The Strategic Management of Execution

10 Pages Posted: 13 Sep 2019

See all articles by David J. Collis

David J. Collis

Harvard University - Business School (HBS)

Date Written: September 11, 2019


“Tell me David, is it better to have a great strategy poorly executed, or a so-so strategy really well executed?” The age-old question suggests there is a fundamental tradeoff between strategy and execution. The tone in which it is asked typically flags that the questioner already knows the answer - the superiority of execution over strategy. But is this really true? Does, to borrow a phrase, execution eat strategy for lunch?

Suggested Citation

Collis, David J., The Strategic Management of Execution (September 11, 2019). Harvard Business School Strategy Unit Working Paper No. 20-026, 2019, Available at SSRN: or

David J. Collis (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Business School (HBS) ( email )

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