Strategy Formulation, as Outlines by Henry Mintzberg and Joseph Lampel, to the Focus on Strategic Management Within the Education Sector.

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Discuss the relevance of the ten schools of strategy formulation, as outlines by Henry Mintzberg and Joseph Lampel, to the focus on strategic management within the Hong Kong lifelong education sector.

1.Introduction
During the past 4 decades, Hong Kong’s economy has transformed rapidly, from manufacturing moving to financial and service base. To meeting up the challenge of globalization and economic competition among other countries, Lifelong learning and education becomes vital importance of cultivating a knowledge based society as for Hong Kong’s survival of our economic transformation. There are many relevance of the strategic management within the Hong Kong lifelong education reform to the ten schools of strategy formulation that can find as outlines by Henry Mintzberg and Joseph Lampel.

2.The Ten Schools: About Ten Schools of thinking and strategy planning formation The ten schools of thought is a framework that Mintzberg and Lampel used to categorize the field of strategic management. The ten schools of thought provide with a diversity of angles on how strategies are formulated, implemented and how strategy systems functions. Mintzberg and Lampel find there are five different characteristics of strategic planning; as “five P’s”- plan, pattern, position, perspective and ploy. •Strategy as a plan is¬ a guide for a course of action, a path from a current state to a desired future end state. •Strategy as a pattern ¬is a consistency of behavior over time. A company that perpetually markets the most expensive products in its industry pursues what is commonly known as a high-end strategy, just as a person who always accepts the most challenging of jobs may be described as pursuing a high-risk strategy." (p.9) •Strategy as position is¬ the location of particular products in particular markets. •Strategy as perspective represents strategy as a particular philosophy of the business in terms of interacting with the customer, or the way(s) in which goods or services are supplied. In Peter Drucker's memorable phrase, this is the "theory of the business" (p.13) •¬Strategy as a ploy means of gaining market share through a specific maneuver, designed to outwit a competitor or opponent. In each of these schools, the process of strategy formulation itself is regarded as a "black box" none of them are able to clearly describe how an individual or group is able to leap from the collection and analysis of information, to the conceptualization of alternative courses of action. Mintzberg and Lampel also discuss at the pros and cons of the various reasons why strategic planning has been thought to be beneficial in an organization. •Strategy can sets direction while this is clearly beneficial, the danger is that the blinders that a strategic plan can impose upon an organization can make it difficult to appreciate new opportunities and possibilities as they arise •Strategy focuses effort ¬ true, but the downside risk is that managers within an organization can get locked into a particular form of "groupthink", again missing out on potential new opportunities •Strategy defines the organization ¬ again true to some extent, but the danger here is that the rich diversity inherent within the organization can get overlooked or lost by an overly simplistic stereotype of "what the organization is all about" •Strategy provides consistency ¬ assuredly important, but consistency for consistency's sake, without having a clear market-oriented reason for this, is the obvious danger here They further differentiate ten schools into two categories: Design School, Planning School and Positioning School are the prescriptive schools, which attempt to identify directions for action on the part of the company based on an assessment of its current situation and that of the environment within which it operates. Entrepreneurial School, Cognitive School, Learning School, Power School, Cultural School, Environmental School and Configuration...
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