Strategic Management: Formulation and Implementation

Elements Of Strategic Management

Strategic management, as minimum, includes strategic planning and strategic control. Strategic planning describes the periodic activities undertaken by organizations to cope with changes in their external environments (Lester A. Digman) It involves formulating and evaluating alternative strategies, selecting a strategy, and developing detailed plans for putting the strategy into practice. Strategic planning consists of formulating strategies from which overall plans for implementing the strategy are developed. Strategic control consists of ensuring that the chosen strategy is being implemented properly and that it is producing the desired results.

Based on Robert Anthony's framework, three types of planning and control are required by organizations:

* Strategic Planning and Control - the process of deciding on changes in organizational objectives, in the resources to be used in attaining these objectives, in policies governing the acquisition and use of these resources, and in the means (strategies) of attaining the objectives. Strategic planning and control involve actions that change the character or direction of the organization.

* Management Planning and Control - the process of ensuring that resources are obtained and used efficiently in the accomplishment of the organization's objectives. Management planning and control is carried on within the framework established by strategic planning and is analogous to operating control.

* Technical Planning and Control - the process of ensuring efficient acquisition and use of resources, with respect to those activities for which the optimum relationship between outputs and resources can be accurately estimated (e.g., financial, accounting, and quality controls).

Another important term in the study of strategic management is long-range planning. Long-range planning, planning for events beyond the current year, is not synonymous with strategic management (or strategic planning). Not all long-range planning is strategic. Certain strategic actions and reactions can be relatively short range and may include more than just planning aspects. It is perfectly reasonable to have long-range operating or technical plans that are not strategic. However, it should be noted that most strategic decisions have long-term ramifications.