Introduced at A Level, this topic area explores the business concepts and theories that underpin strategic management and considers why strategy is practised in a range of business contexts from commercial and entrepreneurial to social and not-for-profit organisations. Strategy in business is concerned with the key decisions that are taken to ensure that businesses survive and succeed in the long term. Such decisions often involve initiating and managing major change policies and programmes. The topic area investigates the strategic management process model of strategic analysis, strategic choice and strategic implementation. The associated strategic thinking and analysis tools that help to frame choices and put resulting strategies into action are also considered.
The aim of this Cambridge International A Level topic area is to emphasise the integrated nature of strategic business decisions and the ways businesses implement strategic change successfully. Business strategy is concerned with the key decisions that need to be made by businesses of all sizes to survive and succeed in the long term. Strategic management is, therefore, the management of the long term activities of a business and this includes the careful integration of: strategic analysis (where is the business now?), strategic choice (identifying and deciding between options) and strategic implementation (planning for and managing change). This topic introduces some new subject content, but it also gathers together and synthesises business ideas, concepts and techniques from other topic areas of the syllabus. Selecting between and justifying strategies is the central theme of this topic area. Candidates will be expected to analyse, develop and evaluate future long term strategies in a variety of business situations. While some strategies may relate directly to particular functional areas, there will be a need to judge the likely overall effectiveness of these in the wider context of the business and its overall aims.