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Strategy consensus and social practice: a perspective from public sector managers

Jarrah Almansour (Business Department, Arab Open University Kuwait Branch, Al-Farwaniya, Kuwait)
Demola Obembe (Faculty of Business and Law, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK)

Journal of Strategy and Management

ISSN: 1755-425X

Article publication date: 23 June 2021

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate consensus formation among the top and middle managers during the strategy process. Specifically, the paper seeks to gain insight into the role of strategic consensus during the transition between strategy formulation and implementation.

Design/methodology/approach

Adopting a social practice perspective and a single case study approach, we undertook semi-structured interviews of twenty-seven managers working in a Kuwaiti Ministry. Data collected were analyzed using thematic analysis.

Findings

We found that social interaction among individuals with similar characteristics and shared understanding fosters consensus. Factors such as alignment of strategic priorities, managerial flux and centralized control contribute to the extent to which strategic consensus is achievable. Additionally, managerial turnover and lack of empowerment hamper the development of shared understanding. Finally, that consensus on strategy content is insufficient for effective intergroup communications.

Originality/value

The research contributes to the strategic consensus literature from a social practice perspective as it provides new insights into the dynamics between top managers and middle managers. Significantly, it highlights the importance and need for common understanding, as well as communications prioritization among managers for consensus development and successful implementation of organization strategy.

Keywords

Citation

Almansour, J. and Obembe, D. (2021), "Strategy consensus and social practice: a perspective from public sector managers", Journal of Strategy and Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JSMA-11-2020-0327

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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