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What is Strategy and How Do You Know If You Have One?

8 Pages Posted: 20 Jun 2004  

Costas Markides

London Business School


Strategy bewilders and confuses at every turn. This led the Economist to claim that: "Nobody really knows what strategy is". The chasm at the heart of our knowledge of strategy, argues Costas Markides, requires a return to fundamentals.

What is strategy, really? Despite the obvious importance of a superior strategy to the success of an organisation and despite decades of research on the subject, there is little agreement among academics as to what strategy really is. From notions of strategy as positioning to strategy as visioning, several possible definitions are fighting for legitimacy. Lack of an acceptable definition has opened up the field to an invasion of sexy slogans and terms, all of which add to the confusion and state of unease.

Suggested Citation

Markides, Costas, What is Strategy and How Do You Know If You Have One?. Business Strategy Review, Vol. 15, No. 2, pp. 5-12, June 2004. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=551163

Constantinos Markides (Contact Author)

London Business School ( email )

Sussex Place
Regent's Park
London, London NW1 4SA
United Kingdom

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