Browsing by Subject "strategy"

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  • Seppälä, Martin (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2004)
    Economics and Society
    In this study, it is argued that the view on alliance creation presented in the current academic literature is limited, and that using a learning approach helps to explain the dynamic nature of alliance creation. The cases in this study suggest that a wealth of inefficiency elements can be found in alliance creation. These elements can further be divided into categories, which help explain the dynamics of alliance creation. The categories –combined with two models brought forward by the study– suggest that inefficiency can be avoided through learning during the creation process. Some elements are especially central to this argumentation. First, the elements related to the clarity and acceptance of the strategy of the company, the potential lack of an alliance strategy and the elements related to changes in the strategic context. Second, the elements related to the length of the alliance creation processes and the problems a long process entails. It is further suggested that the different inefficiency elements may create a situation, where the alliance creation process is –sequentially and successfully– followed to the end, but where the different inefficiencies create a situation where the results are not aligned with the strategic intent. The proposed solution is to monitor and assess the risk for inefficiency elements during the alliance creation process. The learning, which occurs during the alliance creation process as a result of the monitoring, can then lead to realignments in the process. This study proposes a model to mitigate the risk related to the inefficiencies. The model emphasizes creating an understanding of the other alliance partner’s business, creating a shared vision, using pilot cooperation and building trust within the process. An analytical approach to assessing the benefits of trust is also central in this view. The alliance creation approach suggested by this study, which emphasizes trust and pilot cooperation, is further critically reviewed against contracting as a way to create alliances.
  • Suominen, Kimmo; Mantere, Saku (Hanken School of Economics, 2014)
    Although the managerial profession is subjugated by the discipline of strategic manage-ment, managers are not completely subordinate to it. Instead, they are able to use the in-stitutionalized discourse of strategic management, which is not their own product, in nov-el and creative ways. In this paper, we focus on the tactics that managers, as central strat-egy practitioners, use to consume strategy. Drawing on the work of the late Michel de Certeau as a theoretical lens, we conduct an empirical analysis of discourse, produced by 36 managers operating in three case organizations. This analysis allows us to elaborate on three different tactics of strategy consumption: instrumental, playful and intimate. The results capture the reciprocal dynamics between the micro and macro-levels of strategy discourse, that is, between strategic management as an institutional body of knowledge and the discursive practice of individual managers.
  • Lantta, Marja-Leena (Helsingfors universitet, 2010)
    Increasing societal demands are driving forest industry companies to evaluate the impacts of their business activities more comprehensively. Corporate responsibility (CR) is not a new phenomenon to the industry sector as environmental considerations have been on the agenda of the firms for decades through the use of forest resources. Globalization and relocations of operations overseas have increased the general public's awareness of the societal effects of business. CR of major forest industry corporations has been studied extensively but a research gap was identified in the case of CR in small and medium-sized (SME) Finnish forest industry companies. The significance of SMEs is expected to grow within Finnish forest industry in the future as mechanical forest industry increases its relative importance. Based on literature this study suggests that SMEs should approach CR as a strategic issue, i.e., they should evaluate which aspects of this multidimensional phenomenon can affect the firm's ability to reach its objectives. The relatively limited resources of the firm should be allocated to those strategic CR issues. Empirical primary data was collected by interviewing the line managers of medium-sized Finnish sawmills. The managers were asked to identify sources of competitive advantage within the company, to give their definitions of CR and to discuss the potential of CR as a source of competitive advantage. The findings were congruent with earlier studies on SMEs in other industry fields. The firms often execute CR without identifying it and relate to CR through their key stakeholders (employees, community, customers). The interviewed line managers did not generally perceive CR to have potential as a source of CA. If CR is to be promoted amongst Finnish forest industry SMEs, robust business cases have to be presented to demonstrate the measurable benefits of CR. Practical examples of what CR incorporates in the smaller firm are required. Consumer studies are necessary to discover the value of CR stewardship perceived by the customers.
  • Unknown author (Ympäristöministeriö, 2014)
    Erillisjulkaisu
    The cultural environment is the basis for the memory and identity of the community and the people. It includes significant social and cultural values. When it is well taken care of, regionally characteristic and constructed out of different time periods, it enhances the well-being of people. The first Finnish national Cultural Environment Strategy 2014–2020 offers tools for maintaining the values of our national heritage and improving the vitality and attractiveness of regions.
  • Sorsa, Virpi (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2012)
    Economics and Society – 248
    “Strategizing has become one of the most important managerial practices. It is becoming harder and harder to find an organization, which wouldn't engage in yearly strategic planning and implementation cycles. Although the theorizing of "planning" is becoming less popular in strategy research and the theorization of "process" and "practice" is gaining more and more ground, the practice itself - the managerial elite's strategy workshops, the writing of official strategy documents and the employees' and interest groups' various innovative ways of interpreting and using those documents - has become accustomed, legitimate and even expected in contemporary organizations. This thesis examines the social practice of strategizing in municipal and congregational strategy work through various discursive perspectives and explains how strategy enters into and figures in the daily lives of people organizations. The contributions of this thesis are presented in six essays, which examine the actual strategy conversations and texts. This approach gives the reader a unique opportunity to access information and learn about issues which are typically kept out of sight to outside eyes. The results of this thesis emphasize the constitutive role of discourse and communication at different sites of social life within the context of strategizing. With its distinctive approach to studying the transcripts and videorecordings of strategy work, this thesis sensitizes scholars to pay careful attention to language and its role in social practice of strategy and will be invaluable to scholars, researchers, and graduate students in strategy communication.”
  • Franck, Henrika (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2012)
    Economics and Society – 242
    Strategic management and ethics impose contradictory pressures on managerial sensemaking. Using concepts from Paul Ricoeur’s philosophical work as a theoretical lens, this thesis analyzes a longitudinal data set, produced within strategy meetings and interviews in a multinational corporation undergoing a radical change process. It induces a model of ethical sensemaking in strategic management, founded on the processes of irony, compromise and conflict. The thesis demonstrates how the ethical can become possible and tangible in practice. It is an ethics that prompts reactions with on-going practicalities and acknowledges the unpredictable nature of change.Whereas normative business ethics literature has focused on how strategy is fair, leads to good deeds or is made by virtuous people, this study suggests that ethics is not something separate from the day-to-day, or moment-to-moment activity. It cannot be controlled from a distance. The study shows that business and ethics are not separate – it is about how we live with one another outside of being merely means for one another to gain. Through two interconnected analyses the thesis reveals how strategy work is riddled with tensions and how individuals rely on a number of tactics to navigate in order to live up to the demands of ethics.
  • Snell, Karoliina (2019)
    In Finland, as well as all over the globe, great weight is put on the possibilities of large data collections and ‘big data’ for generating economic growth, enhancing medical research, and boosting health and wellbeing in totally new ways. This massive data gathering and usage is justified by the moral principle of improving health. The imperative of health thus legitimizes data collection, new infrastructures and innovation policy. It is also supported by the rhetoric of health promotion. New arrangements in health research and innovations in the health sector are justified, as they produce health, while the moral principle of health also obligates individual persons to pursue healthy lifestyles and become healthy citizens. I examine how, in this context of Finnish data-driven medicine, arguments related to privacy and autonomy become silenced when contrasted with the moral principle of health.
  • Salojärvi, Sari (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2005)
    Economics and Society
    This study explores the role and nature of knowledge management (KM) in small and medium-sized companies (SMEs). Even though the role of knowledge as a competitive advantage is commonly recognized in the SME sector, almost no attention has been paid to the managing and developing of knowledge in SMEs. This thesis consists of three different sub-studies that were reported in four individual essays. The results of the questionnaire study indicate that nearly all companies that responded to the questionnaire (N = 108) found intangible assets, i.e. knowledge resources to be their main source of competitive advantage. However, only less than a third of the companies actively deal with knowledge management. The results also indicate a significant correlation between activity in knowledge management and sustainable organic growth of the company. The interview study (N = 10) explored the context and motives of the SMEs for managing their intangible assets, and the concrete practices of knowledge management. It turned out that KM facilitated change management, clarification of the vision and new strategy formulation. All the interviewed companies were aiming at improved innovation process, new ways of doing business and attaining an increased “knowledge focus” in their business. Nearly all also aspired to grow significantly. Thus, KM provides a strategy for these SMEs to guarantee their survival and sustainability in the turbulent markets. The action research was a process to assess and develop intangible resources in three companies. The experienced benefits were the clarification of future focus and strategy, creation of a common language to discuss strategic issues within the company, as well as improved balance of different categories of intangible assets. After the process all the case companies had developed in the chosen key areas. Thus, by systematic knowledge management the implementation of new strategic orientation (knowledge focusing) was facilitated. The findings can be summarized in two main points. First, knowledge management seems to serve the purpose of change, renewal and new strategic orientation in the SMEs. It also seems to be closely related to organic growth and innovation. All of these factors can be considered dimensions of entrepreneurship. Second, the conscious development of intangible assets can increase the balance of different categories of intangible assets and the overall knowledge focusing of business. In the case companies, this in turn facilitated the path to the improved overall performance.
  • Tikkanen, Elina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Internationalization provides firms a significant opportunity for growth and value creation worldwide. Especially those companies that operate in small and open economies tend to benefit from foreign market expansion. For example, the small size of Finland’s economy sets limitations to the domestic market opportunities. In addition to Finland’s macro-level strengths, Finnish companies’ innovativeness has gained attention as a potential sustained competitive advantage to support firm internationalization. Despite the identified potential, the Finnish food sector’s internationalization has been modest, and the research in this field has been limited. Thus, this thesis studies the internationalization phenomenon in the context of innovative Finnish food sector companies. The purpose of the research is to explore firm internationalization from the process perspective by investigating companies’ time-based decision making and behavior. The thesis aims to find out how and why do innovative Finnish food companies internationalize? The research was carried out as a qualitative study because the purpose was to form an in-depth understanding of the internationalization processes of Finnish food companies. In addition to the empirical research, an extensive literature review of various internationalization theories was conducted to develop a theoretical framework of the studied phenomenon. A multiple-case study was selected as the research strategy and two case-companies were selected, one representing a young SME and the other well established MNE. Both case companies were of Finnish origin, they operated in the food sector and had experience of expanding into international markets. The research data was collected through semi-structured interviews with company representatives, as well as by reviewing companies’ websites, publications, annual reports, and newspaper articles. The key findings of this study show that, in line with the initial hypothesis, food companies can utilize different internationalization strategies depending on their internal capabilities and resources. The accumulation of decisions regarding main internationalization dimensions and the actions taken based on these decisions in relation to time showed two different internationalization processes. The MNE had internationalized incrementally in line with traditional internationalization theories. On the contrary, the SME had internationalized early and rapidly on a global level. In addition, the company’s product portfolio was found to have a significant impact on decision-making and company-level behavior. Lastly, the innovativeness and uniqueness of both the products and the company’s know-how were shown to have a positive impact on achieving a sustainable competitive advantage on a global level.
  • Halonen, Henna (Helsingfors universitet, 2013)
    In Finland pharmaceutical policy is a part of health policy. It concerns social decision making on pharmaceutical sector and people and organizations around pharmaceuticals. Pharmaceutical policy 2020 strategy was prepared by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, based on a stakeholder (administrative authorities, education and research, industry, medicine wholesalers, patients, pharmacies, professional organizations, public sector) analysis. In Finnish politics this is an assignment of a new kind of evidence-informed policy making (EIPM), which is participative, transparent and democratic. The two main objectives of this study were to evaluate the present state of pharmaceutical policy in Finland and discern the emphasis of pharmaceutical policy by the stakeholders' point of view in the future. The study gave the possibility to a deeper analysis of stakeholders' opinions of the Finnish pharmaceutical policy in the beginning of the year 2010 than it was possible in the official Pharmaceutical policy 2020 strategy document. Besides this, research itself was a way of practicing evidence-based policy. The SWOT-analysis were conducted among key-stakeholders as a main material of this qualitative research (n=19, response rate 59). SWOT analyses included present strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats regarding Finnish drug discipline of a stakeholder's point of view. Furthermore, an e-survey (n=10, response rate 31) was conducted in the end of the strategy process in order to enablegive the stakeholders to give feedback of the Pharmaceutical policy 2020 strategy process. The survey also measured that was the consensus among stakeholders reached during the strategy process. It prevailed a very good mutual understanding. Results of the research were clearly readable on the official strategy paper as well as the research could go deeper in the details of stakeholders' words than the official strategy paper. The most important emphases in the results were noticeable: condense the cooperation of stakeholders among the drug discipline to ensure efficient, good quality and patient safe pharmaceutical service and better utilizing of pharmaceutical knowledge among social and public health service. The results of this research can be utilized later as a starting point to measure how Pharmaceutical policy 2020 strategy has came true. With help of this study it's also possible to verify the strategy process and Finnish national medicine policy in the 2020 decade. In Ministry of Social Affairs and Health it is also possible to think, what kind of legislative changes it demands to implement the needed changes among the drug discipline.
  • Vaara, Eero; Sorsa, Virpi; Palli, Pekka (2010)
    Despite increasing interest in the discursive aspects of strategy, few studies have examined strategy texts and their power effects. We draw from Critical Discourse Analysis to better understand the power of strategic plans as a directive genre. In our empirical analysis, we examined the creation of the official strategic plan of the City of Lahti in Finland. As a result of our inductive analysis, we identified five central discursive features of this plan: self-authorization, special terminology, discursive innovation, forced consensus and deonticity. We argue that these features can, with due caution, be generalized and conceived as distinctive features of the strategy genre. We maintain that these discursive features are not trivial characteristics; they have important implications for the textual agency of strategic plans, their performative effects, impact on power relations and ideological implications.
  • Vaara, Eero; Mantere, Saku (Organization Science Vol. 19, No. 2, March–April 2008, pp. 341–358, 2008)
    We still know little of why strategy processes often involve participation problems. In this paper, we argue that this crucial issue is linked to fundamental assumptions about the nature of strategy work. Hence, we need to examine how strategy processes are typically made sense of and what roles are assigned to specific organizational members. For this purpose, we adopt a critical discursive perspective that allows us to discover how specific conceptions of strategy work are reproduced and legitimized in organizational strategizing. Our empirical analysis is based on an extensive research project on strategy work in 12 organizations. As a result of our analysis, we identify three central discourses that seem to be systematically associated with nonparticipatory approaches to strategy work: “mystification,” “disciplining,” and “technologization.” However, we also distinguish three strategy discourses that promote participation: “self-actualization,” “dialogization,” and “concretization.” Our analysis shows that strategy as practice involves alternative and even competing discourses that have fundamentally different kinds of implications for participation in strategy work. We argue from a critical perspective that it is important to be aware of the inherent problems associated with dominant discourses as well as to actively advance the use of alternative ones.
  • Kalliala, Mari (2005)
    During the 1990s there was a worldwide decline in the number of terrorist attacks, whereas political crime in general increased in most Western liberal democracies. The study analyses the emergence of radical alternative movements in Finland in the 1990s and their illegal underground activities as a phenomenon of the late modern risk society. Since reflexivity is an essential feature of late modernity, the study also discusses ways in which law enforcement can manage risks posed by political crime. Secrecy influences the character of radical alternative movements. In the context of late modern social flux they are better understood as communitarian movements than social ones. Belonging to the community is more important to their supporters than the activities of the community. Furthermore, radical alternative movements consist of beliefs non-typical to mainstream society. They are part of the so-called cultic milieu - the dynamics of which is influenced by its relationship to mainstream society and the ideology of 'seeking'. Finnish society in the 1990s provided a fertile breeding ground for the emergence of radical movements and illegal underground activities. However, international influences which were adopted played a significant role. Radical alternative movements did not have to subscribe to illegal underground activities since their political agenda was not illegitimate. Illegal underground activities were organised based on the strategy of leaderless resistance. Nevertheless, structures had to be created to provide for resources and to mobilise illegal underground activities. The refrain of violence against persons was the most important strategic choice. For instance, it prevented the use of effective law enforcement counter-measures. However, no short or long-term political goals were achieved by illegal means. The tactics seemed to have served mainly organisational maintenance. Illegal underground activities impinge directly upon the rights and liberties of others. However, balancing between liberty and order is a major challenge as democratic values are preserved by adopting the very means that tend to subvert them. Analysis is a new tool for law enforcement and can be used to assess threats and risks, set priorities and formulate counter-strategies.
  • Janzon, Max Albert (2008)
    This study adopts a case study research strategy to a public bureaucracy with a military organization structure. This study investigates the logics of action of strategy process from a governance perspective. Strategy process refers to the process dimension of strategic issues management (sensing, deciding, executing). The governance models used in the study are agency theory and stewardship theory. The primary objective of the study is to explore the relationship between the forms of governance and the logics of action of strategic issues management. In this study the literature review was complemented with a pilot study. The material obtained in the pilot study (N 114, n 72) was then analyzed by means of discourse analysis. The objective of the pilot study was to complement the literature review and thus immediately from the beginning incorporate qualitative organization-based empiria. However, in order to explore the study's main concern, a quantitative approach was deployed. The statistical technique used was correlation analysis. The material for the statistical analysis was gathered by means of survey (N 136, n 72). The questionnaire was sent to the key executives and managers, and experts of the public agency in question (the Border Guard of Finland). For measurement purposes, the Spearman rank correlation coefficient was computed. The study focused on a statistically significant (p<0,01) and very significant (p<0,001) correlation. The study shows that stewardship theory is a more efficient governance form than agency theory from a strategic issues management perspective. The stewardship theory based governance behaves clearly more advantageous in the analysis and constituted a significantly positive correlation to the logic of action, which actively identifies strategic issues in the organization's external environment. Agency theory did not show a corresponding correlation. Stewardship theory showed a statistically very significant correlation to each of the decision-making logics of action, and the correlation was the strongest to the decision-making logic of action, which suits most appropriately the demands of strategic issues management. Agency theory did not show a correlation with equivalent strength. With respect to implementation, stewardship theory constituted a statistically very significant correlation to the executing logics of action required by holistically natured strategic issues, whereas agency theory based governance constituted a statistically very significant correlation merely to the formal modes of implementation.
  • Kääriäinen, Seppo (2002)
    The study applies to the strategic choices and aims of the Agrarian Union / Centre Party between years 1964-2001. In particular, the study examines the strategies of the Centre Party to defend its position in the Finnish politics amidst an ungovernable structural change of the society and a period of political transition. The aim is to analyze the strategic choices of the Party and their origin, basically from the point of view of the Party leadership. A strategic choice of a party is composed of a political-ideological core, which is supported by several activities. The study aims also to analyze the internal reforms of the Centre party by comparing them to party theories Duverger, Kirchheimer, Panebianco, Katz & Mair). Also the role of the leaders of the Centre Party in generating the strategies has been examined. The study is a qualitative one by nature. The method used in the study can be compared to 'observing participation'. The study contains also components of the grounded theory, due to a wide and many-sided material and the background of the author. The strategies are approached with a chronological disposition by analyzing them in the light of questions that are based on party theories. The background for the increased election support is the development towards a catch-all party that was accelerated by the change of the name of the Party in 1965 (from the Agrarian Union to the Centre Party). In 2001, the proportional support of the Party was at the same level as in 1962 (23-24 %). The development towards a catch-all party - a long-term strategic choice - was strengthened in 1962-1999 when also the support of the Party increased tenfold in the cities and the share of the Party of votes that were cast in the cities increased fivefold. In 2000, approximately 90 per cent of the supporters were others than farmers, whereas in the beginning of 1960s the situation was the opposite. The main conclusion is that, although the Centre Party has to a large extent become a catch-all party, consistent with the party theories, it has always contained strategic elements of difference and originality, arising from the core identity of the Party. The Party leadership has not only developed strategies based on the concept of a catch-all party, but also utilized the originality of the party both in the political-ideological and the organizational work. The strategy to reform the Agrarian Union as a Centre Party (1964-1970) pushed the Party to become a catch-all party. The catastrophe in the 1970 general election drove the Party to re-establish its identity in the 1970s. As a result of this process, the Party changed from a class party to a catch-all party of the regions. After these strategies that were implemented under the leadership of Dr Johannes Virolainen, the Party chose in the 1980s, under the leadership of Mr Paavo Väyrynen, a strategy of a high profile. This strategy, with which the Party challenged the leading position of the social-democrats, transformed the Party into an ideologically conscious party of masses. After the 1991 general election the Centre Party became the leading governmental party. Under the leadership of Mr Esko Aho (Prime Minister 1991-95) the Party pursued the politics of necessity, characteristic of a governmental party. It also adapted characters of an election party that had amended its ideology more pragmatic. The opposition strategy of the late 1990s, characterised by the 'labour reform', strengthened the Party as a party of different projects with the aim to gain electoral support. The Agrarian Union was in 1964 in a turning point, the Centre Party was in a same kind of situation in 2001. The only thing that had remained of the components of the previous pivotal position, was the support. The basic source material of the study are the minutes (including the annexes) from all official meetings of all party organs from 1964 to 2001. Also the archives of Dr Urho Kekkonen, Dr Johannes Virolainen and Dr Ahti Karjalainen as well as material produced by the Party Headquarters have been used. Several contemporaries have been interviewed.
  • Hallamaa, Mikko (2006)
    This study is investigates changes in strategic culture in South Africa. The focus is on two White Papers on Defence, of 1977 and 1996. A strategic culture –based approach is employed. Strategic culture refers to a relatively enduring consensus about values, beliefs and beliefs concerning the use of force. A national strategy community consists of people who guide and lead defence policy, and who share a common strategic culture. Strategic culture is studied here with a specific focus on national strategic communities, defence doctrines and civil-military relations. The 1977 White Paper introduces the doctrine of total strategy that defined South Africa's defence policy until the late 1980s. Its starting point was South Africa's rapidly deteriorating security situation. Internal and external pressure directed at South Africa's policy of separate development or apartheid was interpreted as a 'total onslaught' by Soviet Union and its allies, with the aim of establishing majority rule sympathetic to the Soviet Union. To counter this threat a 'total strategy' that included military means was devised. Membership in the national strategic community was restricted on ethnic, racial and political grounds. Security policies were informed by strategic scholarship that was developed in a closed environment, mainly within the defence establishment and Afrikaans-language universities. Civil-military relations were characterized by a process of rapid militarization. Defence doctrine relied on total strategy and counter-revolutionary warfare. The 1996 White Paper aims at the demilitarization of security policies. The transition to democracy in South Africa had begun in 1990 and culminated in the country's first democratic elections in 1994. The basic premise of defence planning was that the country was not faced with any military threat in the foreseeable future. The country had, however, inherited from the former government an oversized defence force and an equally immense defence industry. The downsizing of both was imperative. In light of the government's objectives of social-economic development the resources consumed by the defence sector were a serious problem. The national strategic community was defined on normative grounds: the Department of Defence sought the cooperation of civil society actors who, in the main, had a background in critical security studies. Regarding civil-military relations the White Paper stresses civil supremacy over armed forces, and the role of the Parliament in directing defence policy. Defence doctrine is based on the concepts of human security and common security - both reflect a broad security agenda.
  • Ekholm, Bo-Göran (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2004)
    Working Papers
    The study investigates whether there is an association between different combinations of emphasis on generic strategies (product differentiation and cost efficiency) and perceived usefulness of management accounting techniques. Previous research has found that cost leadership is associated with traditional accounting techniques and product differentiation with a variety of modern management accounting approaches. The present study focuses on the possible existence of a strategy that mixes these generic strategies. The empirical results suggest that (a) there is no difference in the attitudes towards the usefulness of traditional management accounting techniques between companies that adhere either to a single strategy or a mixed strategy; (b) there is no difference in the attitudes towards modern and traditional techniques between companies that adhere to a single strategy, whether this is product differentiation or cost efficiency, and c) companies that favour a mixed strategy seem to have a more positive attitude towards modern techniques than companies adhering to a single strategy
  • Pälli, Pekka; Vaara, Eero; Sorsa, Virpi (Sage Publications, 2010)
    Despite the acknowledged importance of strategic planning in business and other organizations, there are few studies focusing on strategy texts and the related processes of their production and consumption. In this paper, we attempt to partially fill this research gap by examining the institutionalized aspects of strategy discourse: what strategy is as genre. Combining textual analysis and analysis of conversation, the article focuses on the official strategy of the City of Lahti in Finland. Our analysis shows how specific communicative purposes and lexico-grammatical features characterize the genre of strategy and how the actual negotiations over strategy text involve particular kinds of intersubjectivity and intertextuality.
  • Vaara, Eero; Laine, Pikka-Maaria (Human Relations, Jan 2007, 60(1): 29-58, 2007)
    We have seen growing interest in discursive perspectives on strategy. This perspective holds great promise for development of an understanding on how strategy discourse and subjectivity are intertwined. We wish to add to this existing research by outlining a discursive struggle approach to subjectivity. To understand the complex subjectification and empowering/disempowering effects of organizational strategy discourse, this approach focuses on organization-specific discourse mobilizations an various ways of resistance. Drawing on an analysis of the discourses and practices of ‘strategic development’ in an engineering and consulting group we provide an empirical illustration of such struggles over subjectivity. In particular, we report three examples of competing ways of making sense of and giving sense to strategic development, with specific subjectification tendencies. First, we show how corporate management can mobilize and appropriate a specific kind of discourse to attempt to gain control of the organization, which tends to reproduce managerial hegemony, but also trigger discursive and other forms of resistance. Second, we will illustrate how middle managers resist this hegemony by initiating a strategy discourse of their own to create room for manoeuvre in controversial situations. Third, we show how project engineers can distance themselves from managerial-initiated strategy discourses to maintain a viable identity despite all kinds of pressures. Although our examples are case-specific, we believe that similar discursive dynamics also characterize strategizing in other organizations.
  • Salonen, Iiro (Helsingfors universitet, 2010)
    It was given a task to the Finnish Medicines Agency (Fimea) to prepare a national Medicines Information Strategy. The strategy process can be divided into four stages: 1) the collection and analysis of the information, 2) the determination of the strategy and the vision, 3) the realization and 4) the follow-up stage of the strategy. In the European Union (EU) the High Level Pharmaceutical Forum has drawn up the criteria for the high quality medicines information (MI) and the recommendations to improve the quality and availability of the MI directed to the consumers. The most significant medicines related political actions in Finland in the 21st century are the Medicine policy 2010 -document, the strategies of the National Agency for Medicines and the TIPPA-project. The objective of the Master's thesis was to produce the information to Fimea's MI work. The electric questionnaire was drawn up in the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. After a pilot test, the questionnaire was sent by email to all national Medicines Authorities in EU (n=27) in November 2009. The purpose of the questionnaire was to find out 1) the significance of the medicine information in the national legislation, 2) the possible MI strategies and 3) the control mechanisms of the medicine information directed to the consumers. The medicines information strategies were found in the United Kingdom (UK), Italy and Germany. Furthermore, the strategy process was unfinished in four countries. In the strategy of the UK 25 concrete actions were presented during a three-year strategy period to improve the quality and availability of the MI and to improve the cooperation between public and private actors. The information and communication technology (ICT) was in the centre of the medicines information offered to the consumers. ICT was utilised by publishing Patient Information Leaflets in Internet and by developing medicines information web pages, digitally patient counseling services and quality certificates. The results of the survey can be utilised as a part of the Fimea's Medicines Information Strategy process. Further studies, for example an analysis of the interest groups, are needed before the preparation of the national strategy. Furthermore, experiences of the implementation of the strategy and the results reached in the UK should be clarified.