What likely springs to mind is an image of orderly thinking: a senior manager, or a group of them, sitting in an office formulating courses of action that everyone else will implement on schedule. The keynote is reason—rational control, the systematic analysis of competitors and markets, of company strengths and weaknesses, the combination of these analyses producing clear, explicit, full-blown strategies. Now imagine someone crafting strategy. A wholly different image likely results, as different from planning as craft is from mechanization. Craft evokes traditional skill, dedication, perfection through the mastery of detail.
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Neither approach makes sense, which explains why strategy means emergent and deliberate behavior. These archetypes are in fact meant as conceptual reference points, set up in descriptive archetypal quadrants that are not necessarily exclusive of each other.
His summary of Whittington is this: that strategic thinking requires conceptual space in which there is room for different policies, tactics, and intelligence gathering. Within each strategic space, the four archetypal quadrants each stand up for different assumptions, goals, methods, and perspectives. He said strategic thinking now means anticipating and preparing for implications and consequences of present actions.
Sheridan: full article. Sheridan then intertwined Whittington and Mintzberg: The craft of strategy consists in identifying the mix of appropriate policies, deploying them as needed, and staying alert to the prospect that changing circumstances will require changing the mixture. Are the assumptions realistic? Levy, Mats Alvesson and Hugh Willmott the authors concede that much current thinking on strategic management is anchored on the work of Michael Porter and Henry Mintzberg.
Mintzberg and colleagues with their ten schools and five definitions of strategy. They note that his views miss broader issues of domination and fail to scrutinize managerial assumptions.
Though Mintzberg shares the basic comprehensive perspective of Whittington, I believe his school of thinking shows a palpable emphasis on the micro side of strategic management. Under his method, broader social issues affecting management concerns for example , current issues as the Wall Street crash and our problems in Iraq, etc would have to be relatively relegated to the rear ground, and this may not serve the end of strategic management. Sheridan is right that in terms of social insights, critical theorists of strategic management have the edge.
In the present essay, Mintzberg cited the example of GM as a large and complicated organization, describing the complexity and confusion that gets tucked under the veneer of strategic order —meetings, debates, dead ends, folding and unfolding of ideas as the company pursues its strategies.
As a craft theorist, one would see alternately a balance of chaos or order. The craft theorist would therefore not just think of new clever strategies, but allow them to develop gradually. His strength would be in the intuitive balance, his espousal of both learning and controls, his responsiveness to the material at hand.
It however presents a doubtful diminution of previous schools of strategic management , arguably presenting itself as a comprehensive modifying school of thought. Sheridan: c.
On the other hand it has yet to offer operational tools for managers confronted with, for example, labor unrest or racial inequity. Of course its adherents may argue that managers schooled in its perspective would have the sensitivity and other skills of the craft, but as negated by Levi et al, its relative de-emphasis on broader social issues may limit management leaders from the optimal application of established strategic tools.
If anything can be said on Crafting Strategy , it is that its arguments are always nuanced. For example, it upheld both the grass roots approach to strategic management, and its opposite, the hot house strategy, estimating Reality falls somewhere between the two. Also, the example of 11 observed firms may be a statistically insignificant in a universe of millions of counterparts in other countries.
Finally I find the potter inadequate as a metaphorical parallel of corporate reality. The metaphor fails to capture the sophistication of managing complex emotions, social distinctions, biases, intrigues, competition in the marketplace, corporate politics, etc…that are the problems of strategic management.
All the content of this work is his research and thoughts on Crafting Strategy Henry Mintzberg and can be used only as a source of ideas for a similar topic. Here are other papers written by Joseph:.
Crafting Strategy (Mintzberg) and Teaching Smart People to Learn (Argyris)
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Neither approach makes sense, which explains why strategy means emergent and deliberate behavior. These archetypes are in fact meant as conceptual reference points, set up in descriptive archetypal quadrants that are not necessarily exclusive of each other. His summary of Whittington is this: that strategic thinking requires conceptual space in which there is room for different policies, tactics, and intelligence gathering. Within each strategic space, the four archetypal quadrants each stand up for different assumptions, goals, methods, and perspectives. He said strategic thinking now means anticipating and preparing for implications and consequences of present actions. Sheridan: full article.