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Why do some businesses thrive whilst many more struggle and fail? According to Jonathan Trevor, Associate Professor of Management Practice, and Barry Varcoe, Associate Fellow at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, the answer is enterprise alignment. Superior enterprise alignment enables McDonalds, for example, to serve over 70 million customers a day – over 1% of the global population – and dominate its industry, as it has done for decades. McDonald’s winning formula is tight alignment of its strategy, organisational capabilities, resources, and management systems, all arranged systematically to support its long-term purpose. Whilst most executives today recognise that their enterprises should be aligned, they tend to focus on just one of these elements to the exclusion of the others. ‘What really matters for sustainable performance is how they all fit together. The enterprise value chain that connects an enterprise’s purpose to its performance is only as strong as its weakest link’ said Professor Trevor. Enterprise alignment has never been more important – and difficult - than in today’s hyper-competitive and challenging business environment. The disruptions of the 21st century marketplace mean that tried and tested approaches to market success have a short shelf life. ‘To win, business leaders need to step-up and continually refresh how they align all elements of their enterprise’s strategy and organization to the opportunities and challenges of the 21st century marketplace. Many simply rely on what’s worked for them in past, with entirely predictable results. They fail sooner or later,’ commented Trevor. In their latest article in Harvard Business Review Trevor and Varcoe pose a series of questions that challenge business leaders to test strength of alignment of their own enterprise. Superior enterprise alignment requires thoughtful, courageous and energetic leadership. Every element of the enterprise value chain supports the other. The penalty for misalignment is a dysfunctional business and poor performance. The authors suggest there are four reasons for the misalignment that cripples many organisations (in all sectors) including: The scale of the challenge however might be a step too far for many organisations. ‘We believe that persistent pressure for short-term results leads many leaders to baulk at the opportunity to implement difficult changes that would have positive and long-lasting organisational impact,’ concluded Varcoe. For more information or to speak to Jonathan Trevor please contact the press office: Josie Powell, PR Manager, Saïd Business School Mobile +44 (0)7711 387215; Tel: +44 (0) 1865 288403 Email: josie.powell@sbs.ox.ac.uk or pressoffice@sbs.ox.ac.uk About Saïd Business School Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford blends the best of new and old. We are a vibrant and innovative business school, but yet deeply embedded in an 800 year old world-class university. We create programmes and ideas that have global impact. We educate people for successful business careers, and as a community seek to tackle world-scale problems. We deliver cutting-edge programmes and ground-breaking research that transform individuals, organisations, business practice, and society. We seek to be a world-class business school community, embedded in a world-class University, tackling world-scale problems. In the Financial Times European Business School ranking (Dec 2016) Oxford Saïd is ranked 11th. It is ranked 1st in the UK and 9th worldwide in the FT’s ranking of open enrolment programmes (May 2016) and 2nd globally for aims achieved in the FT ranking of MBA programmes (Jan 2016). The MBA is ranked 3rd in Businessweek’s full time MBA ranking outside the USA (Dec 2016) and is ranked 5th among the top non-US Business Schools by Forbes magazine (Sep 2015). The Executive MBA is ranked 2nd worldwide in the Economist’s Executive MBA ranking (Sep 2015) and 9th worldwide in the FT’s ranking of EMBAs (Oct 2016). The Oxford MSc in Financial Economics is ranked 11th in the world in the FT ranking of Masters in Finance programmes (Jun 2016). In the UK university league tables it is ranked first of all UK universities for undergraduate business and management in The Guardian (Jun 2016) and 2nd in The Times (Sept 2016). For more information, see http://www.sbs.ox.ac.uk/


Coulter B.,Said Business School | Krishnamoorthy S.,University of Western Ontario
International Transactions in Operational Research | Year: 2014

This paper examines the effect of reference prices on companies operating within competitive industries. We confirm that even with competition, firms optimally price high in the short term to generate a high reference price and then decrease this price over time. Competitors' prices converge toward each other over time, emphasizing the short-term nature of reference prices. We then show that pricing optimally to take advantage of reference prices generates a positive externality for other firms in an industry, such that competitors may generate higher profit. The longer the focus of a given firm, the more profit the firm generates, but less relative to its competitors. This arises because the externalities created through pricing high to increase reference prices outweigh the benefits of the higher reference prices themselves. If pricing managers are compensated relative to their competition, this suggests that short-termism may be implicitly encouraged to the detriment of profit. © 2013 The Authors.


Mayer C.,Said Business School
Oxford Review of Economic Policy | Year: 2015

Thirty years ago, the 1986 Oxford Review of Economic Policy assessment of financial innovation foretold the events leading up to the financial crisis and the factors that lay behind it. Those same insights suggest significant deficiencies in the response to the financial crisis and a failure to identify the limits to, as well as requirements for, strengthened regulation. In particular, there is a need for institutional reforms that have received insufficient attention to date. © The Author 2015.


Helm D.,New College | Mayer C.,Said Business School
Oxford Review of Economic Policy | Year: 2016

The paper records the substantial deficiencies that exist in the design and implementation of infrastructure programmes around the world. It points to three sources of failure. The first is a failure to recognize the systems nature of infrastructure and the implication of this for the appropriate tools of analysis that should be employed in infrastructure assessments. The second is a preoccupation with income and expenditure flows rather than balance sheets in reporting public- as well as private-sector infrastructure accounts. This has had profound and in many cases perverse implications for the ownership, funding, and operation of infrastructure. The third is inadequate governance of infrastructure programmes to overcome the significant commitment problems that afflict both private- and public-sector providers of infrastructure. The paper describes a set of responses that recognize the systems nature of infrastructure, the importance of balance sheets, and the need for commitment mechanisms in the private and public sectors to promote the efficient provision of infrastructure. © The Authors 2016. Published by Oxford University Press.


Harvey W.S.,Said Business School
Geography Compass | Year: 2010

This paper explores some of the methodological strategies for interviewing elites. The focus is on researching elite members, preparing for interviews and gaining access, as well as the associated power relationships. Examples are drawn from across the social sciences and from the author's doctoral and postdoctoral work with over one hundred members of business elites. It is argued that researchers should be more attentive towards the following three areas. First, providing flexibility when designing research projects and conducting interviews. Second, ensuring transparency when communicating with elite members. Third, maintaining good etiquette with all participants to ensure the highest professional standards. The overall aim of the paper is to provide an introduction for those who are new to the field of interviewing elite subjects. © 2010 The Author. Journal Compilation © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


Pinson P.,Technical University of Denmark | McSharry P.,Said Business School | McSharry P.,University of Oxford | Madsen H.,Technical University of Denmark
Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society | Year: 2010

Reliability is seen as a primary requirement when verifying probabilistic forecasts, since a lack of reliability would introduce a systematic bias in subsequent decision-making. Reliability diagrams comprise popular and practical diagnostic tools for the reliability evaluation of density forecasts of continuous variables. Such diagrams relate to the assessment of the unconditional calibration of probabilistic forecasts. A reason for their appeal is that deviations from perfect reliability can be visually assessed based on deviations from the diagonal. Deviations from the diagonal may, however, be caused by both sampling effects and serial correlation in the forecast-verification pairs. We build on a recent proposal, consisting of associating reliability diagrams with consistency bars that would reflect the deviations from the diagonal that are potentially observable even if density forecasts are perfectly reliable. Our consistency bars, however, reflect potential deviations originating from the combined effects of limited counting statistics and serial correlation in the forecast-verification pairs. They are generated based on an original surrogate consistency resampling method. Its ability to provide consistency bars with a significantly better coverage against the independent and identically distributed (i.i.d.) resampling alternative is shown from simulations. Finally, a practical example of the reliability assessment of non-parametric density forecasts of short-term wind-power generation is given. © 2010 Royal Meteorological Society.

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