Previously published as: Handbook of Business Strategy
Online from: 2007
Subject Area: Strategy
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|Author(s):||Paul N. Avakian, (Independent consultant based in Massachusetts, USA)|
|Citation:||Paul N. Avakian, (2009) "Goal-obstacle conflicts", Business Strategy Series, Vol. 10 Iss: 5, pp.287 - 295|
|Keywords:||Business planning, Conflict, Corporate strategy, Market forces|
|DOI:||10.1108/17515630910989187 (Permanent URL)|
|Publisher:||Emerald Group Publishing Limited|
Purpose – This article discusses power and resistance in commercial environments. It finds that a company's ability to realize its goals (fulfill its strategy) is a function of its ability to deal with resistance; to recognize it first of all, and then to find ways to overcome it, which inevitably involve the use of power in some form.
Design/methodology/approach – The paper examines strategies used by pharmaceutical companies for getting drugs prescribed, programs by credit card companies to defeat resistance to card proliferation, and strategies by software companies to overcome resistance in OEMs to product acceptance.
Findings – The author concludes that the success of the products/companies studied is explained by their capacity for overcoming resistance, that it cannot be attributed to a compelling vision statement, or a five-year plan, a competitive analysis, or any of the other strategy approaches used by the majority of companies.
Practical implications – All companies, presumably, have goals, and all companies operate in power-dependent environments, and all companies, whether they recognize it or not, face resistance beyond the existence of competitors. The key is to be able to see resistance, and to understand how it is manifesting itself against a specific goal.
Originality/value – The thesis of the paper is important to practitioners because it gets them thinking about resistance beyond the existence of competitors. It reveals other, more powerful sources of opposition, and gives them a new platform for strategy based on finding power over resistance.
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