Strategic management is the development and execution of the main goals and objectives of an organization. It is a long-term plan with an aim to create a competitive advantage for the organization in the market in which it operates. There is a crucial role of strategy in international business and hence international business strategy is taught in business schools worldwide today.
As part of strategic management, an organization develops its strategy for a couple of years and breaks it down to achievable objectives which are measurable from time to time. For or an organization to implement its strategy, it develops metrics and keeps track of them. It keeps into consideration the environment of its existence, its competitors, the future trends anticipated in its industry and other related industries as well as the resources available to the company.
Strategic management gives a common goal to the entire organization which is then broken up into function-wise objectives and tasks. In this way, the entire organization, no matter how big, works towards the same goal. Strategic management integrates all the business functions. This is also known as strategic alignment.
Strategic alignment ensures that all elements of the business are arranged in such a way that they best support the fulfilment of long-term objectives of the organization. Company strategies may change according to the needs of the market, customer preferences, technology trends and other external or internal factors. Therefore, strategic alignment between all the business functions in an organization is a constant job and not a one-time exercise.
Companies are able to channel their strategy into teams by providing them with a common purpose. Various functions should be tasked with goals that are related to their jobs and directly or indirectly affect the company’s end goal. For example, if great customer service is a differentiator between a company and its competition, then teams like customer care, sales and marketing should reflect this differentiation in their daily jobs.
Companies that instill their core values into their teams and align strategy at the ground level see the results in the daily happenings and the results of their projects. These are the companies that can gain a competitive advantage in the field. Alignment at the strategic level is reflected in the way employees interact with each other, in their commitment towards the company’s values and the buzz on a company floor.