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Strategic Management

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Strategic management is the art and science of formulating, implementing and evaluating cross-functional decisions that will enable an organization to achieve its objectives. (Wikipedia, 2007). The process of Strategic Management involves deciding upon and determining the organization’s objective, careful and planned development of policies and designs in order to achieve these objectives and distribution of resources in order to implement these plans and policies in an attempt to achieve the outlined objectives. Strategic Management is closely related to Organization studies and is by far the highest level of managerial activity. The Board of Directors formulates the Strategic Management and the organization’s chief executive officer (CEO) and the executive team is required to perform.

 

“Strategic management is an ongoing process that assesses the business and the industries in which the company is involved; assesses its competitors and sets goals and strategies to meet all existing and potential competitors; and then reassesses each strategy annually or quarterly [i.e. regularly] to determine how it has been implemented and whether it has succeeded or needs replacement by a new strategy to meet changed circumstances, new technology, new competitors, a new economic environment., or a new social, financial, or political environment.” (Wikipedia, 2007).

Strategic Management involves three main processes explained below:

 

Strategy Formulation

Strategy formulation includes performing a situation analysis, self-assessment as well as competitor analysis. Simultaneously, objectives are specified which further includes long-term views, corporate objectives (financial and strategic), tactical objectives and the role of the particular organization in society.

 

Strategic Implementation

This process involves distribution of resources (financial, personnel, time, and technology support). The next step involves assigning tasks or responsibilities to specific individuals or groups and thereafter, monitoring the progress and results. Careful assessment of the process, controlling for variances and making the required adjustments form vital components of this process.

 

Strategy Evaluation

As the term suggests, this process includes evaluation of the efficacy of the organizational strategy implemented.

 

Therefore, successful strategic management must include clearly defined objectives, careful assessment of both the internal and external situation to formulate the strategy, implementing the strategy and making the required adjustments as and when required.

 

The company must possess a clear vision of its long term plans or a clear business vision. This also includes assessing the financial and strategic objectives. “Financial objectives involve measures such as sales targets and earnings growth. Strategic objectives are related to the firm's business position, and may include measures such as market share and reputation”. (quickmba, 2007). The Environmental scan includes the following elements: Internal analysis of the firm, Analysis of the firm's industry (task environment) and External macro environment (PEST analysis).

 

After deriving and inferring the information from the environmental scan the company should be able to carefully identify and address its weaknesses and external threats and evaluate its strengths. A competitive edge in the market in the market can be based on cost or differentiation. 

 

The stage of implementation essentially involves distribution and organization of the company’s resources and staff motivation to achieve the set objectives or goals.

Evaluation and control includes monitoring the strategy and fine-tuning it as required.

 

References 

QuickMBA (2007) “The Strategic Planning Process”

Available from: http://www.quickmba.com/strategy/ strategic-planning/ 

Accessed: 10/25/2007

 

Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia (2007) “Strategic Management”

Available from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Strategic_management

Accessed: 10/25/2007.

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