The First chapter of this book introduces strategic management, the set of decisions and actions that result in the design and activation of stategies to achieve the objectives if an organization. The chapter provides an overview of the nature of benefits, and terminology of and the need for strategic managament. Subsequent chapters provide greater detail.
The first major section of Chapter 1, "The Nature and Value of Strategic Management," emphasizes the practical value and benefits of stategic management for a firm. It also distinguishes between a firm's strategic decisions and its other planning tasks.
The section stresses the key point that strategic management activities are undertaken at three levels: corporate, business, and functional. The distinctive characteristics of strategic decision making at each of these levels affect the impact of activities at these levels on company operations. Other topics dealt with in this section are the value of formality in strategic management and the alignment of stategy makers in strategy formulation and implementation. The section concludes with a review of the planning research on business, which demonstrates that the use of strategic management process yields financial and behavioral benefits that justify their costs.
The second major section of Chapter 1 presents a model of the strategic management process. The model, which will serve as an outline for the remainder of the text, describes approaches currently used by strategic planners. Its individual components are carefully defined and explained, as is the process for integrating them into the strategic management process. The section ends with a discussion of the model's practical limitations and the advisability if tailoring the recommendations made to actual business situations.