Different approaches to strategy

There are different ways of approaching strategy, some using tool-based analysis and others by management sitting around thinking about it. So, here are the ten approaches to strategy (from the “Sloan Management Review” and the “Ansoff Strategic Management Research Institute”)

Cognitive (mental)

  • H.A Simon & J.March
  • Strategies develop as frames, models & maps
  • The cognitive biases in strategy making

Cultural (collective)

  • E.Rhenham, R.Normann
  • Common interest & integration
  • Strategy formation is a process rooted in culture

Design (conception)

  • P.Selznick
  • SWOT analysis
  • Senior management thinks about strategies

Entrepreneurial (visionary)

  • Schumpeter, AH.Cole, etc
  • Like the design school: based on the CEO
  • “every organization needs a visionary leader”

Environmental (reactive)

  • MT.Hanna, J.Freeman, DS.Pugh
  • The limits imposed upon an organization, contingency theory
  • Not strictly strategic management

Learning (emergent)

  • CE Lindboim, M.Cyert, JG.March, KE. Weick, JB.Quinn
  • Strategies are emergent
  • Strategy making as a learning

Planning (formal)

  • J.Ansoff
  • Not cerebral like “Design”
  • A formalized “design” approach

Positioning (analytical)

  • Purdue University
  • Reduced to analysis of industry positions
  • Impetus from Michael Porter

Power (negotiation)

  • GT.Alison, J.Pfiffer, WG.Astley
  • Two aspects of power: internal, political
  • And external: over partners, alliances, etc

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