While the business environment in Saudi Arabia is generally considered to be favourable, inadequate strategic planning and management have been implicated in the suspension or de-listing of a number of firms from the stock exchange; in that respect, the study is an examination of potential 'best practices' in strategic management in the context of the use of strategic management tools. The main research question is on how the application of strategic management tools is reflected in firm performance. This is measured by the perceptions of managers within firms about the tools' effectiveness in terms of information-gathering, developing objectives, and performance management. The primary research consists of a questionnaire administered to 213 managers at Saudi-listed firms, representing a cross-section of various business sectors. Follow-up semi-structured interviews were then conducted with 18 of the questionnaire respondents to gather further insights into their assessments of strategic management tools and the decision-making processes behind their selections of particular tools. The study's findings are that strategic management tools use is widespread among firms, with all of the surveyed managers identifying one or more tools used by their firms. Managers in firms with significant foreign relationships - local subsidiaries of foreign firms, or firms with operations outside Saudi Arabia - reported using tools more frequently and using a greater variety of tools than their domestic counterparts, although the difference was slight, and there were no notable differences in the perceptions of tools' effectiveness that could be associated with the ownership structure. Overall, managers reported that the use of strategic management tools positively impacted their firms' performance, and the results of statistical analysis revealed that the perceived effectiveness of strategic management tools is positively associated with the type of firm rather than with the type of tool. The results of the study have beneficial implications for improving the performance of other firms in the Saudi business environment, and suggest areas for further study to enhance the use of strategic management tools.
|Date of Award||1 Aug 2014|
- The University of Manchester
|Supervisor||Aminu Mamman (Supervisor) & Christopher Rees (Supervisor)|