Authors, managers, employees, and general public feel, perceive, mean, understand and experience strategy differently through their own socio-cultural and political spectacles and life experiences. Hence, there is no single or universally accepted definition for ‘strategy’.
Defining strategy Here we discuss one of the categorizations introduced by Mintzberg - Five Ps for Strategy; • as a plan • as a ploy • as a pattern • as a position • as a perspective
Strategy as a plan • a consciously intended course of action • a guideline/s to deal with a situation • Characteristics • Made in advance • Developed consciously or purposely • [May be documented or stated explicitly]
Strategy as a ploy • A plan can be a ploy too • The intention of the plan could make it a ploy • A specific maneuver to outwit an opponent
Strategy as a pattern • A pattern in stream of actions • Consistency in behaviour whether or not intended • Independent from plan • Deliberate strategy and emergent strategy
Intended Strategy Deliberate and Emergent Strategy Realized Strategy Unrealized Strategy Emergent Strategy
Strategy as a position • Locating organization in environment • Match between internal & external context • Choice of niche • Collective strategy
Strategy as a perspective • Ingrained way of perceiving the world • Strategy is a concept (all strategies are abstractions) • Similar to personality to an individual • Shared perspective • Collective mind
Interrelating the Ps • Conventional hierarchy • Conventional prescriptive view of how strategies are supposed to get made • Giving rise to plans • Ex- as position and/or patterns in an implicit hierarchy • Strategy as a vision directed
Interrelating the Ps cont… • Formalizing on emergent strategy within a perspective • Pattern evoked • Develop intentions through actions
Interrelating the Ps cont… • Pattern (or position) producing perspective • Pattern/ position can give rise to perspective • Developing ‘character’ through innate skills and natural propensities • Plans and positions are dispensable, perspectives are immutable • Perspective to be seen in the consistency of behaviour than in the articulation of intentions
Interrelating the Ps cont… • Perspective constraining shift in position • If perspective is immutable, then change in plan & position is difficult unless compatible with the existing perspective
Need for eclecticism in definition • Definitions compete and complement and each adds important elements to our understanding of strategy • As plans- deals with how leaders establish direction for organization • What is the intention of the strategy • As ploy- deals with competition • How to reconcile the dynamic notion of strategy as a ploy with static ones of strategy as a pattern and other forms of plans
Need for eclecticism in definition cont… • As pattern- deals with action and consistency in behaviour • Direction of the organization pushed by realized strategy (plan) • Strategies can also emerge • As position- deals with competitive environment • Organization in ecological terms • How much choice do organizations have
Need for eclecticism in definition cont… • As perspective- deals with intention and behaviour in a collective context • How intentions defuse through a group of people to become shared as norms and values • How patterns of behaviour become deeply ingrained in group
The Purpose of Strategy “(strategy is)…essential to superior performance, which, after all, is the primary goal of any enterprise.” • Michael E. Porter, What is Strategy? Strategy is about achieving competitive advantage – winning!
“Deliberate” strategy (Porter / Harvard) Strategy is the conscious, analytical development of a distinct position in the environment “Emergent” strategy (Mintzberg / McGill) Strategy is an intuitive process through which the organization evolves by adapting to its environment Two Schools of Strategy Position School Process School Intuition =immediate insight or understanding without conscious reasoning.
Competitive Advantage “(strategy is)…essential to superior performance, which, after all, is the primary goal of any enterprise” Continued Existence “(strategy is)…all things necessary for the successful functioning of an organization as an adaptive mechanism.” Organizational Goals Process School Position School
Determine, develop and defend an advantageous position in the environment Be disciplined about this choice Learn and evolve through ongoing experience within the environment Don’t be afraid to experiment Relationship to Environment Position School Process School
Build mutually-reinforcing “fit” among organizational activities in tightly focused support of chosen strategic position Encourage experimentation and variety in activities, from which potential new strategies may emerge Organizational Capabilities Position School Process School
Leadership conceptualizes strategy based on analysis and mobilizes the organization in well-coordinated support of it. Leadership nurtures a learning, flexible organization which is highly responsive and adaptable to the environment. Implications forStrategic Management Position School Process School