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LSE (London

School of
Economics)

University of Birmingham University of


Durham University
Southampton University Reading

Doctorate in Business Administration


(DBA)
DBA STRATEGY ROADMAP:
Part1: Company Report: eBay.com

Part2: The Evidence Review

Part3: Reflection for employability enhancement & leadership

For Assignment writing or Dissertation Help, Please Contact:

Dr. Sajid Saeed


+447762198474 (WhatsApp/Viber/imo)
Email: todrsaeed@gmail.com
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Table of Contents
Part I: Company Analysis .......................................................................................................................... 3
1.0 Organization Background: eBay Inc............................................................................................... 3
1.1 Current performance .................................................................................................................... 4
1.2 Competitive position ..................................................................................................................... 6
1.3 Situational analysis of eBay .......................................................................................................... 7
2.0 Proposed business solution to E-bay ............................................................................................. 10
2.1 Strategy Map: Balance Score Card ........................................................................................... 10
2.2 Impact on current business practices upon implementation of proposed strategy map ...... 14
2.3 Challenges in organizational learning ....................................................................................... 14
3.0 Wider implications if proposal is not implemented ..................................................................... 15
References .............................................................................................................................................. 16
Part II: Evidence Review.......................................................................................................................... 18
1.0 Overview of the section ................................................................................................................... 18
2.0 Strategy Map ................................................................................................................................... 18
2.1 Balance Score Card..................................................................................................................... 19
3.0 Strategy map and potential DBA perspectives ............................................................................. 22
References .............................................................................................................................................. 24
Part III: Reflection for Employability Enhancement ............................................................................ 26
1.0 Core capabilities and Critical thinking required for eBay’s consultancy task ......................... 26
2.0 Assessment of personal leadership experience, potential, and competencies ............................ 27
3.0 Ability Assessment to work on consultancy task.......................................................................... 28
4.0 Personal leadership development plan and career accession ...................................................... 28
References .............................................................................................................................................. 30
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Part I: Company Analysis


1.0 Organization Background: eBay Inc
Ebay Inc is basically a global e-commerce organization based in America. The company mainly
conducts sales, business-to-consumer and consumer-to-consumer through its corporate website
(Beblin 2005). The company was established in 1995 by Pierre Omidyar and gained notable
success quickly. Presently eBay is a multibillion-dollar company that operates in more than 30
countries. The company operates through online platform, i.e., eBay.com, which is a shopping and
auction website through which businesses and people sell and buy wide range of services and
goods globally. The website of the company could be used for free by buyers whereas small
charges are taken from sellers for listing their items and also again upon sale of those goods.
Besides this, the website of eBay uses traditional auction-style sales, however, it is not evolving
to include online event ticket trade (through StabHub); online advertisements/ classifieds (through
eBay Classifieds or Kijiji); and shopping by ISBN, UPC or other SKU number and "Buy It Now"
shopping, besides other services. In addition to this, eBay also provided online money transfer
services (through PayPal) which was previously a subsidiary (wholly owned) between 2002 and
2015 (Demmer 2017).

The following is the simple business model of eBay which is based on face to face auctions
(Cabrera 2014)
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1.1 Current performance


The current financial performance of eBay is discussed with respect to different key indicators
discussed by Shah (n.d.). With respect to sales and revenues, the revenues has decreased
dramatically since 2012 ($14.1billion); however, there has been a little increase in 2016 ($8.9
billion) (Shah n.d.). However, its revenues are far less than its main competitor, i.e., Amazon.
Moreover, its year to year growth in 2016 is 4.5% whereas Amazon has 27.1%. In contrast, net
profit of eBay is $7.2 billion with year to year net profit margin of 80.9%, whereas Amazon has
net profit of $2.371 billion with year to year profit margin on 1.7% as shown in the image below
(Revenues and Profits 2016):

Figure 1: Revenues and profits of e-commerce organizations (Revenues and Profits 2016)

The valuation metrics reflects investment opportunity and stock’s value. Considering price-to-
earnings (P/E) ratio (as shown in image below), JD.Com has the highest followed by Amazon and
Alibaba (Khaitan 2017). The current P/E ratio is 21.4 (Wiki Invest 2018). This reflects that eBay
has less market value than its competitors.
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Figure 2: Price-to-Earnings Ratio (Khaitan 2017)

With respect to price-to-sales (P/S) ratio, Ali Baba has the highest as compared to other e-
commerce and technology giant organizations. Nonetheless, eBay has better Price to Sales ratio
than Amazon (shown in the image below) which reflects that the company has better investment
opportunity (Khaitan 2017). The current price-to-sales (P/S) ratio of eBay is 4.38% (Wiki Invest
2018)

Figure 3: Price to Sales Ratio (Khaitan 2017)

With respect to active user base, Shah (n.d.) provides that eBay’s comprises of 157.3 million
whereas Amazon has 270 million in 2014. However, the increasing use of smart phones and mobile
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interface platforms has also contributed to the growth of Amazon and eBay, where there are 42,
871 smartphone-only users of Amazon and 21,933 of eBay in 2014. Though, eBay has less users,
however, it was ranked third (Amazon stood at fourth) among the survey of factors such as ease
of use, communication, customer service, composition of consumer review on profitability of
seller, and recommendation on a selling site.

1.2 Competitive position


Ebay has good competitive position but stands below Amazon. The following image shows the
survey outcomes of the cross border online shoppers that reflects company’s success in fulfilling
customer’s demands, expectations and satisfaction (Y-Statistics 2017).

Figure 4: Online purchase survey outcome (Y-Statistics 2017)

However, with respect to the competitive position obtained by e-commerce organizations, eBay
stand third, where Alibaba and Amazon leads the global market (Kate Ideas n.d.).
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Figure 5: E-commerce global competitors (Kate Ideas n.d.)

1.3 Situational analysis of eBay


1.3.1 SWOT Analysis
E-Bay’s internal and external strategic position is assessed in four areas using SWOT analysis.
With respect to strengths of eBay, the company is a strong and popular brand which is easily
recognized by traders and customers. This is one of the strongest internal factor that has made it
more competitive as compared to other e-commerce organizations. Besides this, another strength
of eBay is that its cost-effectiveness is largely dependent on the economies of scale which has
helped the company in fulfilling its mission and vision. Moroever, it has also made eBay more
prominent player in the market for ticket exchange services, classified, and online market place.
Furthremore, this factor has also impleved operation management of the company. Another
strength is competitiveness and flexibility of region-specific operations which have successfully
met the issues of regional online auction/ retail markets. However, region specific operations has
helped to attract more merchants and consumers to use eBay. In addition to this, eBay has strong
organizational culture which supports results-oriented quality.

With respect to weaknesses, the eBay’s organizational culture lack focus on innovation which
should be the priority of organization to achieve excellence of being results oriented organization
(Weber 2008). Moreover, lack of focus on innovation has also limited the competitiveness and
growth of the company in its industry. The competitors of e-bay, such as Ali Baba, Amazon, etc.,
have achieved high growth because of their focus on innovation. Besides this, another weakness
is the centralized organizational structure at eBay’s that limits the ability of managers and
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employees to do something creative or handle customers in better way. Moreover, the centralized
structure has also hampered the decision making at regional-operated hubs thereby making eBay
less competitive.

With respect to opportunities, the company has huge opportunity and potential to expand its
operations in other markets. Being a technology firm, the company could expand into more regions
through increasing its online presence and attracting promotional/ marketing strategies which will
not only help the company to capitalize on technology trends and increasing online purchase rates
(Belbin 2005). Besides this, another opportunity available to the company is to improve its
innovation and internal business process which will help the company to expand through all means.
For instance, innovating new products will help eBay to have improved user accessibility via the
Internet which will improve customer satisfaction and expectations. Besides this, eBay could also
take advantage to diversify its business to make business more resilient.

With respect to threats, the company faces strong competition from its rivals, e-commerce
organizations, who have emerged as technology giants and left eBay behind. Another threat faced
by eBay is the constant change and update in technology where failure to update and adoption
could result in complete business failure. Likewise, change in constant business environment and
customers’ expectations and demands could also affect the eBay largely.

1.3.2 PESTLE Analysis


PESTLE analysis helps to assess external strategic factors that could affect the company and its
operations while operating in a competitive environment. This tool of analysis include political
factors, environmental factors, economic factors, legal factors, technological factors, and socio-
cultural factors.

With respect to political factors, the support of government to the e-commerce organizations
provides an opportunity to eBay to expand and grow its business. Likewise, the Government also
supports development of IT infrastructure in nearly all the regions where eBay creates favorable
work environment for the country. However, this support by the Government helps to create the
bigger user base (of both traders and consumers) that promotes competition. However, change in
policies to counter terrorism impact could affect the development of IT network, and so the
company (Scupola 2009). Likewise, in few regions, the government-imposed restrictions could
also affect expansion plans of eBay.
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With respect to economic factors, the economic growth of all the country where eBay operates
have high influence on its business (Jones 2010). This is because the favorable economic factors
help to increase trade volume and thereby profitability. Therefore, all the regions with good
economic prospects provides greater opportunity to eBay to develop and rapidly expand its
business. Moreover, the economic factors of both developed and developing countries supports
online purchase and trade options that benefits eBay to increase revenues.

With respect to socio-cultural factors, the increasing online activities such as buying and selling
provides eBay several opportunities to grow. The increasing use of internet has also increased the
number of online users globally. The company could attract more traders and consumers to eBay’s
online market place website to engage in different activities (Hill and Jones 2012). Proportionately,
the preference of people to use convenience based online services with efficiency and effectiveness
has also brought more customers to the platform. However this could have negative impact on
eBay as its services are considered less efficient and low quality as other similar platforms are
providing enhanced customer services with best quality.

With respect to technological factors, increasing use of mobile devices for online shopping has
increased challenges to e-commerce organizations as consumers look for ease shopping and use
platforms (Shelly and Vermaat 2009). However, the same trend, on the other hand, provides e-
commerce organizations, including eBay, to improve its mobile applications through adaptation
of better technology and enhancing customer services. In addition to this, the ever changing
technology requires quick adaptation with improvement has created difficulties for eBay as it
failed to quickly modify its existing technology and acquire/ adapt to new ones.

With respect to environmental factors, the increasing consideration for the environment provides
enormous opportunities to eBay to take sustainability measures and contribute positively to the
environment. For this, green online market place could be established by eBay which will not only
help in improving business sustainability (Herold 2017), but will also attract more traders and
merchants. Likewise, several social responsibility measures could be taken by eBay to strengthen
its brand image while operating in contemporary business environment. Likewise, the company
could also take advantage from the renewable energy which is now increasingly used in online
servers (Data Forma 2016).
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With respect to legal factors, the changing e-commerce regulations globally provides opportunity
and threat to the eBay’s business (Jones 2010). The improved legal legislations has increased
requirements and controls of the e-commerce platforms and online business websites. However,
in most developing countries, there are stricter and rigid regulations on the operations of online
retail website operations that could affect growth and penetration in such countries.

1.4 Identification of operational inefficiencies at eBay

The current performance, competitor analysis, and internal and external strategic analysis of the
company and its environment revealed that the company is facing much challenges in growth and
expansion. The increasing number of small and large competitors, constant change in technology,
increasing consumer trend of online purchases, efficient customer services and improved business
methods provides serious challenges to eBay. The key reason behind these challenges is the lack
of company’s focus on innovation and technology in its core internal business operation which is
largely dependent on technology for success.

2.0 Proposed business solution to E-bay


On the basis of identified inefficiencies and weaknesses, eBay is proposed to implement the
following business solutions or strategies into its business to improve its current position.

2.1 Strategy Map: Balance Score Card


The key objective of the proposed strategy map include expansion of business through
technological adaptation; attract large number of buyers and sellers to its e-commerce platform
through efficient services; improve competitive position and market share; and assure
sustainability of the company. However, to achieve these, the following strategic changes and
directions in the area of financial, customer, business and learning and development are proposed.

With respect to the financial perspectives, the following strategies are suggested to be implemented
immediately at eBay to achieve the provided objectives in the next year.

Revenue Growth Increase P/E and P/S Improve Capacity Other Financials
ratios (Valuation Utilization
Metrics)
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 Attract more  Improve both, i.e.,  The existing  Improve financial


customers while price to sales ratio capacity position (general)
retaining existing and price to should be by increasing
customers earnings ratios to improved in all revenues and
 Increase growth of attract more regions which profitability and
the company by investors in the will help to decreasing cost of
10% company. increase operations and
revenues and debt.
profitability.

With respect to the customer perspectives, the following strategies are suggested to be
implemented at eBay.

Create customer Cost Reliability Products/ Services


value
 Maintain  Minimize  Increase  Provide high
competitive prices commission and reliability of quality services
 Improve customer annual fees. services by with consistency,
experience increasing timely and
 Train employees accountability affordability
to increase/ from seller  Offer competitive
improve customer- (trader) side process and
employee  Make services product offering
engagement and more efficient  Increase customer
relationship satisfaction by
more than 90% in
all areas, i.e.,
service, quality,
relationship,
product offering,
communication,
etc.
 Improve brand
image
 Create good will
and long term
relationship with
customers by
offering them
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premiums or
promotional
benefits.

With respect to the internal business perspectives, the following strategies are suggested to be
implemented at eBay.

Environmental and Research and Customer Operational/


Social Development Process Relationship Business Process
Management
 E-Bay should use  Focus on  Increase  Integrate Meta
renewable energy innovation to understanding NaaS into business
to promote green expand and grow with customers platform as it will
online shopping  Adapt to changing to provide high help eBay to and
and environment technology, either quality reliable
sustainability. by developing services connectivity and
 Meet legal internally or  Develop always-on network
provisions of e- outsourcing/ efficient security with
commerce in all acquisition. customer enhanced user
the countries  Make online relationship experience.
where it operates. website easy to management  Implement six
 Encourage use to increase teams sigma technology
business partners customer  Assure that all to operate more
and suppliers to satisfaction. the demands efficiently with
adapt green  Offer innovative and fewer servers,
practices. and exclusive expectations of better project
 Create awareness products to attract customers are delivery and faster
among traders and customers. met. call response
customers to deal  Achieve  Provide high times. Moreover,
in eco-friendly economies of scale level customer it will improve
products. in products that services with internal processes
are high in standard and that include line-
demand. quality. of-business,
 Maintain reliability and
customer speed of network.
database and  Increase
offer products dependency on
according to cloud computing
their demands, services to
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last visit, minimize storage


search and issues and be more
requirements. cost effective.
 Improve and  Train employees
increase to effectively deal
communication with new business
between eBay processes.
and customers  Improve
(including organizational
traders and culture, i.e.,
consumers). decentralize
operations and
allow regional
centres to take
decisions
important for the
growth and
development of
the business.
 Increase market
share
 Make smart-phone
user interface
more friendly

With respect to the learning and growth perspectives, the following strategies are suggested to be
implemented at eBay.

Employees Continuous Leadership and Training and


Learning organizational culture Development
Opportunities

 Maintain long  Adapt to changing  Decentralize  Improve skills of


term relationship technological organization on employees by
with employees requirements regional basis providing them
 Increase employee  Implement most  Adapt training
commitment, recent measures of transformational  Focus to improve
motivation and organizational style of customer
satisfaction with performance leadership while management skills
the organization. implementing
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new technology
or bringing
technological
changes
 Integrate
innovation and
creativity with
organizational
culture.

2.2 Impact on current business practices upon implementation of proposed strategy map
The proposed strategy map through balance score card provides several benefits to eBay upon its
implementation. Predominantly, the implementation of strategies in four identified areas, i.e.,
financials, customer, internal business and learning and growth will help eBay to improve its
current and future business practices while assuring growth, expansion and profitability (Alkhalifa
2010). Besides this, the proposed strategies will help eBay to increase its competitive position in
its industry and compete more closely with Amazon and Ali Baba. Moreover, customer
satisfaction, website traffic, site visits, trade and deals, etc., will be increased which will benefit
eBay in expanding in more geographic locations and increase its business size. Likewise, the
implementation of proposed strategies will improve internal business process of eBay which will
lead to superior performance delivery and meet customer expectations (D'Atri, Ferrara and George
2011). Thus, eBay could then assure its long term sustainability upon implementing proposed
strategies.

2.3 Challenges in organizational learning


Most organizations face serious difficulties in learning and adapting; however, it could be reduced
by cultivating a culture that is focused on innovation, growth and learning. Likewise, eBay could
also face some challenges while implementing proposed strategies across the organization,
including regions where it operates. For instance, the employees could not quickly adapt to
technological changes or may show reserve behavior at the time of transformation (adaptation to
new technology). Likewise, technological change is a continuous process which some employees
may not accept as it requires constant innovation, training and improved efficiency from them.
Similarly, failure to adapt to any technology quickly might bring another new technology, leaving
organization at an increased cost of poor adoption of former technology and cost of new
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technology (Hale and Stanney 2014). Therefore, it is important to train and encourage employees
to be quick and efficient in adapting to changing technology to enjoy its potential benefits. Besides
this, the high centralization could also create hindrance and challenge to the employees in adapting
to new technology and its implementation across the organization. This is because high
centralization with large change in command structure requires more time in implementing a
solution across the organization. Therefore, the organizational structure should be changed to
decentralization to increase the outcomes and success of the technology adoption and
implementation.

3.0 Wider implications if proposal is not implemented


Though, it is recommended that proposed strategy map (using balance score card) should be
implemented immediately to improve competitive position of eBay; however, in case if the
company resisted to implement the proposal, it could face serious consequences in the next few
years. For instance, eBay may lose its competitive position and ranking amongst customer survey.
Likewise, its negative image, poor brand recognition, loss of trust (traders and consumers) could
affect eBay’s survival and growth. Similarly, eBay could lose its market share, and incur high debt
and losses in its financials. This would all result in poor customer services, poor internal processes,
customer dissatisfaction and even risk of taken over by any other giant e-commerce and technology
giant organization.
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References
Alkhalifa, EM 2010, E-strategies for Resource Management Systems: Planning and
Implementation, Idea Group Inc (IGI)

Belbin, D 2005, The EBay Book: Essential Tips for Buying and Selling on EBay. Co. Uk, Harriman
House Limited

Cabrera, O 2014. Pionners on the Web: eBay. Available from https://storify.com/ocmorfeo/ebay


[23 April 2018]

Data Forma 2016. How Does Cloud Computing With Dataforma Benefit The Environment?.
Available from https://www.dataforma.com/how-does-cloud-computing-with-dataforma-
benefit-the-environment/ [23 April 2018]

D'Atri, A, Ferrara, M, George, JF and Spagnoletti, P 2011, Information Technology and Innovation
Trends in Organizations: ItAIS: The Italian Association for Information Systems, Springer
Science & Business Media

Demmer, C 2017, Ebay: How to Find Profitable Items, Set Up Your Shop, Attract Customers &
Start Selling Today, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Hale, KS and Stanney, KM 2014, Handbook of Virtual Environments: Design, Implementation,


and Applications, CRC Press

Herold, DM 2017. Sustainable Shopping: the eco-friendly guide to online Christmas shopping.
Available from http://theconversation.com/sustainable-shopping-the-eco-friendly-guide-
to-online-christmas-shopping-88252 [23 April 2018]

Hill, CWL and Jones, GR 2012, Strategic Management: An Integrated Approach, Cengage
Learning

Jones, GR 2010, Organizational Theory, Design, and Change, Prentice Hall

Kate Ideas n.d. The Rise of Alibaba and the Changing E-commerce Landscape: A Book Review of
Alibaba’s World. Available from http://www.kateideas.com/rise-alibaba-changing-e-
commerce-landscape-book-review-alibabas-world/ [24 April 2018]
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Revenues and Profits 2016. US Top-10 Internet Companies by 2016 Revenues. Available from
https://revenuesandprofits.com/us-top-10-internet-companies-2016-revenues/ [23 April
2018]

Scupola, A 2009, eBay: An E-Titan Success Story, Idea Group Inc (IGI)

Shah, S n.d. A Fundamental Analysis of Amazon and eBay. Available from


https://www.investopedia.com/articles/markets/062315/fundamental-analysis-amazon-
and-ebay.asp [23 April 2018]

Shelly, GB and Vermaat, ME 2009, Discovering Computers 2010: Living in a Digital World,
Complete, Cengage Learning

Weber, S 2008, Ebay 101: Selling on Ebay for Part-Time Or Full-Time Income, Beginner to
Powerseller in 90 Days, Stephen Weber

Y-Statistics 2017. yStats.com’s new report: Cross-border B2C E-Commerce to increase its share
of the global online retail market. Available from https://www.ystats.com/ystats-coms-
new-report-cross-border-b2c-e-commerce-to-increase-its-share-of-the-global-online-
retail-market/ [24 April 2018]
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Part II: Evidence Review


1.0 Overview of the section
The second part of the DBA strategy roadmap discusses literary evidences in the area of strategy
map and balance score card. The literature will shed light on the increasing importance of use of
balance score card by the organizations to develop and implement different strategies. This is
because it is a comprehensive tool that cover all four important areas that require high
consideration by the organization and its management. Therefore, the literature discussed and
reviewed in this part will support the consultancy report on eBay.

2.0 Strategy Map


According to Islam (2016) strategy map was basically developed to support balance score card
that include for areas/ perspectives, i.e., customer, financial, internal process and learning and
innovation. The reason behind its development was to assist in the implementation of the different
strategies to improve business outcomes. Moreover, the strategy map of balance score card also
provides different strategies, objectives, approaches or measures to be adopted and implementation
proposition.

Strategy formulation and implementation lies to the heart of core business objectives. This is
because without any proper strategic direction or development of strategies, it is difficult to achieve
them or vision the future of an organization. However, it is important to have efficient
management, implementation and control to achieve the set strategies and targets. Kaplan and
Norton (1992) identifies that strategy map could be either presented in table form or with the help
of graphs which reflects the flexibility of strategy map and balance score card. In strategic
management, balance score card has important role in the decision making process of an
organization. This is because the efficient decisions helps to make strategies achievable. Therefore,
several researchers that include Mathys (2006) and Ghosh and Mukherjee (2006) have argued on
the usefulness and efficiency of the strategy map and its implementation in the organization.
Likewise, another researcher González et al., (2012) identified positive relationship between
strategy map and organizational performance. According to them, strategy map not only helps to
provides unlimited benefits to the organization, but also helps managers to take better decisions as
it filters important information while proposing its efficient utilization. Likewise, Jones (2016) has
also identified that strategy map not only provides internal strategic direction, i.e., to grow
internally; but it also provides external strategic directions, i.e., to develop and expand to achieve
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distinctive position in the industry. Thus, it could be said that strategy map links different factors,
involving internal and external areas to help organization to grow and sustain.

Though, it is argued by Bryson, Ackermann, Eden (2014) that strategy maps helps an organization
to become successful, however, it depends on the measures adapted by the organization to
comprehend the strategic directions. For instance, the management must show self-control and
adhere strictly to their roles, responsibilities and duties and remain accountable to shareholders.
Likewise, the structure of the organization must be supportive to the balance score card strategy
execution. This means that to assure successful accomplishment of objectives, the implementation
of strategies should be assured from the lower level to the top management. All the members in
the management hierarchy must be clear about the strategy road maps, its execution plan and
expected outcomes. Besides this, it is also debated by Ackermann and Eden (2011) that strategy
map should conform to the strategic position of an organization, therefore there is no standardized
strategies to be readily implemented by all the organizations operating in the same industry.
However, strategies of one organization could be used as a bench mark by other organization to
improve its current position, market share and profitability. Similarly, Khanna and Palepu (2010)
provides that strategy map must be implemented after considering its limitations, restrictions and
pitfalls. This is because failure to consider the weaknesses could not bring desired results.
Therefore, the management should possess high level of skills, broad vision, leadership qualities
and other positive factors to make implementation of strategy map successful. Moreover, the flaws
and potential benefits of the strategy map should be communicated to the employees so that they
could be motivated to take active participation in its execution.

Thus, it could be said that strategy map serves as an important tool to improve performance of an
organization. However, proper planning and execution with control and monitoring is necessary
for its success.

2.1 Balance Score Card


Balance score card was originally developed by Kaplan and Norton (1992) as sum of important
measures that provides top management of an organization with comprehensive and fast view of
the business. It includes operational and financial measures that helps management to look
business from other perspectives of financial, learning and innovation, internal process and
customers. Nevertheless, the cause-and effect relation that exists between all the dimensions were
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ignored initially. In contrast, Nair (2004) states that outcomes of the execution of the balance score
card is clearly reflected in the performance of an organization. Through efficient balance score
card strategies, an organization could effectively overcome its weaknesses or areas of poor
performance.

There are different steps that are required to be followed for effective balance score card (Albright
et al. 2007; and Bible, Kerr, Stephen and Zanini 2006). Initially, the important outcomes that are
significant for organizational success should be identified. Then on this basis, the different
processes that helps to achieve these outcomes should be considered. After that, the key
performance indicators should be developed for the different processes identified previously.
Then, reliable data measurement and capture system should be developed followed by the drafting
of different mechanisms to report or communicate these to the employees and management.
Finally, improvement programs should be conducted on regular basis to assure improvement in
the organizational performance (Beasley et al 2009). In contrast, Braam and Nijssen (2004) has
summarized execution of balance score card strategies into four simple steps. Initially, the vision
of the company must be transformed to set targets. Then the targets must be reported and
communicated to all the employees so that they could align their individual performance with that
of organization. After this, the strategies could be modified or adjusted on the basis of their
performance, monitoring outcomes or feedback. Finally, the learning outcomes identified from
weak implementation should be assessed and re-implemented with better strategies and measures.
By following these steps, the balance score card could be applied in several areas. For instance, it
could be used to assist in the execution of an organization’s strategy. However, the procedure
followed for the effective development of balance score card will create awareness amongst
managers regarding their work and importance of decisions in the organization (Souissi and Itoh
2006). However, while implementing balance score card, the top management is responsible to
request regular performance reports of the balance score card measures to timely identify
deviation, if any. The efficient monitoring and control with the implementation of balance score
card is necessary to identify whether appropriate actions are taken for each strategy. Nevertheless,
the external stakeholders could also request the access of balance score card measures to have
greater understanding of the organization’s objectives and to find out whether the strategies aim at
maximization of shareholder value or not (Veth 2006). Thus, the application or execution of
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balance score card strategies is the most important phase for all, i.e., management, employees and
external stakeholders.

Bititci, Carrie and Mcdevitt (1997); Epstien and Wisner (2001); and Fredireco and Covenghi
(2009) provides several benefits of Balance score card to an organization. Firstly, its use helps an
organization to translate strategies into quantifiable parameters. Secondly, it helps to communicate
strategy across the organization, i.e., to all the employees and internal stakeholders. Thirdly,
balance score card helps to align individual goals with that of an organization. It recognizes the
measures that helps to influence employees and their behaviors. Fourthly, balance score card
provides feedback on the implementation of the outcomes of the strategic planning process.
Fifthly, the balance score card helps an organization to identify new governance structure while
renewing processes that focuses on strategy. Sixthly, balance score card manages intangible assets
such as employee capabilities, innovation and customer loyalty. Seventhly, it focuses on critical
aspects that could be achieved in real time. Eighthly, balance score card maintains a daily
management system for the routine navigation of the organization and its business. Besides this,
balance score card provides several other benefits to the organization, starting from the strategy
formulation to its implementation and communication.

Though, balance score card provides several benefits, but it also has some pitfalls to an
organization. Therefore, the limitations or pitfalls should be considered while implementing
strategies formulated through balance score card (Kaplan and Norton 2001; and Martinsons,
Davison, and Tse 1999). Firstly, it is important to have well defined strategy for balance score card
with an effective understanding of the relationship between metrics and strategic objectives.
However, in other case, the balance score card implementation could not yield desired results.
Secondly, it is not important that using several non-financial measures help to reap the expected
benefits. Therefore, the measures should include both financial and non-financial which should be
described on the basis of past performance to plan future strategies and objectives. Thirdly, the
measures should be generic in nature. This means that measures adopted by other organizations
could not necessarily be applied to all organizations. The measures should be on the basis of an
organization’s competitive position. Fourthly, it is necessary that strategies should focus on
improving all the areas and there must by conformity. This is because biased strategies formed for
specific dimensions could hinder organization to move in defined strategic direction. Fifthly, the
balance score card must be integrated into the resource allocation, budgeting and planning
22

processes, particularly while altering any of the score card metrics. This is because the cost, time
and other realistic assumptions should be considered to assure proper implementation of balance
score card. Sixthly, to make balance score card practical and useful, it is important to assign
weights to different perspectives, both non-financial and financial, on the basis of their significance
to the organization. Seventhly, one of the major hindrance in the successful implementation of
balance score card is that lack of focus on continuous modification (on the basis of feedback ) and
monitoring as both financial and non-financial measures are subjected to change on the basis of
change in external environment and demand.

Thus, it could be said that efficiency and success of balance score card lies in the effective
development of strategies and proper implementation. However, the post execution of balance
score card brings wide benefits to the organization; however, the limitations or pitfalls should be
considered so that more focused and targeted long term growth could be achieved.

3.0 Strategy map and potential DBA perspectives


The consultancy report on strategy road map and the empirical findings or review of existing
literature has provided deeper understanding about how an organization plans its strategies,
executes them and achieve desired outcomes. However, it has also helped to understand the
implications if an organization fails to understand the limitations or challenges of proper
formulation of strategies and execution of balance score card. Moreover, the formulation of
strategy map, assessment of the chosen organization (i.e., eBay) along with its strategic position
and internal/ external factors has developed an understanding about what strategy means to an
organization and why it is important. This understanding of the significance has helped me to
prepare an efficient and comprehensive consultancy report which will further help me while
proceeding with other DBA courses and eventually the final research. Moreover, the learning
outcomes of the present report will help me in identifying my weaknesses which could be
improved and help me in increasing my consultancy skills. Furthermore, I have learned the
necessity of proper learning, acquiring market knowledge, strategy execution, identifying
limitations and control/ monitoring with an organization. These are well reflected in the
consultancy report. However, the research skills developed and market information acquired by
me will help me in preparing comprehensive research and consultancy reports in future (Gijbels,
Donche ,and Richardson 2013). Thus, it could be concluded that consultancy report and review of
literature has increased my logical thinking ability, punctuality, assessment of information, use
23

broader range of sources and viewing things from diverse perspectives which are helpful from
DBA potential perspectives.
24

References
Ackermann, F and Eden, C 2011, Making Strategy: Mapping Out Strategic Success, SAGE
Publications

Albright, T. et al. Making a Balanced Scorecard program a success: beyond the measure-selection
process. Journal of Corporate Accounting & Finance, May 2007, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp
65-72

Beasley et al 2006, ‘Working hand in hand: Balanced Scorecards and enterprise risk management’,
Strategic Finance, Volume 87, Issue 9, pp 49-55

Bible, L. Kerr, Stephen. and Zanini, M. The Balanced Scorecard: here and back. Management
Accounting Quarterly, Summer 2006, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp 18-23

Bititci, U, Carrie, A and Mcdevitt, l 1997, ‘Integrated performance measurement system: a


development guide’, International journal of operations & production management,
Vol.17, No 5-6. pp 522-534

Braam, G and Nijssen, E 2004, ‘Performance effects of using the Balanced Scorecard: a note on
the Dutch experience’, Long Range Planning, Volume 37, pp 335-349.

Bryson, JM, Ackermann, F and Eden, C 2014, Visual Strategy: Strategy Mapping for Public and
Nonprofit Organizations, John Wiley & Sons

Epstien and Wisner 2001, ‘Good neighbors: implementing social and environmental strategies
with the BSC’, Harvard Business School publishing. Balanced Scorecard Report: May –
June 2001. pp 3-6.

Fredireco, G and Covenghi, V 2009, ‘The measurement of organizational performance with focus
on stakeholders: A performance prism approach’, Sao Paulo State University; POMS 20th
Annual Conference Orlando,. pp 2-17.

Ghosh, S, and Mukherjee, S 2006, ‘Measurement of coporate performance through balanced


scorecard: an overview’, Vidyasagar University Journal of Commerce, Vol. 11, p. 64-67.

Gijbels, D, Donche, V, Richardson, JTE and Vermunt, JD 2013, Learning Patterns in Higher
Education: Dimensions and Research Perspectives, Routledge
25

González et al., 2012, ‘The alignment of manager’s mental models with the balanced scorecard
strategy map’, Total Quality Management, Volume 23, Number 5, pp. 624-625.

Islam, S 2016, Design Appropriateness of Strategy Map Frameworks, Relations Underlying Early-
stage Business Models, and Narrative Tests: A Thesis Submitted for the Degree of Doctor
of Philosophy at the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand, University of Otago

Jones, P 2016, Strategy Mapping for Learning Organizations: Building Agility Into Your Balanced
Scorecard, CRC Press

Kaplan, R and Norton, D 2001, ‘Transforming the balanced scorecard from performance
measurement to strategic management: Part 1’, Accounting Horizons, Volume 15, Issue 1,
pp 87-104

Kaplan, RS and Norton, DP 1992, ‘The Balanced Scorecard—Measures That Drive Performance’,
Harvard Business Review, p. 71–79.

Kaplan, RS and Norton, DP 2002, ‘Strategy maps. Converting Intangible Assets Into Tangible
Outcomes’, Harvard Business Review

Khanna, T and Palepu, KG 2010, Winning in Emerging Markets: A Road Map for Strategy and
Execution, Harvard Business Press

Martinsons, M, Davison R, and Tse, D 1999, ‘The balanced scorecard: A foundation for the
strategic management of information systems’, Decision Support Systems, Volume 25,
Issue 71-88

Mathys, NJ 2006, Using the Balanced Scorecard: Lessons Learned from the U.S. Postal Service
and the Defense Finance and Accounting Service. p. 9–10.

Nair, M 2004, Essentials of Balanced Scorecard, John Wiley & Sons

Souissi, M and Itoh, K 2006, ‘Integrating target costing and the Balanced Scorecard’, Journal of
Corporate Accounting and Finance, Vol. 17, Issue 3, pp 57-61

Veth, G 2006, ‘Mapping the path to the future’, DM Review, Volume 16, Issue 5, pp 32-33
26

Part III: Reflection for Employability Enhancement


1.0 Core capabilities and Critical thinking required for eBay’s consultancy task
The completion of the consultancy report on eBay realized me that I possess many skills and
competencies that will help me in future. Though, I possess most strengths; however, there are still
some weaknesses for which I need to take different measures to improve them. However, I could
also take benefit from external opportunities that could help me to grow while minimizing the
negative impact of the threats. Thus, I have discussed below my core capabilities, skills and
abilities that I had realized while working on consultancy task:

Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats


 Ability to develop  Lack of industry  Increase market  Increasing
ideas experience and knowledge number of
 Manage, organize market  Improve researchers and
and prioritize knowledge communication consultants
task/ activities  Limited exposure and negotiation  Ever changing
 Ability to work in and information skills market
team on e-commerce  Acquire knowledge and
 Critical thinking organizations and leadership factors leveraging
 Problem solving. technological capabilities them
 Effective developments  Become  Changing
speaking  Few leadership professional technology and its
 Decision making capabilities consultant role in e-
 Communication  Poor negotiation  Improve commerce
skills skills consultancy and platform
 Honesty/ Integrity  Emotional research skills  Failure to adapt
 Self-motivated  Obtain higher and acquire
education and information
 Technical and
professional according to
research skills
degrees/ changing external
 Competent
certificates. environment
 Flexible
 Engage in open  Lack of time and
 Persistent
discussions with resources
 Determined
professionals
 Ability to work
ethically
 Curiosity
 Willingness to
improve and learn
 Eager to increase
knowledge and
skills
27

2.0 Assessment of personal leadership experience, potential, and competencies


In order to assess personal leadership competencies, potential and experience, Johari window is
used. This tool is widely used to understand interpersonal relationships, improve communication,
personal development, self-awareness, inter group relationships, teal development and group
dynamics. Moreover, Johari window focuses on “soft skills” that include interpersonal
development, inter group development, co-operation, empathy and behavior (Self-Awareness
2013). Thus, I have used this tool assess myself and relevant competencies for acquiring leadership
position in future. The four areas covered by Johari window include Fascade (unknown to others
and known to you), Unknown (unknown to others and you), Arena (known to others and you) and
Blind Spot (Unknown to you and known to others).

Figure 6: Johari Window (JD n.d.)

Fascade Area Unknown Area Arena Area Blind Spot Area


 Able  Acceptable  Complex  Spontaneous
 Clever  Cheerful  Calm  Sensible
 Extrovert  Confident  Dependable  Self-conscious
 Happy  Sympathy  Helpful  Self-assertive
 Reflective  Wise  Trustworthy  Searching
 Proud  Powerful  Shy  Introvert
 Nervous  Relaxed  Tense  Responsive
 Intelligent  Dignified  Quiet  Observant
 Sensible  Sentimental  Warm  Logical
 Witty  Energetic  Patient  Knowledgeable
 Trust worthy  Observant  Organized  Ingenious
 Modest  Loving  Independent
 Helpful  Mature  Kind
 Giving
28

 Clever
 Caring
 Bold
 brave

3.0 Ability Assessment to work on consultancy task


My personal assessment from the Johari Window reflects that I possess several skills, capabilities
and potential such as ability to develop ideas, ability to work in team, critical thinking, problem
solving, decision making, communication skills, technical and research skills, willingness to
improve and learn, and eager to increase knowledge and skills, that could help me to become
leadership as these are commonly possessed traits of a true leader. Nevertheless, there are still
some weaknesses, such as limited market knowledge, limited exposure to e-commerce industry,
ignorance of rapid technological changes, etc., that I need to deal and overcome to become a future
leader and work as a senior consultant. Likewise, assessment of strengths identifies my capabilities
to work as a consultant along with the weaknesses that could create hindrances in my way of
becoming a successful consultant. The identification of these skills, competencies and traits are
identified on the basis of consultancy project. Though, my skills have contributed to prepare report
successfully, however, I will require more time in improving my skills. I believe that improving
skills is a part of life and helps to make a person expert in his/ her area. Thus I feel like I have
enough capability to work on future consultancy task which will also increase my experience and
polish my existing skills.

4.0 Personal leadership development plan and career accession


Though, some believe that leaders are not born, but are made through a procedure in which an
individual teach, learn and observe. Therefore, Lawson (2008) has argued that leadership is
basically a set of skills which could be acquired through experience, practice, perception and
training over time. However, McCauley and Velsor (2004) states that development of leadership
mainly expand the individual capacity to perform different roles of leadership within an
organization. These roles helps in executing organizational strategies by winning mindshare,
building alignment and growing other’s capabilities. Similarly, Mabey and Lees (2007) states that
leadership skills are important in the career development, i.e., to grow and for career progression,
development soft skills are necessary. Therefore, I need to take into account leadership
development plan to acquire more leadership soft skills that will help me to become a future leader
29

in the field of consultancy. The following are some actions and activities that I will conduct in this
year to acquire leadership capabilities.

 Learn leadership qualities from my supervisor, senior consultant and other leaders working
in the field of consultancy. This could be done by working as an intern or personally
meeting with them to discuss on various topics/ areas to obtain their views and strategies.
 Learn negotiation skills and improve communication skills by attending short courses on
these two areas. Several universities and institutes in UK offers additional courses to the
students that provides me with an opportunity to join best institution in town to acquire and
learn more about developing and practicing these two skills.
 Learn other leadership skills by reading books, searching internet, meeting with different
peoples who possess leadership traits, attend seminars/ workshops/ trainings on personal
development of leadership skills.
30

References
JD n.d. The Johari Window: Know and Share Yourself With Skill. Available from
http://sourcesofinsight.com/know-and-share-yourself-enough/ [26 April 2018]

Lawson, K 2008, Leadership Development Basics, American Society for Training and
Development

Mabey, C and Lees, TF 2007, Management and Leadership Development, SAGE

McCauley, CD and Velsor, EV 2004, The Center for Creative Leadership Handbook of Leadership
Development, John Wiley & Sons

Self Awareness 2013. Understanding the Johari Window model. Available from
http://www.selfawareness.org.uk/news/understanding-the-johari-window-model [26 April
2018]