ELEMENTS OF STRATEGIC PROCESS OF RESTRUCTURING BUSINESS PORTFOLIO Restructuring business portfolio, as one of the key strategic processes which are in focus of new corporate strategy, means the frequent remapping or patching structure of enterprise in order to fit changing market opportunities .Namely, new technolo- gies, which mostly include developing the existing and introducing novel products and services, and market development create new, “fresh” opportunities requiring change in corporate “repertoire” as a prerequisite for enhancing business efficiency. As a result, individual parts and even the whole enterprise are closed, the new ones are established, have a growth or they are closed again. Those continuous fluxes require from corporate management to continually remap their businesses according to market opportunities. Patching is the best way to tackle this crucial task. “Restitching” business portfolio ac- cording to changes in market requirements allows corporate managers to focus on the best market opportunities. By dynamically adjusted businesses in order to match changing market opportunities, managers are directed toward high-potential businesses, activities or products, uncovering the profit levers that drive effective strategy of those businesses, and creating economic value for the corporate enterprise. Restructuring can take the form of combining, adding, splitting, exiting, or transferring the businesses (but, also, business activities, and elements of product assortment). One of the efficient form is to split the enterprise into several parts (segments, units), focusing on target markets and occasionally make new splitting, according to the changes on target markets. An efficient form could be addition of new units to the existing portfolio, taking well-defined market of products in assortment of enterprise. An efficient way is, also, to create a flexible mix of related products, on the basis of core products, knowledge, and experience. Internal transfer of knowledge and products from one unit to another enables better use of knowledge and capabilities of enterprise and optimal scale of product. Combining products inside the product assortment leads to creation of their critical mass and increase cash flow in order to drive new growth. At first glance, the strategic process of restructuring seems to be just another name for reorganizing of enterprise, since it includes the change of its organizational structure. However, while reorganization assumes relative stable structure with rare but completely and overall changes, the process of restructuring treats structure as an inherently tempo- rary element with continual and standardized flow of changes. Patching changes are usu- ally small in scale and made frequently, having rather evolutionary character than revolu- tionary one. (See the scheme 1) Managers at so-called patching corporate enterprises pay extraordinary attention to the size of their business units, which should be small enough for flexibility and large enough for efficiency. Managing the size of business units which are resulted from the process of restructuring is very important both for relative new ventures and big corporations, trying to respond with agility to dynamic markets. The right size of units mostly implies their effective management, based on a complete understanding of their business logic. So, small business units allow managers to focus on the specific demands of key customer segments and make it easy to pursue fragmenting markets. However, units that are too small may result in inefficiencies and bad results since they may have potentially excessive overhead, require too much coordination (because of insufficient technical and financial resources), and involve loss of scale economies or market power. On the other side, having bigger business units would make it possible to develop larger more complex production program, but it would lower motivation by distancing employees from their products


Reorganization Versus Restructuring

Reorganization Restructuring

Role of Change Change as defensive reaction Change as proactive action

Scale of Change Changes are sweeping Changes are mostly small,

some are moderate, a few are large

Frequency Changes are rare Changes are ongoing

Restructuring won’t be functional unless the corporate enterprise’s infrastructure sup- ports the process, which requires modularity, detailed and complete analytical system of performance measurement, and consistent compensation in all parts of enterprise [2, p. 78]. Modularity is the most important segment of infrastructure. It means that the units resulting from restructuring could completely incorporate into existing structure. Com- plete and detailed performance metrics that are comparable across enterprise and units (on revenue, costs, income, customer preferences) are also essential for effective restructur- ing. Such metrics and their trends give corporate managers detailed information on busi- ness activities and values of certain efficiency indicators of enterprise and its parts and can help them predict and plan future flows of restructuring. Incomplete or inaccurate metrics make the process of restructuring impossible to do well and decrease its perform- ance, requiring added efforts from the managers in information gathering. The final com- ponent of infrastructure which influences effectiveness of restructuring business portfolio is parity of employees’ compensation and motivation throughout the whole enterprise, since change in organizational structure requires the adaptation of personnel structure. Efficient quantitative and qualitative personnel restructuring leads to obtain advantage based on economies of scope as well as to greater value for enterprise and its owners. It is obvious that restructuring is unique for each enterprise, according to its determinants and aims of remapping business portfolio. But, some common principles of successful restructuring could be formulated and the most important are the following ones: 1. Do it fast. Restructuring decisions are best made quickly, because fast choices reduce indecision and politicking. Minimization of politics further contributes to the speed and efficiency of the restructuring process. 2. Develop multiple options, then make a roughly right choice. Developing several alternative enables their quick analysis for two reasons: it is cognitively easier to compare several alternatives than to analyze a single alternative in depth, and the crucial factors like business model are usually clear. 3. Take an organizational test-drive. Making a right final decision is easier if it is possible to prototype new business portfolio through organizational test-drive which speeds up analysis and lowers the chances of major errors. One common tactic is to create temporary “shadow organization” within the existing business infrastructure. This approach lets managers test how well various aspects of new portfolio will work. 4. Get the general manager right. Selecting the appropriate general manager for the business unit is also important for effective restructuring. Choosing the wrong manager or having no appropriate manager available can affect bad results of restructuring. 5. Script the details. After making decision on restructuring, successful manager follows a script with a detailed plan, sometimes even specifying day-by-day activities. The script helps to coordinate number of tasks and people involved in restructuring. Even the best corporate managers could make restructuring mistakes. A common one is to violate the modularity of enterprise (units or products). It mostly happens when responsibility for tackling a particular product or market area is allocated on more than one units resulting from restructuring, so complete responsibility for new product does not exist and, consequently, chances for its success are lower. Another common mistake is in possibility to favor one business unit (usually the largest one), which could result in dysfunctional decision-making dynamics in portfolio and endanger business success of enterprise as a whole. Those mistakes and others do occur, taking into account complexity of the strategic process. A solution could be in fast reaction of corporate management toward correcting and eliminating the mistakes


one units resulting from restructuring, so complete responsibility for new product does not exist and, consequently, chances for its success are lower. Another common mistake is in possibility to favor one business unit (usually the largest one), which could result in dysfunctional decision-making dynamics in portfolio and endanger business success of enterprise as a whole. Those mistakes and others do occur, taking into account complexity of the strategic process. A solution could be in fast reaction of corporate management toward correcting and eliminating the mistakes



Creating cross-business synergy in corporate enterprise is at the heart of corporate strategy and a prime rationale for the existence of the multibusiness corporation. As the ability of two or more business units to generate greater value working together than they could working apart, synergy has its sources in shared resources, knowledge and skills, coordinated strategies, vertical integration or establishing internal alliances in enterprise [4, p. 133]. The right choice of source of corporate synergy enables efficient structuring business portfolio and creating corporate advantage on target markets. The corporate ad- vantage expresses the way an enterprise creates value through the configuration and coor- dination of its multibusiness activities. Its essence is in making efficient connections be- tween the interrelated parts and activities as well as efficient connectedness of corporate resources and business units through an adequate organizational form [5, p. 72]. An efficient way of achieving corporate synergy is creating the web of collaborative links and relationships among the enterprise and business units – everything starting from exchanging information on shared assets to creating the corporate strategy. It is realized through managing a corporate strategic process called coevolving [6], based on the prin- ciple of natural laws of shared survival and development of individual related species. The term coevolution originated in biology and it refers to successive changes among two or more ecologically interdependent but unique species and intertwining their evolu- tionary trajectories. By adapting to their environment and to one another, the species form an complex adaptive biological ecosystem. Their coevolving development results in symbiotic (each species helps to the other), commensalist (one species uses the other) as well as competitive interdependence. Interdependence can change, too, such as when external factors like the climate or geology shift. Biological coevolution is just one kind of complex adaptive system. Recently, computer simulations have uncovered general laws of how these systems work, including social sys- tems such as multibusiness corporate enterprise. The laws regulate the effects of system functioning, indicating primarily how the quantity and quality of links and relationships in the system could affect its agility. The system becomes more effective if it is managed on decentralized way. More generally, these laws are consistent with the notion that multibusi- ness corporate enterprise are coevolving ecosystems, with flexible and temporary links among the units. Besides the quantity of links, the quality is also important for efficiency of corporate enterprise. In essence, the multibusiness corporate enterprises need take some principle of functioning from nature and approach cross-business synergies with a very dif- ferent mind-set from traditional corporate managers focused on collaborative links and rela- tionships between the business units.


Coevolving is a subtle strategic process in successful corporate enterprises, including creation of flexible business portfolio with both collaborative and competitive units and a superior corporate strategy based on cross-business synergies in performing business ac- tivities. The process of coevolving turns the corporate enterprise into an ecosystem with corporate strategy in the hands of business-unit managers. It, however, implies enough contradictory elements. Namely, it emphasizes the importance of multibusiness teams at the corporate level – the group of business-unit managers that oversees synergies among the units. The team’s primary task is to manage the shifting collaborative web among the units. The multibusiness team is powerful because it can add significant value to the cor- porate enterprise beyond the sum of the units. However, the individual interests of units are emphasized which, consequently, stimulates better results on this level. Enterprise efficiency could get secondary importance, and stimulating the individual results often is not in complete interest of an enterprise as a whole. But, just such business logic based on the principles of biological adaptive ecosystems (symbiotic, commensalist, and competi- tive interdependence of species or business units) leads to corporate advantage and greater efficiency of enterprise


Traditional Collaboration Versus Coevolution

Traditional Collaboration Coevolution

Form of Collaboration Frozen links among static business units Shifting webs among evolving business

Objectives Efficiency and economies of scope Growth, agility, and economies of scope

Internal dynamics Collaborate Collaborate and compete

Focus Content of collaboration Content and number of collaborative


Corporate role Drive collaboration Set collaborative context

Business role Execute collaboration Drive and execute collaboration

Incentives Varied Self-interest based on individual






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