Strategy as Practice: Taking social practices seriously

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Title: Strategy as Practice: Taking social practices seriously
Author: Vaara, Eero; Whittington, Richard
Abstract: This article reviews research in Strategy-as-Practice (SAP) and suggests directions for its development. The power of this perspective lies in its ability to explain how strategy-making is enabled and constrained by prevailing organizational and societal practices. Our review shows how SAP research has helped to advance social theories in strategic management, offered alternatives to performance-dominated analyzes, broadened the scope in terms of organizations studied and promoted new methodologies. In particular, it has provided important insights into the tools and methods of strategy-making (practices), how strategy work takes place (praxis), and the role and identity of the actors involved (practitioners). However, we argue that there is a need to go further in the analysis of social practices to unleash the full potential of this perspective. Hence, we outline five directions for the further development of the practice perspective: placing agency in a web of practices, recognizing the macro-institutional nature of practices, focusing attention on emergence in strategy-making, exploring how the material matters, and promoting critical analysis.
Date: 2012-05-21

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