Strategy as practice?

Sage Publications
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Strategic Organization, 2008, 6 (1), pp. 83 - 99
Issue Date:
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Strategy is supposed to lead an organization through changes and shifts to secure its future growth and sustainable success, and it has become the master concept with which to address CEOs of contemporary organizations and their senior managers. Its talismanic importance can hardly be overstated. Thus, strategic management is increasingly understood as the task of the top management team. While seminal works on strategy bear the imprint of modernist rationality (Ansoff, 1965; Porter, 1980), there have been numerous contributions to the strategy literature that can be characterized as more reflexive and critical (e.g. Clegg et al., 2004). More expressly sociological in nature, they have placed emphasis on, inter alia, how power and politics shape the strategies that emerge (Mintzberg, 1987; Pettigrew, 1985); the strategic choices made (Child, 1972); the language games that constitute strategy (Barry and Elmes, 1997); as well as how strategy is best understood through interpretative approaches (Schwenk, 1989), structuration theory (Whittington, 1992) or epistemology (Knights and Morgan, 1991). Such works set out an alternative to the neat assumptions of ubiquitous rationality underpinning orthodox strategy.
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