The Environmental School

15 02 2010

Q: DOES THE ENVIRONMENT PREDETERMINE YOUR DIRECTION AS AN ORGANIZATION OR DO YOU STILL HAVE FREE WILL, A STRATEGIC CHOICE?

The Environmental School says that there are a “set of forces outside the organization,” which most of the time organizations react to because it, in fact, is really the MAIN force, the ACTOR, not just a factor, of strategy.

The environment is a leading force to the organization and to personnel leadership as shown below.  As you can see, LEADERSHIP and the ORGANIZATION are subordinates to the changes of the ENVIRONMENT (according to the Environmental School).

ENVIRONMENT

^

LEADERSHIP and ORGANIZATION

There are general forces in the environment that drive the strategy-making process.  Organizations have to respond to those forces or they will die off.  Leaders must read the environment and be able to adapt in a proper fashion.  Lastly, organizations are clustered together and will die when resources become too scarce.

A criticism of the Environmental School is that it is quite vague and abstract overall.

Q:  If indeed the external environment is affecting you so much and you have no choices in the matter then how does a company tangibly lead an organization if the environment is supposed to and everything is uncertain?  (Don’t physical human beings still have to lead?)

What’s great about the Environmental School is that it gives insight into how to define ‘Strategic Choice.’  Strategic choice is about “how to find a strategy and where to find it, or else how to create a strategy when it can’t be found, and then how to exploit it.”  The Environmental School helps strategists see when strategic choice is most limited and what types of organizations are most constrained.

^WE'RE NOT TALKING ABOUT THAT KIND OF ENVIRONMENT SILLY'S!

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