Strategic Management: Formulation and Implementation

Evolution Of Strategic Management

Several researchers in the field of strategic management have developed models describing the evolution of strategic management. In this section I present Ansoff's model.

H. Igor Ansoff analyzed the changing environmental challenges facing organizations during this century and the managerial responses, competitive strategies, and entrepreneurial strategies employed to cope with them.

According to Ansoff, during the twentieth century, two different types of system have evolved:

* positioning systems (long range planning, strategic planning, strategic position management) which direct the firm's thrust in the environment;

* real-time systems (strong signal issue management, weak signal issue management, surprise management) which respond one at a time to rapid and unpredicted environmental developments.

The systems can be grouped into four distinctive stages of evolution, that were responsive to the progressively decreasing familiarity of events and decreasing visibility of the future:

1. Management by (after the fact) control of performance, which was adequate when change was slow.

2. Management by extrapolation, when change accelerated, but the future could be predicted by extrapolation of the past.

3. Management by anticipation, when discontinuities began to appear but change, while rapid, was still slow enough to permit timely anticipation and response.

4. Management through flexible/rapid response, which is currently emerging, under conditions in which many significant challenges develop too rapidly to permit timely anticipation.