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Early Periods Strategy Essay

The term strategy has over the years expanded its meaning from its original meaning of military tactics. According to Richard Betts (2008), strategy is an important ingredient for making war as well as providing a link between military and political ends . It is a scheme that offers a rationale of how military forces arrive at purposes worth the piece in treasure and blood. Although strategy is essential for fulfilling goals while ignoring uncertainties in the future, it does not mean that the operations planned always produce the outcome desired.

Many skeptics argue that war is by its nature unpredictable and the outcome too complex for anybody to comprehend or manipulate. And as the paper explains, when strategy is an illusion then it cannot be a legitimate instrument of policy. While the society and the warfare have steadily progressed hence becoming more complex, the nonmilitary and military ideas have transformed to become more inseparable in the running of program like war and peace securing missions. Strategy can be defined as a tactic, but on the contrary its component has a wide range of view.

Strategy can be described as preparation of varying resources and also planning for the use of the resources

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after or before an action . In the 20th century, a new term “grand strategy” became more popular in the warfare and statecraft literature. Grand strategy means the art of bringing together resources of a nation or coalition of several nations towards the object of war. Looking at the traditional approach to strategy, it lies with the same assumption that by applying a set of analytical tools one can predict the future so accurately and that one can choose a clear strategic direction for it.

During the early period, policy makers were fond of ignoring uncertainties in strategy making. According to Chase (2003), when the future is truly uncertain this traditional approach is at best marginally helpful although at times downright dangerous. He explained that when uncertainties are underestimated, they may easily lead to strategies that cannot defend an organization against the threats or take full advantage of the opportunity that greater levels of uncertainties provide . The development of structures of state especially in Western Europe during 16th-17th centuries is what gave birth to modern strategy.

According to Khan (2004), war makes the state and at the same time state makes the war. The strategy for centralizing bureaucracies and the taming of independent aristocrats resulted into an ever more powerful army and navies. As the statecraft system became more and more secularized so did the strategy turned more subtle. The thirty years’ war between 1618-1648 commonly known as the rapine and massacre for example yielded to wars fought for raison to advance the interest of the ruler and the state through the that ruler .

Chase (2003) observes that the early modern period strategy so the return to classical roots. As the drill masters were busy studying ancient Roman text books to recover strategy as an instrument of policy, so did the strategist resumed to classical world to such for foreign policies that believed to shape the conduct of war . The invention of a gun powder is one of the early modern strategies which so the shattering of dominance of defense and also development of new centralized state.

According to Khan (2004), a more powerful city was made a strong obstacle to move at the same time requiring a great deal of time reduce it. The strategists then constructed the belt of fortified cities together with a country frontier which was a keynote for peace conception. Military organizations were made easier and predictable by the early modern strategy. Historians cite a series of development which was rarely noticed before: an example of these developments was the ancillary science, construction of roads and cartographies e. t. c.

Also Strategy began to appear like a technique rather than an art, a science rather than a craft. It is not surprising that Hanri Baron the military historians noticed the sudden emergency of military school and high scientific and reforming bent . Also military literature grew while officer began to study various course including engineering. At that time war began to be viewed as a profession that needed to be mastered by use physical labor and intellectual mind . Although strategy is an association between means and ends it has over the years gained an application outside warfare and statecraft.

The term is today more associated with business political campaign and the theory of games among other activities in the modern times . Strategic planning is not confined on single strategist, planning in organization is done by working groups and committees. Over the years the ability to create quality strategy remains the basis of every organizational success. Making of Strategy and implementation shapes management and corporate successes with effectively formulated strategies being the essence of organizational profitability.

Although scholars agree that the right strategy is not all what is needed for success (implementation is also important), it is nonetheless imperative, and forms the foundation of effective management process. Strategy must therefore be well understood by every stakeholder in an organization since in most cases; an organization operates and is aligned around its strategies. However According to Rumelt and Schendel the idea of using committee was also used in the ancient times .

Organizations and political parties implements strategic planning as a deliberate process in which with the involvement of a wide range of stakeholders, top executives periodically formulate the firm’s strategy. Strategic planning process is guided by its mission that in turn prescribes its objectives. Based on the objectives, the existing situation in an organization is analyzed leading to the strategy formulation. Based on a field review of its strategic creation process using Mintzberg’s Ten Schools of Thought, the configuration school best describes organization strategic creation process for many companies.

This according to Barney (2008) is because the company’s strategy formation process over the years has been a transformative one . But according to critique one in Betts (2008), Strategy is an illusion since it is very impractical; to judge to make judgment in advance about which risk is reasonable that the other or which strategy is justifiable than the other. When observers confuse what they know concerning the result of the past choices of strategy with what they expect strategist to have before testing of choices, the illusion persist . Situational analysis also forms a critical foundation of organizational strategy.

The Environmental school is observable in this situation as many organizations have over the years implemented a cross-section of its strategies in reaction to prevailing environmental conditions. A company analyzes its external and internal environments thereby describing its strengths, weaknesses in addition to existing opportunities and threats . It is through the situational analysis that large amounts of information on the company are gathered and which forms the basis of strategy formulation. It is based on the formulated strategies that the implementation process occurs .

Organizations are basically social structures which are utilized by individuals to acquire potential to reach certain levels of achievement that might otherwise be unachievable. Man is by nature social and always seeks to join with others to realize their common goals. Also organizations represent a form of social order. Strategy is an illusion because outcomes do not follow plans. According to critique two in Betts (2008) the problem that arise before the facts mostly appear to estimate the risk but the record after the facts suggest pure uncertainty.

For skeptics, the chances against working a strategy are very high. To make this easier, all strategy can be rationalized and that a strategy must be chosen. For useful strategy, an adequate criterion for determining between smart and stupid strategies is essential. A successful strategy also must arrive at an objective with a reasonable and acceptable cost. But the notion of acceptable cost can at times bring controversy; economist observes that sunk cost should not influence decisions while psychologists argue that they do. Judgment concerning acceptable cost is necessary however imprecise it may be.

Therefore there is no need basis at all on which to decide why some causes are more worth than others . Rarely, do managers know the importance of strategic management even in the high uncertainties caused by external factors such as competition. In his critique three Betts (2008) argues that a Strategy is an illusion because leaders seems never understand what basic motives drives them, therefore they easily lie to themselves about what exactly they are trying to do. Today more than ever, organizations need to internalize the essential strategies for growth.

Looking at the Mckinsey model, Mckinsey (1992) elaborates that the business should base their growth strategies on four things: operational skills, privileged assets, growth skills, and special relationships. According to him operational skills are the major competencies that a business can have and it is the foundation for growth strategy. Moreover, utilize the privileged assets is essential for penetrating the market. The privileged assets are the very assets which are held by the business which are hard to copy by the competitors. This include in our company, the direct marketing based businesses and well established brand.

When the environment is predictable most organizations are adapters. Strategy analysis is designed to foresee an industries future landscape. .strategy also involves deciding on position choices concerning how and where to compete. Organizations also need the growth skills to be able to successively manage the growth strategy. Special relationship was the last key requirement in the Mckinsey model. These are kind of unique relationship threat a business may have with the trade bodies that can allow penetration to the competition easier. The model proposed seven ways of achieving growth which were distributed between existing products .

In the wake of twenty first century and the reality of globalization, changes in technology coupled with increasing competition have brought with it complexity in modern management . Organizational strategies are crucial to the overall managing of the organization with specific reference to an organization arrangement. Organizations that work with many branches require a clear distinction between the strategies at the corporate level. According to Porter (1980), planning strategically has become a key to success in almost all if not all organizations .

But many Strategists are limited by the cognitive constraints of their individual thought process to see the association between and ends or to make calculation comprehensively. According to Betts (2008) critique four, leaders do not in most cases know what urges specifically drives their choices. Although the aims and objectives are not displaced within the mind, strategic selection of required means relies on physiology of perception . Conclusively, although execution of a plan is more important, clear vision evident in the formulation of effective strategies are the primary essentials to organization success.

Strategy should be understood and interpreted in terms that are understandable and that can be acted upon List of References Barney, J. (2000). Companies resources and continued competitive advantage. Journal of Management, 17(1): 99-120. Chase, Kenneth. War strategy: A Global History to 1700, Cambridge University Press, 2003 Betts, K. R. Is Strategy An Illusion? London: MIT PRESS, 2008 Hugh G. C. , Kirkland, J. Strategy under uncertainty. New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin Press, 1999. Hofer, C. W. , & Schendel, D. Strategy Formulation: Analytical Concepts. St. Paul, MN: West Publishing Co.

, 1978 Mckinsey, R. B. Driving development through Innovation. London: Prentice Hall, 1992 Rumelt, R. , Schendel, D. Fundamental issues in Strategy: A research agenda. Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 2002 Kostrzewa, W. Managing the External Factors in Organizational Process. Homewood, Illinois: Irwin, 2003, pp. 62. Khan, A. I. Gunpowder in the Firearms: Warfare in Medieval era, Oxford University Press. 2004 Porter, M. Competitive Strategy. New York: Free Press, 1980. Otley, J. Companies resources and continued competitive advantage. Journal of Management, 17(1) 2000: 99-120.

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