Adaptive Tension

Where there is sufficient order in an organisation to make things happen, but not such rigidity as to prevent innovation. (OLM p.81)

Core Competences

See ‘unique resources’.

Intended Strategy

An expression of desired strategic direction deliberately formulated or planned by managers. See also ‘realised strategy. (OLM, p. 104)


A general aim in line with the mission. Often qualitative – cf Objective. (OLM p.19)

Levels of Strategy

See here.


A general expression of overall purpose. (OLM p.18)


A more precise aim, cf Goal. More likely to be quantitative. (OLM p.19)

Organisational Culture

The basic assumptions and beliefs that are shared by members of an organisation, that operate unconciously and define in a basic, taken-for-granted fashion an organisation’s view of itself and its environment. (OLM p.74)

Organisational Fields

Communities of organisations partaking in a common meaning system (i.e. jargon), whose participants interact more frequently with one another than with those outside the field. (OLM, p.187)

Punctuated Equilibrium

The tendency for strategies to develop incrementally with periodic transformational change. See diagram: (OLM p.107)

Punctuated Equilibrium

Realised Strategy

The strategy actually being followed by an organisation in practice. In contrast to ‘intended strategy’. (OLM, p.104)


Those individuals or groups who depend on the organisation to fulfill their own goals and on whom the organisation depends. (OLM, p.266)

Strategic Business Unit

A part of the organisation for which there is a distinct external market for goods or services. May or may not be a separate structural part of the organisation. (OLM p.17)

Strategic Drift

When the organisation’s strategy gradually moves away from relevance to the forces at work in its environment. An organisation might also innovate and, in trying to create new market conditions, ‘get ahead’ of the environment (phase 5 on diagram.) (OLM, p.110)

Strategic Drift

Strategic Fit

Developing strategy by identifying opportunities in the environment and adapting resources and competences to take advantage of these. (OLM p.11)

Strategic Groups

Organisations within an industry with similar strategic characteristics, following similar strategies or competing on similar bases. (OLM, p.183)

Strategic Management

See here.

Structural Drivers of change

Forces likely to affect the structure of an industry, sector or market. (OLM, p.164)

Unique resources

Like ‘core compentences’, the base for achieving strategic advantag. (OLM p.19)

Vision (Strategic Intent)

Desired future state of organisation. (OLM p.19)


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