A Strategy for Behavioral Strategy: Appraisal of Small, Midsize, and Large Tent Conceptions of This Embryonic Community

Behavioral Strategy in Perspective

ISBN: 978-1-78756-348-3, eISBN: 978-1-78756-347-6

ISSN: 0742-3322

Publication date: 21 September 2018

Abstract

Despite widespread interest in “behavioral strategy,” it is not clear what this term, or its associated academic subfield, is all about. Unless a critical mass of scholars can agree on the meaning of behavioral strategy, and professionally identify with it, this embryonic community may face a marginal existence. We describe three alternative conceptions for the academic subfield of behavioral strategy, along with assessments of the pros and cons of each. The “small tent” version amounts to a direct transposition of the logic of behavioral economics to the field of strategic management, specifically in the style of behavioral decision research. The “midsize tent” view is that behavioral strategy is a commitment to understanding the psychology of strategists. And the “large tent’ view includes consideration of any and all psychological, sociological, and political factors that influence strategic outcomes. We conclude that the midsize tent represents the best path forward, not too narrow and not too broad, allowing rich scope but with coherence. The large tent conception of behavioral strategy, however, is not out of the question and warrants serious consideration.

Keywords

Citation

Hambrick, D. and Crossland, C. (2018), "A Strategy for Behavioral Strategy: Appraisal of Small, Midsize, and Large Tent Conceptions of This Embryonic Community", Behavioral Strategy in Perspective (Advances in Strategic Management, Vol. 39), Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 23-39. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0742-332220180000039002

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018 Emerald Publishing Limited

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