Mintzberg provides a framework that describes how strategic plans and incrementalism combine in practice to form strategies.
The key point is to allow managers to ‘craft’ strategies from events as time progresses.
The conclusion is that a mixture of a strategic plan and management initiative will provide control but also organizational learning.
Five Types of Strategies
Henry Mintzberg in his The Strategy Process, identified the following Strategies in an Organization.
Intended: The result of a deliberate planning process.
Deliberate: Where the intended plans have been put into action.
Unrealised: Not all planned strategies are implemented.
Emergent: Sometimes strategies are created by force of circumstances.
Realised: It can be seen that the final realised strategy results from a balance of forces of the other types of strategies.
Intended strategies (which, if implemented, are referred to as deliberate strategies) are conscious plans imposed by management.
Emergent strategies are behaviors which are adopted and which have a strategic impact.
The diagram above shows that under an emergent approach to strategy the processes of choice and implementation take place together. This is for two reasons:
1. Identity of decision and action. The managers thinking up and choosing the strategies are also responsible for carrying them out.
2. Learning process. The choice of strategies interacts with implementation. Rather than having a grand scheme for the next five years management tries something out this year, learns lessons from where it succeeds and fails, and develops new initiatives for next year.
Five types of strategies mentioned above are illustrated in the following diagram.
Strategies must still have purpose and this will be set by senior management. No actual strategy will be wholly deliberate or wholly emergent. The task of strategic management is to control and shape these emergent strategies as they develop.