Session 338

Making Strategy, Strategic Change and the Role of Sensemaking and Sensegiving

Track J

Date: Monday, September 22, 2014

Track X

Time: 08:00 – 09:15


Room: Copenhague

Session Chair:

  • Hanna Lehtimaki, University of Eastern Finland

Title: Action-driven Sensegiving in Fast Strategic Change


  • Shenghui Ma, University of Zurich
  • David Seidl, University of Zurich

Abstract: Sensegiving plays a critical role in the process of strategic change, especially when the change is under time pressure and broad interests are at stake. In order to facilitate the intended change, top managers often engage in intense sensegiving activities to resolve uncertainty and ambiguity. Our study explores the role of sensegiving by drawing on a longitudinal qualitative study of strategic change in two large firms. We establish a processual framework of top managers’ sensegiving practices that involve various discursive practices and symbolic actions. We show a mode of action-driven sensegiving, where bold actions were taken, then justified, and future actions are taken in order to create a coherent sense for the initiated change. Theoretical implications of our findings are discussed.

Title: Can Co-Creation Lead To Better Strategy?: An Exploratory Research


  • Koen Tackx, Vlerick Business School
  • Paul Verdin, Free University of Brussels

Abstract: The “strategy creation” process –the process of formulating and implementing strategy- is often considered as being ineffective and/or inefficient also because the process remains in practice often the privilege of top management with limited involvement of the entire organization. In order to address the main shortcomings, we start from the fair process theory and propose co-creation as an alternative –fairer- way of creating strategy. Using an innovative co-creation platform test to what extent corporations have been following fair process principles in their strategy creation process and their appetite for co-creation in strategy creation. Finally, we propose a conceptual model explaining how fair process in strategy creation can be achieved through co-creation.

Title: How do Senior Managers Sustain Strategic Change? A Sensemaking Perspective


  • Lisa Day, University of Liverpool
  • Julia Balogun, University of Liverpool
  • Michael Mayer, University of Bath

Abstract: Research points to the importance of senior manager sensegiving in initiating and implementing strategic change. However, little research explores in detail how this takes place over time to not just initiate change but also sustain and implement it. Our findings from a longitudinal, real-time case study of a strategic change initiative in a university focus on how senior managers sustain strategic change through their sensemaking and sensegiving. We explore the detail of what is said and done, and the reciprocal response of others, to appreciate how senior manager sensegiving activity guides and shapes the interpretations of others towards intended goals. Through the focus on meetings as a mechanism of control and coordination, this research also contributes to what we know about meetings and strategic practice.

Title: Making Strategy: The Hard Work of Institutional Innovation in an Open Professional Field


  • Richard Whittington, University of Oxford

Abstract: This paper takes a macro-oriented Strategy-as-Practice perspective to examine the development of the Strategy profession in the period 1960-2000. The paper focuses on two practice innovations: strategic planning and strategic management. These innovations are first explored using a vocabularies of practice perspective and then qualitatively through an institutional work perspective. The paper stresses the role of distributed agency in achieving innovation, as carried out by socially-skilled actors from leading corporations, strategy consulting firms and business schools. Their institutional work of framing, organizing and implementing is shaped by the nature of Strategy as a profession with low social closure. Such professional openness makes hard work of practice innovation, obliging both duplication and repetition. The paper discusses implications for future innovation in Strategy practice.

All Sessions in Track J...

Sun: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 252: Trends in Qualitative Strategy Research
Sun: 11:15 – 12:30
Session 392: Non-market Strategy Practice and Competitive Advantage
Sun: 17:15 – 18:30
Session 606: Strategy Practice IG Business Meeting
Mon: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 205: Strategy Making Dynamics
Session 338: Making Strategy, Strategic Change and the Role of Sensemaking and Sensegiving
Mon: 11:00 – 12:15
Session 340: Strategy Practice and Micro-foundations
Mon: 16:30 – 17:45
Session 206: The Role of Middle Managers in Strategy Processes
Session 344: Paradoxical Tensions and Innovative Strategies
Tue: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 345: Social Interaction and Boundaries in Strategy Practice
Tue: 11:00 – 12:15
Session 347: Critical Issues in Strategic Action
Tue: 15:30 – 16:45
Session 346: Management and Strategy Practices Reconsidered

All Sessions in Track X...

Sun: 13:45 – 14:30
Session 295: Keynote: Lifetime Achievement Award
Sun: 14:30 – 15:15
Session 471: Keynote: CK Prahalad Award
Sun: 15:45 – 17:00
Session 203: Acquisition Implementation
Session 215: Yikes: What Now (Reloaded)?: Firm Responses to Stakeholder Activism
Session 398: Corporate Strategy and Corporate Finance: Continuing the Research Conversation
Mon: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 260: IPRs, Appropriability and Innovation
Session 338: Making Strategy, Strategic Change and the Role of Sensemaking and Sensegiving
Mon: 09:30 – 10:30
Session 296: How Social Networks Create Competitive Advantage: The Microfoundations Reputation
Mon: 11:00 – 12:15
Session 213: What is In It For Us? How Sustainability Matters for Firm Strategy
Session 352: CEO Decision Making
Session 405: Multi-Sided Platform Strategies
Mon: 13:30 – 14:30
Session 4: Business Models in their Competitive Context
Session 5: Building Strategic States
Session 298: Using Networks to Shape Strategy
Session 299: Dealing with the Euro Area Economic Crisis: Strategic Adjustment in the Period of Turmoil
Session 300: Methodological and Conceptual Frontiers in the New World of Networks
Mon: 14:45 – 16:00
Session 368: Firm Scope and Industry Competition
Session 375: Changing External Environments: How do Multinationals Respond?
Mon: 16:30 – 17:45
Session 245: Human Capital Complementarities
Session 344: Paradoxical Tensions and Innovative Strategies
Tue: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 409: Increasing the Relevance of Strategy Research
Session 446: Empirical Studies and Case Studies of Business Models
Tue: 09:30 – 10:30
Session 297: Granularity of Profit
Tue: 11:00 – 12:15
Session 469: M&As and Innovation
Tue: 14:15 – 15:15
Session 301: Strategy Frameworks: In Quest of Relevance in a Turbulent World
Session 302: Directing Strategy: The Process Challenges of Formulating and Implementing Strategy in a World of Networks
Session 470: Governance Challenges in Globalized Networks
Session 473: Rethinking the Architecture of Global Corporations
Tue: 15:30 – 16:45
Session 208: Interactions, Recombination and Adaptation Processes
Session 346: Management and Strategy Practices Reconsidered
Tue: 17:15 – 18:30
Session 441: Funding Entrepreneurial Ventures: Sources and Successes

Strategic Management Society