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Strategic Intent. 2010-Spring Advanced MIS 2010.04.28.WED 20071121 IME KANG A IN. Strategic Intent. Introduced by Gary Hamel and C.K. Prahalad “ Strategic Intent ” published in Harvard Business Review ( 1989). What is Strategic Intent ?. Strategic Intent

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strategic intent

Strategic Intent

2010-Spring Advanced MIS


20071121 IME KANG A IN

strategic intent1
Strategic Intent

Introduced by Gary Hamel and C.K. Prahalad

“Strategic Intent” published in Harvard Business Review (1989)

what is strategic intent
What is Strategic Intent ?
  • Strategic Intent
    • A long-term goal that is ambitious, builds upon and stretches firm’s core competencies, and draws from all levels of the organization.
      • Typically looks 10-20 years ahead, establishes clear milestones
      • Firm should identify resources and capabilities needed to close gap between strategic intent and current position.

▲Identifying the Resource and Capability Gap

form impact of strategic intent
Form & Impact of Strategic Intent

Should not be a surprise – rather should state what is already known

Inspire employees, customers, suppliers and public

Guide decision making

Be expressed in few words

Pithy and credible


strategic intent in practice


History & Culture

Ownership Structure

Corporate Values

Inspired guesses

of the future



Strategic Intent






Shareholder Value

Unique for this


The Strategy Formulation Process

Strategic Assessment

Strategic Choice

Strategic Intent in Practice

Influences on Strategic Intent


Acceptable to stakeholders

Consistent with the history and culture of the enterprise

Must stretch beyond its present aspirations and practices

Will tend to be based on inspired guess of the future

Includes both vision and goals

role of leadership
Role of Leadership

Influences on Strategic Intent

  • Inspirational leaders illustrate role
    • Highly visible
    • Strategic intent closely related to leader
    • Surrounded by people who agree
    • Hence vision widely understood and accepted
    • However, danger if vision become inappropriate
stakeholders influence
Stakeholders influence

Influences on Strategic Intent

Model for analysing stakeholder power

Extent of Power





Inclination to exercise power

Any group with an interest in the activities and results of the enterprise i.e., Shareholders (dominant stakeholders in commercial enterprises), Customers, Managers, Staff

Influence tends to vary with the levers of power they hold

- shareholders tend to be the most powerful

Future direction and current actions often strongly determined

by the directors’ view of the response of powerful stakeholders

impact of context
Impact of Context

Influences on Strategic Intent

  • Organizational History and Culture
    • Recent events
    • Track record
    • Current performance
    • Merger residues
  • Ownership and power structure
    • Family firms
    • Founder(s) in residence
    • Personal goals and agendas
contrasting views
Contrasting Views

Influences on Strategic Intent

  • Model described so far is only one view.
  • 2 other views:
    • Impossible for an organization to have intent e.g. Cyert & March, Simon
    • Intent embedded in culture
discussion questions
Discussion Questions
  • How is the idea of “strategic intent” different from models of strategy that emphasize achieving a fit between the firm’s strategies and its current strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT)?
  • Can a strategic intent be too ambitious?
  • What do you think about the Views of Cyert & March, Simon?

(Impossible for an organization to have intent )