In today’s business world, Strategic Management is considered as a major tool in order to achieve organizational goals and objectives. Strategic management refers to the process to identify and describe major strategies so that they can be used for achieving major goals of the companies (Vaara and Whittington 2012). Thus, it is the responsibility of the organizational managers to manage the organizational strategies in an effective way (Galpin and Lee Whittington 2012). There are different kinds of strategy models for assisting the organizational managers. However, the strategy model of Richard Whittington is unique as well as effective in its own ways. Richard Whittington has developed his strategy model by combining different kinds of theories about strategies. Based on this analysis, he developed four different approaches for strategic management. They are shown in the following diagram:
Figure 1: Strategy Approaches of Whittington
(Source: Marietto, Sanches and Meireles 2012)
The aim of this study is to make a comparison between Evolutionary and Processual school of strategies. After that, this study attempts to distinguish these two approaches with the Classical strategy approach.
Comparison between Evolutionary and Processual School of Strategy
It needs to be mentioned that there are certain differences and similarities between Evolutionary and Processual strategy approach. They are discussed below:
It needs to be mentioned that both evolutionary and processual approaches have different beliefs. The main belief of evolutionary approach is that the world economic environment is continuously changing. For this reason, business organizations are required to develop strategies based on these changes so that they can maximize organizational profit (Klerkx, Van Mierlo and Leeuwis 2012). However, the belief is different in case of processual approach. Under processual approach, organizational managers develop necessary strategies by following existing rules and regulations of the organizations (Tavakoli, Schlagwein and Schoder 2015). According to the principles of evolutionary approach, it is not possible for the business organizations to predict the future changes in business environments (Guerras-Martín, Madhok and Montoro-Sánchez 2014). For this reason, it is not possible for the organizational managers to develop long-term business strategies based on the changes in business environments. At the same time, the principles of processual approach refuse the approach and principles of evolutionary approach. According to the processual approach, there is not any basis of profit maximization in the business organizations (Sminia and de Rond 2012). This approach states that the organizational managers are required to develop the business strategies based on the results of various policitical activities within the organizations.
In this context, it is required to be mentioned that under the approach of evolutionary model, the aim of the organizational managers is to keep the costs low so that the efficiency of overall business operations can be increased (Mantere 2013). This aspect also keeps the options open for the organizations for organizational improvements. In case of processual approach, organizational managers develop the business strategies based on the various organizational actions (Liem 2014). Under this strategy, the generation of many strategies can be seen in the organizations as every individuals are allowed to develop strategies for achieving the goals and objectives. It needs to mentioned that this particular aspect is considered as a major limitation of processual approach as it is not goods for the organizations to have many strategies.
Apart from the differences, there are some major similarities between evolutionary approach and processual approach. It needs to be mentioned that the aim of both evolutionary and processual approach is to develop effective business strategies in order to achieve organizational goals and objectives. Both the approaches believe that process of developing organizational strategies is prominent or emergent. Thus, it can be seen that both the approaches take attempts to develop strategies from different aspects of the business organizations. It needs to be mentioned that evolutionary approach develop strategies from various aspects of business environment. Business organization is also considered as a vital part of business environment. In this case, similarity can be seen between evolutionary and processual approach as the organizational managers develop their strategies based on their business environment. With the help of this strategy, the organizational managers are able to perform in a more effective and efficient way. Another major similarity can be seen in case of the users of these approaches. It has been seen that the organizational managers of the established companies have a knack to use the principles of evolutionary and processual approaches.
Evolutionary and Processual Approach against Classical Approach
The above discussion shows various aspects of the strategy school of Evolutionary approach and Processual approach. In this context, it is required to be mentioned that another major part of Whittington’s strategy model is Classical or Classic School of strategy. In most of the business organizations all over the world, vast use of the different principles of classical approach can be observed. From this, it can be understood that this particular approach has large popularity among the business organizations all over the world. In this context, it needs to mention that there are various components of classical school of strategy development (Liem 2014). Under the strategies of classical approach, organizational managers develop necessary business strategies by using the organizational resources in the most optimal way. In this process, they use different kinds of features like rational analysis and others for the development of effective business strategies (Whittington 2014). It has been mentioned earlier that Whittington has developed his strategy development model by combing different kinds of strategic management theories and approaches. For this reason, the application of different kinds of strategic management tools can be seen in classical approach; they are the application of Porter’s Five Forces model, PESTEL analysis and many others.
From the earlier part of the discussion, it can be seen that there are many differences and similarities between models of evolutionary approach and processual approach. However, it can also be seen that both the approaches have been successful in developing effective business strategies. Thus, it is obvious that will be certain similarities and differences between evolutionary approach and processual approach with the classical approach. For this reason, it is required to consider some major factors. Following discussion shows the comparison between evolutionary and processual approach with classical approach.
Evolutionary and Classical School of Strategy
Both Classical and evolutionary school of strategy are integral part of the strategy model of Whittington. It can be seen that both the approaches have popularities all over the world. It needs to be mentioned that there are certain similarities between the approaches of evolutionary and classical approach. Both these schools of strategy share some similarities. The main aim of these two schools of strategy is to maximize the profits of the organizations (Catalano et al. 2014). However, both the evolutionary and classical approach applies different kinds of means for the achievement of end objectives. There are basic differences between evolutionary and classical approach’ and the evolutionary approach of strategy development can challenge the classical approach form different aspects. The process of strategy development under classical approach is formal. It implies that the organizational managers develop strategies in a formal manner under the classical approach. On the contrary, it has been seen that under evolutionary approach, organizational managers of the companies develop organizational strategies by taking into consideration all the necessary changes in the business environment. For this reason, the strategy development process under evolutionary approach is more efficient as the organizations become able to perform well in every kind of business environment (Quinn 2015). Another major aspect is the rationale of these two approaches. In case of classical approach, the main rationale is profit maximization. On the other hand, the rationale of evolutionary approach is to ensure the survival of the businesses. Sometime, it is not enough for the companies to maximize the profits as only profit maximization cannot alone ensure the survival of the businesses. At the same time, under the approach of evolutionary school of strategies, organizational managers develop business strategies by considering all the survival aspects of the companies. These include strategy for profit maximization, corporate governance strategy, sustainability strategy and many others. Thus, in this particular area, evolutionary approach can easily challenge the classic approach. It can be seen that the adoption of evolutionary approach helps the business organizations in gaining overall efficiency with the achievements of organizational goals and objectives.
However, there are some major areas where both classical and evolutionary approach can challenge each other. One of such areas is “focus” of these approaches. The focus of classical approach is the internal factors of the businesses. More precisely, classical approach helps in the development of organization strategies in order to develop various internal plans of the companies. However, the focus area of evolutionary approach is different. With the help of evolutionary approach, business managers develop strategies for external factors of the businesses like the external market (Quinn 2015). Both internal and external factors have their own importance in order to achieve the goals and objectives. Thus, in case of focus area, both evolutionary and classical approach can challenge each other. The strategy development process of both classical and evolutionary approach is different from each other. Under the classical approach, organizational managers develop organizational strategies with the help of various analytical approaches. However, in case of evolutionary approach, the development of business strategies is done on Darwinian basis (McDonough et al. 2016). It implies that the development of strategies is done on exploration basis. According to evolutionary approach, the development of key business strategies depends on the changing business environment rather than the organizational managers. At the time of determining the choice strategies for the organizations, organizational managers allow the market to determine it. In case of the management of organizational resources, classical approach plays a superior role than evolutionary approach. The application of various strategic management tools under classical approach helps the organizational managers in managing the organizational resources in the most efficient way. Thus, based on the above discussion, it can be seen that evolutionary approach have more superiorities that classical approach in the development of organizational strategies. However, it can also be seen that classical approach is superior to evolutionary approach in some of the areas. In addition, in some of the cases both the evolutionary approach and classical approach have equal contribution towards the development of organizational strategies (McDonough et al. 2016). Hence, based on the above discussion, it can be said that evolutionary approach can challenge classical approach in the development of necessary organizational strategies.
Processual and Classical School of Strategy
In case of classical and processual approach for strategy development, some major differences can be seen. In case of processual approach, organizational managers develop business strategies by working with the employees of the companies. In this aspect, a major difference can be seen between processual approach and classical approach. In case of classical school of strategy, organizational managers develop strategies with the help of different analytical procedures. However, the process is different in case of processual approach (Sammut-Bonnici and Paroutis 2013). Under processual approach, organizational managers consider all the existing organizational rules, regulations and policies at the time of developing organizational strategies. Thus, under processual approach, organizational managers can develop strategies by complying with the regulations and rules of the organizations and it ensures the success of the businesses. It proves the superiority of processual approach over classical approach. On the other hand, major differences can be seen between classical and processual approach in case of their focus areas. It can be seen that both classical and processual approach focus on the internal factors of the companies while developing the organizational strategies. However, in case of processual approach, organizational mangers focus on some of the additional factors in the internal factors of the business organizations. Under processual approach, organizational managers use some valuable as well as non-imitable resources in order to develop business strategies. With the help of these strategies, they are able to outperform their major competitors. The approach of processual school of strategy states that knowledge is the most valuable resource in the business organizations (Júnior and Antunes 2016). The main reason is that they knowledge is non-tradable and they are not easy to manage. For all these reasons, organizational managers adopt the strategy of processual approach for the development of organizational strategies. Thus, in this aspect, processual approach can challenge classical school of strategy. In this situation, it is required to be mentioned that there is not any specific rational to processual approach for the development of business strategies. The main aim of processual approach is to develop business strategies so that the overall effectiveness and efficiency of the companies can be increased (Júnior and Antunes 2016).
There is another major area of differentiation between classical and processual approach. In case of classical approach of strategy development, first, the organizational managers develop the optimal business strategies; after the development of business strategies, they implement them. however, this system is different in case of processual approach. Under processual approach, organizational managers use to discover various business strategies with their actions (Júnior and Antunes 2016). Under this approach, every members of the companies are entertained to take part in the strategy development process. Thus, it can be observed that organizational managers under processual approach put more focus on internal insights rather than external insight. Under classical schools of strategy development, only organizational managers are responsible for the development of organizational strategies. According to the approach of processual school of strategy, organizational strategies are developed from everyday business operations (Ceko 2014). In this process, organizational managers construct business strategies from middle-up-down incremental processes. In this situation, it is important to mention the fact that various leadership styles play an important part in the development of organizational strategies under processual approach. Most of the businesses persons all over the world consider that it is a messy process to develop the business strategies with the help of processual approach (Ceko 2014). However, the effectiveness of this approach cannot be ignored. Thus, based on the above discussion, it can be seen that some of the major elements of strategy development is missing under classical approach of strategy development. In addition, organizational managers under classical approach do not consider all the necessary factors while developing the business strategies. At the same time, organizational manager under processual approach take into consideration all the necessary factors for developing the business strategies (Ceko 2014). The presence of all the crucial factors proves the superiority of processual approach over classical approach. Thus, for all these reasons, processual school of strategy can challenge classical school of strategy.
The above discussion shows various analyses on the strategy model of Whittington. Some major differences as well as similarities can be seen two of the major aspects of the strategy model of Whittington, evolutionary school of strategy and processual school of strategy. The major similarity is the development of organizational strategies, but they do it in different ways. According to the above discussion, some superior qualities in both evolutionary and processual approach help them to challenge the approach of classical school of strategy. Thus, based on the above discussion, it can be said that both evolutionary and processual approach of strategy development are the improved versions of classical school of strategy. Robert Whittington developed the approaches of evaluation and processual by considering the approach of classical.
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