Topics: Strategic management, Strategic planning, Management Pages: 15 (4150 words) Published: April 18, 2013


Implementation of strategic decision can determine the success or failure of an organization. Numerous studies have acknowledged that strategies frequently fail not because of inadequate strategy formulation, but because of insufficient implementation.

This term paper reviews literatures on the implementation of strategic decisions with an emphasis on factors that affects successful strategic decisions implementation. Among others; strategic formulation, relationship among different units/departments, executors, consensus, commitment, organizational structure and administrative systems have been identified has some of the factors that influence successful strategic decisions implementation.


Strategy implementation is a process of transforming strategic intentions into actions. Successful strategy implementation is critical in any organization. However it is considered to be the most challenging aspect in strategic management process. This is because it requires the bringing together of the resources needed, both human and capital, the structure, systems and other variables. Although formulating a consistent strategy is a difficult task for any management team, making that strategy work – implementing it throughout the organization – is even more difficult (Hrebiniak, 2006). A myriad of factors can potentially affect the process by which strategic plans are turned into organizational action. Unlike strategy formulation, strategy implementation is often seen as something of a skill, rather than a knowledge, and its research history has previously been described as fragmented and diverse (Noble, 1999b). It is thus not surprising that, after a comprehensive strategy or single strategic decision has been formulated, significant difficulties usually arise during the subsequent implementation process. The best-formulated strategies may fail to produce superior performance for the firm if they are not successfully implemented, as Noble (1999b) notes.

Hambrick and Cannella (1989) state “Without successful implementation, a strategy is but a fantasy”. In many companies the main focus in regard to strategy is put on the formulation of a new strategy. However, a good formulated strategy does not automatically mean that the company achieves the objectives as set in the strategy.

To ensure achievement of organizational objectives, the formulated strategy needs to be implemented at all levels of the organization. Implementing a strategy means putting the strategy to action (Hill and Jones, 2009). Different researchers have in the past decades identified the need for more research in the area of strategy implementation (Higgins, 2005; Beer and Eisenstat, 2000; Al-Ghamdi, 1998; Hambrick et al, 1989).

The process of strategy implementation is very critical to the success of both private and public undertaking however, it poses a number of challenges which are triggered by forces external and internal to the organization. The extent of such challenges depends on the type of organization and its prevailing circumstances. In view of this, organizations have resulted to designing strategies that will enable them to sail through the turbulence.

Strategy is what links the organization to the environment. Chandler (1962) recognized the importance of coordinating the various aspects of management under one all-encompassing strategy. This shows the strategy has been taken as an important phenomenon from far back. It is the strategy that steers the organization towards its objectives and goals. It is against this background that organizations have to develop strategic decisions that if properly implemented, will lead the organization to its future success. These decisions are normally long term in nature and are taken in accordance with the organizations mission and vision. Implementation of strategic decision...

References: Alexander, L. (1985), “Successfully Implementing Strategic Decision: Long Range Planning, 18 (3), pp. 91-97.
Al-Ghamdi, S. (1998), “Obstacles to successful implementation of strategic decisions: The British experience”, European Business Review, 98 (6), pp. 322-327.
Atkinson, H. (2006), “Strategy Implementation: A Role for the Balanced Card,” Management Decision, 44 (10), pp. 1-17.
Beer, M. & Eisenstat, R. (2000), “The Silent Killers of Strategy Implementation and Learning,” Sloan Management Review, 41 (4), pp. 29-40.
Brannen, L. (2005), “Upfront: The 33 1/3 Percent Strategy Solution”, Business Finance, (June).
DeLisi, P. (2001), “Strategy Execution: An Oxymoron or a Powerful Formula for Corporate Success”, Organizational Synergies, http://www.org-synergies.com.
Downes, L. (2001), “Strategy Can Be Deadly - Industry Trend or Event”, The Industry Standard, (May 14).
Goodwin, J & Elliot, C. (1995)"Exporting Strategies: Developing a Strategic Framework" SAM Advanced Management Journal, 60 (1), (winter), pp.21-28.
Hansen, L. Boyd, M. & Kryder, A. (1998) “Implementing Strategic Plans”,
Hrebiniak, Lawrence (2005) “Business Strategy: Execution is the Key”, Pearson Education, Inc. InformIT, (Jan. 21).
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Nickols, F. (2000), “Strategy Is . . . A Lot of Things”, Distance Consulting.
Rutan, S. (1999), “Strategic Management: 3 Steps to the Cycle of Success”, Compass Points.
Speculand, R. (2006) “The Great big Strategy Challenge”, Strategic Direction, 22 (3) (March) pp. 3-6
Welbourne, T
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