Criteria for Evaluating Strategic Concepts and Tools
These are the eight screening criteria proposed:
System [Definition]: Systemic thinking has become a hardly disputable approach in most of science. It is proposed here as a concept clearly to define entities under scrutiny, e.g.. companies, organisational units, industries etc. .- Under this criterion a strategic tool will be examined as to the extent to which it can contribute to this clarity in defining the system and its subsystems and setting it off against its surroundings.
Environment [Definition]: This criterion naturally follows systemic lines. It is proposed here separately in order to underscore the importance of drawing a clear line between a system and its adjoining systems. – Strategic tools under this criterion should be analysed as to their suitability do describe a system’s environments in useful terms while throwing the separating line into stark relief.
Relationships [Definition]: Here strategic concepts or tools will be analysed as to how effectively they help their users define relationships between their system and its environment in logical and practical terms. – This criterion is proposed to support clarity between structurally-static and relations-dynamic descriptions (e.g. a system may be “unstable”, while its relationships with its environment “change at a fast pace”).
Power [Location & Effects]: Briefly looking at item 2 will help to understand why this criterion is considered important. Hence, strategic concepts and tools under this criterion will have to be screened in terms of their suitability to detect sources of power, power alliances, and lines of real power wielding.
Direction [Definition]: It can be considered that there is a general consensus that strategy cannot be without direction. Strategic concepts and tools will be scrutinized under this criterion should show their contribution to chiselling out, define, and present direction.
Thrust / Energy [Definition of Sources]: No strategic success can be achieved without a sufficient amount of energy or thrust put into it, which usually comes from and through people putting their shoulders to the effort. – Under this criterion concepts and tools will be examined as to what extent they can contribute to raising this thrust and energy among those concerned.
Sustainability [Appraising]: What may sound like a straightforward contradiction to the very concept presented here, in fact is absolutely true to the dynamics implied. Instruments and tools assessed as helpful under this criterion will have to prove their suitability for estimating the time frame in which an individual strategy will probably be useful, and for finding further extensions and branch-offs for theis strategy once its shelf-life has expired.
People´s Behaviour [Anticipating]: This criterion is closely associated with item 6., but it is seen here in a wider context. Strategic concepts and tools under this criterion will be examined for their supportiveness in foretelling involved players` reactions, in particular with regard to support, assistance, ideally also providing advice how to cope.
The Proposed Meta-Tool for Choosing Concepts and Tools
Strategic Concepts and Tools
Human Behavi our
Environmental analysis [STEP, PEST, SERF, etc.]]
Hertzberg’s motivation theory
Key/critical Success Factors
Market segmentation – product / market matrix/grid
Maglev’s hierarchy of needs
McGregor’s theory x – theory y
Porter’s five-forces concept
Portfolio concept BCG
Portfolio concept McKinsey
Product [/market] life cycle concept
Strategic business unit
Value chain concept – both intra-organisational and industry-related
Vision [“strategic intent”]
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