Can (and should) strategy scholarship attempt to find general prescriptions for business strategy that are applicable to all firms across all business conditions? We suggest that a universal theory of business strategy is a chimera: attractive but completely illusory. Our argument is based on two fundamental insights namely, organizations do not automatically adopt all practices and activities that could benefit them (even if knowledge about those activities is in the public domain), and theories and empirical work can address portions of the strategy problem usefully without attempting or achieving a general theory of strategy. Based on this, we believe strategy scholarship can fruitfully build on a variety of mid-range theories to offer three things from a prescriptive standpoint: (1) understanding the structure and processes inherent in organizations and markets; (2) offering productive ways to frame and analyze problems; and (3) offering recommendations for stratagems that appear successful. More generally, organizations might find immense value in strategy scholarship that offers specific tools, prescriptions, and alternative ways of looking at a problem, and that raise performance, on average.
Bromiley, P. and Rau, D. (2018), "Behavioral Strategy and Strategy Prescription", Behavioral Strategy in Perspective (Advances in Strategic Management, Vol. 39), Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 197-207. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0742-332220180000039014Download as .RIS
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