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Compare and contrast the prescriptive and descriptive schools of strategy using relevant business examples to support your analy - Essay Example

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Prescriptive and Descriptive Schools of Strategy: Similarities, Differences and Examples The significance and relevance of Strategy have been extremely emphasised in today’s highly competitive world. Although history books are sufficient in detailing epic and timeless ideas of people who struggled for success in war and business in the past, the present-day globalised environment has catapulted every individual to properly ‘position’ themselves and ‘plan.’ This is the gist of the book by Henry Mintzberg, et al…
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Compare and contrast the prescriptive and descriptive schools of strategy using relevant business examples to support your analy
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Download file to see previous pages The Prescriptive Schools Prescriptive School is primarily consists of the following distinct sub-schools: Design, Planning and Positioning (Mintzberg, et al., 1998). Here, it is imperative to explain one by one, the said strategy schools under the Prescriptive umbrella. Design School. It views strategy as being the fulfillment of a precise match between the strong and weak internal traits of the organisation and between the external threats and opportunities. Design strategists in the upper management communicate the goals and means of the organisation to the lower members of the corporate hierarchy. Thus, the staff obtains the responsibility to execute the strategy. This particular school of strategy can be linked with SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) Analysis methodology of business experts and corporate planners. As noted by Pahl and Richter (2009), SWOT is not only limited to corporate organisations and business entities, in truth it is even more applicable to government units, non-profit bodies and even to individuals who desire to succeed in certain endeavours. Planning School. With its roots in systems thinking, urban planning and cybernetics, this particular school sees strategy systems as controlled and products of conscious processes of formal planning; in a word, strategy is a cerebral and formal activity (Mintzberg, 2007). It gives heavy emphasis on the structure of the strategy: specific steps and techniques organised in checklists. In this school, responsibility heavily rests on the executive body of the organisation, yet the implementation is still at the hands of the staff. Detailed attention is given to objectives, programs, operating procedures and budgets. This particular school is popular in governmental institutions in the United States and France, where the old adage ‘A stitch in time saves nine’ is culturally embedded. While planning is generally a good idea, it has been noted that it also has its inherent weaknesses: rigidity, time-consuming and expensive. Seifert (2003) emphasised that planning has a tendency to make the whole management process inflexible and would curtail individual creativity and initiative. Positioning School. Anchored mostly on the rule of economics and advocated by Michael Porter in 1980 (influenced by the works of the ancient military strategist Sun Tzu), the positioning school believes that strategy should be based on generic positions through an analysis of industry situations and market dynamics. This is especially true to those strategists who require reliable information from research before any strategy can be developed. Expert workers, firm consultants, military officers are most inclined to follow the doctrine of this school. Specifically in business, the department called Research and Development has been of utmost significance during the past few decades. Its emergence, which can be attributed to the teachings of this school, has been precipitated by competition where trends are constantly examined. As opined by Remenyi and Williams (1998), the field of marketing is also one of the great benefactors of the ideas espoused by this ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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