Strategy

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Strategy (Greek "στρατηγία"—stratēgia, "art of troop leader; office of general, command, generalship"[1]) is a high level plan to achieve one or more goals under conditions of uncertainty. Strategy is important because the resources available to achieve these goals are usually limited.

Henry Mintzberg from McGill University defined strategy as "a pattern in a stream of decisions" to contrast with a view of strategy as planning,[2] 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."[3]

Management theory[edit]

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."[4]

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." He continued that: "The essence of formulating competitive strategy is relating a company to its environment."[5]

Henry Mintzberg described five definitions of strategy in 1998:

  • Strategy as plan – a directed course of action to achieve an intended set of goals; similar to the strategic planning concept;
  • Strategy as pattern – a consistent pattern of past behavior, with a strategy realized over time rather than planned or intended. Where the realized pattern was different from the intent, he referred to the strategy as emergent;
  • Strategy as position – locating brands, products, or companies within the market, based on the conceptual framework of consumers or other stakeholders; a strategy determined primarily by factors outside the firm;
  • Strategy as ploy – a specific maneuver intended to outwit a competitor; and
  • Strategy as perspective – executing strategy based on a "theory of the business" or natural extension of the mindset or ideological perspective of the organization.[6]

Military theory[edit]

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).[2]

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".[7] Hence, both gave the pre-eminence to political aims over military goals.

Strategies in game theory[edit]

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.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ στρατηγία, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
  2. ^ a b http://faculty.fuqua.duke.edu/~charlesw/LongStrat2010/papers/class%2010/Patterns%20of%20Strategy%20Formulation.pdf
  3. ^ Kvint, Vladimir (2009). "The Global Emerging Market: Strategic Management and Economics". Routeledge. 
  4. ^ Chandler, Alfred Strategy and Structure: Chapters in the history of industrial enterprise, Doubleday, New York, 1962.
  5. ^ Porter, Michael E. (1980). Competitive Strategy. Free Press. ISBN 0-684-84148-7. 
  6. ^ Mintzberg, H. Ahlstrand, B. and Lampel, J. Strategy Safari : A Guided Tour Through the Wilds of Strategic Management, The Free Press, New York, 1998.
  7. ^ Liddell Hart, B. H. Strategy London:Faber, 1967 (2nd rev ed.) p. 321

Further reading[edit]

  • Freedman, Lawrence. Strategy: A History (2013) excerpt
  • Kvint, Vladimir. The Global Emerging Market: Strategic Management and Economics (2009) Excerpt from Google Books

External links[edit]