The ‘Power’ and ‘Cultural’ Schools of Thought – A Critical Essay
The ten schools of thought proposed by Mintzberg, Ahlstrand and Lampel (2009) provide an insight into different aspects of strategy formation. Mintzberg (2009) explains how we are unable to gain a complete picture of the process of strategy by simply looking at single schools alone, we must look at them all to gain the whole image. The poem the ‘Blind Men and the Elephant’, written by John Godfrey Saxe.The purpose of this essay is to evaluate and compare two schools of thought (chosen at random), the ‘power’ and ‘cultural’ schools.
The ten ‘schools of thought’ are divided by Mintzberg et al (2009) into two distinct catagories. The ‘prescriptive’ schools are concerned more with how strategies should be formed and the ‘descriptive’ schools, which are more concerned with how strategies are formed. The ‘power school’ is to be found in the decriptive school catagory. The influence of power on strategy formation concerning organisations can occur in two environments; the micro-environment, involving power holding parties internal to the organisation, i.e. managers, CEO’s etc., and the macro-environment, which invoves the organisation as a single entity working with intrest groups from the external environment. It should be made clear at this point what we mean when we talk about ‘power’. French and Raven (1960) further argue that power can arise from five separate sources or bases (further explained in appendix 1); coercive power, reward power, legitimate power, referent power, and expert power. Mintzberg et al (2009) describe strategy formation in the power school as a process of negotiation, with its base discipline in political science, Kotelnikov (unknown). The eventual goal of negotiation is to form an agreement between two or more parties whom originally may have had very different ideas about the given topic. It does not mean simply splitting the arguments... [continues]
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