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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: 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: 1 May 2019

Anne Klitgaard and Stefan Christoffer Gottlieb

The study aims to investigate the concept of strategy-as-practice in construction management literature has been investigated. The focus is on the link between…

Abstract

Purpose

The study aims to investigate the concept of strategy-as-practice in construction management literature has been investigated. The focus is on the link between strategizing practices and project management.

Design/Methodology/Approach

An exploratory literature review is carried out based on fifteen journal articles on strategizing practices in the construction industry.

Findings

The analysis shows how strategy-as-practice questions and contradicts project management practices as depicted in the dominant deterministic perspective. Strategy-as-practice has a focus on reacting and adapting to a chaotic and changing environment, while project management is concerned with creating and maintaining a stable working environment. The findings point to the necessity of considering the organizational and institutional context of project management practices, and hence the values the strategy-as-practice lens, when considering new avenues for improving the industry.

Research Limitations/Implications

As the study is based on an exploratory literature review of only 15 articles, generalizations should be made with caution. The identified literature is restricted by search words and choice of database.

Practical Implications

The differences between strategizing and project management practices are very clear, and a focus on both may offer insights into how the construction industry could improve its productivity by developing more robust management practices.

Originality/Value

The paper illustrates the benefit of applying a strategizing perspective, which hitherto has been under-investigated in construction management research.

Details

10th Nordic Conference on Construction Economics and Organization
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-051-1

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Article
Publication date: 3 May 2011

S.A. Harwood

The purpose of this paper is to review the strategy literature in such a manner as to identify the key approaches and themes of current interest and thus provide a…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review the strategy literature in such a manner as to identify the key approaches and themes of current interest and thus provide a platform to position organisational cybernetics, in particular, the viable system model (VSM), as a complement to these established approaches.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper reviews the dominant themes of three conceptual strands to the business strategy domain (the resource‐based view, the strategy‐as‐practice approach and the strategy‐structure debate) to ascertain how they inform about the notion of strategy as the content of the process of strategising. Concepts from organisational cybernetics are examined to reveal how they can enrich our understanding of strategy, and complement the strategy domain conceptualisations.

Findings

This analysis presents the view of strategy as discourse for action. The VSM provides a device to support discussions about the organisational implications both of the process of strategising, as well as of considered strategies.

Research limitations/implications

The different themes found within the strategy literature (e.g. the process of strategising, internationalisation, collaborative ventures and mergers and acquisitions) offer a rich domain within which organisational cybernetics and the VSM can enrich through its systemic epistemology. Likewise, the strategy domain can inform interpretations of the VSM. Together, this offers the opportunity for a new stream of enquiry.

Practical implications

The insights provided suggest that assistance can be given to organisations for them to improve, not only their strategy‐related activity, but also how they evaluate the organisational implications of considered strategies.

Originality/value

The paper bridges the two conceptual domains of strategy and organisational cybernetics to promote the view that they usefully enrich each other when attempting to understand strategy.

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 40 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

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Article
Publication date: 23 November 2018

Gry Osnes, Liv Hök, Olive Yanli Hou, Mona Haug, Victoria Grady and James D. Grady

With strategy-as-practice theory the authors explore successful business-owning families hand-over of roles to the next generation. The authors argue for the usefulness of…

Abstract

Purpose

With strategy-as-practice theory the authors explore successful business-owning families hand-over of roles to the next generation. The authors argue for the usefulness of strategy-as-practice theory in exploring the complexity and plurality of best practices in intergenerational hand-over. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

A cross-cultural in-depth case study with best practice cases from China, Germany, Sweden, England, Tanzania, Israel and the USA, based on in-depth interviews of family members and non-family employees.

Findings

The authors identified three different succession patterns: a “monolithic practice,” a distributed leadership hand-over, and active ownership with a non-family managing director/CEO. Two other types of hand-over practices were categorized as incubator patterns that formed a part of, or replaced, what we traditionally see as a hand-over of roles. Families would switch between these practices.

Research limitations/implications

Surprisingly, a monolithic succession practice (a one-company-one-leadership role) was rarely used. Quantitative and qualitative research should consider, as should advisors to family owners and family businesses, the plurality of succession practices. Education should explore a variation of succession and how the dynamic of gender influences the process.

Practical implications

Giving practitioners, such as research and practitioner, an overview of strategic options so as to explore these in a client or research case.

Social implications

Adding the notions that the family is an incubator for new entrepreneurship makes it possible to show how not only sector or public policy generate new ventures. That family as source of entrepreneurship has been well established in the field but it mainstream policy thinking the family is not seen as such a source.

Originality/value

The paper offers an integrative model of the complexity of hand-over practices of ownership and leadership roles. It shows how these practices are fundamental for understanding how a family’s ownership and their leadership of businesses and new entrepreneurship develops.

Details

Journal of Family Business Management, vol. 9 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2043-6238

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Book part
Publication date: 28 May 2019

Simon Grand and Daniel Bartl

In this chapter, the authors describe and explain how executive management enacts strategizing routines to strengthen their entrepreneurial agility, as a precondition to…

Abstract

In this chapter, the authors describe and explain how executive management enacts strategizing routines to strengthen their entrepreneurial agility, as a precondition to make new strategic moves possible. The authors contribute to the routine dynamics research program, by showing how the dynamics of routines, in a strategy context, shape strategic outcomes: the authors describe four strategizing routines – distancing, evaluating, experimenting, and re-assembling – as a particular promising focus for routine and strategy research. The authors discuss executive management’s enactment of such routines as part of their strategy work. The authors show how routine enactment makes entrepreneurial agility and new strategic moves possible. By exploring the dynamics of strategizing routines and their impact on strategic outcomes, the authors at the same time benefit from and contribute to the strategy-as-practice research program. Empirically, the authors study how the executive management of Hoechst AG successfully made unthinkable new strategic moves possible, discussable, and realizable in the context of the corporation’s strategic transformation between 1994 and 1996.

Details

Routine Dynamics in Action: Replication and Transformation
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-585-2

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Article
Publication date: 5 October 2018

Annika Tidström, Paavo Ritala and Kirsi Lainema

The purpose of this paper is to explore interactional and procedural practices in managing tensions of coopetition (simultaneous collaboration and competition between firms).

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore interactional and procedural practices in managing tensions of coopetition (simultaneous collaboration and competition between firms).

Design/methodology/approach

Through an in-depth literature review of prior research within coopetition and strategy-as-practice fields, and by using two illustrative empirical examples, the authors develop a framework for preventing and managing coopetitive tensions through combinations of procedural and interactional practices.

Findings

The authors identify tensions related to strategizing, task and resource allocation, as well as knowledge sharing. Furthermore, they demonstrate potential ways of how these tensions can be prevented, resolved and managed.

Research limitations/implications

The findings show that the analysis of tensions in coopetition would benefit from a holistic, multilevel approach that recognizes practices that are interactional (i.e. face-to-face interactions) as well as procedural (i.e. organizational routines). Coopetitive tensions and their resolution are related to the use or neglect of both types of practices. Furthermore, interactional and procedural practices are mutually interdependent and can complement each other in tension management in various ways.

Practical implications

The findings of this study shed light on the roles and activities of actual practitioners involved in coopetition, and shows how their work and practices in-use contribute to coopetition, related tensions and their resolution.

Originality/value

By adopting the strategy-as-practice approach, this study generates valuable insights into the practices and tensions in coopetition, as well as illuminates the roles of the practitioners involved in managing coopetition relationships.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 33 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Abstract

In this chapter, we explore the theory of Strategy-as-Practices (S-as-P) (Jarzabkowski & Spee, 2009; Satyro, Sacomano, Contador, Almeida, & Giannetti, 2017), by looking into praxis, practices and practitioners, for better understanding how sustainability can be seen as part of the competitive advantage achieved by an integrated business strategy.

The United Nations has formulated the importance of the Sustainable Development Goals. Within the tourism and hospitality industry, although governmental organizations continue to play an important role for these initiatives, increasing number of industrial stakeholders are contributing by having sustainable oriented goals integrated in their business strategy. Traditionally, companies incorporate Corporate Social Responsibility programmes into their business strategy (Frynas & Yamahaki, 2016). However, these corporate responsibility programmes have not always been integrated as part of their strategic development. Moreover, due to the absence of the clear strategic sustainable goals, these corporate responsible practices lead to unclear integration of stakeholders' roles and their impacts to the industry.

Several theoretical approaches are possible to analyses the behaviour of practitioners leads to sustainable practices (Satyro et al., 2017). With this chapter, we show how S-as-P theory can be used in analyzing the implementation of corporate responsibility within business strategies the hospitality industry.

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Article
Publication date: 27 May 2014

Ingmar Björkman, Mats Ehrnrooth, Kristiina Mäkelä, Adam Smale and Jennie Sumelius

The purpose of this paper is to develop an “HRM-as-practice” research agenda. The authors suggest that the HRM-performance literature would benefit from an actor-centric…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop an “HRM-as-practice” research agenda. The authors suggest that the HRM-performance literature would benefit from an actor-centric approach and a focus on activities, and that the HR roles research needs to shift its attention toward a more dynamic perspective of HR work and link this further to performance.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper first provides an overview of strategy-as-practice (SAP) literature, and then review how extant HRM literature deals with three core notions of SAP: practices, praxis and practitioners. Based on this, the paper outlines an “HRM-as-practice” research agenda.

Findings

Focussing on the intersections between praxis, practitioners and practice, the paper suggests that an “HRM-as-practice” approach can give new insights into first, how people-related decisions are made, implemented and enacted in organizations; second, how employees and other HRM stakeholders interpret and engage with HRM; third, how HR actors become more effective and influential organizational agents; and fourth, what the short-term and long-term effects of these actions and activities are.

Research limitations/implications

The authors acknowledge the fuzzy and intertwined nature of the practices, practitioners and praxis categories, but believe that their intersections provide a fruitful theoretical lens to examine the practice of HRM.

Originality/value

The authors use the HRM-as-practice lens to suggest novel research approaches that can shed new light on several open questions within the HRM field.

Details

Journal of Organizational Effectiveness: People and Performance, vol. 1 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2051-6614

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Article
Publication date: 13 January 2021

Emel Kasim, Johanna Stöhr and Christian Herzig

The study aims to enhance our understanding of strategizing sustainable palm oil at company level and to bridge the gap between strategy formulation and implementation. In…

Abstract

Purpose

The study aims to enhance our understanding of strategizing sustainable palm oil at company level and to bridge the gap between strategy formulation and implementation. In this case-based study, the way a food company is tackling the challenges faced during the promotion and incorporation of sustainable palm oil into core business strategy is explored. By taking a strategy-as-practice approach, this research sheds light on the microlevel activities and the role of formulated plans, implemented actions and engagement in activities.

Design/methodology/approach

An ethnographic case study was carried out using participant observation, semi-structured interviews, informal interviews and documentary review.

Findings

The findings demonstrate the complexity of implementing a sustainability strategy for a controversial commodity such as palm oil in supply chains. External pressure was one of the most important drivers for taking action regarding environmental and social sustainability issues. Moreover, formulating and implementing supply chain strategies for sustainable palm oil required effective communication and collaboration between different departments within the organization.

Research limitations/implications

Although important insights were obtained through this six-month long ethnographic case study, additional valuable information could have been obtained if the research had been carried out for longer.

Practical implications

The paper includes implications for strategizing sustainability at company level from a strategy-as-practice perspective.

Originality/value

Through this study, a better understanding of the challenges faced from the downstream perspective in sustaining food supply chains can be obtained.

Details

Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5648

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