Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Patterns in Strategy Formation

Contents:

Author Info

  • Henry Mintzberg

    (McGill University)

Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    The literature on strategy formation is in large part theoretical but not empirical, and the usual definition of "strategy" encourages the notion that strategies, as we recognize them ex post facto, are deliberate plans conceived in advance of the making of specific decisions. By defining a strategy as "a pattern in a stream of decisions," we are able to research strategy formation in a broad descriptive context. Specifically, we can study both strategies that were intended and those that were, realized .despite intentions. A research program suggested by this definition is outlined, and two of the completed studies are then reviewed--the strategies of Volkswagenwerk from 1934 to 1974 and of the United States government in Vietnam from 1950 to 1973. Some general conclusions suggested by these studies are then presented in terms of three central themes: that strategy formation can fruitfully be viewed as the interplay between a dynamic environment and bureaucratic momentum, with leadership mediating between the two forces; that strategy formation over time appears to follow some important patterns in organizations, notably life cycles and distinct change-continuity cycles within these; and that the study of the interplay between intended and realized strategies may lead us to the heart of this, complex organizational process.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.24.9.934
    Download Restriction: no

    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.

    Volume (Year): 24 (1978)
    Issue (Month): 9 (May)
    Pages: 934-948

    as in new window
    Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:24:y:1978:i:9:p:934-948

    Contact details of provider:
    Postal: 7240 Parkway Drive, Suite 300, Hanover, MD 21076 USA
    Phone: +1-443-757-3500
    Fax: 443-757-3515
    Email:
    Web page: http://www.informs.org/
    More information through EDIRC

    Related research

    Keywords:

    References

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as in new window

    Cited by:
    This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page.

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:24:y:1978:i:9:p:934-948. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mirko Janc).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.