MINTZBERG'S 5P FOR STRATEGY

A business model that helps devise a competitive strategy

Henry Mintzberg developed the 5P model of strategic thinking in 1987 under the title The Strategy Concept I: Five Ps For Strategy which was published in California Management Review.  His model was aimed to give more precision to the definition of strategy.

Strategy as a Plan: An intended course of action. The most usual type of strategy is a master plan – one that states a goal with a course of action that sees that it is achieved. 
Strategy as a Ploy: A manoeuvre to beat the competition. A strategy can be an action designed to frustrate or even mislead a competitor.  
Strategy as a Pattern: A strategy that emerges, perhaps by accident. The plan is the intended strategy and the pattern is what actually happens. What actually happens may not be part of the original plan.
Strategy as a Position: A brand that stands out against competitors. Companies may choose to fight within a market by taking a low-cost position, or a differentiated position based on its brand, or play within a niche. 
Strategy as a Perspective: The unique way the company works within its market. Many companies have a culture, a view of the world that defines them and the way they work. Southwest Airlines would be such an example.

Mintzberg's model is descriptive and it provides a good explanation for the strategic management process. It is useful for describing a type of strategy and bringing the focus on to how managers can pursue a strategy to survive within a market. It can be used alongside other frameworks such as Porter's Generic Strategies which can help a company decide how it should position itself in the market.

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