Strategy Implementation

In a classic study of large American Corporations (Du Pont, General Motors, Sars Roebuck, Standard oil), it was concluded that structure follows strategy. Changes in Corporate strategy have invariably led to changes in corporate structure. Most corporations begin with a centralized organization structure. As they add new product lines and create independent distribution networks, the centralized structure is discarded by the organizations in favor of a decentralized structure which permits the creation of semi-autonomous product divisions. Burns and Stalker also found that mechanistic structure (centralized decision making and bureaucratic rules) seem to be appropriate to organizations operating in stable environments. However, organic structures in contrast (decentralization and flexible procedures) seem to be appropriate to organizations operating in a constantly changing environment. This research conducted later on also supports Chandler’s proposal that an appropriate organization structure is necessary to meet changes in corporate strategy. The firm should therefore work to make its structure congruent with its strategy.


Effective strategy implementation calls for utilization of human resources fully. For implementing growth strategies new people should be recruited and given requisite training. Retrenchment strategies call for a sound basis for firing people i.e. seniority, performance absenteeism, etc. In order to translate the strategy into action, the services of capable and committed people are necessary. To this end, management should institute proper performance appraisal system which permits people to compare their performance with others and find out where they are. These systems also help the management to identify star performers easily and reward them adequately. Perspiration does not go far without a little bit of inspiration.

Motivational Techniques

The traditional motivational techniques are based on a reward punishment psychology and involve the use of performance appraisals and performance based incentive programs. These approaches including MBO indicate that specific results are best achieved by clearly outlining realistic goals and then suitably rewarding those managers who achieve them. They are overly reliant on money as the primary motivator while overlooking other factors that might be truly motivating to many managers. According to Morse and Martin motivating the organization to implement strategy requires:


Motivational Techniques to Implement strategy

Motivational (Traditional)


Performance Management Techniques:

1) MBO
2) Incentives
3) Performance Appraisal
4) Salary Administration
5) Recruiting and Termination

Techniques >> Modern

Individuals motivational Techniques

1) Mastery
2) Approval
3) Risk and adventure ‘
4) Security
5) Power and influence

Supportive Culture

The successful implementation of strategy must take into account the history of an organization and dominant values or culture which exists. The corporate culture is a system of shared beliefs and values that the people within the corporation hold. Some of the critical dimensions of culture (1) clarity of direction: how the company’s goal and plans for achieving them are known, understood and found to be motivating throughout the organization (2) decision making structure and processes; whether the culture is decision oriented or decision avoidant and whether decisions are made on the basis of sound information or seat of the plants intuition (3) management style: whether too little or too much participation in making decisions exists at each level of the company (4) integration of effort; whether teamwork sharing and smooth meshing of activities – or the opposite – accurately describes the culture (5) performance orientation whether managers feel accountable for end results and whether rewards are related to performance or not (6) compensation whether it is equitably fairly administered and motivational or not (7) human resources development: how much the characteristics the culture (8) organizational vitality that drive to perform – that sense of urgency and desire to be a winner – which some organizations have and others do not (9) risk taking whether it is encouraged or punished and (10) finally, competitive image; whether company view itself as faster, sharper and better than the competitors or vice versa

Every company should try to measure these dimensions of culture and determine what kind of culture and what kind of subcultures will best support the company’s strategy. Senior executives should determine the desired culture taking the short term requirements of the company.

  • Many organizations have a good strategy but the real problem is in executing it.
    95% of the typical workforce do not understand strategy. 90% of the organizations fail to execute strategies succesfully.

    The common barriers to executing strategy are generally
    1. Vision barrier – strategy is not understood by those who implement it
    2. Management barrier – overemphasis on operational control rather than effective strategy execution
    3. Operational barrier – difficulty in viewing a single version of truth (of business performance) &
    4. People barrier – software solutions that complicate rather than simplify strategy execution

    There are a few software solutions that help in actually creating awareness about organizational strategies and maintaining a culture of performance. For example, Corporater is one solution you could try out. Try the demo which is accessible via the website to see if it could help your business needs.