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The “strategy frame” and the four Es of strategy drivers

Azaddin Salem Khalifa (Department of Management, Marketing and Public Administration, College of Business Administration, University of Sharjah, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates)

Management Decision

ISSN: 0025-1747

Article publication date: 20 June 2008




There is vast literature and widely different views on strategy. This necessitates an organizing framework that smoothly integrates and places different conceptualizations of strategy in the proper perspective. The purpose of this paper is to clear possible confusion about the concept of strategy and help navigate the different streams of the strategy river with confidence and ease.


A comprehensive review of strategy literature is undertaken and the underlying principles and governing ideas are extracted. These are reconstructed to form the basis of the “strategy frame”.


The “strategy frame” produced the four Es of strategy, which represent the strategic thinking drivers behind the different conceptualizations of strategy. The framework attempts to address all major strategy issues and to combine different schools of thought spanning the spectrum of strategy dimensions, tensions, and paradoxes. It interweaves competing schools of thought in the strategy field and conceptualizes them as continuums to illustrate their interplay.

Research limitations/implications

The conceptual nature of the “strategy frame” makes it less useful in answering the questions it helps raise. As such, it is so broad to be used for working out detailed strategies.

Practical implications

The “strategy frame” helps strategists take a bird's eye view to identify critical strategic issues and put them in the proper context of their organization's capacity as it relates to its environment.


The paper attempts to deal with the basic tensions and paradoxes in strategy field in order to develop a hopefully useful framework, which is able to relate them in an integrative way.



Salem Khalifa, A. (2008), "The “strategy frame” and the four Es of strategy drivers", Management Decision, Vol. 46 No. 6, pp. 894-917.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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