Perspectives on Strategy: The Real Story Behind Honda’s Success

by Richard Pascale



The intent of the strategy model has always been to assess the relationship of a firm with its environment, and identify the key elements of the managerial mix that are relevant to an effective organizational response. Given this charter to view the firm and its environment as an organic whole, the challenge is to develop a more adequate model. The central contention of this article is that six dimensions are better than one or two or even three. Strategy, structure, and systems are not enough. A multiple perspective disciplines against the cognitive and perceptual biases that produce the "Honda Effect." It keeps people honest by drawing them into the interior of organization, forcing them to focus on the fine grain details that drive an effective strategic process. So doing, people learn how each of the S dimensions goes back in history, how the strategies that have been attempted, the firm's history of reorganizations, the systems that have been layered one upon another, the different styles of former leaders, and so forth, how each contributes to the legacy of what the firm is today and what stands in the way of moving it forward. Finally, attention to multiple dimensions causes them to grapple with the interdependence of each, that neither strategy nor structure nor any of the factors stands alone.

California Management Review

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