Session 11

The Tools of Strategy Work

Track A

Date: Thursday, March 18, 2010


Time: 17:00 – 18:30


Room: Kokoustila 1

Session Chair:

Title: A Rules-based Approach to Strategy Workshops: A Case Study of Strategic Change and Continuity


  • David Seidl, University of Zurich
  • Robert MacIntosh, Heriot-Watt University
  • Donald Maclean, University of Glasgow

Abstract: Recently attention has begun to centre on the role of strategy workshops in overt attempts to effect strategic change. Based on an in-depth case study of a multinational engineering firm we develop a rules-based theory of strategy workshops. We arrive at a conceptualization of strategy workshops as a particular constellation of three different types of rules: (1) generative rules, (2) defensive rules, (3) suspension rules. The daily activities are an expression of a combination of generative and defensive rules. Strategy workshops then bring in suspension rules allowing reflection and change of the generative rules. Whether or not the strategy workshop effects a strategic change depends on the extent to which new generative rules are transferred into the organization at large and protected by defensive rules.

Title: Attention Allocation as Driver of Strategic Issue Management Practices and Outcomes


  • Markus Kajanto, Nokia Corporation
  • Peter Kunnas, Nokia Corporation
  • Tomi Laamanen, University of St. Gallen
  • Markku Maula, Aalto University

Abstract: Firms have different ways to deal with issues emerging from outside their regular, calendar-driven strategy processes. These practices tend to be non-structured, organization-specific, and highly dependent on the characteristics of the strategic issues themselves. Extending the previous research on strategic issue interpretation and organizational attention allocation, this paper shows how an organization’s attention allocation capacity affects its strategic issue management practices. We show how outside disturbances influence strategic issue initiation by top management and how this in turn influences strategic issue management practices and the subsequent performance outcomes. Our paper provides one of the first empirical analyses on the effects of organizational attention allocation practices on strategic issue management system performance.

Title: Five Force Model in Theory and Practice: Analysis From an Emerging Economy


  • Baragur Krishnamurthy, University of Nottingham China

Abstract: For thirty years, the five-force model of Michael Porter has been used as a standard tool to analyze and determine industry attractiveness. The model along with the others that Porter has developed, continues to influence strategic thinking in profound ways. And yet, one cannot help observing that perhaps the time has come to re-examine this model in the light of empirical evidence. This paper attempts to argue that the usefulness of the five-force model is limited in emerging economies as compared to mature markets. A study of the IT Enabled Services Industry in India demonstrates that with all the forces working against them, the major players in the industry have been able to turn in stellar performances year after year. With this apparent dichotomy between theory and practice, the paper questions the usefulness of depending on one model for all situations

Title: The Use and Value of Strategy Tools in the Different Stages of the Strategy Process


  • Paula Jarzabkowski, City University London
  • Monica Giulietti, Nottingham University
  • Nii Amponsah Amoo, University of Huddersfield
  • Bruno Oliveira, Aston University

Abstract: Strategy tools such as scenario planning and Porter's Five Forces have been developed in order to support the strategy work of practitioners and organizations. However, little research has been concerned with the practicalities of using strategy tools. This paper addresses this gap through a large scale survey of where in the strategy process managers use different strategy tools and what value they accord to that use in different phases. It was found that: a) strategy tools use is not specific to a single stage of the strategy process rather their use spread across all stages b) strategy tools use and value are not strongly correlated; c) the use and value of strategy tools decreases progressively as we move from strategy analysis to strategy implementation.

All Sessions in Track A...

Thu: 13:15 – 14:45
Session 12: The Discourse of Strategy
Thu: 15:15 – 16:45
Session 13: Strategists, Theorists and Conflict
Thu: 17:00 – 18:30
Session 11: The Tools of Strategy Work
Fri: 10:15 – 11:45
Session 14: Routines of Strategy
Fri: 13:15 – 14:45
Session 15: Metaphor and Narrative in Strategy

Strategic Management Society