When seeking to understand the advantages an organization has on the market, it is logical to focus on internal issues such as the primary functions of the VCA model. Grant (2016) indicated that the primary activities are the direct production functions, but the secondary activities are equally important. Both the cost advantage and differentiation advantage are ways to analyze relevant components of a company to understand different aspects of the production cycle. It is a common organizational goal to develop cost efficiencies in producing an item. However, the cost is only one side of the production dynamic.
Understanding how the customer views the product is critical to success. Developing a strategy for enhancing the competitive advantage associated with a product must rely on the synergy of the aligned strategic goals and the business unit goals. The internal components of the company are essential to understanding competitive advantage. However, external relationships are just as valuable and may contain hidden concerns.
Organizations are complex systems that operate on both the internal and external levels. It appears that when Porter developed the model in the mid-1980s, the critical component of the external business environment was underappreciated. The external environment is of significant value when considering the full spectrum of the organizational production setting. Patterson (1995) emphasized the importance of supply chain management to the analysis of a company's product value because the movement of supplies and products into and out of an organization is critical to the success of the product.
The extended supply chain and the associated factors are examples of the external criticalities affecting business. For instance, the condition of the roadways used to move supplies into the manufacturing facility and product out to customers is a routine concern. Any impact on the use of the roadways directly influences the timeline of product delivery. Another example is the ability of a critical component supplier to maintain the necessary level of supply to the company. Any disruptions in the logistical activities might result in complete product failure. Both examples are risk-management issues that affect the ability of the company to receive supplies or deliver a product to the market. Risk management is a necessary practice during organizational analysis. Failing to view the organization as a system and acknowledge the components is a serious problem.
Wurzer (1992) emphasized the critical value of newspaper agencies embracing alternate means of communicating the news such as a primary technology professional to promote the IT-oriented role of the news agency; and promoting the local interests of the community. Wurzer (1992) also indicated that embracing the need to grow organization revenue sources; providing a unique feature for the publication; use technology to promote the paper; and, increasing the capabilities of the technology-sponsored information databases are essential means of embracing alternatives.
Specific Challenges Facing Newspapers
Sullivan (2012) emphasizes two factors are routinely discussed about the decline of traditional news media (e.g., newspapers), the loss of customers and advertising funds, and the increased reliance on the Internet for information. Social media may not promote the communication of actual news as a primary goal. However, there is a significant amount of information that is treated as news. The current election cycle for president possessed numerous accusations of false news stories. The treatment of social media as an outlet for factual news and not just opinion is a significant issue when looking at the problem of news communication.
Social media is an adjunct to existing technology. It provides an authoritative source of information for the users possessing a stake in the media source. For instance, during wars or disasters, social media outlets become primary sources of information about the events of the emergencies, and they become conduits for the victims to reach the outside world. The experiences from these examples have created a sense of value and importance with the information conveyed through the social media outlet. As a means to communicate the experiences of a phenomenon, there is value. However, as a means of communicating the actual news, there is a lack of validity associated with the information. Professional journalists have higher reputations and abilities to report a balanced story of an event; facts are verified and weak information discarded. Sullivan (2012) indicates a threat to democracy due to the proliferation of Internet sources and the decline of professional journalism. Wurzer (1992) indicated newspapers excel at documenting events and advertising (e.g., coupons and classified sections), and have a more personal relationship with the local customers (i.e., newspapers are delivered to homes like a service, and customers make a conscious decision to read the paper). The value of communicating factual news to the public is a long-standing attribute of a democratic society and facilitated through the trust of the newspaper or news outlet.
Younger audiences are frequent users of new forms of news communication such as social media (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, and Yelp), personal written and video blogs, and Internet news stories from sources of dubious credibility. People rely on the Internet for many forms of information and a sense of respectability through large numbers of followers; having large numbers of followers is not a reason to accept a source as credible - look at some of the train wreck celebrities that perpetuate false stories even though the false material has been debunked.
Lau and Wydick (2014) indicated that there are increased resources for new technology providing news outlets a more accessible opportunity to reach the public. However, there is also the degraded value of some news reporting because of the greater access to the world via technology (i.e., the greater the access to a broad audience, the more likely a story is poorly developed) and the opportunity for false news reporting (Lau and Wydick, 2014).