Strategy as Practice - Whittington - 2006 (What are the major limitations?…
Strategy as Practice - Whittington - 2006
What are the key research questions the article tries to address?
The shift in the conception of strategy from something an organisation HAS into something it DOES
Creates a framework that links together different subsets of the three core elements, according to the particular task in hand, while at the same time acknowledging their
ultimate membership of an integrated whole
About the article
What are the central issues raised?
Strategy studies had split into 2 parts, what was happening inside and outside the organisation. Whittington tries to provide an integrated view
What are the main arguments?
There are 3 concepts within a central framework
Strategy Praxis (What practitioners actually do)
an artful and improvisatory performance
reflecting on experience, practitioners are able
to adapt existing practices;
exploiting plurality, they are sometimes able
to synthesize new practices
taking advantage of openness, they may be
able to introduce new practitioners and new practices altogether
Strategy Practice the practices of both organizations and their wider social fields - shared understandings, cultural rules, languages and procedure
critique of Hodgkinson and Wright 2002 - why they had issues in their failed ‘strategy process workshop’ in a publishing company
What are the major limitations?
WASP men - pale and stale
Is this really based in business reality?
effective participation cannot be assumed
impossible to have 'control companies' under the same situation so never truely empirical evidence
How does the article answer the set questions?
What are the strengths and weaknesses of the strategic approaches to organizational change
" the wrong kind of strategists".
MBA sceptic Henry Mintzberg (2004)
strategy is permeable (unlike accounting for example) so few 'rules and regulations' - diversity of approaches does not guarantee results
What implications does the 'strategy as practice' approach have for the understanding of strategy and organisational change
the potential weight of practices on praxis
strategy practices are typically emergent from
practitioners — people — are central in reproducing,
transferring and occasionally innovating strategy practices - Being 'McKinseyed'
effective praxis relies heavily on practitioners’ capacity to access and deploy prevailing strategy practices
What is strategy?
a plan of action designed to achieve a long-term or overall aim