Strategic Human Resource Management Report

An HR Strategy for "CountryLove"

Term Paper, 2014

14 Pages, Grade: 1.3 (78)

Anna Jung (Author)


Table of Contents

1. Market and Organisational Strategic Analysis
1.1 Breakfast Cereals Market Analysis
1.2 CountryLove – Organisational Strategic Analysis
1.2.1 CountryLove and its Business Strategy
1.2.2. Organisational Structure and Culture
1.2.3 Market Position

2. Business Strategy Review
2.1 CountryLove’s Vision and Mission
2.2 CountryLove’s Strategic Goals

3. HR Strategy
3.1 Analysis and Evaluation of CountryLove’s Approach to HR Strategy
3.2 HR Goals
3.2.1 Resourcing
3.2.2 Development
3.2.3 Reward management
3.2.4 Employee Relations

4. Conclusion

1. Market and Organisational Strategic Analysis

1.1 Breakfast Cereals Market Analysis

‘Britons are the largest consumers of breakfast cereals in Europe and the second largest in the world, with about 87% of households consuming a cold breakfast cereal at least once a day’, states the IBISWorld market research report (2014). Mintel (2013a) forecasts that by 2018 value sales of breakfast cereals will grow by 18 per cent to £1.9 billion, while volume sales are estimated to increase only by 2 per cent. However, the ‘Ready-To-Eat’ cereals industry in the UK is at a very mature stage of its life cycle offering only limited growth opportunities for cereals manufacturers (Mintel, 2013a). In addition, the consumers’ increasingly busy and health-conscious lifestyle impacts considerably on their breakfast eating habits and thus presents a significant challenge for the cereals market (Mintel, 2013a).

In terms of market share, the organic muesli industry, in which CountryLove operates, is dominated by the brands Dorset Cereals and Jordans Cereals (Keynote, 2013). Both companies seek on the basis of their high-quality premium brands a differentiation advantage (Porter, 2004) in the organic muesli market. The unique selling point (USP) of Dorset Cereals is its British originated brand as well as its contemporary brand and packaging design, whereas Jordan Cereals seeks to differentiate itself through its strong focus on environment friendliness and sustainability.

1.2 CountryLove – Organisational Strategic Analysis

1.2.1 CountryLove and its Business Strategy

CountryLove, based in Coventy, England, is a subsidiary company of the German CountryLove Group. The privately-held business, which was set up in 1995 and employs currently around 250 employees, is well known for the production of organic muesli made with ingredients inherently rich in nutrients.

Regarding its business strategy, CountryLove uses a classical, i.e. rational and deliberated approach (Ansoff, 1968; Chandler, 1962). Application of strategy tools, such as SWOT, enables CountryLove to analyse its internal strengths and weaknesses as well as the key issues from the operating business environment (see Figure 1). Consequently, to gain sustainable competitive advantage over its competitors, CountryLove decided, based on these findings, to adopt a differentiation strategy (Porter, 2004) focussing on the affluent health-conscious and sophisticated consumer segment. It is aimed to sustain this by offering a product portfolio of highest-quality muesli that is underpinned by German reputation for excellence, and include, among others, wheat- and gluten-free varieties. Further, CountryLove takes a proactive approach and abstains from using refined sugar, artificial food dyes and preservatives to meet the changing consumers’ demand for healthy cereals (Mintel, 2013a). The main differentiator of CountryLove, however, is the online option to its customers to mix their own individual muesli from more than 60 different ingredients. The customised muesli mix can then either be delivered to the consumers’ home or in pre-portioned cups straight to their workplace. Importantly, in contrast to its competitor Mymuesli ( in the online custom-made muesli market, CountryLove is offering an online subscription service, particularly attracting busy consumers. In this way CountryLove addresses the unsatisfied demand for regular muesli delivery and positions itself uniquely in the market.

Figure 1: SWOT Analysis

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Sources: 1. Mintel (2013a); 2. Mintel, (2013b).

1.2.2. Organisational Structure and Culture

CountryLove is organised into two main operating divisions ‘CountryLove - retail muesli’ and ‘CountryLove - online muesli’ with their own functional departments (Miles & Snow, 1978). Since the divisions are semi-autonomous, they are able to specialise and focus on the particular issues facing them (Millmore et al., 2007). In other words, they are able to be responsive, flexible and adaptive to their changing environment. However, although this form of organisational structure encourages decentralised decision-making, the degree of decentralisation is limited as the power is only delegated vertically down to the divisional managers and does not concern to a great degree other division employees (Mintzberg, 1980).

Further, CountryLove’s predominantly hierarchical and formal organisational structure has resulted in clearly defined responsibilities for its staff and provides opportunities for career progression through promotions. This in turn leads to higher levels of employee commitment and consequently an increase in performance (Pfeffer, 1998, cited in Marchington & Wilkinson, 2008). Moreover, CountryLove’s open culture seeks to encourage discretionary behaviour and create a workplace where our employees can succeed to their highest potential. This is particularly significant for the development of new product ideas (Schuler & Jackson, 1987) and as well as for establishing a friendly and supportive work environment. To support our culture, CountryLove established the core values integrity, passion and collaboration which guide our employees in their work.

1.2.3 Market Position

Due to CountryLove’s successful business strategy implementation, revenues and customers are increasing and the company is at the growth stage of its business life cycle. Further, as a consequence of the online muesli division’s strong position in the online organic muesli sector, this division can be classified as a ‘Star’ in the BCG matrix (BCG, 1970). However, the retail muesli division is more likely to be categorised as a ‘Question Mark’ with a high potential to turn into a ‘Star’ in the future.

2. Business Strategy Review

2.1 CountryLove’s Vision and Mission

CountryLove’s organisation’s strategic direction is summarised by its clear vision and mission statements which are outlined below:

Our Vision:

To satisfy and delight our consumers through a deliciously natural start into the new day – every day, everywhere”

The vision statement aims to inspire our employees to higher levels of engagement and performance. It is underpinned by our mission statement which articulates our business goals and organisational values:

Our Mission:

To put our consumers first and contribute to their well-being by continually exceeding their needs with our variety of highest quality muesli specialties from the best natural and organic ingredients. We make it possible to create a perfectly customised muesli experience for every taste and every need that can be enjoyed anytime and anywhere”


Excerpt out of 14 pages


Strategic Human Resource Management Report
An HR Strategy for "CountryLove"
University of Hertfordshire
Strategic HRM
1.3 (78)
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
File size
513 KB
strategic, human, resource, management, report, strategy, countrylove
Quote paper
Anna Jung (Author), 2014, Strategic Human Resource Management Report, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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