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Strategic management is a tactical field that focuses on the goals general managers set for their organizations and the processes by which they plan on achieving these goals. In most instances, individuals performing strategic management consider external factors, such as markets and materials, as well as internal factors, including decision making processes, information systems, and the various projects organizations initiate to meet desired goals. General managers and business owners in a wide array of fields practice strategic management at some point in their careers, and some professionals consider strategic planning to be an ongoing process.
Some of the most common types of strategic management courses are those offered in colleges and business programs, some of which might be general introductions to this managerial tactic, while others might concentrate on specific fields, such as marketing or retail planning. It also is common to find strategic management courses that are designed for managers who are interested in learning about new concepts and processes and having their own organizations adapt them.
Students who are interested in any kind of management normally must take strategic management courses. Even if classes they take are not specifically in strategic management, related concepts usually are taught in all basic management classes. In these courses, students might learn about how successful managers engage in brainstorming sessions with colleagues and facilitate effective decision making processes. It also is common for students in introductory strategic management courses to learn about how systems, which include all facets of a business, such as marketing, finance, and the value and supply chain, are decided upon and implemented.
People who take strategic management courses that are more narrowly focused might concentrate on subjects closely related to their chosen disciplines. For example, students studying information systems might take strategic management courses in which they learn how to develop strong information technology departments that serve the needs of other departments within an organization. People who are interested in financial strategic management, on the other hand, might take courses that enable them to see how decisions regarding cost management are performed and how they impact other departments in an organization.
Established professionals also might take strategic management courses. For example, managers who are interested in developing new models for how their businesses are organized need to learn how to go about planning for major structural changes. Strategic management courses can help them to come up with ideas for how to begin planning and starting projects.