Richard Whetting in his book entitled “What is strategy – and does it matter? ” presents four generic approaches to strategy formulation, development and implementation in organization. These perspectives on strategy are The Classical approach -? the oldest and still most influential view on strategy relying on rational and careful planning to maximize organization profit Classicists theorist assumes that business environment and organization behavior are predictable, planning are essential to predict future market changes and to prepare strategic plan to adopt to the changes.
Rational analysis and objective decisions allows achieving long-run successes and avoid failures. The Evolutionary approach – more fatalistic approach, seeing the business environment as a jungle in which the main aim of an organization is to survive by being efficient. Business processes and competition between organizations are compared to the biological evolution processes. Rational long-term planning is irrelevant due to unpredictable business environment. Only these organizations which are capable of fitting efficiently to the environment changes may have a chance to maximize theirs profit.
The Processors approach – seeing the rational long-term planning as a futile processes, due to unforeseeable behavior of people and unpredictable business environment. Strategy emerges as a result of pragmatic processes of forecasting and learning. The optimal strategy is not known. The Systemic approach – believing that rational planning is useful, however it is embedded in social system. This strategy perceptive believes that people and theirs behavior are foreseeable and can prepare the rational plan of action. However, the strategy objectives and practices are depended on the social yester in which the strategy is carried out.
The above generic perspectives of strategy differ fundamentally according to: the outcomes of strategy, the processes by which the strategy is made. To illustrate them graphically, these two fundamental differences between four strategy perspectives may be depicted by intersection of two axes (see Fig 1). The vertical axis measures the degree to which the strategy is profit mastication oriented or allows other more pluralistic strategy goals. The horizontal axis considers how formal is the processes of strategy formulation and development.
That is how such the strategy is a result of deliberate planning or whether it emerges accidentally to fall behind with business environment changes. Fig. 1 . Strategy perspectives Source: R. Whetting: What is strategy – and does It matter? , Thomson Learning, London, 2001, p. 9 The Classical and Evolutionary approaches believe that profit mastication is the natural outcome of the strategy making. The strategy perspectives represented by Systemic and Processors theorists are more pluralistic. They see other possible outcomes of the strategy process. They believe that profit is not as much important, as there are other possible outcomes.
These two pairs are completely different according to processes. The Evolutionary and Processors approaches see strategy as emerging from the situations that arise. To be efficient the organization should fit to the present business environment, exploit opportunities and harness strengths to avoid threats. From Classical and Systemic perspectives strategy is seen as a rational and deliberate process of careful long term planning. However, systemic theorists believe that strategy is strongly embedded in particular social system, and the organization objectives may be seen trough the objectives of the locally dominant group of peoples.