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03/28/2012

IS Strategy and Design Supermarket MNCs


Task 1 Modes of Enquiry

            Enquiry refers to the process which aimed at enhancing knowledge, resolving doubt and solving a problem. Five basic methods of doing an enquiry include analytic (makes logical and understandable positions), deductive (begins simple conception), systems thinking (understands interrelationships with other systems), inductive (builds generalization through observation) and consensual (seeks to reveal differences). With the combination of these modes of enquiry, new modes are utilized to assess a particular system. When it comes to information systems (IS), simple, complex and innovative modes of enquiry are used. Simple modes of enquiry refer to inductive-consensual and analytic-deductive, complex modes refer dialectic and multiple realities, and innovative refer to unbounded systems thinking.

Basic differences of simple, complex and innovative modes of enquiry will be discussed (Table 1 in Appendix section). It is the goal of this discussion to outline a plan using a mode of enquiry on how the report will go about the tasks of determining the impact of technological innovation specifically online shopping on various food retail MNCs and analysing consequences of IS strategic planning for these MNCs. Justification of the chosen mode of enquiry will follow.

Inductive-consensual

            Inductive consensual mode of enquiry starts with, although limited, a set of observations. These are formulated observations that produce conclusions, making it an outcome-based enquiry. Basically, formulating a problem is first necessary step to arrive at plausible solutions. In arriving at these conclusions, analogous, historical or multiple independent sourced methods of analysis could be used. Further, one of the strongest attributes of inductive-consensual mode of enquiry is that it is an enabler wherein the decision-maker is provided with an incentive to distinguish definitive observations relevant to any given situation and/or problem. Formulated observations would be meticulously considered which may result to the most effective solutions (Mitra and Bokil, 2007).   

            However, inductive-consensual mode of enquiry also has its drawbacks. Inductive-consensual is limited to observations thus competence of the observer to percept must be a requirement. Diligence is a key to determine which factors are not included in the assessment/evaluation process. When observer failed at this, there is the tendency to choose certain observations without mere justifications, resulting to more complicated problems. Impliedly, inductive-consensual mode of enquiry could fail when there are inadequate evidences that are needed to justify the formulated observations.   

Analytic-deductive

            Compared to inductive-consensual that makes use of formulated observations, analytic-deductive mode of enquiry perceives the world as a formula. As the mode deals with logical consistency, the only answer that it arrived into is the truth.  Its strongest attribute therefore is its inherent process of breaking down each element and identifying which of them could be of help to identify the most plausible solutions, a process which is simply called reductionism (Schouls, 2000, p. 76). Analytic-deductive enquiry analyses the problem and/or situation by analysing each part and getting insightful details from it to inform decision-making process. Such a mode makes use of quantitative techniques, making it an organised and standardised mode of enquiry. This is more objective than the inductive-consensual mode since values and figures are used to analyse the problem which could result in more credible outcomes (Hanna, 2004, p. 174). There could be also less errors to decisions made as the solutions arrived could be precise and correct.

            Analytic-deductive method, nevertheless, has inherent inflexibilities since not all factors could be assigned with values. Qualitative elements such as behaviour and attitudes are some of these, especially those that are applied in the business sector. Finding the most appropriate formula for a specific problem or situation would be also a challenge. Having said this, just like the inductive-consensual mode, this mode also depends on the efficiency of the person who is solving the problem that can obstruct the accuracy and correctness of the solutions provided (Morgan and Baser, 2005). Human error could also likely to occur aside from error in selection of the formula, affecting the outcome of the analysis (Grant, 2002, p. 32).   

Dialectic

            Dialectic mode of enquiry is used to emphasise the different traditional and typical assumptions. This means that in providing different perspectives for common data could yield various progressive decisions and choose among them the most efficient option. Through this process, the decision-makers could anticipate plausible outcomes and impacts based on various perspectives that the data presents. Dialectic mode of enquiry’s best attribute is balance whereby it is able to weigh in two opposing standpoints for any given issue. Contradiction of views is used, critically analysing the positions to inform decisions. It would be then easy to evaluate certain factors while also anticipate other plausible results. New ideas may also emerge while contradicting and becoming open-minded to these new ideas leading to deciding critically on certain options could follow (Wiggins, 1998).

            Opposing views, on the other hand, brings challenges and in particular to the decision-makers. Overcoming these challenges may not be always fruitful especially when there is a leniency to favour traditional issues. Supporting evidences to efficiently facilitate contradictions is a necessity. Other inherent problems is also apparent on the ability of the decision-makers to justify the conceptions about the opposing views which when not succeeded could make the result of the dialectic mode of enquiry unreliable (Blaikie, 2007).

Multiple realities

            Somewhat a combination of inductive-consensual and analytic-deductive modes of enquiry, multiple realities makes use of various, complex information or data to arrive at the best solutions to problems. Multiple realities mode of enquiry does not aim at arriving at a precise conclusion; however, instead it purports to represent problems and situation in a broader and wider spectrum. Through, the decision-makers would be involved more to the process to confer on various solutions to choose from (Raikka, 2005, p. 299).   

            Among the modes of enquiry, multiple realities has fewer limitations one of which is it is not limited to certain numbers. In this way, all facets and issues can be included in the analysis process, making the development of analogy a more accurate procedure especially since it considers all factors. Holistic view of the problem would be also possible while bias is eliminated. Followed by, decision-makers would be able to predict possible problems or solutions. As such, multiple realities enquiry is a proactive mode of enquiry as it relates with the future (Blaikie, 2007).

            However, like other modes of enquiry, decision-makers should be wary of their own perspectives, abilities and interpretations especially when predicting solutions to problems (Blaikie, 2007). The instinct of the decision-makers is perhaps another problem area since it can lead to subjectivity and bias. Anyhow, this makes the development of conclusion to be more difficult and tedious.

Unbounded systems thinking  

            In coming up with the most appropriate actions, solutions and conclusions, all disciplines could be involved and this is possible with unbounded systems thinking. Unbounded systems thinking mode of enquiry is also an enabler wherein it allows decision-makers to choose which would be the most effective and appropriate mode(s) of enquiry to use for a specific issue. With this, the decision-makers are not constrained to an idea instead provide infinite factors about a given issue (Patel, 200, p. 40).

            The consequence, however, is that the tendency to make use of factors that are irrelevant to the issue to be resolved. This could be a potential antecedent to more conflicting issues that may undermine the decision-makers efficient decision-making to a certain extent. With too many options available also, the decision-makers may not be able to critically analyse each could affect the decision to be made (p. 41).

Multiple realities (Chosen mode of enquiry)

Dealing with multiple realities, the underpinning of the report is on the ability of major UK supermarkets to adapt and change as the challenges of Internet retailing confronts them. Multiple realities would be the most plausible mode of enquiry to be used since it can cover the multi-faceted supermarket environment as well as how online shopping is changing the landscape for the food retailing industry in the UK. Multiple realities enquiry also highlights the absorptive capacity of these supermarket MNCs particularly on how the management could maximise the use of technology to bring to the people their retail services.

Research plan

Majority of the report will be based on secondary research with data that will come from books, journals and online databases. Corporate websites and review sites are the likely source of data in addition to local and online libraries such as Emerald, High Beam, Questia and Oxford. The report will collect and extract relevant contents from these literatures. To continue, using multiple realities mode of enquiry, the search strategy for the next tasks will include processes of:

1)    Learning about the UK food retailing market  

2)    Searching for a list of major supermarkets (MNCs) in the UK

3)    Studying the status of online shopping in the UK today

4)    Determining the impact of online shopping to major supermarkets in the UK

5)    Distinguishing the hard and soft problems that major supermarkets in the UK encountered (specifically in IS strategic planning and IS development)

6)    Analysing ethical issues governing IS strategic design of major supermarkets in the UK

Task 2 Impact of Technological Innovation

Information age caters to the ever-changing market environment especially in the area that competition is given more weight, challenging every player of the industry to formulate strategies that will ensure them of the competitive advantage in the long run and sustaining this. Thereby, as new information and communication technologies are introduced, markets and industries moved along with the changes especially those industries with direct contact with recent technological innovations. Such technological innovations made possible the emergence of a new retail channel which is the Internet. Internet retailing is considered to be one of the most dynamic distribution channels and where consumers are increasingly becoming more comfortable with online shopping.

With this, the impact of online shopping on the food retailing industry in the UK will be discussed. Strategic management tool that will be used is the PEST analysis to understand the macro-environment of supermarkets in particular (Table 2 in Appendix section).

UK food retailing industry

            Large supermarkets and convenience stores dominate the UK food retail market. Supermarkets account for three-fourth of the sales and the rest is divided to convenience stores and other traditional retailers such as the discount stores. The primary basis of competition among the UK supermarket chains, further, is the price. Prices, however, had resulted in the low profit margins for the industry, affecting its growth in return. Such dwindling profits forced the supermarkets to look for new avenues to promote and sell their food products to remain competitive in the market. Product and process innovations are the areas where the UK retailers have focused their attention to (Defra, 2006).

In terms of process innovations, supermarket MNCs resorted to implementation of information technology in efficient management of inventory, logistics and warehousing, and bringing the overall costs down in the process. Process innovations also applied to various activities that involve the consumers. Today, we are seeing consumers of diversified lifestyles hence their buying patterns are affected. Online shopping is perceived to be a convenient way to purchase products. Such electronic commerce continuously alters not just the lifestyles of the consumers but also the processes of the food retailing industry. The macro environment assessment of supermarket and its interplay on online shopping scheme follows (Defra, 2006).

PEST analysis of the supermarket industry   

Politically, UK has a relatively concentrated supermarket environment since the food retail industry relies on a more liberal position in terms of competition policy. Europe also maintains and strong culture of specialist food supplier which reflects strong consumer food awareness (Defra, 2006). Nonetheless, UK market has also developed a stock-market driven corporate culture which encourages major food retailers to devise new retail strategies and ongoing innovation (London Economics, 2008).  

            Economically, multiple retailing and one-stop grocery shopping best describe the retail industry including both food and non-food. Large supermarkets, for instance, are selling non-grocery markets as well as high-tech equipment and kitchen appliances like that of Tesco. These non-grocery items are said to increase consumer interest and boost footfall (London Economics, 2008).  

In the pursuit of economies of scale, major supermarkets such as Aldi and Tesco have made food more affordable for consumers to counter rising operation costs and declining real food prices. Food expenditure that determines market share through price, range and service are the key drivers in supermarket’s competitiveness. Nevertheless, food retailing is not all about prices although it is the most important but also about value for money. Quality of products and services are considered by the consumers hence some retailers tailored to compete more on product quality such as Waitrose and M&S.   

Aside from profit margins, however, return on capital employed (ROCE) and space productivity also affects the economic performance hence sustainability of major supermarkets. ROCE tends to be stronger among food and drink manufacturers compared to food retailers. Employment accounts to only 6% and with 65% of the employees working on a part-time basis and majority are female. Other than focusing on total factor productivity, space productivity, or the sales from a given unit of space, is also considered (London Economics, 2008). Sainsbury and Asda have space productivities of £22.3 and £23.9 sales per square feet per week.       

            Further, the retail revolution in the UK has basic underpinnings of busy consumer lifestyles and with rising incomes, increase in household numbers and women working, wide car ownership and falling cost of car travel and wide ownership of fridge freezers (London Economics, 2008). Socially, major supermarkets put emphasis on the shopping experience which reflects UK consumers’ preferences wherein better targeting of product ranges to individual preferences is considered (Supermarket Technology Report, 2002).           

            Technologically, demand and technological trends have reinforced each other. Major supermarkets with wider product ranges have encouraged consumers to make larger and less frequent shops. Technological improvements including stock control, checkout scanning, fresh produce and longer shelf-lives have further reduced costs and attracted consumers, allowing retailers to reap further scale economies (Impact of Technology).

            As these technological improvements are changing the landscape of competition, the most important dimension of competition for these larger supermarkets is Internet shopping. According to Poulter (2009), there are at least five million online shoppers in the UK last December 2009. Online shopping in the UK had also become distinct that there are retailers which are operating automated food stores such as Shop24 and computer superstores like Superquinn.     

Technological implementation performance, however, is mixed. Tesco and Asda followed best practices in investing in technology whereas Sainsbury and Morrison have both encountered sever problems with their implementation of ICT systems. 

Impact of online shopping to major supermarkets

In essence, the need for supermarkets to create the consumer’s physical world online emerged as a strategy to further enhance customer relationship and further capture market share. There is the requirement for the brick and mortar store to complement online shopping of the consumers. However, online stores are not always easy to create since there are inherent technical problems to it. By virtue of the soft systems methodology (SSM), the technicalities of online shopping implementation of supermarkets specifically on areas of IS strategic planning and IS development will be discussed.

Stage 1 – Problem situation

Supermarket operators must understand innovation while also extending the benefits of technology to the consumers. This can be seen as a strategy to improve the shopping experience of the consumers. The challenge, however, is evident on the fact that there is no single solution that will fit all segments of consumers. Nevertheless, a distribution strategy that majority of the shoppers seem to favor is online shopping. Online shopping forms part of the m-commerce which is roughly defined as the use of technology to access information and conduct transactions in the transfer of value in exchange of information, services or goods. Apparently, there are consumer-related and operational impacts of online shopping to supermarkets.

In terms of the operation, the choice of technology of supermarkets shall encompass elements of useful information on products, pricing and product locations. These are accomplished by kiosks which make it easier for the consumers to find the products of their choice. More importantly, this is favored by consumers that are time-bounded while shopping. Smart trolley is another internal technology that caters to self-service capability from their supermarket shopping experience. Yet another technology to boost supermarket expenditure is self-service check-out. Reducing check-out queues, these check-outs allow shoppers to get out quickly and easily.     

When it comes to the consumers, these can be only accomplished through establishing online stores and providing consumers the access to these stores. That is why despite the problems pre-imposed by the dotcom bubble, major supermarkets gambled in producing own corporate websites that will also serve as their online stores. Furthermore, the willingness of the consumers to use online stores needs to be considered together with products and/or services offered by the physical supermarkets; services considered are mainly technically-oriented such as the usability of online supermarkets. Faster distribution through online stores also means the fast-paced particularly for perishable food products.

Stage 2 – Representation of the problem

            There were impressions that online stores have negative record when it comes to delivery service and secure payment schemes, with the latter as it involves high commission charges. Further, there were also product-related issues before, and still do so, that obstructs online stores of today including realistic representations of products hence restricting the kinds of products that could possibly marketed on the Internet. Deficient pictures and inadequate product information and selection are other challenges. Judging the product quality over the Internet is one major hindrance to purchase. Inadequacy of product choices and lack of post-sales services also add up to the challenges, resulting to declining levels of satisfaction of the consumers. 

            Therefore, if there is an online supermarket that could meet all the demands of the online shoppers, what would happen? This is perhaps a question that leads major food retailers to converge into idea of direct selling through online stores that will meet all the requirements of the customers in a reasonable and effective manner. Supermarkets therefore should aim at creating a one-stop online store that caters to pre- and post-shopping needs of the customers.

            As seen in Figure 1 in the Appendix section, systems intended for creating an online store should be combined with the elements of the physical supermarket. Three of these fundamental elements are basket list, shopping cart and comprehensive price list as these are the necessary product information that consumers are looking for and should be basically aware of. Next would be the relevant product categories and possible payment schemes.  

Stage 3 – Root definitions of the relevant systems

Initial Strategy Planning specifically Synergism and/or Communication

For online store IS project, a detailed terms of reference and feasibility study should be prioritised. In liaison with the project budgeting schema, the former could delineate the areas which the online store IS project will cover and the latter could forecast the expected completion of the project in realistic terms (Coutard, 1999). Through the feasibility study also, supermarkets could decide the feasibility of the project based on economic terms such as development costs, development timescale and running cost. Combined, they could provide the supermarkets an in-depth project plan and cost and benefits analysis initially.

There should be a control and coordination policy wherein modes and/channels of communications are stipulated. Communication is one of crucial element in the success of the online store IS project since it could reflect the consistent monitoring of the data and activities conducted by the supermarkets in a consistent manner as well as the points-of-view of the relevant stakeholders like the users which are mainly the consumers (Khosrowpour, 2004). Communication, especially status reporting that makes stakeholders aware whether the project is being delivered on the given budget and schedule and scope, is one of the most important responsibility of the online store IS project manager. It is also in this way that the risks management and emergent issues, concerns and projects regarding the IS project are communicated. As such, communication is important in making known for every stakeholder how the team and the top management deal with the presence of conflicts relating to the project (Khosrowpour, 2004).

Users’ Consultation

Users’ consultation is also an important element on the success of the online store IS project. User involvement was endangered without realizing that the supermarket could acquire and receive quantifiable user feedback which could assist in the development of accurate documentation based on the requirements and expectations of the users. It is important that the top management must understand how technology (i.e. IS, IT) could add value to the organization leading to success, and how it could also be a detriment or jeopardize the business and organization itself. 

Testing/Piloting Schema

            There is the need to conduct analysis-requirements definition and systems and software design prior to the actual pilot testing. In the analysis-requirement definition period, a requirement analysis and system analysis was to be conducted. In the first, what the user wants in the system at the same time the information on the current system should be obtained and secondly, a physical model and a logical model should be designed. A physical model refers to the model that shows the ‘who does what’ and when while the logical model should illustrate just what is being done. Next step would be updating the cost and benefit analysis. For the systems and software design, system specification and system design are completed. Through both, confirmation of system/software specifications, database definition and hardware specifications would be possible (Martinez Fierro & Medina Garido, 2006).  

There should be also the need to engage in implementation and unit testing planning wherein it could devise system development and unit testing plans. It is a requirement that a final definition of data structures and creation of data storage mechanisms be developed first as well as test platform/procedure or a comprehensive test plan and test data especially for each hardware item, each software unit, each clerical procedure and user interface. After which, system testing should be accomplished in order to test whether all units could work together as a system. A fact is that although distinct unit, modules and subsystem may work individually, it is only a test could confirm if they will run as a single, cohesive system. Sign off of the system from the users’ perspective could be then obtained (Khosrowpour, 2004).

As such, this could be expressed more clearly using CATWOE thus saying: There is a need for brick and mortar supermarkets to complement the operation by establishing online stores that caters to the needs of the consumers of faster and convenient service that puts into the core elements of m-commerce and physical shopping environment while also enhancing customer relationship in the process.  

Task 3 Consequence Analysis Technique

Potential hard and soft problems for supermarket MNCs

            Basically, technological innovation expands the opportunities that could provide supermarket MNCs with competitive advantage. Gunasekaran et al (2002) emphasize that the parameters of using IT for internal affairs have profound impact specifically for core management responsibilities, and this may be both beneficial and detrimental. However, there are inherent hard and soft problems of implementation of online store IS project to supermarkets (see Table 3 for summary).

            When supermarkets extend their services online, the process would probably change the corporate image communication landscape as well as the marketing communication landscape. Online store is a form on non-traditional exchange of information that also requires basic knowledge on computing (Kock, 2007). Online stores will impact the media relations, community relations and financial and investment relations and how it could possibly be reported. When these supermarkets MNCs would not be able to delineate the functions of online stores for the organization and how it will function independently from the organization significant problems would emerge. One such problem is differentiating core and non-core communication strategies effective for the supermarket industry. Through this, this could disrupt the dominant culture of the supermarkets that is already intense and dynamic in nature.  

            What prompts consumers to do online shopping is the capability of supermarkets to maximize the use of their online store. To wit, supermarkets are equipped with launching products and sales faster than competitors at lower operational cost. Performance effectiveness of external communication through online stores is measured by means of quantity and quality. Quantity through monitoring the number of online shoppers and response rate to promotions, for instance, and number of repeat purchase, and quality is measured by means of encouraging online shoppers to provide feedbacks about the online services of the online store and how it can be improved. As the process builds up the experience of the consumers, there arises the problems of addressing consumer-related issues on proper forum and the online store might not be an effective avenue for this.

            Overall look of the online store would be also a challenge for supermarkets as they have to incorporate the philosophy of visual merchandising as well. Supermarket MNCs shall also understand the requirement to combine and use different design concepts to conceptualize and construct an online retail space that contributes to the total shopping experience. Online stores shall reflect realistic shopping environment through the interplay among elements of product, environment and space to encourage more shoppers to browse the store and make purchase. Visual merchandising becomes an indispensable practice since it educates the customers, creates desire and finally augments the selling process. For online stores, virtual merchandising is tactical as it entices visitors to explore the product offerings and thus the store.

            In celebrating the virtue of newness, online shoppers also yearn for product innovativeness which motivate supermarket MNCs to segment their products according to the needs of the consumers. Supermarkets therefore should embrace consistent market extension and development since online shopping is also about constant generation and introduction of new product developments.

Ethical issues of IS strategic design

            Together with these problems, supermarket MNCs should also recognise the associated ethical concerns. Why be ethical is probably one of the perennial questions that these supermarkets that embrace technological innovation might ask. Ethical implications of developing online stores should take note of inherent issues of quality, security, objectivity and accuracy.

Ethics guide the companies to make the right decisions and to act responsibly. Specifically, the computing industry is guided by the recently upheld computer ethics. There are three theoretical approaches that focus on moral action that could be applied to the virtual society: virtue ethics – centers on the intentions of the moral agent, deontological ethics – deals with the moral action itself and utilitarian ethics – focus on the consequences of the action (Stamatellos, 2007, pp. 6-7). Applying ethics on Internet technology line online stores could be a challenge since it involves a great deal of information that both the supermarket and the users can manipulate to their interest (Hansson, 2008).

Shinder (2005) assert that what makes individuals be able to commit ethical dilemmas are due to abuse of power and exploitation of an individual’s capacity to commit such. Online stores, just like any other technologies, are vulnerable to be interfered. In essence, online stores are a collection of commercial information that should be treated with utmost value hence should mirror the purpose of the business.

Further, all informations are provided for the consumers and consumers in return also provide information for the supermarkets. Supermarkets must ensure that consumer information are secured and will remain confidential. People with less noble interest could hack or steal these informations. Not only that, they should be also aware of the capability of their competitors to spy on their customers using their own online stores. In an environment wherein informations are treated as commodity, protecting such information is a must. This is critical particularly because of information database protection and security of companies (Slay and Koronios, 2005).

References

Blaikie, N. (2007) Approaches to Social Enquiry: Advancing Knowledge. Polity Press.

Coutard, O. (1999) The Governance of Large Technical Systems. London: Routledge.

Defra, C. (2006). Economic Note on UK Grocery Retailing. Food and Drink Economics Branch.

Gunasekaran, A., Khalil, O. & Rahman, S. M. (2002). Knowledge and Information Technology Management: Human and Social Perspectives. Idea Group Inc.

Hanna, R. (2004) Kant and the Foundations of Analytic Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Hansson, T. (2008) Handbook of Research on Digital Technologies: Innovations, Methods, and Ethical Issues. Idea Group, Inc.  

Impact of Technology on Retail Spending.

Khosrowpour, M 2004, Innovations Through Information Technology, Idea Group Inc. (IGI).

Kock, N. F. (2007) Encyclopedia of E-Collaboration. Idea Group, Inc.

London Economics. (2008). Annex 4 – Detailed information on retail food industry in Europe. Retrieved on 15 January 2010, from https://statistics.defra.gov.uk/esg/reports/pricespreads/annex4.pdf.

Martinez Fierro, S and Medina Garido, J A 2006, Utilizing Information Technology in Developing Strategic Alliances Among Organizations, Idea Group Inc. (IGI).

Mitra, P. and Bokil, H. (2007) Observed Brain Dynamics. US: Oxford University Press.

Morgan, P. and Baser, H. (2005) Capacity and Capacity Development from the Perspective of Systems Thinking. European Centre for Development Policy Management.

Patel, N. V. (2005) Critical systems analysis and design: a personal framework. Routledge.

Poulter, S. (2009). Millions to spend Christmas Day shopping online as stores launch early festive sales. Dailymail online.

Raikka, J. (2005) Global Justice and the Logic of the Burden of Proof. In C. Barry, T. Winfried and M. Pogge, Global institutions and responsibilities: achieving global justice. New York: Wiley-Blackwell.

Schouls, P. A. (2000) Descartes and the Possibility of Science. Cornell University Press.

Shinder, D. (2005). Ethical Issues for IT Security Professionals. TechGenix Ltd.

Slay, J and Koronios, A 2005, Information Technology Security and Risk Management, John Wiley and Sons, New York.

Stamatellos, G. (2007). Computer Ethics: A Global Perspective. Jones & Bartlett Publishers.

Supermarket Technology Report. (2002). Pollack Associates Publishing.

Wiggins, D. (1998) Needs, Values, Truth: Essays in the Philosophy of Value. Oxford University Press.  

Appendix

 

Mode of Enquiry

Strengths

Weaknesses

Inductive-consensual

- outcome-based

- enabler of effective solutions

- limited to observations

- requires competence

- inadequate justifications

Inadequate evidences

Analytic-deductive

- logical consistency

- reductionism process

- organised and standardised

- more credible outcomes

- less errors to decision

- inflexible

- qualitative elements are not considered

- depends on competence

- possibility of human errors

Dialectic

- consider different perspectives

- balance through weighing options

- open-minded

- challenges in opposing views

- inadequate justification

- unreliable

Multiple realities

- maximize complex information

- broad representation of problems

- holistic

- accurate analogy

- biases are eliminated

- proactive

- relies heavily on decision-makers

- more difficult conclusion development

Unbounded systems thinking

- involves all discipline

- enabler

- provide infinite factors

- tends to use irrelevant factors

- unable to critically analyse each factor

 

Table  SEQ Table \* ARABIC 1 Modes of Enquiry

 

Political

Economic

·         liberal position on competition policy

·         strong consumer food awareness

·         stock-market driven corporate culture

·         multiple retailing

·         one-stop shopping

·         food expenditure as key driver

·         value for money

·         ROCE

·         space productivity

 

Social

Technological

·         emphasize shopping experience

·         product ranges vs. individual preferences

·         larger and less frequent shopping

·         mised technological implementation performance

·         Internet shopping

 

 

Table  SEQ Table \* ARABIC 2 PEST Analysis of Supermarket Industry

 

Hard Problems

Consequences

Impact on corporate image communication landscape

§  changes processes of reporting

§  blurs functions

§  fails at differentiating core from non-core strategies

§  disrupts dominant culture

Impact on marketing communication landscape

§  quantity vs. quality

§  improper venue for consumer-related issues

Soft Problems

Consequences

Visual merchandising

§  requires realistic shopping environment

§  requires design concepts that combine product, environment and space elements

Product innovation

§  requires market extension and development

 

Table 3 Consequence Analysis

 

Figure  SEQ Figure \* ARABIC 1 Online Supermarket Requirements

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