The success or failure of any organization could be linked to how effectively and efficiently the organization coordinates its human resource and other resources. As such, management, which includes key features such as planning, organizing, staffing, leading, and controlling, is a vital aspect of running businesses.
It is imperative to note that there are various styles of management (from which organizational leadership can choose). One of the most commonly adopted management styles/concepts is strategic management. The topic of strategic management is not only a significant area of study to scholars and academic analysts but also a resourceful area for organizational leaders who wish to augment efficacy in the coordination of resources to attain the set goal.
The strategic management concept is a vital breakthrough that has revolutionized management.
This research paper seeks to investigate key issues about the concept of strategic management by focusing on key factors such as its history/and evolution, what the concept entails, its relevance and/or effects, and pertinent regulations.
The concept of strategic management cannot be comprehensively understood or discussed without referring to its inception and evolution. As such, understanding the terminologies and their origin is vital.
First, it is imperative to understand the term ‘strategy’ and its adoption in management. According to Athapaththu, “the word strategy has so many meanings itself and all these meanings are useful, important and relevant to the people who are setting strategy for their organizations and corporation” (p. 124).
The term strategy could be traced back to the pre-modern era where it was used in the military. The Greeks used the term “strategos” in the army with the connotation of marshaling and effectively using weaponry and soldiers and planning to defeat enemies (Athapaththu 124-127).
Management, on the other hand, has a relatively long history going back to 5000 BC. However, the maturation of the management science was realized in the early 20th century when theorists such as Freiderick Taylor and Max Weber revolutionized the view of management.
Strategic management has a history dating back to the past World War ll where business leaders wanted to move their organizations from a relatively stable environment to a dynamic and competitive environment (Athapaththu 124-127). It is also worth noting that formerly, strategic management was considered part of strategic planning.
Pundits consider strategic management a somewhat young discipline, which has evolved over the last few decades borrowing key contributions from diverse fields, especially social sciences (Guerras-Martín, Madhok and Montoro-Sánchez).
Essentially, strategic management involves continuous planning, monitoring, analysis, and evaluation with the intent of realizing and meeting goals and objectives with efficacy (Athapaththu 124-127).
Athapaththu suggested that strategic management is a comprehensive and relatively broader discipline, which involves critical aspects such as organizational environmental analysis “for strategy formulation and the plan of strategy implementation and controlling” (p. 126). Moreover, it is imperative to consider strategic management as a collection of continuing undertakings of strategic analysis, strategic creation, execution, and monitoring (Athapaththu 124-127).
The management technique, therefore, organizes resources in line with vision, mission, and strategy in all aspects of an origination. Outstandingly, the role of strategic management in the preparation of an organization for future projections and providing exact procedural direction should not be confused with prediction, in which strategic management is not involved.
Nevertheless, strategic management is a vital area in management and it involves guiding courses of actions with the intentions of creating and sustaining competitive advantage having the internal and external environments in mind.
Dima provided a five-stage diagram, which can be used in elaborating the key elements and concepts of strategic management.
- Stage 1: Defining the business and formulating the strategic mission
- Stage 2: Establishing the strategic objectives and target performance
- Stage 3: Formulating the strategy in order to achieve the objectives set and performance aimed at
- Stage 4: Implementing and performing the strategic plan
- Stage 5: Assessing the performances and formulating and reformulating the strategic plan and/or its implementation
After stage 5, stages 1 to 4 can be revisited where applicable and/or necessary (Dima 167).
Strategic management can be adopted in different industries. For instance, leaders in healthcare delivery have adopted strategic management in dealing with managerial issues. It is worth noting that various managerial and political issues have affected the health care industry, especially the ratification of the Affordable Care Act (AFA), which is commonly known as Obamacare (Kim 1-7). Moreover, the success of health care is vital and, therefore, selecting the optimally appropriate management approach is significant.
The constant changes and the unpredictable environment in the health care industry have made care providers strategize their policies by becoming more proactive rather than just planning and regulating.
As such, the organizations in the health care industry adopt key concepts of strategic management such as strategic planning to benefit from any changes in internal and external environments and augment the probability of success.
This is realized through having clear purposes, pertinent support, resource planning, and commitment to the realization of hospitals’ goals and objectives to the changes in the environment.
Another industry where strategic management has been adopted is the motor vehicle manufacturing industry (Dima). It is imperative to note that production is central and occupies a fundamental place in vehicle manufacturing industry. As such, appropriate management approaches must be adopted in the product portfolios.
Some of the key inputs in production in the motor vehicle manufacturing industry include material, resources, labor, finances, and informational resources. They are considered critical contributors and, therefore, they ought to be managed effectively to make production processes successful.
Strategic management is adopted in the production elements of vehicle manufacturing industry through the harmonization of the key inputs and resources with the projected demands and environmental changes (Dima).
Other than discussing the application of the strategic management concept at an industrial level, it is imperative to highlight strategic management in specific companies.
A perfect example of companies that have adopted the strategic management concept is the Samsung Electronics Company (Jung). Samsung strategically manages its resources, including human resources, technological and other resources while reinforcing the marketing/manufacturing/design departments to improve competitiveness in the dynamic global market.
For approximately 20 years, Samsung has been incorporating Western business operations into its essentially Japanese methods and, therefore, producing a relatively low cost while not compromising on the quality of production but rather ensuring production at optimal levels.
As such, Samsung’s products are of relatively high quality and meet a critical demand in the global electronics market resulting in drastic transformations from a mediocre OEM manufacturer to a global brand.
Specifically, Samsung adopts the strategic management concept through the generic value chain model (Jung 133-142). Value chain, which is part of strategic management, symbolizes a series of activities in an organization that is intended to augment value to the customer and/or end-user. The model configures and carries out its operations with the sole goal of minimizing the cost of production while augmenting production.
Adopting strategic management through the value chain model has catapulted Samsung production becoming a global leader in research and development, marketing strategies, and branding overtaking brands such as Pepsi, Nike, and American Express among others in approximately two decades.
It is projected that if Samsung adopts strategic diversity and strategic decentralization, it will steadily be moving upwards (Jung 133-142). The figure below, adapted from (Jung 138) is a representation of the Samsung’s transformation through the adoption of strategic management by using the value chain model and observing the global environment in the electronics market.
|Traditional Japanese Practices||Samsung Hybrid||The western business practices|
|Diversification strategy||Diversifying but more focus||Focus strategy|
|Reliance on the Japanese (internal) capital markets||Tapping on the Japanese and the global capital markets||Reliance on external (global) capital markets|
|Emphasize continuous operational improvement while considering pricing and price competition||Focus on continuous improvement while emphasizing research and development, innovation, marketing, and design||Focus on innovation, marketing, design to augment the strength of a brand while emphasizing optimal pricing mechanisms|
|Internal competition||Internal competition, long-term supplier relationships, with considerable degree of competition||Contingent relationship with suppliers based on the demand and supply pricing mechanisms|
|Internal labor market||Interweaving the Japanese labor and the global labor for market-based compensation||External labor with market-based compensation|
|Limited, annual-based, entry-level recruiting||Annual recruiting for entry levels and open recruiting for specialists||Open recruitment for best candidates when needed for all positions|
|Seniority based promotion and compensation||Interweaving seniority-based and merit-based promotions and compensation||Merit-based promotion and compensation|
Another company that has adopted strategic management to augment production, branding, marketing, and customer satisfaction is Toyota Motors Corporation (Loyd 15-30; Rahman, Ho and Jamian 35-43; Chan, Pollard and Piboon 7-17).
Some of the key areas, which Toyota Motors Corporation has adopted strategic management include manufacturing, knowledge transfer among stakeholders, innovation and cost reduction, human resources among other aspects. It is also worth noting that Toyota Motor Corporate adopts the value chain model as discussed under Samsung.
Although Toyota’s success has been evident, recent developments place Toyota in a critical crisis. Pundits have linked the current crisis facing Toyota to a lack of management attentiveness to customers’ complaints, which is an integral aspect of strategic management (Heller and Darling 4-13).
There are apparent links between strategic management and numerous positive aspects such as the company’s competitive advantage, effective use of resources, augmented brand production, improved marketing strategies among other benefits (Guerras-Martín, Madhok and Montoro-Sánchez).
An outstanding advantage of strategic management is the financial benefit (Efendioglu and Karabulut 3-12; Dauda, Akingbade and Akinlabi). Dauda, Akingbade and, Akinlabi researched SMEs in Lagos Nigeria and found that adopting strategic management has a positive correlation with market share and organizational profitability.
Efendioglu and Karabulut examined strategic planning, a core aspect of strategic management, in a transitional economy (Turkey) using a longitudinal study. The study tested a set of organizations to pinpoint possible variations in performance for a specific period when they adopt strategic tools in what was considered a relatively competitive and dynamic market.
It was apparent that there were considerable increases in the adoption of strategic management tools. Nevertheless, neither positive nor negative financial links between the adoption of strategic tools and financial performance were established.
The adoption of strategic management tools, however, was linked to globalization and increased competitive pressures brought by western firms operating in the Turkish economy. As such, using strategic management gives a company a competitive advantage in an open market.
Businesses operating under different economies are subjected to different government regulations. As such, government regulations play critical roles in governing business approaches and strategies, including strategic management.
For instance, the Indonesian regulatory authority has introduced regulatory frameworks governing corporate strategic management in the past, including the Regulation no. 108/200 of 1998 and the most recent Medium Term Development Planning, which is aimed at regulating the corporate environment and the functions of the government (Nurmandi 65-77).
In the US economy, research has revealed that government regulations are concerned with critical issues such as corporate governance, social responsibility, and business ethics (Tayşir and Pazarcık 294-303). As such, it is apparent that there are regulatory frameworks that govern corporate strategic management directly or indirectly.
This paper is based on the thesis that the strategic management concept is a vital breakthrough that has revolutionized management. It is imperative to note that while the science of management dates back to 5000 BC, strategy originated from the Greek civilization, specifically from the military.
However, the art of strategic management is relatively younger, having developed for approximately half a century.
Strategic management is a somewhat comprehensive technique, which involves continuous planning, monitoring, analysis, and evaluation with the intent of realizing and meeting goals and objectives with efficacy while taking into consideration environmental impacts.
It is worth noting that strategic management does not predict the future but instead provides the steps to be followed in the unpredictable dynamic future. Some of the components of strategic management include strategic analysis, strategic creation, execution, and monitoring.
The concept can be adopted in different industries and/or companies, as it is evident in the case of the motor vehicle manufacturing industry, healthcare industry, the Samsung Company, and the Toyota Motor Corporation as discussed in this paper.
Companies and industries that adopt strategic management are likely to have more benefits relative to those that adopt other management techniques. Some of the likely benefits include drastic growth and expansion, like in the case of Samsung, financial benefits, improved branding, augmented marketing strategies, and having competitive advantages. Therefore, companies should consider adopting strategic management techniques to realize the many advantages.
It is imperative to note, however, that the implementation of strategic management should be done within the regulation of the government. As such, corporates should consider the regulatory frameworks that guide and provide for vital elements such as corporate governance, social responsibility, and business ethics.
- Companies should take into consideration vital elements such as corporate governance, social responsibility, and business ethics in their endeavors to adopt the strategic management concept
- More research should be done on strategic management in small businesses, especially in developing economies and economies in the third world
- Research should be done on the regulatory frameworks and their influence on corporate strategic management
- There is a need to carry out an empirical study to establish the link between financial benefits and strategic management, especially in transitional economies such as Turkey
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