Why Is There so Much Disagreement About What Strategy Is? Chris Baird

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  Why
 Is
 There
 So
 Much
 Disagreement
 About
 What
 Strategy
 Is?
 
 

  Christopher
 Baird
 
  Trinity
 College,
 Dublin
 
  Michaelmas
 Term,
 November
 2012
 
  Strategic
 Management:
 Theory
 and
 Practice
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  Abstract
 

  With
  such
 a
  large
  quantity
  of
 disagreement
  existing
 within
  the
  strategy
  field,
  it
  is
  important
 that
 individuals
 do
 not
 become
 overwhelmed
 by
 it.
 
 This
 paper
 provides
  the
  essential
  opportunity
  to
  understand
  the
  reasons
  behind
  differences
  over
  what
  strategy
  is.
  By
  assessing
  Richard
  Whittington’s
  four
  ‘well-­‐regarded’
  schools
  of
  strategy,
  this
  paper
  gains
  a
  structured
 framework
  that
  allows
  us
 to
 address
  the
  reasons
  for
  disagreement
  within
  three
  main
  areas
  of
  strategy:
  the
  outcomes
  of
  strategy,
  the
  process
  of
  strategy,
  and
  the
  rationality
  of
  strategists.
  We
  begin
  to
  ascertain
  that
  no
  body
  of
  knowledge
  on
  strategy
  is
  omniscient
  and
  sacrosanct.
  Certain
  ‘strategy
  schools’
  suit
  different
  situations
  and
  environments
  better
  than
  others
 and
  as
  a
  result,
 disagreement
  becomes
  an
  important
  requisite.
  Finding
  the
  ‘school’
 that
 best
 suits
 your
 organisation
 earns
 the
 greatest
 reward.
 

 

 

 


 

Table
 of
 Contents
 

 
1.
 INTRODUCTION
 
  WHITTINGTON’S
 FOUR
 GENERIC
 APPROACHES
 TO
 STRATEGY
 
  2.
 THE
 OUTCOMES
 OF
 STRATEGY:
 PROFIT
 MAX
 VS.
 PLURALIST
 
  UNITARY/PROFIT
 MAXIMIZING
 
 
  PLURALIST
 
 
  WHY
 IS
 THERE
 DISAGREEMENT
 ON
 THE
 OUTCOMES
 OF
 STRATEGY?
 
  3.
 THE
 PROCESS
 OF
 STRATEGY:
 DELIBERATE
 VS.
 EMERGENT
  DELIBERATE
 
  EMERGENT
 
  WHY
 IS
 THERE
 DISAGREEMENT
 ON
 THE
 PROCESS
 OF
 STRATEGY?
 
  4.
 THE
 RATIONALITY
 OF
 THE
 STRATEGIST
 
  THE
 RATIONALITY
 CONTINUUM
 
  WHY
 IS
 THERE
 DISAGREEMENT
 OVER
 THE
 RATIONALITY
 OF
 STRATEGISTS?
 
  5.
 CONCLUSION
 
  6.
 BIBLIOGRAPHY
 
  12
  10
  9
  8
 

3
 
4
 

5
 
5
  6
  6
 

7
 
7
 

10
 

12
 

15
 

 

 

 
  2
 

1.
 Introduction
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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