Strategy

The term strategy has entered the management literature comparatively much later than its use in Military Science. Game theorists have used strategy-in the same sense in which the term policy was used earlier. Therefore, the concept of strategy and various actions involved are quite confusing and, sometimes, even contrasting. At first, the term strategy was used in management in terms of Military Science to mean what a manager does to offset actual or potential actions of competitors. The term is still being used in the same sense though by few only. Originally, the term strategy has been derived from Greek word ‘strategos’ which means general. The word strategy, therefore, means the art of general.

When the term strategy is used in military sense, it refers to actions that can be taken in the light of action taken by opposite party. According to the Oxford Dictionary, ‘military strategy is the art of so moving or disposing the instruments of warfare (troops, ships, aircrafts, missiles, etc.) as to impose upon the enemy the place, time and conditions for fighting by oneself. Strategy ends, or yields to tactics when actual contact with enemy is made.

In management, the concept of strategy is mostly taken in a slightly different form rather than in military form; it is taken more broadly. However, even in this form, various experts of the field do not agree about the precise scope of strategy. In earlier views, strategy was taken in a very comprehensive way.

For example, Chandler, who made a comprehensive analysis of the interrelationship among the environment, strategy, and organization structure has defined the term strategy in 1962 as follows:

“Strategy is the determination of the basic long-term goals and objectives of an enterprise and the adoption of the course of action and the allocation of resources necessary for carrying out these goals.”

Professors at Harvard Business School who have made considerable contributions in the development of strategic management have held similar views. One of them (Andrews) has defined strategy as follows:

Strategy is the pattern of objectives, purpose or goals and major policies and plans for achieving these goals, stated in such a way, so as to define what business the company is in or is to be and the kind of company it is or is to be.

The above two definitions of strategy are quite comprehensive and include objective setting as part of strategy. As against this, Stanford Research Institute, USA takes a different view when it states that strategy is a way in which the firm, reacting to its environment, deploys its principal resources and marshals its main efforts in pursuit of its purpose. Glueck who defines strategy as follows holds almost similar view:

“A strategy is a unified, comprehensive, and integrated plan relating the strategic advantages of the firm to the challenges of the environment. It is designed to ensure that the basic objectives of the enterprise are achieved.

Two approaches of defining strategy, particularly in terms of the actions included in strategy, are different with former approach including objective setting as part of the strategy while latter excluding it. This difference is likely to continue unless we arrive at universally acceptable concept of strategy. For the purpose of this text, strategy is defined as follows:

Strategy is course of action through which an organization relates itself with envi-ronment so as to achieve its objectives.