Browsing by Subject "strategy-as-practice"

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  • Dahl, Johanna (Hanken School of Economics, 2017-04-07)
    This thesis focuses on the simultaneous existence of cooperation and competition between firms, and falls under the research area of coopetition. In recent years, coopetition, inherently complex and paradoxical in nature, has attracted increasing attention in both business practice and research. As a result, coopetition is confirmed as a phenomenon of contemporary importance to companies varying in size and industry. Moreover, from a research standpoint, coopetition has been established as a distinct theoretical approach to explain inter-firm relationships and, in particular, cooperation between directly competing firms. Yet, to advance extant knowledge on coopetition, calls have been made for research scrutinizing the interaction process and focusing on the handling of simultaneous cooperation and competition, at multiple levels of analysis starting from the individual. To this end, the overall aim of this article-based thesis is to develop a theoretical understanding of how coopetition is maintained as a process and as a strategy, alongside an empirical understanding of the interplay between cooperation and competition. The thesis answers three interrelated research questions, addressing the dynamics of coopetitive interaction, the deliberate and emergent features of coopetition, and the balancing of cooperation and competition. Article 1 contributes by conceptualizing change in coopetitive interactions through three mechanisms. The outlined mechanisms are inter-organizational learning manifested in cooperation between competitors, intra-organizational learning based on exchanges of contrasting experiences between individuals within the organization, and the development of the external business environment. The article further contributes by developing the notion that the nature of the change process underlying coopetition, in terms of the generative change mechanism and predefined or discontinuous character, depends on the balance and strength of the cooperative and competitive interactions. In Article 2, the theoretical contribution comprises a framework explaining coopetition as a deliberate and/or emergent strategy. By integrating research on strategy-as- practice and, thus, focusing on the social nature of coopetition, the framework delivers four scenarios on how coopetition strategy manifests in an organization. The framework implies that coopetition strategy ought to be explained as an activity occurring across multiple levels in an organization, and at an institutional and inter-organizational level. Furthermore, the framework broadens extant views on individuals who influence strategy and activities that may be consequential for the strategy. Article 3 contributes to discussions on the influence of different levels of strength of the cooperative and competitive interactions on relational outcomes. The contextual contribution lies in the study’s examination of coopetition in relation to the internationalization process and among a group of SMEs operating in a traditional manufacturing industry. Empirical results imply that the continuity, scope, and strategic impact of opportunities gained through coopetition vary with the balance and strength of the cooperative and competitive interactions.
  • Lundgren-Henriksson, Eva-Lena (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2017-05-26)
    Organizations frequently partner with actors in their environment in order to increase competitive advantage, at times, even with competitors. During recent decades, researchers have therefore become interested in simultaneous cooperation and competition between organizations, which they refer to as coopetition. Despite the increasing trend of treating strategy as activities performed by individuals, there is limited knowledge concerning how coopetition emerges and becomes shaped by individuals. The articles in this thesis address coopetition from a strategy-as-practice point of view, particularly taking an interest in how actors at different organizational levels make and give sense of emerging coopetition, i.e. coopetition agency creation. A longitudinal case study follows a strategic change process of implementing ongoing cooperation against a background of competition, from formulation to implementation. The case study findings show that coopetition requires modification in established cognitive frames, and that coopetition strategizing becomes complex stemming from the pluralism of views and attitudes across and within actor levels. The findings not only extend the notion of influential strategic actors external and internal to the organization engaged in coopetition, but also problematize the coopetition strategists. It is suggested in the thesis that it is pivotal to understand what enables and hinders individuals’ participation in realizing coopetition strategies, before strategy development and outcomes can fully be understood. Moreover, rather than treating coopetition as a deliberate strategy resulting from pure intentional and rational processes, the findings prove that unintentional influences from multiple levels must also be taken into account. Individual level differences in modifying past practice patterns to fit emerging coopetition are argued to be grounded in who strategists really are; in their backgrounds, histories, and motivations. Looking into the past is vital as the findings show; coopetition strategists across organizational levels hold multiple social identities that influence how sense of the present and future is made and given, and how different action patterns emerge, explaining why certain strategy outcomes are produced. The findings from the articles together emphasize how crucial talk and social interaction in different forms are to how far coopetition is accepted or resisted in organizations. However, different sensemaking patterns and different degrees of modifications in sustained structures and practices tell that accomplishing shared views on coopetition across inter- and intra-organizational levels becomes a challenge, and open future research paths to explore how coopetition frames are enacted over time.
  • 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.