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Strategy: an overview. Jonny Holmström Web: Email: [email protected] Twitter: jonnyholmstrom. IT Management Group. Outline. Definitions Forms of Strategy Coherence in Strategic Direction

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strategy an overview

Strategy: an overview

Jonny Holmström


Email: [email protected]

Twitter: jonnyholmstrom

it management group
IT Management Group


Forms of Strategy

Coherence in Strategic Direction

Information Systems Vs Information Technology

The importance of vision/mission

The organizational context for strategies: Mintzberg’s structure in fives

Definition of Strategy

A strategy is a plan of action designed to achieve a vision. It derives from the Greek "στρατηγία” (strategia), "office of general, command, generalship”


Aspects of Strategy
  • Statement of ends, purposes and intent
  • High level plan
  • Element of leadership
  • Positioning for the future
  • Building capability
  • Fit between capabilities and opportunities
  • Pattern of behaviour resulting from embedded culture
Strategic Management
  • Strategic management is the study of why some firms outperform others
    • How to create a competitive advantage in the market place that is unique, valuable, and difficult to copy
  • “Total organization” perspective, integrating across functional areas
  • Strategies put together an understanding of the external environment with an understanding of internal strengths and weaknesses
Definition of Strategic Management

Strategic management consists of the analysis, decisions, and actions an organization undertakes in order to create and sustain competitive advantages (Dess, Lumpkin, & Eisner, Strategic Management: Creating Competitive Advantage, 3rd Ed., p. 9).

Attributes of Strategic Management
  • Directs the organization toward overall goals and objectives
  • Includes multiple stakeholders in decision making.
  • Needs to incorporate short-term and long-term perspectives
  • Recognizes trade-offs between efficiency and effectiveness
    • Efficiency describes the extent to which time or effort is well used for the intended task or purpose; Effectiveness is the capability of producing a desired result
Mintzberg’s Views of Strategy
  • Plan - consciously intended course of action
  • Ploy - maneuver to outwit opponent
  • Pattern - consistency in behavior
  • Position - location in environment
  • Perspective - way of perceiving the world
Forms of Strategy
  • Formal versus informal - associated with size of firm and stage of development
  • Intended versus realized - intended strategies are the plans managers develop; realized strategies are the actions that actually take place over time
Forms of Strategy

Source:H. Mintzberg and J. A. Waters, “Of Strategies, Deliberate and Emergent,”Strategic Management Journal 6 (1985), pp. 257-72.

Hierarchy of Goals

Coherence in Strategic Direction

  • Company vision
  • Massively inspiring
  • Overarching
  • Long-term
  • Driven by and evokes passion
  • Fundamental statement of the organization’s
    • Values
    • Aspiration
    • Goals

Company vision

Company vision

Hierarchy of Goals

Coherence in Strategic Direction

  • Mission statements
  • Purpose of the company
  • Basis of competition and competitive advantages
  • More specific than vision
  • Focused on the means by which the firm will compete

Mission statements

Company vision

Mission statements

Hierarchy of Goals

Coherence in Strategic Direction

  • Strategic objectives
  • Operationalize the mission statement
  • Measurable, specific, appropriate, realistic, timely, challenging, resolve conflicts that arise, and yardstick for rewards and incentives

Strategic objectives


Coca Cola’s Vision and Mission

  • Vision: ”The Coca-Cola Company exists to benefit and refresh everyone it touches. The basic proposition of our business is simple, solid, and timeless. When we bring refreshment, value, joy and fun to our stakeholders, then we successfully nurture and protect our brands, particularly Coca-Cola. That is the key to fulfilling our ultimate obligation to provide consistently attractive returns to the owners of our business.”
  • Mission: “Everything we do is inspired by our enduring mission:
    • To Refresh the World… in body, mind, and spirit.
    • To Inspire Moments of Optimism… through our brands and our actions.
    • To Create Value and Make a Difference… everywhere we engage.”
is vs it
Payroll SystemIS Vs IT






Other related components

Inventory System

are used to build


Marketing System

Customer Service System

it vs is strategy
IT vs IS Strategy
  • Carr (2003): IT doesn’t matter
    • Since everybody can buy the same technology strategic advantages cannot be found in having IT in the organization
  • IS matter!
    • Merely having IT is not enough; what matters is what you do with it
Mintzberg’s ‘Structure in fives’: An organisation has five main parts
  • Strategic apex
  • Middle line
  • Support staff
  • Technostructure
  • Operating core
Five main configurations
  • Mintzberg proposes five main configurations, or kinds of organisations
  • These are contexts where strategies are played out!
simple structure
Simple structure
  • A small shop
  • A new agency
  • A start-up company led by a very dominant person
machine bureaucracy
Machine bureaucracy
  • A traditional airline
  • A paper and pulp factory
professional bureaucracy
Professional bureaucracy
  • University
  • Hospital
divisional form
Divisional form
  • A major corporation
  • Umeå municipality
  • A project based consulting or R&D company
  • Some highly innovative companies or agencies (e.g. North Kingdom)
when analyzing strategies in organizations
When analyzing strategies in organizations
  • We will meet mixed configurations
  • Thus, in your project, in the two seminars, and in the essay assignments: you may see cases that tend to confirm, falsify or call for elaboration of Mintzberg’s five types