In the current and difficult economic context in which businesses are confronting many important rivals, with changing scenarios, economic boundaries between countries disappearing and competitive advantages increasingly more difficult to attain and maintain, it has become necessary for businessmen and top management to devote greater efforts and analysis to the elaboration and choice of the most adequate strategy in order to respond to the challenges of the environment and thus make the business more competitive.
It could be affirmed that all businesses have or follow a strategy although, in many cases, they remain implicit in the mind of the businessmen or general managers. The effort to make this strategy explicit, analyze and reason it out may be important in order to improve the competitive position of the business and, consequently, its results. The logical scheme to carry this out is perhaps the main contribution of Strategic Management.
Since some time ago, Strategic Management has become the dominant paradigm in order to understand the development of business activity in such a difficult scenario as the current one. As a matter of fact, the Strategic Management model intends to insert the life of the business into its external environment, so that it is able to efficiently respond to opportunities and favourable situations as well as other challenges and threats that may arise. All this, without losing sight of the resources, capacities and internal strengths of the business itself, along with the weaknesses it still maintains.
As a result of the conjunction of these factors, the starting point emerges, as a basis to establish the different alternatives or courses of action to reach the proposed objectives. The process concludes with the implementation of these alternatives. This is, in essence, Strategic Management.
The model presents a global and long-term view of the business, involving a certain way of analyzing its reality and making pertinent decisions. This approach, undoubtedly characteristic of top management, defines a particular attitude for understanding the life of the business and the world of business.
However, the model overlooks neither the necessary desegregation of objectives at lower levels of authority nor the importance of decision-making at different instrumental levels. In this sense, the basic differentiation established in strategy design which makes a distinction between three levels of decision-making is interesting: strategies at a corporate level, at the business level and at the functional level. Each one of these levels has its specific problems and the model cannot be understood without the proper integration of all of them.
This book tackles a three-fold objective in accordance with the population addressed. In the first place, it is a basic support tool for university students studying a degree in Business Administration and Management, along with other similar degrees, interested in subjects related with Management and Business Strategy, as well as other degrees that include contents in this field.
Secondly, it can be very useful, as a first approach, for those students studying a post-graduate degree in public or private institutions, such as universities or business schools, in specialized fields and with a relatively in-depth preparation in Business Strategy.
Last but not least, the book intends to be a necessary reference point for professional businessmen who, from a practical point of view, adopt an eminently applied approach to business and are responsible for business consultancy or management.
From this three-fold perspective, the book is a reference work which includes an extensive number of questions and problems that make up the theoretical body of the management model known as Strategic Business Management.