Erika K. Epps
July 22, 2012
Critical Analysis of a Scholarly Article
When working with companies, an employee has to wonder from time to time what makes management tick. What is the source of their decision-making practices? Why should people strategize in business or in war? Well first let’s define what is strategy? “It is a plan, method, or series of maneuvers or stratagems for obtaining a specific goal or result: a strategy for getting ahead in the world.” (dictionary.com, 2012) The main purpose of this article is to enhance our ability to think strategically. In addition, identifying how as managers and leaders of all organizational levels can develop and grow within the organization or aboard. When thinking of how an organization runs. It understood that organizational leader have to take risks; it is an inherent part of their job, whether they enjoy it or not. However, the powers that be over them frown on unnecessary risks. The purpose of this attempt is to minimize risks while running the enterprise. “The other likely source for understanding is how thinking strategically develops, the leadership literature, identifies strategic thinking-related skills important to organizational leader but offers few specifics to guide their development.” (Barnard, 1938: Jaques and Clement, 1991) It is mentioned in the article that if management engage themselves in staff work experiences related to corporate planning. It would help them learn strategically. Imagine that you are the commanding officer in a war and you have hundreds of troops at your disposal. You and your regiment were dropped just off the coast of a war zone. However, it is early morning, clear and the sun is coming up over the ridge you see ahead. You know for a fact that the enemy is on the other side of that ridge. Yet you don’t know how many there are, the weapons there using or their exact positions. The only thing that’s for certain is that they are aware of you and if you do not defeat them. More than likely they will defeat you. Ergo, the reasoning behind having strategy plans in place. “In the emergent view of strategy, learning to think strategically takes place over time as patterns of decision making become strategies.” (Mintzberg, 1994b) The key concept we need to understand from the article is that in order to learn you have to be willing to grow. There is an old saying, “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.” “Informal learning is sometimes equated with unintentional learning.” (Garrick, 1998) “This may describe how the learning takes place, but it does not match empirical findings that learning to think strategically require certain features of work experiences to be deliberately in place.” (Goldman, 2008b) In this passage I believe the author is stating that in order to lead you must first follow. How can you develop a strategic plan for job(s) you never performed? Recognizing strategic thinking was another topic that brought forth debate. How do you recognize strategic thinking? “Compared with operations thinking, strategic thinking is longer term, more abstract, oriented more towards issues than problems and done by reflective learning rather than by taking action.” (Hanford, 1995) In this instance, I perceive from the author that it is better to be proactive than reactive to a given situation. “A significant amount of factual knowledge is required. The systems-oriented and opportunistic dimensions of the definition indicate that the strategic thinker must understand the whole organization as well as its parts, the competition and the external environment.” (Mintzberg, 1987: 74) The logic behind opportunistic dimensions is the willingness to learn as adults. “How experience affects the learning process varies across the major theoretical orientations to learning.” (Merriam et al., 2007) One of the strength in...