Strategy

Last updated

Strategy (from Greek στρατηγία stratēgia, "art of troop leader; office of general, command, generalship" [1] ) is a general plan to achieve one or more long-term or overall goals under conditions of uncertainty. In the sense of the "art of the general", which included several subsets of skills including tactics, siegecraft, logistics etc., the term came into use in the 6th century C.E. in East Roman terminology, and was translated into Western vernacular languages only in the 18th century. From then until the 20th century, the word "strategy" came to denote "a comprehensive way to try to pursue political ends, including the threat or actual use of force, in a dialectic of wills" in a military conflict, in which both adversaries interact. [2]

Contents

Strategy is important because the resources available to achieve these goals are usually limited. Strategy generally involves setting goals, determining actions to achieve the goals, and mobilizing resources to execute the actions. [3] A strategy describes how the ends (goals) will be achieved by the means (resources). Strategy can be intended or can emerge as a pattern of activity as the organization adapts to its environment or competes. [4] It involves activities such as strategic planning and strategic thinking. [5]

Henry Mintzberg from McGill University defined strategy as a pattern in a stream of decisions to contrast with a view of strategy as planning, [6] while Henrik von Scheel defines the essence of strategy as the activities to deliver a unique mix of value – choosing to perform activities differently or to perform different activities than rivals. [7] while Max McKeown (2011) argues that "strategy is about shaping the future" and is the human attempt to get to "desirable ends with available means". Dr. Vladimir Kvint defines strategy as "a system of finding, formulating, and developing a doctrine that will ensure long-term success if followed faithfully." [8] Complexity theorists define strategy as the unfolding of the internal and external aspects of the organization that results in actions in a socio-economic context. [9] [10] [11]

Components

Professor Richard P. Rumelt described strategy as a type of problem solving in 2011. He wrote that good strategy has an underlying structure he called a kernel. The kernel has three parts: 1) A diagnosis that defines or explains the nature of the challenge; 2) A guiding policy for dealing with the challenge; and 3) Coherent actions designed to carry out the guiding policy. [12] President Kennedy illustrated these three elements of strategy in his Cuban Missile Crisis Address to the Nation of 22 October 1962:

  1. Diagnosis: "This Government, as promised, has maintained the closest surveillance of the Soviet military buildup on the island of Cuba. Within the past week, unmistakable evidence has established the fact that a series of offensive missile sites are now in preparation on that imprisoned island. The purpose of these bases can be none other than to provide a nuclear strike capability against the Western Hemisphere."
  2. Guiding Policy: "Our unswerving objective, therefore, must be to prevent the use of these missiles against this or any other country, and to secure their withdrawal or elimination from the Western Hemisphere."
  3. Action Plans: First among seven numbered steps was the following: "To halt this offensive buildup a strict quarantine on all offensive military equipment under shipment to Cuba is being initiated. All ships of any kind bound for Cuba from whatever nation or port will, if found to contain cargoes of offensive weapons, be turned back." [13]

Rumelt wrote in 2011 that three important aspects of strategy include "premeditation, the anticipation of others' behavior, and the purposeful design of coordinated actions." He described strategy as solving a design problem, with trade-offs among various elements that must be arranged, adjusted and coordinated, rather than a plan or choice. [12]

Formulation and implementation

Strategy typically involves two major processes: formulation and implementation. Formulation involves analyzing the environment or situation, making a diagnosis, and developing guiding policies. It includes such activities as strategic planning and strategic thinking. Implementation refers to the action plans taken to achieve the goals established by the guiding policy. [5] [12]

Bruce Henderson wrote in 1981 that: "Strategy depends upon the ability to foresee future consequences of present initiatives." He wrote that the basic requirements for strategy development include, among other factors: 1) extensive knowledge about the environment, market and competitors; 2) ability to examine this knowledge as an interactive dynamic system; and 3) the imagination and logic to choose between specific alternatives. Henderson wrote that strategy was valuable because of: "finite resources, uncertainty about an adversary's capability and intentions; the irreversible commitment of resources; necessity of coordinating action over time and distance; uncertainty about control of the initiative; and the nature of adversaries' mutual perceptions of each other." [14]

Military theory

Subordinating the political point of view to the military would be absurd, for it is policy that has created war...Policy is the guiding intelligence, and war only the instrument, not vice-versa.

On War by Carl von Clausewitz

In military theory, strategy is "the utilization during both peace and war, of all of the nation's forces, through large scale, long-range planning and development, to ensure security and victory" (Random House Dictionary). [6]

The father of Western modern strategic study, Carl von Clausewitz, defined military strategy as "the employment of battles to gain the end of war." B. H. Liddell Hart's definition put less emphasis on battles, defining strategy as "the art of distributing and applying military means to fulfill the ends of policy". [15] Hence, both gave the pre-eminence to political aims over military goals. U.S. Naval War College instructor Andrew Wilson defined strategy as the "process by which political purpose is translated into military action." [16] Lawrence Freedman defined strategy as the "art of creating power." [17]

Eastern military philosophy dates back much further, with examples such as The Art of War by Sun Tzu dated around 500 B.C. [18]

Management theory

The essence of formulating competitive strategy is relating a company to its environment.

Michael Porter [19]

Modern business strategy emerged as a field of study and practice in the 1960s; prior to that time, the words "strategy" and "competition" rarely appeared in the most prominent management literature. [20] [21] Alfred Chandler wrote in 1962 that: "Strategy is the determination of the basic long-term goals of an enterprise, and the adoption of courses of action and the allocation of resources necessary for carrying out these goals." [22] Michael Porter defined strategy in 1980 as the "...broad formula for how a business is going to compete, what its goals should be, and what policies will be needed to carry out those goals" and the "...combination of the ends (goals) for which the firm is striving and the means (policies) by which it is seeking to get there." [19]

Henry Mintzberg described five definitions of strategy in 1998:

Strategies in game theory

In game theory, a strategy refers to the rules that a player uses to choose between the available actionable options. Every player in a non-trivial game has a set of possible strategies to use when choosing what moves to make.

A strategy may recursively look ahead and consider what actions can happen in each contingent state of the game—e.g. if the player takes action 1, then that presents the opponent with a certain situation, which might be good or bad, whereas if the player takes action 2 then the opponents will be presented with a different situation, and in each case the choices they make will determine their own future situation.

Strategies in game theory may be random (mixed) or deterministic (pure). Pure strategies can be thought of as a special case of mixed strategies, in which only probabilities 0 or 1 are assigned to actions.

Strategy based games generally require a player to think through a sequence of solutions to determine the best way to defeat the opponent.

Counterterrorism Strategy

Because counterterrorism involves the synchronized efforts of numerous competing bureaucratic entities, national governments frequently create overarching counterterrorism strategies at the national level. [24] A national counterterrorism strategy is a government’s plan to use the instruments of national power to neutralize terrorists, their organizations, and their networks in order to render them incapable of using violence to instill fear and to coerce the government or its citizens to react in accordance with the terrorists’ goals. [24] The United States has had several such strategies in the past, including the United States National Strategy for Counterterrorism (2018); [25] the Obama-era National Strategy for Counterterrorism (2011); and the National Strategy for Combatting Terrorism (2003). There have also been a number of ancillary or supporting plans, such as the 2014 Strategy to Counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, and the 2016 Strategic Implementation Plan for Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremism in the United States. [24] Similarly, the United Kingdom's counterterrorism strategy, CONTEST, seeks "to reduce the risk to the UK and its citizens and interests overseas from terrorism, so that people can go about their lives freely and with confidence." [26]

See also

Further reading

Related Research Articles

A tactic is a conceptual action or short series of actions with the aim of achieving of a short-term goal. This action can be implemented as one or more specific tasks. The term is commonly used in business, protest and military contexts, as well as in chess, sports or other competitive activities. The word originated from the Ancient Greek τακτική taktike, meaning art of arrangement.

Contemporary business and science treat as a project any undertaking, carried out individually or collaboratively and possibly involving research or design, that is carefully planned to achieve a particular aim.

Strategic planning is an organization's process of defining its strategy, or direction, and making decisions on allocating its resources to pursue this strategy. It may also extend to control mechanisms for guiding the implementation of the strategy. Strategic planning became prominent in corporations during the 1960s and remains an important aspect of strategic management. It is executed by strategic planners or strategists, who involve many parties and research sources in their analysis of the organization and its relationship to the environment in which it competes.

Henry Mintzberg Canadian busines theorist

Henry Mintzberg, is a Canadian academic and author on business and management. He is currently the Cleghorn Professor of Management Studies at the Desautels Faculty of Management of McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, where he has been teaching since 1968.

In the field of management, 'strategic management involves the formulation and implementation of the major goals and initiatives taken by an organization's top managers on behalf of owners, based on consideration of resources and an assessment of the internal and external environments in which the organization operates.

A marketing plan may be part of an overall business plan. Solid marketing strategy is the foundation of a well-written marketing plan so that goals may be achieved. While a marketing plan contains a list of actions, without a sound strategic foundation, it is of little use to a business.

The word ‘dynamics’ appears frequently in discussions and writing about strategy, and is used in two distinct, though equally important senses.

Marketing strategy is a short & long-term, forward-looking approach and an overall game plan of any organization or any business with the fundamental goal of achieving a sustainable competitive advantage by understanding the needs and want of customers.

A strategist is a person with responsibility for the formulation and implementation of a strategy. Strategy generally involves setting goals, determining actions to achieve the goals, and mobilizing resources to execute the actions. A strategy describes how the ends (goals) will be achieved by the means (resources). The senior leadership of an organization is generally tasked with determining strategy. Strategy can be intended or can emerge as a pattern of activity as the organization adapts to its environment or competes. It involves activities such as strategic planning and strategic thinking.

Under Secretary of Defense for Policy United States government position

The United States Under Secretary of Defense for Policy (USDP) is a high level civilian official in the United States Department of Defense. The Under Secretary of Defense for Policy is the principal staff assistant and adviser to both the Secretary of Defense and the Deputy Secretary of Defense for all matters concerning the formation of national security and defense policy.

Strategic thinking is defined as a mental or thinking process applied by an individual in the context of achieving a goal or set of goals in a game or other endeavor. As a cognitive activity, it produces thought.

IT portfolio management is the application of systematic management to the investments, projects and activities of enterprise Information Technology (IT) departments. Examples of IT portfolios would be planned initiatives, projects, and ongoing IT services. The promise of IT portfolio management is the quantification of previously informal IT efforts, enabling measurement and objective evaluation of investment scenarios.

Strategic communication can mean either communicating a concept, a process, or data that satisfies a long term strategic goal of an organization by allowing facilitation of advanced planning, or communicating over long distances usually using international telecommunications or dedicated global network assets to coordinate actions and activities of operationally significant commercial, non-commercial and military business or combat and logistic subunits. It can also mean the related function within an organization, which handles internal and external communication processes. Strategic communication can also be used for political warfare.

Kenneth Richmond Andrews, was an American academic who, along with H. Igor Ansoff and Alfred D. Chandler, was credited with the foundational role in introducing and popularizing the concept of business strategy.

A strategy is a long term plan of action designed to achieve a particular goal.

A strategic military goal is used in strategic military operation plans to define the desired end-state of a war or a campaign. Usually it entails either a strategic change in an enemy's military posture, intentions or ongoing operations, or achieving a strategic victory over the enemy that ends the conflict, although the goal can be set in terms of diplomatic or economic conditions, defined by purely territorial gains, or the evidence that the enemy's will to fight has been broken. Sometimes the strategic goal can be to limit the scope of the conflict.

Strategy implementation is the activities within a workplace or organisation designed to manage the activities associated with the delivery of a strategic plan.

Rear Admiral Joseph Caldwell Wylie, Jr., USN,, was an American strategic theorist, author, and US Naval officer. Wylie is best known for writing Military Strategy: A General Theory of Power Control.

Geoffrey P. Chamberlain's theory of strategy was first published in 2010. The theory draws on the work of Alfred D. Chandler, Jr., Kenneth R. Andrews, Henry Mintzberg and James Brian Quinn but is more specific and attempts to cover the main areas they did not address. Chamberlain analyzes the strategy construct by treating it as a combination of four factors.

Human resource planning is a process that identifies current and future human resources needs for an organization to achieve its goals. Human resource planning should serve as a link between human resource management and the overall strategic plan of an organization. Ageing workers population in most western countries and growing demands for qualified workers in developing economies have underscored the importance of effective human resource planning.

References

  1. στρατηγία, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
  2. Freedman, Lawrence (2013). Strategy. Oxford University Press. ISBN   978-0-19-932515-3.
  3. Freedman, L 2015 Strategy: a history. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  4. Freedman, L 2015 Strategy: a history. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  5. 1 2 Mintzberg, Henry and, Quinn, James Brian (1996). The Strategy Process: Concepts, Contexts, Cases. Prentice Hall. ISBN   978-0-132-340304.
  6. 1 2 Henry Mintzberg (May 1978). "Patterns in Strategy Formation" (PDF). Management Science. 24 (9): 934–48. doi:10.1287/mnsc.24.9.934. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 October 2013. Retrieved 31 August 2012.
  7. Henrik von Scheel and Prof Mark von Rosing. Importance of a Business Model (pp. 23–54). Applying real-world BPM in an SAP environment. ISBN   978-1-59229-877-8
  8. Kvint, Vladimir (2009). The Global Emerging Market: Strategic Management and Economics . Routeledge. ISBN   9780203882917. the global emerging market.
  9. Stacey, R. D. (1995). "The science of complexity – an alter-native perspective for strategic change processes". Strategic Management Journal. 16 (6): 477–95. doi:10.1002/smj.4250160606.
  10. Terra, L. A. A.; Passador, J. L. (2016). "Symbiotic Dynamic: The Strategic Problem from the Perspective of Complexity". Systems Research and Behavioral Science. 33 (2): 235–48. doi:10.1002/sres.2379.
  11. Morin, E. (2005). Introduction à la pensée complexe. Paris: Éditionsdu Seuil.
  12. 1 2 3 Rumelt, Richard P. (2011). Good Strategy/Bad Strategy . Crown Business. ISBN   978-0-307-88623-1.
  13. "American Rhetoric: John F. Kennedy – Cuban Missile Crisis Address to the Nation".
  14. Henderson, Bruce (1 January 1981). "The Concept of Strategy". Boston Consulting Group . Retrieved 18 April 2014.
  15. Liddell Hart, B. H. Strategy London: Faber, 1967 (2nd rev ed.) p. 321
  16. Wilson, Andrew (2012). Masters of War: History's Greatest Strategic Thinkers. The Teaching Company.
  17. Freedman, Lawrence. (2 September 2013). Strategy : a history. Oxford. ISBN   9780199349906. OCLC   858282187.
  18. Giles, LionelThe Art of War by Sun Tzu. Special Edition Books. 2007.
  19. 1 2 Porter, Michael E. (1980). Competitive Strategy. Free Press. ISBN   978-0-684-84148-9.
  20. Kiechel, Walter (2010). The Lords of Strategy. Harvard Business Press. ISBN   978-1-59139-782-3.
  21. Ghemawat, Pankaj (Spring 2002). "Competition and Business Strategy in Historical Perspective". Business History Review. SSRN   264528 .
  22. Chandler, Alfred Strategy and Structure: Chapters in the history of industrial enterprise, Doubleday, New York, 1962.
  23. Mintzberg, H. Ahlstrand, B. and Lampel, J. Strategy Safari : A Guided Tour Through the Wilds of Strategic Management, The Free Press, New York, 1998.
  24. 1 2 3 Stigall, Dan E.; Miller, Chris; Donnatucci, Lauren (7 October 2019). "The 2018 U.S. National Strategy for Counterterrorism: A Synoptic Overview". American University National Security Law Brief. Washington DC. SSRN   3466967 .
  25. "2018 U.S. National Strategy for Counterterrorism" (PDF). White House. October 2018.
  26. "Counter-terrorism strategy (CONTEST) 2018". GOV.UK. Retrieved 20 October 2019.