Management skills have increasingly become a major requirement for career advancement virtually in all industries. Both students and people in employment are enrolling for masters in management to advance their skills in management, gain more ideas on how to boost the performance of their organizations and understand how to deal with various issues that face organizations. La Trobe University in Australia is one of the academic institutions of higher learning that have highly been ranked for having an effective Masters of Management Online. With its sophisticated and ultramodern facilities combines with highly competent personnel, the University has been able to expand its services to where it serves students from across the globe. The unique factor about the University is that it has well structured academic programs, a learning environment that is conducive and very supportive staffs and instructors. La Trobe initiated the Master in Management program so as to equip students with tools and skills that are necessary for the creation of ideas and for helping them in management of all forms of organizations including private, government and non-profits organizations.
This essay is a case study of Master of Management Online in La Trobe University, focusing on how the Position of the University in the industry, the customers, market and some of the strategies that the organization can use to enhance its performance.
Master of Management Online
When the university launched the Masters of Management Online, its main target was those people in employment who are wishing to advance their skills in management. However, over the years, the number of students taking the course has grown exponentially because of the enrollment in the program by people who are running their business and students who are completing with bachelors. The Master of Management Online target students from across the world by advertising the program through the University’s website and social media (Christensen and Eyring, 2011).
The main factor that is expected to promote the course and attract more students is the excellent structure of its programs. By studying Master of Management Online, the students will gain skills that will improve their management skills. Although it is program that is open to all the students across the world, the University first plans to ensure that is has many people enrolling for the program within the country. The program is expected to be promoted to the working population because of the cost of the program. Since the Master of Management will be an online program, the University will be in good a position to reach many potential customers beyond the geographical boarders.
La Trobe is a Multi-campus University that was established in 1964. The University is located in Bundoora, in the State of Victoria South-East of Australia. It is the 12th University in Australia and the third ranked University in the State of Victoria. Because of its highly specialized programs especially in arts and humanities, La Trobe was ranked among the top 100 Universities in the world. The University engagement in research has helped to establish new programs that are in alignment with desires of the customers. La Trobe University is recognized in many countries across the world and for the last 11years been ranked in top 500 Universities across the world (QS World University Ranking, 2014). The main campus of La Trobe University is located in Melbourne and it also has eight campuses in Victoria and New South Wales. Some of the facilities that are provided by the University include accommodation, medical centers, sports centers, a wildlife sanctuary, banks cinemas, restaurants and shops in the campuses.
Although the operations of the University has mainly targeted students within the country, the new master program is expected reach more students from across the world. The online master program is designed for all the students willing to enhance their management skills regardless of their geographical location. By going online, La Trobe will be able to counter the stiff competition in the industry by expanding its brand awareness and reaching wider market. There has been a high increase in the demand for higher education, and the electronic learning has become an effective strategy for reaching customers from regions with low accessibility of higher learning institution. Unlike its competitors, La Trobe has designed the program so that the customers will gain management skills with maximum convenience.
The strategy of La Trobe University to attract more students to enroll for the program is to make it more convenient. Master of Management Online is ideal for people who are already working. The knowledge gained by studying masters in management helps the students to gain more skills on management. Therefore, the organization’s required strategy is to make the employed population to understand the importance of studying masters in management. The university decided to take the program online in order to overcome the geographical boundary that prevents the university from reaching many students. Additionally, since the internet has reached many parts of the world, it is relatively easy to reach many customers.
Competition is inevitable in any industry. First and foremost, La Trobe is faced with direct competition from some of the top Universities in the country including the University of Melbourne (where La Trobe headquarter is located), the University of Sydney, and the University of Queensland. Apart from direct competition from local Universities within the country, La Trobe is also faced with completion based on the type of programs being faced with the organization. The introduction of the Master of Management Online is faced with stiff competition because of the similar course that is being offered by other universities across the world. The internet has become the major platform that is being embraced by different universities to expand their customer base and share their knowledge and skills with a wider market.
According to Wang and Pizam (2011), marketing research is the best strategy for understanding target markets. Market research gives an organization and opportunity to understand the best strategies to enter the market. For instance, to reach a wide market, the University will have to focus on a particular category of the people who are likely to enroll for the program and in countries with good internet connections (Staudte and Sheather, 2011).
Porter’s five forces
Supplier power is low considering the fact that there are many suppliers in the market. There are many other universities with similar online programs making it difficult for the suppliers to have enough power over the market. There are many suppliers in the market and the internet has made access of university programs relatively easier. In order to improve supplier power, organizations requires investing on differential through product research.
The customers have power because they can easily select many alternatives in the industry. The easy access of University education in the country makes the customers to have high bargaining power. The students, before joining any University, they are usually faced with many options to decide on. This is why Universities are working hard to ensure that they are top in ranking in the country and across the world. The Universities aims at strengthening their brand by working with the stakeholders to establish facilities and programs that align with the desires of the market.
Competition is very stiff because of the high number of universities in Australia. There are very many Universities in Australia and they are all in the competition to attract students in the country and other countries across the globe. The stiff competition means, the La Trobe University has to engage in structuring the best programs in addition to having the right facilities to promote its brand in the market. La Trobe University counters the stiff competition by engaging in continuous advertising, high quality facilities and establishing a workplace that is conducive for the stakeholders.
Threat of substitution is strong enough to curtail the expected success of some university programs. Although the Masters of Management Online is an effective strategy to boost the performance of La Trobe University, the high rate of substitution is a huge threat to the success of the organization. There are many institutions of higher learning that offers master in management both locally and internationally. This means, the threat of substitution is likely to affect the performance of the online degree program because the students are faced with opportunities to study similar courses from other universities. The internet has also increased the threat of substitution because it has become easier to study in other international Universities outside the country.
Threat of new entry is moderate because it’s hard to build a new university, but it is relatively easier to initiate a new program. The cost and time required to develop a new education facility hinders new entrants. Although there are no formal barriers to entry, cost and time of developing strong market brand like La Trobe University (Recklies, 2001).
Marketing Mix Strategy
When the university was established in 1964, its main target was boosting education level through research in the State of Victoria in Australia. However, through the engagement in research and continuous introduction of new programs, La Trobe was able to grow its operations to other states in the country. The University has over the years partnered with other institutions in other parts of the world thus expanding its global presence. In addition to the quality of education in the University, La Trobe also engages in advertising its services through the internet and other mediums such as the television.
Strengthening the Masters of Management involves using strategic marketing techniques such as advertising and PR. In addition to having quality facilities, La Trobe University has to engage ethical practices and maintain good relations between the employees in the organization.
Although the organization has been expanding its operations at a very fast rate, the new programs will enable the University to increase its return on investment. The Master of Management Online is expected to increase the number of students enrolling in the university. With the high increase in the number of students, the University is expected to boost the revenue by 25%. In order to win more customers, it is very important to engage in constant marketing.
La Trobe has over the years been able to expand its programs and growth through continuous research. La Trobe is a member of Innovative Research Network of Universities in Australia and has been rated among the leading research universities in Victoria. Research has been the main factor that has helped the University to enhance its growth in the education industry. The University has continued to enhance its value in the industry by establishing management strategies that promotes good relations and corporations between the personnel, students and other stakeholders of the University. The University has also continued to invest in facilities and programs that align with the demand in the market. The University provides its students with excellent study and leisure facilities that combine small classrooms and carefully structure teaching processes. La Trobe also attracts more students because of its multicultural environment that is accommodative for people from all backgrounds.
La Trobe University uses product differentiation strategy to make its brand to standout in the market. First and foremost, the University conducts market research in order to develop university’s’ programs that suit the desires of the market. For instance, due to strict workplaces, attending physical classes can be very challenging. This is why the university initiated the online master program that will give the quality skills and very convenient arrangements. The university also has excellent facilities and attractive buildings that make the university to stand out. With more than 33 000 students, La Trobe is one of the fastest growing Universities in Australia. The company brand is distinguished from other brands in the market by making its services to meet the exact needs of the customers. The university has also partnered with other Universities across the world such as Michigan State University in the USA, University of Leicester in the UK and Chinese University in Hong Kong. The University does not only enroll students from other countries, but also support the partnership of giving grants and scholarship to study in the partner Universities (Yaqub and Khan, 2011).
In order to boost and sustain the performance of the University in the industry, it is important to engage in other strategies that will give the organization a positive image in the industry. In addition to having strong Master program, the University should engage in social responsibility activities such as supporting education in war torn and developing countries. The University can support education in less privileged countries by supporting and building new schools. This can be achieved by establishing a social responsibility department which should be management by the leaders in the University (Benson, 2003). The main essence of setting a social responsibility program is to help in facilitating CSR projects in various parts of the world. Initiating social responsibility projects will help boost the image of the organization which is also an effective strategy of enhancing its global presence and attracting students from different parts of the world. In addition to having excellent facilities, the University will still be required to engage in advertisement to give information to the target market about its products (Visser, 2011).
Acquiring management skills is a vital strategy that staffs can use to enhance the performance of their organization. Master of Management is one of the courses that have experienced a high level of enrollment across the world especially by the people in employment. The benefits of enrolling in masters of management include an opportunity for career advancement and improvement in management. The introduction of Master of Management Online by La Trobe University is one of the best strategies that will help the University to boost its performance. The online program is expected to boost the level of performance of the University by attracting more enrollments from customers across the world. Although La Trobe is highly ranked for conducting research and having excellent learning facilities, the University is also faced with very stiff competition from both local and international Universities. The online master program is however expected to face competition from online programs that are initiated by other universities across the world. Therefore, the best strategy is to embrace various strategies that will harness the competitive advantage of the organization. Strengthening the competitive advantage of the organization includes engaging in social responsibility, embracing ethical practices and advertising the programs.
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