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The distinctive Competencies of an organisation is what it does well, uniquely, or better than its rivals. For example, for a relatively undifferentiated product like cement, the ability of a maker to run a truck fleet more effectively than its competitors will give it competitive strengths (if, for example, it can satisfy orders quickly).
Strategic opportunities must be related to the firm’s resources. A strategic approach involves identifying a firm’s Competencies. Members of organisations develop judgments about what they think the company can do well – its core of competence. These Competencies may come about in a variety of ways.
• Experience in making and marketing a product or service
• The talents and potential of individuals in the organisation
• The quality of co-ordinationCompetencies

Ad hoc choices

In the Honda case example at the beginning of this chapter, we mentioned that the planned strategy of selling large bikes had to give way to a strategy which had emerged’ by accident, almost. Henry Mintzberg develops this theme further.


Emergent strategies do not arise out of conscious strategic planning, but from a number of ad hoc choices, perhaps made lower own the hierarchy. They may not initially be recognised as being of strategic importance. Emergent strategies develop out of patterns of behaviour in contrast to planned strategies or senior management decisions which are imposed from above.

Deliberate and emergent strategies

(a) Intended strategies are plans: Those plans or aspects of plans which are actually realised are called deliberate strategies.
(b)Emergent strategies are those which develop out of patterns of behaviour.


The task of strategic management is to control and shape these emergent strategies as they develop. 3: PP began life as a training company. Lecturers had to prepare course material. This offered for sale in a bookshop in the BPP building. Owing to the demand, BPP began offering its material to other colleges, in the UK and world-wide. BPP Publishing, which began as a small offshoot of BPP’s training activities, is now a leading publisher in the market for targeted study material for the examinations of several professional – dies. It is unlikely that this development was anticipated when the course material was first prepared.
No realised strategy will be wholly deliberate or wholly emergent. The line between deliberate and emergent elements within each strategy will be in part influenced by organisation structure and culture.