5 ps of strategy- henry mintzberg

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5 Ps of Strategy- As a Plan, Pattern, Position, Perspective and a PloyExcerpts from:Strategy Safari by Henry Mintzberg

Academic Definition of Strategy:Top management plans to attain outcomes consistent with the organization mission and goals (write et al)

Strategy requires a number of definitions according to Mintzberg.

Ask someone to define strategy and the answer would be Strategy is a plan, a direction,a guide or a course of action into the future, a path to get from here to there.

Ask the same person about the strategy actually followed by his organization or competitorOver the last 5 years. His answer would defer from his own definition. Strategy is one of those words we define in one way but use in another.

Strategy, is a pattern, a consistency in behaviour over time.

A company that perpetually markets most expensive products in the industry persuesA high- end strategy.

Strategy as a plan- looking ahead is in contrast with strategy as a pattern- looking at the past behaviour.

Both are valid. Organizations develop plans for their future and also evolve patterns out of their past. One is intended strategy and the other realized strategy.

Do all strategies have to be intended- an important question.Most people would say somewhat in-between.A perfectly realised strategy implies brilliant foresight and realization means mindlessness

Intentions fully realized are deliberate strategies and reverse is unrealized. There is a 3rd case- Emergent Strategies where a pattern realised was not fully intended.

Few strategies are fully are purely Deliberate or purely Emergent.

An umbrella strategy means that the broad outline are deliberate while details are allowed to emerge.

Effective strategies are a mix strategies mix these and reflect ability to predict as well as need to react to unexpected events.

Cont to page 2...

Two more Ps:

Some time ago, McDonald introduced a new product called Egg McMuffins, the American breakfast in a bun.

This was to encourage the use of their restaurant facilities in the mornings.

This is a strategic change for McDonalds. Two ways to look at it.1.It brought them into the breakfast market2.The same McDonalds way, just a different package.

To some Strategy is a position, locating a particular product in a particular market.e.g. Egg McMuffins in the breakfast market.

To others strategy is a perspective, namely an organizations fundamental way of doing things. In this case, McDonald way of doing things.

Or in Peter Druckers memorable phrase theory of business

As position you look into the market. As perspective strategy looks inside an organization,inside the heads of strategists.

We need both the definitions:McDonalds introduced Egg McMuffins successfully because the position was consistent with the existing perspective.

The executives at McDonalds seemed to understand that one cannot ignore perspective.Changing position within a perspective may be easy but changing perspective while trying to maintain position may is not.

5th definition- Strategy as a Ploy:That is a specific manoeuvre intended to outwit an opponent or a competitor.e. g. A corporation may buy land to give the impression that it plans to expand its capacity,in order to discourage a competitor from building a new plan.

Here the real strategy (as plan that is the real intention) is the threat, not the expansionItself, therefore a Ploy.

Note: refer to examples given in the class