize the impact of environmental pollution caused by the operation of the organizations.
In terms of the micro environment, it is based on the Porters five forces analysis,
which includes five main indicators; namely: threat of new entrants, degree of industry
rivalry, bargaining power of suppliers, bargaining power of buyers, and substitute power
(Porter, 1979). Threat of new entrants involves the companies which have the ability to
compete in the present of in the future. The presence of potential competitors also increases
the competition among the organizations in the industry. As regards the degree of industry
rivalry, the study of competitors is very important for enterprises. The adequate information
about competitor in specific market area is the foundation for organizations to identify the
mission and plan appropriate strategies. In the context of the business environment is
increasingly complex and volatile, sometimes, the organizations have to cooperate for mutual
development with competitors. But sometimes, it is important to vanquish competitors to
reduce the threat.

The bargaining power of buyers indicator of the micro environment refers to the
individuals and organizations which have demand of products or offer of services (Porter,
1979). The relationship between enterprises and customers is the relationship between buyers
and sellers. Customers have a very strong influence in business strategy and decide the longterm development of enterprises. The customer is always the top concern of the enterprise.
All the efforts of enterprises are target to customers in order to attract customers attention,
stimulate customers interest, and promote customers to use products or services of the
business. When researching the business environment for strategic planning, the information
related to the customers will be analyzed by the organizations. Thereby, the managers could
identify target customers, develop policies and action plans to satisfy the needs of customers.
On the other hand, understanding about customers assists enterprise to improve the
marketing activities, consolidate long-term relationships with existing customers.
The bargaining power of suppliers implies that the enterprise or the individuals have
the capacity to produce and supply input factors, such as machinery and equipment, raw
materials, spares and replacement parts, or transportation (Porter, 1979). The quantity,
quality, variety, price, etc of the input factors are directly affect the organizational activity.
The suppliers could put pressure on the operational of organizations in some cases. For
example, the company's business is not important to the provider or the quantity purchased
by company which has a small proportion of the supplier's output. Sometimes, the small
number of providers or the difficulty in finding alternative providers could raise the problem.
Thus, the information about suppliers is essential for the managers to create a long-term
business strategy. The suppliers information has important significance for organizations to
find reliable provides. In addition, it will assist organizations to take advantages of
opportunities and have adaptation measures to prevent risks.
As regards to the substitute power, any product could be interchangeable with one
another. Therefore, it will lead to a competitive market. When the price of the main product
increases, it will encourage the use of alternative products and vice versa. In order to reduce
the pressure of substitute products, the businesses will require specific solutions. For
example, the organizations should always pay attention to the difference strategy, or put
forward solutions to improve product quality to compete with alternative products.

The internal environment includes elements that are in the operation and directly
influenced the strategic management of the organizations. Every business has different
internal environment and it changes over time. Therefore, analyzing the internal environment
is necessary for all types of organizations, and it helps organizations recognize its strengths
and weaknesses related to competitors. At the same time, it helps administrators grasp at
opportunities in each period. In addition, analyzing the internal environment makes the
employees understand its role and position in the operational process (Lings, 2004). Besides,
overseeing and analyzing the internal environment helps businesses improve communication
within the organization. In the process of analyzing the internal environment, the
administrators will be listed the advantages that the businesses can promote and the
weaknesses that the businesses need to diminish. Thus, in order to manage business, the
managers need timely grasp the core information about the resources in order to exploit
market opportunities and reduce weakness to avoid threats. The analysis of the internal
environment is done through the following steps.
Resources of an enterprise includes: human resources, physical assets, and intangible
resources. This is the decisive factor to performance of the business and decides the success
or failure in the marketplace. In each period, each resource could change over time.
Accordingly, the managers at all levels need information about existing resources to aim to
create advantages in the future.
Depending on the scale of operations, the division of the department is different. It is
consistent with the mission and the strategies in each period. There are several typical
departments of organizations, such as Marketing, HR, finance - accounting, research and
development, and so on. Each department has its own tasks but has close relationship with
each other. Therefore, analyzing these departments assists managers monitor the evolution of
the internal environment to fix the problems in time. Simultaneously, the managers could
identify the strengths and weaknesses in each area compared to competitors in order to have
competitive strategy and operational policies to adapt to the business environment.

STRATEGIC IMPLEMENTATION IN ASIA COMMERCIAL JOINT STOCK BANK


Implementing the strategy is an important step of the strategic management. In
practice, enterprises often spend too much time on selecting strategic decisions. Therefore,
according to Charan and Colvin (1999), the failure rate of strategic implementation is about
70 to 90 percent. During the implementation phase, the orientation plan will be transformed
into action. In a word, developing a strategy which is appropriate with the business
environment is very important. However, implementing the strategy is also an important
factor to ensure the success of the strategy. Naturally, implementing strategy is the process of
transforming the planned strategy into specific actions of the organization. Strategic
implementation requires a lot of effort, co-ordination of all departments and individuals
throughout the process. Thus, it is more difficult and complex than strategic planning.
There are several principles of implementing the strategy. First of all, the business
policy must be built to aim to implement strategic goals. Besides, in case the business
environment is not too volatility, the plans must be consistent to fulfill the strategic
objectives (Al-Mashari, Al-Mudimigh, & Zairi, 2003).
With the mission Bring Prosperity to Customers (History of ACB Bank, n.d), Asia
Commercial Joint Stock Bank has chosen the diversification strategy and the differentiation
strategy. Regarding to the diversification strategy, the bank is constantly investing in the
promotion of products and services to customers. Apart from commercials are constantly
appearing on TV, outdoor advertising, band roll, and so on. Asia Commercial Joint Stock
Bank usually organizes a lot of charitable activities, for instance, a fundraising for the poor or
for the child disability. Up to now, the organization has approximately 1,700 dealer banks
and bank branches in over 120 countries and territories (History of ACB Bank, n.d). In
Vietnam, is is tight relationship with all banks which are operating in Vietnam. The
enterprise is also constantly increasing market share and sales through improved products
and services. Some of the represent products and services are transfers, payment services, or
billing services to customers. From 2001, customers can use the service ACB- iBanking with
function to retrieve information and perform a transaction.
In term of the differentiation strategy, Asia Commercial Joint Stock Bank always
takes the initiative in applying the new technologies the business. Specifically, Asia

Commercial Joint Stock Bank was the first bank in Viet Nam that allows customers to send
money in one place and make withdrawals at any point in the system transactions nationwide
(Business Profile & Compliance, n.d.). Automatic bill payment service and salary payment
service are another typical example of the strong growth of retail products for individual
customers. And most recently, Asia Commercial Joint Stock Bank has officially launched the
services Securities-Online. That is an online service which connects investors deposit bank
accounts with securities investment accounts at securities firms.
There are five elements of the business strategy implementation model; namely:
Leadership, People, Culture, Systems, and Structure. With regard to the system element, the
organizational system of Asia Commercial Joint Stock Bank includes shareholders, board of
control, risk management committee, strategy committee, general manager and executive. In
addition, it also includes Central Credit Committee and department at the head office and the
branch network (History of ACB Bank, n.d). The advantages of this system help the division
have deep specialization. Moreover, each deputy general manager will undertake a specific
department. Thus subordinates can correctly identify the work and duty of its department.
Besides, each bureau undertakes specific functions; hence it is easier to manage.
Nevertheless, all the departments just do its specific work. As a result, it is difficult to
coordinate among the departments. It could also lead to the failure on the achieving
organizational goals.
Regarding to the culture element of the business strategy implementation model, the
organization has a strong corporate culture, therefore the employees have a strong attachment
to each other. Culture of Asia Commercial Joint Stock Bank is expressed by the vision and
missions that businesses has defined. Corporate culture in organizations could easily
recognize through logos, slogans, brochures, decorations, and the style of staff. The
employees of Asia Commercial Joint Stock Bank are highly appreciated by the professional
style.
The chairman of Asia Commercial Joint Stock Bank is Mr. Tran Hung Huy and the
general manager is Mr. Luong Van Tu. Up to now, the organizations have total 9 deputy
general directors of the company, including Mr. Julian Fong Loong Choon coming from
Malaysia (Business Profile & Compliance, n.d.). As can be seen, the background of the top

manager is diversity. Thus, board of directors has rich experience and sharp. With the high
quality administrators, Asia Commercial Joint Stock Bank has a great competitive advantage
compared to other banks. This is a favorable condition for the developmental effort of the
organization. Board of directors has striven to properly implement the tasks outlined. Thanks
to this, it contributes significantly to the overall success of the enterprise. With the
outstanding performance, the board of directors has confirmed the leading role in the
operation of the bank.
Asia Commercial Joint Stock Bank has identified that the people factor is the key
issue to ensure the success of the operation enterprise. As a result, the recruitment and the
remuneration policies to attracting the best employees have been identified as a key task. In
addition, the organization not only creates good working conditions but also intends the
incentives for its staff. The incentives could be salary, bonus or giving shares to employees.
Moreover, Asia Commercial Joint Stock Bank also reserved 5% shares for key employees to
aim to attract and maintain qualified personnel (Business Profile & Compliance, n.d.).
Furthermore, the foreign partners play an important role in training the staffs.
Power structure in Asia Commercial Joint Stock Bank is equally distributed. This
helps in promoting intellectual and relation of senior personnel in the management and
development of organizations. Furthermore, the employee from the foreign bank holds most
of the positions in senior personnel. Thus, the organization could benefit from the experience
in banking and financial sector of those employees.
Board of directors in Asia Commercial Joint Stock Bank has some limitation in
making decisions based on the diversity of the directors background. The lack consistency in
making decisions costs more time to solve the problem. Communication can also be viewed
as a difficulty, especially language barriers. In addition, looking for different ideas can make
the decision-making process become more complex and inconsistent.
In addition, the strategy of Asia Commercial Joint Stock Bank is very vague, cannot
express its own strengths and can be imitated easily by competitors.
To meet the demands of growth and development, the organization needs strategies
and standard procedures in recruiting, training and managing employees. Besides, it should

improve the quality of human resources by deploying training program for staff as well as
strengthen the organization. In addition, the recruitment needs to be transparency and make
the targets more in line with job requirements. And it is important to build suitable
remuneration which is commensurate with the employee's contribution to the bank to
promote job performance of employees.
Today, the quality of service is also considered one of the most important criteria to
attract customers. To improve service quality, Asia Commercial Joint Stock Bank needs to
improve the transaction procedure towards convenience and friend with customers, and make
customers feel comfortable when business with enterprise do.
Regarding to the culture factor, the organization should set up a plan to maintain
organizational character. Up to then, the employees will desire to devote to the bank and
assist enterprise to achieve the mutual goals.
CONCLUSION
In conclusion, the strategic management has been implemented by many
organizations in order to ensure the survival and the development of enterprises. This is an
important tool that helps many organizations succeed and achieve long-term efficiency in the
development process. However, it is believed that the strategic implementation is always the
most difficult step in the strategic management process. And in Asia Commercial Joint Stock
Bank, the five elements of the business strategy implementation model have been effectuated
well. Nonetheless, board of directors in Asia Commercial Joint Stock Bank has some
limitation in strategy implementation. And it is necessary for the organization to solve all the
limitation to aim to sustainable development.

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