How Individual Visions Enable the Design of a Market Strategy that Works
Chapter 1: Identity as a Blind Spot in Strategy Making
The term ‘strategy’ is used extensively in management literature and has lost meaning in the process. In 1996, Porter shed some useful light with his highly regarded Harvard Business Review article ‘What is strategy?’ Porter argues that strategy is about being diﬀerent. It is about unique positioning in a market by creating and using the most sustainable competitive advantages. ‘It means deliberately choosing a diﬀerent set of activities to deliver a unique mix of value [to customers]’ (Porter, 1996, p. 64). But how can such a strategy be brought about? Strategy separated from strategy making is academic at best (Voigt, 2003). In practice, the concept of strategy and the process of strategy making are inseparable and managers encounter their most diﬃcult problems at this particular interface. Therefore, this book focuses on the process of strategy making because I constantly see diﬃculties in bringing a strategy about and realizing it (compare Eden and Ackermann, 1998). Strategy making deals with the process of how a strategy can be designed (also known as strategy formulation) and realized in practice. Reviewing the existing literature, it is interesting that Andrews’s concept, which was developed in the 1960s (Learned et al., 1965; Andrews, 1987 ), is still the most prevalent in strategy making (Mintzberg and Quinn, 1996, p. 46). Andrews suggested that a successful strategy is the outcome of a process that creates an essential ﬁt between internal strengths and weaknesses and external threats and opportunities. This prescription is associated...
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