Corporate level strategic decision-making : the case of BT 1984-1998
The global telecommunications marketplace has witnessed considerable and unprecedented changes in the past twenty-five years, so much so, that comparative recognition of most telecommunications fixed-link network operators is impossible. Consequently, industry structures, market specific structures and the internal operation of dominant firms have been transformed by visionary strategic directional changes. Demonstrably, the impact of national strategic intentions have identified clear shifts away from predominantly monopoly structured - highly bureaucratic, labour-intensive and government-run service providers, towards distinct regulated markets - supporting increasingly competitive, innovative and market-led organisations. With this in, mind, this study considers the nature of organisational strategic evolution and its associated consequences on the UK incumbent BT, since UK telecommunications privatisation. A case study approach was adopted, with face-to-face interviews being carried-out with senior executives, using semistructured questionnaire checklists. Grounded theory was applied during the analysis of data and results presented an historical examination, analysis and collation of the evolving nature of the strategic behaviour of the firm. Hence, BT was seen to evolve from a dormant, fat, inward-looking and inefficient organisation, towards a more dynamic, forward thinking, creative and global firm. Concluding remarks allude to company-specific characteristics of cultural and structural behavioural changes and the development of three conceptual frameworks, which relate to: - industry restructuring; evolving strategic focus of the incumbent; and evolving corporate level strategic decision making at BT.