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The Different Perspectives Of Social Science Disciplines Inform Strategic Management

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Critically Analyze How the Different Perspectives of Social Science Disciplines Inform Strategic Management?




According to Mintzberg, strategy is influential and it is one of the high points of managerial activity. Strategy is nothing but a plan that guides the organization or the top management to carry out the functions effectively in the future. Strategy is a pattern that helps the company to work consistently over time (Ahlstrand, Lampel and Mintzberg, 2014). This report will critically analyze different perspective of strategic management in social science disciplines. Social science covers a huge range of disciplines like environment planning, human geography, development studies, management and business studies, economics, linguistics, social anthropology, education, Economic and social history, Psychology and Sociology, Politics and International Relations and lastly the social policies and social work (, 2015). Since, it is not possible to discuss all the perspectives; the report will demonstrate the strategic management perspectives in general way and demonstrate the models that can be used for an effective strategy.


Literature Review

Strategic Management has created contribution in various fields like public administration, psychology, sociology, economics and organizational behavior. The strategic management field is a new concept contrasted with other disciplines (e.g. financial matters, science, law, and so on.) and has been scrutinized by researchers who inquiry its authenticity and significance (Cox et al., 2012). Strategic management is censured for neglecting to have a succinct, formal definition, failing to offer its own remarkable speculations, and being a sub-field of different controls (McGrath, 2007). Moreover, the field is condemned for concentrating too vigorously on hypothesis and lacking reasonable application for chiefs, for concentrating too intensely on down to earth application and not on hypothesis, and actually for being based upon a detached set of thoughts with no satisfactory structure (Barney, 2002; Mahoney & McGahan, 2007). Taking all things together, a few researchers don't consider vital administration to be a reasonable scholastic order. Researchers belonging to different filed have different perspective about strategic management. Different authors have classified strategy in different ways. The classifications are divided into following ways:

  • Chafee’s interpretive, adaptive and linear schools in the year (1985)

  • The interpretive model of Chafee observes social business as compilation of social indenture and strategy is an activity that is mainly driven by the beliefs and values of the organization. The adaptive model emphasizes on continuously evaluating the environment and also subsequent business adaptation. The linear model emphasizes on planning. It focuses on directed, sequential and methodological action helping the organization to make proper decisions.

  • Mintzberg et al ten schools of thoughts(1998).

  • The 10 thoughts are classified into three classes. The initial three schools are prescriptive in nature. They are concerned with how procedures ought to be formed. They in this way tell about perfect key conduct. These focus on the conduct of the strategist as a single person. The next six consider particular parts of the procedure development process. They portray how techniques get made. They focus on part of elements past the single person. The last school is a blend of all the above schools, it looks to be integrative. It tries to group the system making process, the substance, hierarchical structures and their connections into different stages.

  • Organic and mechanistic approach by Fajourn (2000).

  • The organic perspective treats time asuccessives relentless and consistent with the stream of occasions being non straight, interactional and element and accentuation on the connections between develops which are integrative in nature. The Mechanistic approach takes a gander at time as watchful; with the stream of occasions being direct, , directional and static and the builds and models are decently created, separated and accentuation is more on develop than on the connections among the develops (Barney, 2013).

  • Cultural, evolutionary, logical incremental and rational school of thoughts of Faulkner and Campbell (2002).

  • The rational planning stage identifies the gap between the numerical objective and also the result that emerges due to the present strategies. After developing a proper plan, the implementation of the plan should be adaptive in nature. This stage leads to flexible mindset. The evolutionary imperative perspective is all about involving the evolutionary adjustment behavior according to the survival interest. Lastly, the cultural constraint is all about espousing the system according to the cultural elements (Faulkner and Campbell, 2003).

  • Micro, organic, rational, mechanistic, upper echelon, middle management perspectives of Hutzschenreuter and kleindienst (2006).

  • From The micro viewpoint is concerned with the individual level. In consolidating praxis, hones, and professionals the point of view gives a larger structure that connections micro phenomenon to macro phenomena. The organic viewpoint considers how the association grows after some time utilizing way needy models to delineate variety and determination inside and among associations. The rational-mechanistic point of view, procedure methodology is delineated as a successive, discerning, and logical action concerned with the ID of the inside qualities and shortcomings of the association and the opportunities and dangers in the outside environment. As per the upper-echelon point of view, top supervisors are the key performers molding the course of the firm (Breuer, 2010). The cognitive viewpoint, nearly identified with the more elite class viewpoint, sees system as a mental procedure reflecting the administrator's recognition and assessment of a key issue. The middle management viewpoint holds that center administrators know which key issue to go to. Their closeness to the business makes them enter performers in the method process (Ericson, 2008).

The difficulty of how strategy should be formulated has led to various claims due to merits and de-merits of different school of thoughts or classifications discussed above. There are two different perspectives of strategic management one is the design school and another one is the learning school. The design school is all about matching the strength, weaknesses, threats and opportunities. This means it is all about developing SWOT analysis of the business and then develop strategies for effective performance. Further, the Ansoff’s product matrix helps to understand the relationship between the new products and the existing products and its fitness with the organization. The learning school actually helps to understand how strategy occurs unlike design school. There are three different strategies; integrated strategies that is chosen by the organization to pursue, realized strategy that the organization essentially carries out and the emergent strategy that meets the need of external business environment.


Comparative Analysis Of Business Models

Three different strategies exist in an organization; corporate strategy, business level strategy and operational strategy. The corporate level strategy is concerned with the general reason and extension of an association and how esteem will be included to the distinctive of the association. The business level strategy is about how to contend effectively specifically markets and the operational level strategy are concerned with how the components of an association convey adequately the business level and corporate level methods regarding process, resources and also individuals.

Figure: Corporate strategy Model

Source: (Johnson, Scholes and Whittington, 2008)

Strategic management in social science disciplines mainly includes organization’s strategic position, strategic choices that can be used for effective performance in future and lastly the putting the strategies in action.

  • Strategic Position: It is concerned with distinguishing the effect on methodology of the outside environment, an association's key ability (assets and skills) and the desires and impact of stakeholders.

  • Strategic Choice: it includes understanding the basic bases for future system at both the corporate and business levels and the choices for creating system with respect to both the methods and directions for improvement.

  • Strategic Action: It is concerned with guaranteeing that systems are working practice

There are various different models that have to be considered for developing and implementing strategies in social science discipline. In order to determine the strategic position different environments of business that is determined by the macro environment, industry and the competitors. The macro environment of the organization can be determined by analyzing PESTLE factors (political, economic, social, technological, environmental and legal) which gives broad information of external factors that have strong impact on the business and also helps to identify changing drivers.   Industry layers helps to identify similar firms that are producing same services and products. From the perspective of strategic management, these firms exerts competitive forces that can be determined by Michael Porter’s five forces framework  which includes new entrants threat, substitute threat, supplier’s powers, buyers power and rivalry threat. This framework gives proper insights about how to analyze the strategies and also increase their profit by making proper action. Further, in order to determine the industry structure, the business can use the industry life cycle which comprises of 5 different stages development, growth, shake-out, maturity and decline (Jeffs, 2008). Then to demonstrate the strategic choices it is important to identify the business units of a company and then based on SBUs, it is important to assess the extent of sustainable competitive advantage and identify different strategies that would be suitable for hypercompetitive conditions. Here, in this it is important to derive proper pricing based strategies like ‘no frills strategy’, ‘low- price strategy’ will seek to achieve competitive advantage. Further, in order to understand the interrelationship among the competitive moves the organization in social science discipline can utilize Game Theory which is helpful in determining the competitive dynamics. In order to manage different business portfolios one needs to use the BCG Matrix (Boston Consulting Group) that mainly focuses on portfolio balance, business units attractiveness and business fitness. This model mainly includes four businesses, further the GE- Matrix also helps to position the business units according to market attractiveness and competitive strength. Last, step of strategic management is to develop strategic choices by identifying the processes using organizational politics, logical instrumentalism, cultural processes and resource allocation process (David, 2005).


Business Example

This section would focus on few models of strategic management taking Tesco as a business example. It is the largest food retailers in UK. The industry PESTLE Framework helps the organization to meet the growing demand of the population by analyzing the political, economic, social, technological, legal and environmental factors. The Porter’s five forces help to recognize the competitive attractiveness and interest of market and determine the TESCO’s strength in the competitive market. Through SWOT analysis TESCO can address its weakness, prevent the threats, capitalize the opportunities and develop future goals using the strengths. Using the four celled matrix that is the BCG Matrix, TESCO can determine its portfolio in the competitive market. This matrix can help TESCO to represent their different business in a graphical way and based on this graphic representation, the organization can determine their portfolio related to industry growth and market share. GE-Matrix can further help TESCO to evaluate their business portfolio and further implement the strategies that can help them to prioritize the business investment.



In conclusion, this paper demonstrates the concept of strategic management. The theories and models discussed in this paper would be useful for all the social science disciplines. However, the effective implementation depends on the organization culture and skills. TESCO is the business chosen to discuss t how the models have helped the organization to determine their strategic position, choices and action in the competitive market. Utilizing these strategic models, the organization is able to gain competitive advantage and also deliver value to the business processes and customers. By discussing the model s that can be used in three different steps of strategic management will help the social science discipline business to do better in the upcoming future compared to their competitors to sustain in this competitive world.



Ahlstrand, B., Lampel, J. and Mintzberg, H. (2014). Strategy safari. [S.l.]: Free Press.

Barney, J. (2002). Strategic management: From informed conversation to academic discipline. Academy of Management Executive, 16(2), pp.53-57.

Barney, M. (2013). Leading value creation. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.

Breuer, M. (2010). Socio-cognitive dynamics in strategic processes. Lohmar: Eul.

Cox, M., Daspit, J., McLaughlin, E. and Jones, III, R. (2012). Strategic management: is it an academic discipline?. Journal of Business Strategies, 29(1).

David, F. (2005). Strategic management. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson Prentice Hall.

Ericson, M. (2008). As in the Composition of a Fugue: Capturing the Flow of Strategic Business Activities. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 7(2), pp.58-72., (2015). Social science disciplines. [online] Available at: [Accessed 11 Feb. 2015].

Faulkner, D. and Campbell, A. (2003). The Oxford handbook of strategy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Jeffs, C. (2008). Strategic management. Los Angeles: SAGE.

Johnson, G., Scholes, K. and Whittington, R. (2008). Exploring corporate strategy. Harlow: Prentice Hall.

Mahoney, J. and McGahan, A. (2007). The field of strategic management within the evolving science of strategic organization. Strategic Organization, 5(1), pp.79-99.

McGRATH, R. (2007). No longer a stepchild: how the management field can come into its own. Academy of Management Journal, 50(6), pp.1365-1378.

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