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10 Pages, Grade: 1,0
Decision making is a fundamental skill for any successful executive. But decisions at strategic level are hard to make. They require large amounts of resources and commitments which may be irreversible. They involve long-term consequences that are hard to predict. And, they require considering multiple, often conflicting, strategic objectives which are difficult to balance, particularly in the presence of risk and uncertainty. Research and thinking about modern business strategy emerged as a field of study and practice in the 1960s. Prior to that time, the words "strategy" and "competition" rarely appeared in the most prominent management literature. When influential academics in the USA started to think fundamentally about strategic decision making in the 1980s and ‘90s, they made the assumption that everything works in a competitive working, free market and developed thereof generic strategy tools, that are supposed to work everywhere.
However, Elmes (the guest speaker) argues that they are not well founded, since strategies need to be developed in the respective context of an industry or market. This position will be explained in more detail during this essay. Especially the determinant of market efficiency, meaning how competitive a market is, strongly influences the development of strategic decisions. There are many industries where government involvement or asymmetric competition need to be considered to make strategic decisions, whereby generic strategy tools tend to be ineffective. Therefore, the key questions for this essay will be firstly what are the traditional concepts of strategy and how have they involved, secondly what actually makes a strategy successful and lastly how does it apply in practice.
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