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Decoupling and Intergroup Dynamics in Behavioral Strategy, and a More Integrative Alternative

Behavioral Strategy in Perspective

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

ISSN: 0742-3322

Publication date: 21 September 2018


In this chapter, I draw from theory and research on intergroup relations and decoupling to critique prevailing conceptions of behavioral strategy, and then propose a viable alternative. I suggest that prevailing definitions of behavioral strategy exclude or marginalize theoretical perspectives that should logically be included, which has (1) created undesirable ingroup/outgroup dynamics in the strategy field and (2) resulted in decoupling between behavioral strategy as defined by category leaders and the actual content of research conducted by category members. I contend that this state of affairs has likely reduced the impact of behavioral strategy on other disciplines, and also likely constrained its impact on non-academic audiences. As an alternative, I propose a more interdisciplinary approach that involves identifying behavioral mechanisms that explain how social and psychological processes at different levels of analysis interact and interrelate to affect strategy and performance.



Westphal, J.D. (2018), "Decoupling and Intergroup Dynamics in Behavioral Strategy, and a More Integrative Alternative", Behavioral Strategy in Perspective (Advances in Strategic Management, Vol. 39), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 41-50.



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