Caterpillar Inc.’s Strategic Management Journal Sample Essay

Background

Caterpillar Inc. is the world’s largest construction machinery and equipment company. It produces, designs, and markets financial and machinery products. As the company notices on its website, for about a century, they have been “helping customers build a better, more sustainable world and are committed and contributing to a reduced-carbon future” (Caterpillar, 2022a, para. 1). In order to become and remain a successful and effective company, Caterpillar sets efficient short- and long-term goals, gets involved in mergers and acquisitions, and creates operational plans for global strategies.

Short-Term and Long-Term Goals

To begin with, the company defines its most required short-term and long-term objectives. To begin with, it is essential to notice that Caterpillar has experienced the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and many short-term goals of the company are aimed at overcoming these effects. For example, as noticed by researchers, the firm hopes to achieve its “investor day operating margin targets in 2021 despite the impact of reinstating short-term incentive compensation” and meet “investor day free cash flow targets” (AlphaStreet, 2021, para. 6). What is more, Caterpillar is extremely focused on sustainability but could not follow its usual sustainability practices due to the pandemic. Consequently, they expect to return to this strategy by reducing water consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and waste (AlphaStreet, 2021). Other short-term goals include decreasing workplace injury levels and providing clients with the safest products. As for long-term objectives, Caterpillar generally aims to maintain its high market position (Caterpillar, 2022c). Further, the company’s purpose is to create profitable growth, meet the needs of its customers and communities, become more competitive, and strengthen its position.

Mergers and Acquisitions

In order for any global company to develop, it is essential to collaborate with other firms. Mergers and acquisitions are ways to perform this collaboration and have mutual benefits. Overall, Caterpillar made sixteen acquisitions; the most recent were Minetec and CarbonPoint in 2021 and Marble Robot in 2020 (“Overview of Caterpillar’s acquisitions,” 2022). These acquisitions allowed the company to expand the range of products and services it offered to clients, become more competitive and strong in the market, and gain more technological advances.

The Most Critical Acquisition

It is possible to say that most mergers and acquisitions appeared to be rather effective for the company. However, the most significant one was in 2021, when Caterpillar “completed its acquisition of the Oil & Gas Division (“Weir Oil & Gas”) of the Weir Group PLC, a Scotland-based global engineering business” (Caterpillar, 2021, para. 1). This valuable combination of Caterpillar’s brilliant engines and transmissions and “Weir Oil & Gas’ pressure pumping and pressure control portfolio” allows to exceed customer expectations and increase performance (Caterpillar, 2021, para. 2). Therefore, this mutually beneficial decision may be considered very significant for the company.

Effectiveness of Caterpillar’s Operational Plan

It is possible to say that Caterpillar’s operational plan for global strategies is highly efficient because, as mentioned above, the company managed to become the best in the world’s financial and machinery market. Benevolo et al. (2020) noticed that marketing global strategies can be divided into international, multi-domestic, global-standardization, or transnational. Overall, since the company focuses on reducing costs and having increased local responsiveness, the global strategy of Caterpillar is transnational (Caterpillar, 2022b). The firm tries to add local features and become a part of the local industry when entering other countries. This is rather effective because local customers have more trust in the company.

References

AlphaStreet. (2021). Caterpillar (CAT) counts on market recovery to meet growth goals.

Benevolo, C., Penco, L., & Torre, T. (2020). Entrepreneurial decision-making for global strategies: A “heart–head” approach. Management Decision, 59(5).

Caterpillar. (2021). Caterpillar acquires weir oil & gas, launches SPM oil & gas.

Caterpillar. (2022a). About Caterpillar.

Caterpillar. (2022b). Strategy.

Caterpillar. (2022c). Strategy & purpose.

Overview of Caterpillar’s acquisitions. (2022). Tracxn.

The United Kingdom Economic Performance Evaluation

Introduction

The last ten years were marked by significant world economy changes that affect all spheres of life. Such indicators as the real GDP, its annual growth, the real GDP per capita, the inflation rate, and the unemployment rate objectively reflect the economic performance of the countries. The United Kingdom was chosen for this paper because of the recent challenges. Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic influenced it significantly, which led to the crisis in all spheres of life, and the economy was not the exception. The decision to leave the European Union negatively affected the financial institutions of the United Kingdom and the logistics and reformed the British market. Therefore, the United Kingdom example shows that the economy is closely connected with social and political processes of the country, and the market reflects the existing tendencies.

The performance of the British economy over the last ten years shows that international political and economic crisis leads to problems in the financial sphere within the state. Economic issues lead to the aggravation of social issues, including the increase in the inflation rate, unemployment, and difficulties in the overall economic development. There is no need to say that most people are not satisfied with the current state of things during the financial crisis, making the government implement policies that support their citizens. Therefore, the objective measurements of the GDP, inflation, and unemployment rates reflect the political and global economic context. It is possible to hypothesize that the financial performance of the United Kingdom during the last decade is strong.

Discussion and Analysis

Overview of Economy

The British macroeconomic factors show stable growth during the last decade, reflecting the positive development of the economy in the United Kingdom. The GDP growth rate during the last year was 0.8, while the previous year it was 1.3. The previous year’s annual growth rate increased by 8.7%, compared to 6.6% before. The unemployment rate in 2022 was 3.7, which is not significantly different from 3.8% in 2021. The inflation rate, in its turn, increased from 7% in 2020 to 9% in 2022 (Gross domestic product (GDP), 2022). This data reflects the most recent tendencies in the economic development of the United Kingdom and shows that the country’s economy is comparatively stable, which is a positive tendency.

The peculiar detail is the one-year recession in all macroeconomic factors in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic and the global economic crisis. The decrease was from 2,255,283 million pounds in 2019 to 2.046.209 million pounds in 2020 when economic activities stopped globally. In 2020, the annual GDP increased to 2,198,473 million pounds, which shows that the British economy managed to cope with the adverse consequences of the pandemic on the financial sphere (Gross domestic product (GDP), 2022). Therefore, the macroeconomic data shows that the United Kingdom started to develop actively after the one-year recession connected with the global stop of production due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is the marker of a strong economy that can revive after hardship.

Production Output Performance Analysis

Brexit that happened in 2016 was a stress for the British economy due to the change in the market and logistics, and it negatively influenced the country’s economic performance. The loss of the need for British products affected the GDP per capita and the GDP growth rate until the government established new connections with other markets. These numbers were comparatively stable in 2016 and 2017, regardless of the significant political change that happened during this period (Gross domestic product (GDP), 2022). The peculiar detail that the United Kingdom did not ruin its economy after Brexit shows that the decision to leave the European Union was rational and foregrounded by the economic prospects.

The analysis of the GDP growth rate and the GDP per capita rate shows that the stable increase of these numbers led to the desire of the United Kingdom to leave the European Union. The performance of the British economy shows that the country that thrives does not see a practical need to share its economic success with other members of the European Union (KPMG, 2022). In this case, the United Kingdom has a solid political position due to its stable economic growth, and it gives the state more opportunities for making independent decisions.

All types of GDP are interconnected, and they reflect the state of the country’s economy from a macroeconomic perspective. Real GDP measures the actual value of all services the government provides and all goods it produces. It is possible to distinguish between the GDP corrected by inflation and the constant GDP (KPMG, 2022). In most cases, economists consider inflation as the factor that converts the real GDP, which is reflected in the financial analysis.

It is critical to distinguish the real GDP growth rate and the nominal one. The accurate measurement of the GDP considers minor facts that might influence the current prices for services and goods, usually lower than the nominal one (KPMG, 2022). There is no practical need to evaluate the nominal GDP growth rate due to the inaccuracy of these measurements that do not pay attention to inflation or actual unemployment. Real GDP per capita analysis, in its turn, provides the analysts with real economic growth or recession measurements because it reflects the amount of GDP divided by the number of citizens who produce this gross domestic product (KPMG, 2022). The definitions of various types of the GDP show that this economic category is the essential component of the national well-being, which makes the emphasis on the GDP numbers a significant concern for economists and politicians.

At the same time, the measurements of the GDP do not reflect the economic development of the state entirely because it disregards many financial activities. For instance, this category does not analyze domestic labor, care services that are not paid officially, informal trends in the economy, and services that business provides in return for other services or goods (Chadha, 2017). It allows us to assume that GDP is one of the objective categories that allow analysts to measure economic activity in the country during a particular period, but it does not substitute all categories. It is essential to compare different economic measurements to make objective and thorough conclusions about the country’s financial performance.

People often use GDP to quickly analyze the success or failure of the government in the economic sphere. As a result, the politicians use various methods to increase the productivity of the country’s economy. Among the measures that the British government adopted to increase the production output performance is attracting international investments into the country and nationalizing all profits from the services and goods produced within the state (Chadha, 2017). Even though the measurement of GDP does not show the actual state of things in the country’s economy in detail, the overall vector of development is still evident in these numbers.

Labor Market Analysis

Unemployment is a critical characteristic of the economy because it shows that the country requires human resources to produce goods and services. The rate of unemployment in the United Kingdom has been stable during the last decade, and it ranges from 3.8% to 4.1%. These numbers are average compared to the unemployment rates in other European countries with developed economies, including France and Germany. At the same time, the COVID pandemic harmed the unemployment rate because many people lost their jobs when business activity was on pause globally (Farriset al., 2021). This data shows that international economic trends influence the situation in the United Kingdom’s domestic market and affect the job opportunities for people.

Most cases of unemployment in the UK are involuntary and structural. It is the consequence of the stable inability of the government and businesses to provide all adult people who reside in the country with jobs (Kirby et al., 2017). For instance, the existing problems in the automotive industry do not allow local brands to hire many people, which aggravates the unemployment rate (Bailey & De Propris, 2017). Unemployment, in its turn, harms business activity in the country in general because it decreases the well-being of people.

The labor market policies the British government implemented and social support policies were among the most effective measures to reduce unemployment in the United Kingdom. It is possible to assume that the United Kingdom was not prepared for the pandemic of COVID-19 because this situation was utterly unpredictable (Mellish et al., 2020). Therefore, the government could not provide all people with job opportunities during this crisis. At the same time, the government enhanced the social support of people who lost their jobs during the pandemic and advised businesses not to dismiss their employees. This situation showed that the British were ready to support the most vulnerable categories of society during the crisis (Fetzer, 2019). Therefore, the measures adopted by the government did not allow the country to achieve full employment, but they helped to reduce its level and to support the vulnerable populations during the crisis.

Price Level Analysis

Inflation reflects the devaluation of the currency, which negatively affects the lives of people. The prices of products and services increase while most people’s income does not, which creates a bias in the financial sphere (Mason et al., 2018). Among the causes that lead to inflation are the problems with logistics and supply, shortage of workers, natural resources, or the uncontrollable increase of the local currency in the country (Hantzsche et al., 2018). In other words, the reasons that cause inflation show that the value of the local currency decreases and people have to pay more for services and goods.

Inflation in the United Kingdom was caused mainly by two political and social factors: the COVID-19 pandemic and Brexit. In both cases, the chains of supply were affected, and the level of unemployment increased, which led to a shortage of goods and workers (Hantzsche et al., 2018). It shows that all processes that happen in political and social life affect the country’s economic development.

The United Kingdom managed to cope with these adverse economic consequences of Brexit quickly by introducing necessary policies. For example, the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England increased interest rates from 0.5% to 0.75% (KPMG, 2022). During the last year, the interest rate in the United Kingdom was meager and constituted 0.1% (KPMG, 2022). This data shows that the government of the United Kingdom used low-interest rates as the primary method of decreasing inflation that stabilizing the country’s economy.

Conclusion

The analysis shows that the country’s economic development is reflected in the measurements of the GPD, the unemployment rate, and the level of inflation. It makes the labor market and the level of prices essential in the adequate understanding of the economic context. Gross domestic product, in its turn, is a more general category than inflation and unemployment, and these two factors influence GDP. In general, the combination of the GDP, unemployment rates, and inflation provides the analysts with a realistic perception of the situation.

The performance of the British economy is also reflected in macroeconomic signs such as the GDP level. The government of the UK had to introduce multiple policies to achieve economic stability, preserve prices at an adequate level, and achieve full employment of citizens. Even though the government had to undertake specific actions to improve the country’s economic situation and support its citizens, they applied the policies effectively. Such political and economic crises as the COVID-19 pandemic and Brexit did not destroy the economy of the United Kingdom. The country’s financial sphere managed to recover after comparatively short periods of problems, proving that the British economy is strong.

References

Bailey, D., & De Propris, L. (2017). Brexit and the UK automotive industry. National Institute Economic Review 242, R51–R59.

Chadha, J. S. (2017). Commentary: The Economic Landscape of the UK. National Institute Economic Review 240, F4–F13.

Farris, S., Yuval-Davis, N., & Rottenberg, C. (2021). The frontline as performative frame: An analysis of the UK COVID crisis. State Crime Journal 10(2), 284-303.

Fetzer, T. (2019). Did austerity cause Brexit? The American Economic Review, 109(11), 3849–3886.

Gross domestic product (GDP). Gross Domestic Product (GDP) – Office for National Statistics. (2022).

Hantzsche, A., Kara, A., & Young, G. (2018). Prospects for the UK economy. National Institute Economic Review 246, F4–F35.

Kirby, S., Carreras, O., Piggott, R., Warren, J., & Ebell, M. (2017). Prospects for the UK economy. National Institute Economic Review 239, F50–F80.

KPMG. (2022). Global economic outlook. KPMG International.

Mason, G., O’Mahony, M., & Riley, R. (2018). What is holding back UK productivity? Lessons from decades of measurement. National Institute Economic Review 246, R24–R35.

Mellish, T. I., Luzmore, N. J., & Shahbaz, A. A. (2020). Why were the UK and USA unprepared for the COVID-19 pandemic? The systemic weaknesses of neoliberalism: A comparison between the UK, USA, Germany, and South Korea. Journal of Global Faultlines 7(1): 9-45.

Wilson’s “Fences”: Discussion Of Rose Character

It is important to note that Rose in Fences is a vital character who represents maternal care and practical love. One needs to be aware that she is the only female figure in the story who brings balance between Cory and Troy. In addition, when it comes to her functional role, Rose is a source of the necessary support and honesty needed for the entire family.

The first major and noteworthy action of Rose takes place when she provides encouragement to Cory’s ambitions of becoming a football player. She responds to Troy’s convictions about racism in sports by revealing the fact that some of these forces are no longer present. The second key action is the reason offered by Rose to her husband about his story of the Grim Reaper, where she carefully decodes the fantasy.

The stated actions illustrate Rose’s honest, reasonable, and supportive nature. Among the three main characters, her actions are the most coherent and non-contradictory because she is consistent and adherent to her family-centered perspective. Since there are no notable contradictions, Rose can be described as an individual of integrity, commitment, and sincerity regardless of Troy’s betrayal. In other words, despite being a fragile and feminine character, she shows a resilient mental capacity to face hardships.

In conclusion, Rose’s background demonstrates her true dedication to the family. Her actions are directed towards her deliberate focus on the familial bonds, even if a child might not be her own. Even if she is hurt, she adheres to her principles and continues to provide the support her family needs but demands the same level of reciprocity, which is why she does not accept Troy.