From a hierarchy to a heterarchy of strategies: adapting to a changing context
Article publication date: 10 April 2007
The purpose of this paper is to question the continued usefulness of the hierarchy of strategies framework and to propose a new approach.
The study reviews extant literature and theorizes a new approach.
The paper finds that the hierarchy of strategies was a useful framework when it was first proposed, but since then a changed business context has made this framework obsolete. What is needed instead is a framework around a heterarchy of strategies. The locus of decision making is no longer hierarchical and corporate, business and functional strategies are far more interdependent and interlinked than they have been in the past.
Research on a hierarchy of strategies has run its course. Future empirical and theoretical work should focus on a heterarchy of strategies.
The paper provides a framework for managers whether from corporate, business divisions or functions to help with the continuous renewal of their firm.
Prior empirical and theoretical strategy research has taken the hierarchy of strategy framework for granted. The original contribution of this paper is to propose an alternative framework around a heterarchy of strategies.
Chakravarthy, B. and Henderson, J. (2007), "From a hierarchy to a heterarchy of strategies: adapting to a changing context", Management Decision, Vol. 45 No. 3, pp. 642-652. https://doi.org/10.1108/00251740710745160
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