Overall Model of the Strategic Management Process
The strategic management process begins with an understanding of strategy and performance. As we have noted in this introductory chapter, strategic management is both an art and a science, and it involves multiple conceptualizations of the notion of strategy drawn from recent and ancient history. In Chapter 2 “Leading Strategically”, we focus on how leading strategically is needed if the firm is to achieve the long-term strong
performance companies such as Apple have attained. Consequently, how managers understand and interpret the performance of their firms is often central to understanding strategy.
Environmental and internal scanning is the next stage in the process. Managers must constantly scan the external environment for trends and events that affect the overall economy, and they must monitor changes in the particular industry in which the firm operates. For example, Apple’s decision to create the iPhone demonstrates its ability to interpret that traditional industry boundaries that distinguished the cellular phone industry and the computer industry were beginning to blur. At the same time, firms must evaluate their own resources to understand how they might react to changes in the environment. For example, intellectual property is a vital resource for Apple. Between 2008 and 2010, Apple filed more than 350 cases with the US Patent and Trademark Office to protect its use of such terms as apple, pod, and safari (Apple Inc.).