Arab Open University
Business behaviour in a
changing world - B300
Tutor : Ms. Farah ADAWIEH Done by: Rowaydeh Khaled Masa’deh
ID Number: 040086
Arab Open University
Question: Answer in maximum 2000
words in essay format. Be sure to
reference your work.
Discuss why strategies in different industries can be different. Give examples from organisations which you
have studied on the programme, and from your own
knowledge of your region to support your discussion.
What is strategy? The word ―strategy‖ derives from the ancient
Athenian position of strategos. Generally, the definition of strategy is regarded
as a complex combination and there are lots of debates about the definition
―A number of reasons contribute to this complexity. First, the field represents the convergence of multiple disciplines, including economics,
organization theory, general business, marketing, finance, and geography (to
name but a few). As a result, strategy is often viewed through different lenses,
depending on one’s background and purpose. Second, and perhaps more
important, business strategy is a very young field. As a result, not all of the
concepts and approaches to analysis are yet well established or agreed on.‖
According to Mintzberg and Waters (1985), there are five kinds of strategies in their model:
1. Emergent strategy.
2. Intended strategy.
3. Deliberate strategy.
4. Realized strategy and
5. Unrealized strategy.
Their definition of these is:
Emergent strategies; can be seen as responses to unexpected
opportunities and problems and are usually developed from the locations at
which business-level strategies are usually implemented, i.e. within business
units and not at corporate headquarters. The pure definition of emergence
requires the absence of intentions. Such as when we faced imitation problem
to one of our most important and vital product, it is called "Glatt hair
straightener", there were Chinese and Egyptian imitated products, we acted
fast and increased our prices which we never planned before and we
succeeded in counter fighting the imitated products.
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Realized strategy; is a blend of intentions and emergence which can be interpreted by reference to the strength of pressure from the external
environment—a kind of environmental determinism.
Intended strategy; is strategy as conceived of by the top management
team. Even here, rationality is limited and the intended strategy is the result of
a process of negotiation, bargaining, and compromise, involving many
individuals and groups within the organization.
For example, Procter and Gamble; of the biggest personal care
companies in the world; introduced different brand names into the market for
the same product such as Pantene, Pert Plus, Head and Shoulder these all
hair shampoos, and they all have excellent market share which is taken from
their competitors. Each brand have market share combined together can be
Mintzberg and Waters mentioned that Realized strategy – the actual
strategy that is implemented – is only partly related to that which was intended
(Mintzberg suggests only 10–30 percent of intended strategy is realized). The
primary determinant of realized strategy is what Mintzberg terms emergent
strategy – the decisions that emerge from the complex processes in which
individual managers interpret the intended strategy and adapt to changing
external circumstances. This should also been seen as a process and
especially if you include the variable of time. The realized strategy effects the
intended strategy as times goes by. This is an important part since it shows
that current strategies will affect future strategies.
There are two extreme types of organizations, the ones that have only
deliberate strategies and the ones that have only emergent strategies.
These two pure forms are very rare and perhaps there is no organization that
has one of these pure types of processes. For a pure deliberate strategy, the
organization must have pure intentions with a relative concrete level of detail.
This plan has to be carried out exactly as intended.
For a strategy to perfectly emergent there has to be consistency in
action over time but without any intentions. Except for these two pure types of
strategies that are extremely rare according to Mintzberg & Waters (1985 pp
257-258) but they argue that between those two extremes are several
different type of strategies that are common in companies today.
Mintzberg and Waters (1985) classifies eight different types of
1. The planned strategy;
The planned strategy is clear intentions back by formal control. The
leader is the centre of authority with their intentions being very clear and
precise and the goal is to transform the intention to collective action with
minimum distortion. Programs and systems are built in to the plan to ensure
that no one acts in another way then intended.
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For this type of strategic process to be effective the environment has to be extremely stable or the organization has to be able to predict it with great
accuracy. When organizations put large quantities of resources in a mission
or project they might not tolerate unstable environment. When they have plan
several years ahead and don’t allow avoiding behaviour and commit
themselves firmly. An example of this can be yearly budget in our division,
where the head of the division should prepare sales and purchasing plans for
the whole year ahead of him and must be applied -/+ 5%.
2. Entrepreneurial strategy;
The second type of strategy there is has tolerance for a little emergent strategy, but is still very much planned. The owner controls the organization
tightly and can impose his vision or direction on the organization. This type of
strategy is very common in young organizations and in entrepreneurial
organizations. The central actor is the one that places the organization were
he/she wants to in the world.
Compared to the planned strategy the intentions are harder to identify and are less specific, but as long the actors in the organizations respond to
the will of the leader the strategy appear to be rather deliberate. Because the
strategy comes from a single person there can be sudden changes in it and
reformulation isn’t unusual. The adaptability of the entrepreneurial strategy is
what distinguishes it from the planned one. Visions in the brain of a person
are more flexible then articulated ones. The adoption and ―emergentness‖ of
planned strategies are discouraged by the articulation.
3. Ideological Strategy;
Vision can be collective – when the members of an organizations share
a vision and the members identify so strongly with it that they pursue it as an
ideology. This leads to patterns in their behaviour so that clear realized
strategies can be identified. Since an ideological strategy is likely to overt and
becoming articulated one can see intentions. That is why one can say that this
type of strategy is deliberate. These intentions would be viewed as
organizational, differing from the entrepreneurial and planned strategy by
being embraced by everyone in the organization and not originate from one
centre and then being accepted passively.
The collective vision makes it harder to change, because all members of the organization have to accept the changes. Moreover, the ideology is
rooted in traditions and precedents. Therefore people resist changing it.
4. Umbrella strategy;
For the umbrella organization Mintzberg and Waters relax the condition of tight control over the actors in the organizations and in some cases control
over the environment. Leaders have only partial control over the members of
the organization and can design the umbrella type of strategy.
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An umbrella strategy is when there are general guidelines for behaviour, defined boundaries and the other actors in the organization can
maneuver within them. This means that strategies can emerge within these
The umbrella strategy can not only be labeled as deliberate and emergent but also ―deliberate emergent‖ in the sense that the central
leadership creates conditions which allow strategies to emerge. Like the
entrepreneurial strategy there is a certain vision emanating from the central
leadership, but in the umbrella strategy don’t the ones controlling the vision
also control the realization. For example; sales and increasing our sales is the
sole target for our division. We are always ready to face the competitors by
conducting heavy campaigns, special trade and consumer offers and extra
incentives for the sales force to achieve unexpected sales. Within this specific
target several different strategies emerged, as various problems were solved
by different specialized employees.
5. Process Strategy;
The process Strategy is similar to the umbrella strategy. The leadership functions in an organization in which actors must have considerable discretion
to determine the outcome. This is because the environment is unpredictable
and uncontrollable. Instead of controlling strategy on a general level with
boundaries and target the leadership influences the strategy indirectly.
In other words they control the process of strategy making instead of the content of the strategy. This results in a behaviour that would be
deliberate in one respect but emergent in another. The leadership designs the
system from which patterns of action evolve from.
6. Unconnected strategy;
The unconnected strategy is perhaps the most straightforward of all. One part of the organization, a subunit or sometimes even an individual is
able to realize its own pattern in its stream of action. Since these unconnected
strategies doesn’t come from the central leader ship or from intentions from
the whole organization the can be considered relatively emergent. But for the
subunit/individual they clearly can be deliberate or emergent depending on
the prior existence of intentions. Thus the unconnected strategy may be
deliberate or emergent for the actors involved but always emergent from the
perspective of the organization.
7. Consensus strategy;
In this strategy the condition for prior intentions are totally dropped, this type of strategy is clearly emergent. In this strategy different actors converge
on the same pattern or theme so that it becomes pervasive in the
organizations, without need for central direction or control. The consensus
strategy grow out of the mutual adjustment among the different actions as
they learn from each other and from their responses the environment and
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thereby finds a common pattern that works for the organization. This means
that the convergence is not driven by intentions by management or by prior
intentions shared by the organizations as a whole; rather it evolves around the
results of a host of individual actions.
Sometimes actors might promote the consensus and try to negotiate others to accept it, but the point it that this strategy comes more from
collective actions then from collection intentions. One example of this is when
the Marketing Department suggests marketing campaign or different way to
promote for a new product they must have the sales team to approve it to go
ahead with their plans.
8. Imposed strategy;
This time the strategy comes from outside the organization, it's imposed on the organization. This means that the environment can directly
force the organization into a pattern in its stream of actions regardless what
the central control does. The clearest case is when an external group or
individual with a great influence over the organization imposes a strategy on
the organization. For example, we used to import from Heinz Company baby
food called "Farley's Rusks" it was available in different supermarkets and
superstores, the Jordanian ministry of Health forced all companies dealing in
baby food to sell their products to pharmacies only. Therefore, all our sales
plan and purchases were affected by this new regulation.
The strategy was clearly deliberate but not by anyone in the organization. Given the inability to resist, the organization had to pursuit the
given strategy and thus it became deliberate for the organization. Sometimes
can the environment rather than individual/group that impose strategies on
organizations by restricting their options. The organization has to make the
external strategies, imposed on them, internal. In reality the organizations
have to compromise between determinism and free choice. Environment
seldom pre-empt all choice and just as rare the environment seldom offers
unlimited choice. As most real world strategies have some umbrella strategy
characteristics, so to does the environment set boundaries for most
These eight types of strategic processes is a big part of Mintzberg & waters (1985) theory. They claim that there aren’t many, if any, companies
that can be classified as the two extremes but that they have the
characteristics similar to one of the above mentioned types of processes.
Thus all companies that are taking part of this study should be describable by
one of them.
Strategy is about establishing direction into the future. But the future is unknown and, with accelerating changes in the world, is increasingly difficult
to predict. However, some regularities are evident in terms of industries'
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(1) (http://www.ache.org/PUBS/Luke1.pdf, 2005-11-22)
Case study, strategy for business, A reader, (p 59-141).