Strategy is a subject that has exercised the minds of political, military and business leaders for centuries. The earliest recorded attempts to define strategy emanate from Roman military commanders who sought to document the strategic options available on the battlefield. The acceptance of the need for strategic behavior in business is evidenced by the volume of literature dedicated to the subject. Much of the knowledge base has been developed by researchers and theorists; practitioners have had to apply critical judgments on how such theories can be applied to their own industry. This is particularly so in the construction industry where little material in the strategic management field has been available despite the efforts of authors such as Newcombe, Channon and Grinyer who have done much to bring strategic management theories to the attention of construction management practitioners.
Strategic management is a systematic approach to major and increasingly important responsibility of general management to position and relate the firm to its environment in a way which will ensure its continued success and make it secure from surprises.
Strategic management is concerned with deciding on strategy, and planning how that strategy is to be put into effect. It can be thought of as having three main elements within it. There is strategic analysis, in which the strategist seeks to understand the strategic position of the organization. There is strategic choice which is to do with the formulation of possible courses of action, their evaluation and choice between them. Finally there is strategic implementation which is concerned with planning how the choice of strategy can be put into effect. The three elements of the the strategic management are often seen as sequential in traditional texts, but actually they overlap and interact so that partial implementation may modify strategic choices for example.
There are common themes in the definition of strategy. Strategy is concerned with the means to meet ends, that is it is concerned with achieving objectives. A strategy is also a set of rules for guiding decisions about organizational behavior. Strategies may be explicit or implicit., kept within the senior management team or pervading the organization to produce a sense of common direction
Two views have emerged on the nature of strategy:
The strategic management role can be filled by an internal individual or team or an external consultant or executive director. A combination of both internal and external modes is sometimes used.
The timing of the strategic management is crucial to its success. Finding time time to do it is also vital.
There is no "best" strategy which is applicable in all circumstances. A contingency approach to strategic management is essential, based on the objectives of strategic managers.