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BUS 475 Strategic management and Planning






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Strategic Management
BUS 475
Strategic management and Planning
Strategic management consists of the analysis, decisions, and actions an organization
undertakes in order to create and sustain competitive advantages. This definition captures two
main elements that go to the heart of the field of strategic management. (Dess, 2005) Strategic

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management can be used to determine an organization's mission, vision, values, goals,
objectives, roles and responsibilities. Strategic planning is a management tool. As with any
management tool, it is used to help an organization do a better job. It is used to focus its energy,
to ensure that members of the organization are working toward common goals, to assess and
fine-tune the organization's direction in response to change. Essentially, strategic management
is an effort to produce decisions and actions that guide what an organization is, what the
organization does, and why it does it. Being strategic means being clear about the organization's
objectives, being aware of the organization's resources, and incorporating both into being
consciously responsive to a dynamic environment. The process is about planning because it
involves intentionally setting goals (i.e., choosing a future) and developing an approach to
achieving those goals. The process is disciplined and calls for a certain protocol to keep it
focused. The process raises questions that help planners observe experience, test assumptions,
gather information about the current situation, and anticipate the future environment. Finally,
the strategic planning process is about fundamental decisions and actions because choices must
be made in order to answer the sequence of questions mentioned above. The strategic plan is
ultimately no more, and no less, than a set of decisions about what to do, why to do it, and how
to do it. Because it is impossible to do everything that needs to be done in one day, strategic
planning implies that some decisions and actions are more important than others. Much of the
strategy depends on making the difficult decisions about what is most important to achieving
success. The strategic planning process can be tricky and even cluttered, but it is always
defined by the basic thoughts outlined above.
Strategic planning is only useful if it supports strategic thinking and leads to strategic
management. Strategic thinking means making an assessment using three key requirements:
having a definite purpose be in mind; understanding of the environment, particularly of the

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forces that affect or impede the fulfillment of that purpose; and creativity in developing
effective responses to those forces. It follows, then, that strategic management is the application
of strategic thinking to the job of leading an organization. It is critical in strategic planning to
consider how an organization will accomplish its goals. There are a variety of definitions for
strategies, but everyone basically agrees that a strategy is the answer to the questions, "what?"
and "how?" There are several different categories of strategies including organizational and
functional. The difference among the categories is the focus of the strategy: organizational
strategy outlines the planned avenue for organizational development (i.e., people management,
professional development, etc.). Functional strategies express how to manage administration
and support needs that impact the organization's efficiency and effectiveness (i.e., develop a
financial system). It is very important for managers to understand the importance of strategic
management and planning. Organizations need long-term vision and direction, and flexibility to
change as their operating environment changes. Decisions need to be made with the big-picture
in mind and understanding their long-term implications. Strategic planning is essential in my
business because it outlines our weaknesses, competitive advantages over our competitors, and
it shows if our managers and supervisor are meeting our goals and timelines.
Dess, G. G. (2005, 3). Defining Strategic Management. Retrieved February 3, 2014, from
Pearce, J. A., & Robinson, R. B. (2009). Strategic management: Formulation, implementation,
and control. Boston: McGraw-Hill Irwin.

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Really great stuff, couldn't ask for more.