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Title: The practice of strategy
Author: Rayman-Bacchus, Lez Michael
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1996
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In moments of reflection, both management teachers and practitioners acknowledge that choices are constrained by the availability of information, the ability to make sense of it, and the ability to communicate it. This study of strategy practice in organisations shows that choice is more than constrained; it is also socially constructed. Everyday strategy is guided by 'taken for granted' practices rooted in social reality; an objective reality that is the product of subjective processes. At the same time, practitioners construct their social reality through practice; through, for example, shared meaning, heritage, the patterning of experiences. These observations are based on a phenomenological study of strategy and innovation in three unrelated organisations all of whom regard innovation as essential for their survival: a bank, a telecommunications service provider, and a business school. The relationship between strategy practice and social reality is inclusive, one reflecting and at the same time shaping the other unceasingly. However the indeterminacy of the shaping process suggests that there is more than rule governed behaviour involved. Through innovation practitioners both reinforce and elaborate their social reality. In interpreting and expressing their social reality through practice, practitioners are necessarily creative; they are interpreting and expressing their social reality through the application of their capabilities. There are a limited number of social realities that practitioners might create; social reality is not infinitely variable nor universally homogeneous. The ways that practitioners work together and the degree of social control they experience gives rise to four possible archetypical social realities or alternative worlds. Those aspects of reality that practitioners of each socially constructed world take for granted vary qualitatively across an inexhaustive list of factors, including attitudes to rationality and uncertainty, and how to compete and cooperate.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available