Difference Between Strategy and Tactics – Strategy vs Tactics

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

The fundamental difference between strategy and tactics is how organizations practice them. The words strategy and tactics are often used interchangeably. However, by definition and by way of execution as well, they are both conceptually different things. Both are managerial terms, where one is used for planning, and the other is used for implementation.

Difference Between Strategy and Tactics PDF

The terms Strategy and Tactics difference are that multiple techniques may be included in a single strategy, and the scope of the strategy is greater than the scope of the tactics. Strategy and tactics are also different in terms of who formulates them, who implements them, what outlook each one carries, and the implementation timeline. Check the difference between strategy and tactics in detail.

Difference Between Strategy and Tactics

Strategy and tactics are two arms of the same concept, while one deals with planning, the other deals with execution. The table below clearly explains the difference between strategy and tactics. While strategy is competitive in nature, tactics are preventive in nature. Tactics are a part of a strategy; they are useless without them.

Strategy vs Tactics

Difference Between Strategy and Tactics





A wireframe or blueprint of the company’s path to manifest its long and short-term goals, vision and mission.

A precision-based, focus-oriented action devised to achieve one specific goal of a company is called a tactic.

Fundamental concept

Strategies are plans in exhaustive detail that help companies achieve their goals.

Tactics are the pathway or action the company needs to take in accordance with the strategies laid out for the same.

What it is?

It is a plan of action.

It is the action taken on the plan laid out.

Who creates it?

Officials of the top tier; the decision-makers.

Employees of the mid-tier at an organization implement it.

What is its nature?

Strategy is formulated to help companies stay in the competition and preferably beat it.

So, it is competitive.

Tactics are deployed to be preventive of undesirable outcomes.

So, they are preventive.

What kind of approach does it use?

Strategies use a proactive approach using analytics and forecasts.

Tactics use a reactive approach.

What is its outlook?

Strategies always have an outlook towards the future of an organisation.

Tactics always focus on the present task at hand.

What does it focus on?

Strategies are purpose-focused.

Tactics are task-focused.

How flexible is it?

Once formulated, strategies are not very flexible.

Tactics can be improvised. Therefore, they are highly flexible.

Is it risky?

Strategies can be hit or miss. Therefore, they have high risk.

Tactics focus on doing. Therefore, they are low risk.

Strategy and Tactics

Both strategy and tactics are crucial for a corporate entity. When developing strategies or tactics, it is important to remember that they should complement one another. Below we have provided the difference between strategy and tactics and a basic introduction. As opposed to strategy, tactics are less risky.

What is Strategy?

Strategy can be defined as a guideline of action that the managerial officials of an organization adopt to achieve short-term and long-term goals. It acts as a framework with various arms and components according to which an organization moves to achieve the desired state of existence.

  • The management uses a collection of corporate manoeuvres and actions known as a “strategy” to maintain operations, secure a competitive market position, efficiently compete in the marketplace, and meet organizational goals.
  • Strategies are focused on taking action and are not dependent on generalizations.

What are Tactics?

A Tactic can be defined as a particular action mobilized towards achieving a specific end result. In simpler words, a tactic is a single action that an organization mobilizes to achieve one specific goal; or a single method deployed towards an end that was set as one of the organization’s goals.

  • The strategy is in charge, and the tactics work together with and in support of it.
  • One strategy may contain an infinite number of tactics.
  • Department heads or divisional managers, who make decisions at the middle management level, are in charge of developing tactics while keeping the company’s overarching strategy in mind.


Key Difference Between Strategy and Tactics

The key difference between strategy and tactics is that strategy is an all-encompassing plan that guarantees the accomplishment of organizational goals, while the well-planned acts that assist in achieving a goal are known as tactics. Middle-level management develops tactics, but top-level management develops a strategy.

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