The Purpose of Strategic Control

The Purpose of Strategic Control

Strategic control is a term used to describe the process used by organizations to control the formation and execution of strategic plans; it is a specialized form of management control and differs from other forms of management control in respects of its need to handle uncertainty and ambiguity at various points in the control process. Strategic control is also focused on the achievement of future goals, rather than the evaluation of past performance.

The purpose of control at the strategic level is not to answer the question: “Have we made the right strategic choices at some time in the past?” but rather “How well are we doing now and how well will we be doing in the immediate future for which reliable information is available?” The point is not to bring to light past errors but to identify needed corrections to steer the corporation in the desired direction. And this determination must be made with respect to currently desirable long-range goals and not against the goals or plans that were established at some time in the past. Strategic evaluation and control do not mean blind allegiance to techniques; its effectiveness lies more in one’s ability to ask the right questions. In strategic management, particularly, it is not enough to ask how well things are progressing vis-a-vis the strategic plan; it is just as important to question how good the strategic plan is.

Strategic control involves tracking a strategy as it’s being implemented. It’s also concerned with detecting problems or changes in the strategy and making necessary adjustments. As a manager, you tend to ask yourself questions, such as whether the company is moving in the right direction, or whether your assumptions about major trends and changes in the company’s environment are correct. Such questions necessitate the establishment of strategic controls.

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