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Book part
Publication date: 9 July 2010

Paula Jarzabkowski and Sarah Kaplan

An increasingly large group of scholars in Europe have begun to take a practice lens to understanding problems of strategy making in organizations. Strategy-as-practice

Abstract

An increasingly large group of scholars in Europe have begun to take a practice lens to understanding problems of strategy making in organizations. Strategy-as-practice research is premised on the notion that all social life is constituted within practices, and that practices and practitioners are essential subjects of study. Applying this lens to strategy foregrounds the mundane, everyday work involved in doing strategy. In doing so, it expands our definition of the salient outcomes to be studied in strategic management and provides new perspectives on the mechanisms for producing such outcomes. As strategy-as-practice scholars, we have been puzzled about how much more slowly the ideas in this burgeoning field have traveled from their home in Europe to the United States than have other ideas in strategic management traveled from the United States to Europe. In this chapter, we contribute some thoughts about the development of the strategy-as-practice field and its travels in academia.

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The Globalization of Strategy Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-898-8

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Article
Publication date: 8 May 2017

Chunguang Bai, Joseph Sarkis and Yijie Dou

This paper aims to introduce a joint DEMATEL and NK methodology to develop a process model for introducing and implementing relational supply chain practices for…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to introduce a joint DEMATEL and NK methodology to develop a process model for introducing and implementing relational supply chain practices for low-carbon supply chains. Using this process model as a guide, insights into specific practices and how to implement these relational practices to achieve competitive advantage across organizations are introduced.

Design/methodology/approach

Low-carbon cooperation practices framework based on the relational view is developed. A methodology based on DEMATEL and the NK model is used to construct a sequential process model for introducing and implementing these relational practices. Empirical data from three manufacturing organizations in China are utilized to validate the model.

Findings

Initial results provide a sequence of relational practices for guiding those organizations and their suppliers for healthy and low-carbon development. Interdependencies between relational practices are analyzed and evaluated from four aspects. Insights into the broader application of the methodology and initial results from both a research and managerial perspective are presented, especially with consideration of the China, an emerging economy, context.

Research limitations/implications

The methodology remains relatively abstract in nature, yet the tool can provide very useful interpretations and information for both researchers and practitioners.

Practical implications

This paper stipulates that in addition to internal operational practices, the relational practices between buyer and supplier may be equally important to achieve a low-carbon outcome, especially in supply chain setting. This paper also shows that not only the relational practice itself but also the implementation sequence of the relational practices can relate to performance. According to the authors’ initial results, organizations in this study should first develop product development cooperation, then exchange carbon knowledge and implement effective governance and last build a trust relationship with its suppliers for low-carbon cooperation.

Originality/value

This is one of the few approaches that directly evaluates and identifies the interdependencies among relational practices and to construct a process model for introducing and implementing low-carbon supply chain cooperation. It is also the first time that the NK model has been integrated with DEMATEL. Focusing on Chinese supply chain carbon emissions concerns is also a unique perspective.

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Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 22 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1996

MARTIN J. JENNINGS and MARTIN BETTS

Strategic planning in pursuit of competitive advantage has become a wide‐spread modern business objective. The construction industry shows some evidence of strategic…

Abstract

Strategic planning in pursuit of competitive advantage has become a wide‐spread modern business objective. The construction industry shows some evidence of strategic planning implementation; however such concepts are mainly adopted by large contracting companies that have the resources to identify and develop competitive weapons such as information systems/technology (IS/IT). For professional service firms in construction, the nature of the service, the form of client‐customer relations and thus the style of competition are quite different from those followed by contractors. The relevance of competitive strategy and the competitive use of weapons such as IS/IT for professional service firms in construction has not, as yet, been quantifiably tested. Therefore this paper aims to address this imbalance in construction organization research by identifying the competitive strategies used by quantity surveyors based in the UK and assessing the support that IS/IT provides to the competitive strategies of members of this profession. A survey of quantity surveying practices questioned which competitive strategies are followed, how these strategies are implemented and the extent to which IS/IT is being used in each strategy's implementation. The results of this survey, in association with existing competitive strategy and IT literature, are used to derive a new model which proposes specific strategies that UK quantity surveyors can and are using to influence their competitive positioning.

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Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 3 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 7 April 2015

Emmanuel D. Adamides

The purpose of this paper is to provide a micro-level, human-activity-centred interpretative framework for the way operations strategy is formed, linked and aligned with…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a micro-level, human-activity-centred interpretative framework for the way operations strategy is formed, linked and aligned with corporate-level strategies, and to apply it to gain insights on these processes.

Design/methodology/approach

Relying on the theoretical foundations of social practice theory and actor-network theory, as well as on the analysis of the organisational realities of the operations strategy formation process embedded in pluralistic organisational contexts, a conceptual framework for analysing the production and alignment of operations strategy is developed. The framework is then used to guide field research for the analysis of an operations-led strategic initiative in a medium-sized agro-food company.

Findings

Operations strategy formation can be interpreted as an ongoing practical, distributed social activity of network (re)formation. Specific initiatives, or events, act as catalysts for the association of operations strategy formation practices with corporate-level ones, facilitating thus the current and future alignment of strategic content. Artefacts play an active role in the linking process.

Research limitations/implications

The research presented in this paper is pioneering as it is the first explicit consideration of operations strategy formation (process) as practical social activity (practices are the focus of analysis, not individuals’ choices), in which non-human agency (informational artefacts, etc.) is explicitly taken into account. For this purpose, a novel analytic framework was developed, which, however, need to be further tested to determine the exact conditions under which it is valid.

Practical implications

The framework improves the understanding of the organisational dynamics of operations strategy formation, its linking with, and institutionalisation in, other organisational processes and strategic discourses. Thus, it can assist in the analysis of operations-led strategic initiatives.

Social implications

Application of the results obtained can provide better workplaces.

Originality/value

For the first time: operations strategy formation is considered as a social activity by focusing on the strategists and managers’ practices; the role of documents, decision-support tools and other artefacts is surfaced; and the importance of introducing operations strategy formation practices carrying strategy content into corporate and business-level strategy processes and their role in the alignment of the two strategies is emphasised.

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Business Process Management Journal, vol. 21 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-7154

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Article
Publication date: 26 January 2010

Pedro S. Hurtado

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the elucidation of key concepts in the new field of strategy‐as‐practice, in order to clarify the proper object of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the elucidation of key concepts in the new field of strategy‐as‐practice, in order to clarify the proper object of inquiry/unit of analysis. It does so by evaluating the degree of incorporation of Pierre Bourdieu's “theory of practice” in the literature. Bourdieu is one of the pioneers of the “practice turn” in sociology.

Design/methodology/approach

A summary and graphical framework of the key concepts of Bourdieu's “theory of practice” are developed. A small “theoretical sample” (in the sense used in “grounded theory” methodology) of representative authors and articles in the new field of strategy‐as‐practice is analyzed vis‐à‐vis the developed framework to probe and evaluate the degree of inclusion of Bourdieu's key concepts in the literature.

Findings

The incorporation of Bourdieu's key concepts is very limited and sometimes misinterpreted. His concept of “habitus” is generally cited, but its collective implications are not emphasized and neither is its connection to social structures and power. There is significant debate around the proper unit of analysis for the new field of strategy‐as‐practice, as well as issues of the relation between micro and macro approaches to strategy.

Originality/value

The paper opens up new conceptual possibilities for the understanding and possible application of Bourdieu's “theory of practice.”

Details

Competitiveness Review: An International Business Journal, vol. 20 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1059-5422

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Book part
Publication date: 9 July 2010

Kimmo Suominen and Saku Mantere

Although the managerial profession is subjugated by the discipline of strategic management, managers are not completely subordinate to it. Instead, they are able to use…

Abstract

Although the managerial profession is subjugated by the discipline of strategic management, managers are not completely subordinate to it. Instead, they are able to use the institutionalized discourse of strategic management, which is not their own product, in novel and creative ways. In this paper, we focus on the tactics that managers, as central strategy practitioners, use to consume strategy. Drawing on the work of the late Michel de Certeau as a theoretical lens, we conduct an empirical analysis of discourse, produced by 36 managers operating in three case organizations. This analysis allows us to elaborate on three different tactics of strategy consumption: instrumental, playful, and intimate. The results capture the reciprocal dynamics between the micro- and macrolevels of strategy discourse, that is, between strategic management as an institutional body of knowledge and the discursive practice of individual managers.

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The Globalization of Strategy Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-898-8

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Article
Publication date: 24 June 2020

Claire-France Picard, Sylvain Durocher and Yves Gendron

This paper investigates the strategic processes surrounding the development, in accounting firms, of office (re)design projects and their overarching objectives.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper investigates the strategic processes surrounding the development, in accounting firms, of office (re)design projects and their overarching objectives.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors’ investigation relies on a series of interviews with individuals from different accounting firms involved in the decision process related to office (re)design projects. A triangular template made up of strategy, space and time informs the analysis, which the authors complement by relying on a strategy-as-practice integrated framework.

Findings

The authors found that accounting firm office (re)design projects are characterized by a strategic spatial agenda that aims to define and create present organizational time, in ways that embed a particular vision of the future. The analysis brings to light the interrelationships between strategy practitioners, strategy practices and strategic work through which the future is actualized. Office design processes involve not only the physical transformation of office space; they also promote a prominent agenda to modify, in the long run, office members' minds. Hence, office (re)design processes may be conceived of as a significant device in the socialization of accounting practitioners.

Research limitations/implications

This study underscores that spatial strategizing constitutes a major device through which the future is brought into the present. As such, the analysis provides insights not only into the processes through which space transformations take place, but also into their underlying agenda. The latter promotes the advent, in present time, of the organic office of the future.

Practical implications

This analysis brings to the fore a concrete illustration of how the strategy-space-time triangle operates in organizational life. The authors underline the key role played by strategists in charge of designing the office of the future.

Originality/value

This study extends the burgeoning literature whose analytical gaze is informed by the strategy, space, and time triangle.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 33 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 23 March 2020

Fiona Edgar

The behavioral framework presents a logic for understanding the relationships between characteristics of the organization and the HRM system. Drawing on this logic to…

Abstract

Purpose

The behavioral framework presents a logic for understanding the relationships between characteristics of the organization and the HRM system. Drawing on this logic to connect the broader management oriented area of strategy with HRM, a micro-level lens is used to examine how competitive strategies and human resource (HR) practice subsystems cohere to influence employees' role behaviors and performance outcomes.

Design/methodology/approach

Online survey data were collected from 301 employees working in the retail trade and hospitality segments of New Zealand's service industry.

Findings

Relationships represented in the behavioral model are supported. Specifically, this study finds identifiable differences between the types of HR practices employed and the competitive strategy followed by an organization. Distinguishable sets of HR practices could also be connected to discernible employee role behaviors, which in turn, were related to strategically-aligned performance outcomes. Some commonality in these relationships were evident however.

Practical implications

HR practitioners need to be cognizant of their organization's competitive strategy and ensure the design and messages sent by their HRM system supports the realization of desirable employee role behaviors that promote organizational success. This alignment is supported with job descriptions that clearly articulate to prospective employees the role behaviors required, along with screening processes that support this assessment.

Originality/value

This descriptive, exploratory study presenting data about the alignment between competitive strategies, HR practices, behavioral and performance outcomes contributes to our understanding of contingency arguments and employees' experiences and reactions to HRM. Moreover, by adopting a particularistic focus, this research is able to highlight the salient role of context in SHRM research.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 49 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

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Article
Publication date: 27 August 2020

Saumyaranjan Sahoo

The main purpose of this study is to understand how collective operational practices are adapted or stimulated by a firm's competitive strategy.

Abstract

Purpose

The main purpose of this study is to understand how collective operational practices are adapted or stimulated by a firm's competitive strategy.

Design/methodology/approach

This study employed a data set drawn from 124 plant managers and directors of Indian manufacturing firms. Multiple regression was used to examine the impact of operational practices of lean, total quality management (TQM) and supply chain management (SCM) within competitive clusters of cost leadership, differentiation and focus strategy.

Findings

Results of the study show that the pattern of impact of operational practices on firm's performance varies according to type of the competitive strategy employed. All the three competitive strategy clusters have reported that TQM is the most important trigger for Indian manufacturing firms with relative effect of TQM practices on firm's performance being higher than that of lean and SCM practices.

Research limitations/implications

Cross-sectional data from Indian manufacturing firms were used, and it would be interesting to test the analytical framework of the study for more sectors and countries. Future studies can take a longitudinal research approach to strengthen the findings of the study.

Practical implications

The findings explain how operational practices are aligned with competitive strategies for practitioners so that they can assign limited resources to build diverse operational capabilities based on their strategic choices.

Originality/value

Although very few classical studies are reported in various contexts involving competitive strategy, operational practices and firm's performance, no existing study focuses on how these three domains are linked together in the context of Indian manufacturing sector.

Details

Benchmarking: An International Journal, vol. 28 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-5771

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Article
Publication date: 4 November 2019

Lydia Qianqian Li, Katherine Xin, Vlado Pucik and William X. Wei

This paper aims to propose practical recommendations in accordance with the strategic roles played by research and development (R&D) in multinational companies (MNCs).

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to propose practical recommendations in accordance with the strategic roles played by research and development (R&D) in multinational companies (MNCs).

Design/methodology/approach

This study applies a qualitative method to investigate the talent management (TM) practices implemented in MNCs’ R&D units.

Findings

The findings identify four R&D strategies and four sectors of TM practices. Furthermore, there exists an alignment between R&D strategies and TM practices.

Research limitations/implications

This paper has several limitations. This qualitative research is exploratory, and larger samples or quantitative methods are needed to ensure the wider applicability of the findings. When possible, longitudinal studies yield superior results in revealing the evolving strategic roles of R&D subsidiaries and their TM practices. The authors used China as the research context, and similar studies in other emerging countries with active R&D activities are required to further validate or complement the findings in this study.

Practical implications

This study has some practical implications for companies with regard to aligning their TM practices with R&D strategies.

Originality/value

R&D units play an increasingly significant role in MNCs and TM is a key issue. However, there is a lack of TM research focusing on R&D employees by taking strategies into account.

Details

Chinese Management Studies, vol. 13 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-614X

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