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Developing Organizational Vision and Strategic Direction

Introduction to Developing Organizational Vision and Strategic Direction

Development of vision of an organization is an important task because it articulates the essence of its values and beliefs. Moreover, it also defines the place of the organization in the world. Vision helps in the establishment of long term direction. This direction acts as a guidance in every aspect of the organization. Similarly, development of strategic direction is important. This comprises of making decisions regarding the strategies that need to be developed in order to achieve the objectives of the business (Developing strategy, 2015). The present report studies the development of vision and strategic direction with respect to Sainsbury. Preparation has been done for creating vision and strategic direction. The role of key stakeholders in relation to the vision has been analyzed. The communication strategy has been developed for the stakeholders of the organization. Lastly, implementation of vision and strategic direction within the organization has been developed.

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Assessing the role of key stakeholders of Sainsbury

The role of key stakeholders of Sainsbury can be assessed in relation to the vision. This has been done in the following points:

Employees- Employees are the support system of Sainsbury. They work in various departments such as productions, operations, management, store operators etc. The employees play an important role in the vision of the organization. The company carries out various activities according to the vision that it has developed. Sainsbury has over 1200 supermarkets and convenience stores (About us, 2015). It has also expanded its operations in property, banking, energy, entertainment and communication sectors. All these sector are run by the employees as per the vision of the company. The employees work in a committed towards carrying out the operations of the company thereby respecting the vision. The employees also play an important role in making the new members of the workforce understand and follow the vision of the company (Germano and Stephenson, 2012). In this way, the vision is kept alive by the employees.

Suppliers- Suppliers also come under the list of key stakeholders of Sainsbury's. The vision of Sainsbury takes into account ethical trading goals. It communicates the larger sense of organizational purpose. Sainsbury cannot work without its suppliers. For carrying out its operations, it closely works with its suppliers. The suppliers play an important role in relation to vision (Killen, Walker and Hunt, 2005). They follow the rules of ethical trade which form the basis of the vision of Sainsbury. In this way, the suppliers help in upholding the vision of the company.

Government- While creating the vision, it is important to consider the role of government. As a stakeholder, government impacts each and every decision of the organization directly or indirectly. Various rules, laws, regulations, legislations and policies are formulated by the government. While creating vision, giant retailers like Sainsbury have to take into account the policies and legislation that government makes for retail industry. Government plays a significant role in relation to the vision of the organization (Linn, 2008). This is because it provides guidance to Sainsbury about the aspects that need to be included in the vision.

Community- Community comprises of the societies and the people that live in the areas surrounding stores of Sainsbury. It has a significant role to play in relation to the vision of the organization. In today's scenario, organizations have to be increasingly concerned about corporate social responsibility. It needs to take various actions for promoting the interests of the backward sections of the society. Special care is to be taken to reduce the carbon footprint of the organization (Turki, 2011). All the procedures that Sainsbury adopts for conducting its operations should be environmental friendly. This can only be done, if the vision of the organization supports the purpose. Therefore, community is a key stakeholder which is taken into consideration when vision of the organization is to be created.

Customers- In retail industry, customers are considered to be the king. The retail organizations provide goods and services as per the needs and wants of the customers. The vision is to be created in a manner that it allows the organization to serve the interests of the customers. It should take into consideration provision of satisfaction to the customers. If the vision does not support the aspect related to customers, it will have negative impact on the image if the organization (Wilson and Eilertsen, 2010). Therefore, customer is an important stakeholder in relation to the vision of Sainsbury.

Factors impacting organization and vision

The organization and its vision are impacted by various factors. They can be analyzed below:

Political factors- These factors are inclusive of the policies and strategies formulated by the government of the countries where Sainsbury operates. The company has to carrying out its activities according to the policies of the government. For example, the policy on fair competition which has been formulated by UK government needs to be considered by Sainsbury. It has to plan and implement its actions in a way that they promote fair competition (Pollard and Hotho, 2006). Further, polices on employment further guide the organization in formulating its employment and work practices accordingly. All these impact the vision of company as well. The vision has to be formulated according to the policies of the government.

Legal factors- These factors comprise of the legislations and regulations of UK. There are various laws on health and safety, fair trade, ethical sourcing, environmental safety etc. When Sainsbury is conducting its activities, it has to follow the legislations. The work practices of the company have to be according to the legislations. It has to follow the environmental safety laws all through its operations (Marginson, 2009). Further, the legislations on health and safety have also to be incorporated. This is the impact of legal factors on organization. All these also impact the vision of Sainsbury.

Social factors- Social factors comprise of the tastes, preferences, choices of customers, their education etc. these factors impact Sainsbury and its vision. This is because organization undertakes the production of those articles which are desired by the customers. The products provided by Sainsbury are according to the preferences and choice of customers. Moreover, the service that the organization provides is to be in a way which is demanded by the customers (Andersen, 2007). Therefore, all the activities and procedures that Sainsbury undertakes are impacted by the social factors. Due to this, the vision of the company is also impacted by the social factors.

Environmental factors- Environmental factors greatly impact Sainsbury and its vision. Sainsbury has to adopt strategies for reducing its impact on the environment. The increasing awareness regarding the negative effects of organizational activities on environment has resulted into adoption of environmental friendly production systems. These factors impact Sainsbury because it has to adopt those methods that do not harm the environment. Following this, vision has also to be created as accordingly. It needs to be such that it aims at making the organization capable of protecting the environment in short as well as long run.

Organizational values- This is another factor that impacts the vision statement of the company. The vision statement of Sainsbury is guided by its organizational values. The retail company makes a promise to the customers to help them to 'Live well for less' (Our values, 2015). The company further strives to provide the best food for health, source with integrity and demonstrate respect for the environment through its actions. Moreover, other values of the organization are to make a positive difference to the community and make the company a great place to work in. all these values impact the organization and its vision. They are reflected in the vision of Sainsbury.


Creating a written vision for Sainsbury

A written vision can be created for the retail division of Sainsbury. Sainsbury provides a wide range of products at its retail stores. It provides groceries, household articles, appliances, clothes etc. Efficient customer service is provided at the various convenience stores of Sainsbury. While creating a written vision for the retail division, the following points are being considered:

Clear and simple- The vision statement should be clear and simple (Ci-sheng and Shu-ming, 2012). Considering this, efforts have been made to keep the vision statement short so clarity increases.

Easily explainable- The vision statement should be such that it can be easily explained by those who are involved.

Specific to the business- While creating the vision statement, it has been considered that it is specific to the business (Brown, 2003). A unique outcome is described by the vision which only Sainsbury is capable of providing.

Ambitious- The vision statement has been made ambitious so that it sounds exciting.

Align to values- The vision statement thus created is in close alignment with the values that Sainsbury wants its people to exhibit.

After considering the points, the following vision statement has been created.“Providing maximum value to the customers by offering quality products at fair prices, so that every customer is satisfied”

Developing strategic direction for the organization

Strategic direction for the organization consists of establishing strategic vision. After the vision has been developed for Sainsbury, there has been developed a connection between vision and mission. The strategic direction for Sainsbury can be developed by adopting the following procedure:


At this step, a vision is developed for Sainsbury by knowing the minds of the customers. Therefore, for establishing strategic direction for Sainsbury, the first step will be to create a vision. This will inform, everyone who is involved, about the market as well as the products and services (Jackson and et.al., 2011).


At this step, the destination or vision will be linked with the reality. The strategy will apply to the whole company. It will be a narrower aspect which will consider the ways in which Sainsbury can reach its vision. This strategy will focus on thinking about the future. The direction to which the firm will be heading to will be finalized at this step (Enz, 2012). It will also be analyzed as to where the organization will end up if it continues with the chosen strategies.

It is at this step, strategic decision will be taken for Sainsbury. These will comprise of two types, hard and easy decisions. Two more aspects will be considered at this level. These are high and low strategic impact. Hard decisions have high impact and are complicated to be implemented. These constitute the major changes. In contrast to this easy decisions can be made regarding simple changes that have high impact. At first, those strategic changes will be made which are easy to be implemented (Dess, Lumpkin and Eisner, 2010). Effective leadership will help in linking the strategic vision with the action.


This step comprises of the executing the strategies with the given capabilities and resources of the company. Tactics work with the current structure of organization. They are driven by the strategy and vision of the organization.

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Analyzing methods for communicating vision

The following methods can be used for communicating vision:

Visual aids- Various visual aids such as PowerPoint presentations or slide shows can be used for communicating the vision (Webb, 2015). However, care is to be taken that the key points of vision should be listed in a clear manner. Moreover, the colors and slogans of Sainsbury can be used for enforcing the solidarity of the company.

Employee meeting- An employee meeting can be scheduled. The venue should be large enough so that every member of the workforce is included. At the meeting, the similarities and differences between former vision should be pointed out.

Mass e-mail- A mass e-mail can be sent to each employee (Hallstedt and et.al., 2010). This can include the video blog, PowerPoint file and the slide presentation.

Assessing the ways of building support for vision

Support can be build for this vision in the following ways:

Effective leadership- Sainsbury can build support for the newly created vision through effective leadership. Suitable leadership style can be adopted at the organization. This will help in motivating the employees towards accepting the new vision. For this, informal leaders can also be appointed who act as change agents thus helping in facilitating the change (Rumelt, 2012).

Employee involvement- Support can be gained for the new vision by involving the employees in the decision making processes regarding the changes that are to be introduced at the workplace (Poister, 2010). When the employees will be involved, they will feel connected to the vision and thus will support it.

Ways of communicating vision to external stakeholders

The vision of Sainsbury can be communicated to the external stakeholder in the following manner:

  • Newsletters- This is a one way communication strategy which can be used for communicating the vision to the external stakeholders (Pollard and Hotho, 2006).
  • Through press- This is another method of conveying the new vision to the external stakeholders. Details about the new vision can be provided in the newspapers.
  • Organizing events- Various events can be organized for making the external stakeholders aware of the new vision (Cummings and Worley, 2014).
  • Meetings – Suppliers can be informed about the new vision by organizing meetings.


Analyzing leadership behavior needed for promoting the vision

Effective leadership is the key to promoting vision of the organization. Transformational leadership behavior will help in promoting the vision. Transformational leaders are known for individualized consideration, idealized influence, intellectual stimulation and inspirational motivation. They pay attention to the needs on the followers. Moreover, they have a vision which is capable of inspiring and motivating followers. Therefore, the vision can be promoted by motivating and inspiring the employees with the health of transformational leadership behavior (Germano and Stephenson, 2012). Further, their can also be use of charismatic leadership. Charismatic leaders are capable o gathering followers through their personality and charm. This leadership behavior is characterized by a high level self belief. A wide range of methods can be used by the charismatic leaders for managing their image and developing the skills of employees. With effective use of body language, this leadership behavior will be capable of making the employees believe in the new vision. Therefore, they will be able to drive the vision through the organization.

Embedding the vision in the organization

Various aspects are necessary for embedding the vision in the organization. They can be discussed as under:

Culture- A supportive culture is necessary for embedding the vision. Organizational culture plays a significant role in influencing the behaviors of the employees. The vision can be implemented at Sainsbury when the employees have positive attitude towards it. This can be created by developing a positive organizational culture which is open and supportive. Such a culture will help the employees to discuss the issues faced by them with the management (Killen, Walker and Hunt, 2005). They can bring forward the issues that they face in relation to the changes that have been brought at the workplace due to the new vision. By addressing those issues, the vision can be successfully implemented at the organization.

Effective communication – This is another feature which is extremely important for embedding the new vision in the organization. When a new vision is created, it introduces a number of changes at the workplace. If the employees are not communicated about these changes, they may not accept them (Wilson and Eilertsen, 2010). It would also lead to chaos and frustration in the employees. This would make it difficulty for them to accept the new vision. Therefore, in order to embed the vision in the organization, Sainsbury needs to foster effective communication where the employees are informed about it in detail.

Employee involvement as change agents- Another aspect which is necessary is the involvement of employees. They can be involved in the process of embedding the vision by acting as change agents. Some capable employees can be chosen and assigned the responsibility of change agents (Marginson, 2009). They will help in motivating their colleagues and informing them about the vision. It will thus facilitate embedding the vision in the organization.

Using vision to derive organizational objectives

Organizational objectives of Sainsbury can be derived by using its vision. The newly created vision is to provide maximum value to the customers by offering quality products at fair prices, so that every customer is satisfied. Using this vision, it can be analyzed that organizational objectives need to be created focusing on lowering the prices, improving quality and achieving customer satisfaction (Andersen, 2007). In this regard, the following objectives can be derived from the vision which set the strategic direction:

  • To adopt strategies and procedures for improving the quality of products and services.
  • To provide products at fair prices.
  • To adopt strategies for maximizing customer satisfaction.

Outlining strategic planning process

The following strategic planning process will be used for Sainsbury:

Mission and objectives- By using the vision and mission of the company, measurable financial and strategic objectives can be created. Therefore, in this step, the objectives of strategic planning will be decided.

Environmental scanning- This step consist of three major components such as internal analysis of the firm, analysis of the industry and external macro environment (Ci-sheng and Shu-ming, 2012). Internal analysis will help in identifying the strengths and weakness of Sainsbury. External analysis, on the other hand, will reveal the strengths and weaknesses.

Strategy formulation- After the environmental scanning has been done, the strengths identified will be matched with the opportunities. Plans will be made for addressing the weaknesses and external threats with the help of strengths and opportunities (Jackson and et.al., 2011).

Strategy implementation- At this step, the selected strategy for Sainsbury will be implemented by making use of programs, budgets and procedures. For this, the resources available with the retail organization will be organized.

Evaluation and control- This is the last step in the strategic planning process. During this, the implementation of the strategy will be monitored and adjustments will be made as necessary (Rumelt, 2012).


From the report, it can be concluded that the key stakeholders of Sainsbury play a significant role in relation to the vision. They are the suppliers, customers, government, community and employees. Social, legal, political, environmental factors and organizational values impact organization and its vision. Strategic direction for Sainsbury can be developed with the help of vision, strategy and tactics. Various methods such as PowerPoint presentation, sideshow and meetings can be used for communicating the vision.


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