Strategic Management

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Topic 1 – Strategic Leadership: Managing the strategy
(H&J: Chapter 1)

Actions in business are frequently directed at the achievement of superior performance, therefore a strategy can be defined as “an action a company takes to attain superior performance” (Hill and Jones, 2107). It is important to understand that this definition is one of many. Contrary to some views that there is one single definition of strategy, we argue that there is no such universally accepted definition and that the term differs in both practice and theory. Our intention in this unit is not to promote one definition of strategy, but to acquaint you with various uses of the concept. Henry Mintzberg (1987), consistent with the idea that there is no universally accepted meaning of strategy, has identified five definitions of the term, which he labelled the 5 P’s of strategy. These are: strategy as plan, ploy, pattern, position, and perspective.

One view of the strategy process equates it to a rational planning process driven by top management. Associated with this view is the assumption that the strategy process is a top down approach where top management formulates the strategy. This view also assumes that the steps are sequential and that formulation and implementation of strategy is separate argue that these assumptions reflect the military roots of strategy with generals sitting over a map deciding the grand strategy. As will be discussed later in this study guide, the strategy processes is not always so systematic and predictable, and in fact can emerge unplanned. However, an understanding of this rational approach to planning is useful at this stage and will be discussed next.

The term “strategy” is used in almost all facets of life - sport, war, politics, interpersonal relations, and business. Because of this, the term strategy carries different meanings. This study guide presents different views regarding the use of strategy in both theory and...
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