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/24-7PressRelease/ - CHICAGO, IL, January 18, 2006 -- In a new article "Is Strategy a Bad Word?" published today in MIT Sloan Management Review, Cristian Mitreanu, the Founder and Lead Researcher of RedefiningStrategy.com, counter-intuitively identifies the word 'strategy' as a potential obstacle preventing top executives from leading their businesses toward enduring success.
The foundation block in a company's quest to achieve and indefinitely sustain success, corporate strategy remains a gray area in the business management theoretical spectrum. It is what should provide a company with guidance through the big picture of business environment and time. Unfortunately, lacking strong theoretical support, this discipline remains stuck somewhere along its evolutionary path from art to science. Part of the reason, as Mitreanu asserts in his new article, may lie in its very name. Specifically, he states that the use of the word 'strategy,' as in 'corporate strategy,' can have damaging consequences.
"There is no doubt that military strategy has served, conceptually and linguistically, as the groundwork for the discipline of corporate strategy," said Mitreanu, when asked about the article. "Nevertheless, over time, this heritage has become a trap preventing any major theoretical advancements that would improve business leaders' capacity to make sense of and successfully deal with the big picture."
In "Is Strategy a Bad Word?" Mitreanu identifies two major problems related to the use of 'strategy' when dealing with the big picture. They both originate in the term's military background. One refers to the term's implication of thinking and acting relative to the competition, while the other refers to the term's implication of using corporate objectives and goals. As Mitreanu shows, both cases could lead to narrow and relatively short-term views of the big picture, which would negatively affect a company's quest for enduring success.
Complementing the article, Mitreanu reveals his take on what led to this situation. "Relatively new, the discipline of strategy in business management emerged in the early 1960s. Strongly influenced and stimulated by the experiences of World War II, strategy was initially seen as an effort to 1) mobilize a company's resources and departments toward a set of common goals, and 2) find a favorable match between the company's resources and its business environment. But because at the time most companies' degree of diversification was low, there was little distinction, if any, between a company's overall strategy and the strategy for the product or service that generated most of the revenue."
He continues, "Over time, as companies grew increasingly diversified, so did the necessity to distinguish between the overall, corporate strategy and the business unit strategy. As a result, business unit strategy has predictably shifted focus toward competition, validating the applicability of military teachings in business management and, therefore, the use of the word 'strategy.' Unfortunately, the discipline of corporate strategy has experienced only a few limited theoretical advancements, giving practitioners no real reason to challenge the suitability of the term 'corporate strategy' that is now universally accepted."
Although brief, this article is the result of a comprehensive research of the most significant ideas and concepts on strategy. Influential names like Kenneth R. Andrews, H. Igor Ansoff, Peter F. Drucker, Henry Mintzberg, Michael E. Porter, and C.K. Prahalad, along with military strategy luminaries like Carl von Clausewitz, B.H. Liddell Hart, and Sun Tzu, are just a few of the authors covered in this analysis.
To read, purchase a copy, or get permission to distribute the article "Is Strategy a Bad Word?" please visit:
RedefiningStrategy.com is a research initiative intended to explore and capture the essence of achieving and sustaining success in business. Based in Chicago, Illinois, the initiative was founded in 2004 by Cristian Mitreanu, who currently leads both the research and the idea dissemination activities. More information about RedefiningStrategy.com is available at http://www.redefiningstrategy.com.
About MIT Sloan Management Review
MIT Sloan Management Review is a business journal that bridges the gap between management research and practice, evaluating and reporting on new ideas and research to help readers identify and understand significant trends in management. SMR is published by the MIT Sloan School of Management, which consistently ranks as one of the world's top business schools. Since its founding in 1959, MIT Sloan Management Review has been a venue for many business-management innovators from MIT and elsewhere. Its home page is http://sloanreview.mit.edu/smr/.
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