There are two types of strategies in the business world, business-level strategies and corporate-level strategies. Both types of strategy are important to businesses, but they are very different. Managers should understand the differences between these two levels of strategy and the relationship between them.
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Business level strategy is low-level strategy that applies to a single division or business unit. Business-level strategic issues include pricing and marketing strategies. Business-level strategies are normally decided by mid-level managers who are responsible for the business unit or division.
Corporate strategy refers to all strategic decisions that affect the firm as a whole. Often, corporate-level strategies will have an affect on several business units. Corporate strategic issues include the financial structure of the firm, mergers and acquisitions, and the allocation of resources to individual business units. Corporate strategic decisions are normally made by the board of directors.
The chief difference between business- and corporate-level strategies is that business-level strategies are focused, while corporate-level strategies are broad. The issues in corporate strategy tend to be more complex than business-level strategies, and they usually have a higher impact on the firm. They, therefore, require more resources and consideration.
Business-level and corporate strategies are very different, but they are still closely related. Corporate strategies will often affect business-level strategies. For example, if a corporate strategic decision is made to acquire a competing firm, business-level strategies would need to adjust to this, for instance making changes to the marketing strategy to incorporate the products of the acquired firm.
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