Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Faculty of Business and Public Management


School of Accounting, Finance and Business Economics




Nugawela, G. (2001). Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat. In proceedings of the 6th Asia-Pacific Decision Sciences Institute (APDSI) Conference. Singapore: National University of Singapore.


The year ended 31 December 2000 saw Stock Exchanges indices around the world record falls not previously seen since the stockmarket crash in October 1987. In the write down of share prices of Technology stocks, described as “Techwreck”, many technology related stocks that were floated in the preceding 24 months and were once highly valued, had either been put in receivership, privatised or trading at prices below their issue price. Few are performing exceptionally well. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) gave rise to a number of public company floats commonly known as dot coms. It was believed that this new technology would boost global wealth and alter the business landscape. The dot coms had radical ways of doing business and many were generating negative cash flows and either lacked strategy or their initiatives were not linked to any strategy The “new economy” is characterised by global and information based competition largely due to rapid development in ICT. Organisations must therefore rethink the assumptions on which they compete and they need to monitor their activities to achieve strategic objectives. This paper examines the applicability of the Balanced Scorecard [2] as a tool for managing strategy in the new economy. It also examines this framework with a casestudy of a dot com with operations in Australia and Singapore that was listed on the Australian Stock Exchange on 14 April 2000, the first day of “Techwreck”. The paper concludes that while technology has changed radically over time, the underlying strategic principles have not. The Balanced Scorecard can be an effective tool to communicate strategy so that it can be understood and acted upon as well as providing detailed targets, budgets and initiatives to be planned. Finally, it provides a basis to monitor performance against strategy.

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