The strategic management formulation and implementation methods vary with product profile, company profile, environment within and outside the organization, and various other factors. Large organizations which use sophisticated planning use detailed strategic management models whereas smaller organizations where formality is low use simpler models. Small businesses concentrate on planning steps compared to larger companies in the same industry.
Large firms have diverse products, operations, markets, and technologies and hence they have to essentially use complex systems. In spite of the fact that companies have different structures, systems, product profiles, etc, various components of models used for analysis of strategic management are quite similar.
You must have observed that different thinkers have defined business strategy differently, yet there are some common elements in the way it is defined and understood. The strategic management consists of different phases, which are sequential in nature.
What are these Phases?
There are four essential phases of strategic management process. In different companies these phases may have different, nomenclatures and the phases may have a different sequences, however, the basic content remains same. The four phases can be listed as below.
- Defining the vision, business mission, purpose, and broad objectives.
- Formulation of strategies.
- Implementation of strategies.
- Evaluation of strategies.
It may not be possible to draw a clear line of difference between each phase, and the change over from one phase to another is gradual. The next phase in the sequence may gradually evolve and merge into the following phase. An important linkage between the phases is established through a feedback mechanism or corrective action. The feedback mechanism results in a course of action for revising, reformulating, and redefining the past phase. The process is highly dynamic and compartmentalization of the process is difficult. The change over is not clear and boundaries of phases overlap.
- Strategic management process that could be followed in a typical organization is presented in above figure. The process takes place in the following stages:
- The Strategic Planner has to define what is intended to be accomplished (not just desired). This will help in defining
the objectives, strategies and policies.
- In the light of stage I, the result of the current performance of the organization are documented.
- The Board of Directors and the top management will have to review the current performance of the documented.
- In view of the review, the organization will have to scan the internal environment for strengths and weaknesses and the
external environment for opportunities and threats.
- The internal and external scan helps in selecting the strategic factors.
- These have to be reviewed and redefined in relation to the Mission and Objectives.
- At this stage a set of strategic alternatives and generated.
- The best strategic alternative is selected and implemented through programmed budgets and procedures.
- Monitoring, evaluation and review of the strategic alternative chosen is undertaken in this mode. This can provide a feedback on the changes in the implementation if required. As can be seen, this provides a rational approach to strategic decision-making and it can be successfully practiced by Indian organizations, which now have to operate in a competitive environment.