Strategy as Practice: Research Directions and Resources

Strategy as Practice: Research Directions and Resources

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By (author) Gerry Johnson, By (author) Richard Whittington, By (author) Leif Melin, By (author) Ann Langley

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  • Publisher: CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Format: Paperback | 260 pages
  • Dimensions: 172mm x 246mm x 18mm | 522g
  • Publication date: 1 December 2011
  • Publication City/Country: Cambridge
  • ISBN 10: 0521681561
  • ISBN 13: 9780521681568
  • Edition: 1
  • Edition statement: New.
  • Illustrations note: 12 b/w illus. 8 tables
  • Sales rank: 596,232

Product description

Research in strategy has shifted significantly towards strategy as something organizations have, rather than strategy as something that managers do. The activities of the people who actually manage and develop organizational strategy have become marginalized. Strategy as Practice argues the reverse: that research on strategy needs to take seriously what strategists do and the effects of what they do. Written by a distinguished team of researchers and educators, this 2007 book sets out a research agenda, provides guidelines on theoretical perspectives and alternative methodologies for research on practice as well as commentaries on published illustrative papers that exemplify the practice perspective. Strategy as Practice will be essential reading for doctoral students, researchers and academics who wish to understand or undertake research in this important field of management research.

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Author information

Gerry Johnson is Sir Roland Smith Professor of Strategic Management at the School of Management, University of Lancaster. Ann Langley is Professor of Strategic Management and Research Methods at HEC Montreal. Leif Melin is Professor of Strategy and Organization at the Department of Entrepreneurship, Marketing and Management, Jonkoping International Business School, Jonkoping University. Richard Whittington is Professor of Strategic Management at the Said Business School, University of Oxford.

Review quote

'This is a marvellous book in many ways. The simultaneous attention to epistemology, theory and methodology are quite unique. If you want to understand the epistemological underpinnings of strategy-as-practice, the underlying theoretical schools of thought, and the methodological implications for conducting empirical research, this is it. The annotated exemplary papers concretize the distinctive features of strategy-as-practice and provide guiding examples for those wanting to engage in relevant empirical research. It will be a landmark contribution to what is probably the most exciting area of research in strategy today.' Haridimos Tsoukas, Professor of Organisation Studies, University of Warwick and ALBA, Greece 'Strategy as Practice explores the relationship between strategy and the day-to-day performance of organizational work and provides useful ways of connecting previous and future research to this significant agenda. This book is an important contribution to the scholarly efforts to theorize the relationship between what people do and the patterns that their actions create.' Martha S. Feldman, Johnson Chair for Civic Governance and Public Management University of California, Irvine 'As researchers studying business strategy have devoted more and more effort to statistical analyses of readily available databases, their findings have come to emphasize highly rationalized interpretations of past events. One result has been prescriptions that advocate results to achieve without offering guidance about how to achieve these results. The Strategy as Practice movement calls on researchers to pay more attention to how people develop and pursue strategic goals in real life. This thrust is a much-needed addition to the portfolio of strategy research, and this book shows that such research promises intellectual challenge as well as practical utility.' William Starbuck, Professor in Residence, Lundquist College of Business, University of Oregon 'The strategy community (academics, consultants, practitioners) tend to work in separate silos with limited crossover. The authors have succeeded in breaking across these seemingly impenetrable silos. They find common ground in the strategy-as-practice.org community and through their excellent analysis of research methods attempt to find out 'what people do in relation to strategy'. They discuss the methodological issues and provide examples of the value of such cross-silo research projects. Strategy as Practice will fundamentally change the cogitative map of the reader and will increase the rate and quality of knowledge-transfer between these sub-sections of the strategy community.' Dr Rehan ul-Haq, Strategy & Alliances Academic and Consultant, Birmingham Business School, University of Birmingham

Table of contents

Preface; Part I. 1. Introducing the Strategy as Practice Perspective: 2. Practical theories; 3. Doing research on doing strategy; Part II. Introduction to the Papers: 4. Technology as an occasion for structuring: evidence from observations of CT scanners and the social order of radiology departments Stephen R. Barley; 5. Making fast strategic decisions in high-velocity environments Kathleen M. Eisenhardt; 6. In search of rationality: the purposes behind the use of formal analysis in organizations Ann Langley; 7. Sensemaking and sensegiving in strategic change initiation Dennis A. Gioia and Kumar Chittipeddi; 8. Business planning as pedagogy: language and control in a changing institutional field Leslie S. Oakes, Barbara Townley and David J. Cooper; 9. Strategizing as lived experience and strategists' everyday efforts to shape strategic direction Dalvir Samra-Fredericks; 10. Organizational restructuring and middle manager sensemaking Julia Balogun and Gerry Johnson; 11. From metaphor to practice in the crafting of strategy Peter T. Burgi, Claus D. Jacobs and Johan Roos; Part III: 12. Reflections; References.