Sample Essay On Strategic Schools Of Management: An Overview

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Strategy, Management, Education, Students, Competition, Organization, Market, School

Pages: 7

Words: 1925

Published: 2021/01/07


The modern business world consists of the engagement of competitive brilliance processed through experiments based on changing principles and expectations about the organizational objectives. As the market conditions are subject to frequent changes, the managers of organizations need to adopt the suitable mechanisms and methods to substantiate the impacts of the exercise of new plans and policies. The changes in the environments and prospects of the organizations require their leaders to introduce and implement fresh strategies according to the nature and scope of the business. Hence, a deviation from the conservative business ideologies becomes the immediate solution for the leaders to address the rapid changes in the market conditions, for which they adopt tactical methods to resolve the issues with immediate effect. In course of time, the practice of arranging a potential mechanism on an emergency basis became a reliable idea for the business organizations globally and a new branch of study emerged in the name of strategic management. Over the time, the concept of strategic management has evolved into a comprehensive school of thought for organizational leaderships comprising the theoretical assumptions of a number of management intellectuals. This essay will investigate the pragmatic nature of the philosophical teachings of some of the strategic schools of management advocated by prominent researchers and management scientists.

Schools of Strategic Management

The involvement of collective enthusiasm at the top level management becomes an increasing necessity when the organizations move towards economic pitfalls resulting from the market shifts. As a result of the researches and findings for sustainable management models, the concept of dealing with the change dynamics took the name strategy. The exercise of strategies in an organization after the thoughtful decision making by the top level management for the benefit of the owners of business became the essential function of the strategic management ideology. According to Pealow (n.d.), “Strategic management can be defined as the art and science of formulating, implementing, and evaluating cross-functional decisions that enable an organization to achieve its objectives” (Pealow ). Strategic management is an increasing demand of the organizations in the modern business era which makes the challenges before the managers tougher, given the intensity of the competition in the global market. The techniques and methods applied in the process of implementing strategic management do not have a constant nature as they are subject to changes according to the variability of the requirements. One of the most significant features of strategic management is the uncertainty of the rewards it renders to the business. As the assumption prevails, the efforts of the strategic leadership become fruitful if the stakeholders of the organization understand and accept the changes and keep faith in the process until the designed action completes its course.
Strategic management in a wider sense is about managing immediate and imminent changes; therefore it is important to overview this concept as a subject for detailed scholastic learning approach. As such, the thoughts of different scholars about the way management principles change according to the market dynamics and organizational requirements form different schools of strategic management. There are a number of strategic schools of management as devised by different scholars with each of them focusing on a similar objective but through various perspectives. The management philosophers such as Michael Porter, Henry Mintzberg, Bruce Henderson, Robert Kaplan, Gary Hamel, Jim Collins etc are some of the pioneer strategists of modern management techniques. The input of the research details and the concise documentation of the findings based on studies make the academic literature used in the presentation by these authors highly authentic and approvable for references in higher education in strategic management practices.
Among the sets of thoughts developed under the strategic schools of management, Michael Porter’s school stands as a prominent model for the modern managers. Porter’s versatility in professional excellence has helped him contribute immensely to the field of management studies in the modern economic world. Being the first researcher to develop sophisticated methods to design the competitive strategy to deal with the economic and social changes, Porter has the distinct name as the father of strategic management. Porter’s researches on strategies have provided fundamental bases for organizations at various levels. The principles advised by this great scholar for the better visions of strategy and competitiveness in the economic sector have seen the growth of institutions and organizations at national, state and city levels in many countries. Porter identified that the formulation of a competitive strategy depends on the nature and objective of the competition and the policies required for the accomplishment of the organizational goals. In a specific way, competitive strategies are the organizational journey to the competitive goals with the policies designed for competing.
According to Porter’s evaluation, the quality of the formulation of management strategies depends on the strength of the five forces such as threat of entry, power of suppliers, power of buyers, threats of substitutes and rivalry among existing competitors (Porter, 2008). These forces affect the market competition differently. The new entrants can attract the market share only by compromising with prices which effectively risks the capital structure of the company. Organizations are subject to another major threat from the superior power of suppliers who are the facilitators for the company’s business. The power of buyers influences the prices of products and services; therefore, a price comparison by the customers gives room for unhealthy competitions in the market. The force from the substitutes is another potential factor that requires the strategies for product development. From the perspectives of Porter (2008), rivalry among the existing competitors makes strategic planning a tough task for the management if the competitors are countless and the products and services are identical to those of the company. Hence the strategies are basically about making a competent position for the organization in the competitive market. From his perspective, competitive strategy appears like a wheel for which goal is the core around which operative inputs are settled. Hence, the managerial attempts to direct the efforts towards the goals depend on the quality of the strategic inputs which can influence the internal and external factors of competition.
Henry Mintzberg approached the concept of strategy with a clear ideological support for the thought process involving the brainstorming of opportunities and the ways to accomplish them. He was of the original view that framing strategies is a difficult task for the managers as the end focus of the plans aimed at the responses of the competitors. Mintzberg’s findings on emergent strategies counter the arguments of Porter’s models in their fundamental reliability. Even though Porter’s strategic management models have impacted the management studies for a long time, their relevance in the present day environment faces a challenge because of the changes occurred in the market conditions over the time. Mintzberg has designed a series of ten schools of strategies such as the design school, the planning school, the positioning school, the entrepreneurial school, the cognitive school, the learning school, the power school, the cultural school, the environmental school and the configuration school (Mintzberg, Ahlstrand & Lampel, 1998). These schools were developed in a course of nearly two decades, and have undergone timely evolutions in their perspectives. The first three schools of strategies describe the scientific approach through which a leadership can formulate their immediate strategies. The conceptual approach of the cognitive, learning, power and cultural schools takes into consideration the important factors involving the process of the strategy formation. Mintzberg’s special focus was on the reality that strategies influenced the organizations only if they fulfilled the demands of the external conditions. This specific function is a collective endeavor of the school of culture and the school of configuration. By the term configuration, the strategist means the allocation of the right input at the right place on the basis of the formulations of strategic plans and the process involved in making its physical shape. According to the evaluation of Mintzberg, et al (1998), strategies appear as consortium of five elements called Five Ps which consists of plan, ploy, pattern, position and perspective (pp.9-14). According to this view, strategy as a plan makes occurs when the leaders decisions for prospective actions with purposeful insights. When strategy comes like a ploy, it makes a sensation in the market by alerting the competitors about the changes an organization initiates in the imminent future. By the term pattern, a strategy demands the leaders to consistently maintain the functioning of the planned actions. The function of strategy as position is meaningful when a company’s strategy finds it a place in the competitive environment in which it can fight or cooperate with the competitors. The identity of strategy as a perspective is about giving a conceptual definition to the strategy as a matter of individual understanding and acceptance. This role of strategy is what makes a company look unique in the way it tries to present itself in the market.
A theoretical diversion of strategic management occurred in the recent past by the intervention of Robert S. Kaplan who simplified the course of strategic thinking. His views have been effective and fitting the contexts of the modern environment which requires the potentials of diversity management. In this new development, strategies have become a collective response of the managers to the issues surfacing from the comprehensive evaluation of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threat associated with the management of an organization. Kaplan believes that the essence of leadership depends on the quality processes it undertakes to assess the employment of the strategies designed for acquiring the preset objectives. According to Kaplan and Norton (2005), while most organizations have their offices in almost all traditional departments, the absence of an office of the strategy management is an alarming reality. As a result, Kaplan in association with David Norton has designed an evaluation mechanism called balanced scorecard which assesses the performance of different levels of management within the organizational framework with the objective of meeting the organizational goals. The balances scorecard approach helps the managers to not only evaluate the strategic performance, but also provides the platform for making strong plans by considering the equation between the effect of internal functions and the external consequences of them experience in the market conditions.
The Balanced Scorecard approach designs the strategic management as a team by placing the top level managers as the planners and decision makers. The core process of the strategy management consists of the stages such as score card management, organization alignment, strategy reviews. More precisely, while the desirable office of strategy management includes strategy planning, strategy communication and initiative management, the integrative processes initiate the functions such as planning and budgeting, workforce alignment and best practice sharing across the organizational structure (Kaplan & Norton, 2005, pp.5-9). As the new focus goes to the performance evaluation based on strategic responses to contingency issues; the BSC model of strategic management appears more feasible for the improvement of competency inside the organizational structure. Hence, a strong structure of strategic inputs can yield a reliable output in the targeted area if the strategic leadership can exercise the strategic functions as per the plans and schedules of action.


Strategic management is an ever-fresh topic for researchers because of the changing market conditions and the expectations about the organization’s performance. The core focus of a strategy is finding immediate solutions to the internal and external issues in the organizational function with balanced treatment of distributed leadership under top level supervision. Different writers have interpreted and criticized the views expressed by the management scientists with regards to strategic management thoughts. Pioneer schools of strategic management designed by Porter and Mintzberg advocated the bases of formulating and processing strategic plans and actions with their models such as Five Forces and Five Ps respectively. Even though these strategic schools of thought remain the fundamental learning platforms for management studies, the modern approaches to strategic management as Kaplan’s have more relevance and applicability in the present trend of the global market in which better performance is the best prevailing strategy.


Kaplan, R. S & Norton, D. P. (2005). Creating the Office of Strategy Management. Working Paper. Paper 05-071. Retrieved from
Mintzberg, H., Ahlstrand, B & Lampel, J. (1998). Strategy Safari. New York: The Free Press.
Pealow, J. (n.d.). Strategic management and accountability for first nations. Aboriginal Financial Officers Association of Canada. Retrieved from
Porter, M. E. (2008). The five competitive forces that shape strategy. Harvard Business Review, retrieved from

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