Birth of strategic management
Strategic management as a discipline originated in the 1950s and 60s. Although there were numerous early contributors to the literature, the most influential pioneers were Alfred Chandler, Philip Selznick, Igor Ansoff, and Peter Drucker.
Alfred Chandler recognized the importance of coordinating the various aspects of management under one all-encompassing strategy. Prior to this time the various functions of management were separate with little overall coordination or strategy. Interactions between functions or between departments were typically handled by a boundary position, that is, there were one or two managers that relayed information back and forth between two departments. Chandler also stressed the importance of taking a future looking long term perspective. In his groundbreaking work Strategy and Structure (1962), Chandler showed that a long term coordinated strategy was necessary to give a company structure, direction, and focus. He says it concisely, "structure follows strategy". Today we recognize that this is only half the story: strategy also follows from structure (see Tom Peters Liberation Management)
Philip Selznick (1957) introduced the idea of matching the organization's internal factors with external environmental circumstances. This core idea was developed into what we now call SWOT analysis by Learned, Andrews, and others at the Harvard Business School General Management Group. Strengths and weaknesses of the firm are assessed in light of the opportunities and threats from the business environment.
Igor Ansoff built on Chandler's work by adding a range of strategic concepts and inventing a whole new vocabulary. He developed a strategy grid that compared market penetration strategies, product development strategies, market development strategies and horizontal and vertical integration and diversification strategies. He felt that management could use these... [continues]
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