Article Information

Strategy-Making in Three Modes
Mintzberg, Henry
16/2  (Winter 1973): 44-53

The article presents three modes of strategy making. How do organizations make important decisions and link them together to form strategies. So far, there is little systematic evidence about this important process, known in business as strategy-making and in government as policy making. The literature of management and public administration is, however, replete with general views on the subject. These fall into three distinct groupings or 'modes.' In the entrepreneurial mode, found in the writings of some of the classical economists and of many contemporary management writers, one strong leader takes bold, risky actions on behalf of his organization. Conversely, in the adaptive mode, described by a number of students of business and governmental decision-making, the organization adapts in small, disjointed steps to a difficult environment. Finally, the proponents of management science and policy science describe the planning mode, in which formal analysis is used to plan explicit, integrated strategies for the future.


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