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.
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:
- Political strategy
- Military strategy:
- The Art of War, written in the 6th century BC by Sun Tzu
- Strategikon, written in the 6th century AD by the Byzantine emperor Maurice
- Taktikon, by the Byzantine emperor Leo VI the Wise
- On War, by Carl von Clausewitz (19th century)
- Strategy, by Basil Liddell Hart
- On Guerrilla Warfare, by Mao Zedong
- The Influence of Sea Power upon History, by Alfred Thayer Mahan
- The Air Campaign, by Colonel John A. Warden, III
- Makers of Modern Strategy, edited by Peter Paret
- Strategy, by Edward N. Luttwak
- Economic strategy
- Business strategy
- General strategy
- Strategic Theory