What is Strategy?

The word strategy has entered the field of management more recently. This word was earlier used in military where it meant to offset actual or potential actions of competitors.

The term “Strategy” is acquired form the Greek word “Strategos” meaning generalship. A plan or process or a set of decision rules making an arrangement or creating a common thread.

When the term strategy is used in military sense, it refers to action that can be taken in the light of action taken by opposite party. According to Oxford Dictionary, ‘military strategy is the art of so moving or disposing the instruments of warfare (troops, ships, aircrafts, missiles, etc.) as to impose upon the enemy, the place, time and conditions for fighting by oneself. Strategy ends, or yields to tactics when actual contact with enemy is made’.

In management, the concept of strategy is taken in slightly different form as compared to its usage in military form; it is taken more broadly. However, in this form, various experts do not agree about the precise scope of strategy. Lack of unanimity has resulted into two broad categories of definitions: strategy as action inclusive of objective setting and strategy as action exclusive of objective setting.

Some of the definitions of strategy

Peter Drucker

Tomorrow always arrives. It is always different. And even the mightiest company is in trouble if it has not worked on the future. Being surprised by what happens is a risk that even the largest and richest company cannot afford, and even the smallest business need not run.

Abraham Lincoln

If we know where we are and something about how we got there, we might see where we are treading and if the outcomes which lie naturally in our course are unacceptable, to make timely change.

Hoel Ross and Michael Kami

Without a strategy, a company is like a ship without a rudder, going around in circles. It’s like a tramp; it has no place to go.


If a man takes no thought about what is distant, he will find sorrow near at hand. He who will not worry about what is far off will soon find something worse that worry. –


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