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Strategic Paper- (It is crucial that this paper must be done by Examine Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services issues explained in the Question).In this paper, examine Maryland

Strategic Paper- (It is crucial that this paper must be done by Examine Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services issues explained in the Question).

In this paper, examine Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services- Division of Corrections’ generic and diversification strategies, its international moves, and its ethics, social responsibility, and environmental sustainability practices. Submit your work in the form of an approximate 2,500-word double-spaced APA-formatted paper. The title page, reference list, and any appendices are not included in this suggested word count. You do not need to include an abstract.

Your paper should address these topics as your sub-headings accordingly:

1.     DPSCS-DOC's generic strategy or strategies. 

2.     Any diversification strategies the organization pursues.

3.     Any international moves made DPSCS-DOC. Does it operate internationally? In what format(s)?

4.     What ethics policies and practices does DPSCS-DOC have in place? 

5.     Does DPSCS-DOC practice social responsibility? In what way(s)? 

6.     What are DPSCS-DOC's environmental sustainability practices? 

7.     Conclusion

8.     References

Supported Readings and References for the Paper: Read the Part1 and Part 2 before you attempt the paper. Best of Luck. Due Date is April 22, 2018, at 12 noon.


Generic and Corporate Strategies. Learn the three generic strategies used for building competitive advantage and delivering value to customers. Learn why and how companies diversify and how diversification can deliver competitive advantage.

Learning Objectives: PART 1

1.     Understand what distinguishes each of the three generic strategies and why some of these strategies work better in certain industries and competitive conditions.

2.     Identify the ways to achieve competitive advantage based on lower costs.

3.     Identify ways to develop competitive advantage based on differentiation.

4.     Identify ways to develop competitive advantage based on focus.

5.     Understand when and how diversifying into multiple businesses can enhance shareholder value. 

6.     Understand how related diversification strategies can produce competitive advantage.


A company’s competitive strategy is management’s plan for competing successfully. The chances are remote that any two companies—even those in the same industry—will employ the exact same competitive strategy. However, Michael Porter developed three generic competitive strategies, which can be used singly or in combination, that consist of whether a company’s target market is broad or narrow and whether the company is pursuing a competitive advantage related to lower costs or differentiation (Porter, 1996). “Porter states that the strategies are generic because they are applicable to a large variety of situations and contexts.... The generic strategies provide direction for firms in designing incentive systems, control procedures, and organizational arrangements” (“Generic competitive strategies,” 2009).

According to Porter, “To position itself against its rivals, a firm must decide whether to perform activities differently or perform different activities. ... A firm’s business-level strategy is a deliberate choice in regard to how it will perform the value chain’s primary and support activities in ways that create unique value” (Carpenter & Dunung, 2012).

The strategies are (1) cost leadership; (2) differentiation; and (3) focus on a particular market niche. 

Cost Leadership

In a cost leadership strategy, a company tries to become and remain the lowest-cost producer and/or distributor in the industry. “The strategy is especially important for firms selling unbranded commodities such as beef or steel” (“Generic competitive strategies,” 2009).

Companies using this strategy strive for lower costs than their rivals, but not necessarily the lowest cost. The products/services being sold must include features that buyers consider essential. It’s possible to be too “low frills” and risk being seen as offering little value. There are other potential downfalls to this strategy: “Two or more firms competing for cost leadership may engage in price wars that drive profits to very low levels. Ideally, a firm using a cost leader strategy will develop an advantage that is not easily copied by others. Cost leaders also must maintain their investment in state-of-the-art equipment or face the possible entry of more cost-effective competitors” (“Generic competitive strategies,” 2009).

Remember from our examination of Internal Factors that Porter identified 10 cost drivers in a company’s value chain:

Source: “Porter's value chain: understanding how value is created within organizations,” n.d.

The goal of the value chain activities is to offer customers value that exceeds the cost of activities, resulting in profit (“The value chain,” 2010).

There are two major ways of achieving low-cost leadership: (1) Performing essential value chain activities more cost-effectively than rivals, and (2) changing the value chain to bypass or eliminate cost-producing activities. “Firms achieve cost leadership by building large-scale operations that help them reduce the cost of each unit by eliminating extra features in their products or services, by reducing their marketing costs, by finding low-cost sources or materials or labor, and so forth” (“Generic competitive strategies,” 2009).


Differentiation is creating something that is perceived as unique in the industry “through advanced technology, high-quality ingredients or components, product features, [or] superior delivery time” (Carpenter & Dunung, 2012). Customers must be at least somewhat insensitive to price for this strategy to be effective. “Adding product features means that the production or distribution costs of a differentiated product may be somewhat higher than the price of a generic, non-differentiated product. Customers must be willing to pay more than the marginal cost of adding the differentiating feature if a differentiation strategy is to succeed (“Generic competitive strategies,” 2009). However, “differentiation does not allow a firm to ignore costs; it makes a firm's products less susceptible to cost pressures from competitors because customers see the product as unique and are willing to pay extra to have the product with the desirable features” (“Generic competitive strategies,” 2009). 


What sets a focused strategy apart from cost leadership or differentiation is its “concentration on a particular customer, product line, geographical area, channel of distribution, stage in the production process, or market niche” (“Generic competitive strategies,” 2009). With a focus strategy, the idea is that they firm is better able to serve a limited segment more efficiently than its competitors can serve a wide range of customers.

Firms using a focus strategy simply apply a cost leader or differentiation strategy to a segment of the larger market. Firms may thus be able to differentiate themselves based on meeting customer needs, or they may be able to achieve lower costs within limited markets. Focus strategies are most effective when customers have distinctive preferences or specialized needs. (“Generic competitive strategies,” 2009)

Combined strategies

It is also possible to combine these strategies, and firms that combine strategies often do better than firms that pursue one strategy. “An integrated cost-leadership and differentiation strategy is a combination of the cost leadership and the differentiation strategies. … To succeed with this strategy, firms invest in the activities that create the unique value but look for ways to reduce cost in nonvalue activities” (Carpenter & Dunung, 2012). 


Diversification is when a firm enters an entirely new industry, moving into new value chains ("Selecting corporate-level strategies," 2012). Diversification is a growth strategy. Many firms accomplish diversification through a merger or an acquisition, whereas others expand into new industries without the involvement of another firm. When considering whether to diversify, a firm must ask how attractive the industry is, how much it will cost to enter the industry, and whether the new firm will be better off. Diversification can be either related or unrelated. 

Related Diversification

Related diversification is when a firm moves into a new industry that has important similarities with the firm’s existing industry or industries ("Selecting corporate-level strategies," 2012). Often, the goal of firms that engage in related diversification is to develop and exploit a core competency to become more successful. The goal is often synergy, "the ability of two or more parts of an organization to achieve greater total effectiveness together than would be experienced if the efforts of the independent parts were summed" ("Diversification strategy," 2009).

Unrelated Diversification

Unrelated diversification is when a firm enters an industry that lacks any important similarities with the firm’s existing industry or industries. The primary goal of unrelated diversification is improved profitability for the acquiring firm ("Diversification strategy," 2009). Often, the opportunities for growth in the firm's current industry is limited. So, diversifying into a new industry may offer improved profits. However, operating unrelated businesses will result in increased administrative costs for the acquiring firm.  

Grow or Buy? 

When deciding to diversify, a firm must consider whether it's better to diversify internally (e.g., by creating a new company or division within the current company) or to expand externally (e.g., by merger or acquisition) ("Diversification strategy," 2009). 

If a firm decides to diversify internally, it could, for example, broaden its geographical market, sell to new users, market new products in existing markets, or market new products to new customers in new markets.  

If a firm decides to externally diversify, the most common ways are through merger or acquisition. In a merger, the firm gets access to management, technology, and processes and both firms retain their identities. In an acquisition, the firm being acquired loses its identity. Acquisitions can be either friendly or hostile. 


Firms must choose which of the generic strategies they will pursue and then whether to diversify. These decisions are essential to how a firm will achieve competitive advantage.


Carpenter, M. A., & Dunung, S. P. (2012). Generic strategies. In Challenges and opportunities in international business. Retrieved from

Diversification strategy. (2009). In Encyclopedia of management (6th ed., pp. 194-197). Detroit: Gale. Retrieved from 

Generic competitive strategies. (2009). In Encyclopedia of management (6th ed., pp. 337-341). Detroit: Gale. Retrieved from

Porter, M. E. (1996). What is strategy? Harvard Business Review74(6), 61-78. Retrieved from

Porter's value chain: understanding how value is created within organizations. (n.d.). Mind Tools. Retrieved from

Selecting corporate-level strategies. (2012). In Strategic management: evaluation and execution. Retrieved from 

The value chain. 2010. NetMBA. Retrieved from


Ethics, Social Responsibility, and Environmental Sustainability. The students examine the triple bottom line--social, environmental, and financial performance factors.

Learning Objectives: Part 2

1.     Understand what corporate ethics is.

2.     Discuss the theories of corporate responsibility and environmental sustainability.

3.     Examine the changing role of strategic human resources management in international business

4.     Analyze the triple bottom line to improve the performance and success of a business.


After numerous corporate scandals in the 1990s and 2000s, firms began paying more attention to corporate ethics, social responsibility, and environmental sustainability. This commitment people, the planet, and economic value are exemplified by three theories: corporate social responsibility, the triple bottom line, and stakeholder theory (“Three theories of corporate social responsibility,” 2012). Although economic performance is certainly important to a firm’s stakeholders, “increasingly though, it seems clear that noneconomic accomplishments, such as reducing waste and pollution, for example, are key indicators of performance as well. … Increasingly, the evidence is mounting that attention to a triple bottom line is more than being “responsible” but instead just good business” (Economic, social, and environmental performance,” 2012). 

Corporate social responsibility

Corporate social responsibility is “a general name for any theory of the corporation that emphasizes both the responsibility to make money and the responsibility to interact ethically with the surrounding community. … Corporate social responsibility is also a specific conception of that responsibility to profit while playing a role in broader questions of community welfare” (“Three theories of corporate social responsibility,” 2012). The triple bottom line “is a form of corporate social responsibility dictating that corporate leaders tabulate bottom-line results not only in economic terms (costs versus revenue) but also in terms of company effects in the social realm, and with respect to the environment” (“Three theories of corporate social responsibility,” 2012). Stakeholder theory

is the mirror image of corporate social responsibility. Instead of starting a business and looking out into the world to see what ethical obligations are there, stakeholder theory starts in the world. It lists and describes those individuals and groups who will be affected by (or affect) the company’s actions and asks, “What are their legitimate claims on the business?” “What rights do they have with respect to the company’s actions?” and “What kind of responsibilities and obligations can they justifiably impose on a particular business?” In a single sentence, stakeholder theory affirms that those whose lives are touched by a corporation hold a right and obligation to participate in directing it. (“Three theories of corporate social responsibility,” 2012)


Business ethics is defined as knowing “what it right or wrong in the workplace and doing what's right -- this is in regard to effects of products/services and in relationships with stakeholders” (McNamara, n.d.). “Organizational ethics express the values of an organization to its employees and other entities, irrespective of governmental and/or regulatory laws” (“Ethical issues at an organizational level,” 2016).

The ethics of effective and competitive business practices include creating a shared sense of meaning, vision, and purpose that connect the employees to the organization and are underpinned by valuing the community without subordinating the individual and seeing the community's purpose as flowing from the individuals involved” (Waddock, 2008).

Organizations can encourage ethical behavior by use of

  • A written code of ethics and standards
  • Ethics training to executives, managers, and employees
  • Availability for advice on ethical situations (i.e., advice lines or offices)
  • Systems for confidential reporting (“Ethical issues at an organizational level,” 2016; McNamara, n.d.).

Some organizations also perform social responsibility audits, a process of evaluating a corporation's social responsibility performance (“Social responsibility audits,” 2016). “Organizations with these types of ethically based approaches also focus on development for both employees and the organization as a whole, which means valuing individuals as ends, not as means to ends (a key ethical principle), and focusing on learning and growth” (Waddock, 2008). 

Environmental sustainability

Environmental issues may be caused by nature or humans:

  • Changes in the climate, such as global warming
  • Natural disasters, such as hurricanes
  • The alteration of terrain or bodies of water by natural disasters or development
  • Deterioration of either inside or outside air quality
  • The release of hazardous materials from activities such as oil spills and the dumping of hazardous waste
  • The depletion or deterioration of natural resources, such as farmland, water, trees, and minerals
  • The displacement of wildlife or depletion of their food sources (Connaughton, 2015).

For a company to effectively practice environmental sustainability, it needs to formally write its strategies into its planning. “To be truly effective, all stakeholders — from top management to employees — need to be committed to the planning and execution of actions and decisions that contribute to a sustainable society” (Connaughton, 2015). Firms can actively engage in “practices that will result in a positive impact on a sustainable society” or passively engage by avoiding “practices that will result in a negative impact on a sustainable society” (Connaughton, 2015). Active practices include

  • Creating a formal, written environmental management plan that details goals, actions, responsibilities, and timelines.
  • Using renewable resources, such as bamboo and treated pine timber whenever possible.
  • Planting trees on company property and in the community.
  • Using recycled and biodegradable materials in product development.
  • Designing products that are recyclable or biodegradable.

Passive practices include limiting building and development that will alter the course of nature, such as rerouting rivers, encroaching upon wetlands, or displacing wildlife habitats (Connaughton, 2015).

The World Resources Institute (2012) has developed a guide to help organizations assess their risks and opportunities for environmental sustainability.


There are “definite benefits to the environment and local, national, and global communities from incorporating sustainable society factors into corporate management strategies. In fact, measurement tools do exist for calculating the benefits of a company's actions on society; the Center for Sustainable Innovation ( created a non-financial, mathematical tool called the Social Footprint, which is both a corporate sustainability measurement and a reporting method” (Connaughton, 2015). But the company also reaps benefits, by fostering a positive public image and attracting employees, investors, and customers to a "socially responsible" company.


Connaughton, S. A. (2015). Strategic management in a sustainable society. Research Starters: Business (Online Edition). Retrieved from

Economic, social, and environmental performance. (2012). In Management principles. Retrieved from

Ethical issues at an organizational level. (2016, May 26). Retrieved from

Leading an ethical organization: corporate governance, corporate ethics, and social responsibility. (2012). In Strategic management: evaluation and execution. Retrieved from

McNamara, C. (n.d.). Business ethics and social responsibility. Free Management Library. Retrieved from

Metzger, E., Putt Del Pino, S., Prowitt, S., Goodward, J., & Perera, A. (2012, December).  sSWOT: a sustainability SWOT: user’s guide. Washington, DC: World Resources Institute. Retrieved from

Social responsibility audits. (2012). In Ethics in business. Retrieved from

Three theories of corporate social responsibility. (2012). In Strategic management: evaluation and execution. Retrieved from

Waddock, S. (2008). Ethical role of the manager. In R. W. Kolb (Ed.), Encyclopedia of business ethics and society (Vol. 5, pp. 786-790). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications Ltd. doi: 10.4135/9781412956260.n303. Retrieved from

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