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This book investigates strategy formulation by comparing military & Business practices. It assesses whether the strategy process in the business field also prevails in the military context. Based on interviews and case studies, the author uses a framework of influences including organisation, leadership, risk, theory and context to consider the areas of similarity and difference. While significant parallels can be found, greater importance is placed on the formulation of aims and goals, and the identification and training of leaders in the military. This provides valuable lessons for business strategists.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

1. Introduction

Abstract
If it is legitimate for those in industry to use phrases like ‘we have won the battle for industry leadership’, ‘we have successfully defended our market position’, or ‘we have made a killing on the stock market’, there is a notional link suggested between military and business thinking. Both types of organisation are engaged in competition that threatens survival, physical in one case and commercial in the other. Both engage in cognitive activity, which seeks to identify a way of winning, and each defines this process as ‘strategy’. Although the differences need to be acknowledged, there may well be parallels in the way that both these types of organisation reach the decision on their preferred course of action, and these processes are the subject of this study.
Robert F. Grattan

2. Sources and Methods

Abstract
The means by which the research question is answered must be related to the nature of the subject and the sources of the evidence used. This chapter will describe and justify the research methods chosen and the sources and treatment of data used for this work. In the chapter, the nature of the subject and sources and the choice of methodology are debated.
Robert F. Grattan

3. War, Business and the Language of Strategy

Abstract
Both war and business are concerned with competition and how to succeed in the face of determined adversaries. As a result of the arguments in the preceding chapters, it has been concluded that the concepts of strategy in the military and business fields are virtually identical, and, thus, the comparison can proceed. In each case, resources (physical, human and moral) are applied at the critical point in an attempt to achieve the aim. Such a perspective raises issues of ‘what resources?’ and ‘how much?’ and also what is meant by ‘critical point’ and how it is identified. Of prime importance is the selection of the aims of the enterprise for these will define what ‘succeeding’ means. The argument in the study moves on in this chapter to consider military strategy and then to review the various paradigms of strategic management. The chapter continues with a comparison of the common language of strategy from the two fields. The chapter ends with two case studies and the subsequent comments.
Robert F. Grattan

4. Strategy Formulation and Resources

Abstract
So far, the nature of business and military strategy has been considered and the underlying paradigms discussed. A general similarity has been observed between the process in both fields, and no differences have been observed. One conclusion that can be drawn is that in both military and business fields, strategy can be characterised as being about decision (Mintzberg, 1978; Pettigrew, 1977; Quinn, 1978). There is the problem that there does not seem to be a universally accepted definition of ‘decision’ (Groner et al., 1983), but the general view of it being a discontinuity or definable point in the development of human affairs at which a choice has to be made will suffice here. The strategy is intended to achieve the aims of the organisation or, put another way, to enable it to ‘win’, however that is defined. The value of the decision is the extent to which it satisfies the stated aims or objectives. A test of the process leading to the choice of the course of action is the extent to which it results in an optimal decision.
Robert F. Grattan

5. Making Strategic Decisions

Abstract
The thesis so far has been largely concerned with what has been written on the subject of strategy formulation. The argument now turns to focus on the evidence collected through interviews with practitioners in the strategy field, combined with that from the four case studies written around strategy process. The evidence is only a sample from a vast field of human experience, but there is enough to compare with the theory. From this comparison, not only can a view be formed on the comparability of the evidence and the theory, but also the findings on the strategy process in the military and business fields can themselves be compared.
Robert F. Grattan

6. Strategic Leaders’ Perceptions of the Strategy Formulation Process

Abstract
Strategy formation is the responsibility of those at the top of an organisation. These executives are in a leadership position, so strategy decision is vested in those who lead. This chapter delves deeper into the topic of leadership by considering the relevant literature, and how it relates to the evidence previously discussed in Chapter 5. Leadership is itself a process and has various attributes that can be investigated, but here consideration will be limited to those aspects that bear upon the research question. First, though, the nature of the phenomenon is considered.
Robert F. Grattan

7. Making Strategic Leaders

Abstract
The study has identified the central importance of leadership in the strategy formulation process in both the military and business scenarios and has investigated the mindset of strategic leaders. Finally, the process by which strategic leaders are, or perhaps, could be identified and developed now needs to be addressed.
Robert F. Grattan

8. Conclusion

Abstract
The aim of this study is to assess whether the strategy process in the business field also prevails in the military context, and to identify areas of similarity and difference. The following hypotheses were proposed:
Robert F. Grattan

Backmatter

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