This paper provides managers with the understanding and means to assess and exploit the impact of influence‐related social factors on strategic planning and implementation.
Background related to enhancing strategic capital is explored, the concept of social capital is introduced, and its effect on strategic capital is described. The need for employee‐inclusive strategic planning is discussed, and the contribution of opinion leaders is explored. Means to visualize network characteristics and identify key players are detailed. Actions available to build on their support or ameliorate their resistance are indicated. This is a practical article covering issue definition through to solution.
Strategic organizational initiatives depend for success on the support of the organization’s workforce, and their opinions and attitudes are swayed for better or worse, by core networks of influential peers. These opinion leaders can be identified through network visualization and analysis, and their views explored and addressed.
Organizations must adopt an employee‐inclusive approach to strategic planning and implementation. They should utilize a technique such as network visualization and analysis to better understand influence patterns across their organization’s social networks, and to leverage, or deal with, the standpoint of its formal and informal opinion leaders.
New ways to ensure the success of strategic initiatives are contributed by articulating the concept of strategic capital and by emphasizing the dependence of its potency on social capital/liability. Further originality stems from addressing how organizations “really work”, and from taking into account the impact of social networks and the influence of informal opinion leaders on strategic capital.
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