Strategy is a word frequently used across all sections of the community and has become a term which is accepted with little understanding of the processes that accompany it; those of formulation and implementation. The general objective of this report is to gather a broader understanding of what are the relationships which form the strategy process.
The report is structured in two sections. The first section includes a conceptual framework which proposes that the strategy process be studied in total rather than as formulation or implementation alone. Following this framework, the literature review is developed to propose two differing views of the strategy process, one which supports the notion of a two stage process of firstly formulating then secondly implementing strategy and the other which favours an integrated seamless approach to the process. The second section is based on the case study methodology. Two organisations, one from the accounting industry and the other from the clothing industry, are used to study the strategy process as it operates and, in particular how that process changes if factors such as content and environment change. To achieve these objectives, downsizing experiences at the two organisations are used to examine what changes occur in the strategy process.
The results from the report indicate support for the two-stage process of first formulate and second implement. The cases also highlighted the importance of the content and environment with regard to how the strategy process operated. Aspects of the strategy process altered or disappeared completely depending on content and environment. The conclusion drawn from these results is that the strategy process is a fluid process in the two organisations which were examined.