Emergent Strategy

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Strategy Formation

Essential Reading for this Section

Chapter 3: Core Text, specifically readings:
• Managing the Strategy Process - Balaji Chakravarthy & Peter Lorange (p130) • Logical Incrementalism - James Quinn (p134)
• Conceptual Models and Decision Making - G. Allison (p141) • From Scenario Thinking to Strategic Action – I.Wilson (p153) Strategy Formation: The Paradox of Deliberate and Emergent
Henry Mintzberg suggests that there are four types of strategy, as follows: 1. The Intended Strategy: a pattern of decisions - what a company intends to do 2. The Realised Strategy: a pattern of actions - what a company actually does 3. The Deliberate Strategy: which is both intended and realised 4. An Emergent Strategy: which is/was not intended but realised The Planning Perspective

Here, the assertion is that strategy must be explicitly formulated before implementation, and that "only planned actions are strategy". Further, the argument is that "unintended actions cannot be called strategy but 'muddling through'". Thus the motto for organisations is "Think before you act". This perspective suggests that implementation requires careful allocation of responsibilities, resources and accountabilities, and that the process is one of following distinct steps in a conscious and structured way. The advantages of this approach are that it: • Gives the organisation a sense of direction

• allows for organisational programming in terms of structure, tasks, responsibilities, budgets, targets, etc. • helps achieve optimisation: allocation of scarce resources, comparison of strategic options • provides for co-ordination of action

• allows formalisation and differentiation of strategy tasks, e.g. division of labour etc. • Encourages long term thinking and commitment, directing attention to the future However, there are some difficulties associated with this approach in that inaccuracy of forecasts leads to: • The...
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