There are numerous techniques and approaches that support strategic decision making, like PEST, SWOT, portfolio matrixes, life cycles, value chain concepts and many others. The most important aspect of these academic tools is to “what extent [these tools] enhance or inhibit creative competitive strategy making in organizations” (Clark, 1997, p. 417).
Some authors argue (Eilon, 1980, cited by Clark, 1997, p. 418) that there is an absence of strong focus on academic tools because they play a secondary role being “the means to an end, not an end in [itself]”. Still, the usage of academic business models should not be underrated, because these promote the development of “strategic thinking in organizations” (Clark, 1997, p. 418). Strategic management tools perform basically a “support role” (Clark, 1997, p. 418) in the strategic management process. This is so, because academic instruments offer useful insights into the benefits of different strategies and suggest a more systematic approach towards strategy implementation. These tools provide information generation, framework for analysis, also coordination and control mechanisms (Clark, 1997, p. 418). Further on, schemes and visualized models have the benefit of presenting ideas, model relationships and help management identify opportunities and convict others about the usefulness of suggested strategies. ...