strategy

strategy

[strat-i-jee]

In warfare, coordinated application of all the forces of a nation to achieve a goal. In contrast to tactics, strategy's components include a long-range view, the preparation of resources, and planning for the use of those resources before, during, and after an action. The term has expanded far beyond its original military meaning. As society and warfare have steadily grown more complex, military and nonmilitary factors have become more and more inseparable in the conduct of war and in programs designed to secure peace. In the 20th century, the term grand strategy, meaning the art of employing all the resources of a nation or coalition of nations to achieve the objects of war (and peace), steadily became more popular in the literature of warfare and statecraft.

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A Strategy is a long term plan of action designed to achieve a particular goal, most often "winning." Strategy is differentiated from tactics or immediate actions with resources at hand by its nature of being extensively premeditated, and often practically rehearsed. Strategies are used to make the problem easier to understand and solve.

The word derives from the Greek word stratēgos, which derives from two words: stratos (army) and ago (ancient Greek for leading). Stratēgos referred to a 'military commander' during the age of Athenian Democracy.

Interpretation

Strategy is about choice, which affects outcomes. Organizations can often survive -- indeed do well -- for periods of time in conditions of relative stability, low environmental turbulence and little competition for resources. Virtually none of these conditions prevail in the modern world for great lengths of time for any organization or sector, public or private. Hence, the rationale for strategic management. The nature of the strategy adopted and implemented emerges from a combination of the structure of the organization (loosely coupled or tightly coupled), the type of resources available and the nature of the coupling it has with environment and the strategic objective being pursued. Strategy is adaptable by nature rather than rigid set of instructions. In some situations it takes the nature of emergent strategy. The simplest explanation of this is the analogy of a sports scenario. If a football team were to organize a plan in which the ball is passed in a particular sequence between specifically positioned players, their success is dependent on each of those players both being present at the exact location, and remembering exactly when, from whom and to whom the ball is to be passed; moreover that no interruption to the sequence occurs. By comparison, if the team were to simplify this plan to a strategy where the ball is passed in the pattern alone, between any of the team, and at any area on the field, then their vulnerability to variables is greatly reduced, and the opportunity to operate in that manner occurs far more often. This manner is a strategy. In the field of business administration it is possible mention to the "strategic consistency." According to Arieu (2007), "there is strategic consistency when the actions of an organization are consistent with the expectations of management, and these in turn are with the market and the context."

Noted texts on strategy

Classic texts such as Sun Tzu's The Art of War, written in China 2,500 years ago, the political strategy of Niccolo Machiavelli's The Prince, written in 1513, or Carl von Clausewitz's On War, published in 1832, are still well known and highly influential. In the twentieth century, the subject of strategic management has been particularly applied to organisations, most typically to business firms and corporations.

The nature of historic texts differs greatly from area to area, and given the nature of strategy itself, there are some potential parallels between various forms of strategy (noting, for example, the popularity of the The Art of War as a business book). Each domain generally has its own foundational texts, as well as more recent contributions to new applications of strategy. Some of these are:

See also

References

External links

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