None of this analysis would have been possible if we had been unable to obtain any information. This meant that we had to consider primary research if we were to obtain any information at all. Our first major competitor study was undertaken in 1985, and this set a foundation that helped us to make sense of information from other sources. After that time, there was an increase in the number of published research studies, which meant that our information became more complete.
Our first piece of research into the market was completed in 1983. Most of these reports are published so that they can be shared with other interested parties, and although they have contributed greatly to our understanding of buyer behaviour and awareness of changing needs and responses, they are not primarily market research reports. From this, our first intention was to prepare a market-related assessment of our strengths and weaknesses, compared with those of competitors.
A sample survey was conducted by telephone of forty-three buyers of our type of training service, exploring aspects of all the research objectives. We interviewed on a personal visit nine major competitors, building up our list of real competitors from information supplied by buyers and competitors. We were able to check most of the information provided by competitors from the interviews with buyers. All this research was done honestly and openly by one of our consultants.
The information from this survey provided the base from which we could build and develop on the lines already discussed, and led to immediate tactical and strategic decisions. Meanwhile, we continued to add more valuable data from our research for publication and focused some of this on areas of the industry map, which were hitherto blank. We published a report on distance learning, for example, in 1986, and another in late 1989 on consortium and company MBAs.
Three activities that yielded useful information were:
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Strategic Management Tutorial
From Planning To Strategic Management And Beyond
Strategic Management: Success Or Failure?
A Look At The Total Process
The Challenge Of The Future
The Environment: Assumptions In Planning
Techniques For Assessing The Environment
Business Philosophy (ethics And Morality) And Strategic Management
The Corporate Appraisal – Assessing Strengths And Weaknesses
Analysing The Industry And Competitors
Analysing The Uk Management Development And Training Industry: A Case History
The Search For Shareholder Value
Vision And Objectives
Strategic Portfolio Analysis
Portfolio Analysis In Practice
Strategic Planning – A Second Look At The Basic Options
Multinational And Global Strategy
Technology And Manufacturing
Strategic Planning For Human Resources
Relating To The External Environment
Evaluating A Business Plan
Project Planning And Appraisal
From Plans To Actions
Management Of Change
Introducing Strategic Management
Why Planning Sometimes Fails
Strategic Management To Strategic Change?
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