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Strategy Only Matters A Bit: The role of Strategy in the High Performance Organization

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  • André de Waal

    (Maastricht School of Management, Endepolsdomein 150, 6229 EP Maastricht, The Netherlands.)

Abstract

Ever since Porter’s book Competitive Strategy (1980), developing a generic strategy and then executing this strategy well has been seen as the main source of competitive advantage for organizations. However, since the publication of Porter’s book the business environment has changed dramatically, giving rise to the questions: How important is strategy nowadays for an organization to become and stay successful? and Are the generic strategies of Porter still valid? To find answers on these questions, research into the characteristics of high performance organizations (HPOs) was looked at. Based on the results of that research it was established that there was only one strategy characteristic of importance for establishing and maintaining an HPO. Strategy thus only matters a bit in the sense that just having a strategy is not enough to become a high performance organization. For this the strategy has to be unique, and this uniqueness cannot be achieved by choosing one of Porter’s generic strategies as having one such a generic strategy is no longer enough for the modern-day organization. Thus, the emphasis during the strategy development process should be on identifying the elements that make the organization stand-out from its competitors, and then on devising ways to exploit the unique traits of the organization in order to achieve sustainable competitive advantage.

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File URL: http://web2.msm.nl/RePEc/msm/wpaper/MSM-WP2011-02.pdf
File Function: First version, 2011
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Maastricht School of Management in its series Working Papers with number 2011/02.

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Length: 19 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:msm:wpaper:2011/02

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Keywords: strategy; high performance organization; uniqueness; importance; generic strategies;

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References

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  1. Nicholas Bloom & Christos Genakos & Raffaella Sadun & John Van Reenen, 2011. "Management Practices Across Firms and Countries," CEP Discussion Papers dp1109, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  2. Ira C. Harris, 2000. "The Strategy/Structure Debate: An Examination of the Performance Implications," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(4), pages 587-604, 06.
  3. André de Waal, 2011. "Characteristics of High Performance Organizations," Working Papers 2011/04, Maastricht School of Management.
  4. Nick Bloom & John Van Reenen, 2006. "Measuring and explaining management practices across firms and countries," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 733, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  5. Christian Ketels, 2006. "Michael Porter’s Competitiveness Framework—Recent Learnings and New Research Priorities," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 6(2), pages 115-136, June.
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