Overview of Strategic Management

Strategic Management is a structured, deliberate and periodic process undertaken by a business organization’s top management to map out strategies and translate these into specific policies for implementation (“The Strategic, 2007). The process creates an organizational framework that guides all employees in daily operational decisions and enables them to deliver concerted efforts (Robinson, 2005). There are a few disadvantages of strategic management that have been debated on by many authors.
One is the top-down approach which places much of the responsibility to the top management. This is said to limit the responsiveness of the organization to actual business situations as the top managers are not directly involved in the day-to-day operations. Secondly, the process entails consideration of the future which is a risky undertaking. Strategies formulated may become outdated or inappropriate as drastic changes occur in the environment (“The Strategic, 2007).
Robinson (2005) added that strategic management can be expensive especially when an external consultant is involved. Moreover, the process is designed for long-term benefits. Organizations which undergo strategic management are well-integrated and all strategies are geared towards an ultimate goal. Hence, it is sometimes difficult for managers and staff to align the long-term strategies with immediate needs.

As a result, the process can hinder organizational flexibility as the integration of strategy within the organization may not allow for new opportunities to come in. With the disadvantages mentioned above, it is vital for any organization not to undermine the role of middle managers in strategic management. Ikavalko and Aaltonen (2001) argued that whereas the top management often has the most substantial inputs in goal setting, middle managers serve as the link between them and the daily business operations.
They have the hands-on experience which put them in an advantageous position to identify crucial changes in the organization’s micro environment, determine suitable courses of action and convince the top management to follow suit (p. 12). They are the people who are in charge of implementation of strategies and tangible service delivery. The impact of strategic management depends heavily on how effective middle managers are in cascading down the strategies to the lowest ranks of the corporate hierarchy in order to see concrete business results.
Ikavalko, H. and Aaltonen, P. (2001, July 5-7). Middle Managers’ Role in Strategy Implementation – Middle Managers View. Retrieved June 6, 2009 from http://www. strada. hut. fi/documents/Middle_managers_role_in_strategy_implementation. pdf Robinson, R. (2005, November 21). The Advantages and Disadvantages of Strategic Management. Retrieved June 6, 2009, from http://www. charityville. com/cv/research/rstrat36. html The Strategic Planning Process. (2007). In NetMBA Business Knowledge Center online. Retrieved June 6, 2009, http://www. netmba. com/strategy/process/

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