Strategic Management

Strategic Management is concerned about how and why top executives make important decisions for organizations, which are essential for proper understanding and prediction of organisational outcomes. In the past, studies have focused attention on the Chief Executive Officer. However, as organisations become more complex, decision making process get devolved and diffused such that key decisions are made by the Strategic Management Team (SMT) and not just the CEO.

A 1998 study by Nwandulu Austin Udeze (Ph.D) suggests that the age of executives does not matter at corporate level . The study also did not establish any relationship between relevance or level of education of SMTs and the performance of their firms. Likewise, no relationship was found between experience of SMTs and organizational performance. These findings also suggest that education and experience of SMTs, though essential, are not sufficient requirements for organizational performance.

For each company, there are significant differences the amount of influence wielded by members of SMT. Also, organisations with dominant CEOs out –perform those with diffused influence. Research suggests that , under dynamic turbulent business environments, dominance of CEO influence is necessary for organisational performance.

Top executives of Nigeria firms have been shown to perceive the characteristics of the Nigeria business environment differently. There are significant differences in the marketing strategies of Nigerian firms in the various strategic groups. Prospector firms outperformed defenders, analysers, and reactors in all performance criteria. The strategic behaviours of the top executives of Nigerian firms are comparable to the archetypal strategies developed and accepted in strategic management literature. Differences in strategic orientations are being reflected in the marketing strategies executives choose to complete with and ultimately performance of the firms.

While research shows that business executives possess varying mans of environment scanning and monitoring, which mostly need to be improved upon, an examination of strategic management in Nigerian tertiary health care institutions show that managers are aware of the different environmental factors affecting their performance and organizational effectiveness. However, no individuals or department is responsible for strategic development, which contributes to lapses in repositioning the health organizations in a rapidly changing environment. Top managers of th heathcare institution in a rapidly changing environment. Top managers of the healthcare institutions are not equipped with adjacent management background to enable them direct such big health organizations in the strategic sense and they have below them a less committed team of middle and lower level manager, which contributes to productivity.

For state-owned enterprises, the frequency at which members of the top management team are changed is considered unhealthy for the smooth running of companies. Two categories of strategies relating to the two conflicting functions of state-owned companies have been identified. There are political-oriented and business-oriented strategies. Changes in the use of these strategies are directly related to changes in the top management team structures. Demographic-homogenous team prefer the use of political-oriented strategies which can only result in efficiency as the aggregate level of managerial performance while, function-heterogeneous team and professional-bureaucrat team would prefer the use of business-oriented strategies which bring about effectiveness as an aggregate level of management performance.

Tope Apoola
Profession: Writer