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Business Strategy - Essay Example

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Strategy has many definitions. Drawing from different theories and perspectives, critically discuss what strategy means. With rapidly changing needs and demands of the time, the definition of strategy has changed from what it was a few decades earlier. According to Afuah (2009) strategy outlines a set of activities that an organization decides to pursue in order to fill in the gaps in the market…
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Download file to see previous pages Comparing this definition with one of the contemporary definitions presented by Hitt, Ireland and Hoskisson (2007) which says “a strategy is an integrated and coordinated set of commitments and actions designed to exploit core competencies and gain a competitive advantage” shows that the focus of definitions has changed drastically. Previously business goals and policies were the center of attention while defining strategy whereas now the focus has been shifted towards competition and strategy is used not only as a way to achieve the goals and objectives of a company but also to gain competitive advantage. These are just two definitions hence presenting only the half truth about the strategy; a lot more come to fore when theories and perspectives on strategy are studied in detail. Work in the field of strategic management is immense; upon searching literature, works of Michael Porter and Henry Mintzberg seems to be quite prominent in refining the concept of strategy. ...
that strategy may be deliberate or emergent based on the decisions and actions in question Porter suggest that strategy is the use of efficient tools to add value to the processes which may help sustain the market position and remain competitive (Heracleous 2003). Studying in detail the concept of strategy as presented by the two authors reveals that Porter’s work has been much focused on the surface where a particular activity suggests taking a particular step; this means using a particular tool to identify a particular course of action that can help select a best strategy at a given point in time. On the other hand, Mintzberg’s work is much more process-focused which suggests how strategies emerge over a period of time. Heracleous (2003) while comparing the work of both Porter and Mintzberg stated that Mintzberg emphasized “the creative and synthetic” aspects of the strategy whereas Porter emphasized its “convergent and analytical” aspects (p.47). Porter’s work on strategy management is much focused on tools and frameworks to formulate strategy where process is focused and strategy is developed to decide on a future course of action. Enders et al (2006) in their work combined different perspectives on strategy, perspectives that mainly focus on deliberate strategy formulation, and come up with a value process framework. In their work, mainly Porter’s theories on strategy were focused. Following figure shows the value process framework as structured from Porter’s work on strategy thinking and planning. Figure I – Value Process Framework integrating different Strategy Frameworks (Source: Enders et al 2006, p. 12) Besides Porter, Mintzberg has also presented different views on strategy. The two authors have presented two different concepts. This ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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