Management concepts have a large impact on the way Ethiopian Airlines conducts its affairs; more so when it comes to matters of discourse and strategy. Ethiopian Airlines discuss then later make a development, act upon, the precise complexes of knowledge/power relations and related calculations gotten from the companys accounting system that is very much unique to the companys Strategic Business Unit. The effect has always been to bring about accountability to the company and make all parties carry out their duties in a manner that is effective (Zerihun 2015). Some of the key strategies that are discussed by the airlines include Porters Generic Matrix, Rugman Decision Tree, Four Pressures, and Six Forces.
Porters Generic Matrix
The strategic discourse at Ethiopian Airlines sees to it that there is consideration of Porters Generic Matrix; this strategy is supposed to help the company keep up with the times when it comes to matters of cost leadership, differentiation, cost focus, and differentiation focus. For the company, differentiation and differentiation focus is all about the creation of uniquely desired services and products so that existing customers develop loyalty and for the company to attract the new clients (Zerihun 2015). Besides, matters of cost leadership and cost focus resonate with the company having to offer the best prices to its consumers in that Ethiopian Airlines as an entity never has to suffer losses and the consumers never have the chance to feel taken advantage of.
Rugman Decision Tree
The Rugman decision tree is just one among many of the decision trees that the executives and the management of EAL make use of in their board rooms during staff meetings. It is an important element of EALs strategic discourse strategy because it helps outline the pros and cons of every decision. The Rugmans decision tree can be drawn by hand or materialized by specialized software and graphic programs. In Ethiopian Airlines, they are used both formally and informally; in an informal manner when focusing discussions whenever management has to make important decisions and formally when there is a need for a programmatic assignment of monetary times.
EAL and the Six Forces Model
With the Six Forces Model does for Ethiopian Airline is that it helps in matters of analyzing the production models of the company and making a decision in line with which one would best suit it. Whats more, the organization has found this model helpful because it offers a holistic assessment of the airline industry in Ethiopia and it helps in the identification of structural drivers of competition and profitability (Abdallah and Langley, 2014). The six forces that EAL puts into consideration in the course of strategic discourse revolve around competition, new entrants, bargaining power of buyers, suppliers, complementary products, and substitutes. The discourse made by the management and executives of the company in line with the six forces always looks to make EALs customers satisfied and the companys profits at a better place.
EAL and SWOT
Strategic discourse also revolves around brainstorming on the basic tenets of SWOT and PESTLE analyses that may be at the predisposition of Ethiopian Airlines management. Such analyses are purely aimed at making the organization stay afloat and helping it develop the right competitive advantages to beat the market competition. The aim of this Ethiopian Carrier is to substantially reduce all its vulnerabilities through the formation of the right strategies. Strategy formation also revolves around cutting on wastes and costs such that productivity is maximized; this way hemorrhage of finances is stemmed especially when the Ethiopian economy presents times of very high-interest rates. Through strategic discourse, the company came up with its SWOT analysis which was, for the most part, developed to beat its main competitors i.e. Kenya Airways, Qatar Airways, and Emirates. This is as shown in the table below (Zerihun 2015).
With every passing year, Ethiopian Airlines significantly increases the number of air passengers that are carried and almost triples its carried luggage with increased traffic to Europe, Asia, and North America.
The main hub of the company that is, Ethiopias capital city is well positioned for the airline traffic that exists between Intra-Africa India/South Asia
The Airline operates one of the youngest fleets in the African continent with an average age of 9.5
The organizations liaison with star alliance helps in strengthening positions in the international and domestic market (Abdallah and Langley, 2014). Weaknesses
A limited amount of revenue from the home market.
Limited financial support from the Ethiopian Government (Clark, 2014).
The company can expand its flights to reach destinations such as Latin America and some parts of East Asia.
The organization may make a choice of leveraging the mentorship of Lufthansa
Additional opportunities for leveraging revenue from Training and MRO Facilities (Clark, 2014). Threats
Increased costs of aviation fuel have also been a challenge to the company
Competition from very sophisticated players like Kenya Airways, Qatar Airways, and Emirates.
Improvement in road and railways within Ethiopia which has reduced the demand for air travel at the domestic level.
The African Aviation market is very lucrative, and it is attracting very strong global players (Clark, 2014).
The PESTLE analysis is used by the management of Ethiopian Airlines as a tool or a framework to keep an eye on the external environment factors. The department in Ethiopian Airline that mostly includes PESTLE analysis in the formation of its strategies is the marketing department, and it has proven to be very useful when it comes to product development and differentiation at large. PESTLE is a mnemonic that stands for Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal, and Environmental Factors. In essence, the use of PESTLE analysis within EALs operating environment gives the marketing department and the entirety of the management a birds eye perspective on the whole environment from myriad different angles that they need to check and keep track while thinking of certain plans and ideas.
There are a number of discourse strategies that would be very useful in bettering the performance of Ethiopian Airlines. These include openings and closings; feedback in conversation, consideration of gender differences, and taking a note of cross-cultural variation.
Openings and closings are a relevant part of strategic discourse because they help get those involved in discourse in the mood to take part in the meaningful conversation. Besides, it is worth mentioning that openings and closings are contextually and culturally dependent and are used in formal and informal contexts. Whats more, pre-closings, greetings and leave-takings, and conversation starters are all part and parcel of openings and closings; very, relevant in matters of discourse (Clark, 2014).
Back channeling is also an important part of feedback in a conversation and discourse. Within an organizational context such as the case of Ethiopian Airlines, it is important that it exists between the management and the employees since it helps in performance appraisal. Feedback in conversation is characterized by continuous assessments, acknowledgments, news markers, collaborative completions, non-verbal vocalizations, and questions (Liu and Maitlis, 2014).
The skills that are involved in discourse include giving explanations of needs and intentions during meetings, disagreeing and agreeing, making a description of something, the asking of questioning, making clarifications, confirming information, and making justifications of opinions (Balogun, Jacobs, Jarzabkowski, Mantere and Vaara, 2014).
Strategic and public discourse happens to be the most relevant aspect of democracy, and through years of management, the executives of Ethiopian Airlines have realized the best way to go about it. Arguments are posited in quarterly meetings regarding how the organization can better realize growth and development. It is upon all the organizations members to come up with strategies as is expected of them so that they can craft valid arguments that would spearhead economic growth and development. A company devoid of strategy usually has no hope for competition (Judge, 2015).
Competing on a world class level would be difficult for Ethiopian Airlines if it did not involve strategies in its service delivery means. The management and the executive of the airlines are well aware of the need to retain existing customers and getting new ones. In the event that strategy was never used in the running of the company, things would be very different, and at times there would be instances where Ethiopian Nationals and tourists would choose to use other international carriers like British Airways, Royal Dutch KLM, and Fly Emirates(Clark, 2014).
If Ethiopian Airlines continues to make efforts towards strategic discourse, it will be able to realize all its untapped capacity for value creation, in the form of its brand-building expertise. The discursive practices of diversification in the company have always been under articulation by, and constitutive of brand new subjects (such as several brand managers) that are usually hired to find out and make deliveries of unrealized value of the brand development capability credited to Ethiopian Airlines through the establishment of SBUs (Van Eemeren and Houtlosser, 2015). The organizations liaison with star alliance helps in strengthening positions in the international and domestic market
Abdallah, C. and Langley, A., 2014. The double edge of ambiguity in strategic planning. Journal of Management Studies, 51(2), pp.235-264.
Balogun, J., Jacobs, C., Jarzabkowski, P., Mantere, S. and Vaara, E., 2014. Placing strategy discourse in context: Sociomateriality, sensemaking, and power. Journal of Management Studies, 51(2), pp.175-201.
Clark, O., 2014. The heart of Africa: Ethiopian Airlines' chief executive TewoldeGebremariam is passionate about the continent his carrier serves--but Middle Eastern operators have also seen the potential of Africa's emerging markets, and Gebremariam has no illusions about the challenges his carrier will have to overcome to maintain its position and ambitious expansion plans. Airline Business, 30(6).
Judge, A., 2015. Enhancing strategic discourse systematically using climate metaphors.
Liu, F. and Maitlis, S., 2014. Emotional dynamics and strategizing processes: A study of strategic conversations in top team meetings. Journal of Management Studies, 51(2), pp.202-234.
Van Eemeren, F.H. and Houtlosser, P., 2015. Strategic maneuvering: Maintaining a delicate balance. In Reasonableness and Effectiveness in Argumentative Discourse (pp. 349-379). Springer International Publishing.
Zerihun, A., 2015. Challenge and prospect of credit card sales management system: Case study in Ethiopian airlines enterprise (Doctoral dissertation, St. Mary's University).
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