What Is Strategy and Does It Matter

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Richard Whittington's book 'What is Strategy and Does it Matter' delineates and differentiates4 approaches to strategy - classical, evolutionary, processual & systemic."What is Strategy - and Does it Matter?(2002)" by Richard Whittington revolves around four different views on strategy or the "theories of action" in business strategy : the classical planning approach; the efficiency-driven evolutionary approach; the craft-like processualapproach; and the internationally-sensitive, systemic approach. The Classical Approach to Strategy According to Whittington, for classicists profitability is the highest goal of business and rational planning as the means to attain it. Whittington quoted Alfred Sloan, former President of General Motors, who laid out the cornerstone for the Classical strategy based on profit. In his biography My Years with General Motors he said: The strategic aim of a business is to earn a return on capital, and if in any particular case there turn in the long run is not satisfactory, the deficiency should be corrected or the activity abandoned. (1963:49)To sum it up, Classical approach to strategy requires that managers be ready and capable of adopting profit-maximizing strategies through rational long-term planning. Evolutionary Approach on Strategy Evolutionary approaches do not rely on top management’s skill to plan and act rationally. Instead of depending on managers, they believe that markets will determine profit maximization and not the managers. Whatever methods the managers will adopt, the best performance will be the ones that survive. Rational methods are not the basis for this approach because it is ‘evolution that is nature’s cost-benefit analysis’ (Einhorn and Hogarth1988:114).In evolutionary perspectives, competition is not overcomed by detached calculation such as in classical perspective but by constant struggle for
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