Strategic thinking and strategic management are the most important activities undertaken by any business or public sector organization. How skilfully these activities are carried out will determine the eventual long-term success or failure of the organization. In this chapter, we introduce the most basic concepts in the study of these activities.

The various definitions of the word strategy are discussed and then we explore the levels of decision-making in successful strategic management (at the strategic and operational levels). These are defined and the links between the levels are discussed. The different frameworks and ways of approaching strategy are introduced and then, finally, we discuss the nature of strategic objectives – who is responsible for setting them and what they are essentially about.