Wikipedia on strategic management

Working on the 2nd edn of the textbook, I want to link to other things folk may find if they look into this subject, and of course Wikipedia is going to be popular. Shame to find, then, that their entry on strategic management ‘needs to be rewritten’ to comply with quality standards. Click on the discussion, and there’s an interesting stream of comment and explanation of why it was withdrawn as a ‘featured’ Wiki article. Amongst this debate I see quite a lot about the problem of abstract and ambiguous concepts that bedevil the field and make it hard to identify anything that could be described as a ‘professional’ perspective.

[ For newcomers to the blog – ‘professional’ implies that two intelligent people, adequately trained, would tackle the same problem in a recongisably similar way, using similar tools, and arrive at similar conclusions and recommendations – as you’d expect from, say, two doctors, lawyers, engineers or accountants. Of course there will be differences of detail or emphasis, and some really tough issues may challenge even the best professionals in the field. But still, most of the work of strategic management should meet basic standards of professionalism. A partner at McKinsey once boasted to me that ‘Our partners are so leading-edge in their thinking that the answer a client gets depends on which partner leads the assignment. I don’t think that stance is representative of the firm’s view, though. ]

2 thoughts on “Wikipedia on strategic management

  1. Hi, professor. This article reminds me a little problem. Someone say that McKinsey can’t be one of the fortune 500 is because they too much rely on their consults ability, and seems to be that most of the great company, McDonald, GE, they operate mostly by their standard procedures, and that is what makes the company grow large. Company like McKinsey, the way to make more money must to be hiring more intelligence consults, which also bring the more management problems.

    So, is it possible that when facing the same problem, all consults tends to come up with the same result is the big strategy success for the McKinsey? Is it possible that in the future the consult industry works like this, a group of people doing the standard procedure job, and the staff don’t have to be all MBAs, just the project manager making the big, kinds of hard decisions, and this way could promote the development for consult industry.

    English is not my native language, so hope that I made my point clear. So, what you see about this?

  2. I don’t mean to understate the extremely smart work and awesome industry intelligence that the big consulting firms bring to bear – often way beyond what individual firms cope ever achieve. It’s also certain that they have developed powerful methods and procedures of their own for tackling their clients’ strategic challenges. My problem is with the tools of strategy themselves. You’re right that there’s nothing magical about ‘the MBA’ to make this qualification essential to all who work in strategy consulting firms .. but that’s too is because there’s little professional value in any of the MBA course content on strategy, as recruiters from these top firms frequently remark.

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