Session 119

A Strategy as Practice Agenda

Track J

Date: Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Time: 10:00 – 11:15


Room: Auditorium

Session Chair:
Ludovic Cailluet, EDHEC Business School

Title: A Practice View of Strategic Planning in a Unit Within a Complex Multi-Business Firm


  • Chatchai Thnarudee, University of Canterbury
  • Paul Knott, University of Canterbury

Abstract: A crucial limitation of research on strategic planning is that it has always viewed strategic planning as a single process in a corporation. In practice, strategic planning in complex multi-business corporations has evolved into a network of multi-level and multi-unit strategic planning processes. This makes it challenging for managers and strategists to undertake the activities needed to run those strategic planning systems effectively. In this paper, we present a qualitative study that shows how strategy practitioners in a unit within a complex M-form corporation collaborate with each other to align and integrate strategies in the unit with those of the corporation. Our analysis sheds light on the interplay of strategy practices and praxis as practitioners enact strategic planning within a multi-level and multi-unit environment.

Title: Practice Theory Approach to Strategic Marketing: Unpacking Paradoxes of Strategy Work


  • Sari Stenfors, Stanford University
  • Paavo Järvensivu, Aalto University
  • Johanna Moisander, Aalto University
  • Henrikki Tikkanen, Aalto University

Abstract: This paper brings clarification to paradoxes in everyday managerial practice by looking at strategic marketing as an organizational practice. Drawing on the ‘practice turn’ in contemporary social theory and the literature on strategy-as-practice, the paper works towards a new theoretical perspective on strategic marketing. This perspective is illustrated by means of a case study of strategizing in a small start-up company, in the context of new business development in waste management. The study focuses on the immanent logics of practices that are drawn upon in talk and interaction during strategy meetings, and that orient the carriers of these practices towards markets and customers. Overall, this paper builds a framework to understand practical attractiveness of different marketing strategies and ways organizations respond to uncertainty and opportunities.

Title: Strategy Implementation in Practice: A Multifaceted Phenomenon Consisting of Formal and Informal Ingredients


  • Joerg Dederichs, 3M Germany
  • Laura Costanzo, University of Southampton

Abstract: The recent practice turn in strategy research (Johnson et al., 2007; Whittington, 2006) understands strategy as a highly interwoven social activity. This study examined the praxis of strategy implementation in a subsidiary of a multinational organisation with a particular interest in the relevance of formal and informal processes. Using a single-case study approach the preliminary findings suggest that strategy implementation is not only a formal and detached process but also an informal and social process. Extending previous research, the study indicates that lower level management is more concerned with formal processes whereas senior management is more concerned with informal processes; indicating a reciprocal relationship in which senior management acts via informal processes as an enabler to formal processes.

Title: Strategy in Practice: Understanding Processes and Outcomes through the Richness of Corporate Archives


  • Ludovic Cailluet, EDHEC Business School
  • Matthias Kipping, Schulich School of Business

Abstract: Through an in-depth case analysis this paper extends the social perspective on strategy making to the outside of organizations and to the outcomes of strategy processes. It takes into account a variety of external actors (governments, competitors, cartels) and the relationship between internal and external actors. The research is based on a longitudinal case study of the aluminium industry, using the richness of corporate archives. The paper participates in developing a very promising area of research of strategy-in-practice - the relationship between extra-organizational actors and strategy praxis - that has been relatively neglected until recently. In addition, it provides additional methodological avenues for the study of decision making processes, which has so far relied largely on participant recall or observations in using the rich material available in corporate archives, which include confidential memos, reports, minutes of meetings as well as correspondence between actors.

All Sessions in Track J...

Sun: 10:00 – 11:30
Session 267: Learning from Practice: Opening the Black Box of Consulting Engagements
Sun: 13:00 – 14:30
Session 268: Conducting Practice Studies: Introduction, Methods and Challenges
Sun: 15:00 – 16:30
Session 269: Promising Research Directions Using a Practice Approach
Sun: 16:30 – 17:30
Session 314: The Practice of Strategy, IG Meeting
Mon: 12:45 – 14:00
Session 122: Strategizing in Uncertain Times
Tue: 10:00 – 11:15
Session 120: Strategic Tools and Methods
Tue: 11:30 – 12:45
Session 118: Path Dependency and Firm Growth
Tue: 14:30 – 15:45
Session 121: Perspectives on Consulting
Wed: 10:00 – 11:15
Session 119: A Strategy as Practice Agenda
Wed: 11:30 – 12:45
Session 117: Exploring Firm Performance

Strategic Management Society

Washington DC