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Strategic Management: Definition And Purpose In Education

Strategic Management: Definition and Purpose in Education

Lesson Objectives

By the end of this lesson, you will:

  • Define management.
  • Explain the differences between Management and Strategic Management.
  • Illustrate the differences between Management and Strategic Management through scenarios.
  • Evaluate what it means to manage strategically in the world of education.
  • Explain the attributes of a good strategic education manager.


This first lesson will focus on the general meaning of management and differentiate between management and strategic management. The role of strategy in education versus strategy in the business world will also be discussed. Lastly, this lesson will address the attributes that make an individual a strong strategic manager.


What is management? If this question were asked on a survey, one would probably answer that management “controls, manages, supervises, and oversees a process and/or people.” While this answer would be correct, the thrust of 21st Century Management is somewhat different in that it violates the traditional hierarchy of control, power, and top-down supervision. Management has become more of an inverted hierarchy in that it now supports rather than controls, guides rather than oversees, and encourages rather than supervises.

In short, management is now about building relationships with one’s team members based on the understanding that a manager is only as successful as his/her team. Management is not about power; rather, it is about a privilege to grow oneself and others. It is an honor to be handled with modesty and respect.

Management versus Strategic Management

Management focuses more on the present while strategic management concentrates largely on the future. Management asks how one can use current resources to solve today’s and tomorrow’s problems. Strategic management deals with how one can use current and future resources to ensure the best lifeline of an organization well into the future. Strategic management effectively involves the skills of long-term planning. A five-year strategic plan proposed by the U.S Department of Labor can be found at this Web site:

Once a strategic management plan is completed, it needs to be implemented. Once implemented, an initial testing period occurs to ensure that all is in place. The plan is then evaluated. Even after successful results are received, the strategic manager continues to monitor and improve the plan, ensuring that the right resources are being fully utilized, benchmarking goals are met, and best practices resources are available to all involved in the process.

Ongoing research and development is a crucial part of the strategic manager’s job. Whether in an educational or other setting, one of the goals of a strategic manager is always ongoing improvement.


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