Three Models Of Strategy

The models of strategy that are implicited in the literature have been categorized into three distinct groups by Ellen E. Chaffee:

Model I - Linear strategy
This approach focuses on planning such that goals, and the means of achieving them, are the results of strategic management. This model is inherent in Chandler's definition cites above. In linear strategy, leaders of the organization plan how they will deal with competitors to achieve their organization's goals.
Model II - Adaptive strategy
This approach corresponds to the notion of incrementalism. "Strategy is concerned with the development of a viable match between the opportunities and the risks present in the external environment and the organization's capabilities and resources for exploiting these opportunities." (Hofer, 1973). In adaptive strategy, the organization and its parts change, proactively or reactively, in order to be aligned with consumer preferences.
Model III - Interpretive strategy
Like adaptive strategy this approach sees the organization and its environment as clearly related, but the emphasis is placed on managers "holding a cognitive map that provides a view of the world, helps interpret the changes the organization faces, and provides appropriate responses" (Weick, 1983). In interpretive strategy, organizational representatives convey meanings that are intended to motivate stakeholder in ways that favor the organization.

Although these descriptions represent a collective version of similar views, each model also includes many variations of its central theme. Moreover, the three strategy models may not be independent of one another, although so far they have been treated separately in both the literature cited and this discussion. The basis for suggested that the models are interrelated is that they show some similarity to a well-know hierarchy of systems in which level incorporates the less complex levels that precede it (Boulding, 1956).


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The Concept Of Strategy
  • Strategy As A Field Of Study
  • What Is Strategy
  • Strategy: Areas Of Disagreement
  • Three Models Of Strategy
  • Strategy As Series Of Decisions
  • Conclusions
  • Characteristics Of Strategy
  • Levels And Types Of Strategy
  • Making Strategic Decisions
  • The Concept Of Strategy - Summary
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