This article posits a paradigm of levels of success for strategic decision outcomes. A high level of strategic decision success is normally preceded by a positive strategic gap in which the strengths of the organization clearly outweigh its weaknesses. Three comprehensive cases are set forth as practical applications to illustrate and confirm the paradigm of levels of strategic decision success. Philip Morris’s decision in 1984 to diversify into the food processing industry is proffered as the epitome of a highly successful strategic choice. General Motors’ decision in 1978 to reinvent the corporation is advanced as a hallmark of a marginally successful strategic outcome. And Walt Disney’s decision in 1996 to acquire Capital Cities/ABC is cited as an example of a strategic choice with an indeterminately successful outcome. The conclusions in all three cases are supported by current research findings.
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