A STUDY ON THE CAUSES OF
STRATEGIES FAILING TO SUCCESS
Mehmet Ali KÖSEOLU
Menderes EDAS, Turkey
Sakarya University, Turkey
Afyon Kocatepe University, Turkey
This study attempts to investigate the reasons behind the failure of implementing strategies. The fail-
ure of the strategies is evaluated according to results of their formulation and implementation proc-
esses. In order to find out the reasons behind the failure of the strategies, questionnaires were ad-
ministered to 418 managers. In light of the findings, the reasons behind the failure of the strategies
seem mostly to stem from the formulation process, and the most important issues in the implementa-
tion process are found out to be organizational, individual, and managerial.
Key Words: Strategy, Formulation, mplementation, Turkey
This study focuses on the causes of strategies not leading to success. A study conducted by Fortune
magazine revealed that 90% of the strategies are unsuccessful, and single most important cause of
this is believed to be the weak application of the strategies (Waterman, et al. 1988). Although it has
been widely acceptedthat the change is necessary for the growth of organizations, more than 70% of
the change-oriented attempts in the name of change strategies are unsuccessful (Higgs & Rowland,
2005). In addition, Raps (2004) states that the rate of successfully implemented strategies is between
10% and 30%. In this respect, for both the practitioners and academicians, it seems of necessity to
investigate why strategies fail to produce success that was planned to achieve.
In recent years, though there seems to be many theoretical studies on the strategy implementation
process (Okumus, 2001, 2003; Okumus & Poper, 1999) and empirical studies conducted on the im-
plementation of successful strategies and the obstacles hindering such successful implementations,
most of these studies have been conducted in developing countries (e.g. Kargar & Blumenthal,
1994; Dooley, et al. 2000; Peng & Litteljohn, 2001; Thorpe & Morgan, 2007; Harrington & Kendall,
2006; Schaap, 2006; Qi, 2005) and there is a paucity of such studies in developed countries
(Alashloo, et. al, 2005; Shah,2005; Hacker & Washington, 2004). In particular, these studies focus
on successful strategy implementations, yet do not attempt to describe the obstacles confronted with
during strategy implementation processes.
For successful strategy implementation, many models have been developed in the literature (Peter
and Waterman, 1982, Wernham, 1984, David, 1989, Skivington & Daft 1991, Roth et al,1991, Hre-
biniak, 1992, Yip,1992, Eisenstat, 1993, Bryson & Bromiley, 1993, Sandelands, 1994, Lingle &
Journal of Glabal Strategic Management | 06 | 2009, December |77
Schieman, 1994, Okumus, 2001, Peng and Litteljohn,2001, Higgins, 2005). However, these models
do not clearly discuss the extent to which the factors allowing strategies to lead to success and/or
factors preventing strategies from resulting in success. That is, it has not yet been shed much light on
whether the strategic formulation process or strategy implementation process is more influential in
terms of strategies’ resulting in success or failure. Alashloo et al. (2005) attempt to categorize the
reasons for the failure of strategies under four main headings: i) Planning Consequences, ii) Organ-
izational Issues, iii) Managerial Issues, iv) Individual issues. However, they do not deal with the
question of which of these categories is more influential on the success of strategies.
In this respect, the main contribution of the present study is expected to determine the most influen-
tial factors preventing strategies from being successful, taking the four categories of factors
(planning, organization, management, and individual) into account.
To this end, we selected the sampling among the firms in Turkey. With the implementation of the
conditions of the free market economy as of 1980, the companies in Turkey have become more lib-
eral and more foreign investment has come to the country, which forced the organizations to adjust
themselves to emerging market conditions. These changes put Turkey among the 10 biggest devel-
oping markets. Another factor leading to the selection of sampling from Turkey is its unique cultural
and historical texture. A bridge between the West and East, Turkey is a candidate country for Euro-
pean Union membership. These special characteristics of the country have important influences on
the strategies of the organizations developed to gain a competitive advantage. On the other hand,
political and economic crises experienced in the country in the last ten years have a power to direct
the orientation of the organizations in the country. Hence, it is believed that the investigation of the
efforts of the organizations throughout this process will reveal important results for the purpose of
the present study.
Therefore, the sampling of the study consists of the managers of the organizations operating in Tur-
key. The questionnaire designed, which was based on the study by Alashloo, Castka and Sharp
(2005) mentioned above, was administered to the top managers of the organizations selected regard-
less of their size.
In what follows is that the study first looks at the causes behind the failure of strategies and focuses
on the obstacles encountered in the processes of strategy formulation and strategy implementation.
Here, given the theoretical discussion of the causes, the hypotheses to be tested are set. Then, the
results and findings of the study are discussed. In the final section suggestions for the future research
Alexander (1991) likens the strategic management process to a two-sided medallion. One side of the
medallion is the strategy formulation describing the action plan that enables the organization to com-
pete in specific situations; the other side represents the strategy implementation process describing
how the formulated strategy is implemented. Hence, it can be argued that whether a strategy is suc-
cessful or unsuccessful depends separately on these processes and their interaction. Namely, work
performance is not only related to how well the strategies are formulated but also how well they are
implemented. Indeed, unless successfully applied, even the strategy delicately designed and correctly
predicted is almost valueless. While strategy formulation and application are functions closely con-
nected to each other, implementation of the strategy is the most complex and time-consuming part of
strategic management. Strategy implementation covers almost every aspect of the management and it
needs to be started from many different points within the organization (Shah, 2005). Though the
78 | Journal of Glabal Strategic Management | 06 |2009, December
reason for the failure of strategies is viewed to be strategy implementation process in the strategic
management literature, this issue has attracted less attention than the issue of strategic formulation in
research (Webster, 1981, Kargar & Blumenthal, 1994). Alexander (1991) gives the reasons behind
this fact as follows: strategy implementation is less glamorous than strategy formulation; many aca-
demics and practitioners tend to overlook it because of a belief that anyone can do it; people are not
exactly sure what strategic management process includes, where it begins and where it ends; there
are only a limited number of conceptual models of strategy implementation.
According to Hrebiniak (2005) the formulation-implementation relationship is as such: "Still, it is
obvious that the execution of strategy is not merely as clear and understood as the formulation of
strategy. Much more is known about planning than doing, about strategy making than making strat-
egy work". In general, in strategic management literature and in particular, in strategy literature,
strategy implementation is viewed to be different from strategy formulation and it is considered to be
an issue of adjusting organizational structures and systems (Aaltonen et. al 2002). Alashloo et. al.,
(2005) defines strategy implementation as the explanation of how the strategy developed in a limited
time should effectively be implemented to the capacities, human and financial resources of the or-
ganization. According to Reid (1989), strategy implementation is a vital process describing the op-
portunities of the future. From another viewpoint, strategy implementation is the collection of imple-
mentations and operations originating from the important managerial capabilities and behaviours
defined for good leadership (de Kluyver & Pearce, 2003). Shah (2005) defines strategy implementa-
tion as the implementation of strategy formulation to determine the future direction of the organiza-
tion. Parnell (2008) explains strategy implementation through the concepts of participation, concep-
tion, and commitment that affect the dissemination of the strategy. As it can be seen in these defini-
tions, strategy implementation is a complex process (Schellenberg, 1983).
It is really difficult to come up with an exact definition of strategy implementation. Definitions of
strategy implementation are shaped according to strategy formulation, elements of organizational
behaviours and its importance for the organization. Another complex issue related to strategy imple-
mentation is concerned with the factors affecting strategy implementation. There are many different
opinions about this issue, which are presented in Table 1.
When we evaluate the factors affecting strategy implementation, it is seen that successful implemen-
tation of strategies is of great importance for all the organizations either private or public. Even the
best strategies are useless unless they are applied well (Aaltonen et al 2002). In other words, strat-
egy’ breeding success can only be achieved through implementation. The subtle point here is that no
matter how internally consistent is the strategic achievement concept, how many innovative elements
has it got, how strong the organization is positioned against the rivals by it, what is most concerned
about is how well it is implemented. And success of the implementation depends on the actors in-
volved. For strategy implementation to be successful, Thompson et al (2006) proposed a 9-staged
process. These are:
1. Staffing the organization with the needed skills and expertise, consciously building and strength-
ening strategy-supportive competencies and competitive capabilities, and organizing the work
2. Creating a company culture and work climate conducive to successful strategy implementation
3. Developing budgets that steer ample resources into those activities critical to strategic success.
Journal of Glabal Strategic Management | 06 | 2009, December |79
4. Ensuring that policies and operating procedures facilitate rather than impede effective execution.
5. Using the best-known practices to perform core business activities and pushing for continuous
improvement. Organization units have to periodically reassess how things are being done and
diligently pursue useful changes and improvements.
6. Installing information and operating systems that enable company personnel to better carry out
their strategic roles day in and day out.
7. Motivating people to pursue the target objectives energetically and, if needed, modifying their
duties and job behavior to better fit the requirements of successful strategy execution.
8. Tying rewards and incentives directly to the achievement of performance objectives and good
9. Exerting the internal leadership needed to drive implementation forward and keep improving on
how the strategy is being executed. When stumbling blocks or weaknesses are encountered, man-
agement has to see that they are addressed and rectified on a timely basis.
Table 1. Factors Influencing Strategy Implementation
Peter and Waterman
(1982) McKinsey’s 7S Structure, style, staff, shared values, skills, system, strategy.
Wernham (1984) Resources, confidence, others delivering what they promised, informa-
tion and back-up materials
David (1989) Motivation, leadership and direction skills, co-ordination
Skivington & Daft (1991) Intended strategy, structure, systems, interactions, sanctions
Roth et al (1991) Coordination, managerial philosophy, configuration, formalization,
centralization, integrating mechanisms
Hrebiniak (1992) Leadership, facilitating global learning, developing global managers,
having a matrix structure, working with external companies
Yip (1992) Organizational structure, culture, people, managerial processes
Eisenstat (1993) Competence, co-ordination and commitment
Bryson & Bromiley
(1993) Context, process, outcome
Sandelands (1994) Commitment, time, emotion and energy
Lingle & Schieman
(1994) Market, people, finance, operation, adaptability, and environmental
Okumus (2001) Content, context, process, outcome
Peng ve Litteljohn
(2001) Structural arrangements and the selection and development of key roles
Higgins (2005) Strategy and purposes, structure, systems and processes, style of leader-
ship, staff, resources, shared values, organizational culture, and strategic
Birnbaum (2007) Action planning; organisational structure; human resources; the annual
business plan; monitoring and control; the linkage- The Foundation for
80 | Journal of Glabal Strategic Management | 06 |2009, December
Feo&Jansen (2001) suggest 10 steps for strategy implementation to be successful. These are: estab-
lish a vision, agree on a mission, develop key strategies, develop strategic goals, establish values,
communicate company policies, provide top management leadership, deploy goals, measure process,
review progress. Also according to Wheelen and Hunger (2006) the most important activities in-
volved in strategy implementation are: (1) involving people from all organisational levels in strategy
implementation, i.e. allocating the responsibility for strategy execution; (2) developing programmes,
budgets and procedures; (3) organising for strategy implementation; (4) staffing (matching the man-
agers and employees with the strategy); and (5) leading by coaching people to use their abilities and
skills most effectively and efficiently to achieve the organisational objectives.
Obstacles in front of Strategy Implementation
The most important reason for the failure of the organization is the obstacles encountered while im-
plementing strategies. The literature presents many problems encountered while implementing
strategies (Okumuþ, 2001, Dobni, 2003, Dooley et al. 2000, Freedman, 2003, Beer & Eisenstant,
2000, Hoag et al. 2002, Dobni, 2003, Galpin, 1998). For instance, Alexander (1991) mentions vari-
ous reasons as obstacles: i) Implementation took more time than originally planned, ii) Unanticipated
major problems arose iii) Activities were ineffectively coordinated, iv) Competing activities and
crises took attention away from implementation, v) The involved employees had insufficient capa-
bilities to perform their jobs, vi) Lower-level employees were inadequately trained, vii) Uncontrolla-
ble external environmental factors created problems, viii) Departmental managers provided inade-
quate leadership and direction, ix) Key implementation tasks and activities were poorly defined, x)
The information system inadequately monitored activities. Wessel (1993) points out many individual
barriers hindering successful implementation of strategies such as, too many and conflicting priori-
ties, insufficient top team functions, a top down management style, interfunctional conflicts, poor
vertical communication and inadequate management development.
Beer & Eisenstant (2000) see the barriers in front of strategy implementation as “six silent killers of
strategy implementation” and explain them as follows: a top-down/laissez-faire senior management
style, unclear strategic intentions and conflicting priorities, an ineffective senior management team,
poor vertical communication, week co-ordination across functions, business or borders, and inade-
quate down-the-line leadership skills development.
Corboy & O’Corrbui (1999) define the obstacles as “deadly sins of strategy implementation” and go
on explaining them as follows: a lack of understanding of how the strategy should be implemented,
customers and staff not fully appreciating the strategy, unclear individual responsibilities in the
change process, difficulties and obstacles not acknowledge, recognized or acted upon, and ignoring
the day-to-day business imperatives.
In addition, according to Giles (1991) there are three reasons why poor strategic planning is an ob-
stacle to strategy implementation: i) a strategy is not really a strategy but "a mixture of budgets and
management wish list"; ii) a strategy is not executable; and 3) the executors do not accept the strat-
egy as "their own" because they did not participate in its formulation.
Alashloo et al. (2005) subsumes the obstacles in front of strategy implementation under four head-
ings. These are planning consequences, organizational issues, managerial issues and individual is-
sues. Furthermore, they delineate what each heading consists of (Table 2).
Journal of Glabal Strategic Management | 06 | 2009, December |81
Table 2. The Impeders of Strategy Implementation
Alashloo et al.(2005) categorization seems to be not only very comprehensive but also very opera-
tional in order to find out the relative importance of the obstacles in the processes of strategy devel-
opment and application. Therefore, the categorization is taken for granted for this study.
In Taslak’ s (2004) study of 112 textile firms in Turkey, the reasons behind the failure of strategies
are sought, yet this study does not indicate whether strategy formulation or strategy implementation
is more influential on the success of strategies. In addition in Turkey managers are more affiliated
with strategy planning than strategy implementation and evaluation (Dinçer et. al 2006). According
to the literature review, following hypothesis and structural equity model was generated.
No Impeders No Impeders
PPlanning consequences O Organizational Issues
P1 Lack of exact strategic planning O1 Incompatible structure with the strat-
P2 Insufficient linking of the strategy to goals. O2 Unsuitable resources allocation
P3 Time limitation O3 Lack of adequate communication
P4 Lack of consensus among decision makers O4 Lack of effective co-ordination
P5 Lack of identification of major problems O5 Lack of adequate information system
P6 Lack of effective role formulators O6 Incompatible organizational culture
P7 Unsuitable training system O7 Competing activities among people
P8 Unclear regulation and executive policies O8 Competing activities among units
P9 Lack of choice of real strategy O9 Unsuitable evaluation and control
P10 Lack of a national attitude to strategy O10 Unsuitable compensation system
O11 Inadequate physical facilities
O12 Lack of increative system
MManagerial Issues I Individual issues
M1 Unsuitable leadership I1 Lack of enough capabilities of em-
M2 Lack of adequate organizational support I2 Resistance to change among people
M3 Lack of adequate manager commitment I3 Resistance to change among units
M4 Fear of insecurity among managers I4 Fear of insecurity in the new territory
M5 Political factors in regard to power I5 Lack of understanding of the strategy
M6 Unsuitable personnel management I6 Inadequate connection to the vision
M7 Uncontrollable factors I7 Lack of enough motivation of em-
M8 Lack of enough motivation among the managers I8 Lack of employee commitment
82 | Journal of Glabal Strategic Management | 06 |2009, December
Hypothesis 1: The factors relating strategy implementation process is more influential than those
of strategy formulation process in explaining strategic failure.
Hypothesis 2: The obstacles in front of the strategy implementation mostly stem from individual
Figure 1: Structural Equity Model
The survey utilized in this study contained Alashloo, Castka & Sharp’s (2005) Impeders of Strategy
Implementation scale. Demographic and personal items were also included, such as age, gender,
management and organizational experience, and position in the firm, whether to participate in a strat-
egy planning or implementation course. The sampling of the study consists of the managers of the
organizations operating in Turkey. The sample included small and large organizations, domestic and
global enterprises, and manufacturing and service firms. As questionnaire administration was a chal-
lenging task, pollster teams consisting of 50 voluntary students were formed and they administered
the questionnaire to the top managers of the organizations through face-to-face interview method. In
order to be able to achieve a high rate of return, pollster teams administered the questionnaire to the
managers in their hometowns during the mid-term holiday. The data obtained from the questionnaire
was sorted out SPSS 14.0 program package and their reliability analysis was conducted. Then, be-
fore the analyses of the hypotheses, the validity of the study was checked with confirmatory factor
analysis and the hypotheses of the study were tested through Lisrel program package.
The data were collected from managers in Turkey. 500 questionnaires were delivered to managers by
pollster teams and 418 useful questionnaires were returned with an 83 percent response rate. Usable
questionnaires were entered into Excel datasheet and analyzed with the use of SPSS 14 and Lisrel
As presented in Table I, male managers accounted for 76,8% of the total participants, while female
employees accounted for 23,2%. In educational attainment, higher education accounted for 63,2% of
the respondents. In management level, top managers accounted for 64,4% of the total number. The
average age for the sample was 39.6 years, with respondents reporting 10,5 years of management
experience and 8,9 years of experience with the present organization.
Journal of Glabal Strategic Management | 06 | 2009, December |83
Table 3: The Sample: Frequencies And Descriptive Data (n=418)
Also, the organizations classification used by the European Union and the Association of Turkish
Trade Chambers and Exchanges was employed (Altay & Aksaraylý, 2007) as follows: 1-9 employ-
ees represent a micro-scale, 10-49 represent a small-scale, 50-249 represent a medium-scale and
250- up represent a large-scale. According to this classification, 9.8 percent of the organizations are
micro-scale, 50,2 percent are small-scale, 17.0 percent are medium-scale organizations and 23.0 per-
cent are large-scale organizations. With regards to industry, 36.6 percent of the organizations in the
study operate in the service sector, 43.7 percent of the organizations in the study operate in indus-
trial/manufacturing sector and the remaining 17.7 percent operate in fiscal/banking sector.
In order to be able to analyze the structural equation model, a two-stage confirmatory factor analysis
was performed (Anderson & Gerbing, 1988). Standard factor loadings (t-values) of the measurement
model were brought in line with the modification indices resulting from the first-stage factor analysis
are presented in Table 2, along with standard deviations and Cronbach’ alpha values for each item of
the measurement model. All of the alpha values exceed the minimum value of 0.70 (Nunnally,
1978). Mean values vary between 3 and 3,70. Values of all items are bigger than acceptable t value
(1.96 for p<0.05), hence they are included in the SEM analysis.
Frequencies N %
Male 321 76,8
Female 97 23,2
Primary 7 1,7
Secondary 124 29,7
Higher 264 63,2
Master Degree 23 5,5
Lower Manager 25 6,0
Middle Managers 124 29,7
Top Managers 269 64,4
Training About Strategy Formulation & Implementation
Yes 218 52,2
No 171 40,9
Not Sure 29 6,9
Descriptive Data (Mean & Standard Deviation)
Age 39,6 8,3
Management Experience 10,5 6,3
Experience with Organization 8,9 6,2
84 | Journal of Glabal Strategic Management | 06 |2009, December
Table 4. Measurement model results And Means, Standart Deviation, Cronbach’s alphas
No Scales & Items Std. factor load. t-value Mean SD
PPlanning Consequences (á= 0,841)
P1 Lack of exact strategic planning 0,61 15,42 3,36 1,15
P2 Insufficient linking of the strategy to goals. 0,56 12,95 3,38 1,06
P3 Time limitation 0,47 9,70 3,24 1,19
P4 Lack of consensus among decision makers 0,57 15,00 3,46 1,10
P5 Lack of identification of major problems 0,65 15,77 3,49 1,15
P6 Lack of effective role formulators 0,65 17,74 3,36 1,18
P7 Unsuitable training system 0,70 19,70 3,30 1,26
P8 Unclear regulation and executive policies 0,64 22,41 3,34 1,23
P9 Lack of choice of real strategy 0,56 17,15 3,47 1,16
P10 Lack of a national attitude to strategy 0,65 14,23 3,26 1,18
OOrganizational Issues (á= 0,837)
O1 Incompatible structure with the strategy 0,64 18,61 3,33 1,14
O2 Unsuitable resources allocation 0,62 16,67 3,35 1,16
O3 Lack of adequate communication 0,62 16,94 3,45 1,20
O4 Lack of effective co-ordination 0,58 14,43 3,47 1,15
O5 Lack of adequate information system 0,67 18,80 3,42 1,16
O6 Incompatible organizational culture 0,67 21,04 3,27 1,21
O7 Competing activities among people 0,42 8,58 3,51 1,08
O8 Competing activities among units 0,39 8,29 3,49 1,09
O9 Unsuitable evaluation and control systems 0,59 15,01 3,35 1,17
O10 Unsuitable compensation system 0,47 10,04 3,41 1,12
O11 Inadequate physical facilities 0,52 12,34 3,33 1,16
O12 Lack of in creative system 0,59 14,91 3,39 1,20
MManagerial Issues (á= 0,816)
M1 Unsuitable leadership 0,63 17,02 3,31 1,21
M2 Lack of adequate organizational support 0,61 17,42 3,39 1,13
M3 Lack of adequate manager commitment 0,67 19,98 3,36 1,18
M4 Fear of insecurity among managers 0,59 14,58 3,37 1,16
M5 Political factors in regard to power 0,56 14,06 3,48 1,18
M6 Unsuitable personnel management 0,67 19,14 3,25 1,21
M7 Uncontrollable factors 0,50 11,25 3,49 1,02
M8 Lack of enough motivation among the managers 0,72 23,71 3,50 1,18
IIndividual Issues (á= 0,848)
I1 Lack of enough capabilities of employees 0,70 21,79 3,41 1,17
I2 Resistance to change among people 0,62 17,62 3,45 1,15
I3 Resistance to change among units 0,59 15,87 3,41 1,14
I4 Fear of insecurity in the new territory 0,56 14,72 3,53 1,13
I5 Lack of understanding of the strategy 0,68 20,53 3,62 1,09
I6 Inadequate connection to the vision 0,71 23,49 3,46 1,11
I7 Lack of enough motivation of employees 0,70 21,46 3,62 1,18
I8 Lack of employee commitment 0,69 22,27 3,47 1,22
Journal of Glabal Strategic Management | 06 | 2009, December |85
Goodness-of-fit indices were found to be ÷2: 1132,15, df: 659, p: 0,00000, ÷2 /df: 1.717, Normed Fit
Index (NFI): 0.968, Tucker-Lewis Index (TLI or NNFI): 0.985, Comparative Fit Index (CFI): 0.986
Root Mean Square Error of Approximation (RMSEA): 0.0415, and Goodness-of-fit indices of the
measurement model were found to be acceptable levels.
The Maximum Likelihood (ML) SEM was employed. Goodness-of-fit indeces were found to be ÷2:
1332,51, df: 760, p: 0.000, ÷2 /df: 1,7, Normed Fit Index (NFI): 0.846, Tucker-Lewis Index (TLI or
NNFI): 0.975, Comparative Fit Index (CFI): 0.974 and Root Mean Square Error of Approximation
(RMSEA): 0.033. The structural equation models are shown in Figure 2 with its standard factor load-
ings. The t-value of the model is bigger than 1.96.
As can be seen from the results of Structural Model, standard factor loading value of strategy plan-
ning (P) is higher than that of strategy implementation (SI). Hence, the biggest culprit for the failure
of the strategies is the strategy formulation process. In this respect, the first hypothesis of the study
“The factors relating strategy implementation process is more influential than those of strategy
formulation process in explaining strategic failure” is refuted.
When we evaluate the factors affecting strategy implementation process for the second hypothesis,
standard factor loading values are sequenced from the biggest to the smallest as “O” (organizational
issue), “I” (individual issue) and “M” (managerial issue). Hence, the second hypothesis “The obsta-
cles in front of the strategy implementation mostly stem from individual factors” is also refuted.
Fig. 2: Structural Model Results
86 | Journal of Glabal Strategic Management | 06 |2009, December
Conclusion and Recommendations
The present study focuses on the reasons for the failure of strategies. The success of strategies varies
depending on the problems encountered in the formulation and implementation processes. In this
respect, the present study reveals that planning process is a more important factor than implementa-
tion process in accounting for the failure of the strategies. The most important problems in the for-
mulation process are “Lack of consensus among decision makers”, “Lack of identification of major
problems”, “Lack of effective role formulators, “Unsuitable training system” and “Unclear regula-
tion and executive policies.” Moreover, it was found that the most important reason for the failure
experienced during strategy implementation process is the organizational issues. The most com-
monly experienced problems concerning the organizational issues are “Incompatible organizational
culture”, “Competing activities among people”, “Lack of adequate communication”, “Lack of effec-
tive co-ordination” and “Lack of adequate information system”.
It can be argued that there are two reasons leading us to these conclusions. First is that the Turkish
managers do not know the techniques used in the strategic planning and hence they are not very will-
ing to use them. Therefore, it can be argued that the most important reason for the failure of the
strategies is the lack of training attempts. The second one is the cultural structure. Turkey reflects a
collectivist culture and it is characterized as a high power distance culture (Hofstede, 1980, 1991).
Lack of harmony between the cultural characteristics and organizational structure seems to be an
important factor leading to failure. In this respect, organizational culture appears to be an important
factor for the success of the strategies.
Another finding of this study is that all the factors mentioned are influential on the failure of the
strategies followed by the Turkish organizations. In order to improve the situation, the workers
should be provided with training on the strategy planning. In this way, many problems can be pre-
vented from occurring by improving the capacities of the workers and leadership characteristics of
the managers. Moreover, the organization should be structured in such a way as to open all the com-
munications channels in the organization. Roles should be defined clearly so that no ambiguity will
appear. Finally, all the tools that help the employees to participate in, understand and feel committed
to strategy development should be adjusted to the organizational culture to be successful in the for-
mulation and implementation of strategies.
The most important contribution of the present study to the literature and practice is to reveal that
failure of the strategies is due to formulation process rather than implementation process. In light of
the findings of the study, future research may seek answers to the following questions: “Do the fac-
tors causing strategies to be unsuccessful vary depending on the sector in which the organization is
operating?”, “Do the factors affecting the success of the organization vary depending on the size of
the organization, the number of the staff, ownership structure, and age?” “What kind of relationship
exists between the leadership characteristics and factors hindering successful implementation of
strategies?” and “What is the relationship between factors affecting the successful implementation of
strategies and performance?” and “Which preventive factors affect the performance more?”.
Journal of Glabal Strategic Management | 06 | 2009, December |87
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