What is Strategy?
Porter(1996) is a response to the issues raised by scholars after hepublished “Competitive Strategy” and “Competitive Advantage”in 1980 and 1985 respectively. Among the issues raised by scholars inthe field of management is the role of hypercompetition andoperational effectiveness in modern management. Liddell-Heart’s“Eight Maxim of Strategy” and Porter “What is a Strategy”give insight into the meaning of strategy and how it works in modernday management.
Tacticsare measures put in place to deal with competitors. From thisperspective, businesses are very aggressive and may use marketing mixto get better than competitors. To Porter (1996), hypercompetition,creates a mutually destructive competition. A tactic is like acompetitive strategy firms aim to be different from and competitivethan the rest. Lindel-Hart’s first maxim advises firms to adjust totheir means (Nickols, 2016). The current external environment andgrowth trap inflict pressure on organizations to work towardsoperational effectiveness, ignoring strategic choices (Porter, 1995).Similar activities cannot access all customers, produce all varietiesand meet all needs. Therefore, firms should position basing onaccess-based, needs-based and variety-based positioning.
Asa core for running business, strategy reflects the enterprise. Bythis, Porter meant that the uniqueness of the competitive advantagereflects in the strategy and the entire system as opposed to criticalresources, core competences and individual strengths. Also, Porternotes that using a definite strategy will isolate activities.Strategy can be described as positioning in the enterprise that makesit unique and competitive, giving direction on what to do and how todo it and culminating in long-term competitive advantage. Thisrelates to the maxim of taking a line of operation which offersalternative objectives (Lindell-Hart). Strategy guides an enterprisetowards operational efficiency while at the same time downplays therole of strategic position.
Asan illustration, Wal-Mart can only gain competitive advantage if theyrely on a mix of values and different unique activities. This relatesto Lindell-Hart’s maxim of keeping your objective in mind andadjusting basing on circumstances (Nickols, 2016). Wal-Mart sellsbrand name products that are of high quality however, recognizingthat competitors are more likely to use low cost strategy, they haveeffectively managed their supply chain and kept their prices low(Hayden, Lee, McMahon, Pereira, 2002).The supply chain has taken advantage of advanced technology andwarehousing management to achieve this strategy.
Hayden,p. Seung L., K. McMahon, Pereira. P. (2002). Wal-Mart:Staying on Top of the Fortune 500 A Case Study on Wal-Mart StoresInc.George Washington University.
Porter,M. E. "WhatIs Strategy?" HarvardBusiness Review 74,no. 6 (November– December 1996): 61–78
FredNickols (2016) EightMaxims of Strategy From Sir Basil H. Liddell-Hart
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