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REFLECTION JOURNAL #1

The strategies that an organisation’s managers pursue have a major impact on its performance. So, what is strategy and does strategy matter? Discuss, making reference to the different perspectives on strategy.

The strategies that an organisation’s managers pursue have a major impact on its performance. Strategy is a complex concept that involves a lot of various processes and activities within an organisation. There are many different definitions provided for strategies but Mintzberg’s 5 Ps of strategy has helped me most to understand the complex definition of strategy among different theories. Professor Henry Mintzberg of McGill University in Montreal, Canada, points out that strategy can be viewed as a plan, ploy, position, pattern, and perspective (Ketchen, and Short, 2012, p 10-11).

Strategic Plan is the core strategy because every organisation creates a strategic plan to guide its future. It is a carefully designed set of steps that a firm intends to follow to become successful. I can relate this process to earning my college degree as a key step in my strategic plan for my future career. The second way to view strategy is in terms of ploys. It is a move to trick competitors that involves using creativity to enhance success. Strategy as pattern focuses on the extent to which a firm’s actions over time are consistent. For instance, Apple is very consistent in its strategic pattern as it always responds to competitive challenges by innovating. The next P is position. Strategy as position refers to a firm’s place in the industry relative to its competitors. McDonald’s, for example, has long been and remains the clear leader among fast-food chains. The fifth and final P shifts the focus to inside the minds of the executives running a firm. Strategy as perspective refers to how executives interpret the competitive landscape around them. I believe that because every person is unique, two different executives could look at the same event such as a new competitor emerging and attach different meanings to it. One might just see a new threat to his or her firm’s sales; the other might view the newcomer as a potential ally (Ketchen, and Short, 2012, p 11-16). Strategic management matters a lot because it focuses on firms and the different strategies that they use to become and remain successful. This is similar I believe, to earning a college degree, a life experience I am currently undergoing myself. Life is full of unexpected twists and turns, so maintaining flexibility is wise for individuals planning their career strategies

as well as for firms. Multiple views of strategy exist, and the 5 Ps described by Henry Mintzberg enhance understanding of the various ways in which firms conceptualise strategy. Most organisations create intended strategies that they hope to follow to become successful. Over time, however, changes in an organisations situation give rise to new opportunities and challenges. Organisations respond to these changes using emergent strategies. Realised strategies are a product of both intended and emergent strategies (Ketchen, and Short, 2012, p 18-22). I have learned that the five steps of the Strategy Making Process are goal setting, external analysis, internal analysis, strategy formulation, and strategy implementation. The process analyses the major initiatives taken by organisation’s top management, involving resources and performance in external environments. It entails specifying the organisation's mission, vision, and objectives; developing policies and plans, often in terms of projects and programs that are designed to achieve these objectives; and then allocating resources to implement the policies and plans, projects and programs. Every organisation’s future depends on its leader (Hill, and Jones, 2012, p 10-20). Therefore, the strategies and actions that the leader is going to take are extremely vital as it will thoroughly reflect on the organisation’s performance status.

Having read and analysed the importance of strategy to organisations, I have realised that strategy is also important to individuals because it can be also applied by them in several ways. To sum up, a good strategy helps both organisations and individuals to achieve their best in what they do in life. I genuinely do believe that strategic management is extremely important in every organisation as it examines how actions and events involving leaders, organisations, and industries influence a firm’s success and failure. I have significantly developed my knowledge of strategies.

References:

Hill, C. W.L., Jones, G. R. (2008). Strategic Management Theory, Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.

Ketchen, D., Short, J. (2012). Short Strategic Management: Evaluation and Execution. Retrieved from http://2012books.lardbucket.org/books/strategic- management-evaluation-and-execution/index.html