A critical review of ‘Crafting Strategy’ by Henry Mintzberg
Strategy is a topic that receives a considerable amount of focus in both business schools and industry throughout the world (Knight and Mueller, 2004). A key debate in the field strategy is how exactly strategy is formulated. In ‘Crafting Strategy’ Mintzberg (1987) examines the distinctions between planning strategy and crafting strategy. This literature review will discuss Mintzberg’s argument and approach in the wider debate of strategy, followed by an analysis of the articles strengths and weaknesses.
The position of the article in the wider debate about processes of strategy
Whittington (2001) categorised strategy in to four principle approaches; Classical, evolutionary, processual and systematic. Mintzberg challenged traditional classical planning on a number of levels; Classicalist believed that the world was stable enough that strategist could accurately forecast through a rational process of deliberate calculation and analysis and that they are best created by senior management away from the operating environment (Whittington, 2001). Prescriptive strategic management literature indicates there is “a correlation between organizational performance and strategic planning, although empirical evidence is less than conclusive in this respect (Glaister and Falshaw, 1999; McKiernan and Morris, 1994; Pearce II et al., 1987; Rigby, 2001),” (Gunn and Williams, 2007, p206).
Mintzberg believes that the term ‘planning strategy’ causes people to misinterpret how strategy is actually constructed (Whittington, 2001). Mintzberg (1987) is of the opinion that by observing patterns take shape in their own environments, strategists discover strategies opposed to creating them. Emergent strategy, such as this, can be defined as a trial and error approach focusing on adaptive amendments rather than future fixed objectives that can be seen in...