What is a Strategy?
Businesses Strategy The term ‘Strategy’ is a military word. Mr. Hugh Macmillan and Mohan Tempoe rightly says “If we accept the anology that ‘business is a war, then military model of strategy can be an important starting point for an explora-tion of strategy.
“The term “strategy” is seen from both traditional angle and modern angle. Traditional concept of strategy is the
product of rational and logical planning process.
In that sense, strategy is the science of planning and directing the military operation. In the words of Randall B.Dunham and John H. Pierce “Strategy is the art and science of combating the many resources available to achieve the best match between an organisation and its environment.”
Professors Lawrance R. Jauch and William F. Glueck have defined. “A strategy is a unified, comprehensive and integrated plan that relates the strategic advantage of the firm to the challenges of the environment. It is designed to ensure that the basic objectives of the enterprise are achieved through proper execution by the organisation.”
Alfred D. Chandler Jr. defines strategy as “the determination of the basic long-term goals and objectives in an enterprise and the adoption of courses of action and the allocation of resources necessary for carrying out these goals.
Stated in other words, strategy” stands for the pattern or the plan that integrates an organisation’s major goals,policies and action sequences into a cohesive whole. It is the direction and span of an organisation over long-term which matches its resources to its changing environment ideally and in particular its markets, customers or clients so as to meet stareholder’s expectations.
The modern concept of strategy is that it is seen a deliberate and planned approach is wrong as Professor Henry Mintzberg. He opposes tooth and nail ‘planned approach? and states that strategies can stem from within an organisation without any formal plan. Worse come worse, strategies can still emerge from the grass-roots of the organisation even in absence of any kind of formal planning. According to him, “Strategy” is a pattern in a stream of decisions as actions”, the pattern being a product of whatever intented or planned strategies are actually realised and any emergent or unplanned strategies. Mr. C.R. Christensen, K. R. Andrews, J.L. Bower, R.G. Hamermesh and M.E. Porter say strategy as “the pattern of decisions in a company that shapes and reveals its objectives, purposes, or goals, produces the principal policies and plans for achieving these goals, and defines the business the company intends to be in the kind of economic and human organisation it intends to be and the nature of the economic and non-economic contribution it
intends to make to its shareholders, employees, customers,
Thus, strategy is the major programme of action chosen to reach the goals and objectives and major patterns of resource allocations used to relate the organisation to its environment. It is a plan of purposeful action. That is the outcome of a carefully managed process of translating a firm’s strategic intent into a systematic as well as communicated plan of action.
Blending of Traditional and Modern Concept of Strategy
The traditional bent strategy advocates the formulation of plans and strategies in great detail as against the modern approach that favours taking actions spontaneously.that there is strategy-the former being in the form of intended plans and policies as against the form of actions.
Taken in the latter case. It pays to blend both traditional and modern concepts.
In its synthesised or blended form, “Strategy refers to either the plans made or the actions taken in an effort to help an organisation fulfill its intented purposes. When we speak of strategy as plans for future, we are refusing to what is called as intended strategy; and when we speak of strategy as actions taken, we are referring to a realised strategy In either case, we are considering the efforts directed towards fulfilling the organisation’s purpose” as very rightly put by none other than Mr. Alex Miller and Gregory Dess.
Attributes of a Sound Strategy
Strategy is the course of action through which an organisation relates itself with the environment so as to.achieve preset goals. Attributes of a Sound Strategy are:
1. Strategy Links Firm to Its Environment: Strategy relates the organisation to its environment particularly the external in all actions whether it is a set of objectives or a
bunch of actions or scarce resources which are a must for achieving the goals. It means it is a system’s approach to the management as it treats a firm as only a sub-system of supra-system namely, environment. That is, the environment and the firm are influencing each other by their changing behaviour. Any change in one is bound to bring in change
2. Strategy Combines Factors: Strategy is the means to combine factors both internal and external. As a strategy is instrumental in relating the organisation to its environment, the management of the organisation has to take into account internal factors also because each firm has its own.strengths and weaknesses. Whatever the firm wants to
achieve it will have to do so looking to its own strengths and weaknesses. It has to look before it leaps. To capitalize on the opportunities, it must weigh first the threats associated with it and then its strengths and weaknesses. It has to be very keen observer in each course of action it takes,
3. Strategy is Relative Combination of Actions: Strategy is a blend of actions which is relative but not absolute.A combination reached to meet a particular condition or a
particular situation, to solve certain problems or to attain a desirable goal. The combination of treasure, time, and talent will differ in case because each situation varies calling for a
different approach. In that sense it is very flexible, taking any form or shape to attain the end results. This like saying “answer depends on the nature of question.
4. Strategy is Highly Undependable: Strategy is dealing with environmental variables both extemal and internal.One can not expect a stability in strategy. As long as envi-
ronmental forces go on changing, the strategy changes as it is to relate the organisation with its environment for successful survival.Amanager-strategic-may take a course of action today and may reverse it totally tomorrow because today is not tomorrow or tomorrow is not to-day. It identifies past, present and future and gives stress on future which is certaintly uncertain.
5. Strategy is Forward Looking: A sound strategy cares most for what future holds for the organisation. Business situations are changing in all their dimensions making present situation obsolete warranting new and creative approach to solve the problems that crop up. Past is gone,present is like a setting Sun but tomorrow is the day of Sunrise that needs matching or strategic action to make things to happen your way or in favour of the firm. That is why some one has rightly said, what you were, what you are are not important-what is most important is what you are tomorrow?
6. A Strategy is A Complexs : Any strategy worth calling so is very complex plan impounding in its compound other plans or firms of plans which area must to achieve the organisational goals. Strategy is a compendium or a complex of plans within plan to outbeat the strength and vitality others in the line and allied activities. It shows the way for the allocation and deployment of resources for the attainment of goals in the face of change-environmental pressure,
stress and strains and constraints and restraints.
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