Definition of Strategy - How it Applies in HR




The Definition of strategy differs from person to person, showing that there is no definition that can fit every situation.

It is hoped the definition of strategy mentioned here can help you understand better the meaning of 'strategy'. This can become handy when you prepare your human resource management strategy in line with the organizational business plan. Click HERE for more definition of related words

What follows show how some writers define 'strategy' or describe the situation under which strategies are used.

Michael Porter defines "strategy" in terms of competitive strategy which is 'about being different.' He argues that strategy is being in a competitive position, being different in the eyes of the customer, and adding value through a combination of activities that are different from those of competitors.

Note that "blue ocean strategy" may fit here.

In "Top Management Strategy", Tregoe and Zimmerman define strategy as:

    "the framework which guides those choices that determine the nature and direction of an organization." This is a perspective definition of strategy. It is said that "strategy...has no existence apart from the ends sought."

Steven Covey's "Seven Habits of Successful People" mentions that people need to keep the end in mind.

George Steiner, considered by many as the father of strategic planning, does not define strategy.

But he pointed out "certain things such as strategy is what top management consider are very important to the organization, that it refers to purposes and missions, that it consists of important action to achieve the missions, asking the questions 'What should the organization be doing?' and 'what are the ends we seek and how should we achieve them?'"

Maybe one can consider that this is some form of definition.



Definition of Strategy in the Context of Nation Building and Defence
In "The Essentials of Strategy" by Harvard Business School Press, Harvard Business School, it is stated:

    In the present-day world, then, "strategy is the art of controlling and utilizing the resources of a nation - or a coalition of nations - including its armed forces, to the end that its vital interests shall be effectively promoted and secured against enemies, actual, potential, or merely presumed."

Resources would include the IT resources and internet services of a nation. Threat scan include those carried out in cyber space. Armed forces are human resources.

Definition of Strategy Originated from the Military

Fred Nickols (2000) write:

    "In business, as in the military, strategy bridges the gap between policy and tactics. Together, strategy and tactics bridge the gap between ends and means."

He continues:

    "Strategy is all these — it is perspective, position, plan, and pattern. Strategy is the bridge between policy or high-order goals on the one hand and tactics or concrete actions on the other. Strategy and tactics together straddle the gap between ends and means. In short, strategy is a term that refers to a complex web of thoughts, ideas, insights, experiences, goals, expertise, memories, perceptions, and expectations that provides general guidance for specific actions in pursuit of particular ends. Strategy is at once the course we chart, the journey we imagine and, at the same time, it is the course we steer, the trip we actually make."

Definition of Strategy in the Context of Marketing
Reed Elsevier's review of Kim and Mauborgne's book, "Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant" states:

    "Kim and Mauborgne's blue ocean metaphor elegantly summarizes their vision of the kind of expanding, competitor-free markets that innovative companies can navigate. Unlike "red oceans," which are well explored and crowded with competitors, "blue oceans" represent "untapped market space" and the "opportunity for highly profitable growth." The only reason more big companies don't set sail for them, they suggest, is that "the dominant focus of strategy work over the past twenty-five years has been on competition-based red ocean strategies"-i.e., finding new ways to cut costs and grow revenue by taking away market share from the competition.

    With this groundbreaking book, Kim and Mauborgne - both professors at France's INSEAD, the second largest business school in the world - aim to repair that bias. Using dozens of examples - from Southwest Airlines and the Cirque du Soleil to Curves and Starbucks - they present the tools and frameworks they've developed specifically for the task of analyzing blue oceans. They urge companies to "value innovation" that focuses on "utility, price, and cost positions," to "create and capture new demand" and to "focus on the big picture, not the numbers." And while their heavyweight analytical tools may be of real use only to serious strategy planners, their overall vision will inspire entrepreneurs of all stripes, and most of their ideas are presented in a direct, jargon-free manner. Theirs is not the typical business management book's vague call to action; it is a precise, actionable plan for changing the way companies do business with one resounding piece of advice: swim for open waters."

There are organizations who believe in this strategy. Many are still using "red ocean strategy," the strategy used by organizations in direct competition with each other. In fact, red ocean continues to influence people's life even today.

Others have their own definition of strategy.You may have your own.

It follows that HR strategies will depend on the types of business strategies that your organization uses or is going to use.

Understand the definition of strategy in the context that you want to use it and then make your HR plan. Strategies are important in almost every field and this include Human Resource.

These examples show what a strategy is.


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