The circumstances in the approaches of strategy


In today's unpredictably and quick changing market, business atmosphere might become really volatile with definite risk that likely to take place. Indirectly, it would somehow influence the strategy prepared by an organization in handling such catastrophe. Strategy can be described as a combination effort of the prediction and understanding of industry dynamics, illustrating the organization's position in the industry an how to improve the decision towards organizational goals (Pulendran, 2003). Strategy could play its function in two slightly different roles; planned and emergent approach. Depending on the situation, both approaches might either assist or impede the business process. As it would be explained further in details, the discussion of how planned and emergent approaches could affect the process of the business and marketing planning would provided as well as the effectiveness of competing on the edge and game theory in finding the balance between the planned and emergent approaches to strategy.

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First of all, planned approach is when you might have just follow exactly the framework to undertaken the organizational goals, whereby emergent approach is once come up with such a new strategy because the framework that being designed before didn't suit to the market situation. According to Mintzberg(1994), "planning has always been about analysis, it is about breaking down a goal or set of intention into steps, formalizing those steps so that they can be implemented almost automatically, and articulating the anticipated consequences or results of each step". Each organization might manage to have their strategic planning based on their future prediction. But in certain ways, it might not perfectly suit the real situation in the market due to some unforeseeable circumstances that mostly arise; therefore they might need to re-plan their strategy. Holbech (2009) also stated that as business world were dynamic and huge changes might come up at anytime, emergent approach could allow planning to be flexible in a complex adaptive system. Improvisation and innovation are the main characteristics of emergent approach as they could be better stand still in the midst of crisis. The more the organization could adapt to the unpredictable nature of changes, the more their ability to sketch out the finding ideas and apply into their strategies.

As to explicate it further, some researchers might make use on a metaphor of Orchestra and Jazz music to exemplify these approaches. Orchestra music would be representing the planned approach when all the things in Orchestra music are just the way it should be, follow the established plan without any individual improvisation. As compared to Jazz music, it could best represent emergent approach. In Jazz music performances, it includes just a minimum control of planned process and emphasizes on the improvisation, innovation and flexibility as it would link when dealing with such a complex world (Dennis and Macaulay 2003). It is about their adaptability and how would they react to the changes in the market.

Yet planned and emergent approaches are completely a different method, additionally there are certain advantages and disadvantages filled by comparing both approaches. Planned approach is about formalization a strategy. Formalization can be defined as "the degree to which the final decision results from a series of logically planned activities that are tightly controlled" (Hetherington, 1991 cited in Pulendran, Speed, and Widding 2003). As stated by Mintzberg (1994), the beneficial characteristics of planned approach can be described by their ability to reduce uncertainty of the future by their ultimate ability to monitor each performance. As the entire organization would work along the framework that has been established, they follow the strategies towards expected goals, thus mistakes could be much eliminated in the whole process. In addition, clear objectives of the business are provided in the planned approach and the allocation of resources could efficiently use due to the fact that they have previously given a detailed task. But some critics might be coming through whereby most academics argue that planned approach has numerous general barriers such as inflexibility of much situation that could arise, long period of timeframe for implementing the strategies, unexpected crisis that could strike at anytime and any external factors that could affecting the implementation (O'regan and Ghobadian, 2002). The other drawbacks might claim as it could be more the control process and centralization when no one is able to surely predict the expected circumstances in the future. As a sum, there might be several advantages of planned approach as they are more systematically organized as compare to emergent approach, but nobody could predict what could possibly happened in the future so that their drawbacks of inflexibility could leads to major losses for those organization.

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Secondly, the other approaches that being discussed is an emergent approach. There are some beneficial characteristics of emergent approach which differ them from a planned approach in their ability to create innovation, improvisation, and flexibility. The key role of emergent approach is about matching the resources with opportunities, constraint and unpredictable demands that might be vary over the time (Hayes,2002). One of the application as being discussed in the article of "Competing On the Edge", when organizations are not just about doing their plain, but expected to react, anticipate the changes and leading (Brown & Eisenhardt 1998). However, instead of all their advantages, there are some limitation that physically seen in the emergent approach as unorganized approach when there's no formal rules being used, so that when such improvisation failed to be implemented, they could suffered twice in those circumstances. Porter (1996) could argue that a newly empowered employee often lack of vision and knowledge to acknowledge a trade off. This emphasizes the weakness in the lack of professional experienced managers who are not capable enough of analyzing the pattern and see an opportunity that might come in the middle of the crisis. In gist, we could assume that although emergent approaches seem to believe as one of the most promising approach that could be used due to their flexibility of the crisis, but they might be dangerous as their limitation on the experienced resources could poorly affecting the organization.

Furthermore, great strategies without an implementation would not work as expected to be. Instead of just implies in one approach, most organization could just implementing the strategy of both planned and emergent approach by management level. Burners stated that instead of comparing and arguing which is the best approach, it could be view just as two different that could be applied in a different situation and complement to each others. Planned approaches could best suit for a comparatively steady and predictable environment when there's not much change happened in the market. In contrast, emergent approaches could be used in a dynamic and unpredictable market, whereby changes could happen all the time. It's really important for an organization to understand clearly about different situation happened in the market and which approach that could best suit them. As a conclusion, when the market is stochastic in a relatively dynamic market, it could play a crucial role in having a balance between both approaches to create an effective strategy among the organization.

Best example that could be used in the importance of having a balance between planned and emergent approaches would be a mobile phone industry. As the mobile phones industry has been growing rapidly especially in the past 10 years, the market were changing so fast as drives by the increasing demand of the customer. In the new era of globalization, mobile phone is no longer a luxury product, as the price is relatively affordable to anyone and it becomes one of the current needs for communication. The growing of technology nowadays has just impacting the mobile phone industry. As each of the mobile phone player in the industry such as Nokia, Blackberry, and Apple should have a plan to sustain their existence in the market, but they should also be able to implementing the emergent strategy when the other competitors' are coming up with a new technology, so that they would not left behind others. In a situation when Nokia firstly comes with their smart phones, Apple able to come up with a new revolutionary phone known as iPhone, that could be able to drives the demand from Nokia to iPhone. When people are just happy with the existence of iPhone, Blackberry comes up with their Blackberry Messenger program so that it could be able to catch the attention of the customers. As Nokia, Blackberry, and iPhone are just happy with their successful product in the market, Google could react by launching a new phone with their own operating system so called Android. As crisis might strikes at anytime, they should also consider the external factors before planning a strategy. In brief, as we could assumed from the example given as planned approach might be able to sustain a competitive advantage in the market, but when threat of new entrants, substitute product and external factors do exist, each players in the industry should be able to come up with innovation and improvisation of their products. It could reflect their flexibility in the market.

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Scenario Thinking & Planning and Competing on the Edge might be used in assisting marketers to find a balance in strategic planning. Firstly, scenario thinking would talk about possible combination from future prediction and imagine how they would react to those changes whereby scenario planning enables each manager to plan a strategy by considering future possible outcomes in the business industry. As at Shell, "planning means changing minds, not just making plans" (Geus, 1988). Shell might have done better in the industry due to their ability to not only making plans, but elaborating any possible outcomes that could heavily strike their business. Their ability to face the crisis and learn from experiences could provide them with a competitive advantage as compared to their competitors. This might reflect the importance of having a balance between planned and emergent approach in the business industry when although plan is needed, but improvisation and innovation could be as important as plan in the stochastic market. In the other hand, Competing on the Edge may assume that they were on a rapid and unpredictable industry and their key factors to sustain in the market are the ability to change. The balance being discussed in this article plays an important role when planned is about structure and emergent approach is needed to avoid chaos and too many structural issue (Smith, 2006). This article was in addition discusses about the possible edge of time when a successful strategies are looking at past, present and future positioning of the product in the market. The balance on the investment of present product and the implementation of research in the future product could help to maintain a sustainable position of the organization in the market. When managers couldn't able to balance the equation, there would be some major wasted resources and time. As time pacing is the other crucial factors, rather than just an event (Brown et al, 1998). Planned approach might be important in the early stages of the business, but emergent approach is vital when major changes do influence the market and some innovation might be needed. The more effective it is applied, the more the company is able to ensure the balance between planned and emergent approaches.

Last but not least, as nobody could possibly imply on just using either approaches, the balancing issue could provide a gap for innovation and improvisation that needed in the rapid changing business environment. Competing on the edge and strategic planning/thinking may best able to explain the importance of balance in the planned and emergent approach. The ability to understand each approaches depending on the circumstances might be crucial as the combination of both could assist the marketing planning process. The effectiveness usage of each framework could rely on the situation in the market. Where prediction of future might contain certain risk of unpredicted factors, the best approach would depend on how adaptive the organization to cope the changes.

References List

Brown & Eisenhardt, 1998, "Competing on the Edge",Harvard Business School Press, Boston, pp.3-24

Burnes, B 1996, "No Such Thing as… a "One Best Way" to Manage Organizational Change", Management Decision, vol.34, no.10, pp.11-18, MCB University Press, viewed on 3 October 2010, < ""&HYPERLINK ""Filename=html/Output/Published/EmeraldFullTextArticle/Pdf/0010341002.pdf>

Dennis, N and Macaulay, M, 2003, "Jazz and Marketing Planning", Journal of Strategic Marketing. Teeside Business School, Borough Road, Middlesbrough.

Hayes, J (2002), "The Theory and Practice of Change Management" Palgrave, Basingstoke, viewed at 10 October 2010,


Holbech, L, 2009, "Aligning human resources and business strategy", Butterworth Heinemann, viewed at 10 October 2010, < ""&HYPERLINK ""Filename=html/Published/EmeraldFullTextArticle/Pdf/0010440701.pdf>

Jaworski, B & Kohli, AK,& Sahay, A 2000 , "Market driven vs Driving Markets", Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, vol.28,pp.45-54

Mintzberg, H, 1994, "The Rise and Fall of Strategic Planning: Reconceiving Roles for Planning, Plans, Planners", Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group.

O'Regan, N & Ghobadian, A (2002), "Formal Strategic Planning: The key to effective business process management", Business Process Management, vol.8, pp. 416-429.

Pulendran,S, Speed,R, and Widding II RE 2003 , " Marketing planning, market orientation and business performance'", European Journal of Marketing, vol.37,no.3/4,pp.476-497,viewed 9 October 2010, <;jsessionid=A7433C28B90F0D99386926760B305120?contentType=ArticleHYPERLINK ";jsessionid=A7433C28B90F0D99386926760B305120?contentType=Article&contentId=853852"&HYPERLINK ";jsessionid=A7433C28B90F0D99386926760B305120?contentType=Article&contentId=853852"contentId=853852>

Smith, A. ,2006, "Complexity theory for organizational futures studies", VOL. 7 NO. 3, pp. 22-30, Viewed at 13 October 2010,

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MARK 3009

BMPP Assignment feedback. 2.0

Assignment 2.0 - major research essay.

Student name: Ivan Giovanni Sirlina

Key Assessment criteria

Performance on this criteria


Very Poor





Describethe two approaches to strategy.


Explain how the two approaches can assist or impede the marketing planning process..


Explain why balance between the two approaches is required, and varies depending on the circumstances.


Describe and understand the frameworks i.e. Competing On the Edge and Scenario thinking / planning


Compare the effectiveness of the two frameworksin assisting marketers to find a balance between the two approaches.


The student understands the content of the course lectures and readings

The student has read and researchedwider than the lectures and course readings.

The student understands the topic(s) beyond the course material.

Correct citation of references (Harvard style). All sources have been accurately and truthfully acknowledged.

Appropriate references used, both in text and in reference list.

Concepts are clearly expressedand logically connected to support an original opinion.

Creative, critical and reflective thinking are all evident.

The student has answered the question, and convincingly presented an original opinion in their own words.

The student has demonstrated what they have learned from this course.

Relevant original examples, real or imaginary.

General presentation, grammar, spelling, punctuation, format and layout.

Summary comment:

Assignment grade:


The Graduate qualities being assessed by this assignment are indicated in the course information booklet