Session 14

Routines of Strategy

Track A

Date: Friday, March 19, 2010


Time: 10:15 – 11:45


Room: Kokoustila 1

Session Chair:

Title: Development Dynamics of Micro-Level Behavioural Routines: Implementation of an Empowerment Strategy in Production Teams


  • Paul Jackson, University of Manchester
  • Desmond Leach, Leeds University

Abstract: This paper reports an empirical study of the impact of the implementation of an empowerment strategy on organisational practices and the subsequent institutionalization of those practices in new behavioural routines. We consider two supporting mechanisms: the boundary integrity of work units and the leadership role of middle-level managers. The setting for the study is the photographic film department of a UK manufacturing organisation. Multilevel modelling analysis showed significant positive effects of empowerment on interpersonal and task routines, as well as significant effects for the two supporting mechanisms. The role of complexity leadership on task routines was mediated by interpersonal routines. The study contributes to multilevel conceptualisations of organisational routines.

Title: Routines in Strategic Renewal: An Intersection of Process and Practice?


  • Duncan Angwin, Lancaster University

Abstract: Organizational routines are a phenomena which occupy a central position in research into organizations. Long recognised as important by process scholars, practice researchers are now turning their attention to routines in order to further understand how they affect organizational outcomes. This paper reviews the evolving study of routines in Process research and discusses how Strategy-as-Practice may add further insight. Empirical data of routines involved in strategic renewal is then presented and analysed through a strategy-as-practice lens. Findings show how unpacking the ‘black box’ to examine internal dynamics across multiple levels enables explanation of strategic outcomes. Subsequent discussion identifies how traditional process concerns are only part of the picture for explaining routine outcome and that the strategy-as-practice approach adds important insights for a more holistic explanation.

Title: Strategy Formation Practices in Seven Countries: Developing and Comparing Empirical Taxonomies of the Strategy Process


  • Richard Priem, Texas Christian University
  • Jeff Vanevenhoven, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
  • Theresa Lau, Hong Kong Polytechnic University
  • Barbara Sveva Magnanelli, LUISS Guido Carli University
  • Patrick Gibbons, University College Dublin
  • Duncan Lewis, University of Glamorgan
  • Chan Kwong Fai, Hong Kong Polytechnic University
  • Caterina Tantalo, San Francisco State University
  • Wil Williams, University of Glamorgan
  • Linda Reid, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

Abstract: We take an initial step toward addressing the research questions: “how do managers categorize strategy formation practices into process types” and “how universal are managers’ categories of strategy processes across national boundaries?” We examine specific commonalities and differences in categories of strategy-related processes among executives in the U.S., Hong Kong, Italy, Ireland, Wales, Singapore and Bahrain. This allows us to develop initial propositions leading toward an empirically-based, context theory of strategy making practices across nations. Such a theory would allow exploration of the specific mechanisms behind national similarities and differences in strategy formation. We discuss implications for future research and practice.

Title: Strategy Process and Practice Research and the RBV: Social Barriers to Imitation


  • Patrick Regnér, Stockholm School of Economics

Abstract: This paper proposes that the social interests and interactions involved in strategy processes that influence firm practices and routines may be of key importance for imitation possibilities. It draws attention to potential strategic opportunities that lie in diverse types of social contexts and that may influence resource and capability imitation. The paper examines different types of social barriers to imitation (cognitive, normative, motivational and political) that are decisive for imitation behavior and firm heterogeneity and, thus, a valuable competitive force in strategy analysis and management. It contributes by showing how strategy process research can assist in describing and explaining the specifics of imitation behavior and firm heterogeneity and, building on strategy-as-practice research, by presenting how shared views of practices may influence imitation barriers. From a resource and capabilities perspective the paper expands imitation impediment explanations by providing details of them that involve social complexity.

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