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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION TO STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT AND BUSINESS


POLICY

BUSINESS POLICY: ITS MEANING AND DEFINITIONS


There are several meanings and definitions of Business Policy. Some authors refer it as a course
of study in management. Among these are Azhar Kazmi (1994) and Schndel and Hatten (1972).
R .E. Thomas refers Business Policy as “decisions about the future of an ongoing enterprise”.
Christensen et al define Business Policy as the study of the functions and responsibilities of Senior
Management, the critical problems that affect success in the total enterprises, and the decisions
that determine the direction of the organization and shape its future.
Haner defines it as “a statement, verbal, written, or implied of those principles and rules that are set
by managerial leadership as guidelines or constraints for the organization’s thought and action”.

Policy is a guide to decision making at all levels within an organization. It is a basic organizational
concept which is documented and applicable to all the internal and external relations of the
organization. Policy is a guide to action, a constraint of behaviour, and an aid to decision making.

BUSINESS POLICY: ITS PURPOSE AND OBJECTIVES


The relevance of Business Policy is seen in terms of its purpose and objectives.
Objectives are classified into knowledge, skills and attitude which help in the understanding of the
Business environment and the determination of organizational mission, purpose, objectives and
strategies.
With regard to skill, the study of Business Policy enables one to develop analytical ability and
provides the means of identifying factors relevant to decision making.
The situational objective relates to the use of personal judgement and instruction. The possession
of liberal attitude and openness to new ideas are equally important.

PURPOSE OF BUSINESS POLICY


Azhar Kazmi classified the purpose of Business Policy into three fields namely:
1. To integrate the knowledge gained in various functional areas of management.
2. To adopt a generalist approach to problem solving, and

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3. To understand the complex inter-linkages operating within an organization through the use
of systems approach to decision making and relating them to changes taking place in the
external environment.
BUSINESS POLICY: ITS OBJECTIVES
Azhar Kazmi in his text Business Policy amplified Business Policy objectives in terms of
knowledge, skills and attitude. These are discussed below:
KNOWLEDGE OBJECTIVES
1. Understanding the various concepts such as strategy, policies, plans and programmes
involved in Business Policy which are also inherent in other functional areas is very
essential.
2. Environmental analysis (i.e. internal and external) awareness is of prime important to the
organization because it affords the organization the opportunity of knowing its
relationship with the environment.
3. With the adequate knowledge of the organization’s mission, purpose, objectives, goals,
strategies and policies is guaranteed.
4. The execution of the complex task of strategy implementation by the strategies becomes
easier because of Business Policy knowledge.
5. The uniqueness of the knowledge of real-life business problems and solutions are
exciting experiences to al learners. This is so because it assists them in their approach to
problem-solving and decision making.
6. Business Policy enables learners to search for relevant literature thereby knowing the
researches available in the field.
SKILLS OBJECTIVES
1. Knowledge leads to skills development and its applications in terms of case studies
analysis, their interpretation and also the business event analysis.
2. The students are provided with the analytical ability skills required in management cases
/ incidents analysis through the knowledge of Business Policy.
3. Business Policy provides relevant factors identification skills requires in decision making.
4. Theory which is very essential of practice is guaranteed by students / learners due to the
three skills mentioned above. The mental ability skills acquired will enhance managerial
decision – making processes since Theory and practice go together.
5. Both oral and written communication skills will be developed with case studies in
Business Policy field.

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ATTITUTDE OBJECTIVES
1. The acquisition of knowledge and skills objectives by learners, appropriate attitude, will
be evolved, such as a generalist attitude. With a generalist attitude all situations are
approached and assessed from all perspectives.
2. The study of Business Policy provides the generalist the ability to function under
conditions of partial ignorance by using or her judgement and intuition.
3. The study of Business Policy also affords the generalist the opportunity of attitude and
acceptance of new ideas, information and to assume professionalism and abundance of
dogmatism in terms of techniques.
4. Attitudes in terms of creativity and innovation provide the necessary justification for the
abandonment of existing precedents and stereotyped decisions by general managers.

BUSINESS POLICY: ITS IMPORTANCE


As pointed out by Azhar Kazmi, Business Policy is a course in management curriculum is
important, as well as being a component of executive development programme for middle level
managers preparing to move up to the Senior Management level.
P .K. Ghosh summarized the importance of Business Policy as a discipline and as a component of
management development programme. According to him, Business Policy is important since it
1. Provides an integrated view of management based on knowledge and experience.
2. Explain the complexities of Business and constraints of management business in a
competitive dynamic environment which are brought home with real life bearing.
3. Provides a broader perspective of learning in as much as it cuts across the boundaries of
functional management and draws upon other allied disciplines for knowledge and skill
development.
4. Makes the study and practice of management more meaningful. The process of policy
formulation and strategic decision-making can be understood with a clear perspective of
the internal and external environment, making managers more receptive to the
suggestions and ideas of the senior executives

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