Chapter 2: Existing knowledge of strategic thinking
A serious discussion about strategic thinking or the ‘strategic mind’ would be meaningless without looking into its relationship with strategy. Because of the intrinsic connection between the two concepts, it is of paramount importance to have a good understanding of the latter. At the core of strategy is the postulate that the strategic choice of a firm determines its performance. As Cusumano and Markides (2001) observe: Behind every successful company there is a strategy that works. Managers may have developed this strategy through formal analysis, trial and error, intuition, or even pure luck. No matter how it has emerged, strategy underpins the success of any company. A common contemporary definition of strategy in the military field is as ‘being about maintaining a balance between ends, ways, and means; about identifying objectives; and about the resources and methods available for meeting such objectives’. ‘Strategy’ is a term whose origin is rooted in antiquity. John Collins, Director of Military Strategy Studies at the US National War College, regards Sun Tzu (400–320 bc), an ancient Chinese strategist, as the precursor of strategy with his landmark treatise, The Art of War.
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