Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Strategy & Human Behaviour


Hi friends,
This article is just an attempt to understand how strategy plays role in the human behavior. I don’t know whether I will succeed in this attempt or not. In any case do comment on this article, which will act as a feedback to me.

If we go back to the genesis of the modern strategy, we can’t miss the classical Article by Michael Porter. Its summary can be found here. The first perspective of this is that its about choosing different activities. So, if we see different people they either do different things or they do the things differently. Example: Somebody is a businessman, somebody is a social activist, somebody is an artist. Again in the category of businessman, activist and an artist we can see that different people act differently. In the case of businessman, some are silent movers, some are aggressive, some are hybrid. So why all this variation? The variation is due to the choice made by these humans either consciously or subconsciously. If we recall the Maslow’s hierarchy or needs then we will see at one hand human is having need for power and on the other need for affiliation. Now, the action of humans are driven by the dominant need. So, if somebody is having higher degree of need for power, the person will act accordingly ie. Aggressive manner. While if somebody is having higher degree of need for affiliation, the person will act in a slow pleasing manner.

Now what we can infer by this example is that the two needs are mutually exclusive. They can’t go hand in hand. So, in other words it’s a tradeoff. That is another critical element of strategy i.e. tradeoff.

Then the element of fit comes into the picture. One can’t exercise power if the whole set of chosen activities are not aligned into a strategic fit. Now, here it means one can’t be good and bad at the same time. The person needs to align all his activities to position himself in a particular manner in a particular field of work. For getting the work done in the shopfloor environment of production, person needs to be tough and dominant. And one can’t be perceived dominant, if at one place the person is liberal and easy going and on the other hand he is bossy. They are two different set of activities. So, normally the production guys need to align all their activities in order to position dominant perception. It can be reached by the type of hair style and moustache one keeps, the type of clothes the person wears, the way the person walks, the way the person talks, the way the person frowns, the way the person aligns his body language.

So, what we can understand by the article is the human behaviour when seen in the particular environment is the strategy the person has chosen. The sooner we understand it, better we can understand the corporate environment and better we can adjust into it.

So, friends it was just an attempt and I will wait for your feedback.

Regards
Prabal

1 comment:

Funda-mentor said...

hmmmmm,... interesting stuff.. But I still belive that Things like CHARACTER and INSTINCT play a larger role in behaviour than strategy. Most times than not u behave according to ur need, and not by ur strategy. You say U have a need for power , but when u seek others opinion on what u write there is a bit of Need for affliliation, though the need for power is dominant. This means that the mutually exclusive theory is wrong, its just a dominant, suppressed and dormant theory. All exist within u, its what that is dominant which is displayed.

But I like the way u r thinking. Keep it up

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