AskDefine | Define strategy

Dictionary Definition



1 an elaborate and systematic plan of action [syn: scheme]
2 the branch of military science dealing with military command and the planning and conduct of a war

User Contributed Dictionary



From Ancient Greek στρατηγία (strategia) "office of general, command, generalship", from στρατηγός (strategos) "the leader or commander of an army, a general", from στρατός (stratos) "army" + άγω (ago) "to lead, to conduct".


  1. The science and art of military command as applied to the overall planning and conduct of warfare
  2. A plan of action intended to accomplish a specific goal
  3. The art of using similar techniques in politics or business

Coordinate terms


science and art of military command
  • Czech: strategie
  • Finnish: strategia
  • Japanese: 兵法, 戦略, 戦術
  • Lithuanian: strategija
  • Portuguese: estratégia
plan of action
  • Czech: strategie
  • Finnish: toimintasuunnitelma
  • German: Strategie
  • Hungarian: stratégia
  • Japanese: 策略, 計略, 機略
  • Portuguese: estratégia
art of using similar techniques in politics or business
in game theory
  • Czech: strategie

Extensive Definition

A Strategy is a long term plan of action designed to achieve a particular goal, most often "winning." Strategy is differentiated from tactics or immediate actions with resources at hand by its nature of being extensively premeditated, and often practically rehearsed. Strategies are used to make the problem easier to understand and solve.
The word derives from the Greek word stratēgos, which derives from two words: stratos (army) and ago (ancient Greek for leading). Stratēgos referred to a 'military commander' during the age of Athenian Democracy.


Strategy is about choice, which affects outcomes. Organizations can often survive -- indeed do well -- for periods of time in conditions of relative stability, low environmental turbulence and little competition for resources. Virtually none of these conditions prevail in the modern world for great lengths of time for any organization or sector, public or private. Hence, the rationale for strategic management. The nature of the strategy adopted and implemented emerges from a combination of the structure of the organization (loosely coupled or tightly coupled), the type of resources available and the nature of the coupling it has with environment and the strategic objective being pursued. Strategy is adaptable by nature rather than rigid set of instructions. In some situations it takes the nature of emergent strategy. The simplest explanation of this is the analogy of a sports scenario. If a football team were to organize a plan in which the ball is passed in a particular sequence between specifically positioned players, their success is dependent on each of those players both being present at the exact location, and remembering exactly when, from whom and to whom the ball is to be passed; moreover that no interruption to the sequence occurs. By comparison, if the team were to simplify this plan to a strategy where the ball is passed in the pattern alone, between any of the team, and at any area on the field, then their vulnerability to variables is greatly reduced, and the opportunity to operate in that manner occurs far more often. This manner is a strategy. In the field of business administration it is possible mention to the "strategic consistency." According to Arieu (2007), "there is strategic consistency when the actions of an organization are consistent with the expectations of management, and these in turn are with the market and the context."

Noted texts on strategy

Classic texts such as Sun Tzu's The Art of War, written in China 2,500 years ago, the political strategy of Machiavelli who wrote The Prince in 1513, or German military strategists such as Clausewitz in the nineteenth century, are still well known and highly influential. Today, we acknowledge the profound influence of John Boyd (military strategist), though he tends only to be known by the military and students of modern strategic theory. In the twentieth century, the subject of strategic management has been particularly applied to organisations, most typically to business firms and corporations.
The nature of historic texts differs greatly from area to area, and given the nature of strategy itself, there are some potential parallels between various forms of strategy (noting, for example, the popularity of the Art of War as a business book). Each domain generally has its own foundational texts, as well as more recent contributions to new applications of strategy. Some of these are:


External links

strategy in Arabic: استراتيجية
strategy in Catalan: Estratègia
strategy in Czech: Strategie
strategy in Danish: Strategi
strategy in German: Strategie
strategy in Modern Greek (1453-): Στρατηγική
strategy in Esperanto: Strategio
strategy in Basque: Estrategia
strategy in Persian: راهبرد
strategy in French: Stratégie
strategy in Croatian: Strategija
strategy in Indonesian: Strategi
strategy in Italian: Strategia
strategy in Hebrew: אסטרטגיה (מדע המדינה)
strategy in Lithuanian: Strategija
strategy in Hungarian: Stratégia
strategy in Dutch: Strategie
strategy in Japanese: 戦略
strategy in Norwegian: Strategi
strategy in Polish: Strategia_organizacji
strategy in Portuguese: Estratégia
strategy in Russian: Стратегия
strategy in Simple English: Strategy
strategy in Slovak: Stratégia
strategy in Slovenian: Strategija
strategy in Serbian: Стратегија
strategy in Finnish: Strategia
strategy in Swedish: Strategi
strategy in Turkish: Strateji
strategy in Ukrainian: Стратегія
strategy in Chinese: 戰略

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

aerial tactics, airborne tactics, applied tactics, approach, armored tactics, arrangement, art, artful dodge, artifice, attack, barrier tactics, blind, blueprint, blueprinting, calculation, cavalry tactics, charting, chicanery, conception, conspiracy, contrivance, coup, craft, cute trick, deceit, defensive strategy, design, device, disposition, diversion, dodge, encirclement, enterprise, envisagement, expedient, fakement, feint, fetch, figuring, fire tactics, foresight, forethought, gambit, game, game plan, gimmick, graphing, grift, ground plan, guidelines, idea, infantry tactics, infiltration, intention, intrigue, investment, jugglery, knavery, layout, lineup, little game, long-range plan, maneuver, mapping, master plan, method, methodology, mob tactics, mobile tactics, move, operations research, organization, pincers movement, plan, planning, planning function, plot, ploy, policy, prearrangement, procedure, program, program of action, project, racket, rationalization, red herring, ruse, scenario, schedule, schema, schematism, schematization, scheme, scheme of arrangement, setup, shift, shock tactics, sleight, stratagem, strategic plan, subterfuge, system, systematization, tactic, tactical plan, tactics, the big picture, the picture, trick, trickery, way, wile, wily device, working plan
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