Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: https://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.325794
Title: The temporal development of strategy : patterns in the UK insurance industry
Author: Webb, David Langston
ISNI:       0000 0001 3564 906X
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 1999
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Abstract:
Much writing in the field of strategic management remains an exercise in comparative statics. Cross sectional research methods are combined with the notion of stable equilibria to analyse the fit between the positioning or resource base of the firm and its performance However, the inadequacies of this tradition are increasingly being recognised even by the scholars who created it (Porter 1991). Strategy can no longer be conceived through the static language of states or positions and must be understood as an innovation contest where the bureaucratic and inflexible will not survive (Webb and Pettigrew 1999). This study takes up the challenge to explore the dynamics of strategy development. The empirical focus of the paper is the UK insurance industry in the 1980s and 1990s, a period of considerable upheaval. By means of an innovative cross-correlational time series analysis, we are able to show the ebb and flow of strategic change in the industry and the patterns of initiation and imitation as certain firms lead in areas of strategy and others follow A comparative case study analysis enabled the micro processes and internal contexts of consistent early and late adopters of strategy to be investigated The findings of our case studies were interrogated and interpreted by developing theoretical ideas from three literatures which historically have not talked to one another These are the literatures on innovation, institutionalism and contextualism The empirical results show firms pursuing multiple strategies at one point in time and altering the strategic agenda over time Our analysis of nine firms reveals the existence of leaders and laggards in the development of a variety of strategic initiatives The comparative case studies indicate that the ‘strategic agility’ of a firm depends both on management having the ability to act and the context in which such action occurs being receptive.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Economic and Social Research Council ; IBM Business Consulting Services
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.325794  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HF Commerce
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