strategic management


  • [7][8][9] Michael Porter identifies three principles underlying strategy:[10] • creating a “unique and valuable [market] position” • making trade-offs by choosing “what not
    to do” • creating “fit” by aligning company activities with one another to support the chosen strategy Corporate strategy involves answering a key question from a portfolio perspective: “What business should we be in?”

  • Companies that pursued the highest market share position to achieve cost advantages fit under Porter’s cost leadership generic strategy, but the concept of choice regarding
    differentiation and focus represented a new perspective.

  • [21] Porter revised the strategy paradigm again in 1985, writing that superior performance of the processes and activities performed by organizations as part of their value
    chain is the foundation of competitive advantage, thereby outlining a process view of strategy.

  • He also wrote: “The two basic types of competitive advantage [differentiation and lower cost] combined with the scope of activities for which a firm seeks to achieve them
    lead to three generic strategies for achieving above average performance in an industry: cost leadership, differentiation and focus.

  • [46] On the one hand, scholars drawing on organizational economics (e.g., transaction costs theory) have argued that firms use interorganizational relationships when they
    are the most efficient form comparatively to other forms of organization such as operating on its own or using the market.

  • Author Walter Kiechel wrote that it reflected several insights, including: • A company can always improve its cost structure; • Competitors have varying cost positions based
    on their experience; • Firms could achieve lower costs through higher market share, attaining a competitive advantage; and • An increased focus on empirical analysis of costs and processes, a concept which author Kiechel refers to as “Greater

  • Where the realized pattern was different from the intent, he referred to the strategy as emergent; • Strategy as position – locating brands, products, or companies within
    the market, based on the conceptual framework of consumers or other stakeholders; a strategy determined primarily by factors outside the firm; • Strategy as ploy – a specific maneuver intended to outwit a competitor; and • Strategy as perspective
    – executing strategy based on a “theory of the business” or natural extension of the mindset or ideological perspective of the organization.

  • The idea of strategy targeting particular industries and customers (i.e., competitive positions) with a differentiated offering was a departure from the experience-curve influenced
    strategy paradigm, which was focused on larger scale and lower cost.

  • In his 1962 ground breaking work Strategy and Structure, Chandler showed that a long-term coordinated strategy was necessary to give a company structure, direction and focus.

  • “[11][12] Management theory and practice often make a distinction between strategic management and operational management, with operational management concerned primarily
    with improving efficiency and controlling costs within the boundaries set by the organization’s strategy.

  • [52] Core competency is part of a branch of strategy called the resource-based view of the firm, which postulates that if activities are strategic as indicated by the value
    chain, then the organization’s capabilities and ability to learn or adapt are also strategic.

  • He mentioned four concepts of corporate strategy each of which suggest a certain type of portfolio and a certain role for the corporate office; the latter three can be used
    together:[43] 1.

  • [31] Ansoff wrote that strategic management had three parts: strategic planning; the skill of a firm in converting its plans into reality; and the skill of a firm in managing
    its own internal resistance to change.

  • See Corporate Level Strategy 1995 and Strategy for the Corporate Level 2014 Competitive advantage[edit] Main article: Competitive advantage In 1980, Porter defined the two
    types of competitive advantage an organization can achieve relative to its rivals: lower cost or differentiation.

  • Each of these activities can contribute to a firm’s relative cost position and create a basis for differentiation…the value chain disaggregates a firm into its strategically
    relevant activities in order to understand the behavior of costs and the existing and potential sources of differentiation.

  • Change creates novel combinations of circumstances requiring unstructured non-repetitive responses; • Affects the entire organization by providing direction; • Involves both
    strategy formulation processes and also implementation of the content of the strategy; • May be planned (intended) and unplanned (emergent); • Is done at several levels: overall corporate strategy, and individual business strategies; and •
    Involves both conceptual and analytical thought processes.

  • By aligning the various activities in its value chain with the organization’s strategy in a coherent way, a firm can achieve a competitive advantage.

  • The second group, consisting of six schools, is more concerned with how strategic management is actually done, rather than prescribing optimal plans or positions.

  • [33] Porter wrote in 1980 that companies have to make choices about their scope and the type of competitive advantage they seek to achieve, whether lower cost or differentiation.

  • Environmental analysis includes the: • Remote external environment, including the political, economic, social, technological, legal and environmental landscape (PESTLE); •
    Industry environment, such as the competitive behavior of rival organizations, the bargaining power of buyers/customers and suppliers, threats from new entrants to the industry, and the ability of buyers to substitute products (Porter’s 5
    forces); and • Internal environment, regarding the strengths and weaknesses of the organization’s resources (i.e., its people, processes and IT systems).

  • Instead Mintzberg concludes that there are five types of strategies: • Strategy as plan – a directed course of action to achieve an intended set of goals; similar to the strategic
    planning concept; • Strategy as pattern – a consistent pattern of past behavior, with a strategy realized over time rather than planned or intended.

  • [34] Change in focus from production to marketing[edit] The direction of strategic research also paralleled a major paradigm shift in how companies competed, specifically
    a shift from the production focus to market focus.

  • On the other hand, scholars drawing on organizational theory (e.g., resource dependence theory) suggest that firms tend to partner with others when such relationships allow
    them to improve their status, power, reputation, or legitimacy.

  • [34] Industry structure and profitability[edit] A graphical representation of Porter’s Five Forces Main article: Porter five forces analysis Porter developed a framework for
    analyzing the profitability of industries and how those profits are divided among the participants in 1980.

  • [21] The five forces framework helps describe how a firm can use these forces to obtain a sustainable competitive advantage, either lower cost or differentiation.

  • By the 1960s, the capstone business policy course at the Harvard Business School included the concept of matching the distinctive competence of a company (its internal strengths
    and weaknesses) with its environment (external opportunities and threats) in the context of its objectives.

  • [15] Running the day-to-day operations of the business is often referred to as “operations management” or specific terms for key departments or functions, such as “logistics
    management” or “marketing management,” which take over once strategic management decisions are implemented.

  • He recommended eight areas where objectives should be set, such as market standing, innovation, productivity, physical and financial resources, worker performance and attitude,
    profitability, manager performance and development, and public responsibility.

  • [15][16] The answers to these and many other strategic questions result in the organization’s strategy and a series of specific short-term and long-term goals or objectives
    and related measures.

  • Implementation results in how the organization’s resources are structured (such as by product or service or geography), leadership arrangements, communication, incentives,
    and monitoring mechanisms to track progress towards objectives, among others.

  • [30] This core idea was developed further by Kenneth R. Andrews in 1963 into what we now call SWOT analysis, in which the strengths and weaknesses of the firm are assessed
    in light of the opportunities and threats in the business environment.

  • Nature of strategy[edit] In 1985, Ellen Earle-Chaffee summarized what she thought were the main elements of strategic management theory where consensus generally existed as
    of the 1970s, writing that strategic management:[11] • Involves adapting the organization to its business environment; • Is fluid and complex.

  • [15] Strategic management is often described as involving two major processes: formulation and implementation of strategy.

  • Further, the experience curve provided a basis for the retail sale of business ideas, helping drive the management consulting industry.

  • [51] Core competence[edit] Main article: Core competency Gary Hamel and C. K. Prahalad described the idea of core competency in 1990, the idea that each organization has some
    capability in which it excels and that the business should focus on opportunities in that area, letting others go or outsourcing them.

  • “[13] Strategies are established to set direction, focus effort, define or clarify the organization, and provide consistency or guidance in response to the environment.

  • [6] In response to the evident problems of “over diversification”, C. K. Prahalad and Gary Hamel suggested that companies should build portfolios of businesses around shared
    technical or operating competencies, and should develop structures and processes to enhance their core competencies.

  • [15] Definitions[edit] Strategy has been practiced whenever an advantage was gained by planning the sequence and timing of the deployment of resources while simultaneously
    taking into account the probable capabilities and behavior of competition.

  • In his 1965 classic Corporate Strategy, he developed gap analysis to clarify the gap between the current reality and the goals and to develop what he called “gap reducing

  • By 1979, one study estimated that 45% of the Fortune 500 companies were using some variation of the matrix in their strategic planning.

  • [6] Theory of the business[edit] According to Peter Drucker, business theory refers to the key points and strategies of a company, which are divided into three parts: 1.

  • The right level of diversification depends, therefore, on the ability of the parent company to add value in comparison to others.

  • In 1987, he argued that corporate strategy involves two questions: 1) What business should the corporation be in?

  • [15] Implementation[edit] The second major process of strategic management is implementation, which involves decisions regarding how the organization’s resources (i.e., people,
    process and IT systems) will be aligned and mobilized towards the objectives.

  • [40][41] Corporate strategy and portfolio theory[edit] Main articles: Modern portfolio theory and Growth–share matrix Portfolio growth–share matrix The concept of the corporation
    as a portfolio of business units, with each plotted graphically based on its market share (a measure of its competitive position relative to its peers) and industry growth rate (a measure of industry attractiveness), was summarized in the
    growth–share matrix developed by the Boston Consulting Group around 1970.

  • These “3 Cs” were illuminated by much more robust empirical analysis at ever-more granular levels of detail, as industries and organizations were disaggregated into business
    units, activities, processes, and individuals in a search for sources of competitive advantage.

  • In the field of management, strategic management involves the formulation and implementation of the major goals and initiatives taken by an organization’s managers on behalf
    of stakeholders, based on consideration of resources and an assessment of the internal and external environments in which the organization operates.

  • [5] Academics and practicing managers have developed numerous models and frameworks to assist in strategic decision-making in the context of complex environments and competitive

  • [15] Formulation[edit] Formulation of strategy involves analyzing the environment in which the organization operates, then making a series of strategic decisions about how
    the organization will compete.

  • The prevailing concept in strategy up to the 1950s was to create a product of high technical quality.

  • Chandler wrote that: “Strategy is the determination of the basic long-term goals of an enterprise, and the adoption of courses of action and the allocation of resources necessary
    for carrying out these goals.

  • [36] Over time, the customer became the driving force behind all strategic business decisions.

  • By outsourcing, companies expanded the concept of the value chain, with some elements within the entity and others without.

  • [21] These are known as Porter’s three generic strategies and can be applied to any size or form of business.

  • [21] Generic competitive strategies[edit] Main article: Porter’s generic strategies Michael Porter’s Three Generic Strategies Porter wrote in 1980 that strategy target either
    cost leadership, differentiation, or focus.

  • Restructuring: The corporate office acquires then actively intervenes in a business where it detects potential, often by replacing management and implementing a new business

  • An importance scale could be labelled from “the main thrust of competitiveness” to “never considered by customers and never likely to do so”, and performance can be segmented
    into “better than”, “the same as”, and “worse than” the company’s competitors.

  • [38] The technique is also used in relation to marketing, where the variable “importance” is related to buyers’ perception of important attributes of a product: for attributes
    which might be considered important to buyers, both their perceived importance and their performance are assessed.

  • Further, core competency is difficult to duplicate, as it involves the skills and coordination of people across a variety of functional areas or processes used to deliver
    value to customers.

  • Strategic planning may also refer to control mechanisms used to implement the strategy once it is determined.

  • “[34] The concept of choice was a different perspective on strategy, as the 1970s paradigm was the pursuit of market share (size and scale) influenced by the experience curve.

  • Prior to 1960, the term “strategy” was primarily used regarding war and politics, not business.

  • Porter wrote: “[A]chieving competitive advantage requires a firm to make a choice…about the type of competitive advantage it seeks to attain and the scope within which it
    will attain it.”

  • [20] Michael Porter defined strategy in 1980 as the “…broad formula for how a business is going to compete, what its goals should be, and what policies will be needed to
    carry out those goals” and the “…combination of the ends (goals) for which the firm is striving and the means (policies) by which it is seeking to get there.”


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