Evaluate the suitability of the emergent and intended approaches to strategy management for your chosen organisation.
Throughout the global economic environment the desire to out-perform the competition is always present. In every situation, the companies who do better are the ones with superior strategy (Rothaermel, 2013). Strategic management is therefore important in every company, no matter what industry or market they operate in; and as stated by M. Carpenter and G. Sanders, 2013, is described as "The process by which a firm manages the formulation and implementation of its strategy". Strategic management is a constant topic under discussion with different schools of theorists with different beliefs and attitudes which is described as "A tense array of disagreement" (Rees, 2012).
Many theorists (Lynch, 2003, Mintzberg, 1990, Ansoff, 1991) will argue that the two main schools of strategic planning are the prescriptive, also known as intended, and emergent approaches. Both are debated widely about which is the better approach; recognised best by Idenburg (1993). Prescriptive strategies focus on planning; where predictions of the future are made, leading to long term decisions where the main elements of the strategy have been specially planned before being commenced and as stated by Mintzberg, 1990 "Strategy formation should be a controlled, conscious process of thought". The emergent approach relies on the fact that the outcome of the objective is not known; in contradiction to the prescriptive approach it is not a 'controlled, conscious process of thought' and has been described by Downs, et al (2003) as a trial and error process. The importance of strategy within organisations has been discussed as early as the 1950's with Newman's textbook Administrative Action (1951: 110-118) showing 'The nature and importance of strategy'. From this we can relate the importance of strategic planning; whether it is prescriptive or emergent approaches, within modern organisations in today's environment.
A great example of a company that uses both approaches to strategic management is Virgin. The organisation is the leading international investment group and is one of the most recognised brands around the world. The Virgin group began in 1968 with Sir Richard Branson (chairman of Virgin) selling student magazines, and now the company operates all over the world with figures showing that the revenue in 2012 was £15 billion (Virgin – about us). The success of Virgin stems from strategic management and also strategic leadership, which can link to strategic management as leadership is all about organising and with Virgin operating in over 50 countries, and employing over 50,000 people, leadership is key to implementing the strategic approaches. Understanding the organisation is important to be a successful leader, and to organise means for everyone working as a unit, with every person in the unit having a proper function (Adair, 2010). Sir Richard Branson is...