The Strategic Management Process

 In this initial module of the course, we will begin our study of Strategic Management with an overview of the steps in the process. Let’s begin here by defining what is meant by “Strategic Management” and “strategy.” Read Section 1.2 of the Mastering Strategic Management text. Note the key question: “Why do some firms outperform other firms?” Strategic Management is a formal series of steps that an organization can use in determining its optimal future direction. In this capstone course, we will examine the Strategic Management process by module as follows: In Module 1 of the course, we will begin with the Mission, Vision, and Values statements. We will also learn how organizational goals are used to operationalize the broad strategies selected by the organization. In Module 2, you will use everything you learned in your previous courses (i.e., Accounting, Finance, Operations Management, Marketing, and Human Resources, among others) to evaluate an organization’s internal functional areas, and to discover the organization’s strengths and weaknesses. In addition, we will evaluate the environment that is external to the organization. In any given industry, any number of opportunities and threats exist within the external environment. The organization must find ways to minimize its internal weaknesses. Concurrently, the organization must use its internal strengths to neutralize environmental threats to the extent possible, while exploiting the opportunities present within the external environment. In Module 3, we will use several models to assist us in choosing “grand strategies.” Organizations have multiple strategies that they can choose from. However, available options are inherently limited by the organization’s strengths and weaknesses, and by the opportunities and threats that exist in the operating (industry) and remote environments. Finally, in Module 4, we will explore the implementation controls that organizations use to keep their strategies on-track. These controls include the organization’s structure and culture, and other management control systems such as budgets (and associated variance analysis), inventory control systems, and fixed asset inventory control systems, policies and procedures, and rules.

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