Deliberate VS Emergent Strategy

Deliberate strategy is top-down, akin to strategic planning, and much needed for coordinating action upon 3 conditions:
1. Management has to address all critical details in order for the strategy to succeed. Those implementing the strategy has to be aware of these details in light of the larger picture of senior management’s deliberate strategy.
2. Management has to stress collective action and paint the picture of the strategy to align everyone so that actions will be consistent and appropriate.
3. Management has to take in account that there are some external influences that cannot be fully anticipated, arising from political, technological, and market forces. As such preparations must be made to as far as possible allow for the realisation of strategy with these influences in mind.

Emergent strategy on the other hand is more of a cumulative effect from bottom-up – the ground engineers, salespeople, and other executive staff. These are daily tactical operations decisions made by those who are not in the position or state of mind to conceptualise such strategies.

(Christensen & Raynor, 2003)


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