Session 340

Strategy Practice and Micro-foundations

Track J

Date: Monday, September 22, 2014


Time: 11:00 – 12:15

Common Ground

Room: Luxemburgo


  • Martin Friesl, Lancaster University

Title: A Micro-Foundational Analysis of an SME's Strategic Renewal Process: Pro-fast's Longitudinal Case Study


  • Goetz Kaltheuner, University of Surrey
  • Laura Costanzo, University of Southampton
  • Ayse Saka-Helmhout, Radboud University

Abstract: The extant literature on strategic renewal neglects the ‘micro-activities’ of strategic renewal. This gap is significant when examining strategic renewal process situated within the context of an SME. This paper addresses this gap by examining the strategic renewal process of a medium-sized European company, Pro-fast, that was confronted with considerable competition from China. To this end, it applies the Strategy-as-Practice (S-as-P) perspective to investigate how the strategic renewal process actually took place at Pro-fast. This phenomenon is explored by applying a qualitative longitudinal case study design. The study’s findings bring to light a gradual, incremental approach to renewal, the significance of top management’s intuition as well as the relevance of social interactions in directing renewal, an entrepreneurial orientation despite a strong risk averse attitude.

Title: Against the Grain: Capability Renewal through Contested Initiatives


  • Martin Friesl, Lancaster University
  • Lionel Garreau, Paris Dauphine University

Abstract: This work in progress paper aims to contribute to the literature on the cognitive foundations of capability development. Extant research acknowledges that capabilities are rooted in taken for granted conventions that are both a source of distinctiveness but may potentially also give rise to capability level rigidity. Yet, the processes through which the contestation of such conventions allows the renewal of organizational capability remain unclear. We draw on a longitudinal embedded case design of three initiatives as Immochan, a French property developer, that provide insights into the mechanisms that lead to changes in conventions and give rise to the renewal of organizational capabilities.

Title: Improving Strategy Research: A Review and Assessment of Initiatives


  • Jeroen Kraaijenbrink, University of Twente

Abstract: Strategy scholars have taken numerous initiatives to improve the rigor and relevance of strategy research. A review shows no less than 7 categories of initiatives that have enhanced the quality and usefulness of strategy research over the past decades. An assessment of these initiatives, though, suggests that not all categories succeed yet in effectively combining rigor and relevance. In response to these findings, this paper provides four directions that could foster the further improvement of strategy research.

Title: Micro-foundations of Dynamic Capabilities: Testing the Degree of Routinization in a Small-firm Setting


  • Veit Wohlgemuth, European University Viadrina
  • Matthias Wenzel, European University Viadrina Frankfurt
  • Monika Biedulska, European University Viadrina

Abstract: The existence of various sub-streams within the dynamic capability literature led to limited consistency in the conceptualizations of their micro-foundations. In a rival hypotheses study of the theoretical outlines by Eisenhardt and Martin (2000), Winter (2003), as well as Schreyögg and Kliesch-Eberl (2007), we empirically test the effects of routinization at the operational and strategic level on dynamic capabilities in a small-firm setting. Results indicate that routinization at the operational level has a negative impact on dynamic capabilities, whereas routinization at the strategic level has a positive effect within our sample of small German manufacturing firms. As none of the outlines could completely be supported, we argue that their applicability might thus be dependent on contingency factors, such as firm size.

Title: Strategizing in a Web of Networks: Middle Managers and Strategy Consultants


  • Alex Wright, The Open University

Abstract: How do actors in inter-organizational networks co-produce strategy? This paper addresses this question through examining how a team of middle managers worked with an external strategy consultancy to formulate a strategy. Two related contributions are claimed. First, the roles assigned to middle managers doing strategy work is extended to include informal acts prior to formal strategizing, also highlighted is how middle managers work with external strategy consultants, a neglected topic. Second, how strategy consultancy work is produced, sustained and consumed is still to some extent shrouded in secrecy. This paper addresses this illustrating how consultants can and do work with middle managers when engaged in their consultancy interventions.

Title: The “Antestrategy” Perspective: A Call For A Paradox Lens On Strategy Practice


  • Stephanie Dameron, Paris Dauphine University

Abstract: The field of strategy is bubbling over with ideas. As such, this field has given rise to multiple distinctions and oppositions showing that strategy is not only a rationale science, but also a complex, iterative and practice-oriented art. Nonetheless, these oppositions may tend to interrogate what strategy is (Porter, 1996; Whittington, 1996) and call for a more integrative perspective on strategy. The aim of this communication is to participate to this debate by introducing a paradox lens on strategy through an analytical distinction between what we call « strategy » and « antestrategy ».

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

Strategic Management Society