Autonomous vs. Induced Strategic Action

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Autonomous vs. Induced Strategic Action There are two types of motivators for strategic action autonomous and induced. The former refers to strategy that management formulates proactively and independent of major external shocks. Andersen (2000) notes that "autonomous actions are imperative to strategic adaptation" but also notes that "planning inhibits change." It is perhaps cutting too broad a swath to characterize all autonomous action in either way the merits of any action or strategy should be reflected not in its motivating impetus but in its results, since managers are in the results business. Autonomous actions can both improve corporate performance and hinder, depending on the circumstances and the actions chosen. Consider as an example the autonomous strategy of FedEx to launch the overnight courier business. Not only was this action prescient, but the company has maintained this action. It only reacts to external stimulus with respect to lower-level strategy and tactical decisions. The overarching strategy of most firms is chosen with little consideration for external characteristics those merely shape the course of the strategy's implementation. Thus, to an extent all firms engage in autonomous strategy formulation, and those who are able to implement their strategy successfully are the firms that thrive. Carmohn (2010) argues that induced strategic action is a reduction of variation. As outside influences induce specific actions, these actions seek to

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