Defining Strategy

3894 Words 16 Pages
Defining Strategy
Introduction
In this essay I will be examining what strategy actually is. A strong corporate strategy is important for modern businesses to create and exploit competitive advantages in an increasingly difficult global market. The quote I am basing this on is a rhetorical device that highlights one of the fundamental problems faced by management. Companies struggle to follow coherent strategies because management fail to understand what strategy is. Too narrow a definition of strategy can lead to companies omitting important factors of a complete strategy. Too broad a definition strategy can lead to management drafting complex manifestos, lacking focus and ultimately causing confusion for middle management. Too strict
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More depth is required in creating a true understanding of strategy for the manager in the 21st century. One of the foundation methods of defining strategy is using Mintzberg’s “Five Ps” of strategy (Mintzberg, The Strategy Concept: 5 Ps for Strategy , Fall 1987). Plan, ploy, pattern, position and perspective. The definition of strategy is not complete without an analysis of each of these constituent parts.
Strategy as a plan is the definition most people give to strategy. The plan can be simple or complex, general or specific. In management the plan is designed to ensure the basic objectives of the enterprise are achieved. The plan may also be a ploy. A ploy is the use of corporate signalling to threaten a competitor. An example of this might be Starbucks. The Coffee chain is famous for aggressively expanding into an area to the point where the shops cannibalise each other’s sales. A recent local example is Dun Laoghaire where Starbucks opened their first two branches in the same month on opposite sides of Georges Street. This was even satirised on an episode of American Cartoon The Simpsons. Part of the reason for this ploy is deter their competitors from entering the
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The launch of their Chrome Browser was because of the threat of a feature in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. The new version of IE would allow users to block and delete their cookie data, in what we now call “incognito browsing”. This innovation would damage google, as google needed to farm cookie information in order to sell to advertisers. They launched Chrome purely to prevent users from moving to IE.
Another ingenious google ploy discussed by Grant is their entry into the auction of 700 Mhz wireless spectrum. This wireless spectrum is government owned infrastructure which provides mobile phone signal. At the time smart phones on Google’s android operating system were being developed, but google knew for them to succeed they would need access to third generation wireless internet, or 3G. The mobile operators in the auction had no intention to use any of the wireless spectrum for 3G, instead they intended it for simple cellular reception for calls and texts. By entering the auction, without even winning it, Google forced the mobile networks to dedicate some of the spectrum to 3G, thus paving the way for

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