Strategies: Strategy And The Nature Of Strategy

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1.1: Concept of Strategy
The term ‘strategy’ is derived from the Greek word ‘Strategos’ which means, ‘generalship – the actual direction of military force’ as distinct from the policy governing its development. Therefore, the word ‘strategy’ literally means the art of the general.
A strong military heritage underlines the study of strategic management. Terms such as objectives, mission, strengths and weaknesses first were formulated to address problems on the battlefield.
Strategy is more like a boundary marker defining what a company will do and will not do.
Strategy involves answering three fundamental questions:
a) Where do we compete?
b) How do we compete?
c) How do we execute?
The first two questions constitute strategy formulation and
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The purpose of strategy is to determine and communicate a picture of enterprise through a system of major objectives and policies.
2) Unified direction: Strategy is concerned with providing a unified direction and efficient allocation of an organization’s resources. A well-made strategy guides managerial action and thought. It provides an integrated approach for the organization and helps in meeting the challenges arising out of environmental factors.
3) Contradictory actions: Due to dependence on environmental variables, strategy may involve a contradictory action. An organization may take contradictory actions either simultaneously or with a gap of time.
4) Major course of action: Strategy is a major course of action through which an organization related itself to its environment particularly the environmental factors to facilitate all actions involved in meeting the objectives of the organization.
5) Long-term goals: Strategy involves determination of the basic long-term goals and objectives of an organization. And the adoption of courses of action and the allocation of resources to carry-out those
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b) What is the role of each key functional area in contributing towards the success of the business in the market?
c) How resources will be allocated within the business units?
3) Functional level strategies: For a firm to fulfill its purpose and progress toward its objectives, strategic alternatives within each of the functional areas must be developed, selected and implemented by the management.
Functional strategy is defined as an organizational plan for human resources, marketing, research and development and other functional areas. The functional strategy of a company is customized to a specific industry and is used to back up other corporate and business strategies.
Responsibility for formulating functional level strategies lies with those who are charged with managing the functional area in the business. Thus the functional managers establish performance objectives and strategies that will promote accomplishment of business level objective and strategy. These strategies must be related to each other and to the overall corporate
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