Managers have traditionally concentrated on the offensive aspects of strategic planning. With a few important exceptions, the strategic planning literature is also heavily weighted toward offensive considerations. Yet two fields to which business is frequently compared, the military and sports, often give defensive considerations as much emphasis as offensive ones. The purpose of this article is to stress the importance of defensive considerations in strategic planning. A risk‐threat matrix is developed which managers can use as a guide to formulating defensive strategies to counter the full range of potentially detrimental situations their firms may face.
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