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Title: The role of tacit knowledge in the formulation of small company strategy
Author: O'Shea, Noreen
ISNI:       0000 0000 7283 8030
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 2009
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The purpose of this research project was to determine the role and contribution of tacit knowledge in the formulation of small company strategy. A literature review was carried out to identify the gaps in knowledge regarding these issues. Using a case study methodology, evidence from 3 small firms was collected around the recounting of specific strategic episodes, where the different types of knowledge being used were identified. Four criteria were used to analyse the evidence - plausibility, credibility, internal and external validity. The findings relating to each firm were presented in 3 case study reports. A comparative analysis of the findings enabled the following conclusions to be reached. The managers in the 3 small companies were capable of providing credible accounts of the ways in which they practice strategy-making to accompany the development of their firms. They have devised and developed a series of drivers which have accompanied their strategic practice. These drivers have been present since company creation; they have continued to shape the trajectories taken by each company and they are associated with specific learning patterns. They directly influence the processes the managers use to formulate strategy. Each manager has developed a specific approach to formulating strategy. The use of intuition, alongside more rational mechanisms to analyse and validate decisions was identified in the 3 cases. Intuition plays an integrating, synthesising role in paving the way for possible directions and orientations within the options envisaged. The managers in the small firms call on a wide range of personal and professional knowledge and experience when formulating strategies for their companies. In activating their strategy formulation processes, they rely on mobilising their specific versions of tacit knowing.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available