Organisations’ Strategic Issues

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Introduction

Organisations’ strategic issues are commonly analysed from different strategy lenses. Strategic lenses are a concept of strategic management. The lenses are different ways of viewing strategy development. It examines the flow of tasks and information, or how you get things done. Each lens reveals many different traits and qualities. Using the lens, one looks to optimize workflow to meet the goals and objectives of the company. This paper will cover four angles from which strategy can be viewed and implemented on a corporate level; they are strategy as design, strategy as experience, strategy as ideas and strategy as discourse.

Strategy as design lens views strategy development as a logical and optimal strategy process. A design lens sees strategy direction which can be determined through carefully evaluation of the organisation’s industry, environment and resources. This lens is top-management driven and believes that top managers are capable of choosing the optimal strategy for the business. Because this lens is close tie to the bottom line, the strategic design lens is the one most often used to analyse companies.

Strategy as experience lens views strategy development as the continuous adaptation of past strategies based on experience. This strategy view is greatly influenced by past culture and the experience of the managers and others in the organisation based on their previous strategy experiences, it involves large levels of bargaining and negotiation.

Strategy as ideas views strategy as a process coming from within an organisation and influenced by the environment around it. It’s a ‘bottom up’ approach and requires an organisational culture which allows all employees to feel able to express their ideas.

Strategy as discourse lens sees strategy in terms of language which shape ‘objective’ strategic analysis to their personal views and to gain influence, power and legitimacy. The discourse lens reflects and explores the significance of the language of strategy as employed by managers

“The important point of these [strategy] lenses is to avoid approaching strategic problems from a single perspective. Looking at problems in different ways will raise new issues and new solutions. Thus although the lenses are drawn from academic research on strategy, they should also be highly practical in the job of doing strategy” (Johnson et. al., 2008, 19). Different strategic lenses should adopted when company facing different strategic issues. This paper will be looking at supporting the above statement which is drawn from academic research on strategy, as most organisation are adopting strategy as design approach, the next section of this paper will go through the dilemmas in the design lens, and with cases supporting each of the other strategy perspectives. There will be three cases in supporting of the three strategy lenses, Aetna has successfully adopted the strategy as discourse lens, Electrolux adopted the strategy as experience lens and Boeing experienced a great success in the strategy as idea lens.

Body

Strategy as design lens carefully planned on how strategy implementation should occur. Organisations are designed (engineered) to achieve agreed-upon goals, formal structure, linking, alignment, fit to environment; concepts are goal-directed, tasks, roles, information flows, interdependence. The basic idea of strategic design is ‘get people with the right knowledge and give them appropriate tasks to do and sufficient information to accomplish the organisational goals” but how do you know the right knowledge if you are doing new things? How do you know who has the knowledge or the ability to learn and create? Who decides what sufficient information is? What are the organisation’s goals and what do I do if my goals are different? Why should I care? Who is actually in charge?

Henry Mintzberg argues that the design lens is often inaccurate as the top level executives are too distant...
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