This book is meant to complement a course in strategic management composed primarily of a simulation game and cases. The book is distinctive in its coverage of strategy implementation from a psychologist's point of view. Coverage of strategy formulation is basic, to encourage students to invest time and effort in the game and cases. Even so, this book neither includes nor recommends any particular game, nor does it include or recommend a particular set of cases.
- Strategic management is an area of study that examines the problems of maximizing organizational effectiveness from the perspective of executives at the highest command level of the organization’s hierarchy. If the organization consists of a single firm, the problems are referred to as business-level problems. If the organization consists of a group of firms under common ownership, the problems are referred to as corporate-level problems. Solutions to these problems are called strategies.
- The goal of strategy implementation is to realize the organization’s vision as articulated by its leaders. Executives implement strategies through subordinates. The strategy might be one that the executive is told to implement exactly as formulated, one that the executive has decided, or one that the executive seeks to develop in collaboration with subordinates. In all three instances, face-to-face meetings are necessary to reach a mutual understanding between executive and subordinates.
- Simulation games give practice in strategy implementation, for practice requires action that games demand. In a game, as in life, no action is an action and no strategy is a strategy.
- Cases give practice in strategy formulation. A case may be fictional or real. When real, the case may be set or live.
- The process of strategy formulation is the process of finding solutions to problems. The goal is to arrive at the best strategy, which is one that is (a) supported by the facts of the problem situation, (b) practical, and (c) aligned with the mission of the organization and the vision of its leaders.
- A strategy is a plan with actionable elements. Many strategies fall readily into one of a small number of common types. A type is not a strategy, because a type is not a plan. When a strategy fits into a type, however, the strategy may be immediately assessed as better or worse because of its type.
- Good ideas are not good because they are the same ideas that have been successful elsewhere. Good ideas are good because they are based on facts of the problem situation. Inasmuch as the task of strategic management is to formulate and implement good ideas, the search for good ideas should always start by studying the facts that are known. Theory can be helpful in organizing and clarifying the facts.