Analytical and Emergent Approaches
Analytical and Emergent Approaches
Write a 2 page paper addressing the following elements in your paper:
- Evaluate the similarities and differences of both the analytical and emergent approaches to strategic management.
- Evaluate the benefits of combining the two models.
Include a title page and 3-5 references. Only one reference may be from the internet (not Wikipedia). The other references must be from the Grantham University online library. Please adhere to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA), (6th ed. 2nd printing) when writing and submitting assignments and papers.
The Models of Strategic Management – Similarities
In week 1, we reviewed the history of strategic management and learned just how critical it is within the field of healthcare. This week we will examine the two leading models of strategic managementwhile in week 3, we will discuss the different levels of strategy and the various responsibilities of employees.
The two leading models of strategic management are the analytical and emergent approaches. Before we separate them and discuss their differences, let’s first start by identifying their similarities. In essence, strategy is created to achieve an end goal. Most mission statements will normally give you a basic understanding of what the organizational strategy entails. As an example let’s review the mission statement of Kaiser Permanente.
Kaiser Permanente’s Mission: KP exists to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve (www.kp.org)
Regardless of whether Kaiser Permanente chooses the analytical model of strategic management as opposed to the emergent model, we know that the strategy of this organization revolves around the provision of high quality care at an affordable rate. To develop this strategy, again regardless of chosen model, the organization normally develops goals or milestones and then provides measurement and feedback to determine if changes to strategy are warranted.
While still speaking of the similarities of the two models, this is a good time to address goal setting within the organization. Without solid goals, or SMART goals, there cannot be effective strategy. Many of you may be well versed in SMART goals; however a quick review at this point in the lecture is certainly warranted. SMART is an acronym that stands for specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and time oriented. Again an example might help illustrate its relevance; especially in management. You are the supervisor for the billing department of a large hospital system. While reviewing the aging report, you decide that your team of employees need to take action (first step in formulating strategy). You walk out of your office and gather the group together. At this point you say to your team “our goal this week is to improve the aging report.” Having addressed the issue, you walk back in your office and pat yourself on the back for taking charge.
You are probably smiling over such poor management, but many of you have probably witnessed something to this effect first hand. Unfortunately, many managers are never taught the SMART acronym and grumble when their goals are not met. In the example above, there is no indication of what improvement would actually look like. Does collecting one account suffice for the “improvement’? Without belaboring this, it is obvious that the above goal gets us nowhere. Now, let’s pretend that you have received SMART training. You come out of the office, gather your employees and say “As a department, we will decrease the aging report by collecting $25,000 this week, and then $50,000 for the next two weeks. We will achieve this by doing the following….”.
In this example, we developed a goal that is very specific. It is measurable so that at any given moment we can gauge our performance as opposed to the goal and make adjustments quickly if needed. It is certainly actionable as we will be developing steps to follow and it has time restraints built in. All team members know exactly what is expected, when it is expected, and what their individual role is in achieving this goal. These are the fundamental building blocks of a strategic plan.
In the second lecture of this week, we will return to the two models of strategic management and review them in more depth. As a quick reminder, we must be careful as to how many goals we want our department or organization to follow. Numerous studies have indicated that the average individual can work on 10 SMART goals at a time. However, and this is where many organizations fail, an organization can only successfully focus on three goals at a time. When focusing on three goals, the success rate to accomplish all three is close to 80%. However, when an organization attempts four or more goals, the success rate of accomplishing any goal drops to 30% or lower.
Analytical and Emergent Approaches
In the first lecture of this week, we discussed how goals help us formulate a strategic plan which is the building block of strategic management. We will discuss strategic plans more fully in week 4. Next week, we will examine the levels of strategy and roles managers play. Let’s return to our discussion of strategic management models.
While our textbook utilizes the word analytical to describe strategy that is planned and purposeful, others in the field use the terms “rational” and “deliberate.” For purposes of this lecture, we will also use the word analytical. The best way to understand this model and how it works is to consider what a pure analytical model looks like. To be perfectly analytical, it would require that there are three conditions that must be met. To help us identify these conditions, we turn to the work conducted by Henry Mintzberg and James A. Waters.
These authors state that the three conditions are:
a) precise intentions,
b) common collective action, and
c) avoidance of external factors.
Let’s examine each one in depth to understand their functions.
Precise intentions: this would mean that every employee, regardless of position, would have a clear understanding of what the end result will look like. Variables of all sorts would have to be identified before they occur and a distinct plan of action pre-developed in case the situation comes to fruition. As you can imagine, the time involved in this step alone is astronomical.
Common collective action: it would be critical that all employees work together as indicated and that no one stray from the given plan. Failing to act as a cohesive unit would provide opportunities for scrutiny as to whether the action was individual or collective and to what degree the effect would be on achieving the end result. To make this step work, one would need to establish very tight controls.
Avoidance of external factors: as built upon by the other two requirements, it would be necessary to completely negate any and all outside influences. To do this, the entire environment would need to be 100% controlled.
By now, you are probably realizing just how unlikely it is to follow a purely analytical model. It would be next to impossible to identify all variables, especially in a healthcare environment where change and flux are daily norms. Lastly, it would be virtually impossible to limit external events. In essence, the ability to fully operate within the confines of this model in a healthcare environment is highly unlikely.
The next model to review is that of the emergent approach. Again, the best way to examine this model is to view it through the lens of “purely” emergent. The textbook provides us with a great analogy likening the emergent plan with that of a compass. We know that we want to move in this direction, yet we do not have an actionable plan to get us either started or to our destination. Without movement, nothing occurs. Again, in its purest form, the emergent approach will never work.
In essence, it is perhaps necessary to view the overarching strategy held by the organization as a moving entity on a continuum with analytical on one end and emergent on the other. Depending on the situation, the approach used would certainly change. If for example, we had a group of employees who have spent years working together, we might not need as detailed of a plan as opposed to if we had a relatively newer team. In closing, the situation warrants the model used, not vice-versa.