Browsing by Subject "strategy"

Sort by: Order: Results:

Now showing items 1-15 of 15
  • Seppälä, Martin (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2004-12-28)
    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, 2014-05-22)
    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.
  • Sorsa, Virpi (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2012-10-31)
    “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, 2012-05-24)
    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.
  • Sorsa, Virpi; Vaara, Eero (2020-03-12)
    This study examines how pluralistic organizations confronting fundamental differences in values can proceed with strategic change. By drawing on a longitudinal case analysis of strategic change in a Nordic city organization, we show how the proponents and challengers play a “rhetorical game” in which they simultaneously promote their own value-based interests and ideas and seek ways to enable change. In particular, we identify a pattern in which the discussion moved from initial contestation through gradual convergence to increasing agreement. In addition, we elaborate on four rhetorical practices used in this rhetorical game: voicing own arguments, appropriation of others’ arguments, consensus argumentation, and collective we argumentation. By so doing, our study contributes to research on strategic change in pluralistic organizations by offering a nuanced account of the use of rhetoric when moving from contestation to convergence and partial agreement. Furthermore, by detailing specific types of rhetorical practices that play a crucial role in strategy making, our study advances research on the role of rhetoric in strategy process and practice research more generally.
  • Salojärvi, Sari (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2005-05-11)
    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.
  • 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.
  • Temmes, Armi; Välikangas, Liisa (2019-07-23)
    We advance the attention-based view by presenting empirical evidence that the attention of headquarters and subsidiary managers in a multi-business organization is, at times, out of sync. Based on empirical material that allows us to differentiate between what is attended to and what is ignored by management, we analyze the focus of managerial attention, environmental and subsidiary stimuli, and actions taken in the decision-making process over 15 years, during a period of strategic transformation. We suggest that attentional mismatches occur not only between strategic issues but also between what are considered relevant responses or actions to be taken at any particular time. We analyze the origins of the attentional mismatches and explore ways to avoid such nonalignment in strategic decision making.
  • Ekholm, Bo-Göran (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2004-10-07)
    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, 2010-12-22)
    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, 2007-01)
    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.
  • Ström, Eva (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2018-11-24)
    To help companies achieve strategic success, new management tools have been invented and introduced over time. One of the most well-established and popular management tools is the Balanced Scorecard (BSC). The BSC was first introduced in the 1990s by Kaplan and Norton as a performance measurement tool that supplemented financial measures with non-financial measures, chosen with regard to strategy. It has then evolved into a strategic management system. This thesis examines how the BSC is related to performance. It suggests that the BSC is associated with performance, because it is used as a strategic management system. Furthermore the research investigates how certain chosen contextual variables enable the BSC to be used as a strategic management system. The BSC contextual variables are the chosen strategy, management’s motives for introducing the BSC and management involvement in the implementation phase. The empirical evidence from Finland and Sweden provide evidence that a BSC that is used as a strategic management system is positively related to performance. Furthermore the empirical evidence shows that a certain focus of strategy and management’s role in supporting the strategy - by introducing management accounting techniques and by actively being involved in the process- has a positive association with the extent to which the BSC is used as a strategic management system. This, in turn, associated with performance. Overall the research highlights the importance of the interplay between the use of an accounting technique- such as the BSC- and the contextual factors that support that use (supporting the use with strategy and management’s active role).
  • Tukiainen, Taina; Burström, Thommie; Lindell, Martin (2019-06-26)
    Technology startups build strategies in order to survive within the framework of business ecosystems. However, the knowledge required to make such strategies effective is scarce. This article poses the question: “How do small technology startups strategize within and between business ecosystems?” Based on an explorative qualitative study, this article defines and presents a dynamic strategic framework of three strategies employed by technology startups. Some startups choose to act within one defined business ecosystem, most startups use a multi-ecosystem strategy to act between and draw benefits from many business ecosystems, and the rest act as ecosystem creators that challenge the logics of existing ecosystems.
  • Mantere, Saku (Hanken School of Economics, 2014-05-22)
    Under which conditions does a collective strategy exist among organizational members? Where should a scholar look for one? To offer one way to start solving these puzzles I propose a view of organizational strategy as a language game that governs the use of strategy labels at the level of the organization. Organizational strategy exhibits a division of linguistic labor, where responsibility for key concepts is assigned to particular individuals or organizational functions. Such linguistic experts oversee the proper use and maintenance of strategy language. The language-based view helps to understand linkages between institutional, network, organizational and micro level views on strategy. It also problematizes widely held intuitions regarding the relationship between strategy and organizational outcomes.