Selecting Among Alternative Grand Strategies

by John Pearce



Grand strategies are typically formulated to promote synergy in operations over a period of at least five years. Obviously, their selection merits careful consideration. One way by which the choice process can be improved is through an effort by strategic decision makers to initially consider the comprehensive set of twelve fundamental alternatives discussed early in this article. Allowing for suitable modification and combinations of conceptually pure approaches, these alternatives should provide practical insights to the selection of a firm's most promising grand strategy options. Additional direction in the selection is provided through the use of the Grand Strategy. By disciplining themselves to define the basic intent of their grand strategies in terms of purpose and area of emphasis, strategic decision makers are more likely to identify alternatives with the highest probabilities of success for achieving the firm's long-term objectives. Given the number and strength of competitors in most markets, and the often surprising parity of capabilities which they exhibit, strategic managers need the competitive advantage which an insightfully selected and developed grand strategy can facilitate.

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