Session 25

Strategic Initiatives, Business Development and Top Management Team

Track C

Date: Thursday, March 18, 2010


Time: 17:00 – 18:30


Room: Kokoustila 3

Session Chair:

Title: Action Versus Reflection: Organizational Improvisation and the Emergence of Bottom-up Strategic Initiatives


  • Thomas Schrettle, University of St. Gallen
  • Urs Fueglistaller, University of St. Gallen

Abstract: Organizational improvisation has a peculiar status in the field of strategic management, even though it is an appealing subject for study, as it melds processes of cognition and action. Our paper hence strives to introduce improvisation into strategy process research as a potentially powerful tool for organizations to create competitive advantage. Improvisational actions can serve as unplanned experiments which can then arouse autonomous strategic initiatives as a major source of variation out of which organizations can select new products and markets. Our paper develops a simple model of how organizational improvisation can lead to strategic initiatives and how this relationship is moderated by organizational memory and horizontal knowledge flows. A set of testable hypotheses is provided and the research project is de-scribed afterwards.

Title: Business Development: The Function, Research Propositions, and Managerial Implications


  • Hans Eibe Sørensen, University of Southern Denmark

Abstract: The management literature reflects remarkable little effort to investigate the nature and consequences of firms’ business development activities. This exploratory research aims at synthesizing the scholarly knowledge on the subject with field interviews with senior business developers and executives from high-tech firms and venture capitalists in North America, Asia, and Europe to provide a foundation for future research. Business development is an emerging staff function providing an added level of sophistication to the firms’ overall strategic management with interesting performance implications. The business development function is typically found in progressive firms especially within high-tech industries, but is argued to become critical for all types of firms across industries wishing to grow and accumulate wealth. Research propositions and managerial implications are discussed.

Title: Strategic Planning in Turbulent Times - Towards More Agile Practices and New Dynamic Capabilities


  • Anders Melander, Jonkoping University
  • Leif Melin, Jonkoping University

Abstract: In this paper we show how the roles and practices of a formal strategic planning process change in turbulent economic times from an integration and control focus towards new roles and practices that are felt needed to increase the agility and flexibility of the business firm. The paper is based on an in-depth and practice oriented study of a strategic planning process in a medium-sized and growth oriented company during a period in which the fundaments of the traditional formal strategic planning process was questioned as a response to the demand chock that hit most industries in fall 2008. Analyzing new strategic planning practices emerging over time, we theorize on the capability to change the strategic planning process as a dynamic capability.

Title: Top Management Team Diversity and Management Innovation: The Moderating Role of Environmental Dynamism and Social Integration


  • Ignacio Vaccaro, Erasmus University-Rotterdam
  • Justin Jansen, Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • Frans A.J. Van Den Bosch, Erasmus University-Rotterdam
  • Henk Volberda, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Abstract: Recent research on management innovation, i.e. new managerial processes, practices, or structures that change the nature of managerial work, suggests a prominent role of internal and external change agents. In this study, we focus on the top management team (TMT) as a group of key internal change agents who, due to the nature of their position, are capable of fostering or discouraging management innovation. In particular we look at how TMT diversity and TMT internal knowledge sharing relate to management innovation and we also consider the moderating roles of TMT social integration and environmental conditions. Results show that both TMT diversity and TMT internal knowledge sharing are conducive to management innovation, however these relationships are affected by contextual variables.

All Sessions in Track C...

Thu: 13:15 – 14:45
Session 26: Aspects of Strategy Work
Thu: 15:15 – 16:45
Session 37: Practices of Collaborative Strategizing
Thu: 17:00 – 18:30
Session 25: Strategic Initiatives, Business Development and Top Management Team
Fri: 10:15 – 11:45
Session 31: Perspectives to Value Creation, Strategic Advantage and Corporate Decline
Fri: 13:15 – 14:45
Session 27: Strategizing for the Future and Global Capability

Strategic Management Society