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Classical and contemporary schools academic assignment essay -


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Classical and contemporary schools academic assignment essay -

  1. 1. GET YOUR WORK DONE BY Classical and contemporary schools are two out of the four of schools of strategic management. They are the opposing schools based on the criteria of historical and future trends in strategic management. The classical school of strategic management gathers premises of the founders of strategic management as a scientific field. There are the most basic and historically the oldest rs approaches in handling top management duties and tasks (Mintzberg, 1990). Although the premises are shaped about eighty years ago, they represent the cornerstone of the field still valid today. The premises have been developed though out the years and almost each of contemporary pe premises can be traced back to those years or is formed as the opposing premise of the one dating in the past. Let’s discuss these schools of thoughts with relevance to critical analysis. Pa The Design School “Look before you leap” Strategy Systems as Processes of Conception de Among the schools of strategic thinking, this one explains all prescriptions in the field. The design school suggests a very simple model that shows an essential fit between external threat and opportunity and internal distinctive competence (Ansoff, H.I. 1991). The base line for this ra school is architecture as a metaphor. It is more useful in relatively stable environment. This model is to be kept simple and informal and hence the strategies produced should be unique,pG simple and explicit (Richard A. Swanson et al. 2001). Further, these strategies should be fully formulated before they are implemented. The chief executive is the main strategist. The school suggests that strategy systems are processes of conception. The strategies formulated are clear and unique. In this case the internal situation of the organisation is matched with external situation. Thus the strategy of the organisation is designed to represent the best possible fit. ItTo falls in Prescriptive school category. 1 GET YOUR WORK DONE BY
  2. 2. GET YOUR WORK DONE BY The Planning School “A stitch in time saves nine” rs Strategy Systems as Formal Processes Its main roots underlay in systems thinking and cybernetics. The strategy systems under this school are prescribed to be controlled, decomposed into distinctive steps, conscious processes of pe formal planning, supported by checklists and techniques (Henry Mintzberg 1990). The process is broken into set of steps, which comprises from the analysis of the situation to the execution of strategy. These processes give clear direction and enable firm resource allocation. Chief Pa executive has the core responsibility for the complete process and the execution responsibility rests with staff planners. The strategies by this school are much detailed and full driven. It follows a rigorous set of steps from analysis of the situation to the development and exploration of various alternative scenarios (Mintzberg 1994). Strategies are made explicit so that they can de be implemented through detailed attention to objectives, budgets, programs and operating plans of various kinds. The base disciplines are some links to urban planning, cybernetics and system theory. The strategy may become too static as the predicting is difficult. The category for this ra school is also Prescriptive. The Positioning SchoolpG “Nothing but the facts, ma’am” Strategy Systems as Analytical Processes Its roots lie in economics and military history. The strategy systems focus on strategies that areTo generic, especially common and identifiable. So the market is to be economic and competitive. A major role is played by analysts who communicate their results to the managers that perform the choices. Strategies coming out of this process are first articulated and then implemented. The main focus is on external environment like market structure (Hamel, G. 1996). It places the business within the context of industry and looks for the ways enterprise can improve its strategic positioning within that industry. This school made Strategic Management into a science, enabling future progress (Mintzberg, 1990). It focuses on hard economic facts and it is more 2 GET YOUR WORK DONE BY
  3. 3. GET YOUR WORK DONE BY useful in early stage of strategy development. The strategy formation process places the business within the context of the industry and finds out ways how organisation can improve its competitiveness in the industry. This school neglects power, politics, culture and social elements. It is also a Prescriptive school. rs The Entrepreneurial School pe “Take us to your leader” Strategy Systems as Visionary Processes Pa According to this school, the strategy systems are processes existing mainly in the mind of leader. Strategies are relating to a sense of long term direction or vision of the organisation. The strategy systems are semiconscious and are rooted in the experience and intuition of the leader. The school stresses the most innate of mental states and processes such as intuition, judgment, de wisdom and experience (Ahlstrand, B 1998). The leader is responsible to promote the vision on his own and also responsible for maintaining control of implementation processes. So, entrepreneurial systems tend to be both Deliberate and Emergent. A sound vision and a visionary ra leader can cohesively sail organisation through muddy waters when organisation is going through its difficult years (Mintzberg, Lampel, 1998). These strategies best work out where the companies are owned and managed by a single individual. Entrepreneurial strategy systems arepG argued to tend to take the form of niche strategy, one or more patches of a market position protected from the forces of outright competition. But the question still exits how can you find the right leader with all the needy qualities?To The Cognitive School “I will see it when I believe it” Strategy Systems as Mental Processes Its main roots lye in psychology (cognitive) and strategy systems are prescribed to be cognitive processes that come in strategist’s mind. Strategies emerge in the form of concepts, maps, schemes and frames. These inputs flow through all sorts of distorting filters before they are 3 GET YOUR WORK DONE BY
  4. 4. GET YOUR WORK DONE BY decoded by the cognitive maps (Chaffee, 1985). Its main focus is on how people perceive pattern and process information. It purely focuses on what is happening in the mind of strategist and how that happening is being processed. It stresses the creative side of the strategy process. This is very useful to explain why our minds are imperfect (Mintzberg, H. 1990). As concepts, rs strategies are difficult to attain in the first place, considerably less than optimal when actually attained and subsequently difficult to change when no longer viable (Richard A. Swanson 2001). In this regard various forms of cognition have an influence on how strategy systems are said to pe function, such cognition as confusion, cognition as information processing, cognition as mapping, and cognition as concept attainment. This approach, based upon the science of brain functioning, regards strategy formation as a mental process, and analyzes how people perceive Pa patterns and process information. It is not very practical beyond the conceptual stage and currently not very useful to guide collective strategy process. School category is Descriptive. The Learning School de “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again” Strategy Systems as Emergent Processes Its main roots are also in psychology, strategy systems are processes of learning over time in ra which formulation and implementation activities are intertwined and indistinguishable in nature. The environment of the enterprises is complex and of unpredictable nature. The main focus of management is over time to what does work and what doesn’t work and this learnt lesson ispG incorporated into their overall plan of action (Ansoff, H.I. 1991). As world does not allow strategies to be developed all at once hence, strategies emerge in small steps throughout the journey of enterprise (Jelenc 2009). It offers solution to complexity and unpredictability in strategy formation. It produces strong strategies in complex situations with continuous change.To The learner may be the collective system of the enterprise or leader may be the main leader. This implies that there are many potential strategies in most enterprises (Lampel, 1998). The learning is a process proceeding in emergent fashion, through behaviour that stimulates thinking retrospectively, so that sense can be made of action. Thereby, the role of leadership becomes not to preconceive deliberate strategies, but to manage the process of strategic learning, from which novel strategies can emerge. The base discipline perhaps links to learning theory in psychology 4 GET YOUR WORK DONE BY
  5. 5. GET YOUR WORK DONE BY and education; chaos theory. The champions to this school are people inclined to experimentation, ambiguity and adaptability. This strategy is not useful at all in crises. Also there are costs associated with learning. You should not cross a chasm by taking small steps. The school category is Descriptive. rs The Power School “Look out for number one” pe Strategy Systems as Processes of Negotiation Its roots are in politicology (the study of politics), and strategy systems are described to be Pa shaped by politics and power. Strategies formulated under this are tend to be emergent in nature and takes the forms of positions and ploys. It can be divided into Micro Power and Macro Power (Mintzberg, Lampel, 1998). In micro power, strategies are made through interplay, persuasion, bargaining, direct confrontation and shifting coalitions. On other hand, Macro power sees the de enterprise as promoting its own welfare by making corporations with other enterprises. Strategies are developed as a process of negotiation between power holders within the company and its external stakeholders (Whittington, 1993). It can help the strongest people to survive in the corporate jungle. It also ensures that all aspects of an issue are fully debated. It also can help to ra reduce resistance after a decision is made. Its base line is political science. But it uses a lot of energy, causes wastage and is costly. Further, more badly, it can lead to having no strategy orpG just doing some tactical maneuvering. It overstates the role of power in strategy formation. The school category is Descriptive. The Cultural SchoolTo “An apple never falls far from the tree” Strategy Systems as Collective Processes Its roots in anthropology describes the strategy systems as processes of social interaction, that base on beliefs and understandings shared by members of enterprise (Henry Mintzberg 1990). These beliefs are acquired by acculturation and socialization which are largely nonverbal. Hence the members describe only those beliefs that underpin their culture; while the origin and 5 GET YOUR WORK DONE BY
  6. 6. GET YOUR WORK DONE BY explanations may remain obscure (H. Igor Ansoff 1991). It views the strategy formation process as a collective and cooperative process. The strategy formulated is a reflection of corporate culture of organisation. Its emphasis is on crucial role that social processes beliefs and values are playing in decision making and in strategy formation. The champions include the people who rs like the social, the spiritual and the collective environment. It has the limitation of resistance to change and gives few clues on how things should unfold. The school category is Descriptive. pe The Environmental School “It all depends” Strategy Systems as Reactive Processes Pa This school has its roots in biology, strategy systems are described to react in natural manner with the corporate external environment. The external context is the central factor in strategy making processes. The strategy formulated is a response to the challenges that were imposed by de external environment. If the enterprise does not respond to external forces, that enterprise will not be selected out (Steiner, George Albert1979). In the long run, enterprises end up clustering together in distinct ecological-type niches, positions where they remain until resources become ra scarce or conditions too hostile (Mintzberg et al. 1998). The champions include population ecologists, some organisation theorists and positivists in general. In the long run, it gives the central role in strategy formation to the environment. As the dimensions of the environment arepG vague and aggregated, it becomes less useful for strategy formation. It is unrealistic that it denies real strategic choice that an organisation may have. The school category is Descriptive. The Configuration SchoolTo “To everything there is a season” The base line of this school is History. This school underlay that strategy formation is a process of changing organisation from one type of decision making structure to another (Mintzberg, H. 1990). It matches the organisational shape with strategy as they are closely integrated. Organisations have some stable configurations in its characteristics, which cause to create particular strategies (Kippenberger, T. 1998). But these stability periods are interrupted by some 6 GET YOUR WORK DONE BY
  7. 7. GET YOUR WORK DONE BY processes of transformation. So these strategies do not work for organisations in long run (Lampel, 1998). Key to success in strategic management is to sustain stability or adapting to strategic changes. Therefore, strategy formation itself has configurations. The champions include lumbers and integrators in general and as well as change agents. In reality organisations rs do not have a limited number of valid configurations; also patterns in the eye of beholder are not limited. If reality is prescribes by using configuration, it will distort the reality in order to explain it. pe CONCLUSION: Pa In each of these schools, the strategy formation process is something like “black box” because no one of these schools is able to outline that how an individual or organisation will leap from the collection of information to the conceptualization of alternative courses of action. de In the final analysis, just as none of the blind mens descriptions of the elephant was completely adequate, yet each contained elements of truth, none of these 10 approaches is complete in and of itself, either. Each offers some useful concepts, and some strong points to aid ra understanding, but has its disadvantages or limitations as well, likely:  Still there is room for more classifications of strategy formation  The complexity of these schools, at a glance, may scare the strategistpG But it can’t be denied that these approaches have also helped the strategists in;  Illumination of origins and characteristics of the different schools of thoughts in strategy formation.  Understanding and appreciating differences between strategy formations.To 7 GET YOUR WORK DONE BY
  8. 8. GET YOUR WORK DONE BY REFERENCES rs 1. Ansoff, H.I., (1991 ) Strategic Management Journal “Critique of Henry Mintzberg’s The Design School: Reconsidering The Basic Premises of Strategic Management” , Vol. 21, pp. 98-112 pe 2. Kippenberger, T. (1998), “How strategy is formed? Ten schools of thought”, The Antidote, Vol. 3 No. 6, pp. 11-14. Pa 3. Mintzberg, H. (1990), “Strategy formation: ten schools of thought”, in Fredrickson, J. (Ed.), Published By: KnightRidder de 4. Henry Mintzberg (1990) The Strategic Management Journal “Design School: Reconsidering the Basic Premises of Strategic Management”, John Wiley & Sons 5. Henry Mintzberg (1994), The fall and rise of strategic planning Harvard Business ra Review, vol 72 no 1, pp. 8pG 6. Richard A. Swanson, Elwood F. Holton (2001), Foundations of human resource development, berrett-koehler publishers, Inc. 7. H. Igor Ansoff (1991) Critique of Henry Mintzbergs The design school: Reconsidering the basic premises of strategic management’ available atTo (accessed: 30 August 2009) 8. Mintzberg, H., Ahlstrand, B., Lampel, J. (1998), Strategy Safari A Guided Tour Through the Wilds of Strategic Management,, accessed at 29/08/2009. 8 GET YOUR WORK DONE BY
  9. 9. GET YOUR WORK DONE BY 9. James L. Haye ,"Effective managers live in the present – but concentrate on the future." available at, rs accessed at 31/08/2009 10. Henry Mintzberg, Bruce Ahlastrand (1997), Categorizing the field of strategic pe management , accessed at 27/08/2009 Pa 11. Jelenc, Lara(2009), categorizing the field of strategic management , accessed at 31/08/2009 de 12. Bill Richardson (1994), Comprehensive Approach to Strategic Management, tType=Article&Filename=_published_emeraldfulltextarticle_pdf_0010320805.pdf, ra accessed at 28/08/2009 13. Steiner, George Albert 1979: Strategic Planning, What Every Manager Must Know, ThepG Free Press, New York 14. Chaffee Ellen Earle (1985), Three Models of Strategy, Academy of Management Review, Vol.10, No.1, pp. 175-182To 15. McKiernan Peter (1997), Strategy past: Strategy futures. Oxford: Long Range Planning, Vol.30, no. 5, pp.22-23 16. Ansoff, Igor (1987), The evolution of corporate planning, working paper, Graduate School of Industrial Administration, Carnegie-Mellon University 9 GET YOUR WORK DONE BY
  10. 10. GET YOUR WORK DONE BY 17. Mintzberg Henry (1994), The rise and fall of strategic planning: Reconceiving roles for planning, plans, planners, Free Press (New York and Toranto) 18. Hamel, G.(1996), The core competences of the corporation, Harvard Business Review, rs Vol. 23, pp. 232 19. Whittington, R (1993), What is Strategy and Does It Matter? London: Routledge pe Pa de rapGTo 10 GET YOUR WORK DONE BY