Strategic Management Background

Strategy as a field is relatively new.

It emerged during the 1970s and the early 1980s out of a requirement to have a business policy capstone class. One of the key indicators of the legitimacy of an area of study as a field are specialty journals. One of the first strategy-focused journals, Strategic Management Journal, started in 1981.

Early in the field, the focus was on two core ideas: strategy content and strategy process.

Strategy Process
This research drew on sociology, social psychology, and cognitive psychology. Scholars were focused on questions such as:

  • How are strategies chosen?
    • See Andrews (1971), Bower (1970), Mintzberg (1978), Burgleman (1983)
  • How do decision making biases factor into this process?
    • See Tversky and Kahneman (1974), Schwenk (1984), Mason, (1969)
Strategy Content
This research drew on economics concepts. Scholars were interested in asking:
  • What is the best strategy to pursue?
    • At the industry level: Porter (1980)
    • At the corporate level: Chandler (1966), Rumelt (1974), Montgomery, (1981)
From this brief overview, it is possible to see that both sociology and economics are used in strategy research. Future posts will describe in more detail the economic and sociological foundations of strategy.
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