Prescriptive View of Strategy

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By examples, illustrate the prescriptive view of strategy in your organization or any organization known to you and show whether it is working, how it can be improved and your role in making the improvement.


The concept of corporate strategy battles with the perennial issue of determining the overall purpose and scope of an organisation. From a contemporary perspective, it involves the specification of long-term goals and objectives that will add value to the business and cope with the uncertainty of modern times. As a practice, it consists of adopting courses of action and allocating resources in ways necessary for carrying out the overall objectives.

Widely recognised as the most principal theories for strategy development, the prescriptive and emergent approaches must be examined within the context of an increasingly dynamic, highly competitive and global business environment. Powerful external forces are driving organisations to reduce costs, enhance processes and identify new opportunities for growth. Many businesses are compelled to make dramatic improvements not only to compete and prosper but also merely to survive. This brings to the fore the importance of determining how effectively the prescriptive and emergent approaches can meet the needs of today's businesses when formulating strategy. The Prescriptive Approach

The prescriptive approach regards strategy development as a systematised and deterministic process where analysis of the organisation, its performance and external environment leads to the formation of a rational, long-term plan. Senior management is in charge of defining the final objectives and the plan is then put into action through the successive layers of the organisation. Techniques which feed this process include Porter's heavily structured Five Forces model for analysing industry and Value Chain Analysis which highlights existing capabilities as a solid basis for...
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