Why Is Strategy Implementation Often Considered the Most Difficult Stage in Strategic Management?

by Wendel Clark; Updated September 26, 2017

The implementation stage of strategic management is often considered the most difficult stage of strategic management. This does not have to be the case, however. Understanding the causes of implementation difficulties will allow managers to avoid them and to successfully implement firm strategies.

Resources Are Often Lacking

Deciding to implement a strategy is one thing, but the actual implementation requires resources such as staff and capital. Often, firms will create a strategy but fail to account for the resources that are needed to actually implement this. Not surprisingly, this creates immense difficulties and, often, makes the implementation phase of strategic management the most difficult.

Processes May Be Poorly Defined

The implementation stage is often the most difficult stage of strategic management simply because the implementation process is often poorly defined. A poorly defined implementation process causes confusion and uncertainty and makes it difficult, and often impossible, to successfully implement the strategy.

Lack of Support

The support of employees and managers is needed in order to successfully implement a strategy. When there is a lack of support, people do not proactively make the changes that are needed to adapt to the strategy. This creates large difficulties for strategy implementation.

No Followup

One of the largest difficulties in strategic management occurs when there is no followup to the strategy implementation. When this happens, managers simply enact a strategy but fail to check if it has been successfully implemented. This makes the implementation difficult, because there is no way to ensure that it has been successful.


About the Author

Wendel Clark began writing in 2006, with work published in academic journals such as "Babel" and "The Podium." He has worked in the field of management and is completing his master's degree in strategic management.