In Search of the Essence of Strategy, a Model for Strategic Management in Three Stages

28 Pages Posted: 13 Nov 2013

Date Written: November 12, 2013


The essence of something is what makes something what it is. The search for the essence of strategy is a challenging task. Determining which are the most important aspects, or the quintessence, of a strategy requires extracting and concentrating its substance. For this task we need two basic elements: firstly, an historical perspective on the evolution of the strategy; and secondly, a practical proposal for managing strategy. This means reviewing those models that have remained credible after practical tests; and then proposing an approach for managing strategy. We must recover the essence of strategy and project it into the future.

Organisations can learn. The strategic management process can be seen by an organisation as a source of constant learning. This comprehensive strategic process goes through three stages and resembles a wheel. In the centre is the raison d'ĂȘtre of the organisation: its mission, vision, and values. The three stages of the comprehensive strategic process are: analysis, decision, and implementation. These stages are interrelated and form a strategic continuum; however, complex processes do not always require complex models. It helps an organisation if the rules and models are easily understood by everyone. Simplicity is often the greatest sophistication.

Keywords: Strategy, General Management, Strategic Management, Strategic Process Models, Learning Organization

JEL Classification: M10

Suggested Citation

Planellas, Marcel, In Search of the Essence of Strategy, a Model for Strategic Management in Three Stages (November 12, 2013). ESADE Business School Research Paper No. 250. Available at SSRN: or

Marcel Planellas (Contact Author)

ESADE Business School ( email )

Av. de Pedralbes, 60-62
Barcelona, 08034

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