Article

From Strategy to Action: Involvement and Influence in Top Level Decisions

Authors:
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the authors.

Abstract

Who are the key people involved in making and implementing the big decisions that set the strategic direction for a firm? Do those who decide also see things through to implementation - and who amongst them wields the most influence? Drawing on data from a study of the making and implementing of 55 decisions in 14 UK public and private sector organizations, this research aims to discover who is involved in creating and who in maintaining organisations' strategic initiatives, and who has most - and least - influence. The findings are that who is most often in, and who is most often out, is remarkably constant across every kind of organization. There is a core and periphery of strategic actors: in most organisations production/service delivery and marketing, together with the CEO, are the heavyweights, but finance and suppliers also help set the direction. This article therefore identifies the group that bears much of the responsibility for the success, or otherwise, of strategic decisions in organisations.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the authors.

... Following Cohen et al (1972;Hickson et al 1986;Hickson et al, 2003;Miller at al., 2004Miller at al., :2008 it is arguable that as ambiguity facing managers and organizations increases, then so too does the propensity for organizational anarchy (and politics) to emerge. That is, preferences (priorities) are likely to be unclear and participation in the decision process is likely to involve some interests and not others. ...
... Empirical support for this view of relatively enduring power is provided by Miller et al (2008). In a study of 55 strategic decisions across public and private sector organizations, they found an enduring pattern of involvement and influence over decisions (in both formulation and implementation). ...
... As Miller et al (2008) found, the CEO, Finance, Marketing and delivery of goods or services ...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose – Threats of extreme events, such as terrorist attacks or infrastructure breakdown, are potentially highly disruptive events for all types of organizations. This paper seeks to take a political perspective to power in strategic decision making and how this influences planning for extreme events. Design/methodology/approach – A sample of 160 informants drawn from 135 organizations, which are part of the critical national infrastructure in the UK, forms the empirical basis of the paper. Most of these organizations had publicly placed business continuity and preparedness as a strategic priority. The paper adopts a qualitative approach, coding data from focus groups. Findings – In nearly all cases there is a pre-existing dominant coalition which keeps business continuity decisions off the strategic agenda. The only exceptions to this are a handful of organizations which provide continuous production, such as some utilities, where disruption to business as usual can be readily quantified. The data reveal structural and decisional elements of the exercise of power. Structurally, the dominant coalition centralizes control by ensuring that only a few functional interests participate in decision making. Research limitations/implications – Decisional elements of power emphasize the dominance of calculative rationality where decisions are primarily made on information and arguments which can be quantified. Finally, the paper notes the recursive aspect of power relations whereby agency and structure are mutually constitutive over time. Organizational structures of control are maintained, despite the involvement of managers charged with organizational preparedness and resilience, who remain outside the dominant coalition. Originality/value – The paper constitutes a first attempt to show how planning for emergencies fits within the strategy-making process and how politically controlled this process is.
... Atkinson, 2006;Noble, 1999;Beer & Eisenstat, 2000;Hrebiniak, 2008;McKnight et al., 2010;Okumus, 2003;Pryor et al., 2007;Raps, 2005 Balance managerial focus on both longterm and short-term performance. Atkinson, 2006;Higgins & McAllister, 2004;Hrebiniak, 2008;Kaplan & Norton, 2006;Miller et al., 2008;Raps, 2005 Embrace cross-boundary coordination and collaboration among internal business entities. Edwards, 2000;Hrebiniak, 2008;Kaplan & Norton, 2006;McKnight et al., 2010;Noble, 1999;Okumus, 2003;Pryor et al., 2007;Raps 2005;Sterling, 2003 Poor communication Constantly review strategic objectives and elicit feedback from employees and managers. ...
... Edwards, 2000;Hrebiniak, 2008;Kaplan & Norton, 2006;McKnight et al., 2010;Noble, 1999;Okumus, 2003;Pryor et al., 2007;Raps 2005;Sterling, 2003 Poor communication Constantly review strategic objectives and elicit feedback from employees and managers. Atkinson, 2006;Beer & Eisenstat, 2000;De Feo & Janssen, 2001;Hitt et al., 2010;Miller et al., 2008;Okumus, 2003;Pryor et al., 2007;Raps, 2005 Cultural barriers Promote, motivate, and reinforce a consistent focus on internal growth. Beer & Eisenstat, 2000;Hitt et al., 2010;Kaplan & Norton, 2006;Lorange, 1998 Create a unifying set of company values, practices, and expectations. ...
... Bhatti, 2011;Kaplan & Norton, 1996;Lorange, 1998;Pryor et al., 2007;Waterman et al., 1980 Align the structure, systems, and processes to empower and reward the implementation effort. Alexander, 1991;;Hitt et al., 2010;Hrebiniak, 2008;Kaplan & Norton, 2000Miller et al., 2008;Okumus, 2003;Pryor et al., 2007;Waterman et al., 1980 Failure to consider the external environment Anticipate and recognize shifts in the external environment, and plan or respond appropriately. Beer et al., 2005;Day, 1994;Hitt et al., 2010;Kaplan & Norton, 1996Lippitt, 2003;Miller et al., 2004;Sterling, 2003;Yukl, 2008 Poor decisionmaking quality Train leaders to recognize the factors that influence the quality and likely implementation of their decisions. ...
Article
The purpose of this study is to explore the relationship between senior leader behaviors and successful (or failed) strategy execution for large organizations, as perceived by senior leaders who primarily plan strategy (i.e., planners) and those that primarily implement strategy (i.e., doers). To fulfill its purpose, this study was exploratory and qualitative in nature. This study included a total of 64 interviews, composed of 32 planners and 32 doers. The findings from this exploratory study show that both planners and doers perceive that the most impactful behaviors on strategy execution occur at the start of any implementation effort. Large firms have a plethora of barriers that could potentially derail any execution effort, thus making the actions of senior leaders at the start of any execution effort extremely important. Interestingly, this study determined that there are potentially significant perception differences between planners and doers. These differences appear substantial, and one can infer that understanding these differences could likely have a material impact organizational performance. Going forward, this study has implications for future research that apply to both practitioners and academics alike. Practitioners could use this study to further the field’s understanding of a leader’s attitudes, mindset, beliefs, and behaviors impact strategy execution, especially during times of significant change. From an academic perspective, this study could serve as a starting point to inform both the assumptions and methodological design of future empirical studies of observable leadership behaviors and their impacts on execution outcomes.
... While the formulation of strategies has received a lot of attention for decades in strategy management research (e.g., Ansoff, 1965;Porter, 1985), the subject of their implementation has largely been neglected (Miller, Hickson, & Wilson, 2008;Nutt, 1998;Raes, Heijltjes, Glunk, & Roe, 2011). But firms are facing more difficulties with the implementation of strategies than with its formulation (Durmusoglu, McNally, Calantone, & Harmancioglu, 2008;Hrebiniak, 2006). ...
... Therefore implementation is frequently considered as the graveyard of strategy. With half of the implementation failures in management's control (Miller et al., 2008), senior managers unfortunately know far more about strategy formulation than on its execution (Hrebiniak, 2006). ...
... Although strategic changes are important to stay competitive in shifting environments, there needs to be some continuity allowing the strategy to be realized (Mintzberg, 1978;Mintzberg & Waters, 1985). Instantaneously hopping from strategy to strategy makes it impossible to successfully implement it as there is a considerable time lag between the decision for a strategy and its realization (Miller et al., 2008;Porter, 1985). This is especially true for project portfolios. ...
... In this study, our research objective is to develop and empirically test an integrative model of political behavior in the NPD field. Prior research [17], [33], [62] has examined three facets of political behavior in NPD teams. The first facet inspects political tactics among team members of the NPD project, and their attempts to affect the outcomes of project to serve their self-interests. ...
... What ties together the aforementioned three facets is the belief of the individuals, whether they are working in the NPD team, other teams, other organizational units, or even outside the organization, that they will be affected by the outcomes of the NPD team; hence, they attempt to satisfy their personal or institutional needs by influencing the decision process of the NPD team. Although researchers in the strategic management area have examined political behavior in the SDMP at the aforementioned three levels [34], [62], [85], to our knowledge, this has not been done for NPD teams (see [30]). In conclusion, there are three fundamental reasons justifying the research objectives of this study. ...
... The conceptualization of political behavior accounts for issues , such as negotiation, bargaining, and power, which are central to the political perspective. Differentiation represents the starting point of the political model [62]. The NPD team includes individuals with different areas of expertise, backgrounds, and motivations for getting involved in projects. ...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract—According to the political perspective on strategic decision making, political decisions are the results of a process in which the preferences of the most powerful dominate over those of the less powerful. The conceptualization of political behavior accounts for issues, such as negotiation, bargaining, and power, which are central to this perspective. Since strategic decisions during the new product development (NPD) process are made by team members, they are amass of action, interaction, and counteraction. This means that the strategic decision-making process during NPD can be subject to political behavior. This study extends research on political behavior into the realm ofNPDteams by examining the impact of six contextual variables (project importance, project uncertainty, project motive, trust, functional diversity, and demographic diversity) associated with two types of context (project and team environment) on the practice of political behavior in NPD teams. The study also examines the impact of political behavior on speed to market considering the moderating impact of environmental turbulence. Using primary and cross-sectional data obtained from103 Turkish NPD teams, our results showed that project importance, project motive, and functional diversity significantly influence political behavior. Interestingly, our results indicated that political behavior positively influences speed to market. We present and discuss our empirical results, provide implications for both theory and practice, and discuss research limitations.
... Executive style encompasses many facets, and one important aspect relates to the support and implementation of corporate strategy. Half or more of strategic initiatives fail, usually as a result of factors under executive control (Miller et al., 2008). ...
... Furthermore, we have empirically tested the "when" of this relationship by studying different alignments between executive style and strategy and examining the performance consequences of both alignment and misalignment. We focus on strategy implementation in which executives make decisions, organize, set priorities, specify tasks, and resource activities in SMEs (Galbraith, 1974;Miller et al., 2008). ...
... Strategic choice is different from implementing strategies. Implementation involves running the business, including prioritizing information, making resource allocations, and specifying tasks (Miller et al., 2008). Theoretically, our study adds clarity and refinement to influence of the relationship between SME executive style and strategy implementation on firm performance. ...
... For Miller et al. (2008), top managers may engage middle managers in decision-making processes but rarely follow through to implementation. Similarly, Rigby et al. (2002) opine that middle managers often lack understanding of implementation requirements, which suggests 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 M a n a g e m e n t D e c i s i o n 7 improper communication and information flow breakdown at some point. ...
... Middle managers opined that their roles were restricted to supervising and suggesting possible changes to pre-planned strategy. This runs contrary to extant literature which emphasises the importance of managerial involvement in forming organizational strategy (Miller et al., 2008;Schaap, 2012). However, others have argued that the strategy process should not rely only on key actors within the organization, but rather should involve all hierarchical levels in the organization (Friesl and Kwon, 2016;Cândido and Santos, 2019). ...
... Contrary to research advocating bottom-up strategic involvement of all in the organization (Andersen, 2004), even the few managers who were involved in the initial strategy formulation, were not involving their peers or subordinates in taking active roles in the strategy communication process. Thus, by restricting strategy formulation to a few key individuals, not only are the majority of the workforce disengaged, other middle managers themselves may become disengaged, which invariably limits the initial transition phase where enhanced conversations contribute to effective transition from formulation to implementation (Miller et al., 2008;van Ruler, 2018). ...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to build on the research-supported view that interactions between top and middle management enhances effective implementation of organizational strategies by exploring the role of internal actors in driving organizational strategy at the intersection between strategy formulation and strategy implementation. Design/methodology/approach: Adopting a social practice perspective, we undertook semi-structured interviews of 27 top and middle level managers drawn from a single case organization. Data collected was analysed using thematic analysis. Findings: Differences in managerial perception of strategy has significant impact on implementation of strategic decisions as well as creating tensions in recursive communication practices between internal social actors. Furthermore, individual perceptions cannot only limit the extent of strategy awareness among key actors, the manifestations through social interaction between top and middle managers is a critical determinant of effective communication and realization of organizational strategy. Originality/value: The research contributes to the strategy process and practice literature by exploring the dynamic interactions taking place at the intersections of strategy formulation-implementation phases of organizational strategy. It particularly highlights practical issues in top and middle manager interactions and implications for successful strategy implementation.
... Although the role of resources in gaining firms' competitive advantage has been strongly emphasized in various research studies, the literature has not paid much attention to the actions needed to leverage these resources (Sirmon et al., 2007). In this regard, only a part of the strategic management literature deals with the role of strategic actions in achieving competitive advantage and enhancing firm performance (Grimm et al., 2006;Miller et al., 2008). Consistent with the theoretical foundations of this stream, some studies have attempted to explain the causal mechanism between resources and performance (Ketchen et al., 2007;Newbert, 2007;Kraaijenbrink et al., 2010). ...
... According to the VRIO framework, a firm achieves sustainable competitive advantage if it can acquire valuable, scarce and costly resources to compete and to organize itself to take full advantage of these resources. Therefore, organizing management systems as well as designing relevant A framework to investigate networking capability strategic actions leads to maximum utilization of resources and implementation of organizational strategies (Miller et al., 2008). Based on these theoretical foundations, this study seeks to identify the set of strategic actions needed to complete the causal chain between networking capability and innovation performance. ...
Article
Purpose The experience of successful firms has proven that one of the most important ways to promote co-learning and create successful networked innovations is the proper application of inter-organizational knowledge mechanisms. This study aims to use a resource-action-performance framework to open the black box on the relationship between networking capability and innovation performance. The research population embraces companies in the Iranian automotive industry. Design/methodology/approach Due to the latent nature of the variables studied, the required data are collected through a web-based cross-sectional survey. First, the content validity of the measurement tool is evaluated by experts. Then, a pre-test is conducted to assess the reliability of the measurement tool. All data are gathered by the Iranian Vehicle Manufacturers Association (IVMA) and Iranian Auto Parts Manufacturers Association (IAPMA) samples. The power analysis method and G*Power software are used to determine the sample size. Moreover, SmartPLS 3 and IBM SPSS 25 software are used for data analysis of the conceptual model and relating hypotheses. Findings The results of this study indicated that the relationships between networking capability, inter-organizational knowledge mechanisms and inter-organizational learning result in a self-reinforcing loop, with a marked impact on firm innovation performance. Originality/value Since there is little understanding of the interdependencies of networking capability, inter-organizational knowledge mechanisms, co-learning and their effect on firm innovation performance, most previous research studies have focused on only one or two of the above-mentioned variables. Thus, their cumulative effect has not examined yet. Looking at inter-organizational relationships from a network perspective and knowledge-based view (KBV), and to consider the simultaneous effect of knowledge mechanisms and learning as intermediary actions alongside, to consider the performance effect of the capability-building process, are the main advantages of this research.
... To achieve this, leaders need to adopt a proactive attitude and ensure that they are involved in execution activities (Hanley 2007), and they should also possess the knowledge and information necessary to make effective strategic decisions (Carpenter and Westphal 2010). This requires having a diverse set of skills and abilities (Miller et al. 2008), especially those that support a wide-ranging dialogue aimed at establishing the details of the executed strategy and those that maintain the consistency of the activities carried out (Getz and Lee 2011). One recommendation for increasing the effectiveness of the strategy execution process is to improve the ability to prioritize, which means choosing those initiatives that seem to be the most promising for the organization's development. ...
... As indicated by Miller et al. (2008), half or more of strategic initiatives are not successful because of factors that are under executive control. This is why we have focused on internal factors and tried to explain their interdependency. ...
Article
Full-text available
Although many studies have discussed the strategy execution process and the reasons for its ineffectiveness, there is a need to consider the relations and interactions between the factors that hinder strategy implementation. The purpose of this article is to explore the interrelations between the strategy execution barriers by considering six factors and understanding the influence of these factors on a company’s performance measured by its achievement of strategic goals (as one of the strategy execution measures) and its revenue dynamics (as a financial measure). In order to achieve the research goal, structural equation modelling was performed for the path analysis. The research sample, which consisted of 150 companies of different sizes and from different industries, was selected from the population of companies registered on the Warsaw Stock Exchange. The initial model of relationships was modified to create the final model from which insignificant paths had been removed. Our main finding is that the strategy implementation process should be perceived as a set of integrated factors, which should be analysed from an aggregated perspective in decision-making process. We believe that, rather than focusing only on the efficiency of final results, attention should be paid to ensure the effectiveness of all the factors aggregated in one construct and hence that it is necessary to regard the implementation process as an execution-as-learning concept. As revealed by our study, the awareness of strategy execution barriers directly impacts the achievement of strategic goals and indirectly impacts the revenue dynamics.
... As theories of organizational strategy have evolved from a focus on top-down strategic planning and control (Chandler 1962) to a view of strategy as a process in which different organizational actors participate in making 'relatively consequential decisions' (Mintzberg 1994, 27), the questions of who is a strategist, who participates in strategic decision-making, and why those who participate are able to do so have become some of the most important questions in the discipline of organizational strategy (Jarzabkowski, Balogun, and Seidl 2007;Mantere and Vaara 2008;Miller, Hickson, and Wilson 2008). Nutt (1999, 86) reported that half of all the decisions made by organizations he had studied failed and that managers who issue edicts and try to persuade others to follow them rather than 'consulting with people who have stakes in the changes the decision would bring' generally make decisions that fail. ...
... The lack of attention to the non-task environment often leads to the development of inadequate task strategies that are poorly suited to the social environment. Miller, Hickson, and Wilson (2008) found that the product/service delivery and marketing functions almost always are involved in top-level decisions but that functions that represent the interests of social and political stakeholders tend to be peripheral to decision-making. Although they did not mention public relations by name, they described its role well when they concluded that management practitioners 'need to decide which are the additional key interests to be brought into the decision arena. ...
Article
Full-text available
The multifaceted roles of public relations are not well-understood in strategic management. Thus, this study reviews strategic management literature and presents empirical evidence on the relevance of public relations to strategic management. Using data collected from public relations practitioners and organizational leaders in the Generally Accepted Practice (GAP) survey conducted by the University of Southern California (USC) and the Excellence Study commissioned by the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Research Foundation, the dynamics between the public relations function and organizational outcomes (i.e., corporate strategic orientation and corporate legitimacy performance) are explored. The findings present new empirical evidence of the contributions that public relations makes to strategic management (i.e., its value), the conditions under which public relations makes more contributions to strategic management (i.e., its empowerment) and the differences between marketing-dominant and public relations-independent communication departments in terms of their focus and effects on organizational outcomes (i.e., its structure). The relevance of the findings to the strategic management role of public relations today is discussed.
... Given the limited available evidence of how substantial dynamism can be built into SPMSs (see e.g.Neely, 2002, 2003;Neely, 2005;Waggoner et al., 1999), Essay 3 adopts an inductive approach, and draws on very limited a priori theoretical discussion (see e.g.). The empirically grounded theoretical insights of the paper are, on the other hand, linked to the pertinent management accounting and strategic management literatures; in particular those related to the general design and use of SPMSs (e.g.Epstein and Manzoni, 1998;Norton, 1996, 2001;Neely, 1999Neely, , 2005), the development and use of dynamic SPMSs (e.g.Neely, 2002, 2003;Medori and Steeple, 2000;Neely et al., 1997), subjectivity in PMSs (e.g.Gibbs et al., 2004;Moers, 2005;Simons, 2005), and finally, the practices of strategic planning and decision-making (Miller et al., 2008;Woiceshyn, 2009). Finally, Essay 4 seeks to contribute to MCS and values-based control literatures by elaborating on the concept of values-based control. ...
... These include the concepts of clan control (), cultural control (e.g.Harris and Ogbonna, 2010;Merchant and Van der Stede, 2007;), belief system () and value-based control (). The paper also draws on the literatures on human values (e.g.Meglino, 1997;Rokeach, 1978), and corporate culture (e.g.Sørensen, 2002;Wiener, 1988, 1990) the concept of ICS (Bisbe et al., 2007;) literature on the knowledge-integrating role of MCSs (e.g.) literature on knowledge management (e.g.Teece, 2000) literature on strategy formation (e.g.Brews and Hunt, 1999;Brown and Eisenhardt, 1997)Epstein and Manzoni, 1998;Norton, 1996, 2001;Neely, 1999Neely, , 2005) literature on dynamic SPMSs (e.g.Neely, 2002, 2003;Medori and Steeple, 2000;Neely et al., 1997) literature on subjectivity in PMSs (e.g.Gibbs et al., 2004Moers, 2005;Simons, 2005) literature on strategic planning and decision-making (Miller et al., 2008;Woiceshyn, 2009)To elaborate on the concept of values-based control by specifying the key approaches through which values-based control is mobilised and by illustrating how these approaches can be applied in practice., Wiener, 1982Willmott, 1993) literature on human values (e.g.Rokeach, 1978) literature on corporate culture (e.g.) ...
Article
This paper proposes a contextual approach to explaining differences in strategic investment decision (SID) making practices. First, a systematic contextual framework is developed from the existing research literature. Then this framework’s potential for explaining differences in SID making practices is explored through fourteen case studies of U.K., US and Japanese companies from both stable and dynamic business sectors. Our findings suggest substantial SID differences across our four contextual categories of market creators, value creators, refocusers and restructurers. The differences relate to the emphasis on strategic versus financial considerations, the thoroughness and rigidity of financial analysis, the attitudes towards incorporating less easily quantifiable factors and the level of hurdle rates.
... Addressing calls for more research exploring the micro-strategising activities of multiple actors at different management levels and functional locations across the organisation (Jarzabkowski & Balogun, 2009;Johnson et al., 2003;Miller, Hickson, & Wilson, 2008;Regnér, 2003), we specifically explore marketing middle managers practices. In doing so, we show how opening up strategy making to functional managers can enable top management's strategic vision to be interpreted, adapted and implemented so that it is better alignment with the dynamic market environment. ...
... Addressing this lack of 'bottomup empirical research into how marketing is actually done in organisations' (Skålén & Hackley, 2011, p. 189) is critical if marketing managers are to 'to regain their influence ' (Brown et al., 2005, p. 11). Although some studies suggest that marketing managers are influential strategic actors (Mattsson et al., 2006;Miller et al., 2008), they do not explore the specific practices that marketing managers engage in or how those practices influence top manager's strategy making. Research must move beyond comparisons between marketing's level of involvement and influence in strategy against other functional departments (Engelen, 2011;Palmer & Simmons, 2010) and instead the focus on exploring 'marketing work' in more fine grained detail (Svensson, 2007, p. 275) and specifically on the marketing practices that emerge via interactions and activities at the micro-organisational level and through which strategy is continuously adapted. ...
Article
Full-text available
For an organisation to be competitive its strategy must be highly responsive to both environmental challenges and customers continuously shifting demands. Yet many organisations treat strategy making as an exclusively top management concern, even though the top management team is often remote from the daily interactions and communications taking place at the organisation, market, and customer interface. We challenge the assumption that strategy making ‘belongs’ to top managers and argue that marketing middle managers, possessing expert market and customer knowledge and insights, adapt top manager’s strategy to shifting customer demands in a changing environment. We explore this argument by adopting a strategy-as-practice perspective and analysing marketing middle manager’s practices across three case companies operating in a dynamic retail environment. Our research enables two key contributions. Our primary confirmation is to demonstrate that marketers are not passive implementers, but active adapters of top management strategy through three critical practices of sensing, challenging, and transmitting. We use the novel analogy of how adapting a book to make a film involves minor changes to the story line and characters to suit the new medium and to illustrate the strategically relevant and influential role marketing plays in adapting the strategy developed by the top management team for implementation. By demonstrating the value of the strategic practices of functional middle managers we also contribute to the growing debate of the need for greater inclusion and transparency in strategy making.
... Sensing intuition is the information gathering style, and research affirmed that cos -leadership strategy requires sensing, whereas intuitive attribute is relevant for organisation pursuing differentiation strategy. Few other studies have examined the influence of executive style and top management teams on the organisation strategic choice (Finkelstein and Hambrick, 1996;Miller et al., 2008;Hakonsson et al., 2012). However, Miller et al. (2008) report that above-average of the strategic choices fail because of factors under the control of the executives. ...
... Few other studies have examined the influence of executive style and top management teams on the organisation strategic choice (Finkelstein and Hambrick, 1996;Miller et al., 2008;Hakonsson et al., 2012). However, Miller et al. (2008) report that above-average of the strategic choices fail because of factors under the control of the executives. Many of these studies are from mainstream management or marketing research. ...
Article
Purpose The decision-making styles and strategies of organisations play significant roles in their competitive advantage and the achievement of superior performance. The purpose of this study is to explore the effect of decision-making styles on the strength of the relationship between competitive strategy and organisational performance among large construction organisations based in South Africa. Design/methodology/approach The study focuses on large construction organisations in South Africa using a questionnaire survey to elicit information. The sample consists of 72 large construction organisations, and the measures of decision-making styles, competitive strategies and organisational performance used for the instrument utilised to elicit information were derived from the literature. Descriptive, parametric and multiple regression analyses were used to determine the effect of decision-making styles and competitive strategies on the organisations’ performance. Findings The results of the study show that organisations utilize all types of decision-making styles, but the most significantly adopted styles are analytical and directive. The study found that decision-making styles influence organisational performance through competitive strategies. Research limitations/implications The research considered large construction organisations based in South Africa and operating in three provinces, where almost 75 per cent of all public projects are being implemented. The findings can be generalised to other large construction organisations functioning within the South African industry, because most of the organisations surveyed operate nationally. However, the findings may not be generalizable to the entire industry. Small and medium-sized organisations vary in terms of structure in relation to large organisations; hence, their decision-making styles may be different. Practical implications The study makes explicit the need to consider the role of different decision-making styles being practiced within organisations and how their moderating effect influences organisational performance beyond rational processes. A better understanding of this will enable organisations to achieve the total commitment of their staff to achieve superior performance. Originality/value The study contributes to the existing literature and body of knowledge on the strategic management of organisations. It underpins the assertion that decision-making styles and competitive strategies can influence organisational performance, and this is validated within the construction industry. Knowledge of the relationships between the variables measured in this paper will be beneficial to both owners and managers of construction organisations, because they provide the necessary information on how strategic decision-making styles influence the strategy adopted and, in turn, the organisational performance.
... If strategic agendas and decision arrays that are present in the strategy formulation process have been shaped by the use of SPMS, it is more likely that more angles of the emerging developments, trends or events that have important implications for the achievement of the organization´s goals are captured and that more and more varied decisions are activated as a response. Studies on the role of managerial cognition have shown that the structure of the strategic agenda (variety and number of strategic issues) and the structure of the decision array (variety and number of decisions) act as critical vehicles through which strategy formulation affects the extent and direction of the strategic response to environmental changes (Dutton and Duncan, 1987;Miller et al., 2008). Given the multi-dimensional attention focus and the causal logics introduced by SPMS, it is reasonable to expect that top managers using SPMS will be better equipped to understand what developments, trends or events mean in terms of change in environmental demands and will consequently be better equipped to develop a proper "fit" strategic response (Nadkarni and Barr, 2008). ...
Article
Full-text available
This paper examines the extent to which the use of Strategic Performance Measurement Systems (SPMS) influences organizational performance through the shaping of the strategic agendas and the strategic decision arrays that result from strategy (re)formulation processes. In this research we defined SPMS as management tools that are characterized by a combination of high levels of four constitutive dimensions (i.e. the integration of long-term strategy and operational goals, the presence of multi-perspective metrics, the inclusion of cause-effect linkages, and the presence of a sequence goals/targets/action plans). We argue that organisations that use SPMS achieve enhanced performance (in comparison with those firms that use other performance measurement systems not qualified as SPMS) and that this enhancement is associated not only with a better implementation of intended strategies as it has been assumed in previous empirical research, but also with the comprehensiveness of the strategic agendas and strategic decision arrays obtained in the processes of (re)formulation of intended strategies. Results from tests of a structural model using Partial Least Squares (PLS) regressions on archival and survey data collected from Chief Executive Officers of 279 medium and large Spanish companies provide support in favour of hypotheses suggesting that a) the positive effect of the use of SPMS on organizational performance is mediated by the comprehensiveness of the strategic decision array (i.e. variety and number of decisions) that result from strategy (re)formulation processes; and that (b) the greater the environmental dynamism, the more positive the effect of the comprehensiveness of the strategic decision array on organizational performance.
... Creating more organisational involvement through the reduction of the gap between decision-makers and implementers can increase the effectiveness of strategy implementation. 26 Moreover, our results on the positive association between subsidiary participation and non-financial indicators challenge PMS-related research, which tends to conceive of PMSs as hierarchical systems implemented by a top-down approach. 27 Our survey data reveal that this is definitely true in most cases. ...
Article
According to recent studies in international management, relationships between headquarters and subsidiaries in the global economy are characterised simultaneously by elements of organisational interdependence and local autonomy. These characteristics challenge the traditional design and use of performance measurement systems (PMSs). Contemporary approaches to PMSs emphasise the role of performance indicators for strategy implementation and advocate the adoption of non-financial indicators in addition to traditional financial metrics. We investigated the factors associated with the inclusion of non-financial indicators in PMSs used in relationships between headquarters and subsidiaries. Our empirical study is based on 141 questionnaires collected from Italian subsidiaries of foreign companies and 13 interviews with respondents. Non-financial performance indicators contained in PMSs refer equally to customer, internal processes and people measurement perspectives. Furthermore, we find that the inclusion of non-financial indicators is positively associated with relative performance evaluation, interactive use of PMSs, subsidiary size, headquarters nationality and subsidiary participation in the design of PMSs. Information gathered through interviews provides explanations of our results, and suggests that the inclusion of non-financial perspectives in PMSs contributes to the strategic alignment of international organisations by supporting learning and dialogue within relationships between headquarters and subsidiaries.
... If the strategic agendas and strategic decision arrays that are present in formal strategy formulation processes have been shaped by SPMS, then it is likely that more angles are captured of the emerging developments, trends, or events that have important implications for the achievement of the organisation's goals -and that a greater number of more varied decisions are activated as a response. Studies on the role of managerial cognition have shown that the comprehensiveness of the strategic agenda and the comprehensiveness of the decision array are critical vehicles through which strategy formulation affects the extent and direction of the strategic response to environmental changes (Dutton and Duncan, 1987;Miller et al., 2008). Given the multi-dimensional attention focus and the causal logics introduced by SPMS, it is reasonable to expect that in firms where SPMS are present, senior managers will be better equipped to understand what developments, trends, or events mean in terms of changes in environmental demands -and will consequently be better equipped to develop a proper strategic response (Nadkarni and Barr, 2008). ...
Article
Full-text available
This paper examines how strategic performance measurement systems (SPMS) influence organizational performance through the shaping of the strategic agendas and strategic decision arrays that result from the processes of (re)formulation of intended strategies. Using a combination of archival and survey data collected from 267 medium and large Spanish companies, we find evidence supporting a positive association between SPMS and organizational performance that is mediated by the comprehensiveness of the strategic decision arrays. We find this mediation is negatively moderated by the level of environmental dynamism, so that the comprehensiveness of strategic decision arrays that result from strategy (re)formulation processes mediates the association between SPMS and organizational performance when environmental dynamism is low, but not when environmental dynamism is high.
... Second, although more experienced CEOs possess deeper knowledge of their organizations and operating environments (Coffee, 1988;Kor, 2003;Simsek, 2007) and, therefore, could be better able to improve performance, they have also developed set habits, established routines, and information sources, and they tend to rely more on experience (Finkelstein & Hambrick, 1996). This narrower frame of reference in generating and evaluating alternative strategies (S. Miller, Hickson, & Wilson, 2008) may be especially problematic if equitybased compensation encourages CEOs to pursue more of the strategies that have worked for them in the past. D. Miller (1991Miller ( , 1993) evocatively describes such executives as "stale in the saddle." ...
Article
We propose that CEO compensation and tenure moderate the relationship between multinational corporations' (MNCs) R&D intensities and their percentages of equity ownership in international joint ventures (IJVs). Transaction cost economics (TCE) suggests a positive relationship between MNC R&D intensity and IJV equity ownership, but this relationship has not been confirmed consistently in prior research. We examine the moderating effects of CEO compensation and tenure on the relationship between MNC R&D intensity and IJV equity ownership, thereby bringing more nuanced explanations from agency theory and upper echelons theory into the discussion. Our proposed relationships were tested using a sample of 202 IJVs formed between U.S. MNCs and foreign partners in high-tech industries for the period 1993 to 2003. We found an overall positive relationship between MNC R&D intensity and the percentage of equity ownership in IJVs. Moreover, CEO tenure and bonus compensation each weaken the positive R&D intensity-equity ownership relationship in our sample, while CEO stock options compensation amplifies it. These findings indicate that CEO compensation and tenure influence decision making about equity ownership in IJVs, suggesting that scholars and boards of directors should consider these CEO-related factors when evaluating strategic decisions regarding IJVs.
... A long tradition of scholars has demonstrated that both are essential (e.g. Crittenden, 1992;Miller, Hickson and Wilson, 2008;Shapiro, 1977), especially in highly dynamic and technology-intensive industries such as the IT industry, the setting of this study (Cooper and Kleinschmidt, 1994). Technological knowledge generally refers to rather specialized and complex knowledge on technologies and/or processes; marketing knowledge denotes applications and commercialization opportunities for technological knowledge (Teece, 2007;Van den Bosch, Volberda and de Boer, 1999). ...
Article
Full-text available
Organizational leadership is generally distributed between the chief executive officer (CEO) and the top management team (TMT) members. Building on this observation, we present an empirical investigation of the cues for CEOs to delegate decision-making influence to particular TMT members. In the literature, explanations both based on expertise and driven by similarity are described. In this study, we reconcile both explanations by examining the moderating role of the TMT's level of ‘cooperative behaviour’ (collaboration and information exchange). We analyse when and in what circumstances TMT members’ expertise and similarity to the CEO regarding his/her functional background and/or locus-of-control predict their decision-making influence. We postulate that TMT cooperative behaviour will advance the effect of expertise on TMT members’ decision influence but impede the effect of similarity to the CEO. Our hypotheses are tested on a data set of 135 TMT members from 32 Dutch and Belgian information technology firms. Overall, we find that our proposed research model is confirmed for technology-oriented decisions. Furthermore, we draw exploratory conclusions about the effect of TMT cooperative behaviour on the systematic distribution of decision influence in TMTs.
... Second, although more experienced CEOs possess deeper knowledge of their organizations and operating environments (Coffee, 1988;Kor, 2003;Simsek, 2007) and, therefore, 8 Journal of Management / Month XXXX could be better able to improve performance, they have also developed set habits, established routines, and information sources, and they tend to rely more on experience (Finkelstein & Hambrick, 1996). This narrower frame of reference in generating and evaluating alternative strategies (S. Miller, Hickson, & Wilson, 2008) may be especially problematic if equitybased compensation encourages CEOs to pursue more of the strategies that have worked for them in the past. D. Miller (1991Miller ( , 1993) evocatively describes such executives as "stale in the saddle." ...
Article
Full-text available
Boards of directors must navigate between adopting standardized “best practices” for their CEOs’ pay plans, on the one hand, and customizing their CEOs’ pay to align their particular CEO’s goals with those of shareholders, on the other. We build theory proposing that the incentive effects of different CEO compensation types vary consistently over CEO tenures and, therefore, that over-standardization of CEO pay plans actually can hurt shareholders. Our analysis of a sample of U.S. S&P 500 firms from 1998-2005 shows declining benefits to shareholders from performance-based compensation (i.e., options and bonuses) as CEO tenure increases, but an opposite effect for non performance-based (i.e., salary) pay. These findings can be considered a preliminary warning that normative “best practices” should not become the exclusive approach to determining CEO pay packages; instead, boards should consider more holistic approaches that incorporate the fit between CEO characteristics and organizational goals.
... Firms are forced to bring changes to their research, innovation, technology and marketing practices by a reconfiguration of their competencies and resources (Chaturvedi and Chataway, 2006). The top management and the chief executive officers (CEOs) play a vital role in developing organisational strategies (Gimbert et al., 2010;Miller et al., 2008). ...
Article
Public sector organisations in India were established after the independence to build infrastructure for economic development, generate employment and various other reasons. Since the liberalisation of the economy in 1991, the mortality rate of public sector units (PSUs) has been found to be on the rise. This dynamics has been captured using soft systems methodology. A system dynamics model representing the operational and performance dynamics of Indian PSUs in the era of transformation from the pre-globalisation through globalisation and post-globalisation periods was developed. Policy experimentation reveals that chief executive officers with strategic orientation towards research and development improve revenue generations. Furthermore, it revealed that Indian PSUs would have earned more revenues had there not been globalisation.
... With regard to the involvement in (strategic) decisions and degree and continuity of involvement during the adoption and implementation phase, Miller et al. [46] indicate that the role of stakeholders changes from one phase to another. They propose the political decisionmaking model. ...
Article
Full-text available
Local government organizations such as municipalities often seem unable to fully adopt or implement web accessibility standards even if they are actively pursuing it. Based on existing adoption models, this study identifies factors in five categories that influence the adoption and implementation of accessibility standards for local government websites. Awareness of these factors is importap and understand these factors, this study has identified and interviewed experts in the field of (organizational) accessibility. This has led to an extension of the existing models. The extended model was then validated by interviews with key stakeholders. The outcome of this study places existing adoption models in a new context. The result is an adoption model that contributes better to explaining adoption and implementation processes within eGovernment systems and organizations. This adoption model aims to better help local governments in the identification of factors influencing the actual adoption and implementation of web accessibility standards in their situation. The model explains how factors in the different categories contribute to the adoption and implementation of web accessibility standards. The model may also be applicable to the adoption and implementation of other guidelines and (open) standards within local government.
... Marketing is a key function to study for two reasons; first, within a highly competitive and dynamic industry such as retail, marketing is a critical function in the development of strategy. Second, generally the strategic management literature treats marketing as a support function, and even when the role of marketing managers as critical actors in strategic decision-making is recognized (Miller, Hickson and Wilson, 2008), the specific strategic influencing activities of marketing middle managers are not identified. ...
Article
Recent advances in strategy-as-practice (S-asP) bring the micro-level social interactions inherent in strategy making to the forefront of research but how strategy is continuously shaped remains an underexplored practice. In response, we unravel the strategy shaping activities of middle managers through multiple case studies, enabling three contributions to the S-asP agenda. First, our analysis of the micro-activities of functional middle managers reveal three core actions-reluctant compliance, under-the-radar resistance, and reshaping , through which they mobilize functional knowledge and insight to interpret and shape top management team's (TMT) intended strategy. Second, middle managers' continuously shape and reshape strategy through both divergence and convergence on TMT's intended strategy. Challenging dichotomous perspectives of middle managers' strategic influencing role as either support-seeker or saboteur of strategy, our findings show middle managers as both supporters and resisters of TMT strategy. Third, TMT reaction to middle managers' activities influences the extent and nature of strategy shaping. Ignoring middle managers' divergent behaviour, the TMT reinforces divergence, and under-the-radar resistance will persist, thus increasing the distance between intended strategy and implemented strategy. If middle managers' divergence from TMT's original intended strategic vision is acknowledged as necessary and the corrective action is permitted, collaborative reshaping of strategy is facilitated.
... Strategic goals are broadly formulated statements derived from wider societal and political principles. As a result, the establishment of goals creates a multitude of potential ways of implementation that is inclusive to a wide array of actors and has a long temporal scope (Macleod & Goodwin, 1999;Miller, Hickson, & Wilson, 2008;Teisman & Klijn, 2002). In the case of climate change, however, there is a political urgency to create a more tangible connection between strategic goals and urban development to foster implementation. ...
Article
Frameworks of environmental regulations are fundamental yet problematic factors in achieving climate mitigation and adaptation policy goals. Recent theoretical arguments claim the value of general legal frameworks to enable experimentation and contextual adaptation of policies. However, empirical research regarding the effects of both general and specific norms in the practice of urban intervention remains limited. In this article we empirically discern how city governments deal with the tension between control and flexibility in the implementation of urban climate change goals. We argue that policies of adaptation/mitigation face two types of implementation problems: non-adaptive implementation and non-implementation. The first stems from an excessively constraining use of rules, while the second derives from a too general and undefined regulatory framework. Analysing two empirical cases in Amsterdam and Boston, we conclude that there are three elements that affect the way actors deal with these deficits: the level of scale at which regulations are established, the degree of land ownership which provides margin of manoeuvre to public authorities, and the sense of political urgency behind mitigation and adaptation policies.
... Even their results appear to be 'black and white', advocating their position of sustainable leadership; yet they concentrate on long-term value for the organisation while identifying key performance drivers to create a value-based, social responsible shareholder-value-oriented form of leadership. Meanwhile, Heide et al. (2002), Miller et al. (2008), Hakonsson et al. (2012) and Radomska (2014) researched barriers in leadership in connection to the executive style which prevents the successful implementation of change. Their common findings included missing leadership skills (i.e. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Article, written for the knowledge Database of the Open University Business School. This study explores the influence of leadership as the main topic for organisational success: it covers the leadership influence in organisational change, in line with two of the three essential conditions (Market orientation is not covered here) for organisational success as stated by Porter (1991).
... Other studies have investigated resource matching from the perspective of creating an appropriate configuration of resources. Studies in this area show how top managers select and prepare lower-level managers to implement change (Hickson et al., 2003;Kerr & Jackofsky, 1989;Lorange, 1998;Miller, Hickson, & Wilson, 2008). Findings suggest that it is the top managers' role to engage middle managers in succession planning, mentoring, and training (Gupta & Govindarajan, 1984;Kerr & Jackofsky, 1989). ...
Article
Full-text available
Strategy implementation (SI) is a significant managerial, and organizational challenge as many practitioners struggle to make strategies actionable and to achieve intended results. Moreover, there is no unified body of research on SI. This is problematic for academics aiming to contribute to a research-based body of knowledge on implementation. To remedy this problem, we draw on the strategy-as-practice perspective and conceptualize SI as a particular type of ‘strategy work’, manifest in the activities, actors, and tools through which strategy is executed. This conceptual framework allows us to synthesize the fragmented literature into five implementation practices: structure and process matching, resource matching, monitoring, framing, and negotiating. We show how these implementation activities operate at different levels and involve different actors and tools. With its emphasis on what managers (and other people) do within specific structural, temporal, and material arrangements, the strategy-as-practice perspective offers exciting opportunities for future implementation research.
... Similarly, in the same study, 'lack of understanding the strategic importance of I4.0' and 'lack of knowledge of I4.0' have been clubbed in one single barrier worded as 'lack of understanding importance of I4.0 at top management levels'. Such clubbing is justified in the sense that strategic decisions are usually taken by the top echelons of the organization (Miller et al., 2008), and lack of understanding at that level can be a severe impediment in implementing I4.0 for sustainable production. ...
Article
The objective of making an organization ‘sustainable’ needs development on the economic, environmental, and social fronts. Indian Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises are facing the competition posed by rising technological advances in the market. Thus, Industry 4.0 intervention shall be highly useful in this context. This study assesses the barriers involved in implementing Industry 4.0 for sustainable production, and it attempts to find causality among the barriers using the ‘Decision Making Trial and Evaluation Laboratory’ method. The study considers eight barriers to implement Industry 4.0 for sustainable production. These barriers are inter-related and have causal relationships among them. This causality is represented graphically. The applied method delineates barriers under consideration for causality into two groups, namely; ‘influencer’ and ‘influenced.’ It also illustrates the strength of the influence of one barrier over the other through numerical values. The prime contribution of this study is to not only find the influencing barriers but also to mitigate them by allocating scarce organizational resources. Mitigating the influencing barriers would help in managing the influenced challenges. ‘Technological upgradation’, ‘lack of policy frameworks’ are the top two barriers that find its place in the hierarchy of importance established by this study. These barriers are also classified into the ‘cause’ group. Also, this study establishes that ‘difficulty in access to credit’ and ‘non-readiness of the workforce’ in adopting Industry 4.0 are ‘influenced’ barriers. This study shall be of importance to the small business practitioners and government analysts in evaluating barriers in implementing sustainable production initiatives using Industry 4.0. With this, Indian Micro, Small & Medium Enterprise needs to upgrade by upskilling young working population for the forthcoming technological revolution of Industry 4.0. Finally, we suggest several important implications for managers and policymakers.
... 2 Strategic planning plays a critical role in achieving organizational goals; however, there might also be serious barriers in the way of strategic implementation. 11 In Iran's hospital settings, there is general agreement that strategic planning is necessary for every hospital. There is even a specific budget section for strategic planning in hospitals in Iran's Ministry of Health (MOH). ...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives To assess the implementation and evaluation phases of strategic plans in selected hospitals. Methods We conducted a cross-sectional study of implementation and evaluation of strategic plan in 24 hospitals in 2015, using a questionnaire which consisted of two separate sections for strategic implementation and strategic evaluation. Data were analyzed with SPSS version 18. Results Nearly one-third of hospitals claimed that they allocate their budget based on priorities and strategic goals. However, it turned out that although goals had been set, no formal announcements had been made. Most of the hospitals stated that they used measures when evaluating the plan. For hospital staff, clarifying the hospital’s priorities was the most important advantage of a strategic plan. Conclusion There is no clear definition for strategic management in Iranian hospitals, which results in chaotic implementation and control of strategic planning.
... Miller, Hickson and Wilson (2008) confirmed in their studies that managers are expected to have a diverse set of skills and abilities that allow them to make strategic decisions effectively. They should also be able to conduct a broad dialogue aiming not only to clarify the details of the strategy, but also to maintain the coherence of activities (Getz Joe Lee, 2011). ...
Article
The present study seeks to identify the relationship involved between information and communications technology (ICT) and the adoption of new management tools, modernization and reorganization. Using data from the National Archives Centre, we present the attitudes of upper and middle managers in the organization based on Mintzberg’s studies on innovation, the role of leaders facing resistance and organizational changes. The results show that ICT significantly affect important elements in all structural dimensions, especially the key people management. More generally, the results suggest that ICT is correlated with the internal environment of the company. JEL code: O380
... The term "involvement" is applied here because the term "participation" has connotations of full consultation. Meanwhile, involvement, for our informants, ranges from providing information for the decision-making process in order to be presented at meetings, and from carrying out the central tasks of implementation to supporting implementers with various advice or data (Miller, Hickson, & Wilson, 2008). ...
... Communication should be rich, two-way, critical and constructive (Balogun 2006). It need to be clear and in the language of the recipient, i.e. it must not only transport information but also translate it and put in context as required (Miller et al. 2008). Constant communication helps employees to connect their tasks with high-level goals of the organization (Johnson 2004). ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Strategies often fail not because they are poorly designed but because they are poorly implemented. Empirical research has identified and described numerous obstacles to successful strategy implementation, however little work has been done regarding normative analysis of such problems and how they relate to and impact strategy implementation processes. This article builds upon a previous analysis of middle management’s role in strategy implementation by extending the analytical model presented in that study in terms of transformational input-output relationship as well as in terms of how values are assigned to certain project results. The authors show that the owner of a strategy should set incentives such that a strategy implementation manager puts forward sufficient effort to push the project beyond a minimal implementation level, otherwise the strategy owner runs the risk of realizing a negative return. As a consequence he may have to take on a higher share of cost associated with implementation risk than in non-strategic projects. The authors further discuss alternative compensation approaches in order to overcome some of the issues inherent in classic incentive schemes.
... With regard to awareness and knowledge, authors also address indicators like perceived benefits, cost-benefit, network externalities and observability. Many authors address the 'perceived benefits' of an innovation as an indicator for success (Abdelgawad et al., 2010;Martínez, De Andrés, & García, 2014;Miller, Hickson, & Wilson, 2008;Nambisan & Wang, 2000;Rowley, 2011;Velleman et al., 2015;. Regarding web accessibility implementation, this means that the organization should make sure that stakeholders are aware of the benefits of implementing the standards as opposed to not implementing them. ...
Thesis
Full-text available
There are laws and regulations in place requiring public sector bodies to adopt and implement international standards for web accessibility. Municipalities in the Netherlands have collectively adopted these standards. However, they often seem unable to fully implement web accessibility standards even if the law requires them to and they are actively pursuing it. Based on existing models, literature, questionnaires and extensive audits of the websites of participating municipalities, this dissertation identifies processes that support or resist implementation of the standards within the specific context of web accessibility for local government websites. Awareness of these processes is important for stakeholders willing to implement web accessibility standards. The result is a set of recommendations for local governments that help them identify processes that support or resist the actual implementation of web accessibility standards. This not only contributes to the accessibility of the web for people with disabilities, it may also be helpful for the implementation of other guidelines and (open) standards within local governments.
Article
This study aimed to analyse the effect of communication strategy on the relationship between strategy execution and organisational performance of universities. The proposed constructs of independent variables were organisational level of analysis (organisational size, organisational structure, organisational culture, and reward system), and communication strategy. Specifically, the communication strategy was tested as a moderator. In other words, the effects of these three constructs were measured against organisational performance. The study was developed based on general system theory and contingency theory. The total respondents were 236 and all of them are working with the higher education institutions in Palestine. Based on SEM-PLS to analyse the data, the study found that specific strategy execution with a specific communication strategy produced better organisational performance. Finally the findings provide invaluable implication to theory and practice on execution of strategy of service based ins...
Article
Full-text available
Many firms are undertaking a strategic shift from cost leadership (through process management) to differentiation based on radical product innovation. Success in such transitions has been mixed, as have findings on the role of performance measurement and management in the process. This study explores the challenges of managing this transition, with specific focus on the role of performance metrics. Conventional wisdom indicates that top management can use metrics – measures, standards and rewards – to communicate new directions and priorities. Based on findings reported in this paper, this approach is found to be potentially fatally flawed when applied to a situation where both the corporate goals and the means of achieving these goals have changed. Using detailed data drawn from a multi-level analysis of a major international corporation undertaking such a strategic shift, this study explores the process by which metrics are formed and deployed, and the impact of this process on the ability of the firm to successfully achieve the change. Using measures such as the percentage of sales from new products, top management in the case study had the impression that the strategy was being successfully carried out by the various operating divisions. However, radical innovation (the desired result) had been replaced by incremental innovation. This study identifies the reasons for this situation. A major finding is that the performance measurement and management system can both allow and conceal this failure. Firms trying to significantly change their strategic directions must change their selection of performance metrics to focus less on the intended outcomes and more on the means by which these outcomes are to be achieved.
Article
In this paper, we report on an in-depth and inductive study of strategy professionals that proactively initiated, developed and sustained an online community dedicated to continuously engaging with issues of strategic relevance for the company Ericsson. We identified the design of an online community structure, cooperation of internal and external actors with diverse expertise and from different hierarchical levels, and formulation of adequate strategic content, as the three main decision areas that strategy professionals have to consider carefully. The detailed empirical analysis enabled us to expose characteristic interdependencies among decisions and contradictory demands that make open strategy processes a paramount organizational challenge. We argue that organizing of such collective action transforms professional strategists from expert planners and analysts into managers that centralize responsibility for decisions affecting a) permeability of community boundaries for different types of community members; b) incentive mechanisms that mobilize participation and stimulate knowledge sharing across hierarchical levels, and c) framing of strategic content needed to integrate fragmented contributions, often less aligned with strategic frames of senior managers, into actionable strategic initiatives.
Article
This paper examines how substantial dynamism can be built into strategic performance measurement systems (SPMSs), and how such flexible and adaptable SPMSs can be used for strategic alignment. It draws on an in-depth case study of a successful global leader in the telecommunications industry. This research suggests that building substantial dynamism into SPMSs, and using such flexible and adaptable SPMSs for strategic alignment, may require companies to seek a balance between empowerment and alignment. To do so, they may need to adopt a combination of management practices that differ considerably from those prevalent for more stable SPMSs. Further, this research argues that subjectivity may be a central feature in a dynamic SPMS. Indeed, it could be essential both more effectively to empower managers to take primary responsibility for measures, and to provide them with sufficient leverage to account for changes in the external and internal contexts. The paper concludes by discussing theoretical and managerial implications.
Article
Pietro Micheli is a Lecturer at Cranfield School of Management's Centre for Business Performance, and Fellow of the Advanced Institute of Management, UK. His research and consulting interests focus on organisational performance, particularly in the areas of strategic performance measurement and continuous improvement. He has carried out extensive research on the design, use and impact of performance measurement systems, and on the introduction of performance improvement initiatives in both private and public sector organisations. As a founding member of the Evidence-Based Management collaborative and an organiser of events that bring together academics and practitioners, he is a keen advocate of original research that influences management practice.
Article
Full-text available
Background and Objectives: Increasing complexity and changes in environmental conditions, policies, attitudes, systems, and structures, are factors influencing the goals of strategic planning, which can change programs. Programs without strategic thinking are not able to cope with such changes, thus they fail. Understanding of the factors affecting strategic planning, is crucial for the goals to be achieved. Therefore, the present study aimed to determine the barriers to the implementation of the strategic plan from the viewpoints of hospitals managers in Qom province. Methods: The current study was performed as a cross-sectional study in the hospitals of Qom province in 2019. Samples included 50 senior executive and operational managers, quality improvement officers, and administrative-financial managers of hospitals. Barriers to the strategic plan implementation, were collected by a pre-designed questionnaire. Data analysis was performed using independent t- and ANOVA tests. Results: The present study showed that structural barriers (1.82), human-motivation barriers (1.81), and process barriers (1.8), were the most important barriers to the implementation of the strategic plan. Senior and executive managers, financial managers cited the structural barriers, quality improvement officers mentioned the process barriers and managers of administrative units cited human-motivation factors as the most important barriers to the implementation of the strategic plan. Conclusion: The results of the present research explained the points of view of Qom hospital managers in terms of the barriers to the implementation of strategic plan. It seems that when designing and implementing a strategic plan, the participation of human resource that is the most important elements, should be considered in complex organizations, such as hospitals.
Article
We explore whether and how a behavioural attribute of top manager in charge of operations, i.e. Chief Operating Officer (COO), affects the firm’s operations performance. We operationalise COO’s overconfidence as the behavioural attribute and use inventory leanness as the operational performance. We collect data from a large number of US manufacturing companies and use option-based proxies to operationalise the managerial overconfidence. Our analysis shows the following. First, the COO’s overconfidence significantly increases inventory leanness. We show that the direction of causality in the relationship between the COO’s overconfidence and inventory leanness is clear. That is, the COO’s overconfidence drives inventory leanness, not the other way around. Second, incorporating market competition into the analysis reveals that as the market becomes more competitive, an overconfident COO tends to reduce inventory and thus increases inventory leanness. That is, as an external factor, the market competition moderates the relationship between COO’s overconfidence and the firm’s inventory leanness.
Article
Full-text available
The corporate sustainability strategy in organisations is a current topic and set in Agenda 2030 for sustainability, and so this study aims to map the literature on the subject through a bibliometric analysis. From 97 documents identified and analysed, the results obtained show the fragmentation and hiatus between the planning of a global strategy and inclusion therein of a sustainable strategy. Furthermore, these results provide the construction of a framework as an auxiliary tool for managers of different organisations to implement a sustainable strategy, this being the main contribution of the study. In addition, the theoretical contribution of this study is to obtain evidence that the resources and market position of organizations is crucial to the successful implementation of this type of strategy, in which the resource-based view and competitive advantage proved to be appropriate to support the same. The contribution to the practice showed the importance of having full involvement and commitment of all stakeholders in this implementation, so that the organizations acquire the so ambitious internal and external legitimacy. Finally, some limitations, indications for future research are draw.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The CEO letters included in annual reports express strategic issues and the leadership vision. This study applies a content analysis approach to review 2400 CEO letters from European and US-based publicly‐traded companies published in years 2000 through 2009. The aim is to analyze the development of the interest in adapting climate change issues on the corporate strategic agenda versus other issues of possible concern. The analysis show that the interest in climate issues on one hand has developed in a similar pattern in both regions. Between the years 2000 until 2004 the interest was very limited in both regions, the big growth of interest happened year 2005, since year 2007 the interest have decreased. In summary the findings on the other hand indicate that US industry is lagging behind Europe when it comes to adapting climate change on the corporate strategic agenda.
Article
This study employs the framework of the resource-based theory (RBT), and investigates the process by which firms can realize the potential value of their alliance management capability. In this process, co-exploration and co-exploitation are regarded as the two main strategic actions needed to leverage alliance management capability. Analyses of multisource, time-lagged data on 172 Finnish manufacturing firms show that alliance management capability has an inverted U-shaped effect on co-exploration, but an increasingly positive effect on co-exploitation. Whereas co-exploration drives firm growth in the longer run, co-exploitation has a positive effect on firms' short-term financial performance. Ambidextrous pursuit of simultaneous co-exploration and co-exploitation, however, is negatively, rather than positively related to firm performance. By shedding light on the black-box process that takes place between alliance management capability and firm performance, these findings add new insights into research on RBT in general and alliance management capability in particular.
Article
Full-text available
This study aimed to analyse the effect of communication strategy on the relationship between strategy execution and organisational performance of universities. The proposed constructs of independent variables were organisational level of analysis (organisational size, organisational structure, organisational culture, and reward system), and communication strategy. Specifically, the communication strategy was tested as a moderator. In other words, the effects of these three constructs were measured against organisational performance. The study was developed based on general system theory and contingency theory. The total respondents were 236 and all of them are working with the higher education institutions in Palestine. Based on SEM-PLS to analyse the data, the study found that specific strategy execution with a specific communication strategy produced better organisational performance. Finally the findings provide invaluable implication to theory and practice on execution of strategy of service based institutions like universities.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The executive leadership vision is vital in corporate-wide development and implementation of a corporate strategy. The vision on climate change, among other strategic issues, is expressed in annual CEO letters. This study applies a content analysis approach to review 1000 annual reports from European publicly‐traded companies published in years 2000 through 2008. The content analysis of the CEO letters indicate that: (a) corporate interest in the climate change was nearly nonexistent prior to 2004; (b) the greatest interest in the issues was shown in 2007, but since then interest has declined; and (c) meanwhile interest in external economic conditions doubled in 2008 compared to 2006. In summary, our findings raise questions as to whether corporate interest in climate change issues already has peaked, even as well adapted by industry as can be reasonably expected, or if environmental interest will rise again after the current global financial crisis is over.
Article
This study employed an integrative approach to investigate the influence of external business environment, strategy formulation, viability of marketing strategy, and strategy implementation upon firm performance. The findings show that while technological change and market competition negatively influence the credibility of the strategy, market attractiveness has a positive influence upon the viability of strategy employed. Moreover, market competition has a positive influence upon the involvement of marketing managers in terms of strategy making and that the presence of an innovative culture is strongly required in executing a strategic marketing plan. In addition, the study shows that the involvement of marketing managers in strategy making, which is strongly supported by an innovative culture, generates their commitment to the strategy, which positively influences strategy viability.
Article
Analogous to long-sightedness, hyperopia describes the condition of being able to grasp with acuity matters which are far removed from current experience (temporally, spatially or cognitively) while encountering difficulty in interpreting and acting on that which is close at hand. We examine data from a top management team’s activity in which they collectively display a hyperopic approach. A single in-depth field study is analysed retroductively to examine the plausibility of potential causal mechanisms that might explain the emergence of hyperopia. In the case examined, hyperopia appears to emerge from a strategic learning approach that emphasises foresightful learning mechanisms while neglecting experiential learning from direct exposure to operations. To avoid the emergence of pathologies of managerial approaches, such as hyperopia or myopia, practitioners are encouraged to engage with balanced strategic learning mechanisms of varying temporal, spatial and cognitive scope.
Article
Interfaces are of growing importance for theorizing and testing the influence of strategic leaders on firm behavior and actions. But despite their relevance and ubiquity, the lack of a commonly accepted definition and unifying framework has hindered researchers’ ability to take stock, synthesize, and systematize extant knowledge. We first develop an encompassing definition and organizing framework to review 122 prior studies across three decades. We then chart promising directions for future research around three concepts central to the framework and review: (1) Why do interfaces occur? (2) What happens at these interfaces? and (3) What are the impacts of interfaces? Together, the encompassing definition, framework, review, and specific directions for future research provide the much needed platform to agglutinate research and advance strategic leader interfaces as the next frontier of strategic leadership research.
Article
Full-text available
Objetivo: Identificar quais práticas de controladoria podem suportar decisões estratégicas nas empresas de transportes. Originalidade/lacuna/relevância/implicações: O artigo apresenta uma nova abordagem da relação entre práticas de controladoria e decisões estratégicas. As principais contribuições desta pesquisa são: preencher lacunas sobre funções da controladoria, avançar em conceitos sobre decisões estratégicas e apresentar as práticas mais utilizadas no segmento. Principais aspectos metodológicos: A pesquisa é aplicada com abordagem qualitativa. Trata-se de um estudo de caso múltiplo com quatro empresas de transportes de cargas da região metropolitana de Porto Alegre/RS. Para coleta dos dados, elaborou-se um roteiro de entrevista. Para verificar a similaridade entre as empresas, foi utilizado o índice de similaridade de Jaccard. Síntese dos principais resultados: Constatou-se que, entre as 27 práticas de controladoria, 16 são utilizadas por pelo menos uma das empresas pesquisadas, enquanto 11 não são utilizadas por nenhuma das empresas. Quando se analisa a utilização das decisões estratégicas listadas na literatura, evidencia-se que 75,4% das decisões estratégicas são adotadas por pelo menos uma das empresas, enquanto 24,6% não são identificadas em nenhuma das empresas. Existe similaridade entre as empresas, e os resultados indicam que 14,8% das práticas são consideradas decisivas ou muito importantes para 75% das empresas. Principais considerações/conclusões: Os resultados obtidos na análise dos dados coletados evidenciaram que as práticas de controladoria podem fornecer suporte à formulação das decisões estratégicas da empresa. Na análise de quantas decisões estão relacionadas com cada prática, a prática de controladoria mais destacada foi “orçamento operacional”, que está relacionada com 60,5% das 43 decisões.
Chapter
At the heart of strategy lies decision making. Having analyzed the environment, assessed organizational capabilities and investigated technological shifts, managers have to take preferred courses of action. They have to examine possible alternatives and choose amongst them. Strategic decisions are the handful of decisions that drive or shape most of an organization's actions, are not easily changed once made and have the greatest impact upon organizational performance. Strategy may be a grand concept, but it is the individual strategic decisions which matter.
Article
Full-text available
This paper attempts to develop a new approach to the study of corporate strategy. It draws on the methodology of Michel Foucault to suggest that corporate strategy can be seen as a discourse which has its own specific conditions of possibility. These are traced historically to various exercises of power within the conduct of war and the development of business organizations. Strategy is located as an emergent set of practices which has distinctive power effects on organizations and subjectivity. Analyses of strategy cannot be reduced either to rationalist accounts of markets and environments nor interpretive understandings of actors' frames of reference. The emergence and reproduction of 'strategy' as an essential element in managerial discourse needs to be located in specific changes in organizations and managerial subjectivity, because it is a mechanism of power that transforms individuals into particular kinds of subjects who secure a sense of well-being through participation in strategic practices. Conflict over 'strategy' is therefore more than just a question of career politics and market competition. It touches on the very sense of what it is to be human as well as having effects that readily legitimize prevailing relations of inequality and privilege in contemporary organizations and institutions.
Article
Full-text available
The strategic-contingencies theory of intraorganizational power proposed by Hickson et al. hypothesizes that the power of subunits results from contingent dependences among them created by unspecified combinations of coping with uncertainty, workflow centrality (immediacy and pervasiveness), and nonsubstitutabilty. This paper report on methods devised to test this theory with alternative forms of data on seven organizations, or power systems, of four subunits each. The theory is refined by the exploration of different patterns of variables related to successive levels of power, and the tentative ordering of these variables in terms of their consequences for power.
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this article is to show how the concept of stakeholders in an organization can be used to understand the tasks of the board of directors. The authors argue that a volunteeristic approach to questions of corporate governance which focuses on effective director behavior is preferable to structural change via legislation.
Article
Full-text available
Organized anarchies are organizations characterized by problematic preferences, unclear technology, and fluid participation. Recent studies of universities, a familiar form of organized anarchy, suggest that such organizations can be viewed for some purposes as collections of choices looking for problems, issues and feelings looking for decision situations in which they might be aired, solutions looking for issues to which they might be an answer, and decision makers looking for work. These ideas are translated into an explicit computer simulation model of a garbage can decision process. The general implications of such a model are described in terms of five major measures on the process. Possible applications of the model to more narrow predictions are illustrated by an examination of the model's predictions with respect to the effect of adversity on university decision making.
Article
Full-text available
The formation of partnerships between firms is becoming an increasingly common way for firms to find and maintain competitive advantage. While the antecedents of partnership formation and the characteristics of the resulting cooperative working relationship have been explored in the literature, an understanding of characteristics associated with partnership success is lacking. Such an understanding is important in reconciling the prescriptions to form partnerships with the reality that a majority of such partnerships do not succeed. We hypothesize that partnership attributes, communication behavior, and conflict resolution techniques are related to indicators of partnership success (satisfaction and sales volume in the relationship). The hypotheses are tested with vertical partnerships between manufacturers and dealers. Results indicate that the primary characteristics of partnership success are: partnership attributes of commitment, coordination, and trust; communication quality and participation; and the conflict resolution technique of joint problem solving. The findings offer insight into how to better manage these relationships to ensure success.
Article
Full-text available
Abstract This paper engages with the epistemological foundations of and current developments in the canon of strategic management. The Cartesian underpinnings of strategy are explored; the assumptions of orthodox strategic management are critiqued; the concerns of the practice perspective are reviewed; and, finally, an agenda for extending the study of ‘strategy as practice’ is outlined.
Article
This analysis considers the impact of the top managers in an organization on the organization's outcomes, specifically strategic choices and performance levels. The focus is not on the chief executive alone, but rather on the entire top management team. Using a macro view, these organizational outcomes are perceived to be related to the values and cognitive bases of those high-power individuals in the organization. In developing the model, emphasis is on the background characteristics of the top managers as opposed to the psychological dimensions. A series of propositions that should be tested to support the upper echelons theory are presented. The topics of these propositions include age, functional track, other career experiences, education, socioeconomic roots, financial position, and group characteristics. The creation of this model is just the beginning of the work that is necessary to evaluate and understand the upper echelons theory. Further input is needed from areas such as the executive recruiting industry. Additionally, clinical and statistical studies are both necessary to fully develop this theory. (SRD)
Article
Half the decisions in organizations fail. Studies of 356 decisions in medium to large organizations in the U.S. and Canada reveal that these failures can he traced to managers who impose solutions, limit the search for alternatives, and use power to implement their plans. Managers who make the need for action clear at the outset, set objectives, carry out an unrestricted search for solutions, and get key people to participate are more apt to be successful. Tactics prone to fail were used in two of every three decisions that were studied.
Article
We define organizational improvisation as the degree to which the composition and execution of an action converge in time, and we examine the theoretical potential of this definition. We then propose that both organizational procedural memory (skill knowledge) and declarative memory (fact knowledge) moderate improvisation's impact on organizational outcomes in distinct ways. We also suggest that improvisation influences organizational memory by (1) generating experiments and (2) permitting the development of higher-level competency in improvisation, Contemporary technological changes related to the nature of organizational memory intensify the salience of these issues.
Article
This paper reports an empirical study aimed at elucidating reasons for success or failure in the implementation of strategic decisions. Eleven decisions in six organizations were examined using a case-study approach. Findings highlight four factors that appear to be critical for the successful management of implementation: backing, clear aims and planning, and a conducive climate - as long as chance events do not get in the way. Perhaps surprisingly, other factors, such as having relevant experience, giving implementation priority, having abundant resources, an appropriate structure and implementing flexibly, appear to matter rather less.
Article
This article reports partial results of an eight-year field study of the Top Management Teams (TMTs) of a global multidivisional financial services corporation and compares those results with large-sample work in the TMT literature. In particular, it investigates the operationalization of TMT cognitive diversity by the proxies of age, team tenure, industry experience, and functional background heterogeneity most often used in statistical work, and compares those operationalizations with cognitive diversity itself. In addition to highlighting which proxies seemed to most closely approximate cognitive diversity and why, it demonstrates the confounding impact of power on all operationalizations. A comparison of the field results with three representative studies with respect to the operationalization of the dependent variables of diversification, innovation, and performance helps to explain why previous TMT heterogeneity research has often produced inconsistent results or nonfindings. It offers some suggestions that should improve the robustness of statistical research and demonstrates the reciprocal usefulness of case and large-sample research.
Article
This paper adopts a view of organizations as complex adaptive systems and makes a case for making organizations more complex internally through the use of a fairly simple managerial rule - using participative decision making. Participation in decision making enhances connectivity in organizations, which in turn, gives the organization the opportunity to self-organize and co-evolve in more effective ways than when there is minimal connectivity (i.e., autocracy). The paper uses a specific body of research to support the arguments about why participation can benefit the practice of management in modern organizations.
Article
Drawing on an upper-echelons framework to study the effects of top-management-team tenure and modeling managerial discretion as a moderating variable, this study examined the relationship between managerial tenure and such organizational outcomes as strategic persistence and conformity in strategy and performance with other firms in an industry. In a sample of 100 organizations in the computer, chemical, and natural-gas distribution industries, executive-team tenure was found to have a significant effect on strategy and performance, with long-tenured managerial teams following more persistent strategies, strategies that conformed to central tendencies of the industry, and exhibiting performance that closely adhered to industry averages. Consistent with the theory, results differed depending on the level of managerial discretion, with the strongest results occurring in contexts that allowed managers high discretion.
Article
This article presents a case study of decision making in a British chemical organization. The initial problem is one of whether the generation of electricity is a feasible prop osition in addition to the production of chemicals. This issue acts as a platform for protracted political debate as soon as questions of career succession and career interests are aroused. The focus shifts from economic criteria to those of career aspirations. The decision spans four years, from 1964 to 1968, and data for the case study were collected over a three-year period, from 1976 to 1979. Existing notions of decision making are examined for their adequacy in explaining the events that took place and modifications to these concepts are explored in the analysis of the case study. It is found that hoth the effects of the organization and the specific individuals within it, combine simultaneously to produce the events of this decision. The article begins with a short introduction of existing decision making theories, follows with an account of the case study, and concludes with an analysis of its decisional characteristics.
Article
This article draws from a multinational survey of 886 firms to show that as environmental instability increases so does planning. However, certain planning dimensions are more strongly associated with environmental instability: in particular generative planning and transactive planning. The two other planning dimensions – Symbolic and Rational Planning – are more strongly associated with firm size than with environmental instability. Planning dimensions might therefore serve different purposes. The implications for managers and academicians, and a case study illustrating how they are being implemented at General Electric in the US, conclude the article.
Article
Substantive conflict is natural within top management teams as executives struggle with making high-stakes choices under conditions of ambiguity and uncertainty. Yet, many top management teams fail to sufficiently debate appropriate courses of action. This article reports on a field study of top management teams and examines four managerial levers that can help executives overcome the cognitive, emotional, and political barriers to engaging in conflict. These levers are: build a heterogeneous team; create frequent interactions within that team; cultivate a distinct symphony of roles such as Counselor, Futurist, and Ms. Action around fundamental tensions within managing; and use multiple-lens tactics such as competitor role playing and multiple alternatives to provide unexpected vantage points on key issues.
Article
This article reviews the strategic decision making literature by focusing on the dominant paradigms–i.e., rationality and bounded rationality, politics and power, and garbage can. We review the theory and key empirical support, and identify emergent debates within each paradigm. We conclude that strategic decision makers are boundedly rational, that power wins battles of choice, and that chance matters. Further, we argue that these paradigms rest on unrealistic assumptions and tired controversies which are no longer very controversial. We conclude with a research agenda that emphasizes a more realistic view of strategic decision makers and decision making, and greater attention to normative implications, especially among profit-seeking firms in global contexts.
Article
This article examines how past performance influences the way an organization evolves, makes decisions, and adapts to its environment. It argues that compared to other periods of history, those that follow a lengthy interval of success will reveal companies that are especially apt to: (1) exhibit inertia in many aspects of structure and strategy-making process; (2) pursue immoderation, that is, adopt extreme process orientations; (3) manifest inattention, that is, reduce intelligence gathering and information processing activity; and (4) demonstrate insularity by failing to adapt to changes in the environment. an empirical analysis of the long-term histories of 36 companies provides tentative support for these notions.
Article
In an attempt to elucidate some possible conditions for success in managerial decision making, data were analysed from 53 cases of decisions in eight British organizations, five business firms and three non-business organizations (two universities and a District of the National Health Service). No clear relationships between features of the processes of making the decisions, and their successfulness were found until the business firms and the non-business organizations were separated. Clear differences then showed up, relatively speaking, in the conditions conductive to success. In the business firms, a successful decision was more likely to result from a decision-making process in which resources were available. In other words, in business a successful decision is most likely when sufficient information and sufficient means of implementation are to hand. By contrast, in the universities and the Health District, a successful decision was associated more with the social qualities of the decision-making process itself. In other words, in non-business organizations a successful decision is most likely when the right people participate and the people at the very top do not interfere too much.
Article
Despite the central place of rationality in the organization theory, strategic management, and decision-making literatures, we know relatively little about why some strategic decision-making procedures are more rational than others. This question was addressed in a study of 57 strategic decisions in 24 companies, using a multiple-informant, structured interview protocol. Results indicate that environmental competitive threat, perceived external control of the organization, and the uncertainty of the strategic issues being addressed are related to procedural rationality. Surprisingly, some of these relationships were in the opposite direction from our predictions. These results are interpreted within a framework that emphasizes the link between procedural rationality and managerial discretion.
Article
abstract Although strategy process research has provided careful and in-depth descriptions and examinations of strategy, micro-level processes and activities have been less commonly evaluated, especially as regards strategy creation and development. This paper examines how managers create and develop strategy in practice. A dual longitudinal case methodology, including a single in-depth study combined with a multiple retrospective study is used, involving four multinational companies. The findings show a twofold character of strategy creation, including fundamental different strategy activities in the periphery and centre, reflecting their diverse location and social embeddedness. Strategy making in the periphery was inductive, including externally oriented and exploratory strategy activities like trial and error, informal noticing, experiments and the use of heuristics. In contrast, strategy making in the centre was more deductive involving an industry and exploitation focus, and activities like planning, analysis, formal intelligence and the use of standard routines.
Article
The research reported in this paper explored the success of implementation approaches used by managers with differing amounts of leverage facing resistance from key stakeholders. The explanatory variables were implementation approach and resistance, measured by the extent of stakeholder support, scale and disruptiveness of the decision, as well as the implementing manager’s leverage. ‘Intervention’ was found to be the most successful approach, no matter what situation faced a manager seeking to implement a decision. Intervention proved to be a viable substitute for participation that has a favourable adoption rate and a dramatic increase in timeliness. Persuasion and edicts were often used and generally unsuccessful. More implementation success seems possible if other approaches are used. The findings indicate that the most successful approach, intervention, was not subject to situational influences. This questions the value of contingency frameworks that call for an implementation approach to be selected according to the demands of the situation.
Article
This article brings strategy back to managers and their organizations. It argues and demonstrates empirically that what managers do, and the kind of organization they lead, matter in terms of achieving stated objectives. Managerial action involves a set of activities from assessing the problem to prioritising action, and takes place within an organizational context which has two important elements for decision-making. First, organizations have an accumulated stock of experience, and the more managers can access and utilise this experience base the better. Secondly, the culture and structure of an organization may exhibit more or less readiness for the changes that decisions bring about, and contexts less ready for change pose problems for managers in the implementation of decisions.This long-term study of 55 decisions in UK firms shows that careful managerial planning does not of itself guarantee successful outcomes: the organizational context is crucial in framing actions and influencing achievement, and decisions may send a firm on a trajectory beyond the point at which it can plan with confidence. Where experience and readiness are strong, decisions achieve stated objectives—where both are lacking, decisions tend to fail. But, as examination of two illustrative cases indicates, strength in either domain may be enough: sound experience may win out in comparatively unreceptive situations, and decisions may still succeed where experience is lacking but the organization is ready for change. The article closes with some implications for managers.
Article
It is well known that managed change within an organisation can result in unpredictable outcomes. In this paper a sensemaking framework is developed to demonstrate how both intended and unintended outcomes can result from the way middle managers – who are usually the recipients of a change strategy devised at the top – make sense of the senior management initiatives. This framework highlights the significant impact of change recipients on the outcomes achieved and suggests we need to reconsider both what we mean by “managing” change, and the way senior managers lead change. A case study that looks at a privatised utility undergoing strategic change from a middle manager perspective illustrates how the framework can account for the phenomenon of unintended outcomes. As the implementation largely follows what could be described as a textbook, top-down approach to change, it illustrates the problems many organisations face when implementing such change programmes. The paper also draws out the implications for the practice of change management.
Article
 This paper draws upon activity theory to analyse an empirical investigation of the micro practices of strategy in three UK universities. Activity theory provides a framework of four interactive components from which strategy emerges; the collective structures of the organization, the primary actors, in this research conceptualized as the top management team (TMT), the practical activities in which they interact and the strategic practices through which interaction is conducted. Using this framework, the paper focuses specifically on the formal strategic practices involved in direction setting, resource allocation, and monitoring and control. These strategic practices are associated with continuity of strategic activity in one case study but are involved in the reinterpretation and change of strategic activity in the other two cases. We model this finding into activity theory-based typologies of the cases that illustrate the way that practices either distribute shared interpretations or mediate between contested interpretations of strategic activity. The typologies explain the relationships between strategic practices and continuity and change of strategy as practice. The paper concludes by linking activity theory to wider change literatures to illustrate its potential as an integrative methodological framework for examining the subjective and emergent processes through which strategic activity is constructed. Copyright 2003 Blackwell Publishers Ltd..
Article
No This paper presents findings from a study of 55 cases of decision implementation. The research identifies a number of features that characterize the way implementation is managed which appear to enhance the chance of success. Analysis reveals patterns in the data indicating that these features fall into two groupings, giving rise to two distinct approaches to implementation management. These are termed the Experience-based approach and the Readiness-based approach from the initial conditions which give rise to each. Although following either approach may enhance decision performance, the greatest success is associated with a dual approach. Implementations that follow neither are generally less successful. A theory of implementation management is postulated, comprising a Planned Option and a Prioritized Option.
op. cit at Ref 3. Success was conceptualized as achievement and the scale (see Table 1) was developed by the researchers through an iterative process of case comparison to ascertain the conceptualization of success and the placing of
  • D J See
  • Hickson