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School of Business | Department of Management and International Business | Finnish Business Communication | 2014
Thesis number: 13577
The role of strategy tools in implementing corporate strategy
Author: Nevanlinna, Sari
Title: The role of strategy tools in implementing corporate strategy
Year: 2014  Language: eng
Department: Department of Management and International Business
Academic subject: Finnish Business Communication
Index terms: viestintä; communication; yritysviestintä; business communication; kansainvälinen; international; yritykset; companies; strategia; strategy; konsernit; consolidated companies
Pages: 67
Key terms: Must-win battle, MWB, strategy implementation, strategy tool, corporatestrategy
The Role of Strategy Tools in Implementing Corporate Strategy - Must-win battle methodology comparison between the transportation, industrial and food sectors

Purpose of the study:

The purpose of this study is to provide answers as to what the role of strategy tools is in corporate strategy implementation in general and especially on how the specific must-win battle (MWB) methodology as a strategy tool helps management communicate their ambitions. The utilization of strategy tools has increased among companies during the 21st century. This development has led to a situation where there are both theoretical and practical needs to understand the execution of strategy from the tool perspective. There is a need to study how the MWB tool is used in different contexts, what opportunities or weaknesses a certain type of usage of must-win battle methodology has and how the methodology should be further developed. This research is qualitative and aims to participate in the discussion of strategy tool usage by explaining the phenomenon of must-win battle methodology as a strategy tool.

Data and methods:

First, a broad range of literature that has direct and indirect implications for the research of strategy tools and strategy implementation is reviewed. Next, various definitions of strategy implementation and strategy tools are considered. This qualitative research is organized around a must-win battle framework that distinguishes between a structural and inspirational way of using the MWB tool in the execution of strategy. MWB utilization was studied in three international companies based in Finland through interviews. Additional internal and external materials have been used for gaining a profound understanding of the organizations and the context.


There are no right or wrong utilization ways. The MWB methodology can be used lightly - as a source of inspiration - or, as opposed to this, heavily, by creating a whole unit of people to manage a corporation's must-win battles as a full time job. MWB is an effective strategy implementation tool, but finding an optimal way to use it depends on an organization's capabilities. This study proposes that when taking a structured and systematic approach to strategy implementation, the MWB tool is the most valuable and useful tool for a company. The findings of this thesis showed that the implementation of strategy with the help of MWB methodology can be very different depending on the company context.
Master's theses are stored at Learning Centre in Otaniemi.