It is useful, as well as interesting , to start the learning of any subject with an idea about its historical evolution.  The genesis of Strategic Management and Business Policy can be retraced to 1911, when Harvard Business School introduced an integrative course in management aimed at the creation of general management capability.  The course was based on case studies which has been in use at the School for instructional purposes since 1908..

Evolution based on managerial practices, views the development in business policy as arising from the use of planning techniques by managers.  Starting from day-to-day planning in earlier times, managers began to try to anticipate the future through preparation of budgets and using control systems like capital budgeting and management by objectives.  With the inability of these techniques to adequately emphasize the role of preparing for the future, long-range planning came to be used.  Soon, long-range planning was replaced by strategic planning and later, by strategic management—a term that is currently used to describe the process of strategic decision making.  Strategic management is the theoretical framework for business policy courses today,

Introduction to Business Policy

Business policy, as defined by Christensen and others, is ‘the study of the function and responsibilities of senior management, the crucial problems that affect success in the total enterprise and the decisions that determine the direction of the organization and shape its future.  The problems of policy in business, like those of policy in public affairs, have to do with the choice of purposes, the moulding of organizational identity and character, the continuous definition of what needs to be done and the mobilization of resources for the attainment of goals in the face of competition or adverse circumstances’.