Strategic Thinking

Its nature and dynamics

Shulamith Kreitler

- Executive Summary -

The chapter presents the characteristics of strategic thinking in terms of the major components of the problem and the solution. A survey of the main five approaches to problem solving – the problem space, the steps or phases, modelling, gestalt and bag of skills – shows that none of them provides comprehensive information about the cognitive processes necessary for implementing strategic thinking. A new approach to the study, assessment and training of strategic thinking is described. This approach is based on identifying the relevant cognitive processes by means of the meaning system and of the relevant motivational processes by means of the cognitive orientation approach. The study of the cognitive and motivational profiles indicates that strategic thinking is based on a rich and complex set of processes characterized mainly by a reality orientation, a functional-operational and factual approach, sticking to the goal, attention to concrete situations, and flexibility coupled with abstract, logical and comparative thinking.