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Title: The constitution of strategic change by insider and outsider CEOs : language games and discursive bets
Author: McKeown, Max
ISNI:       0000 0001 1647 8410
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2010
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This thesis is about how insider and outsider CEOs use language to accomplish strategic change. It argues that language matters to strategy. It also argues that research and theory have neglected language. It finds support from the literature and empirical evidence. Data came from CEO communication in two large US corporations over twenty-five years. The study explores CEO use of language, including the textual production, dissemination, and consumption of discourse, to investigate mechanisms for legitimating authority discourse, transforming organizational and individual identities and renegotiating the prevailing strategic narratives. It makes several original contributions to the field of strategic management research, particularly in the areas of change and leadership. It contributes to the emerging micro focus on strategy as actions and as process – the study of 'strategy as practice'. First, it reveals strategy narratives, how they change over time and in different contexts. It shows discourse is effective at tracking patterns and mechanisms of strategic change. It throws detailed empirical light on discourse as a vehicle for change. It does this in a novel way contributing new inductively derived categories and concepts. Second, it offers a new way of conceptualizing the role of CEO in the constitution of strategy as maker of discursive bets in the form of various language games. These games play out internally and externally. They shape organizational outcomes – creating, sustaining or slowing change. Third, it sets out a discursive-recursive model to explain how CEO discourse leads to strategic action or inaction. It describes different characteristics of this model with empirical examples. Fourth, most importantly it examined the role of insider and outsider CEOs in strategic change. It contributed specific new understanding of how success is accomplished. It shows how and why certain language games work. It contributes new concepts, relationships, and theory.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HD28 Management. Industrial Management